(Closed) Please share your Story: how you/SO chose your engagement/wedding rings…

posted 5 years ago in Rings
Post # 3
123 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

Stopping by to say that, especially if you’re younger, chain jewelers are going to JUMP on you if you walk in and say you’re looking for a ring but don’t know what you want.  That’s $$$$ in commissions!

I find that I’m always taken more seriously (jewelry, car dealer, clothing) if I walk in and say I’m looking for X and I know that I don’t like 1, 2, and 3.  Three stones?  Halos?  Yellow gold? Diamond alternatives?  Think of a few things you know you dislike and you automatically sound more selective and like you’ve put lots of thought into the decision.

Also, I would try to pick out styles that you like before you have a discussion about stone size. Don’t let them try to assume things about your budget until the last minute.

And if a salespesron is rude, there is nothing wrong with a simple “thank you for your time.  i really need to do some more thinking before we make a decision.”   And then leave.  If someone isn’t really listening to you, they’re rude.

Post # 4
293 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

SO and I have been together for almost 3 years, and talking marriage for about 1 of those. Whenever we wandered around the shops (mall) he would let me look at the window displays of the jewellery stores, but I never saw anything I loved. I wanted something vintage-looking, white gold with some kind of pattern on the sides. I think solitaires are too ‘typical’, and I liked three-stone rings. SO didn’t think what I wanted existed IRL, but a few months ago I found picture of it on Pinterest. I followed the link to the Brilliant Earth website and showed SO. We both loved it, so after ordering a ring sizer, reading up about the 4Cs and choosing my centre diamond, a few weeks later he ordered it!! It is currently sitting in our wardrobe. I don’t want to see MY ring until the proposal, so I haven’t looked at it, but the waiting is killing me. SO assures me it looks good, but I’m anxious that for some reason I won’t like it when I have it on. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Here is the link. I don’t have any pictures of my actual ring yet. 

I never went into a store, so I don’t know about the difference in price. My centre diamond is 0.72ct, G colour, Excellent cut and VVS2 clarity. I couldn’t justify spending more for a better clarity or better colour diamond when the human eye can’t distinguish the difference.

Post # 5
3316 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Ours was fairly simple.  I’d been married before, and had had an engagement ring with a huge stone.  I hated it!  Any time I was out after dark, or in a questionable neighborhood, or traveling, it was a big worry.  The ring itself was insured, but I didn’t want anyone hurting me to get the ring.  So I knew the second time around, I wanted a plain gold wedding band and no engagement ring at all.

Coincidentally, NotFroofy had a plain gold wedding band she had inherited from her grandmother back in Wales.  She had always thought it would be her own wedding band.  But it fit me a lot better than it fit her, so she decided to give it to me.

When NotFroofy and I got engaged, I asked her whether she wanted an engagement ring, and she did not.  What she did want was a wedding band to match mine.  But when we went ring shopping, the jewelers told us that the ring she was giving me was 22 karat, which is pretty much unavailable in this country.  They took NotFroofy’s ring size, and said they would get back to me on the price of an 18 karat gold ring, but that was as good as they could do.

However, I knew that NotFroofy’s grandparents had not been at all well off.  So I figured that if they had a ring like that, other people in the UK must have had similar rings.  So I started secretly looking on eBay UK for a ring that would match the one NotFroofy was giving me.  It was a complicated process–I had to convert NotFrrofy’s US ring size into a UK ring size, and also convert British pounds into dollars.  But I finally managed to buy a matching ring for her.  Needless to say, she was thrilled!

Post # 6
1119 posts
Bumble bee

@MsYouandMe:  I did everything you did and almost got screwed over by the chain mall jewelers! it was just an awful experience. So I looked on Craigslist and ebay and one night found my ring on craigslist. The guy had just bought it from Shane co (who I highly recommend had I not got super lucky and bought from him I would’ve bought from them!) and he and his fiance broke up and he needed money so I bought my ring from him for half of what he had just paid it off for! I really recommend looking at pawnshops/craigslist you can find some great deals. New jewelery is marked up and looses its value instantly. I went to Shane company to verify my rings & it stats and they were so helpful and even though I wasn’t buying anything just verifying and getting it resized still taught me the 4 C’s (although I already knew them) They weren’t pushy and the prices weren’t  crazy like kays and some of the chains I had looked at. You pick out the stone with whatever specs you like or suit your budget and pick out a setting which they have hundreds of it really is an awesome experience. 

Post # 7
295 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I didn’t have a say on my ring, he never asked questions, never asked what I liked or anything like that. Just what my ring size was, he made an appointment for me to go see Simon (his Tiffany’s guy) and I got my ring finger checked. That was it, all I knew was that I was getting a Tiffanys. Simon let me try on rings for fun, and honestly, I didn’t even try on the ring I got (my bad). My husband always thinks he knows best, and that I should/would be happy with anything he got me. 

Post # 8
973 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

As far as the 4 Cs go… and as you mentioned the 5th C!  Plus the type of metal you want.  Work out how much you want to spend, or at least a range FIRST.  For example my Darling Husband said he thought the engagement ring should be at least $1500, I’m a cheapskate so I thought I’d try to stay not much over that but absolutely nothing over $3k.  He also said he’d buy me what I really wanted even if that meant a $50 Walmart ring (we’re not fans of Walmart for ourselves because their practices, so please no one take offense to that!).

Then work out what Cs or the fifth C, metal, and any other details that are important to you… that’s how they really matter is knowing what they are and what is most important to you.  That way you can work out what you care about and can afford.  For example I wanted gold, diamond, and something that wasn’t pointy/stabby that I could wear 24/7.

In the end were given an heirloom ring which we had remade, which required even more rounds of jewelers because now we were serious and this wasn’t just bought but a special item that they’d handle and remake!.  But before that we spent a few days looking in local stores (we skipped the mall and large chains).  One of the first places the lady was so pushy I actually turned to (then) Fiance while she was trying to push something I already said I didn’t like and said “Can we go now?”, he laughed, we left.  The other just generally pushy places we’d just do what another PP said and “Thanks for your time, we’re still looking and deciding”.

For figuring out what we wanted the heirloom ring remade into I spent tons of time online looking.  Since the diamond is marquise there wasn’t much to be found in stores and they were all set normal … I knew if we were going to make this work it was going to have to be sideways and some creativity to avoid my “not pointy/stabby” requirement.  Once we (mostly I settled on a design and he liked it) we visited bunches of jewelers, then revisited the few we liked most and settled on our favorite who did an awesome job!

Original heirloom ring (eek) obviously laughing in the face of “not pointy/stabby” but plenty of gold to work with!

New ring and new ring with wedding band.  I would have never thought of a knife edged band but the jeweler suggested it and it fit with the engagement ring great:

Post # 9
373 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

@MsYouand: there is always the option of choosing a setting you love from a local jeweller and having them set a diamond/other gemstone you purchased yourself online. I did my research and after much consideration it was plainly obvious that the best quality cheapest diamonds I could source would be from one of the big online retailers like James Allen, Blue Nile, Whiteflash, Adiamor etc. I ended up going with James Allen because I was able to view magnified images of each diamond I was interested in. Plus the customer service was excellent. (Though each big online retailer should be able to provide images, certification, ASET reports for you.)

Regarding the 4Cs, I really think cut is most important as this will affect how much the diamond sparkles. The other 3c vary in importance depending on who you speak to and personal preference. I like white colour and icy crispness so I like diamonds in the D-G range. Others like warmer coloured diamonds. I would sacrifice clarity for better colour as long as the diamond was eye clean. What is important to you? Make sure you have an idea when you start ring shopping

Post # 10
59 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

My fiance and I got engaged spur of the moment so we had no ring.  He took me shopping after and said he wanted me to love it and really had no clue about jewellery.  I am very into rings and was very happy with this.  We went to a few mall stores just to see what was on offer for what price.  I knew I wanted something that took my breath away and had in mind halos, which I wear one already on my right hand.  We went to a local small independent jewellery well known for quality and I assumed it would be far too expensive for anything decent.  However it turned out they had a massive sale on.  I wanted something good quality but wasnt too bogged down with the four Cs to be honest.  I was something that was eye clean.  They showed me boxes and boxes of beautiful diamonds that all seemed to look the same after a while but one jumped out at me.  It was a three stone but the sides were pears.  I tried it one and it sparkled so much I knew it was way over budget.  It ended up being double the budget even with a huge sale on it.  The jewellers were not pushy in anyway and interested in what I wanted and took there time with me in a room at the back explaining everything and writing down facts and figures for me to go away and make comparisons.  We went to a few other stores and found three stones with pears which were a lot cheaper but not nearly the same quality.  My fiance took me back the next day as I was adamant I could find something more in his budget but it was his decision he said and was buying the one I loved.  It looks classic and understanted and nothing like the halos I had in mind but I am absolutely in love with it.  Still waiting on it!!!

Post # 11
1896 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Since I knew that getting my Fiance to voluntarily set foot by himself in a jewelry store was right up there with my winning the lottery, a nobel prize, and a trip to the moon all in the same week, I knew that my chances were way better if I could find a way for him to buy a ring online.

On top of that he was very vague about his budget (ugg…).  I finally settled the matter by picking out three different rings from various reliable online stores.  At the high end was an Art Carved antique-looking diamond solitaire ring.  In the mid-range was a white gold ring with a knot design and an iolite.  In the low range was a thin band with an etched design and a very small mounted garnet.

Since I knew it would take a lot for him to get the hint, I literally sent him an email that included my ring size and links to the three options (we’ve been together for five years so there is a high degree of familiarity involved) and set back and waited and waited.

Four months later he proposed with the mid-range ring.  It was fun because he got to pick something that fit within his budget, I got to be surprised, and I ended up with a ring that I love.

Post # 12
1224 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

SO and I once had a discussion about the Engagement Ring question. He had always dreamed of doing a big romantic proposal, down on one knee with ring already. I shattered all that by saying “Well, what if I don’t like the one you choose, do I keep quiet to not hurt your feelings and wear something I don’t like every day for ever more, or do I tell the truth, change the ring, but hurt you in the process?”


He had never considered that and told me I’d have to choose it myself from a catalogue because he was too upset!! When it came to it, he did a lot of research about the 4 Cs and chose a loose diamond from 77diamonds which met all his criteria. He then sent me some pictures of settings and asked if I liked any of them (he was working abroad at the time) I gave him a few options, but he knows me pretty well and when it came to proposal day, he had picked the one I liked the best 🙂 


Post # 13
3025 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014 - Prague

I always thought I would prefer to be “surprised” by my Fiance with an e-ring he picked out. But when it came to it… he really insisted that I help him. At first I thought I could guide him by telling him things like “vintage,” but that basically meant nothing to him. I even picked a few styles and posted them on pinterest, but he still didn’t seem to transfer the styles into real life rings. Sometimes he’d make me stop by a store and he’d point to a ring and say “Something like that?” Um…. no. 

So in the end we went ring shopping together and it is one of my best memories. It was so much fun! And in the end I picked a ring that I am in love with. 

Then he took it and hid it, and completely surprised me with the proposal! 

I think it worked out perfectly. 

Post # 14
9674 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2019

For as long as I can remember I wanted the Tiffany Setting from Tiffany & Co. Not a replica, but the original. I have always wanted a solitaire diamond engagement ring in yellow gold, I am very traditional. We went in and had a look, tried it on and I knew it was the one. The carat size was good and it was affordable for Fiance, so a few weeks later he bought it! One day we decided to look at a couple of jewellers to try on wedding rings. First we went to a smallet chain jeweller where Fiance tried on a white gold ring (which he originally thought he would prefer) and a yellow gold ring, which he LOVED! Then we went to Tiffany’s, we both tried on the plain yellow gold Tiffany Lucida wedding bands. I loved it, Fiance preferred the one from the other store, so he will probably get that one, I will get the Tiffany’s one. 

Post # 15
1647 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013 - Rustic mill, historical site

I’m not a flashy girl.  I’m very petite, and skinny, and big jewelry just looks really dumb on me, it’s really really not my style.


We have been together for nearly 9 years now, (I’m 31, he’s 29) but when we started casually looking at rings, probably in 2008, he wanted to buy a promise ring, which we did pick out together.   We tried on engagment style rings,(as we had been talking about getting married eventually for a while) I ended up with a three stone tanzanite and diamond ring.   A couple of years later, we’d window browse engagement rings, just like that, I wanted maybe 1/3 carat, low profile setting, in yellow gold, NO HALO, but I wasn’t giving instructions or anything.   It’s just what we found looked best on me.


We had a surprise pregnancy that put a pretty big financial wrench in the whole works, with my husbands university to pay for, two cars, a house, bleh.    Anyway, he surprised me with a ring for my 29th birthday.    I know he bought it online, (and I accidentally came across it in an ad on this site, haha).   I have no idea what he actually paid for it (although I do know the retail price of the ring, since I came across it) but he did an awesome job, for it being a total surprise.  He was super nervous, and afraid I wouldn’t like it in the end, and he was like, “will you marry me?  If you don’t like the ring we can change it, I really don’t mind, I want you to love the ring for the rest of your life, but you can answer my question with this ring for now” LOL. The engagement time ended up being nearly 3 years until the wedding, just because we were paying for it.    We waited a good while to get officially engaged because of this, and it seemed kind of silly to be ‘engaged’ but not setting a date, and not actually be planning a wedding.




I’m not sure I have any advice except maybe to go casually shopping together, just to see what you like best on your finger.    If you want to choose it, then you can start there, if you want him to choose it then at least he can see what you like best, what looks best on you, what you DON’T like, etc.   I found that the places we went to, we let them know we were just looking at styles, settings, etc, they were helpful but not pushy since it was clear that we were NOT looking to buy right there on the spot.




And here are a couple of pictures of my pretty, just because I love it  🙂


It’s 1/2 carat center on a size 4 finger and I don’t remember the other specs.



Post # 16
2610 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI


I fell in love with my ring the first time I saw it! In a magazine ad. Yes, yes…I fell prey to one of those. But honestly, it was the only ring that ever really stuck me as “the one”. So when Fiance told me that I had to tell him exactly what I wanted in a ring because he had no clue…well I was set! I knew! I went to a store tried it on, still loved it, and had them file away all the info so that Fiance could surprise me with when he bought it.

When Fiance first went into the store to buy the ring he had every intention of just purchasing it that day. However, when he asked the store to look up the information on the ring I had chosen (they wrote all down remember?) they said it was nowhere to be found. Then asked if he’d like to look anyway. Thankfully he’d brought his laptop with him and said “No thanks, but I have the ring saved in my e-mail, let me show you which one she wants.”. Great right? Nope, once he showed them the ring they started peppering him with questions. “Are you sure she wants white gold?”, “How many points did she want?”, “Are you comfortable with this carat?” All of this to a man who thinks carat and karat are no different than carrot…you buy them in the grocery store right?

He ended up leaving without the ring feeling pretty let down. It was supposed to be a surprise that he had gone ring shopping but after that experience he needed to ask me more questions. So we talked a lot about my ring. I wrote down EVERY detail for him on what I wanted. Feeling better he planned to go back the following weekend and buy the ring! Yeah…that did NOT happen.

He went back to the store the next weekend now armed with his piece of paper with every detail.

  • Fiance: “Here store sales person…I want this!”
  • Sales person: “We don’t sell that anymore.”
  • Fiance: “Whaaat??”
  • Sales person: “OH we still have that setting but ONLY in platinum which will cost you $$$ more and we can only get it in a larger carat diamond too which will cost $$$ more, that’s okay right?”
  • NO it is NOT okay! We don’t have a budget for that!
  • Sales person: “Well if she wants a smaller diamond we can get one in a square cut, if that’s okay? But if she really wants the round you’ll have to pay more. “
  • Ummm..no.

So once again, Fiance left the store empty handed. He came over and told me what happened. I was just done with this store. How can you go into a store TWICE knowing exactly what you want to buy and get nothing? I mean they could have ordered it! We could have ordered it online! But we wanted to buy local and have the convenience of a local jeweler.

Well folks, there’s more than one local jeweler in town. Enter our new jeweler….Another locally owned business who ALSO carried my ring. Fiance and I decided to go in together this time. No more messing around, we meant business! Thankfully our sales associate was wonderful. She also gave us the skinny on the other store. They’re planning on getting rid of a lot of their lines so they’re trying to push them out the door, sell them fast, and get rid of what inventory they have…this is why we couldn’t get the ring we wanted.

We told her what ring we wanted and she walked us over to the case and pulled out…my exact ring! It was everything I wanted!! Already set and ready to go aside from the fact it needed to go down a finger size. It was perfect. Fiance said when I tried it on I was glowing so much I was probably visible from space.

And that’s how we got my ring. He paid for it and set up a secret pick up time. 

Advice: Don’t send a totally clueless man in to buy a ring. Someone is going to try and take advantage! Research stores ahead of time. Granted first store we went to had better reviews than all the others. Go figure.

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