An Idiot’s Guide to Picking Out an Engagement Ring

    You’ve met the person you want to spend the rest of your life with and you’ve decided that you want to ask her that one of the most important questions you will ever ask in your life: “Will you marry me?”

    You want your proposal to be a surprise, but you also want to make sure that you choose a ring that will knock her socks off. How can you find the perfect engagement ring without letting your partner know your intentions? Here are some handy tips to keep in mind!

    Talk It Over

    Getting married is a huge decision. Before you buy an engagement ring, make sure that you and your partner are on the same page. Discuss your future and make sure that you both have the same idea in mind. You want her to be surprised by your proposal, but not surprised by the idea of getting married.

    Set Your Budget

    Once you know that your partner is on-board with the idea of getting married, set a budget; not just for the engagement ring, but for everything that is involved with the wedding. You don’t want to spend all of your money on a ring and end up not having enough to pay for the wedding of your future fiancé’s dreams.

    Consider Her Style

    Engagement rings come in all styles, and you want to make sure you choose something that speaks to her style and that she will love forever. How do you know what style to go with?

    Consider the following:

    •         Is she traditional or modern?
    •         Does she like vintage styles?
    •         Does she use her hands to work? If so, you want to choose a ring that won’t get in her way.
    •         Would she consider the quality or the size of the diamond more important?
    •         Does she like silver or gold?

    Study the jewelry that she wears. It will give you a good idea of the type of engagement ring she would love.

    Familiarize Yourself with Metals

    Engagement rings are made of various types of metals. They come in different colors, strengths and prices, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with them so you make the right choice. Here’s a brief rundown of the most important aspects of engagement ring metals:

    • The term “karat” is used to identify the balance of pure gold to metal alloy. The higher the karat of the metal, the more pure gold, which means a richer gold coloring (and a higher price tag.) For example, 14 karat gold is a mix of 58% gold and 41.7% metal alloy, while 18 karat gold is a mix of 75% gold and 25% metal alloy.
    • White gold is simply yellow gold that has between mixed with different types of metal alloys to create its silver coloring. Eventually, a tinge of yellow will show through white gold.
    • Platinum is rarer and stronger than gold, which makes it more valuable and more expensive. This metal is silver in color.

    Learn About Precious Stones

    Engagement rings can be made of various types of gemstones, including diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds. Though diamond is the most popular stone for an engagement ring, your future bride might like a different stone.

    You also want to learn the different shapes of gemstones. Each shape has a distinctive look. Some of the most popular gemstone shapes include:

    •         Round
    •         Princess
    •         Cushion
    •         Emerald
    •         Oval
    •         Asscher

    If you still aren’t sure what type of ring your fiancé-to-be will like the best, check out this infographic from the folks at www.brilliance.com.


    Shannon Lochwood currently lives in Southern California. She has a passion for weddings and loves to write about anything related to special “I do” moments. In her free time she loves to hike and spend time with her family and her two lovely dogs.

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    Cali Pitchel

    Cali Pitchel is Joy’s Director of Marketing. She lives in San Francisco with her soon-to-be-husband and three houseplants. She was born in Boston, raised in Arizona, is a voracious reader, a lover of the great outdoors, and a photography junkie.

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