How To Start Engagement Ring Shopping

Hand with three different engagement ring styles

The Ultimate Guide on Engagement Ring Shopping

Congratulations! You've made the decision to take the next step in your relationship and pop the question. Now, as you embark on the journey of engagement ring shopping, you may find yourself feeling excited, but also slightly overwhelmed by the myriad of options and decisions ahead. Fear not, for we're here to guide you through the process and help you find the perfect ring to symbolize your love and commitment.

At Blue Diamond Jeweler we have been helping couples find or create the perfect engagement ring for 50 years.  We have learned over the years that when we provide the right atmosphere our clients will naturally gravitate to the stone and setting that is right for them.  We like to say that their “inner designer comes out” when we do our part correctly.  By the right atmosphere, we mean that it’s our responsibility to make our customers feel comfortable in what is most times a new experience for them.  We provide a warm and caring environment where we are available to answer questions and give guidance so they can find their way to what fits their taste, style, and budget.

During this leisurely process, where we get to know each other, we often build a close and long-lasting relationship. It is in this context that we support our customers while they make one of the most important decisions in their new life together.  To that end, here are a few practical steps to consider.

Step 1: Set a Budget

Before you begin browsing engagement rings, it's helpful to establish a budget range that is comfortable for you. Engagement rings come in a wide range of prices, from modest to extravagant, so determining your budget upfront will help narrow down your options and ensure that you're shopping within your means.

Consider factors such as your financial situation, savings goals, and any other expenses you may have. Remember, the perfect engagement ring is one that fits both your partner's preferences and your budget.  At Blue Diamond Jeweler we carry both ethically mined natural diamonds and lab-grown diamonds that can fit any budget.  Almost all our stones are graded and certified by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

Step 2: Do Your Research

Once you've established your budget, it's time to start researching different styles, settings, and diamond shapes. Browse online jewelry stores, visit local jewelers, and gather inspiration from magazines, social media, and real-life engagement rings.

If you’re shopping as a couple, then she will be able to share her personal style and preference when exploring different ring designs. Does she gravitate toward classic and timeless styles, or is she more drawn to modern and unique designs?

If embarking on the courageous path of shopping solo, then consider your partner's personal style and preferences when exploring different ring designs. Pay attention to any hints or clues they may have dropped about their dream ring and take note of any specific preferences they may have regarding metal type, metal color, diamond shape, or gemstone preference. If you choose this path, enlisting the help of her family and friends will serve you well. Remember to get the ring size.

Step 3: Learn About the 4Cs

Standard advice instructs that you should learn about the 4Cs of diamond categorizing before proceeding.  While these will be important at some point in your journey, at Blue Diamond Jeweler, we strongly urge customers to look first at a selection of stones curated just for them and to view these stones in person.  See the Blue Diamon Way section below.  All that being said, here are the basic details of the 4Cs.

After you have narrowed down the stones that you are drawn to, then familiarize yourself with the 4Cs of diamond quality: cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. These four factors play a significant role in determining the overall beauty and value of a diamond.

  • Cut: The cut of a diamond refers to its proportions, symmetry, and polish. A well-cut diamond will exhibit exceptional brilliance, fire, and scintillation, making it appear more radiant and livelier.
  • Color: Diamonds are graded on a scale from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown). Colorless diamonds are highly prized for their purity and brilliance, but diamonds with slight color grades can still be beautiful and valuable.
  • Clarity: Clarity measures the presence of internal characteristics (inclusions) and external blemishes (blemishes) within a diamond. Diamonds with higher clarity grades are rarer and more valuable but imperfections are often invisible to the naked eye.
  • Carat Weight: Carat weight refers to the weight of a diamond, with one carat equal to 100 points (200 milligrams). While carat weight influences a diamond's size and appearance, it's essential to consider the other 3Cs to determine overall quality and value.

Conventional thinking suggests that the 4Cs will empower you to make informed decisions when comparing different diamonds and selecting the perfect stone for your engagement ring.  While doing your research consider reading some of the other educational articles on our website such as How to Know if Your Diamond Ring is Real? or How Much to Spend On an Engagement Ring.

Step 4: Choose the Right Setting

In addition to the diamond, the setting of the engagement ring plays a crucial role in its overall appearance and style. There are countless setting options to choose from, ranging from classic solitaire settings to intricate halo designs and everything in between.

Consider your partner's lifestyle and preferences when selecting a ring setting. Do they lead an active lifestyle and prefer a low-profile setting that won't snag on clothing or get in the way? Or are they more drawn to elaborate and ornate designs that make a statement?

Take the time to explore different setting styles and materials, such as platinum, white gold, yellow gold, or rose gold, to find the perfect combination that reflects your partner's personality and taste.  You might want to look at this article too: Can an Engagement Ring be Too Big?

Hand with engagement ring

Step 5: Seek Expert Advice

Engagement ring shopping can be an overwhelming process, especially if you're not familiar with the intricacies of diamond quality and ring design. Don't hesitate to seek expert advice from reputable jewelers and gemologists who can provide guidance and assistance throughout the shopping process. Ideally, seek an engagement ring specialist for the best advice and experience.

Visit local jewelry stores and schedule appointments with knowledgeable staff who can answer your questions, show you different ring options, and offer personalized recommendations based on your budget and preferences. Take advantage of their expertise and ask for assistance in selecting the perfect diamond and setting for your engagement ring.

For some advice on what to look for when searching for the right jeweler, take a look at this article: How to find the ideal jeweler.

Step 6: Consider Customization

If you're looking for a truly unique and personalized engagement ring, consider the option of custom design. Many jewelry stores offer custom design services that allow you to create a one-of-a-kind ring that perfectly reflects your partner's style and personality.

Work with a skilled jeweler to bring your vision to life, from selecting the perfect diamond and setting to designing intricate details and embellishments. Customization allows you to create a ring that is as unique and special as your love story, ensuring that it will be treasured for a lifetime.

At Blue Diamond Jeweler you can come in with a picture as inspiration, a hand drawing or even just an idea.  Our expert designers can work with you to get your ideas turned into a design, maybe a wax model if needed, and finally into the ring you’re seeing in your mind.  Our designers are practiced in getting your ideas to flow in a relaxed atmosphere that inspires your own creativity.

Step 7: Plan the Proposal

Once you've selected the perfect engagement ring, it's time to plan the perfect proposal to accompany it. Consider your partner's personality and preferences when planning the proposal, whether it's a romantic dinner under the stars, a surprise getaway weekend, or a simple and intimate moment at home.

Choose a meaningful location or activity that holds significance for your relationship, and don't forget to capture the moment with photos or video to cherish for years to come. Above all, focus on creating a heartfelt and memorable experience that celebrates your love and commitment to each other.

The Blue Diamond Way

Over the years Blue Diamond Jeweler has learned in working with thousands of prospective engaged customers and couples that if we can provide the supportive and relaxed atmosphere needed, then creativity can flow freely.  Couples can find and select the exact right stone and setting or design their own custom ring that expresses their unique personalities.

Blue Diamond Jeweler will curate and show stones selected for you, so you have a pristine, intuitive reaction without the influence of the specification that a gemological report offers.  This unique process ensures that your selection is made from your highest and best discernment that we feel will guide you to your ideal stone. To introduce a certificate before leisurely interacting with the stones, risks replacing your authentic preference for a gemologist’s description of the 4C’s. Of course, all stones shown will be accompanied by their full geological certifications.    In addition, we will mindfully curate the stones for you based on your initial preferences and spend the time to allow you to view these stones in a leisurely, warm environment which allows the process to unfold organically. 

Engagement ring shopping is an exciting and meaningful journey that marks the beginning of a new chapter in your relationship. By following these steps and taking the time to research, explore, and seek expert advice, you can find the perfect ring that symbolizes your love and commitment in a way that is as unique and special as your relationship itself. Remember, the most important thing is to choose a ring that speaks to your partner's heart and reflects the depth of your love and devotion. Happy shopping, and congratulations on this special milestone in your life journey!

Every couple deserves this special experience.  That’s the Blue Diamond Way.

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