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How to Choose an Engagement Ring for Your Special Girl

Updated on November 29, 2009

With this ring ...

You've met the perfect girl, and want to give her an engagement ring for Christmas. Honestly, the best way to be sure she will love the engagement ring, is to let her pick it out herself. Different rings feel differently on the finger, and it must suit her style. You can't just run out and grab any old engagement ring, because there are countless styles, shapes and prices to take into consideration. You'll, mostly likely, need to browse many jewelers to find the perfect ring.

Perhaps you want to surprise her on Christmas Eve. But, before you make the engagement ring purchase, put some thought into it before you buy.

What Type of Metal Color?

Consider what types of jewelry she wears, such as white gold or yellow gold. Has she commented on the type of stone she would like to have in her engagement ring?

Diamonds or Precious Stones?

Some women choose gem stones over diamonds, or a combination of both. Has she hinted about what types of gems she likes?

Stone Cuts and Shapes:

Does she gravitate towards unusual cuts or is she more traditional? Diamonds can be cut in a variety of shapes. There are round, marquis, square, emerald, baguette diamond cuts.

It's All About Her.

Take notice as to what types and styles of jewelry she wears over and over. Jewelry that she wears most often will give you a clue about her jewelry types and styles preferences.

What Would Look Best on Her Hands

Different shapes of stones make hands appear differently. For instance, marquise or oval cut stone can make short fingers appear longer. Wide bands can make fingers look shorter. Big bold rings can be work by women who have long fingers. Delicate and small ring settings can get lost on large hands, and make the hands appear even larger.

Choosing the Right Setting and Shape

Traditionally, round diamonds have been the number one shape chosen by brides. But, perhaps your bride to be has personal thoughts and ideas of what would be the perfect shaped diamond. She might prefer a marquise, oval or pear-shaped stone. Princess (square) and emerald (rectangular) cuts have become popular with many recent brides. Others have chosen fancier cuts, such as hearts.

You might want to think if she's commented about her liking a certain stone shape. She may like a solitaire or a cluster of stones. Again, take notice of the stone shapes she wears frequently.

Her Lifestyle

Does she have a career in a profession that is unsuitable for large rings? If she works with fabrics or infants, rings that have a pointed gem and high prongs could snag clothing, and they are more difficult to keep clean.

What Size Ring Does She Wear?

If you happen to know her ring size, that's great. But, if you don't, perhaps a friend or family member knows this information, or could get hold of one of her rings for you to have it sized.

Once you have a feel for the style and size of the ring she might like, don't forget to consider the quality of the diamond. Diamonds are rated for their clarity, and as you might have already suspected, better quality (without stone inclusions) will cost more.

Diamonds are rated on their weight, cut, clarity and color. Some of the most common diamond ratings are as follows:

  1. Flawless (F) is a flawless diamond is rare and expensive. This is the most expensive diamond.

  2. Very Very Small Inclusions (VVSI) diamonds have very small inclusions and can be difficult to detect even by 10x magnification.

  3. Very Small Inclusions (VS2) have inclusions that can be detected by a jeweler with 10x magnification.

  4. Small Inclusions Level 2 (SI2) have inclusions easily detected by magnification but not to the naked eye.

  5. Large Inclusions (LI) have inclusions visible to the naked eye but don't usually detect from their brilliance.

  6. Large Inclusions Level 3 (LI3) have large inclusions visible to the naked eye and diminishes from the stone's brilliance. This is the cheapest diamond.

Your Budget

Remember to consider your budget before buying any engagement ring. If you have a limited amount to spend on an engagement, there are many affordable rings that provide excellent options. Shop around, make your decision wisely, and do not over extend your budget.

For many couples, man-made diamonds can be a wise choice. The stones are set in gold or white gold settings, and to the naked eye, there is no detectable differences between a good quality laboratory created stone than the real thing. Some couples prefer to be thrifty when purchasing a diamond and apply the monetary savings to the purchase of their first home.

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