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How to shop for an engagement ring

Updated on October 8, 2014

Engagement ring shopping....

Shopping for an engagement ring should be one of the most fun parts of your new life together, besides the fact that you're madly in love and going to spend the rest of your life with each other, this will be the new piece of your wardrobe that lets the world know you are "off" the market. Besides style, it should be functional and comfortable, and expression of your love, and not so expensive that you need a line of credit to afford it.

Jewelry is very personal. Many couples choose simple bands without stones, some choose precious jewels, and even tattoos. It's all a personal choice, and no choice is wrong.


Diamonds are a girls best friend
Diamonds are a girls best friend


You've found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with! So much to do, where to begin!?

First you need a ring!

A diamond is forever and it's true, diamonds are a girls best friend. Men get a dog, and women get the rocks!

Here are some tips to keep in mind when looking for the perfect ring!

Decide on your budget. Shopping for a ring is like finding a house. Not much sense in finding a ring that drives you bonkers, only to determine it's not in the budget. This is one piece of jewelry that you will wear forever. A suggested amount to spend on your ring is 2 months of your lovely soon to be hubby's paycheck, it's a fair place to start. Ultimately the determination on cost is up to what works for the both of you!

  1. Decide if you will pay cash or finance ahead of time and allow yourself ample time to save.

  2. Try to simplify your search, before searching! Get a basic idea of what you are looking for. Do you want yellow gold? White gold? Platinum? Tungsten? Silver? What shape of stone? Round? Princess? Heart? Emerald? Oval? Three stones? Solitaire? Center with side stones? As you can see, you have a lot of choices out there. Getting an idea of what you like before you look will save you a lot of time! If you want a center stone what do you want it made of? Do you want a Diamond? Or a Diamond simulate? Cubic Zirconium? White Sapphire? Or maybe you don't even want a diamond but want a precious gem, like an opal, sapphire, topaz, etc...since you are already online, go Google now! Home shopping is the fun part!

  3. Also consider the comfort of your ring(s), what is your profession? Do you use your hands a lot? You'll want your ring to be comfortable, and fit correctly so that you don't want to take it off. A jewelry store can help with sizing.

  4. The Three C's do matter if you are looking at a Diamond, you'll find helpful links in the bottom of this HUB.

  5. Once you have a budget and style picked're ready to start the shopping!

Don't let your head spin, and don't get discouraged if you don't find "The One" on the first try! Your stone is waiting for you! Sometimes the ring shopping is harder than finding the man! Or perhaps you are the man looking for the ring and want the engagement proposal to be perfect. Don't worry, it will be.


moissanite- a beautiful diamond alternative
moissanite- a beautiful diamond alternative

New? Used? Real? Fake?

It's very hard to tell if a diamond is new or old. Natural stones have been around for ages. You won't really know if the diamond you buy is used, or has been re-set without paper work from a jeweler. It's ok. Nothing is wrong with an old diamond, or any diamond for that matter unless you want to know the actual age of the stone.

For political reasons, many couples choose mossinite over a diamond, to avoid buying a blood diamond. Mossinite is also very close to that of a diamond in lab testing and comparison. Easy on the budget as well.

CZ, or Cubic Zirconium is a soft stone, more prone to scratching, fading, and chipping. But they are inexpensive and cheap to replace even when damaged.

If you buy a stone other than a diamond, research carefully to make sure you are getting a fair price. Some simulated stones are overpriced with high-tech names, but are actually CZ.

If you can afford a real diamond, I still think its the best stone for your new engagement ring.

Ring setting

Choose a ring setting that is secure enough to support the stone(s) and strong enough to keep them from falling out. High set stones tend to snag on things and can pop out if not placed correctly.

My rings

My beautiful vintage engagement ring set.
My beautiful vintage engagement ring set.

My vintage engagement set

The inspiration to this HUB is to the right. It's my wedding set. And I cannot stop looking at it.

We found this set in an ad on, met the owner at a jeweler to verify it was real. Also received the appraisal on it. Be extra careful when buying jewelry through a third party.

I have never been opposed to "2nd Hand" or used items. I'm actually quite thrifty and prefer thrift store shopping as well as discount merchants, the deals are out there, you just have to find them.

My fiancé would not allow me to have a CZ or a simulated stone. I was ok with it, but he wasn't. I'm left handed & some what of a tom-boy. Work on cars, ride a motorcycle, so finding a ring with a low setting was important to me. We knew we wanted white gold. Originally, I preferred an emerald cut solitaire, but that really did not fit the budget-not in my mind, as I will have step children soon and money needs to go to places other than my hand. I also wanted something that was not very common, and had a different setting. I searched setting after setting, only to find that what was out there I just did not LOVE. I even inquired about having a simulated ring custom made, and that was more than what we paid for the set we bought! I will wear this ring forever. And when I am ready to move on, I hope my stepson or even son/daughter (should I ever have my own) will keep this ring in the family.

Anyhow...back to the ring, we searched online. And searched and searched, bless my guy for being so patient with my indecisiveness. Then I found this set. What we know of the original owner was that she was married to the same man her entire life, she did not have children, was very generous and involved in volunteer work, and she passed away peacefully, & naturally. I wanted to know the energy behind this ring, it was important to me, others may not be as flaked out as I am, but I had to know a little about who took care of this ring for so long.

Initially the set was to large and we had to have it sized down. Typically in the Cleveland Ohio area sizing will cost 30-40 dollars, just a FYI.

Even when this ring was to big, the moment it touched my finger it felt like it had always been there. The stone itself is .89 of a carat, the table is large which visually makes it look way bigger than it is. It is delicately set in a 4 prong basket. This stone looks like 1.5 carats, when its only 1. It is surrounded by 2 accent stones on each side, and the band consists of 7 stones. All the accent stones are in a "fishtail" setting. The stones range from J/K color, SI to S2. We do not know the exact age of this setting. But put the setting around 60-80 years old.

I love this ring and I am marrying my best friend this year! Take your time finding your man and your ring...there is nothing wrong with waiting & If it does not feel right, don't do it.

Do you know Diamonds? Take this quiz to find out...

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Real or Fake?

If a man gave you a ring with a lab grown, or simulated stone would you be offended?

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© 2010 Rebecca


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    • tim-tim profile image

      Priscilla Chan 

      9 years ago from Normal, Illinois

      Diamonds are girl's best friend! Be careful if you take it to reset it as well. True story! A woman took it to reset it. Years later when she tried to replace a missing side stone. She found out that someone switched her diamond! Thanks for the hub.


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