Home > Education > Engagement rings > How to pick your ring

How To Choose The Perfect Engagement Ring?

Finding the perfect engagement ring can be challenging for couples who plan to marry. In day's past, the young man would choose a ring and present it to his intended, but today it is increasingly common for the future bride and groom to shop together to select the ring. No matter how you go about choosing a ring, we're offering to you a brief lesson in diamond education to help you find that perfect engagement ring.

Diamond Engagement Ring
Diamond Engagement Ring

There are at least three rings many couples will choose over their lifetimes: an engagement ring as they plan to marry and wedding & anniversary rings as they wed and later celebrate an important milestone in their marriage. Many young couples go to a jewelry store with a budget in mind and choose their rings accordingly. Conventional wisdom suggests that the gentleman will purchase an engagement ring which equals one to two months of his salary, a measuring standard which is still in use today. Of course, you aren't required to adhere to that standard, but it is a guideline which is useful for your consideration.
Before looking at possible diamonds for the ring, you must select a setting. From traditional Classic Solitaire, Setting with Sidestones, Pave setting, Tension setting, Three Stone setting to designer jewelry settings, your choice is only limited by your budget, tastes, and imagination. You can also customize and build your own Three Stone Ring. Today's jewelry designers, including Danhov,and Popov have created engagement ring masterpieces worth considering. With James Allen, you can choose the perfect setting and then find an attractive, certified diamond.
The diamond you choose is priced according to four attributes: clarity, carat, cut, and color. Please read, "How to Choose the Perfect Diamond," to learn about each attribute in detail and what grade of diamond offers the best value for your budget.
Besides considering a diamond's attributes, shape (e.g. round, pear, marquise, oval, heart, etc.), cleaning, quality (or grade), and light performance are other factors which will ultimately determine a diamond's value.
Once you have chosen the setting and diamond, your work is done. James Allen will then prepare your perfect engagement ring and have it ready for you to present to your beloved as you ask for her hand in marriage.
At James Allen, we have just the right diamond for every love story.


Diamonds: How to Choose the Perfect Diamond?

Shopping for a diamond can seem confusing but with the help of James Allen you can find the diamond that is perfect for you or for the one that you love. A diamond's shape and setting are important considerations as is the diamond's look on your hand, ears, neckline, or wrist. Beyond that, understanding four characteristics common to all diamonds is the sort of diamond education useful to help you find that perfect diamond and give you many years of owner satisfaction.
Classic Solitaire Engagement Ring
Classic Solitaire Engagement Ring
The four characteristics (or attributes) used to determine the value of any James Allen diamond are
Carat – The mass of a diamond is determined by something called carat weight. One carat equals 200 milligrams while the point unit, which corresponds to one one-hundredth of a carat (2 mg or 0.01 carat), is commonly used for diamonds with a mass under one carat. The price per carat is determined by carat weight and increases correspondingly as larger diamonds are less common, but more desirable and used as gemstones.
Clarity - Clarity measures the internal defects found in any diamond, what are commonly known as inclusions. Inclusions can be structural imperfections such as minute cracks which have a whitish or cloudy look or they could be crystals of a foreign material or even another diamond crystal. Clarity is impacted by the size, number, color, comparative location, orientation, and visibility of the inclusions.
Color – A diamond free of structural and chemical imperfections is perfectly transparent, exhibiting no hues or colors to detract from its appearance. In actuality, virtually every diamond has minor imperfections which can influence its value in one way or another. A white diamond with a yellowish hue would be valued less while a diamond with a striking blue or pink hue will be valued much higher.
Cut – Diamonds are unearthed in an imperfect condition and must be shaped and polished to become truly gem-worthy. The handiwork of an accomplished craftsman coupled with angles in which the diamond is cut determines the cut. Not to be confused with shape, the cut is determined by a precise mathematical equation developed nearly a century ago.
To the naked eye, most people find that it is impossible to tell the difference from one color grade to another. As far as price goes, the difference can be significant. Diamond purists always demand diamonds in the D-F range, but when selecting diamonds in the G-I range you can find tremendous value while still achieving a "colorless" look. This is particularly important for consumers who are buying their diamond on a budget or trying to maximize the size of their stone. In that case "J" grade diamonds are the most affordable and still nearly colorless. You may want to consider choosing a diamond with a medium or strong fluorescence as these diamonds are discounted slightly in price allowing you to afford a higher color stone without paying a premium price.
As a diamond shopper, you can count on James Allen to help you find the right wedding and anniversary diamond or designer jewelry diamond that is right for you.


Diamond Engagement Rings: What Every Guy Should Know

Choosing an engagement ring is a once in a lifetime event, but it is likely to be the first of many purchases a guy will make from a jeweler over his lifetime. Engagement rings, diamond wedding bands, anniversary earrings, and other special gifts will be given by you to your mate over the course of time.
Pave style Engagement Ring
Pave style Engagement Ring
A diamond engagement ring represents the love you have for your bride to be. The significance and symbolism of a ring should be understood before you make your purchase decision as the ring you choose will be an outward sign of the inward love you have for your lady.
Let's take a look at diamond engagement rings and what you should know before you buy one.
The 4Cs of Diamond Quality
Clarity, cut, color and carat are the four terms you will hear over and over again when it comes to determining which diamond you will choose for an engagement ring. This information is quite detailed therefore it is recommended that you read up on diamond education before you get started.
Select Your Metal First
Engagement bands are made from one of three metals: platinum, white gold, or yellow gold. Platinum is the most expensive metal, it resists tarnishing, but it is also the most expensive to repair if damaged.
Yellow gold rings are the most popular and are readily available as 14-karat or 18-karat gold. Although this type of ring can show scratches and other abrasions, repairs come easy.
White gold rings have a silver-like appearance which will eventually wear off and need to be replaced. The appeal of white gold is that it easily matches most other jewelry.
Choose Your Setting Wisely
The number of standard and custom settings available for engagement rings seems almost endless. Prong, bar, tension, bezel, channel, flush, cluster, and invisible are just some of the terms you will hear when shopping for an engagement ring. Prong is the most popular as it holds the diamond in place as if it is hanging, allowing light to enter which creates an attractive sparkle.
Your Certificate of Appraisal
Once you have chosen the diamond and the setting, you will need to obtain a certificate of authenticity. This certificate will confirm the engagement ring's value and is what you will need if you choose to insure your purchase. Most certificates are issued by the American Gem Society (A.G.S.) or the Gemological Institute of America (G.I.A.), two of the most widely accepted certifying organizations for the diamond industry.
A Guarantee or Warranty
Depending on the jeweler, some type of guarantee or warranty may be offered with your purchase. Some provide a limited time money back guarantee while others will give to you a lifetime warranty. Understand what you are buying before you make your purchase.
Now that you know the essentials behind choosing a diamond engagement ring, you are ready to make your purchase. Soon, you will be expressing your love and faithfulness to your beloved with all of the symbolism that every woman desires. Let your choice fully reflect your love for her today.


Online Engagement Ring Shopping Pleases The Guys

Some guys simply hate going to the mall. And for good reason too: malls have been designed with women and children in mind. Guys will do some shopping, but only if it is for home supplies, sports memorabilia, and to pick up beer. Leave the clothes shopping for the wife and kids - who can tolerate being pressed in by mall traffic? Not me and probably not you if you are a guy.
Princess Cut Diamond Engagement Ring
Princess Cut Diamond Engagement Ring
The internet, however, has changed the shopping habits of the American male. True, men still like to head out to the hardware store, car dealerships, and fast food joints, but when it comes shopping for their women, only the world wide web will do. No suffocating crowds, no babbling sales people, no time away from the easy chair - searching the 'net is the fun way to shop.
Lots of guys are under the impression that high end items such as pearl necklaces and diamond rings must be purchased at a jewelry store. Fortunately, the internet has become the world's marketplace allowing virtually any product to be sold online including engagement rings, wedding bands, and gold jewelry.
How To Shop Online
When shopping for jewelry online there are a few things to keep in mind. They include:
Search With Google - Google is one of the best search engines out there for turning up some really great stuff. You can use Yahoo, MSN and Ask too but Google makes it easier to enter a few keywords like "engagement ring" and "gold jewelry" and get thousands of pages of quality results. Key retailers like James Allen and Fortunoff will show up on the first page - no need for you to sift through a bunch of web pages to uncover a great selection of goods.
Compare and Save - You can compare prices between retailers online with ease. You can also compare prices for different items sold by the same retailer. Sizing charts, educational information, and so much more can be found when visiting the better jewelry sites. Remember, their prices are reduced because their overhead is much lower - no brick and mortar stores to maintain, therefore costs are driven down. You save because they pass on their savings to you.
Shop a Secured Site - Generally, you won't know that you are using a secured site until you are ready for checkout. To make sure that you are on a protected site, the web address will add an "s" to the "http" address designation in the web browser bar when it is time to make your payment. You can also find a closed padlock somewhere on your browser page signaling the same thing. Always shop on a secured site as you want your personal information to be as well protected as it would be if you shopped at the mall.
Odds and Ends - Each retailer sets their own shipping and return policies, so make sure that you understand what you are getting before you make your purchase. Free or reduced shipping is sometimes available and always make sure that the online jeweler insures your shipment. Some will allow you to try out your jewelry for a limited time and return it if not satisfied. Again, check out the respective policies before making your purchase. Finally, most online retailers offer customer support by means of online chat or through a toll free number, so if you have a question a sales associate is nearby to help.
Yes, there is no need to set your foot in a jewelry store ever again thanks to the internet. Low prices, huge inventories, and available sales help makes web shopping a breeze. You'll save money and your lady will think that you are a hero!


How To Discover Her Ring Size

For guys, planning a marriage ceremony is the easiest part to getting married. All you have to do is show up at the appointed time, with your friends, and expect to play the role of the groom for next several hours. This is her day, her chance to shine. What?! You thought you had a say in the matter? Talk with your married guy friends and they'll give you the real deal about "her" wedding day!
Tension style Engagement Ring
Tension style Engagement Ring
Before there can be a wedding ceremony, an actual marriage proposal must be made. This is where the guy does all of the work including buying the right engagement ring for the moment. Unfortunately, this is where most guys mess up - they not only get the wrong ring style but they get one that isn't sized right. I can't help you pick out the ring, but I can help you get the right sized ring every time without her figuring out what you are up to. Read on for some tips to for getting it right.
Give Her Your College Ring - Lots of guys hold onto their college rings thinking that they'll never give it up. When love is in the air, you probably said and did some very stupid things. Perhaps, you let her drive your car, even let her pick out your clothes for the day. Worse, you may have given away a prized possession. Love has a way of intoxicating even the sanest fella!
While you've lost your marbles, offer to give her your college ring. She'll guess that you mean for her to put it on a string to wear around her neck, but you'll say that you are thinking that it would look nice on her finger. Before she gasps in disgust at wearing a guy's ring, simply ask her, "By the way, just what is your ring size should we decide to have it resized?" Listen carefully to her answer as that number will be worth remembering. If she agrees to have your ring resized, quickly change the subject and talk about how beautiful she is.
Swipe A Current Ring - You can get her actual ring size by swiping one of her current rings. No, not the one that she has on her finger, but the one in her jewelry box stashed in her bedroom. You'll need some family help with this - enlist the assistance of a snooping younger brother or sister who will apprehend the ring for you. You'll have to pay some hush money for the familial effort, but that will be well worth it. If you don't want to run off with the ring, then bring along a piece of paper and a pencil and draw a circle on the inside of the ring and take that sketch with you to the jewelry store. Any smart jeweler will help you get the right size engagement ring every time.
Ask Her Mom - Mothers and daughters love to share secrets, but most mothers will cooperate with you by holding back the secret of a pending engagement from their daughter. Besides, if you renege, there is always her father to deal with should you break her heart. Mothers know everything about their daughters and your future in-law will be more than happy to supply you with the information that you need.
As far as the ring style goes, you are on your own. If you are a decent listener you have probably heard her drop enough hints for you to go out and get the diamond that she wants. If not, then it will be a crap shoot for you!


Three Stone Engagement Ring

Three Stone Engagement Ring

Finding The Most Excellent Diamond Engagement Ring

One of the most significant events in any woman's life is her engagement, a time when she accepts a proposal of marriage from her beloved. As a sign of his love and commitment to her, she can expect to receive a diamond engagement ring, a sparkler that she will cherish the rest of her life.
Clearly, an engagement ring purchase isn't a decision that should be rushed. For many men, a primer in diamond education is needed, the sort of instruction which can ensure that the diamond engagement ring being purchased is the right one. Please read on for some helpful ring buying advice designed to make your choice the best one, since there are so many styles, shapes, & setting options for Engagement Rings.
Quality - Some would say that there isn't such a thing as a poor quality engagement ring, but I beg to differ. Quite honestly, if the ring doesn't include a diamond gemstone, then you're choosing a lower quality rock. Emeralds, rubies, sapphires, and amethysts may look pretty, but they don't rise to the level of hardness or have that special look of a diamond. She'll know it too and wonder who convinced you otherwise!
Style - Maybe you are already familiar with her tastes in jewelry, perhaps not. Many women enjoy gold bands as it is one style that always remains popular, but perhaps a ring with diamonds embedded in the channel is her preference? She needs to be comfortable with the style you select as she'll be wearing the ring every day for many years to come. Consider a custom-made ring if that would please her the most.
Metal - You'll find that there are a variety of wedding bands available with three metals typically shown: yellow gold, white gold, and platinum. Forget the silver band - though some retailers offer them, they are cheap-looking and won't stand the test of time. Yellow gold is the most popular of all with 14k and 18k gold used. White gold has the look of silver but retains the worth of gold, a choice she may prefer over yellow gold. Platinum is the most durable metal -- and the most expensive - the perfect symbol of a marriage that will stand the test of time.
Center Stone - Many women prefer a diamond engagement ring with the stone in the center by itself while others favor the center stone with sidestones or with three stones. A diamond solitaire is cut in a variety of shapes including round, princess, emerald, asscher, marquise, oval, radiant, pear, heart and cushion. There are some people who consider personality traits that supposedly match each shape, but if you're simply looking for the best investment go with a round brilliant ring and you'll not be disappointed.
Other Considerations - You'll probably hear about the 4Cs of diamond characteristics (cut, carat, color, clarity), with cut already mentioned. The carat represents the size of the diamond, while color is its natural body color with D,E, and F grades colorless (and the most rare) all the way down to Z, which is light yellow in color. Clarity describes a diamond's purity or the elements which give each diamond its unique look, kind of like a birthmark. You can find quite a few diamonds which are not at the very top of the scale that are still quite beautiful and which look virtually the same as the most expensive grade of diamond, but for less money.
Of course, your personal budget must be considered when purchasing a ring. Conventional wisdom suggests that you spend at least two weeks of your salary on a diamond engagement ring, but at James Allen, we have beautiful rings available that start at $250. Weigh her needs with your wallet and you'll find the perfect diamond engagement ring for a couple soon to be married.
Finally, it can be mind-boggling deciding which diamond is best - your local jeweler can help you out or, if you are buying through James Allen, we have advisors standing by who make your diamond education a fast learn!

James Allen Engagement Rings
James Allen Engagement Rings

SEE ALSO

What is Your Ring Size?

Find your ring size online in just a few steps or request a ring sizer.

Find Ring Size

Ring Manufacturing

Learn all about creating the perfect engagement and wedding ring.

Learn More
© 2014 James Allen - All Rights Reserved.