The Top 10 Tips to Picking the Perfect Engagement Ring

1. Narrow Down What Shape You Want 
If you know what your significant other wants in terms of diamond shape, that helps focus the engagement ring hunt immensely. Every shape (also known as a cut) is priced differently—and each has a different price per carat. Round cuts are the most expensive whereas pear and marquise are less so. If the size is important to you, you can get more carats at a better price when you choose an alternative shape to the classic round cut. Before heading out to shop for an engagement ring, study up on ring cuts and have one (or two) favourites in mind.

2. Choose a Metal for the Band 
Traditionally, engagement rings (and wedding bands, too) are made from yellow gold, white gold, silver, or platinum—although in recent years rose gold has emerged as a fresh, modern alternative. While platinum may look quite similar to silver, platinum is significantly more expensive as it has a greater density (and is also rarer). Some metals scratch easier than others, so be sure to consider lifestyle—as well as budget, of course—before deciding. You'll also want to think about if you want stones set in the band(s), as well!

3. Have a Carat Size in Mind 
The age-old question of quality versus quantity also applies to engagement rings; some people prefer a larger stone to a whiter stone, while others want the absolute clearest possible diamond, despite the carat count. 
But also, keep an open mind. Your significant other might think they know what they want when it comes to size or shape, but trying on rings, they might find out they want something else entirely—it's always different once you start seeing things on your finger in real life. You can save some significant cash if you choose a less common carat size. Diamond prices increase significantly when they weigh the most desired weights: think half and whole carat weights (.50, 1, 1.5, etc.). "Buy a diamond that is just shy of these common weights, and you'll save money and no one will be able to tell it's a .92 carat instead of a 1 carat," says Emily Duke of Finesse Diamonds Corp.


4: Understand the diamond basics

Having a solid understanding of the four C’s (Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat) will help you make an educated decision on a diamond. The quality and beauty of each diamond can differ dramatically.
Here is our general recommendation for each of the four C’s. 
  • Cut: Only choose an Excellent or Ideal cut diamond to ensure your stone offers the most brilliance and fire. Cut is the number one decider of a diamond’s beauty.
  • Color: Opt for a diamond in the nearly colourless range of G-I. To the naked eye, the diamond will appear just as colourless as a diamond in the D-F range but will cost far less.
  • Clarity: A VS1 or VS2 Clarity usually offers the best value for what can be seen with the naked eye. Inclusions and blemishes are not noticeable at these grades.
  • Carat: Because beauty and sparkle matter most, focus on purchasing a beautifully cut diamond rather than a certain carat weight. Once you’ve determined your grades for the other three C’s, find the largest carat that still fits within your budget.

5. Get Measured Correctly 

This may seem obvious, but make sure you both get your ring fingers properly measured. You don't want a ring that's cutting off your circulation or, even worse, so loose it's at risk of falling off. It should feel snug but comfortable. If you're not shopping for engagement rings together, you can go get sized at a jewellers on your own and then casually mention your size the next time the topic comes up (or tell your BFF so they'll know the answer when your partner asks them).

6. A stone doesn’t have to be perfect on paper.

Diamond experts often site the “Four Cs” (aka colour, cut, clarity, and carat), but certificate grading should be just one of the many factors in your decision-making. You don’t need a D Flawless stone to create a beautiful ring. It’s better to judge a stone by the feeling it gives you rather than the GIA grading (diamonds are graded from D to Z by the Gemmological Institute of America) it received. The grade can serve as a starting point, but should not be the sole determining factor.

7. Don’t get caught up in a trend.

An engagement ring should be a timeless, classic symbol of your love that will last forever, so the goal should be to find the stone that is the perfect match for your future fiancé. Look at their current jewellery to see what would best suit his or her style. Are they a gold or a platinum person? Do they wear statement jewellery or instead opt for minimal pieces? Take cues from their current style to inform how you pick the piece they’ll want to wear every day for the rest of their lives.

8. Consider How Your Engagement Ring Will Look with Your Wedding Band 

While it is easy to get caught up shopping for the perfect diamond, the engagement ring is only one half of the equation. Your wedding band is the overlooked other half. Definitely think about what style of wedding band would go with your ring. Some engagement rings don't allow a band to fit flush against them, so it's important to consider the full package of prong versus pavé and channel-set stones before committing to an engagement ring style.

9. Style selections
Take a cue from their overall vibe and the style of jewellery they already own.  Do they prefer traditional or modern?  Are they more of a platinum/white gold girl than a yellow-gold one?  How do they react to other people's engagement rings?  Do they ever express an interest in a particular style when flicking through fashion magazines?  Do they gravitate towards decorative, vintage jewels as opposed to simple, classic pieces?  Would they love a coloured gemstone or a diamond ring?  
Classic diamond solitaire rings are still the most popular engagement rings as they express timeless elegance that never dates.  Would they like a clean and simple solitaire in a minimal four claw setting?

10. Give them what you think they’ll love
It seems like an obvious piece of advice but try to choose a ring that is to your partner’s taste.  It may not necessarily be to your taste or be an identi-copy of your mum/granny’s engagement ring.
At auction you’re paying a third to a fifth of the price you would pay in a jeweller. Not only is this a money saver, but you also have more options when considering style and era in terms of rings. 
The Top 10 Tips to Picking the Perfect Engagement Ring