What to Consider Before You Buy an Engagement Ring

Written By: Vahid Moradi

Are you planning to buy an engagement ring for your significant other? An engagement ring is a meaningful and important investment because it signifies a huge milestone in your relationship. While buying a diamond engagement ring might seem like an overwhelming experience, it should be a creative, fun, exciting, and enjoyable experience. 

When you finally find the one and want to hunt for the perfect engagement ring, it's essential you get it right and invest in something you understand. To help you ease your engagement ring buying process, here are practical considerations to give thought to before you buy an engagement ring: 

Have a Budget in Place for Buying an Engagement Ring 

Is it your first time purchasing an engagement ring? If so, be prepared for a surprise. The cost of an engagement ring is often more than what you think it will be. However, the best news is that each budget has several engagement ring options. All you have to do is determine your priorities when searching for a ring. 

Just remember there's no such thing as spending the right amount on an engagement ring. Your budget is your personal decision, so determine a budget that best works for you without breaking your bank. 

Know Your Fiancée's Style and Preference 

What does she wear? What's in her fine jewelry collection? These are some of the things that will help you determine your fiancée's style and preferences. Has she stocked much yellow gold, sterling silver, or sapphire? Consider the designs, patterns, and colors of other jewelry your fiancée loves. 

If your fiancée's fine jewelry box is full of white gold or sterling silver, her style is probably cool metal, which means that platinum, white gold, or palladium will be an excellent choice. However, if she owns many yellow metals, she's more of a warm metal person, so sticking with rose or yellow gold will be ideal. 

Another alternative to finding out about your partner's preference and style is asking her siblings, mother, or trustworthy friends for ideas on her preferences. You can also note her reactions to people's non traditional engagement rings to get a clue of what she likes. Ultimately, ensure you choose the perfect ring that suits your partner's style and not yours. 

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Know the Stone You're Going For 

Need help deciding between a diamond vs moissanite? While diamonds are the most common stones to create engagement rings, they're certainly not the only option available. Other common stones that can create beautiful rings include sapphires, emeralds, rubies, pearls, opals, or any combination of these rocks. 

Apart from choosing a stone depending on its durability and everyday wear, the key to selecting the best stone for your engagement is knowing your partner's preferences and style. 

Choose a Metal for the Ring Band 

Simple Engagement rings come in various precious metals. Ideally, you'll want to select a durable metal like platinum or gold. Platinum and white gold are also popular due to their modern and sleek look, which enhances the overall appearance of the ring. 

Once you know your partner's ring style, it will be much easier to select a metal type that goes well with their everyday jewelry collection. As you choose a metal for the ring band, remember that the metal you pick will affect the engagement ring's overall look. 

Understand the Six "C's" Value System and Two "T's " 

The first thing you need to understand before buying an engagement ring is the value system for assessing the quality of the ring. Initially, the quality grading of diamonds and gemstones was evaluated by the 4C's criteria of cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. 

However, Renée Newman recommends replacing the 4C's value system with a more complex criteria consisting of six C's and two T's. That includes color, cut quality, clarity, carat weight, cutting style, and creator (laboratory-grown vs. natural), alongside treatment status and transparency. In brief, the six C's and two T's include: 

  • Color: When buying an engagement ring, color is one of the critical factors in assessing quality. For a diamond ring, color assessment is measured by how colorless a white diamond is.
  • Cut Quality: The cut quality of a ring is considered the most important factor because it affects how magically the ring sparkles. A grading on how a diamond ring is well cut affects how it captures light. 
  • Clarity: When evaluating a ring's clarity, consider the absence of blemishes, surface features, graining, and inclusions. You want to select a ring that is flawless both externally and internally.
  • Carat Weight: Knowing a carat weight measurement lets you know how much your apparent diamond weighs. Carat weight will help you determine the price as reflected by its rarity.
  • Creator: You also need to know how the engagement ring you're buying is created. Understanding the benefits of natural and laboratory-grown diamonds will help you settle on an engagement ring that best suits your preferences.
  • Cutting Style: Before you buy an engagement ring, you need to judge the quality of the kind of cut you want. For instance, you'll need to evaluate the quality of a brilliant round cut or a fancy-shaped diamond.
  • Treatment Status: Some treatments affect the quality of the material used for a ring. You might want to consider the subjectivity of the lab diamond or gemstone color grades, and treatments can tamper with color. Some lab diamond treatment types used when making rings include fracture filling, irradiation with heat, laser drilling, and coatings. 
  • Transparency: Assessing a ring's transparency can be daunting, especially when looking at photos. Photos often illustrate different transparency from the actual one. Positioning, lighting, and magnification also affect how transparent a ring looks. 

Know the Ring Size You're Looking For 

Even though a ring size seems like a small detail, it's a huge deal. Depending on the ring design you settle for, it can be challenging to have your ring resized. It can also be inconvenient and disappointing if you have to send the engagement ring back to your jeweler for a re-size after the proposal. 

It's also good to keep in mind that while some ring styles or designs can be resized, some can only be resized a little, while others cannot be re-sized at all. Ultimately, having a bigger ring is better than having one too small. 

If you want to find out your partner's ring size without her knowing, consider borrowing one of her ring collections that she often wears on her ring finger. That way, your jeweler will have a precise measurement before you buy an engagement ring. 

Jewelry Warranty and Jewelry Insurance are Different Things 

Most people, especially those buying an engagement ring for the first time, usually mistake warranties for insurance. A jewelry warranty is basically an extension of a maintenance plan that helps protect you from any manufacturer's defects and wear. 

Before buying an engagement ring, ensure that the store you're buying from has a return or exchange policy so that you can return the ring if it has any defects. However, returns can be complicated if you decide to custom-make your engagement ring. So, ensure you have a warranty in case of any imperfections from the manufacturer. 

On the other hand, jewelry insurance helps protect you from accidental loss, damage, or theft. An engagement ring is a huge investment, so it's important to protect it with jewelry insurance. 

You Can Custom-Make an Engagement Ring 

Are you having a hard time finding your dream ring for your engagement? Don't worry; you can always customize your engagement ring according to your priorities and needs. Having your ring custom-made is easier than you can imagine. You just need to understand your partner's style. 

Custom-made engagement rings might take extra time because of custom designing and creation, but it's worth it in the end. You'll end up with a unique ring unlike any other. 

Pick a Trustworthy Jeweler With Authentication and Certifications 

Since buying an engagement ring is making a valuable and expensive purchase, it's essential that you buy from a trustworthy jeweler. Consider a jeweler that has already earned a credential from certified institutions like the GIA. 

For example, if you want to buy an engagement ring with a full carat, and perfectly round cut diamond, ensure you look for a jeweler with a GIA certification. The Rivière Platinum 3.02ct round-cut diamond ring, GIA certified, is an astonishing example of elegance, precision, and luxury. 

But suppose you're looking for a ring along the lines of a colored diamond. In this case, GIA certification is not necessary because their grading scale is centered around the evaluation of brilliant-cut white diamonds. 

Purchasing an engagement ring shouldn't be a daunting experience for you. Considering the above tips, you'll start your shopping journey knowing what kind of engagement ring you're looking for. For luxury and breath-taking engagement rings in San Diego, CJ Charles is your only authentic and GIA-certified jeweler. Feel free to get in touch with us.


Written By: Vahid Moradi

Vahid Moradi’s lifelong passion, dedication, and commitment for the jewelry industry led him to become the respected owner of CJ Charles Jewelers in 1988. From that moment, Moradi’s single focus in business was to become recognized as the pinnacle of value and world-class quality in the his Community. Over 34 years later, CJ Charles continues to grow and thrive as a successful, family-owned business that consistently provides exceptional service to all their clientele.


  1. Cole, Jo E. "Diamond Ring Buying Guide." https://www.proquest.com/openview/92d2db79e096fec9eabbc1bbb367d850/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=204120
  2. GIA. Diamond Description. https://www.gia.edu/diamond-description.
  3. Jewelers of America. "How to Buy an Engagement Ring." www.jewelers.org/wedding/buy-engagement-ring.
  4. GIA. The Ultimate Engagement Ring Buying Guide. https://4cs.gia.edu/en-us/engagement-ring-buying-guide/

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