Shopping for an engagement ring isn’t quite as easy as for your other accessory splurges. This is an undeniably special piece to be loved and cherished for the rest of your life, much like the person you’re about to marry. With such expectations, it’s easy to get caught up in the stress and pressure that comes with picking the perfect ring for you; one that matches your personal style and reflects not just you as a person, but also the most important relationship in your life.
These days, engagement rings go far beyond the classic, simple band with a centered diamond. While that’s still an option, we’re seeing countless new trends in bridal jewelry, from bold gemstones and cocktail-style rings, to more embellished bands with geometric diamond shapes and patterns.
To make engagement ring shopping an enjoyable experience for the both of you, we’ve compiled some key tips below to help you narrow in on the best style for you. Making sure all of the bases are covered, we’ve enlisted some help from the engagement ring experts at the leading e-retailer of ethically sourced fine bridal jewelry, Brilliant Earth.
Step One: Drop Some Hints!
Once we’re ready to take that step with your future partner, it’s imminent that “the talk” occurs, just like it did when you decided to officially date. Whether you bring up the topic by way of a couple you know that has recently gotten engaged/married or by “accidentally” stopping the channel surfing on “Say Yes to the Dress,” the topic needs to come up and you need to affirm your stance on the engagement ring you want. It can be as simple as saying “Did you see the ring Dave gave to Ashley? I sure love that round shape with a halo of diamonds around it” (hint hint), or by delving deep into a conversation that allows you to express your values in finding the perfect ring together, hints and conversations are your best friend when it comes time to discuss the next step in your relationship.
Step Two: Consider Your Personal Style
Now that you’ve happily jumped that hurdle and are ready to make it official, it’s time to consider the engagement ring. The engagement ring reflects our personal style more so than our clothing choices, as it’s a little more permanent than that time you dyed your hair blonde for a summer test drive.
“All the adjectives that might pop into your head when you think of yourself, such as traditional, unconventional, socially conscious, unique, glamorous, artistic, or refined, will come in handy while searching for the perfect ring. The words that describe you as a person should guide your choice of carat size, gemstone, precious metal, and setting style,” say the experts at Brilliant Earth.
Step Three: Pick Your Gemstone
Although engagement rings have traditionally featured diamonds, other gemstones have also begun to catch brides’ eyes. “About 90 percent of engagement rings feature diamonds, but sapphires are the second-most popular gemstone,” says Brilliant Earth. If you’re looking to stand out, a colored gemstone can be a beautiful and elegant way to reflect your personal tastes and convey a more unconventional look. Many brides-to-be are surprised to learn that sapphires aren’t available only in shades of deep blue, but also can be found in yellow, pink, and many more hues. Since the center stone is the main focus of the ring, play around with different looks to really make sure you’re casting the perfect lead for your stunning setting.
Step Four: Decide on a Metal
When we think of engagement rings, we mostly think of a gold or silver band. However, we’d be doing ourselves a serious disservice if we didn’t consider platinum, yellow gold, rose gold, and white gold. All are absolutely stunning, but be sure to keep in mind the jewelry you usually wear and consider if you want the ring to contrast or blend in with your everyday pieces. Of course, you’ll also need to consider budget.
Step Five: Pinpoint Any Specific Details
This may be the hardest part, but the details are the final touch to bringing your ring to fruition. From personalized engraving to gemstone-encrusted bands, the options to add that last little magic touch to your most coveted piece are endless. With so many options, it’s good to note maybe one or two key details at most that are important to you so you can eliminate a lot of choices from the beginning.
Even if you are still on Step One (or haven’t quite found your future engagement ring shopping partner yet), having an idea of the options available will make finding the perfect ring all the easier when it comes time to say, “I do.”
To help you figure out which style might fit you best, peruse the collections on Brilliant Earth and feel free to “create your own ring” too, a trend that has become more popular than ever before, making the options just that much more diverse.