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Your Guide to

Picking Out the Perfect Engagement Ring

You've been lucky enough to find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Now, you want to find a ring as perfect as they are. The problem is, you don't know where to start! Finding an engagement ring can seem overwhelming.

Finding the Perfect Ring

This guide will walk you through the basics of what to look for in an engagement ring and how to choose one that best suits your partner’s personality, lifestyle, and taste!

STEP 1

Do Your Research

Easy

For some people, choosing the perfect ring is a process that they want to do completely on their own; for others, having someone help them makes it feel like a true expression of love.

If you want to do things the easy way, bringing your partner to the store is a great idea because it helps you both find something that will suit each of your preferences. This is especially good for a very picky significant other. Visiting the jewelry store together can still be fun and romantic: turn it into a date and go out for dinner or brunch afterwards.

Intermediate

If you want the ring to be a surprise, and don’t want to do it completely on your own, bring along someone who knows what the recipient likes like a friend or relative. They won’t need to be involved in the entire process, but they can help point you in the right direction. Make sure you only bring someone who has the recipient of the ring’s best wishes at heart. A jealous friend or sister could jeopardize your surprise.

Advanced

If you want to do the research on your own, then it can be a little more difficult: compare different rings in-person at stores, and create an online account where you save photos of what looks best.

You can start by determining what your partner would like, which may require paying attention to things you’ve never noticed before. For example, do they tend to wear gold or silver jewelry? Do they enjoy wearing delicate jewelry, bold jewelry, or both? What colors do they prefer?

If they typically wear simple jewelry pieces, stay away from intricate designs. Maybe they prefer vintage designs. In this case, you may want to find a ring with an antique-style design and avoid something minimalistic and modern.

You should also consider their career. Do they work in a field where jewelry needs to be practical? If they’re going to be putting on and taking off gloves all day or using their hands often, they’ll need something that doesn’t get in their way.

Another way to figure out the type of ring your significant other would love is to start with your proposal and work backwards. Chances are, you’re taking your partner’s preferences into consideration as you pick out where you’re going to propose. Put the same thought into your selection of an engagement ring. 

Landmarks

Baltimore is home to many landmarks like the National Aquarium, Fort McHenry, and more. If one of these places is important to you, you may consider proposing there.

If you’re looking for a place that’s not as well-known, but still has meaning to the both of you, try looking into some lesser known landmarks in Baltimore.

If your engagement to a significant other will be taken at a historic landmark, consider picking out an engagement ring that matches the style of said landmark. Maybe you want a sculptural ring with unique architecture elements? You might also choose one with an antique-looking quality, which is perfect for those who are looking for some timeless elegance and sophistication.

The Great Outdoors

If you enjoy spending time outside with your partner in one of the many parks around Baltimore, then you may want to consider an outdoor proposal.

People who enjoy spending time outdoors may prefer a ring that can withstand the elements that’s easy to clean. Choose one with a floral design or an aspect of nature to reflect their interests.

Sporting Events

Baltimore is home to many sporting events, and if your significant other enjoys watching their favorite teams play or going to the games themselves, you may consider proposing at a location like Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

If your partner is athletic and loves sports, you may want to give them a ring that matches their interests and passions. Chances are, they’ll want something minimalistic, sleek, and modern-looking that doesn’t get in the way of their busy lifestyle.

Restaurants

If you’re looking for a more intimate setting, consider proposing at one of Baltimore’s many restaurants. They can range from small and quaint to sprawling in size; it all depends on what your preference is.

If there’s one that’s a favorite or the site of your first date, why not propose there? The area also has many luxury restaurants if you’re looking for a sophisticated evening.

If this is going to be where you ask for your partner’s hand then it’s important that the ring has sentimental value with a lot of meaning.

What better way to make your engagement ring personal than by customizing it? Add some personality and tradition with our accent diamonds or engrave a special message in the band.

Engagement Ring Styles

Engagement rings are an important gift that you give to your significant other. These rings can be any shape, size, or style that you choose based on what type of ring they prefer and their tastes. Doing research to learn the different styles and needs takes a little more time but in the end, the person gets exactly what they want. Here, we will explore some of the most common engagement ring cuts and you can decide what style suits your preferences.

A solitaire ring is a single diamond, usually set in platinum, gold, silver, rose gold, and white gold.

The most common type of engagement ring, the solitaire has been popular for centuries because it’s timeless and elegant. It looks good on just about any finger shape and size, but it should be worn with other diamonds to look its best. Popular throughout history, today’s versions are more affordable than ever before so you can find one that fits your budget-and still feel like royalty!

A halo ring is a type of engagement ring that has smaller diamonds surrounding the main stone. They’re called “halo” rings because they look like halos from above, and are sometimes set with diamonds in different colors which can represent different things. Halo rings have been popular for many years and come in two styles: traditional or modern. The most common style of halo ring is the classic solitaire halo where there’s a single larger center stone surrounded by a ring of small stones. In the more modern version, the stones form a pattern or unique shape.

A 3 stone ring is an engagement ring that has three stones-usually a bigger center stone in the middle with two smaller stones on each side.

There are many ways to customize a 3 stone ring. One way to customize a 3 stone ring is by adding a colored diamond. Consider colors such as pink, yellow, blue, or salt and pepper– a speckled gray color.

The center diamond can be a unique cut, for example, a princess or emerald cut diamond. The sizes of all the stones can vary. Options are virtually endless!

The old-fashioned look of vintage style rings is perfect if you are looking for a simple and classic piece with details reminiscent of the past. These rings are often crafted with diamonds from a previous generation, so no two rings are made alike. These rings can come in a variety of styles and shapes. This style is popular for those with strong family ties or traditions.

This ring is for the modern woman. The design breaks away from tradition, focusing on bold and glamorous details with a customization option to make this ring personal. It usually includes a unique style that stands apart from the usual solitaire or halo designs.

The two most popular choices for engagement rings are a diamond solitaire or a cluster with an equally sized diamond on each side. This type of engagement ring has become increasingly popular over the years. Its elegant and simple design never goes out of style, which is one reason it’s such a pertinent choice to many couples in search of their perfect symbol of unity.

If you’re in the market for a ring that is custom designed to suit your taste, custom designs may be just what you need. A personalized custom ring starts as a rough diamond and gets crafted into an original masterpiece. An individually designed ring will stand out from the crowd, making it an excellent choice if you want to emphasize your partner’s style in a statement ring. One way to design the perfect engagement ring is by combining two rings that you love.

STEP 2

Educate Yourself

Buying an engagement ring is not a small purchase. Consider all the research you can before buying something like a new car. The more research you do, the better. You want to save money, but also make sure what you buy is perfect for your style, taste and needs. You may be tempted to save a few bucks by purchasing a diamond online. No matter the jeweler you plan on purchasing from, this next step may be the most important in this guide.

Check Out the Diamonds in Person

You’ve probably already begun looking at diamonds online already. You might have a good idea of what carat size you want. Even if you kind of understand those other three C things, it’s hard to understand how they affect a diamond until you see it in person.

Checking out a diamond in person can give you more clarity than an image on your phone or computer screen ever could. Reconsider that car analogy. You wouldn’t buy a car without going for a test drive. So why would you buy a diamond without seeing it?

Buying a diamond online is becoming more popular but there are risks that come with it. You can reduce those risks, however. Visit jewelry stores in person to see the differences between the different colors of diamonds. Get a visual of how the cut of a diamond can affect its sparkle. All of this will help you make a more educated decision.

Did you ever wonder why you can find diamonds online that have the same cut, color, clarity, and carat but come with very different prices? It is because diamonds are all unique and look different. You don’t need to be a gemologist to know the difference. You just need to see them in person.

The 4 Cs

The 4 Cs are the four features about a diamond that will determine its worth. These features are cut, clarity, color and carat. Each of these features are graded on a scale from one to five with one being the lowest and five being the best. When you go shopping for engagement rings, it is important to know what grade these four things are because different levels of quality will have an effect on how much the ring may cost. 

Color

A diamond’s color actually refers to its lack of color. Diamonds range from colorless to light yellow. The closer the diamond is in color to white, the more it’s worth. Completely clear diamonds with a perfect cut can reach $200,000 per carat when they’re more than five carats in size!

Cut

An engagement ring’s cut is perhaps the most important thing to consider. A diamond with a good cut will have more fire and brilliance than one that doesn’t. This means it has greater sparkle, which makes for an unforgettable moment when you pop open that box!

A diamond’s cut grades range from ideal (excellent) to poor. A well-cut diamond allows for the maximum amount of light to shine through the top, making it appear larger, clearer, and more brilliant.

The cut of a diamond is different from the shape. Yes, diamonds come in many shapes (round, oval, princess, cushion are just a few examples). However, the quality of its cut (consider pavilion depth, girdle thickness and more) determines the value of your diamond.

When considering purchasing a custom designed ring, be sure the jeweler takes into consideration all these factors before cutting your diamond.

Clarity

Clarity is a critical factor when it comes to determining the value of an engagement ring. Diamonds are created deep within the earth under high temperature and pressure, so it’s extremely rare to find one completely lacking in imperfections. A diamond is formed when a natural element called carbon goes through an intense process that often causes cracks and other clarity characteristics on its surface.

These blemishes, called inclusions, determine the diamond in an engagement ring’s clarity grade. The more inclusions, the lower the diamond’s clarity grade will be.

Clarity ranges from F to I3. Remember, a perfect diamond is very rare and will be very expensive.

F – even to a skilled grader, no inclusions or blemishes are visible.

VVS1-VVS2 – inclusions are difficult for a skilled grader to see under magnification

VS1-VS2 – inclusions are noticeable to a skilled grader when using magnification

SI1-SI2 – inclusions are visible under magnification, but can be characterized as minor.

I1-I3 – the diamond’s inclusions may cause the diamond to look cloudy and opaque.

Carat

The carat weight of your diamond refers to its weight. The larger the diamond, the more rare (and pricey) it is.

Carat is expressed in grams or with a decimal point (i.e., 0.98 carats). There are normally significant price jumps at every 0.5, 0.75, and 1.00ct. If you’re working with a strict budget, decide what size you’d like and then find a diamond that’s a bit smaller. For example, 1.00ct vs. 90ct. By doing this, you’ll still end up with a similarly sized diamond and have more room in your budget for a diamond with a better cut, clarity, or color grade.

Engagement Ring Metal Types

The diamond isn’t the entire equation! In fact, the metal type can actually be almost as important. The most common metals for an engagement ring setting include gold, silver, and platinum. If you’re getting a custom ring designed, picking the metal will be another crucial part of the process.

There are many different types of engagement ring bands to choose from. One of the most popular options is yellow gold. It’s a beautiful and versatile metal that can be paired with any type of diamond, gemstone or combination thereof depending on your tastes. Yellow gold rings have always been a popular, classic choice.

One of the most common types of band is a white gold band because they look beautiful and versatile. White gold bands have always been a popular choice because they go well with any diamond or gemstone that you choose to put on the ring.

Rose gold is an attractive, durable metal that has the look of a traditional gold ring with a pink hue. This type of ring has become more popular in recent years due to its uniqueness and beauty. If you’re searching for something a little out of the ordinary that still offers a classic style, this is a great option.

Green gold engagement rings can offer something a little different than the traditional yellow or white gold options. The metal normally appears a pale, yellow-green color. It’s definitely an eye-catching option!

Another popular metal for an engagement ring is platinum. Platinum engagement rings have become popular due to their durability. They’re a great choice for a partner who’s always on the go and can be hard on their jewelry. Keep in mind that platinum does tend to be more expensive.

Palladium is another strong metal. It’s lightweight, but durable and resistant to scratches. The metal also tends to be less expensive than platinum.

Fine silver is too delicate to be used for an engagement ring that will be worn every day, but sterling silver is a good option. This metal requires more care than gold, though, or you may risk it tarnishing.

STEP 3

Determine Your Budget

Now that you have a rough understanding of diamonds and bands, it's time to determine your budget. This can be difficult, but it'll help you find a diamond that suits both your tastes and your wallet! You don't want to fall in love with a ring only to find out you can't afford it. When you meet with your jeweler, you don't need to jump right in with your budget. A good jeweler will take a little time to get to know you first. If you’re still deciding your budget, they can help you with realistic recommendations.

What Type of Ring Can I Get for My Budget?

This is always a tough question because there are so many factors that come into play.

If you have a large budget for a diamond engagement ring, your options will be much wider than someone who has to stick with something in their price range. You’ll be able to find a larger, more valuable diamond.

However, if you have a small budget, your jeweler will be able to help you find the right ring.

How to Reduce Engagement Ring Costs

When looking to reduce costs, don’t compromise on the cut of the diamond. The cut is what gives the stone its signature sparkle and it’s a very important factor in determining value. You may consider choosing a diamond with a less rare color and slightly lower clarity.

The shape also plays a role in price. A princess, cushion, or marquise cut is often less expensive than a traditional round diamond.

The second thing you can do is to buy less expensive settings that are not as durable. Make sure you care for them properly. You might also opt to use a solid band instead of one set with smaller diamonds.

STEP 4

Finalize Your Engagement Ring Purchase

Congratulations! You’re ready for the next step: officially making one of the most important purchases of your life. The purchasing process normally involves a few steps. You can purchase an engagement ring in a few different ways: check, cash, financing plan. If the cost of the ring is much higher than a usual purchase, it’s a good idea to contact your bank to notify them ahead of time.

Should I Finance or Pay Cash for the Engagement Ring?

We offer a range of payment options, all designed with you in mind. There is not necessarily a “right” choice. The best course of action is the one that works best with your situation.

Pay Cash

Paying for your ring in cash is a good option for you if you have enough money saved. This allows you to pay for your engagement ring up front. However, we also offer financing and payment solutions to make the selection process easier.

Financing Options for Engagement Rings

An alternative is financing your engagement ring. This gives you the ability to pay off your purchase over time if you don’t have the cash you need up front.

The Importance of an Engagement Ring Appraisal

One of the most important steps in purchasing an engagement ring is having it appraised. Most jewelers will do this for you, but make sure you get it done if they do not. Without proper appraisal your engagement ring may not be covered by your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance coverage.

Engagement Ring Warranties

Another important consideration is ensuring your jeweler will fix any damages that may happen to your ring. Do they provide warranty options or do you need to purchase one? Remember that your engagement ring is not indestructible. Your partner will wear it every day, and it can get bumped, caught on things, scratched, and more. Chances are damage will occur at some point.

A ring also requires regular maintenance. Just like you take your car in for an oil change, you should bring your ring to be checked and cleaned. The last thing you want is to lose a stone! Find out about your jeweler’s warranty. For example, you may want to know if it covers repairing prongs, retipping stones, or restoring and polishing jewelry.

Now, you are fully prepared to find your perfect engagement ring. As always, contact us if you need any assistance. We’re more than happy to help!

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