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Buying an Engagement Ring

How to Buy an Engagement Ring: An Easy Step-By-Step Guide

So the time has finally come, you’re thinking about popping the big question and proposing! But you’re not sure where to start when it comes to buying an engagement ring. Luckily, we’ve put together a step-by-step engagement ring buying guide to make the process simple and as painless as possible. Learn how to take the first step with our easy 4-step process below. Already know what you’re looking for? Give us a call at 410-494-0080 or click here to schedule an appointment online. Otherwise, keep reading 🙂

4 Steps to Finding the Perfect Ring

1. Do Your Research

Buying an engagement ring can require some detective work if you want to surprise your soon-to-be fiancé. But figuring out what kind of ring she wants may not be as hard as you think. Chances are your girlfriend has planned every detail of her wedding on Pinterest, including the ring that she wants! Scrolling through her Pinterest boards can be a great place to start to get some ideas. Consider bringing along one of her girlfriends to help you shop too. They’ll be able to point you in the right direction in terms of her style. Whether your girlfriend wants a solitaire, halo, 3-stone, modern, vintage, classic, or custom design, you should have no problem selecting the perfect ring with the help of her friend and your jeweler.

2. Conquering The Four C’s

Before buying an engagement ring it is important to consider the four C’s: color, cut, clarity, and carat. Diamonds are graded according to these four characteristics, so finding a stone within your budget means you will have to find the right balance between each. Determining your preference should always be done in person. A professional jeweler will be able to advise you and help you find the right balance. But remember you can still purchase your ring online or in a different jewelry store. This stage of the buying process is all about browsing and figuring out what is right for you in terms of color, cut, clarity, and carat. Keep reading below to find a detailed explanation of each of the four C’s.


Diamond color ranges from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow). A colorless diamond is rarer and therefore more expensive. Opting for a diamond somewhere in the middle of the color scale can be a good way to decrease the cost of an engagement ring.


The cut of a diamond refers to the proportions of the diamond as opposed to the shape of the diamond (round, oval, pear, princess are a few examples). A well cut diamond will have perfectly polished angles that allow light to enter and reflect back through the top facets. If a diamond is cut poorly then the light that enters the stone will escape through the bottom of the ring. The quality of a diamond’s cut contributes to the overall value of the engagement ring.


The clarity of a diamond is determined by the number of flaws, blemishes, or imperfections found when the diamond is viewed under magnification. Most diamonds contain a number of these imperfections since they are formed in environments with intense heat and pressure. The clarity of a diamond will be graded on a scale ranging from Flawless (F) to Included 3 (I3). Flawless diamonds are very rare and consequently, make the cost of an engagement ring increase.


The weight of a diamond is measured in carats. As the weight of the diamond increases, so does the price of the diamond. This is the easiest of the four characteristics to measure.

3. Working with a Budget

Now that you are fully educated on the price factors that determine the cost of an engagement ring, you have to decide which factors are most important in your budget. If size is an important factor to you, most industry experts recommend going less rare in terms of color and clarity. The cut of the diamond is what makes the ring sparkle, so this is one of the four C’s that experts advise devoting more of your engagement ring budget. You can also save by slightly decreasing the carat (weight) of your diamond. The price tends to jump at every 0.5, 0.75, and 1.00 carat mark. By opting for a diamond with a weight of .90ct as opposed to 1.00ct, you can devote more of your budget to the other factors.

4. Seal the Deal

You’ve found the perfect ring! Now you just have to decide how you want to pay for it. This is a larger purchase than normal, so financing your ring can be a great option. You can choose how much you pay over time. We know money can be tight during this important time, which is why Nelson Coleman Jewelers offers 0% financing to customers! It’s important to note what damages are not covered by your jeweler, so get your ring appraised immediately to ensure it is covered by your insurance. Regular inspections should also be scheduled to make sure your engagement ring remains as perfect as the day you propose!

Still need more details on how to buy an engagement ring?

You have two options: Click here to download our free Engagement Ring Buying Guide. Or – if you’re ready to start shopping around, give us a call at 410-494-0080 or click below to schedule an appointment with your personal jewelry consultant. Schedule an Appointment

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