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Engagement Ring Shopping: The Ultimate Buying Guide

When you’ve found the one and it’s time to pop the question, it’s time to start shopping for an engagement ring. Engagement rings are one of the biggest purchases we make, and it can be a daunting task knowing where to start. We can help! Keep reading for a deep dive into engagement ring shopping, and how to make sure your ring is perfect!

Choosing Your Style

When starting out shopping for an engagement ring, a good place to start is Instagram and Pinterest. Create a board and start saving images of rings you like, or bookmark Instagram photos of rings that match your style.

Narrow Down the Shape You Want

Decisions, decisions. The first choice you’ll want to make when shopping for an engagement ring is the shape (otherwise known as the cut) of diamond you’re interested in.

Every cut is priced differently and different cuts of the same carat weight can look very different. Round cuts are the most popular and therefore expensive, however, pear and marquise cuts are a more affordable choice.

Deciding what’s most important to you in terms of how your ring looks is important - a good jeweler can work with you to get more carats at a better price when you go for a cut that is not a classic round-cut.

Here is a quick breakdown of some popular shapes:

Round: This cut really highlights a diamond’s brilliance, and is the most classic and sought-after shape of diamond for engagement rings.

Oval: For those with long, lean, fingers an oval cut can be a perfect cut to compliment your hands.

Emerald: To showcase a diamond’s clarity, an emerald cut is the way to go. From Beyonce to Amal

Clooney, this cut is hugely popular.

Asscher: For a retro, art deco feel, choose an Asscher cut.

Cushion: The cushion cut was originally created in the 1800s, and features a square shape with rounded corners.

Princess: Princess cuts feature a flat-top and pyramid shape. This helps make the stone larger than it is.

Marquise: To maximize carat size, marquise cuts are a beautiful choice.

Pear: For those who can’t choose between a round cut and a marquise cut, the pear cut is the ultimate choice. This cut is beautifully highlighted set on a thin, delicate band.

Choose a Metal Quality

Most engagement and weddings bands are made from gold or platinum, usually, 14k or 18k yellow or white gold, although rose gold has risen in popularity in recent years. Platinum is more dense and rare than white gold and is thus more expensive.

It is important to consider lifestyle when choosing a metal - as some metals scratch and show wear easier than others. Another factor to consider when choosing a metal quality is whether or not you would like your ring to feature stones set in the band(s).

Have a Carat Size in Mind

A good jeweler will be able to take your budget and style considerations in mind and find you the best stone for your desired look.

Many people don’t realize that color and clarity can be tweaked, as well as carat size, to work within a person’s budget.

Choosing a less common carat size is a way to save some money when choosing your center stone. When a stone is a half or whole carat weight, it is highly desirable and more expensive. One that falls just shy of a half or whole carat weight can be a great way to maximize your budget (ie. a .94 carat ring vs. a 1 carat or a 2.02 instead of a 2 carat.

Get Sized

Your engagement ring should feel snug but comfortable, and it’s important to get correctly sized to ensure your ring stays put!

Think About your Wedding Band

While it may seem excessive to consider the wedding band when looking for your engagement ring, some rings don’t allow bands to sit flush against them.

Additionally, different cuts are complemented by different bands, so make sure to consider the full look you’d like when choosing your engagement ring.

Determine Your Budget

Come up with your budget and stick to it. A good jeweler will always be able to work with you to find a ring that works within your budget.

Understand the 4 C’s and How They Apply to You

Everyone has heard of the 4 C’s when it comes to diamonds, but here’s a breakdown of how each one actually relates to your ring.

Cut: When jewelers refer to the ‘cut’ of a diamond, they’re actually talking about the sparkle of the diamond, not the shape. For each shape of a diamond, there are specific parameters for the facets to interact with the light to create that signature diamond sparkle.

Carat: Most people are familiar with carats, which refers to the size or weight of a diamond. What many people don’t know, however, is that you can achieve different looks with the same carat weight depending on the cut of the diamond.

Clarity: Because diamonds are natural minerals, they can include inclusions (otherwise known as imperfections) that occur naturally as the diamond forms. On a GIA report, you can see the exact inclusions in your diamond. The fewer imperfections a diamond has, the higher the price.

Color: Diamonds can come in a variety of colors. The rarest color for diamonds is colorless, and all diamonds are rated on a color scale from D (no color) to Z (visibly yellow). In more recent years, additional diamond colors have increased in popularity, such as pink, yellow, and even chocolate diamonds.

Get the GIA Diamond Report

When making a big purchase like an engagement ring, it is important to receive the GIA report for the diamond you’ve chosen. This will include information about the diamond's cut, carat weight, clarity, and color. GIA is the industry leader and is a non-profit grading laboratory - we recommend sticking with GIA reports.

Work with a Pro

Nowadays we’re quick to jump online for any purchase. However, when it comes to diamonds it can be risky to shop online. It can be hard for the untrained eye to distinguish between different quality stones. A good jeweler will have tips and tricks to share with you about each diamond cut - and can work with you and the Four C’s to get the best possible ring for your budget.

Give Yourself Time

Good things take time. Once you order your engagement ring, it can take up to six weeks to arrive, and potentially longer if it is custom designed.

Pro Tips

Make your engagement ring extra meaningful by engraving the inside. Make sure to talk to your jeweler about the inscription so they can help you choose appropriate ring settings.


Buying an engagement ring can be a daunting task, but don’t let it be! At La Bijoutière we pride ourselves on creating an easy, enjoyable experience when engagement ring shopping. Take the leap and reach out to us to schedule an appointment and have us guide you through the whole process.


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