How to Pick Out the Perfect Engagement Ring for Your Girlfriend
Thinking about popping the BIG question? Selecting the perfect engagement ring is an important step to make the occasion oh-so-special. And if it feels a little overwhelming, know that you’re not alone! You’ve chosen an amazing partner, you’ve decided you want to commit to her forever… but you might be wondering how to pick out an engagement ring she’ll love.
Give yourself enough time to research, plan, and browse, and you’ll be just fine – we promise! We’ve compiled this guide to help you through everything you need to know, from finding out her ring size to discovering which cut and setting will suit her best. In this guide we’ll focus on the classic diamond ring, but don’t forget there are a ton of other trendy and modern engagement ring options to consider as well.
Let’s get started!
How to Pick Out an Engagement Ring Using The Four C’s of Diamond Buying
As you begin your search for the perfect ring, it’s important to know the basics of how diamonds are graded and what that means for value, appeal, and style. Here’s a summary of the four C’s of diamond:
- Carat - Carat refers to the weight of a diamond. One carat is equal to 0.2 grams, which is about the same weight as a paperclip.
- Cut - While carat determines the size and is a popular classification for diamonds, the cut is also incredibly important. Cut refers to how the diamond has been shaped and is measured on a scale from “Poor” to “” The cut influences how beautifully the light reflects off the diamond, so it can definitely make a difference!
- Color – This “D” to “Z” scale evaluates the body color of the diamond, referencing how close it is to being colorless. Absolutely clear diamonds are a D, while lightly colored diamonds are a Z. (Note: colored diamonds are classified differently, on a scale of color intensity – Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense, Fancy Deep, Fancy Vivid, and Fancy Dark.)
- Clarity - Clarity refers to the absence of inclusions – nicks, grain lines, or other blemishes – in a diamond. The scale starts at “flawless” and ends at “included,” with the latter indicating that obvious inclusions may be visible to the naked eye.
Lab grown diamonds, which have the same exact physical and optical properties as natural diamonds, can also be evaluated using the four C’s. The only difference between lab created diamonds and natural diamonds are their origin. So, if you’re in the market for an engagement ring, make sure you take lab grown diamonds into consideration.
Popular Diamond Cuts
Next, consider the specific shape of the diamond. Here are some of the most popular options:
Round brilliant cut - The round brilliant cut is just what it sounds like: round and brilliant! This is a timeless cut that will never go out of style and, when done well, really shows off the beauty of the diamond. The cut has either 57 or 58 facets, which means it’s designed to sparkle from every angle. Round brilliant diamonds look fantastic in all settings and styles but especially stand out in solitaire engagement rings like the Dover engagement ring from the Kleinfeld Fine Jewelry Collection.
Princess cut - The princess cut features a square or rectangular face with sharp corners and four beveled sides that reflect light brilliantly. The princess cut is another classic choice and looks amazing in channel and pavé settings.
Oval cut - The oval cut is similar to the round brilliant, but with an elongated shape. Full of sparkle and shine, this cut can make a diamond look bigger because it shows off a larger surface. For a unique look, pair it with a trendy East-West setting; to really set it off, look for an engagement ring like the Eldridge that features clusters of shining round and pear diamonds on either side of the main oval cut.
Cushion cut - The cushion cut is like the modern cousin of the traditional oval, featuring a large square face, rounded corners, and curved sides. Their shape is soft yet bold, making rings like the Kleinfeld Fine Jewelry Essex engagement ring perfect for reflecting the powerful femininity of that special woman in your life. Because cushion cut diamonds have larger facets, they conceal inclusions better than a round or princess cut.
Emerald cut - The emerald cut is one of the oldest diamond shapes, dating back to the 1500s. Its art deco-inspired shape features broad, flat planes, rounded corners, and a rectangular body. This classic and clean cut, featured in the Emerson engagement ring, is full of breathtaking depth and dimension she’ll love.
What Are the Popular Engagement Ring Settings
The diamond might be the main focus of a ring, but the setting is also important. Here are a few to browse as you’re choosing an engagement ring:
Prong setting – The prong setting is one of the most popular engagement ring settings because it shows off the center stone, is easy to clean, and is an effortless classic. In this setting, the center diamond is held in place with four to six metal prongs, as shown in the Madison engagement ring from the Kleinfeld Fine Jewelry Collection.
Pavé setting – The pavé (pronounced pa-vay) setting features tightly packed diamonds around the band for an added sparkle and shine you can see in pieces like the Lenox engagement ring. Infinity pavé bands have diamonds around the whole band, while half pavé bands have diamonds around half of the band.
Channel setting – Similar to the pavé setting, the channel setting includes rows of diamonds encased in the band. The diamonds are flush with the band and secured with thick metal, which reduces the chances of them dislodging.
Halo setting – For an ultra-dazzling effect, the traditional halo setting features a ring of smaller stones surrounding the center diamond. The Kleinfeld Fine Jewelry Arden engagement ring features this decadent and brilliant setting with a round diamond in the center and complementary round diamonds in the surrounding halo. You can also find double and triple halos if you really want to turn up the bling!
What Style is Best for Her?
Now that you know the basics of diamond grading, cuts, and settings, it’s time to get down to business. How do you choose an engagement ring without your soon-to-be-bride knowing?
There are so many types of engagement rings that it might seem impossible to nail down your girlfriend’s style. Here are some simple tips on how to pick out an engagement ring with a little bit of detective work:
- Look at her current jewelry. Does she wear more gold or silver? The engagement ring should complement her existing collection.
- Does she opt for simple, vintage, or dramatic looks? This will help guide you to the right engagement ring styles. For example, if her personal style is more vintage, you may want to choose a ring with a classic emerald cut diamond, as featured in the Bryant engagement ring. If she prefers a more dramatic look, you can’t go wrong with a ring like the Lexington, which features a brilliant cushion cut diamond in a double halo setting on an eye-catching rose gold band.
- Does she have an active lifestyle? If so, you might want to find a ring that has well-protected diamonds, like the channel setting.
- Is she open to other types of gemstones besides diamonds? Don’t forget to check other gorgeous options like sapphires and emeralds!
- Ask her friends what her style is. Nearly every girl has talked about her dream engagement ring with her BFFs at least once!
- Will she want to show off her ring to everyone she meets? A sparkly center diamond in a halo setting is sure to turn heads. To make a real impact, look for a piece like the Kleinfeld Fine Jewelry Alwyn engagement ring, which features a diamond in the rare, eye-shaped marquis cut, surrounded by a delicate halo of round diamonds.
How Do You Find Her Ring Size
Not sure about your girlfriend’s ring size? There are lots of sneaky ways to find out someone’s ring size without asking them. Here are some tips:
- Take a ring from her jewelry box that she doesn’t wear often and take it straight to your local REEDS store. We’ll assess the size using a jeweler’s mandrel, a measured, tapered cylinder used to size rings.
- If you can’t snatch one of her rings, recruit one of her good friends to do it.
- If you’re too nervous to take a ring, measure it using our REEDS Ring and Band Sizer and put it right back.
- Pretend that you’re shopping for jewelry for your mom, sister, or friend, and bring your girlfriend along to the jewelry store to “help.” Have her try on the rings and make note of the size that fits her.
- Have her go engagement ring shopping with a friend “just because.” Have the friend request that she gets professionally sized. She can then report back to you!
- Just ask her! You can always ask her and still make the ring and proposal a complete surprise.
Tip: it’s better to choose a ring that’s too big instead of too small. First, this will save everyone the embarrassment of trying to squeeze too small of a ring on her finger in the heat of the moment. Second, it’s easier for jewelers to make a ring smaller rather than make it bigger.
Choosing an engagement ring for your future fiancée is an exciting time and we hope this guide helps you learn how to pick out a ring she’ll love. Ready to browse? Check out our exclusive Kleinfeld Fine Jewelry Collection and find the perfect ring today!