A Practical and Simple Engagement Ring Buying Guide


Written by James


We have gone through the process of evaluating rings, getting engaged, and proposing. We have been in your shoes. We learned the ropes. This website is dedicated to helping guide you through the process of buying an engagement ring.

The process of getting engaged is overwhelming at times – and expensive – but the result is life changing (and, in hindsight, pretty amazing). Given how much we learned in the process, we thought we could save you time, energy, money, even some anxiety if we shared our learnings with you.

In this article, we will highlight the topics you will want to understand and that we found helpful in our own ring buying process.

Should You Keep It A Secret?

You will either do the engagement with your girlfriend’s buy-in and guidance or you will do a lot of your research in secret.

If you are researching in secret, you will need to figure out the types of rings and styles your girlfriend likes, the size of her finger, and how much you should spend on an engagement ring

There Are 2 Rings – The Engagement Ring and The Wedding Ring

The engagement ring is typically given by a man to a woman to signify his love and intent to marry her. It is usually worn on the left ring finger of the woman and can range from traditional diamond rings with intricate settings, to simpler bands.

The wedding ring, however, is exchanged between the bride and groom during their wedding ceremony as a symbol of their eternal commitment to each other. Unlike the engagement ring, which often features diamonds or gemstones, wedding rings are usually plain gold or silver bands that are engraved with special words or symbols.

You buy the wedding ring after buying the engagement ring.

The Different Styles of Engagement Rings

Knowing the different styles of engagement rings is important when buying an engagement ring because it allows you to understand what style and type will best suit you or your partner’s individual tastes.

For example, if you have a more traditional style in mind, you may opt for a solitaire setting while someone with a modern sensibility may prefer a halo design.

Being aware of all the options available gives you the chance to find exactly the right ring for your partner. Additionally, having knowledge of these styles can help make sure that you get the best deal since some styles are usually more expensive than others.

Understand The Different Parts of A Ring

It is important to understand the different parts of an engagement ring when buying an engagement ring because these components play a major role in its overall look, feel, and cost.

The type of metal used for the band, whether white gold or platinum, will determine its strength and durability as well as the price.

The size, shape, weight and cut of the diamond will have a huge impact on the overall sparkle and brilliance of the ring.

Lastly, understanding the different settings available such as prong or bezel can influence how well the diamond is protected over time. Having an understanding of all these elements will help you make a more informed decision as you shop for an engagement ring that fits your needs and budget.

Understanding the 4Cs of Diamonds

Once you have decided the path you are going down (secret research vs. guidance from the misses), you can start to think about the foundational knowledge you will need to make an informed buying decision.

The content that follows is educational for all guys, but is particularly useful for guys who are going down this path alone and need help navigating the fundamentals of diamonds and how to make a good and economical selection.

For these reasons, we cover an overview of ring basics (styles, colors, materials) and an overview of diamonds – as most men buy diamond engagement rings. This includes how diamonds are scored and evaluated by color, clarity, cut, and carat weight (the 4cs) so that you know the type of diamond you are ultimately buying.

What Else Is There Besides Diamonds? Alternative Gemstones

If you are doing ring research in secret, you might be surprised to learn that there are alternatives to diamond engagement rings.

These are less common but growing in popularity as men want to save money (or buy rings that have less of an environmental impact than diamonds).

We provide education here to expand your horizons of what is possible. Given that most women expect and wear diamond rings, we keep this section short and sweet.

Pricing and Ring Economics

For many of us, a key determinant of the type of ring we buy is price. We go deeper here and help you understand the drivers of the ring’s value and how much it will cost you. We help you understand how much average rings costs and what guys spend on rings in different geographies and income brackets.

Every ring is different and will have different price tags but we level set with you and provide guidance on these topics so that you know your ballpark costs. In the U.S. the average engagement ring price is $5,500.

Getting The Right Ring Size

Once you know the basics of rings and how much it will cost, you will want to understand the size of the ring relative to your girlfriend’s ring finger. The sizing of the ring gives many guys a lot of anxiety (it certainly was something I felt uncertain about).

The first key takeaway here is that you should check out the other rings that your girlfriend might own and work backwards from those to identify her size.

The second key takeaway is that rings can easily be resized. So you shouldn’t worry about sizing that much: if she likes what the ring looks like and says “yes” you can easily adjust the ring after the fact.

Best Places To Buy Your Engagement Ring Online

The next topic after sizing is a detailed overview of where to actually buy the ring. You will have many options – offline at a mall, online on a website, through e-commerce stores and so on.

We walk you through the pros and cons of each so you can find deals, save money, and get the ring you want. In general, buying engagement rings online is becoming the new norm as online stores have lower prices, larger selections, fewer sales taxes, and more liberal return policies.

We will walk you through different online sites that can help you narrow down your desired selection.

Engagement Ring Insurance

The final sections are tied to the economics of your purchase: this includes insurance, financing, and warranties. Rings are expensive and you will want to protect this asset. Rings are small, easy to lose, and can be damaged. That is why you will want to understand how to protect your investment and we have a few tips that will be of help here.

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