Find the Perfect Engagement Ring + a Photo Gallery of 12 Stunning Rings for Different Budgets

Robert and I felt completely overwhelmed that first day we went looking for engagement ring settings. I found myself wondering about all my guy friends who did this task by themselves. If I was having a hard time finding a ring for myself, how in the world did they do it for another person?

If you’re in that boat — and I’m writing this for the guys, but it could help a girl figure out what suits her as well — here’s what to consider to determine the right engagement ring, as well as a photo gallery of examples. I included the prices when I had them.

  • Does your girlfriend wear gold, silver or various metals? If she likes gold, stick with a gold setting. A girl who favors silver may prefer white gold or platinum  — both look similar to silver. And if your lady is more adventurous, consider rose gold, which is new-ish on the market and making a surge these days.
  • Is her everyday jewelry dainty, bold, vintage or classic? Choose a word and use it when talking to a jeweler — it will give them direction. You may need two words to describe her style — she could like vintage bold items or vintage dainty, for example.
  • If your fiancee-to-be shows you images of a ring she likes, note whether it  has side stones, a  pavé band of tiny diamonds, a halo, intricate metalwork. Look for a ring in a similar vein. You can also get a ring custom-made, but that will run up the price.
  • Does she want a diamond? Most ladies do, but diamonds aren’t for everyone. If you opt for a stone other than a diamond, choose a strong stone that can hold up to daily wear, such as a ruby, sapphire or amethyst. Most anything else runs a significant risk of cracking from everyday dings. That said, there’s opportunity to get creative as well. A friend of mind requested (and received) an engagement ring with a marble carved to look like a diamond. It was in a traditional engagement ring setting, so there was no mistaking that it was an engagement ring, but it was really unusual and easier on the wallet as well.
  • If she’s into diamonds and budget is an issue, would she prefer a larger diamond in a simple setting with no other diamonds or a smaller center diamond with additional diamonds as part of the setting? You’ll likely need to go one way or the other if you need to keep costs down.
  • Does her job require her to use her hands, and if so, should that figure into your selection? For example, doctors and dentists have to take rubber gloves on and off all day, so they shouldn’t wear a ring with a very high setting. They need a low setting, with few places a glove could get snagged.

You can check out more engagement rings on my Pinterest board — I have a thing for vintage, so many of my selections lean that way, but I make an effort to include whatever I spot that’s pretty or interesting.

This article is the first step in focusing your search — this engagement ring roundup runs down more specifics!

Photos courtesy EidelPrecious, Rust, ExcaliburErstwhile Jewelry, John Partridge Photography,  Craig Evan Small, Renai PhotographyClaude Morady, Satami Kawakita & LexLuxe

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One Comment

  1. A friend of mine loves buying vintage jewellery online. I’m kind of interested because the ones she bought were really gorgeous. If only I could get my boyfriend up to read this article. lols! Anyways, thank you for the tips and suggestions. I followed you in Pinterest. Lovely photos.

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