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How to Shop For an Engagement Ring

From Eve's Addiction jewelry...

How to Engagement Ring Shop

Deciding to ask someone to marry you is already a task requiring no small amount of bravery, and old fashioned "guts". For many though, standing in front of an engagement ring counter can be just as nerve-racking, if not more so. While there's no correct or incorrect way to purchase an engagement ring, there are things you can consider before you go, to make the decision easier. Depending on your current lifestyle, financial restraints, and eco friendly engagement rings preference you may find shopping for engagement rings to be more time-consuming than you had prepped for. Spend your time more efficiently and you'll be able to focus on the most important part; your proposal and her or his response.

Before You Get Started

1. An engagement is forever, so don't rush your decision

2. Changing the quality of the stone is ok, using a cheap setting is most definitely not

3. Jewelry material prices fluctuate, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot

4. Both of you have to look at it every day for the rest of your life

More on why these things are important will be described in detail throughout this article.

How to shop for engagement rings by price

Working in the jewelry industry as long as we have, we've heard many different reasons for engagement ring shoppers to need different price points. Young couples who are just started in their careers sometimes prefer a stand-in ring until they can afford a real diamond engagement ring. Others want an eco engagement ring because they don't support the mining of diamonds. Some want the real deal with a large diamond engagement ring to blind anyone passing by. We can't tell you what the best engagement rings for her are, but we can help stir you into the correct category.

Which phrase best describes you?

I want to save money and possibly get a nicer engagement ring later

If you need a cheap engagement ring to start, you're in luck. High quality cheap engagement rings used to be hard to find. Many companies now readily offer hundreds of styles of alternative engagement rings. In many cases you can choose everything from the base material, metal platings, and even solid gold, sterling silver and rose gold materials. There are also many different stone types to choose from like cubic zirconia, crystal and various sizes and different quality of diamonds. For this kind of inexpensive engagement ring, you'll want to look for a high quality setting with anything but a diamond stone. If you purchase a smaller diamond, this still means you'll be purchasing a diamond twice. That's not really saving money. Consider purchasing a real ring setting that you do like. You can always put a different stone in it later. Below are some of our favorite engagement ring cheap priced styles using cubic zirconia, our recommended stone type for this kind of purchase. You choose whether you prefer a plated or solid gold engagement ring with a fake stone.

I want an eco-friendly engagement ring, no diamonds please

There are many ways to be eco friendly in your engagement rings shopping. While the interpretation is very much in the eye of the beholder, in general you'd want to avoid diamonds unless they're lab created. Lab created diamonds cost slightly less than naturally sourced diamonds, but they're far from cheap. You'll have to decide what you're looking to spend on your ring in order to know which bucket you fit into better. Those looking for diamond-like stones, and those who prefer the costly lab created diamond stones.

You may want to consider pawn shops with engagement rings. Some shoppers don't mind wearing an "already sourced" eco diamond ring. This means the destruction to create the ring was completed long ago, and this is basically a recycling of that same engagement ring. If you prefer shopping for an engagement ring where all of the information is readily available and clear, online shopping is an excellent option. Anytime you purchase from a vintage or pawn shop location, you're running the risk of not knowing exactly what you're getting. You decide what's best for you.

For this style, do not skimp on the setting materials, and avoid anything that's plated. If you're looking to shop engagement ring styles that are eco friendly, pick from only solid gold, 14K gold, platinum, rose gold, and white gold settings that will last more than her lifetime. Cubic zirconia is so well made now that many people can't even tell the difference, unless they're trained to. Save yourself anywhere from $5,000 to $22,000 dollars and up for the diamond and choose a crystal or CZ stone instead.

I want the real thing, and I have no idea how to choose

For those shopping engagement rings with limitless budget and no other main concerns, the world is your oyster. With that said, there are still some very basic principles to consider. One main point that's often overlooked is the type of metal she likes best. You may have your heart set on a gold setting, but if her jewelry box has only rose gold rings, necklaces and bracelets, then she probably wants rose gold. The best thing to do is sneak a peek at her jewelry cabinet to she what type of metal she likes. Please keep in mind that sterling silver may fill her cabinet, but it's not the best material for wearing every single day like you would an engagement ring. If she loves a light metal color like silver, shop engagement ring styles that use white gold or platinum. Since you're choosing a permanent style, you'll want a strong material that will last. If you see gold or rose gold in her assortment of accessories, then pick those materials to start your search with.

How to shop for engagement ring type

The type of metal she may prefer is just the starting point of choosing her ring. You should also shop for engagement rings based on the shape she likes. Though some women like both square and round shaped stones, more often they fit into the category of strictly one or the other. The woman who wants a square or rectangle cut stone will probably not want the round or halo style engagement ring; and vice versa. Look at the other jewelry she wears to try to decipher her preferred shape. If you can't tell, then you may want to consider asking one of her close friends; just make sure they'll keep your secret! If you don't trust her friend to stay quiet about your surprise, mom, a brother or sister is a good option too.

You could break engagement ring types down to several different very niche categories. For the sake of keeping the information manageable for the average consumer and quickly digestable, we will talk only about the most popular styles. These are, in a very general sense, the most requested diamond stone cuts. How to shop for diamond engagement rings can be broken down into material, stone cut, weight, and clarity.

While there are many niche kinds of engagement ring stone cuts, this is a broad list of common types. The many cuts are generalized into sections.

Know Your Engagement Ring Cuts

Cuts of diamond rings and diamond ring cuts explained at Eve's Addiction Cuts of diamond rings and diamond ring cuts explained at Eve's Addiction

Round, Brilliant Cut, Solitaire

One of the most commonly requested diamond stone cuts, the round solitaire diamond is very beautiful. This kind of stone is considered traditional and classic, frequently seen in film and old vintage posters. Solitaire engagement rings are gorgeous on their own, but often feature a halo setting too. A halo design encircles the round stone with petite, smaller diamonds. Depending on your future plans you may prefer a solitaire stone, with or without, a halo setting. Halo engagement rings are stunning, but since the design is more intricate, you may have to custom make a wedding band to fit next to it later. If you pick a simple solitaire engagement ring, there will be many kinds of wedding bands that will fit easily next to it.

Pear, Teardrop

A pear cut diamond is a great stone choice for someone looking for a less traditional engagement ring cut. Pear diamond cut stones are surprising and unexpected. You may not see pear cut diamond rings worn as much today. This type of diamond cut is seen more with cocktail and evening rings, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't choose it. When it comes to a tear or pear shaped cut diamond, it's mostly about your personal preference. Pear cut diamond engagement rings may require a special ordered wedding band. If you want to choose from standard or simple and affordable wedding bands later, choose a lifted setting where the stone will rise out of the way of the future band.

Square, Princess

Just as popular as the solitaire cut diamond, if not more so, the princess diamond cut has never gone out of style. This diamond shape also frequently comes with a halo design. For a really striking look, you can pair a princess cut diamonds with a baguette wedding band. When all of the diamonds are the same shape, the look is very modern, clean, and pronounced. Princess diamond cuts are commonly referred to as square shaped stones. There are many ways to cut the top of the diamond to change how the light reflects off it, but the traditional princess cut it the most popular. Typically the surface area on top is left mostly flat, while the sides are tapered downward and in a somewhat overlaid affect(seen in the above photo). The result is a high light reflecting stone. It's easy to see why it's such a popular engagement ring when viewing it in person.


The heart diamond cut requires the least amount of explanation. You can symbolize your love with the very symbol of love, with a heart cut diamond engagement ring. While we encourage everyone to purchase the diamond ring of their dreams, please think carefully before purchasing a heart shaped diamond cut stone. Heart cut diamonds are very cute, but when it comes to an engagement ring style, many women prefer a sleeker design. A diamond heart cut stone is typically better suited to a teenager or younger young lady. If you're sure that you want a heart cut diamond, be sure to rub it against some clothing you don't care about to make sure it doesn't snag clothing. You'll also need to consider a wedding band because it's difficult to find a shape that will fit with a heart shape. You'll probably have to have something custom made. Feel free to choose from heart cut diamond engagement rings, but be prepared to embrace the hassle that comes with them.

Rectangle, Emerald

Emerald cut diamonds are great for the woman who likes a clean look in her jewelry. If she's all about order, tidiness and elegance, the emerald diamond cut is ideal. Sometimes it's mistakingly called a princess cut stone, which is understandable since the surface cut seems similar at first. Both designs have a large, flat top surface. The shape is slightly different from a square to a rectangle, but the side angles are also different. If you look closely at the emerald cut stone, the sides angles are not overlaid as they are in the princess style. The angles point downward on an emerald cut engagement ring cleanly, with no overlaps, in an almost stair step like affect. Of all of the engagement ring diamond cuts, the rectangle diamond cut is the most simple; and that's exactly what makes it so amazing.


The marquise diamond cut comes in an elongated shape thats tapers at both the top and the bottom. The cuts on this diamond can differ depending on how how large the stone is. Typically the flat surface on top is equal to the amount of surface area featuring specially cuts. Most stone cuts will have a larger flat surface on top and less angles, but the marquis, oval, and cushion stone cuts are exceptions to this. The diamond marquis cut comes with several benefits you may expect. Due to the high amount of cuts on this type of stone, it shines more in the light and doesn't require a large and expensive sized diamond. You can buy a smaller marquis diamond that may reflect the light more than a larger diamond with a different type of cut. Marquis stones are sometimes less tall than the other diamond stone shapes too. For a lot of bang for your buck, marquise cut diamonds are an excellent choice.


Oval diamond cuts though simple are lovely and can come in some great sizes. If you want a big diamond ring, an oval cut stone is a great option. Oval cut diamonds are one of the few styles that feature an even amount of cuts and angles to surface area. With equal amounts of flat surface and special cuts, oval engagement rings offer great shine and a clean design. This type of cut diamond usually requires a somewhere larger stone that looks more circular from beneath. Oval shaped diamond engagement rings can come in oversized, medium and petite stone sizes.

Cushion Cut

Cushion cut diamonds are sometimes called square shapes, which isn't entirely accurate. A square shaped stone is more of a princess cut. Though they may look similar at first glance, the design and cuts of a cushion cut stone and princess stone are vastly different. The biggest difference is in the flat surface area at the top. A princess cut diamond has one of the largest amount of flat space on the surface, whereas a diamond cushion cut stone has the least of all of the diamond cuts. In fact, cushion cut diamond engagement rings usually require a larger stone, in order to have space needed for the numerous cuts that make up the design. Taller and more angled, there's only a small amount of flat area at the very top in the center of the diamond. This kind of stone shines brilliantly in the light because several shapes catch and reflect the light. Don't be surprised if you find your cushion shaped stone reflecting moonlight even in the darkness. Though high quality cushion cut diamonds may be more expensive, they are none the less majestic and impressive.

How to shop for engagement rings together

When all else fells, you could always take them with you to pick it out themselves. You may be thinking that this runs the surprise or isn't romantic, but you can work around that. If you feel like you really want him or her to pick our the ring, simply propose to them with a substitute. You can purchase a cheap fake engagement ring just for your proposal. It doesn't even need to be set in a real setting unless you just want it to be. It's always handy to have a quality fake engagement ring anyways for vacation travel and other future excursions. Many women don't feel comfortable traveling to distant places with their real engagement ring. She can keep your alternative engagement ring for other purposes, while you both pick out her real one together. Make sure to shop around and to check current material costs in the industry before you purchase.