Updated: Oct 6, 2017

Engagement Ring Buying Guide:

The decision has been made, you plan on getting married. It's one of the biggest (if not the biggest) decisions you will ever make and it all starts with the engagement ring. Choosing the "perfect" engagement ring is a daunting task usually left up to the man. Men are notorious for hating shopping and being put in "pressure buy" situations, so we are writing this article to help you through the process. The Internet is an excellent source for weary men who don't like shopping but want to research the type of rings available, pricing levels, and the variety of stones you can put into a wedding engagement ring. The first thing to consider before shopping for any ring is a budget. No sense in even looking at $10,000 engagement rings if you plan on spending only $5000. The general guideline in recent years has been that a man will spend 2 months of salary on an engagement ring (sorry girls if your fellow doesn't make a lot). By no means feel inclined to buy more ring than you can afford and always check with family members to find out if there are antique or family heirlooms that have been handed down and are waiting to be used (rings, engagement ring settings, diamonds, gemstones, etc). You may find that your grandmother has passed down a beautiful diamond that needs only a new setting and you can save a little money.

Once you've decided on price, next consider the style of the engagement ring - vintage, princess cut, white gold diamond, sapphire, gold, titanium, platinum, or some other custom design. What I did was pick the engagement ring and setting with my wife and then I chose the diamond(s) that went into the settings by myself. That way my wife had the opportunity of picking a style of ring she wanted to wear for the rest of her life while at the same time it gave me the chance to pick the diamond on my own. I also went to a reputable jewelry shop to pick the diamonds so that I would feel comfortable spending $1000's and not feel the "pushy" sales pressure that some jewelry stores convey. Buying a diamond is not easy, but hopefully you pick a reputable diamond dealer or store so that they can lead you through the process and have you learn about the different cuts and shapes (round, pear, heart, oval, emerald, princess, marquise) and the carat weight, clarity, and color. Platinum rings are popular these days but they are more expensive than gold or white gold. If money is not an issue then we suggest going with a Tiffanys engagement ring or a Tacori engagement ring. Both are designer engagement rings that are a true fashion statement made with quality stones and metals. It's much easier to get a unique engagement ring from a custom designer than from a run of the mill jewelry store. There are affordable engagement rings out there, so take your time and pick wisely.

Buy Engagement Ring Online:

We found both Bluenile.com and Tiffany.com to have excellent engagement ring buying guides on their sites which will help lead you to the right ring. Tiffany & Co lets you view various engagement ring styles with different settings and diamonds so you can visually see online just what you are getting into. Of coures pricing is not always easy to determine online since diamonds can vary so much in price from stone to stone. Blue Nile also provides an excellent online starting place with educational sections on rings, settings, diamonds, and pricing. They even have an interactive section where you can build your own ring, which most people find very useful in making their decision. My opinion is that you end up doing the purchasing in an actual store where you can view the engagement ring, settings, diamonds, sapphires, etc. An engagement ring is the type of item you should see on someones hand and actually hold before you buy it. No matter what you buy, I'm sure your future wife will appreciate the time and money you have spent on her. Browse the best selling engagement rings here.

Cheap Engagement Rings:

Ok, so you went to a few jewelry stores and were shocked at prices and you got scared off. Don't immediately go out and buy a cubic zirconia engagement ring to solve your problem. There are discount jewelers who can match something with your budget. Remember that 65% of the ring price will probably be for the diamond (or other stone) and the rest is the cost of the ring. Diamonds come in a variety of colors, cuts, clarities and carats that you should be able to find one that fits your budget. A cheap engagement ring can be bought for less than $1000, but anything less than that may be hard to find. The type of stone in the ring can make all the difference in terms of price, so go with something less expensive than diamonds like sapphires, moissanite, or gemstones. Ultimately you don't want to mislead you fiance on the type of ring or stone you get for the setting. Avoid jewelry stores in malls since they have some of the biggest markups of any jewelers. Moissanite engagement rings can be bought at a national retailer like JC Penney.

Design Your Own Engagement Ring:

More and more people are taking on the challenge of designing their own engagement ring. It's not like you have to actually mold the metal or anything, you just have to mix and match what you like versus just buying an engagement ring that is already built. Women take on this challenge much more often than men, but men need to be aware of what their fiances preference is in a ring or stone before they buy any engagement ring. Designing your own engagement ring gives you the power to customize the setting, the stone, or the ring. I remember custom ordering the engagement ring for my wife since we couldn't find a unique look at the jeweler for the particular diamond we chose. It was more expensive than ordering a generic ring, but in the end she was happy which is what we were after. Most jewelers will work with your design ideas and find something that matches your taste and budget. You can do a sample, interactive design online at http://www.adiamondisforever.com/dyoer/. They make you answer a few questions, but then you can see how diamond shapes and settings look together.