Choose Your Ring
Select the Right Metal The first aspect to consider is the metal which your ring will be made of. If you are not sure which metal to choose, consider platinum or 18K gold, the two most popular choices. Both are lustrous, durable and, most importantly, beautiful materials to work with.
Select a Right Setting Style Next up is the way in which he stone will be mounted, also referred to as its setting.
There are four main styles.
Solitaire Settings A solitaire setting is one in which a single diamond is held securely atop the ring by several prongs, or by a circular band of metal around the edge of the stone. This latter is called a bezel setting. Solitaire settings are the most common way of displaying a diamond on an engagement ring.
Other, often more intricate settings, can be found by seeking out designer jewelry.
Settings with Side Stones A popular option to the solitaire setting is a ring with side stones. These are diamonds or gemstones that are set into the body of the ring and can be done as an addition to a solitaire setting or as a way to mount the main diamond.
The intent is to add additional sparkle to a ring, and if colored gemstones are used, give the ring a burst of color. Also, setting stones into the body of the ring provides a greater level of protection to the stones.
Settings with Matching Bands If your bride wants to wear her wedding band on the same finger as her engagement ring then you can opt for settings with matching bands. You can be as ornate or as plain as you wish. Take some time to look at the range of options that are available to you.
Three-Stone Settings A popular approach that has gained a lot of traction in recent years is the three-stone setting. Three stones, usually all diamonds, represent the past, present and future of your relationship.
Lastly, with the advent of build-your-own ring software, you can create your own ring, making it even more meaningful. However, not everyone has a keen eye for design, so keep that in mind if you try this approach.
How to Buy an Engagement Ring She'll Love
A critical question when selecting a perfect engagement ring is that whether or not she will like it. As mentioned earlier, a little research will go a long way to getting it right. Consider her lifestyle, ask her friends and relatives for any possible likes and dislikes regarding jewelry or try to discreetly find out from her on your own. Any effort expended in this regard will be worth it, even if you don't come up with much information. At least that way, you will have made a "good faith" effort.
An alternate, though uncommon, approach is to shop together. The universal tradition is to surprise your prospective bride with a marriage proposal, but if you feel it's in your best interest to get some direct input from your spouse-to-be, then you may opt to have an inexpensive, simple ring to present when you "pop the question" and tell her that the "real" engagement ring is something that you two can pick out together. Admittedly, this is an uncommon route to marriage but it may serve you well.