Relationships Shopping

What to Know When Buying an Engagement Ring

You’re ready to buy the engagement ring. Congrats! Now don’t mess it up. Here’s what to know when buying an engagement ring.

Some History

Ancient Egyptians introduced the ring as a sign of engagement and, in 1477, Archduke Maximillian of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy with the first engagement ring ever to have diamonds. Fast forward to 1886 when, “Tiffany & Co. introduces the ‘Tiffany setting,’ a six-prong ring designed to maximize a diamond’s brilliance by raising it up from the band,” noted Reader’s Digest author Kelly Bare. It was only thanks to DeBeers’ campaign “A Diamond is Forever” in 1948, that diamond engagement rings became a lasting part of our culture.

Speaking of cultures, different ones have different customs when it comes to getting engaged. Jessica Schiffer, former writer of Harper’s Bazaar and editor of Who What Wear, writes, “Brides in Russia, Germany, Norway, and India wear engagement rings on their right hands instead of their left. In Chile, both men and women receive engagement rings, which they wear on their right hands. Once they’re married, they move them to their left hands. ”

In the United States, rings, being a circle shape, represent endless love placed on our fourth finger, the only finger containing a vein that leads straight to the heart.

Tips for Picking the Right Ring

Different cuts of rings. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Engagement rings can be customized in various ways. Everyone knows to pay attention to the four C’s when buying: cut, clarity, color, and carat.

  • Clarity refers to the number of blemishes in the diamond
  • Color refers to the diamond’s grading system
  • Carat caters to so many couple’s favorite topic: size
  • Cut means the shape and finish of the stone

When proposing, consider whether or not your special someone is going to love a round, princess, cushion, Asscher, marquise, oval, radiant, pear, emerald, or heart cut. If she wants something a little more traditional, you might look at the first three cuts; if your significant other has a unique sense of style, they may love the last cuts mentioned.

Still stuck? It sometimes helps to ask your future fiancé’s friend or family members for advice.


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