44 E 46th St · New York, NY 10017            Phone Icon  (212) 869-4731

  • Instagram Page Lauren B
  • Pinterest Page Lauren B
  • YouTube Page Lauren B
  • Blog Lauren B

section

How to Shop for an Engagement Ring in 6 Steps

How exactly do you go about finding the engagement ring for your partner? What should you look for in a center stone? What are the most important features to consider? Finding the perfect ring you will be proud to present to your partner during the proposal is just 6 steps away. 


Step 1: Consider the Design Style Your Partner May Like

The first and most important consideration when searching for the perfect engagement ring is design style. The style will dictate all subsequent engagement ring features and help to guide the conversation with your sales associate as you browse engagement rings. 

 

If you have chosen to keep the engagement ring shopping process away from your partner, there are ways you can determine their style while remaining discreet. 

 

  • Take a look at the jewelry your partner owns, what are the metal colors? Take pictures and bring those pictures with you to your jeweler. 
  • Ask their closest friend. They may have access to their Pinterest board. 

 

Here are a few engagement ring styles to use for reference when speaking with your sales associate. 

 

Oval Moissanite Bezel Band Engagement Ring, Vintage Inspired

 

1.70 carat Oval Diamond Three-Stone Engagement Ring, Glamorous

 

3 Carat Cushion Cut Diamond Signature Wrap Solitaire Ring

3 Carat Cushion Cut Diamond Signature Wrap Solitaire Ring, Unique and Dramatic

 

5-carat Radiant Cut Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring, Traditional and Understated


Step 2: Select a Gemstone

There are 3 categories of gemstones: diamonds, moissanite, and colored gemstones. Each gemstone category is beautiful in its own way and appeals to a different audience. 

 

Diamonds are certainly the most traditional gemstone selection for engagement rings while moissanite center stones are increasing in popularity. Moissanite is a naturally occurring gemstone found on the Earth, though most moissanite is created in a lab environment to mimic the look of moissanite. 

 

4.51 carat Oval Diamond Engagement Ring

4.51 carat Oval Diamond Engagement Ring, Diamond Gemstone

 

Round Moissanite Double Signature Wrap Engagement Ring, Moissanite Gemstone

 

Colored gemstones are an alternative center stone choice for brides providing an eccentric, glamorous aesthetic. Colored gemstones include yellow and black diamonds, rubies, emeralds, garnets, and more. 

 

2.20 ct Yellow Radiant Cut Diamond Halo Engagement Ring

 

Ruby and Diamond Platinum Engagement Ring

 

2.85 Carat Oval Sapphire Double-Edge Halo Engagement Ring

 

Mahenge Malaya Garnet and Diamond Two-Tone Ring

 

10.32 ct Emerald and Diamond Platinum Ring


Step 3: Select a Gemstone Shape

There are so many gemstone shapes from which to choose when shopping for an engagement ring… How do you know whether your partner would prefer an oval-shaped diamond over a pear-shaped diamond? 

 

If you are keeping your engagement ring shopping completely secret (from family and friends included) and you have no reliable source from which to garner inspiration, you can certainly wing it. You can select a gemstone shape that draws your eye, or you can use our gemstone shape personality guide to determine which profile best fits your partner. If however, you are working alongside your partner’s best friend, you can pick their brain or gain access to your partner’s Pinterest board, of course. 

 

There are 10 gemstone shapes from which to choose, each with its own unique aesthetic. Review our gemstone shape examples, below, to see which shape (or shapes) pops out at you from the first glance. 

 

4.30 Carat Round Diamond Six-Prong Engagement Ring

4.30 Carat Round Diamond Six-Prong Engagement Ring, Round or “Brilliant” Cut

 

1.90 ct Cushion Cut Diamond Pave Engagement Ring

1.90 ct Cushion Cut Diamond Pave Engagement Ring, Cushion Cut

 

1.60 Carat Princess Cut Diamond Invisible Gallery™ Engagement Ring

1.60 Carat Princess Cut Diamond Invisible Gallery™ Engagement Ring, Princess Cut

 

1.81-carat Radiant Cut Diamond Super Slim Band Ring, Radiant Cut

 

Asscher Cut Moissanite Three Row Band Engagement Ring

Asscher Cut Moissanite Three Row Band Engagement Ring, Asscher Cut

 

2.51 ct Pear Shape Diamond Pave Engagement Ring

2.51 ct Pear Shape Diamond Pave Engagement Ring, Pear Shape

 

4.51 carat Oval Diamond Engagement Ring

4.51 carat Oval Diamond Engagement Ring, Oval Cut

 

1.60 Carat Heart Shape Diamond Two-Tone Signature Wrap Ring

1.60 Carat Heart Shape Diamond Two-Tone Signature Wrap Ring, Heart Shape

 

1.75 ct Marquise Diamond Rose Gold Swoop Engagement Ring, Marquise Cut

 

If you find yourself stumped at the array of gemstone shapes, you can use our shape showdown blog to learn how comparable shapes line up when placed side-by-side. 


Step 4: Choose Your Setting Preference

The gemstone setting is often the most overlooked feature of an engagement ring. The engagement ring setting is multifunctional, aesthetically enhancing the center stone and securing the gemstone to protect against damage. 

 

At Lauren B, we have 5 center stone settings: 

 

  1. Our Signature Wrap
  2. Our Double Signature Wrap
  3. The Hidden Halo
  4. The Double Edge Halo
  5. The Invisible Gallery. 

 

When customizing your Lauren B engagement ring, you can choose from these 5 center stone settings to enhance your understated style or maximize the glam of your engagement ring. 

 

For reference, the setting includes both the prongs and the bands of metal detailed with small diamonds just above the engagement ring band. 

 

1.50 Carat Hybrid Step Cut Diamond Signature Wrap Ring

1.50 Carat Hybrid Step Cut Diamond Signature Wrap Ring, Signature Wrap Setting

 

2.30 ct Cushion Cut Diamond Hidden Halo™ Engagement Ring

2.30 ct Cushion Cut Diamond Hidden Halo™ Engagement Ring, Hidden Halo Setting

 

2.32 Carat Radiant Cut Diamond Double Edge Halo Ring

2.32 Carat Radiant Cut Diamond Double Edge Halo Ring, Double Edge Halo Setting

 

3.04 ct Hybrid Step Cut Diamond Invisible Gallery™ Ring

3.04 ct Hybrid Step Cut Diamond Invisible Gallery™ Ring, Invisible Gallery Setting

 

Round Moissanite Double Signature Wrap Engagement Ring

Round Moissanite Double Signature Wrap Engagement Ring, Double Signature Wrap Setting


Step 5: Choose Your Metal Preference

Engagement ring band metals typically include yellow gold, white gold, and platinum while rose gold is increasing in popularity as a modern alternative to traditional metal colors. 

 

The band metal color you choose to pair with your engagement ring gemstone and setting has a significant impact on the overall aesthetic of the engagement ring. If you choose a diamond with a lower color grade (more on this in the next step), a yellow gold metal band can make the diamond appear more yellow than if it were paired with a white gold or platinum band metal. 

 

As you can see in the following examples, band metal enhances the center stone diamond in different ways. As a reminder, at Lauren B you can customize your engagement ring type, shape, center stone, and band metal to suit your preferences or the preference of your partner. 

  

2.25 ct Oval Diamond Platinum Engagement Ring

2.25 ct Oval Diamond Platinum Engagement Ring, Platinum Band

 

1.00 ct Oval Diamond White Gold Solitaire Engagement Ring

1.00 ct Oval Diamond White Gold Solitaire Engagement Ring, White Gold Band

 

2.01 Carat Oval Diamond Rose Gold Engagement Ring

2.01 Carat Oval Diamond Rose Gold Engagement Ring, Rose Gold Band

 

1.80 Carat Oval Diamond Two-Tone Solitaire Engagement Ring

1.80 Carat Oval Diamond Two-Tone Solitaire Engagement Ring, Yellow Gold Band


Step 6: Get Your Partner’s Ring Size

Now that you have successfully secured a design style, gemstone, shape, setting, the band metal, and considered your engagement ring budget, you all but have your partner’s engagement ring in your hand. Congratulations are in order!

 

You now need to ensure engagement ring sizing is accurate. Surprise proposals require discreet sizing acquisition; if your partner catches you in the act of measuring her ring finger size, you will likely interfere with the “surprise” part of the surprise proposal. 

 

There are a few ways you can acquire your partner’s ring size:

 

  1. When your partner is out of the room (preferably out of the house), grab one of their rings that fits on their ring finger and trace the inner circle of the ring on a piece of paper. 
  2. If you do not trust your artistic skills, you can place the ring on a bar of soap to make an indentation that you can present to your jeweler. 
  3. If you are hard-pressed for soap and paper, you can simply place the ring finger on one of your fingers, draw a line where the ring gets stuck with a Sharpie and present this line to your jeweler. 
  4. If your partner does not own a ring finger ring, you can purchase a ring sizer on Amazon for quite cheap, and very discreetly (and delicately) try placing a ring sizer of your best guess on her ring finger while she slumbers. This tactic is not recommended for the faint of heart. 

 

If you cannot manage to secure your partner’s ring size, let’s say that your partner does not own a ring finger ring and they nearly woke up from their peaceful sleep when you tried to place a ring sizer on their finger, you can take your best guess. If your best guess was off, we commend your efforts and we hope you believe us when we say that this happens often and we curated a few helpful tips for what to do if you need to resize an engagement ring. 


Reminder: Consider Your Proposal Timeline

While this is not necessarily a step in the engagement ring shopping process, it is important to note that it is important to be cognizant of your proposal timeline when purchasing an engagement ring. 

 

If you plan on proposing to your partner during a previously scheduled vacation or event, you need a clear engagement ring delivery timeline to ensure you will indeed have an engagement ring with which to propose. Engagement ring customizations are a brilliant way to create a unique engagement ring that will scream effort to your partner, but customizations take time to execute, so you need to plan accordingly. 


We are here to help.

Despite any secretive arrangements you have planned for your proposal, you are not on this engagement ring shopping journey alone. At Lauren B, we have spent the past 40 years helping grooms, brides, and couples secure their dream engagement ring and wedding band stacks. Our sales specialists are equipped with the knowledge and expertise to ask the right questions, set you in the right direction, and ensure that you create a ring with which you are proud and confident to present to your partner.

SUBMIT A COMMENT
JOIN OUR MAILING LIST