What to Consider When Choosing an Engagement Ring


If you’re planning a proposal, you already know that finding the perfect ring for the perfect girl is a challenge. With such a huge range of styles, stones and metals, choosing an engagement ring can quickly become overwhelming. In this post, we’ll cover the basics of what you should consider when looking at engagement rings.

Before you do anything, have a chat with your girlfriend’s closest friends. They’ll be able to give you all the details on the looks and styles she wants. If you’ve been talking about marriage with your significant other, you can also ask them questions about the basics: size, style and price. Don’t worry, you won’t ruin the surprise; if anything, you’ll be subtly getting her excited for the big moment.

Once you know the “look” you want to go for, it’s time to get into the details of ring shopping. For example, your girlfriend loves “square” diamonds. Great! But do you want to buy a princess cut, cushion cut or emerald cut? She likes to wear silver, so you’re thinking of a sparkling silver-white ring, but do you want white gold, sterling silver, or platinum? Understanding your ring options will help you choose an engagement ring she’ll enjoy for the rest of her life.

The 4 C’s of Diamonds

Diamond shapes.

If you’re choosing a ring that features a diamond, the 4 C’s of diamonds will help you choose the perfect style, and get an idea of the price of the ring. The 4 C’s stand for cut, color, clarity and carat size. The cut of your diamond creates both the diamond shape, and how the interior of the diamond appears. Color and clarity measure the quality of a diamond: the more colorless and clear a diamond is, the more expensive it will generally be. Finally, carat size refers to the weight of the diamond, and again, directly correlates with price.

Want to learn more about the 4 C’s in depth? Check out our detailed guide on Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat size.

Other Precious Stones

Diamonds aren’t every girl’s best friend, and maybe your sweetheart has fallen in love with a ring featuring a stunning blue, green, or red gemstone! Even if she does want that brilliant diamond look, you might want to complement it with colored stones on her engagement ring. There are tons of options for colored stones, but here are a few of our favorites:

  • Sapphires: One of the most popular non-diamond gemstone choices, sapphires are a great choice to combine with diamonds for a ring that really pops.

  • Emeralds: The sacred stone of the goddess Venus, emeralds are symbols of love, fertility, and prosperity. The added bonus? They’re also gorgeous.

  • Topaz: Choose from a variety of colors with this versatile gemstone.

  • Amethyst: From lavender to deep violet, this purple stone will be the envy of everyone you know.

  • Opal: This multicolored gemstone comes in a variety of hues. Lab-made opals have a lower price point, but naturally sourced opals offer spectacular beauty.

Precious Metals for Your Perfect Engagement Ring

The most common metal for engagement rings is gold, which comes in white, yellow and rose colors. Sterling silver is also an option for a white/silver look, but remember that it will tarnish if you don’t practice proper jewelry care at home. Another option is platinum, which is an especially great option for folks who work with their hands. Platinum is more durable than gold and doesn’t tarnish like silver. If you choose rose or white gold, remember that the color may fade over time, so you’ll need to get gold rings replated occasionally to maintain the color.

How to Choose the Best Engagement Ring

Doing your own research is important, but often the key to finding the perfect engagement ring is talking to a jewelry specialist like the ones at South Hills Jewelers. Our engagement ring experts know the ins and outs of the 4 C’s, plus a variety of metal and gemstone options. We’ll help you navigate through styles, and find ways to make your love one’s dream ring a reality. Plus, we understand that you might be working in a budget, so we’ll work with you to find a ring that fits your needs, without costing an arm and a leg. So if you want to get the perfect engagement ring for your loved one, give us a call or stop by our Pittsburgh jewelry store location!