engagement ring advice real couples

Engagement Ring Advice from Real Couples

Engagement ring advice from our customers, including how to nail the ring and why the proposal matters!

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Our customers are basically pros by the time they propose. In fact, we’d say their engagement ring advice is 10x more valuable than those random articles you find online. Here are the dos and don’ts from James Allen customers who got it so, so right:

Engagement Ring Advice: Do Your Research

  • “I went with a diamond ring, so I made sure to read up on the 4 C’s, what clarity/color goes with each shape/setting color.”- Nikolaos C.
  • Ask what style ring she likes! Research the diamond certification! Ask for ideas on proposals but make it special to the two of you!”- Chad M.
cushion halo pave engagement ring advice
six prong solitaire engagement ring advice

Start with Engagement Ring 101

Engagement Ring Advice: Ask the Experts

  • “Get in touch with the gemologists and customer service. They’re outstanding.”- Cesar U.
  • “Definitely talk about your expectations for everything! Use a website like JamesAllen.com that will guarantee a PERFECT ring or your money back. Their customer service was top-notch and we were thrilled with both the process of finding the ring and the end result.”- Josh E.
  • “Take your time! Don’t rush it. Ask questions if you have any and have fun!”- Ana-Alicia S.
petite pave crown engagement ring advice
  • “The chat feature is so helpful! Sharing a screen with the consultant helped me find the best diamond within my budget by pointing out differences between the stones that I wouldn’t have noticed on my own.”- Abigail A.

Reach Out to Our Diamond Experts

Engagement Ring Advice: Narrow it Down

  • Pick out some rings that you wouldn’t normally and compare and contrast them for a while. I started with 6ish all different styles and I would look at them for a few days and then slowly take one away until I had the one.”- William B.
  • “First, set a budget aside. With the budget, you can start looking for what kind of diamond you want based on the 4Cs. When you have selected the diamond you want, then look for the design.”- Cynthia L.
split band halo engagement ring advice
  • “Take your ego out of the equation. Size is not the most important aspect when buying a diamond so don’t go for the biggest carat.”- Steven J.

Find Your Partner’s Engagement Ring Style

Engagement Ring Advice: Design It Together

  • “Teamwork! Pop the question then include them in the purchase. It’s too important a financial move to make on your own. It’s the first step towards union.”- Benjamin S.
infinity solitaire engagement ring advice
  • “Let her decide the style if possible, as she is the one that will wear it. Listen carefully to her likes and dislikes.”- Steven J.
  • “The whole process for us of ‘building’ my ring was so easy. And doing it together was fun and romantic! When we looked into each other’s eyes and my fiance told me to ‘click on it!’, it was just AWESOME!”- Debra F.
engraved solitaire engagement ring advice

Should You Collaborate on the Ring or Make it a Surprise?

Engagement Ring Advice: Rock the Proposal

  • “Keep her in the loop when it comes to the ring and diamond, then surprise her with when and where you propose! Her favorite flower is tulips…so I decided that we would go to the Netherlands and attend the tulip festival in April!”- Rob B.
french cut pave engagement ring advice
  • “Don’t focus on the ring and miss everything else! Make it a memorable experience, something that is you. A ton of people will be asking you afterwards on how it went down, so a nice story goes a long way.”- Nikolaos C.
  • “Make sure you remember to inform all her family members, especially parents, before proposing.”- Sherman L.

Go Through All Our Proposal Tips

Engagement Ring Advice: You Do You!

When it comes down to it, you two are the only ones who know what you want.

  • “You should know her better than anyone. Think of something and make it your own.”- Fernando M.
  • Follow your heart, always.”- Jordan R.
dog proposal pave engagement ring advice

Ready to design the perfect proposal? Let’s do this!

More Key Engagement Ring Advice

Helpful tools to find the ring:

Virtual Try-On * Interactive Diamond Inspection * Drop a Hint

Fact or rumor? Which of these Engagement Ring Rules prove true?

Have more engagement ring tips or questions? Reach out to us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat!

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Tova Kamioner

Tova is a lover of fantastic stories, and although she is skeptical of romantic comedies, she can quote most of the classics by heart.

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vintage style engagement ring reviews

10 Timeless Vintage-Style Engagement Rings

Customers are overwhelmingly choosing vintage-style engagement rings as their “something old.”

vintage style engagement ring reviews

As the saying goes, you can’t look to the future without embracing the past. Vintage-style engagement rings perfectly encapsulate the glitz and glamour of the time, transporting the wearer to a place of romance. Thanks to modern setting techniques and materials, the durability of these rings has greatly improved, allowing for more intricate craftsmanship.

VINTAGE-STYLE ENGAGEMENT RINGS: GLOWING REVIEWS

Who doesn’t love a sparkly throwback? Our customers certainly do, which is why they’ve lavished the most praise on these vintage-style engagement rings. Bring on the nostalgia!

1.Petite Filigree Vintage Ring

petite filigree vintage style engagement ring reviews
  • “It has an almost flower type feel, making the whole ring look more botanical.” – Sarah V.
  • “This ring offered the unique, one-of-a-kind design that I was looking for, as well as the vintage, elaborate style that my girlfriend likes.” – Michael R.

2. Milgrain Infinity Vintage Ring

milgrain infinity vintage style engagement ring reviews
  • “If she wants simple, but not too simple, then it’s perfect. My fiancée loved it.” – Emmanuel G.
  • I could not believe the quality! Even down to the fine details that one normally wouldn’t see unless you study it closely.” – Wehry J.

3. Bezel and Pavé Vintage Ring

bezel pave vintage style engagement ring reviews
  • “It’s timeless, vintage, beautiful. It looks great on her petite fingers.” – Phi V.
  • “The quality of the stones and the detailing of the metal is stunning.” – Tara

4. Beaded Open Span Vintage Ring

beaded open span vintage style engagement ring reviews
  • “A ring made for a princess! Beautiful design, very sparkling and eye-catching.” – Beata A.
  • “The beading, shank, and open span are nice, but what is really amazing is how it sparkles in the light because of the diamonds on top of the band.” – Greg C.

5. Pavé Embossed Vintage Ring

pave embossed vintage style engagement ring reviews
  • “My fiancée loves the diamonds and the intricate etching around the band!” – Daryl S.
  • “As soon as I laid eyes on this ring, I knew it was the one. Once it arrived, I was blown away by how much more beautiful it was in person.” – Ian

6. Pavé Knife Edge Vintage Ring

pave knife edge vintage style engagement ring reviews
  • “It’s a very classic look, but with a modern twist.” – Braulio M.
  • “The ring truly is a result of excellent craftsmanship!” – Jack S.

7. Floral Bouquet Vintage Ring

floral bouquet vintage style engagement ring reviews
  • “The vintage side details and floral elements are so elegant and delicate without being overstated.” – Jordan W.
  • “Beautiful, exquisite and gentle ring.” – Olga D.

8. Engraved Pavé Vintage Ring

engraved pave vintage style engagement ring reviews
  • “I love the classic design. It’s beautiful and flawless.” – Vindhya P.
  • Classic yet interesting; great balance between simple and intricate.” – Matthew N.

9. Bird of Paradise Vintage Ring

bird of paradise vintage style engagement ring reviews
  • “The setting is unique and definitely not something you see often.” – Robin S.
  • “I get lost staring at the fine cut of the diamond and the bird of paradise design. It is unique and everything I hoped for.” – Dillon M.

10. Royal Engraved Vintage Ring

royal engraved vintage style engagement ring reviews
  • “I absolutely love it. It’s decorative without being flashy and flamboyant.” – Inger D.
  • “The ring sparkles like it’s worth a million dollars. The setting has an antique look that makes the ring that much more special.” – Mandy F.

Vintage-Style Engagement Rings: Remember the Shine

How was your trip down gem-ory lane? Let us know which retro ring you’d love to revive in the comments below or over on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat.

Listen and follow!

More vintage styles: the ring style series * 1950s engagement ring styles * Art Deco engagement rings

Harken back to this vintage-style inspo (Pin it!)

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Jonny Hart

Jonny is passionate about puns, adores alliteration, and finds diamonds positively facet-nating! Since joining James Allen, he has written the word 'sparkle’ 9,732 times and counting.

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top 10 solitaire engagement rings

Our Top 10 Solitaire Engagement Rings

Classic, unique, or totally modern – solitaire rings let your diamond take center stage. And if there’s anything we love more than this can’t-go-wrong setting style, it’s your glowing reviews! To keep it real, we’ve rounded up our top 10 solitaire engagement rings according to you.

top 10 solitaire engagement rings

Keep in mind – each of these top 10 solitaire engagement rings can be customized with a different diamond shape, metal, or even a vivid gemstone:

1. Comfort Fit Solitaire Engagement Ring

comfort fit top 10 solitaire engagement rings

The buzz about this solitaire engagement ring:

  • “Selection of it, the time till delivery (during a holiday period of time), her reaction… It was all perfect!”- David W.
  • She loves the thin band and thinks that it is the most beautiful piece of jewelry ever.”- Erik D.

2. Six-Prong Knife Edge Solitaire Engagement Ring

knife edge top 10 solitaire engagement rings

The buzz about this solitaire engagement ring:

  • Really over the moon. Had so many positive comments. Not least from my fiancé who LOVES it!”- Micah V.
  • “Simply stunning and very impressed with the presentation. The ring is amazing.”- Kennedy D.

3. Twisted Rope Solitaire Engagement Ring

twisted top 10 solitaire engagement rings

The buzz about this solitaire engagement ring:

  • “The rope setting has an elegant yet distinctive simplicity, and it really highlights the diamond. If you’re looking for a traditional style engagement ring, but don’t want it to look like every other engagement ring, this is definitely the setting to go with.”- David B.
  • “The only thing I was not nervous about that night was about how much she would love the engagement ring. It was perfect.”- Guerrero G.

4. Modern Tulip Solitaire Engagement Ring

six prong top 10 solitaire engagement rings

The buzz about this solitaire engagement ring:

  • “It’s simple, elegant, and beautiful.”- Juan M.
  • “It features the diamond in a beautiful gallery from all angles. The diamond sits low on the finger yet there is an illusion of a cathedral setting with sides tapering up to the stone. The under gallery is perfectly finished and polished. Superb craftsmanship.”- Chris T.

5. Cross Prong Solitaire Engagement Ring

cross prong top 10 solitaire engagement rings

The buzz about this solitaire engagement ring:

  • She said, ‘Yes!’ before I could even propose… She liked that the diamond only sat a little above the ring because she’s a hair stylist, she didn’t want her ring to be caught in peoples hair and she loved the width. It wasn’t too skinny; it wasn’t too big; it was just right.”- Clinton A.
  • “The ring was elegantly designed and reflects expertise and and hardwork from the maker. Excellent job!”- Louie I.

6. Bypass Solitaire Engagement Ring

bypass modern top 10 solitaire engagement rings

The buzz about this solitaire engagement ring:

  • “I get compliments all the time. And the diamond… OMG, is BEAUTIFUL and it sparkles for days. It’s not the normal solitaire; simple, yet different… very elegant.”- Lisa P.
  • The ring is exceptional, unique, beautiful from multiple angles, and really showcases the diamond that you choose to put in it…. My fiance and I have not yet seen a ring that even comes close.”- Ryan
  • “My fiancé loves the design, especially the intertwining prongs. Every time she shows her friends, she takes it off to show the details of the underside too. Truly an amazing ring with a great design.”- Mike

7. Engraved Solitaire Engagement Ring

engraved vintage top 10 solitaire engagement rings

The buzz about this solitaire engagement ring:

  • She’s always loved antiques and vintage things, but I knew she’d want her engagement ring to be her own. This ring’s etchings gave it a special look that really fit her style, and the open setting really lets the diamond shine in even low lighting.”- Kyle
  • “My gorgeous woman said yes! And she absolutely loved the ring. The engravement is beautiful and the ring is nice and sturdy… I absolutely recommend it.”- Aldo G.

8. Contemporary Solitaire Engagement Ring

contemporary twisted top 10 solitaire engagement rings

The buzz about this solitaire engagement ring:

  • “The ring is set with perfection and attention to detail. The bands are petite and the basket has a low profile. The claw prongs are small and symmetrical. I highly recommend.”- Gianna K.
  • “Was looking for something simple with a little uniqueness. This was an ideal choice. The design and materials are superb, and people are always asking what the style is called.”- Kiefer E.

9. Twisted Cable Solitaire Engagement Ring

twisted rope top 10 solitaire engagement rings

The buzz about this solitaire engagement ring:

  • “It put a modern twist (pun intended) to the ring. She absolutely loved it!”- Daniel A.
  • “The cable band offers the ring a sense of daintiness to it.”- Danielle L.
  • “This band is simple, elegant, and in some way looks very traditional with a vintage style to it without doing too much to draw attention to itself (sometimes less is more).”- Stephen L.

10. Etched Profile Solitaire Engagement Ring

etched profile top 10 solitaire engagement rings

The buzz about this solitaire engagement ring:

  • “Really liked the simplicity of the top and the intricacy of the etching and milgrain.”- Joshua R.
  • Lovely etched detail. I get compliments about it every time! Fits amazingly and sparkles!” Sarah T.

Inspired by these top 10 solitaire engagement rings? Ready to rock?

Top 10 Solitaire Rings: Read On

Learn more about timeless solitaire diamond rings, find your partner’s engagement ring style, see the best engagement rings for active lifestyles, or start with buying an engagement ring 101!

Obsessing over one (or more) of the solitaire rings in this post? Share the love on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or in the comments below!

Pin this to return to our top 10 solitaire engagement rings:

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Tova Kamioner

Tova is a lover of fantastic stories, and although she is skeptical of romantic comedies, she can quote most of the classics by heart.

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Engagement Ring Etiquette: 5 Big Questions

The results are in! We surveyed 2,800 women about engagement ring etiquette – what are the rules for getting engaged, and which of those rules are meant to be broken?

engagement ring etiquette rules questions

Engagement Ring Etiquette: “The 2 Months’ Salary Rule”

There’s an age-old myth that you’re supposed to decide how much to spend on the engagement ring based on how much you’d earn in two months. However, when we actually asked, 69% of women disagreed. The engagement ring etiquette consensus: a ring should cost whatever you can afford – the relationship is the most important thing.

engagement ring etiquette 2 months salary

Read on: How Much to SpendHow to BudgetHow to Make Your Ring Look Bigger

Engagement Ring Etiquette: Forgo the Flash Mob

It might be best to stay away from dramatic and/or jumbo-tron proposals; 56% of women surveyed said they prefer an intimate proposal with just the two of you, while 28% said they want something small with close friends and family. Only 4% told us they’d rather go big than go home.

engagement ring etiquette proposal type

Read on: How to Propose10 Essential Proposal TipsProposal Inspiration

Engagement Ring Etiquette: Who Proposes?

So when it comes to heterosexual partnerships, are guys always supposed to be the ones to pop the question? In this modern age, survey says… mostly yes. 79% of women said the guy should propose. On the other hand, 12% said they have no problem with a woman proposing to the man, while 9% said they’d only propose if their guys waited around for too long.

engagement ring etiquette women proposing

Read on: Winter Proposal IdeasSummer Proposal IdeasUnique Places to Propose

Engagement Ring Etiquette: Have Your Sparkly Say

Collaboration is key! 84% of women surveyed said they’d be happy to drop hints, provide pictures, or tell friends/family about the engagement ring they prefer. Might as well make it a date night activity; 15% of women surveyed said they want to look at rings with their partners. Meanwhile, only 3% of women said they’d keep it straightforward and tell their partner their exact ring choice.

engagement ring etiquette women collaboration

Read on: Engagement Ring Shopping: Collaboration vs. SurpriseKeeping the Ring a SecretVirtual Ring Try-On

Engagement Ring Etiquette: Splitting the Cost

The answers to this one were surprisingly split – 58% said they think their partner should save up and pay for the engagement ring alone, while 42% are open to sharing the check (with 26% adding the caveat that he can’t afford it on his own). Looking for the absolute best engagement ring option for your budget? We’re here for you, 24/7 – chat with customer service now.

engagement ring etiquette split cost

RECOMMENDED READING:

Time to put your engagement ring etiquette to the test!

Obsessed with one (or more) of these engagement ring etiquette findings? Agree? Disagree? Sound off on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, or in the comments below!

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Tova Kamioner

Tova is a lover of fantastic stories, and although she is skeptical of romantic comedies, she can quote most of the classics by heart.

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How to Take Care of Your Diamond Jewelry

You’ve got that gorgeous rock – now how do you keep it looking incredibly bright? Follow this guide for clear and helpful ways to take care of your diamond jewelry!

take care of your diamond jewelry cleaning insurance

BRILLIANT TIPS FOR DIAMOND CARE

Take Care of Your Diamond Cleaning

No need to bring your diamonds in for cleaning – here are the DIY methods to keep your diamond engagement ring and diamond jewelry looking just like new:

1. Soak and Scrub

Everyone can use a good bubble bath, and your jewelry is no exception! Take care of your diamond rings and jewelry with a little TLC, making sure no gems come loose.

take care of your diamond cleaning princess cut channel set engagement ring

Soak your jewelry in a solution of mild dish soap and warm water for a few minutes. Afterward, carefully scrub the metal using a soft cloth, cotton swab, or gentle toothbrush, then rinse.

2. Get Intense Shine

For extra shine in your yellow gold, rose gold, or platinum jewelry, you can follow up the mild dish soap soak with window cleaner. Do not use window cleaner with white gold – the rhodium plating won’t be able to handle such harsh chemicals. Limit this soak to one minute at a time.

take care of your diamond cleaning engagement ring wedding ring

After the window cleaner, dip your ring into the mild dish soap solution, rinse it with warm water, then dry it completely.

3. Shield the Shade

You can use ionic cleaners to clean most diamond jewelry, but the electrical current may mess with the hue of certain gemstones. Consider other cleaning methods for colorful gemstone engagement rings and gemstone jewelry

take care of your diamond cleaning gemstone earrings jewelry

Take Care of Your Diamond Insurance

1. Insure Your Diamond Jewelry

Better sparkly and safe than sorry! It might feel weird to prep for the worst when you’re still perfecting the filter on your ring selfie, but trust us – make sure to insure your jewelry right away in case it gets lost or stolen. Find out how much your homeowner’s and renter’s policies cover, then look into additional policies like Jewelers Mutual.

take care of your diamond insurance pave engagement ring

2. Choose the Right Policy

Make sure you know what you’re getting into! Here are some good questions to ask while you’re researching diamond jewelry insurance policies:

  • Do they offer a deductible or discount if you have a home security system?
  • Does the policy cover you fully if the item is damaged or lost overseas?
  • Is the diamond jewelry covered at the full replacement cost, and will they give you a cash settlement or a replacement item?
  • Which appraisal reports does the insurance company accept, and how often do you need to provide them?
take care of your diamond insurance split band pave engagement ring

There’s more to taking care of your diamond jewelry, including when to wear your diamonds and where to store them. Read on!

7 Things to Do After Getting Engaged | Engagement Ring Care: Have Bling, Will Travel

You know what they say: pairing is caring 😉 Take care of your diamonds by finding them a perfect match.

Shop Wedding RingsShop Diamond JewelryShop Gemstone Jewelry

The first step to take care of your diamond jewelry: pin this!

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Tova Kamioner

Tova is a lover of fantastic stories, and although she is skeptical of romantic comedies, she can quote most of the classics by heart.

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engagement ring engraving ideas

Engagement Ring Engraving Ideas

Choose an engagement ring engraving that’ll create your moment in your own words (on us!).

engagement ring engraving ideas: a white gold ring inscribed with "universe delivered"

Every couple has their own special way of communicating with each other, filled with tokens of love and had-to-be-there private jokes. We’re all about those love languages! Whatever proposal you plan will be a personalized tribute to your shared language – so why not personalize your engagement ring too? Engrave your ring for free during checkout as an extra meaningful touch!

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At a gloss for words? We’ve got inspiration for your perfect engagement ring inscription.

Engagement Ring Engraving: Get the Message

Get inspired by our customers’ engagement rings! Consider engraving your engagement ring or wedding band with your anniversary date, the place where you fell in love, your initials, a romantic quote, or a phrase with special meaning that only you two understand.

INSCRIBE YOUR PROPOSAL DATE

Your engagement ring engraving will always bring you back to the moment you proposed, tears, joy, and all.

“12.07.2013”

Platinum Knife-Edge Solitaire Engagement Ring

engagement ring engraving date inscription

INSCRIBE A ROMANTIC PHRASE

Sometimes the biggest emotions are best expressed in the fewest words. We love the power of these abbreviated love letters!

“Adventures Await Us”

Rose Gold Knife-Edge Solitaire Engagement Ring

engagement ring engraving: a rose gold ring inscribed with the phrase: "adventures await us"

“All of my love”

White GOld Split-Shank Pavé Halo Engagement Ring

engagement ring engraving ideas: split-shank Pavé ring inscribed with the words "All of my love"

“Love Beyond Eternity”

Rose Gold Sapphire and Diamond Halo Engagement Ring

engagement ring engraving ideas: ring engraved with the phrase "Love Beyond Eternity"

“You Are My Treasure”

Platinum Bow-Tie Channel-Set Engagement Ring

engagement ring engraving ideas: white gold channel-set ring engraved with the phrase "You Are My Treasure"

INSCRIBE YOUR INITIALS

As romantic as they are simple, engagement ring engravings of initials or names put your soulmate-status in writing.

“S&S”

White Gold Knife-Edge Solitaire Engagement Ring

engagement ring engraving: white gold solitaire ring inscribed with the initials "S & S"

INSCRIBE SHARED MEANING

It’s what’s on the inside that counts! Choose to inscribe your ring with a reference that holds special meaning for the two of you, whether it’s a sports term, internet speak, or Irish Gaelic.

“Mo Chroi Go Deo” (“My Heart, Forever”)

White Gold Baguette Side-Stone Engagement Ring

engagement ring engraving ideas: ring inscribed with the Gaelic phrase "Mo Chroi Go Deo" ("My Heart, Forever")"

“My only Home Run”

Rose Gold Comfort Fit Solitaire Engagement Ring

engagement ring engraving ideas: rose gold inscribed with the phrase "My only Home Run""

P.S. Shop baseball player engagement ring lookalikes here!

“DFTBA” (“Don’t Forget To Be Awesome”)

Rose Gold Pavé Crossover Engagement Ring

engagement ring engraving ideas: rose gold ring inscribed with ""DFTBA" ("Don't Forget To Be Awesome")"

“M&C Mark 10:9” (“Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”)

Yellow Gold Comfort Fit Solitaire Engagement Ring

engagement ring engraving ideas: ring inscribed with bible verse "M&C Mark 10:9" ("Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.")

“Te Amo” (“I Love You”)

White Gold Knife-Edge Solitaire Engagement Ring

engagement ring engraving ideas: white gold ring inscribed with the phrase "Te Amo” (“I Love You”)"

Engagement Ring Engraving: the Write Look

When you engrave your engagement ring at JamesAllen.com, you’ll choose:

  • Either block text or cursive script font
  • Any phrase up to 20 characters in length (a.k.a. the most meaningful Tweet you’ve ever composed)

Ready to get started? Write here, right now: find the perfect engagement ring for your inscription.

Find your perfect words in these love lyrics:

More JamesAllen.com perks: Virtual Ring Try-OnDrop a HintReferral Rewards Program

How to design the dream ring: Buying an Engagement Ring 101Engagement Rings Inspired by Most-Loved Books

Have a favorite romantic ring inscription? Let us know in the comments below, or on our social channels: Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

Pin this image to save the engagement ring engraving inspiration:

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Tova Kamioner

Tova is a lover of fantastic stories, and although she is skeptical of romantic comedies, she can quote most of the classics by heart.

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Twisted Engagement Rings: That Spiral Style

Twisted engagement rings put a new spin on the classic solitaire ring setting.

twisted engagement rings abbraccio swirl danhov cover ring
Abbraccio Swirl Engagement Ring by Danhov

Everything is more interesting with a twist: gin and tonic with a twist of lime, M. Night Shyamalan movies, those poles outside barber shops. The same goes for jewelry – namely, twisted engagement rings. Their updated design adds a whimsical and utterly unique touch to an otherwise basic band.

View these twisted beauties in 360° HD

Twisted Engagement Rings: It’s All in the Twist

Twisted engagement rings can be fashioned out of one solid metal band, two tightly wound bands, or an open split shank that intersects with itself. For an eye-catching enhancement, choose one that’s studded with pavé diamonds or sporting a shimmering halo.

The Bold & The Beautiful 💍

twisted engagement rings contoured twist tension set ring
Contoured Twist Tension Set Engagement Ring

Twisted engagement rings are already a bold look, and silvery metals are in, but this modern tension-set ring brings added drama and sophistication. The wide, sleek band, with its striking contours, is one of the fiercest settings we’ve seen! Can you feel the tension?

The Tulip from Amster-dayum! 🌷

twisted engagement rings milgrain twist tulip basket ring
Milgrain Twist Tulip Basket Engagement Ring

This one-of-a-kind solitaire ring has milgrain detailing along the shanks and can be set with a round or princess-cut diamond. Where’s the tulip, you ask? Ah, that’s the twist! It forms the basket for an extra-romantic surprise.

The Pretzeled Pavé 🥨

twisted engagement rings pavé twist diamond ring
Pavé Twist Diamond Engagement Ring

This delicious-looking setting features a liberal sprinkling of pavé diamonds along each of its interwoven bands. These serve to gently accent the center stone… like grains of salt on a pretzel!

The Simply Di-vine 🍃

twisted engagement rings vine ring
Twisted Vine Engagement Ring

There ain’t no shine like a twisted vine! This bewitching nature-inspired ring showcases two marquise-shaped pavé-set accents on either side. These leaf-like flourishes flow together seamlessly on a band of lustrous gold.

The Spiraling Solitaire 🌀

twisted engagement rings cable solitaire ring
Cable Solitaire Engagement Ring

Throw your partner a rope in the form of this charming twisted cable solitaire engagement ring. Tightly interwoven gold cables are a subtle way to let the wearer know you won’t ever let them down. Pair with the matching cable wedding band when you’re ready to tie the knot.

The Coiled Crossover 🔀

twisted engagement rings pavé halo twisted shank ring
Pavé Halo and Twisted Shank Engagement Ring

Keep your fingers crossed for this gorgeous split-shank engagement ring. A pavé halo surrounds the center stone, while additional pavé diamonds line one of the shanks for maximum sparkle.

Twisted Engagement Rings: Give Us a Twirl

Is a ring with a twist top of your list? Let us know in the comments below or over on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or Twister.
Er… 
Twitter.

Discover the crossover appeal of split shank and infinity engagement rings.

Let’s twist again! (Pin it!)

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Jonny Hart

Jonny is passionate about puns, adores alliteration, and finds diamonds positively facet-nating! Since joining James Allen, he has written the word 'sparkle’ 9,732 times and counting.

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Finding Her Engagement Ring Style: A Wink & A Smile

Whether you’re a secret agent or a straight shooter, check out our pro tips for finding her engagement ring style.

finding her engagement ring style cover

Everyone has a personal style. Some are more understated than others and, therefore, harder to discern. Your job as Buyer of Rings, Proposer of Marriage, is to hone in on that style by whatever means necessary. Put on your detective hat and do some snooping around or straight up ask your partner what she’d like. Either way, finding her engagement ring style needn’t be a chore with our handy guide. Just pop on some good music and get sleuthing.

Finding Her Engagement Ring Style: Cut to the Chase

finding her engagement ring style cut to the chase

Let’s start by clearing something up: the ring doesn’t have to be a complete surprise.

There, we’ve said it.

These days, it’s perfectly acceptable – preferable even – to bring your partner into the design process. No one knows the wearer’s style better than the wearer herself, so why not involve her in the decision making? Goodness knows, you’ll need all the help you can get when confronted with terms like pavé, halo, and tension! (That last one’s a setting style btw, not a headache.) By promoting your partner to Chief Ring Adviser, you’ll come across as the sensitive and considerate human being you are while eliminating much of the guesswork. It’s a win-win.

Now, the direct approach won’t work for everyone, mind you. Some customers – proposer and proposee alike – have their hearts set on a solo ring selection, culminating in the Big Reveal. To those irrepressible romantics, we say… read on!

Finding Her Engagement Ring Style: A Spy on the Wall

finding her engagement ring style spy on the wall

Like all good detectives, you’ve been waiting for the right case to come along; a case worthy of your powers of deduction. Finding her engagement ring style is right up there with #WhoBitBeyoncé and that whole Yanny vs Laurel thing – except the odds of you solving this one are far higher!

Seriously though, your partner’s online and offline activity might give away key clues about her ring preferences. If she has a Pinterest account, it’s worth checking to see if she’s created any boards with sparkle-related titles or pinned any specific rings. Assuming you have access to her Facebook account, check her profile and activity log for any ring posts she’s liked or shared.

What’s the Buzz?

Even if she’s been careful not to leave a digital trail, she may have confided in her best friend or sibling. Once you’ve got a sparkly bee in your bonnet, it’s almost impossible to keep it to yourself! Listen for subtle hints that might come up when she’s chatting with her inner circle, especially if the topic of celebrity engagement rings comes up.

Finding Her Engagement Ring Style: How She Rolls

finding her engagement ring style how she rolls

When finding her engagement ring style, it often helps to draw on your own personal experience. Presumably, you’ve spent a fair bit of time with your SO and have gleaned an insight or two about her day-to-day.

What kind of lifestyle does she lead? If she has a job or hobby that requires her to wear gloves, she’d be better off with a setting that doesn’t have exposed diamonds on the band. Solitaire and channel-set rings are both practical options as they minimize the risk of the diamonds getting caught or falling out. A less hands-on lifestyle would allow for more exposed diamonds on the band – pavé being the obvious example.

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

finding her engagement ring style vintage inspired floral bouquet
Vintage Inspired Floral Bouquet Engagement Ring

finding her engagement ring style spiral tension set
Spiral Tension Set Engagement Ring

If your girl is more Devil Wears Prada than Devil Wears Nada, you might consider a more daring setting. Pay close attention to her wardrobe. If she dresses to impress and won’t touch anything unless it’s by a top designer, go for something with character, such as a vintage engagement ring or hyper-modern tension ring.

Read more about designing the perfect engagement ring

Glow-Key Glam

finding her engagement ring style baguette diamond
Baguette Diamond Engagement Ring

If, on the other hand, her idea of glamour is a pair of old jeans and a t-shirt, we’d recommend opting for something simple like a baguette side-stone engagement ring. Understated yet elegant.

Read more about choosing an engagement ring she’ll love

Finding Her Engagement Ring Style: A Sure Thing

finding her engagement ring style presentation solitaire six prong
Six Prong Presentation Solitaire Engagement Ring

If none of the above tips speak to you, no one would fault you for playing it safe and going with a classic style such as a solitaire. This is essentially a single center diamond mounted on a plain setting. Solitaires are considered classics for a reason: they work with practically any individual style and never go out of fashion.

Once you’ve figured out your setting style, it’s time to consider the diamond shape. If you have even the slightest doubt about what shape to get, you can’t go wrong with a round cut. Round-cut diamonds are by far the most popular shape for engagement rings, owing to their perfect geometry and abundant sparkle. These timeless classics are tried and true, but if it’s a little more edge you’re after, a princess or cushion-cut diamond should suffice.

Walk a Mile in Her Style

How did you manage to pinpoint your partner’s style preference? Did you go undercover or were you upfront about it? Let us know in the comments below or over on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or Twitter.

For more invaluable ring-buying tips and tricks, check out the previous posts in our men’s FAQ series.

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Jonny Hart

Jonny is passionate about puns, adores alliteration, and finds diamonds positively facet-nating! Since joining James Allen, he has written the word 'sparkle’ 9,732 times and counting.

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Shhh! Keeping the Ring a Secret

With your sparkler safely in the bag, the next crucial step is keeping the ring a secret so you can successfully pull off your surprise proposal.

keeping the ring a secret

Buying the engagement ring is the easy part. Keeping it a secret from your SO is where the real challenge lies. You’re up against an opponent whose curiosity knows no bounds. No sock drawer is safe, no bookshelf off-limits. To pull this off, you’re going to need an airtight game plan and nerves of steel!

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Keeping the Ring a Secret: Leave No Trace

In a recent blog post, we weighed the benefits of shopping for a surprise ring versus collaborating with your SO. If you’re dead set on keeping the ring a secret, you’ll want to ensure you don’t leave a footprint – digital or otherwise – that could blow your cover.

keeping the ring a secret hiding spot

Online

When ring shopping online, we strongly recommend doing your homework. However, if you happen to share computers/devices with your SO, make sure you sign out of all their accounts before starting to plan your surprise proposal. Likewise, if you absolutely must print something out (though we’re not sure why you would – this is 2018, people!), don’t leave that smoking gun sitting in your printer tray.

Offline

For obvious reasons, you should never use a joint bank account to pay for the ring. Consider setting up a new account specifically for that purpose (you can close it once the deed is done). Another option is to pay with an old credit card that only you know about. This one’s kind of a no-brainer, but you shouldn’t leave bank/credit card statements lying around the house. Oh, and don’t withdraw a large sum of money from the ATM; that’s a dead giveaway.

Keeping the Ring a Secret: Unboxing Your Bling

Who doesn’t love a good unboxing? Not your curious partner, that’s for sure!

At James Allen, we realize that having a mysterious package show up at your door is likely to arouse suspicion. That’s why we’ve taken care to ensure the outer packaging is as nondescript (read boring) as possible so as not to ruin your surprise proposal. It’s literally just a standard, no frills FedEx box. For all your SO knows, it could be nothing more than that drone you’ve been droning on about.

keeping the ring a secret box

It’s worth noting that our packages require a signature upon delivery. If you’re uncomfortable receiving yours at home or are worried that someone else might intercept it, we can help you find the best place to ship to.

Only once you peel back the outer carton does it start to get more interesting.

The first thing you’ll notice is an elegant presentation box embossed with the James Allen logo. This doubles as a jewelry box and even has a drawer for keeping your diamond certificates, cleaning cloth, and whatnot. Nestled on top is a small red box that houses the main attraction: the engagement ring.

Where to Stow Your Glow

Now, ordinarily, we’d tell you there’s no safer place to store your ring than the ring box it came in. Not only does it offer maximum protection, but it also makes for the most impressive presentation. However, there’s no getting around the fact that it’s still a box and, as such, somewhat bulky. Unless your partner is already aware of the ring, you might consider switching the box for something altogether less obvious.

“Is that a ring box in your pocket or are you happy to see me?”
– Your suspicious SO

keeping the ring a secret book box

Some suggestions: a glasses case, a wallet, a briefcase. It’s fine to get creative with the container, as long as it fits the occasion. For example, a backpack or camera bag on a hike makes sense. A cello case does not. A rolled-up blanket or empty Thermos on a picnic makes sense. A suitcase does not. You get the idea.

Keeping the Ring a Secret: Conceal the Deal

OK, we’ve looked at ways to carry the ring around with you, but what about leaving it unattended? Here are some dos and don’ts for the times you’re not around to guard your precious new acquisition.

    • Keep it locked away in a safe place where your other half won’t accidentally come across it e.g., a spare bedroom, home office, or even a relative’s house. Avoid obvious places such as your bedroom, living room, or car glove compartment.
    • If traveling, pack the ring in your carry-on, never a checked bag. Don’t let a TSA agent blow your surprise proposal! Make sure it’s very secure and follow all airline security rules to avoid being stopped and searched.
    • Don’t leave it in your hotel room safe if your SO is likely to use it; instead, ask the concierge if you can leave it in the safe at the front desk.

Keeping the Ring a Secret: Your Silent Partner

If the logistics of keeping the ring a secret seem like Mission Impossible, our Customer Service reps are on hand to help you plan your sneaky setup. These masters of misdirection can be reached 24/7 via live chat, phone, and email. They know every trick in the book and can even suggest ways to distract your unsuspecting SO (don’t worry, we’ve trained them to only use their powers for good).

keeping the ring a secret customer service

Hoard of the Rings

Where did you stash your sparkler pre-proposal? Whisper it to us in the comments below or over on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or Twitter.

If you liked this post, check out our men’s FAQ series for more practical ring-buying tips and tricks.

Next up: How Do I Find Her Style Preference?

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Jonny Hart

Jonny is passionate about puns, adores alliteration, and finds diamonds positively facet-nating! Since joining James Allen, he has written the word 'sparkle’ 9,732 times and counting.

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Engagement Ring Shopping: Collaboration Vs. Surprise

Breaking with tradition, many couples are engagement ring shopping together, leaving the element of surprise for the proposal.

engagement ring shopping cover

The question of whether to surprise your SO with a ring or include them in the selection process is as old as time.

Well, that’s not strictly true.

It actually came about rather recently, with online engagement ring shopping offering a far more collaborative experience than traditional stores. But back to the question at hand: to surprise or not to surprise? That will largely depend on whether your SO is more of a romantic or a realist.

If they’re the type to swoon at the end of romantic movies, chances are they’re holding out for a sparkling surprise of their own. Then again, if your SO is the risk-averse type, they will probably prefer to be consulted on an item of such personal significance.

Engagement Ring Shopping: Surprise and Shine

engagement ring shopping falling edge pavé diamond
Falling Edge Pavé Diamond Engagement Ring

If your SO leaves the engagement ring shopping entirely up to you, they’re taking the jewelry equivalent of a trust fall. That is, they’re trusting you to choose what is sure to be their most prized possession; an accessory they’ll be wearing every day of their life. This might seem daunting at first, but it’s actually quite an honor and an opportunity to demonstrate how perceptive you are. If you have a tendency to notice small details, you’ll easily pick up on the trail of sparkly clues your partner has left behind

See what happens when couples try to design their partners’ dream engagement ring (spoiler alert: hilarity ensues!).

Can You Take a Hint?

engagement ring shopping can you take hint

If only there was some way to read the inner workings of your partner’s mind… to understand what they really mean when they say, “I’m marrying you, not the ring.” While that technology may still be a few years off, we do have a nifty drop-a-hint feature on JamesAllen.com. It’s a subtle way for your SO to let you know exactly what they want without the awkwardness of them having to say it.

Of course, there are other tried-and-tested ways to drop a hint that you should be on the lookout for. “Forgetting” to close the browser is a classic, but they may share their Pinterest boards with you or casually comment on a friend’s or celebrity’s engagement ring.

Engagement Ring Shopping: Band Together

engagement ring shopping band together

A recent study by The Knot found that roughly one third of couples collaborate on the engagement ring with their mates. People are starting to realize that the proposee is every bit as qualified to make the Big Decision as the proposer – if not more so. If your SO has expressed an interest in being involved beyond mere hint dropping, you’d be wise to take them up on the offer. After all, who better to advise you on ring style than the ring wearer herself?

Without a doubt, the best way to know your partner’s ring preferences is to have an open and honest conversation with them. If all goes well, try engagement ring shopping together and make mental notes of their ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs.’ Even if they do have a hand in selecting their ring online, they won’t know how it looks IRL until the big unveiling. With a bit of clever subterfuge, it’s still possible to throw your SO off the scent.

Help Is at Hand

engagement ring shopping help is at hand

If you’d rather collaborate with someone other than your SO, our Customer Service team is there for you 24/7 by live chat, phone, and email. They’ll help you pick out the ideal ring based on your partner’s particulars (don’t worry, you already know all the answers to their questions!). You can even request a Real-Time Diamond Inspection with a certified gemologist who will be happy to walk you through the finer points of your sparkler. And if you still want some face-to-face expert advice, visit our Georgetown, DC location.

Engagement Ring Shopping: Trust Your Instincts

The bottom line is that your shopping experience should be as comfortable as the ring on your true love’s finger. Go with whichever option feels right to you as a couple and then make it as gosh darn romantic as you possibly can!

Catch up on our proposal series, which covers everything from choosing the perfect sparkler to planning the magical moment itself.

Next in the series: discover the best proposal spots in major cities.

Will your ring be a total surprise or is your SO likely to advise? Let us know in the comments below or over on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or Twitter.

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Jonny Hart

Jonny is passionate about puns, adores alliteration, and finds diamonds positively facet-nating! Since joining James Allen, he has written the word 'sparkle’ 9,732 times and counting.

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How Much to Spend on an Engagement Ring

We asked one of our brilliant customer service representatives how much to spend on an engagement ring. Their answer was perfect…

how much to spend on an engagement ring

How Much to Spend on an Engagement Ring?

“There’s a ring and a person for everyone, and that’s also true for the price you have in mind,” says our customer service expert. There’s no set formula for how much you have to spend on an engagement ring.” Follow her tips to buy the dream ring for your budget!

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Save on Your Engagement Ring with a Solitaire Setting

“To really put all the focus on the center stone, you can make an absolutely gorgeous solitaire engagement ring for under $1,000,” says our expert.

how much to spend on a solitaire engagement ring

“Solitaires are also great because you can personalize them and dress them up with a wedding band.”

how much to spend on an engagement ring eternity ring

When choosing how much to spend on an engagement ring, remember that you have the rest of your lives together! “As time goes on and finances change, you can always remount the center stone and add different diamond bands to create that stackable effect.”

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Elongated Shapes are the Best Diamonds on a Budget

“If you want to really maximize the visual size of the diamond or finger coverage, then go with an elongated shape like an oval, a marquise, or a pear,” our expert suggests.

how much to spend on a marquise diamond engagement ring

“Any of these shapes with a halo setting will give you the biggest wow factor and not break the bank at the same time.”

how much to spend on a halo engagement ring

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Give Your Engagement Ring Diamond Some Context

“The image that you’re seeing on the screen is not the same thing that you’re going to see in person and in the ring,” says our expert. To better understand which diamond inclusions will be visible when it’s set in a ring, you can chat with us through our Diamond Consultation Service.

how much to spend on an engagement ring diamond consultation

Our non-commissioned gemologists will take you through the specs of the diamond in 360° HD so that you confidently get the best diamond for your money.

how much to spend on an engagement ring diamonds

When choosing how much to spend, make sure to understand how the diamond will look in the ring setting! Diamond color is a great example to consider. Our expert explains: “For those who are more comfortable with having a bit of warmth to their center stone, it ends up working really well with a yellow gold or rose gold setting.”

how much to spend on a rose gold engagement ring

“This kind of rich appearance can help you to get a larger carat weight within the same price range.”

Browse Engagement Ring Diamonds

More affordable engagement rings await… Shop here!

(Pssst… there’s more than one way to finance your ring. Learn more about James Allen’s special financing options.)

Have advice to share about how much to spend on an engagement ring? Let us know in the comments below, or on our social channels: Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or Twitter.

Back to the basics: Buying an Engagement Ring 101 * How to Propose

Stay tuned to this proposal series for expert advice about collaborating on the ring!

Read on: 11 Gorgeous & Affordable Engagement RingsHow to Make Your Diamond Engagement Ring Look Bigger

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Tova Kamioner

Tova is a lover of fantastic stories, and although she is skeptical of romantic comedies, she can quote most of the classics by heart.

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Choosing a Diamond: Be in the Glow

Precious advice for those who will soon be choosing a diamond for their engagement ring.

choosing engagement ring diamond

We recognize that gleam in your eye! No, we’re not talking about the way you look at your SO (although that is adorable). If there’s one thing capable of making a person’s eyes light up like that, it’s diamonds. Those pretty little stones you know nothing about, but are determined to get a good deal on.

And where better to start than our men’s FAQ series? In this first installment, we look at choosing a diamond; from understanding the 4Cs to getting the most bling for your buck.

Choosing a Diamond: Foresee the 4Cs

It’s impossible to talk diamonds without mentioning the 4Cs: cut, color, carat, and clarity. Together, these all-important characteristics influence a diamond’s quality and value. They are your new best friends. Get to know them. Go have a beer with them. Whatever you have to do.

    • Cut – This refers to both the diamond’s shape and how effectively it returns light to the viewer’s eye.
    • Color – This is generally something you want to avoid in a diamond, unless it’s a fancy color diamond (more on that later).
    • Carat – This is the unit of measurement by which diamonds are weighed and sold.
  • Clarity – This refers to how clean a diamond is and whether it has visible imperfections.

When in doubt, start with a diamond cut. This is the one area you should never compromise on as it determines how sparkly the stone is.

“I want my ring to sparkle less.”
– No one, ever

If you have to compromise on anything, let it be diamond clarity. However, try to avoid going below a VS1 clarity grade; anything lower would be visible to the naked eye.

Choosing a Diamond: Appearances Can Be Gleaming

Let’s be real for a moment, shall we? No one buys a diamond engagement ring for their SO without wanting to impress their socks off. It’s the ultimate declaration of your love, so of course you’ll want to go all out and snag the biggest, most sparkly rock you can afford.

While celebs are known for flashing ridiculous amounts of sparkle, you don’t always need to pay top dollar to enjoy those megawatt flashes. If you’re on a budget, there are a number of ways to make even a modest diamond appear larger than it actually is. Sneaky, we know!

One way to get more bling for your buck is to opt for an undersized diamond. Now, that might sound counterintuitive – how can a smaller diamond appear the same size as a larger one to the naked eye? By choosing a diamond that’s just shy of the standard industry cutoff points, you could save yourself a pretty penny, without compromising on sparkle. Consider a 0.9 carat diamond and a 1 carat diamond with comparable specs. On the surface, both stones appear to be virtually the same size, but look closer at the price tags and you’ll see a considerable saving on the smaller stone. Similar carat weight, less cash. Booyah!

choosing diamond split shank halo engagement ring

Another way to appear more sparkly is to choose a setting style that accentuates the center diamond. Halo engagement rings, for example, surround the center stone with an outer ring of smaller diamonds or gemstones. These peripheral stones reflect light off the center stone, giving it a greater presence on the hand. Halo engagement rings come in single and double halo varieties, depending on how far you want to glow… er… go.

For more sparkle-maximizing tips, read up on how to make your diamond engagement ring look bigger.

Choosing a Diamond: Appraise Where It’s Due

choosing engagement ring diamond appraisal

A diamond appraisal is necessary if you want to get your ring insured – which, btw, you totally should! It differs from the GIA or AGS diamond grading certificate that comes with your ring in that it provides a dollar estimate rather than the technical info.

At JamesAllen.com, we offer a complimentary insurance evaluation on any diamond engagement ring valued at $1,000 or higher. If you prefer, you’re welcome to get the diamond independently appraised as well.

Choosing a Diamond: Color Outside the Shines

choosing engagement ring diamond fancy color

If your head isn’t already spinning at 360° like our diamonds, we’re about to throw another curveball at you: fancy color diamonds. While colorless diamonds have traditionally been the objects of our affection, their colorful cousins are steadily gaining popularity. And because stones at the vivid ends of the color spectrum are quite rare, they’re more valuable too.

When choosing a diamond, pay close attention to your partner’s personal style. If they’re the free-spirited, artistic type, a diamond in their favorite color could make for an exceptionally meaningful gift. Read more about fancy color diamonds.

Choosing a Diamond: Own That Stone!

Remember you can view all 200,000+ diamonds on JamesAllen.com in 360° HD at up to 40x SuperZoom.

Decided on a diamond dazzler? Let us know in the comments below or over on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or Twitter.

Don’t miss the next installment in our men’s FAQ series: How to Keep the Ring a Secret.

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Jonny Hart

Jonny is passionate about puns, adores alliteration, and finds diamonds positively facet-nating! Since joining James Allen, he has written the word 'sparkle’ 9,732 times and counting.

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Destination Proposal Ideas & Tips

Here’s what you need to know to plan your show-stopping destination proposal!

destination proposal diamond engagement ring map

Destination Proposal Ideas & Tips

Want an unforgettable way to start a lifetime of adventures together (with amazing photo ops)? Think big with a travel proposal! To make sure all your surprises are planned, follow these destination proposal pro-tips:

Travel Proposal Ideas: the Plan

Consider kicking off your trip with the proposal

One out-there option: propose at the airport! James Allen customers Cristian and Shanna got to enjoy a stress-free trip to Costa Rica to celebrate their engagement moment in LAX.

destination proposal airport surprise

Coordinate with your museum/hotel/resort

The staff of your proposal location might be able to help you get your moment! Take a cue from James Allen customer Austin – when he proposed to his girlfriend Annie at the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, the guard held the ring and made sure they had the tower alone for peak romance.

destination proposal cliffs moher ireland nature

If you’re staying at a resort, play it like our customer Sean; he kept his engagement ring in the hotel safe before proposing and coordinated his Shangri-La beach proposal to Amy with the resort events management team!

destination proposal shangri-la beach

Have a destination proposal back-up plan

Prep a proposal plan B so that you can keep it cool if something goes awry. For those super-planners, set up a back-up-to-the-back-up – this totally saved the day when our customer Tyler proposed to his girlfriend Kristyn during a trip to Seattle!

destination proposal seattle back up plan

Travel Proposal Ideas: the Ring

With destination proposals, timing is everything

Found the perfect ring? Make sure you receive it on time! The design process takes about 2-3 weeks on average, so we’d suggest ordering your ring a month in advance of your trip. If you have any questions about shipping or tracking your order, our customer service team is here for you 24/7.

destination proposal engagement ring box grass

Be prepared for whatever comes your way

Make sure that you have diamond jewelry insurance while you’re abroad, just in case! Also take a copy of your receipt or insurance policy to prove ownership in case you’re stopped at customs (no need to ruin the surprise with awkward attention!).

Travel Destination Ideas: the Pics

Travel photo shoots are awesome destination decoys

The best way to get amazing proposal shots and have your SO not suspect a thing? Propose while taking pictures together at a gorgeous locale. Get your inspiration from Briana and Maria’s picturesque Venetian proposal!

destination proposal venice photoshoot

Bonus: plan the proposal somewhere your SO has always wanted to go for an extra personal touch, like Lucas’s NYC proposal to Stephanie.

destination proposal new york brooklyn

Do some research into the view and surroundings

Search images of the perfect spot, or if you’re able, scout out the spot yourself in advance. Think about how easy it is to get to, the lighting, and the magic of the surroundings. Need some inspiration? Check out Jennifer and Hector’s gorgeous Iceland glacier proposal.

destination proposal iceland glacier sunset

Including a historic monument in your destination proposal? Back up!

Famous tourist spots can make for epic proposals, but they tend to be, well, monumental. Think like James Allen customer Ryan’s proposal to Jessica in front of the Eiffel tower and propose far enough away to get famous spots in the shot.

destination proposal eiffel tower paris photoshoot

Start with your passport to proposal… Shop the perfect engagement ring!

Back to the basics: Buying an Engagement Ring 101 * How to Propose

Stay tuned to this proposal series for expert advice about proposing on a budget, collaborating on the ring, and more.

Finding this travel proposal advice helpful or have tips of your own to share? Let us know in the comments below or on our social channels: Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or Twitter.

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Tova Kamioner

Tova is a lover of fantastic stories, and although she is skeptical of romantic comedies, she can quote most of the classics by heart.

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Pear Shaped Diamonds with Fruitful Flare

Pear shaped diamonds the only part of your engagement you’ll want to go pear shaped!

pear shaped diamonds cover pavé halo shank diamond engagement ring
Pavé Halo Shank Diamond Engagement Ring

Imagine if Eve had picked a pear in the Garden of Eden instead of that darn apple. She would’ve stood out from all the other women (had there been any other women) and been hailed a trendsetter. Still, it’s never too late to make amends and pear shaped diamonds are the perfect sparkle offering.

Love is in the pear!

Pear Shaped Diamonds: Ripe for the Picking

So, what makes a pear a pear? The unique shape is achieved by combining two other diamond cuts: round brilliant and marquise. At one end, you have the gentle curves of a round cut; at the other, the pointed charm of a marquise. Best of all, it retains much of the sparkle of a round cut, despite not conforming exactly to that shape.

Grab yourself a piece of this low-hanging fruit!

pear shaped diamonds 0.72 carat k si1 diamond
0.72 Carat K SI1 Diamond

A Diamond Beyond Compear

If further pearsuasion is needed, choosing a non-traditional diamond shape like pear can actually save you money! That’s right; because the demand for pear is lower than for round brilliant, it tends to offer better value. A pear shaped diamond could save you as much as 25% compared to a round cut of the same size and quality. How sweet is that?!

Hot take: Pair your pear with a solitaire for a classic setting that’s both affordable and offers maximum light return through the top of the stone.

pear shaped diamonds classic knife edge presentation solitaire engagement ring
Classic Knife-Edge Presentation Solitaire Engagement Ring

Pear to Spare

Thanks to their elongated lines, pear shape diamonds tend to look larger than other shapes of the same carat weight. On the other hand, they gently accentuate slender fingers and make shorter fingers appear longer and slimmer.

pear shaped diamonds pavé halo diamond engagement ring
Pavé Halo Diamond Engagement Ring

Who Rocks Pear Shaped Diamonds?

2018 is shaping up to be the year of the pear! Paris Hilton (or should that be Pearis Hilton?) got the party started back in January when she said yes to a juicy 20-carat pear shaped diamond engagement ring. Of course, she’s not alone in her penchant for pear. Other personalities include Ariana Grande, Kaley Cuoco, Cardi B, Sophie Turner, Victoria Beckham, Zoe Saldana, Katherine Heigl, and Margot Robbie.

pear shaped diamonds pavé halo shank diamond engagement ring
Pavé Halo Shank Diamond Engagement Ring

See which other non-traditional diamond shapes are in with celebs right now.

What to Know About Pear Shaped Diamonds

When purchasing a pear shaped diamond, it helps to know which attributes to look out for. That way, you can avoid pulling an Eve and picking the wrong piece!

Cut To minimize the undesirable ‘bow tie’ effect commonly found in pear shaped diamonds, ensure the diamond cut is as symmetrical as possible. It’s more aesthetic plus it returns more light and sparkle back to your eyes.

Color The pointed end of the diamond doesn’t reflect light nearly as well as the round part, so it’s more likely to reveal the stone’s true color. To avoid those ‘warmer’ yellow tones, opt for a high grade on the color scale (no lower than G).

Clarity As with color, any inclusions are more visible if they occur at the pointed end of the diamond, where there are less sparkle and scintillation. You’re better off going for an ‘eye clean’ diamond with a clarity grade of VS2 or above.

Carat The carat weight you choose will largely depend on your budget, but this is not the be-all and end-all. An increase in carat size will often appear negligible, yet raise the price significantly. Far more important are cut, color, and clarity in determining a diamond’s overall beauty.

pear shaped diamonds pavé twisted rope engagement ring
Pavé Twisted Rope Engagement Ring

pear shaped diamonds pavé split shank diamond halo engagement ring
Pavé Split-Shank Diamond Halo Engagement Ring

Looking for pear-fection? Peruse these pear shaped pretties!

Don’t forget — you can view all of the pear shaped diamonds on JamesAllen.com in glorious 360° HD at up to 40x SuperZoom.

Once you’ve picked the pear you wish to wear, feel free to share it in the comments below or on our social channels: Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or Twitter.

Discover additional diamond cuts in our diamond shape blog series.

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Jonny Hart

Jonny is passionate about puns, adores alliteration, and finds diamonds positively facet-nating! Since joining James Allen, he has written the word 'sparkle’ 9,732 times and counting.

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11 Gorgeous & Affordable Engagement Rings

Who ever said affordable engagement rings can’t be excellent quality and jaw-droppingly gorgeous? These rings prove otherwise. Sorry not sorry.

affordable engagement rings pear halo

That “Three Months’ Salary” myth about how much you need to spend on the ring? We’re here to say once and for all: set your budget within your comfort zone!

You can get the most bang for your buck by buying your engagement ring online. JamesAllen.com presents quality craft, 360° tech to examine and understand your own diamond (all conflict-free!), rockstar Customer Service, and over 500 ring styles to find your dream affordable engagement ring.

Gorgeous & Affordable Engagement Rings

All rings are design-your-own, which means that you can choose a ring setting, metal, and diamond combo that is kind to your wallet. No matter what your style or budget, we’ve got you covered!

Petite Pavé Engagement Ring

affordable engagement rings pave round diamond

The pavé band on this ring makes it look like the band itself is made of diamond and boosts your main-event center stone.

Trellis Halo Engagement Ring

affordable engagement rings trellis halo

Low-key: this ring features a nearly-identical setting style to that of country darling Carrie Underwood! Super-modern clean lines frame a sparkling halo.

Entangled Vines Engagement Ring

affordable engagement rings entangled vines floral

This ring’s center diamond is wrapped with nature-inspired, vintage art. An elegant and unique engagement ring choice.

Knife-Edge Solitaire Engagement Ring

affordable engagement rings princess cut simple classic solitaire

Back to the brilliant basics! This shining solitaire setting pulls all eyes to its center stone, be it a diamond or a gemstone.

Tapered Pavé Engagement Ring

affordable engagement rings side stone tapered

This six-prong stunner is a fan favorite. Three side stones on either side of the center stone add a delicate touch of sparkle.

Pavé Halo Engagement Ring

affordable engagement rings halo pear

Light dazzles off the diamonds in the center, the halo, and the pavé band. We love this setting with a brilliant and trendy pear shaped diamond (and so do Ariana Grande and Cardi B!).

Infinity Solitaire Engagement Ring

affordable engagement rings infinity solitaire

A graceful band design with shine that seems to go on forever. The craftwork of this ring is clear in the metal’s elegant curves.

Vintage Sapphire Engagement Ring

affordable engagement rings sapphire vintage gemstone

Gemstones or diamonds? Choose a ring with the best of both. This vintage design looks even more timeless with a cushion cut diamond.

Bow Tie Channel-Set Engagement Ring

affordable engagement rings channel bow tie

Gold is the new black tie! Tapered channel-set diamonds draw the eye to the center stone, while echos of a bow tie make this ring an instant classic.

Etched Rope Engagement Ring

affordable engagement rings etched rope solitaire unique

Intentional and intricate metalwork sets this beautiful ring apart. A twist (all pun intended) on the traditional solitaire.

Adorned Cathedral Engagement Ring

affordable engagement rings adorned cathedral unique

The sides of this center stone are surrounded by a subtle surprise: a strip of glittering pavé diamonds. All the shine of a solitaire with a shimmering bonus.

More affordable engagement rings await… Shop here!

(Pssst… there’s more than one way to finance your ring. Learn more about James Allen’s special financing options.)

Read on: How to Budget for an Affordable Engagement RingHow to Make Your Diamond Engagement Ring Look Bigger

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Tova is a lover of fantastic stories, and although she is skeptical of romantic comedies, she can quote most of the classics by heart.

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Engagement Ring Care: Have Bling, Will Travel

Slay on vacay with this essential guide to engagement ring care in the sun.

engagement ring care cover petite pavé crown diamond ring
Petite Pavé Crown Engagement Ring

When planning a romantic getaway, three L’s come to mind: Location, Location, Location. This makes sense as without a suitable destination, you’d still be, well, at home! But there’s a fourth L that no travel checklist is complete without: Luster. As in, how to keep your engagement ring looking at its lustrous best while you and bae are off galavanting around the world.

Engagement Ring Care: Precious Cargo

engagement ring care floral diamond halo ring
Floral Diamond Halo Engagement Ring

The first thing to do before taking your sparkler on vacation is to make sure it’s covered by your insurance policy. You do have one, right? Good. Just checking. Whether it comes under your home insurance or its own separate policy, make sure that you’re covered for theft, loss, or damage while away. If not, you may need to adjust your policy to include overseas travel. It’s advisable to take proof of ownership with you on your trip in case you’re stopped at customs. A copy of the receipt or the insurance policy should suffice.

Engagement Ring Care: Off with the Ring!

When you finally receive the ring of your dreams, it’s hard to imagine ever wanting to take it off. But there are certain situations when it’s necessary to de-jewel.

Handle with Care

engagement ring care pavé set diamond halo ring oval center
Pavé-Set Halo Engagement Ring

Unless you’re Mariah Carey, traveling often involves hauling your own luggage around. The stress this puts on your ring can stretch the band and even bend or break the delicate prongs. That’s why you should take extra care when lifting anything heavy.

Swimming in Sparkle

engagement ring care swimming in sparkle

Although the beach is a romantic destination for newly engaged couples, it’s less than ideal for the engagement ring itself. If the sea is cold enough to shrink your fingers, your ring could slip right off. If you stay on dry land, grains of sand could get caught between the ring setting and the diamond. This won’t harm the stone per se, as diamonds are pretty tough, but that doesn’t mean you should put it through needless wear and tear.

What about putting your engagement ring in an airtight plastic bag, I hear you cry? This might seem like a clever hack, but the lack of oxygen together with the heat from the sun may cause the metal to fuse with the plastic. You’d be much better off leaving your diamond ring in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place, such as your hotel room safe.

Losing your ring in a swimming pool is less risky than the open sea as it would most likely turn up once the pool has been drained. However, harsh chemicals in the water like chlorine can severely discolor/corrode gold and silver over time. Only platinum is durable enough that it can withstand most chemicals.

Browse platinum engagement rings

Keep It Clean

engagement ring care french cut petite pavé diamond ring flush fit
French Cut Petite Pavé Engagement Ring

Sunscreen. Great for your skin, not so great for your bling. By all means, slather it all over yourself (sunburn is not a sexy look), but for the love of sparkle, remove your ring first! The same goes for lotions and perfumes, which can cause your precious stone to cloud up.

Fake It, Don’t Break It!

engagement ring care classic solitaire rings

If the thought of taking your engagement ring on vacation seems too daunting, why not switch it with a fake one? Get one that closely resembles your sparkler’s setting style and diamond cut for a fraction of the price. It’s a relatively inexpensive solution that could end up saving you sleepless nights and potential financial loss.

Engagement Ring Care: Your Passport to Sparkle

Do you give your most precious jewel enough TLC when traveling? Let us know your engagement ring care regimen in the comments below or on our social channels: Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or Twitter.

Discover additional ring care tips in our blog post 7 Things to Do After Getting Engaged.

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Jonny is passionate about puns, adores alliteration, and finds diamonds positively facet-nating! Since joining James Allen, he has written the word 'sparkle’ 9,732 times and counting.

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Shape Series: Emerald Cut Diamonds

For an alternative to traditional brilliant cut diamonds, head straight for the linear luster of emerald cut diamonds.

emerald cut diamonds cover classic channel set princess cut diamond engagement ring
Channel Set Diamond Engagement Ring

Emerald cut, not to be confused with the vivid green gemstone of the same name, is a diamond cut known for its beauty and precision. An increasingly popular shape for engagement rings, emerald cut has charmed its way onto our fingers and into our hearts.

Find your emerald cut diamond.

Emerald Cut Diamonds: Why the Long Facet?

It’s not hard to see the appeal of emerald cut diamonds. Elegant long lines give them a look of subtle sophistication, while beveled corners add a touch of timeless glamour.

emerald cut diamonds pavé set diamond halo engagement ring
Pavé Set Diamond Halo Engagement Ring

Elongated facets intersect the lower portion, or pavilion, of the diamond, creating a mirrored effect that results in dramatic flashes of light.

emerald cut diamonds floral halo engagement ring
Floral Halo Engagement Ring

Step Up Your Game

The emerald cut diamond is so named because this style of cut was originally reserved for — you guessed it — emeralds. It’s created using a step cut, which is most commonly associated with square or rectangular diamonds. Unlike brilliant cut diamonds, which are distinguished by triangular and kite-shaped facets, step-cut diamonds have rows of long, narrow facets that resemble a staircase.

emerald cut diamonds contemporary pavé set split shank engagement ring
Pavé Set Split Shank Engagement Ring

Thanks to their unique formation, emerald cut diamonds possess a glacier-like clarity, the likes of which you wouldn’t find in a brilliant cut stone.

emerald cut diamonds vintage three stone pavé set split shank engagement ring
Three Stone Pavé Split Shank Engagement Ring

Who Rocks Emerald Cut Diamonds?

Celebrity engagement ring trends show that emerald cut has overtaken oval as the fashionable go-to among celebs. Those flashing the cut include Liv Tyler, Kristen Bell, Sarah Jessica Parker, Anne Hathaway, Hayden Panettiere, and Amal Clooney.

emerald cut diamonds three stone trellis diamond engagement ring
Three Stone Trellis Diamond Engagement Ring

But perhaps the most eminent emerald cut belongs to Beyoncé. Hubby Jay Z lavished the pop diva with an eye-watering 18-carat flawless diamond. Nothing but the best for Queen Bey!

emerald cut diamonds contemporary twisted pavé shank solitaire engagement ring
Twisted Pavé Shank Solitaire Engagement Ring

What to Know About Emerald Cut Diamonds

If you’re in the market for an emerald cut diamond, you should take the following points into consideration:

    • Flaws, or inclusions, are more noticeable in step-cut diamonds, so it’s well worth investing in a high clarity grade.
    • Pay attention to diamond color, which tends to be more prominent in less sparkly stones.
    • Emerald cut diamonds can be set vertically or, for a more original look, turned ninety degrees on their side (this is known as the “east-west” setting).
  • Step-cut diamonds will usually cost less than their brilliant-cut cousins.

A Step in the Right Direction

Don’t forget — you can view all of the emerald cut diamonds on JamesAllen.com in 360° HD at up to 40x SuperZoom.

Ready to embrace the emerald? Find your emerald cut engagement ring.

Once you’ve browsed our emerald aisle, let us know your fave in the comments below or on our social channels: Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or Twitter.

Discover additional diamond shapes: Round Cut Diamonds, Princess Cut Diamonds, Radiant Cut Diamonds, and Oval Cut Diamonds.

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Jonny Hart

Jonny is passionate about puns, adores alliteration, and finds diamonds positively facet-nating! Since joining James Allen, he has written the word 'sparkle’ 9,732 times and counting.

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Buying an Engagement Ring 101

Let’s be honest: we could all use a class called Buying an Engagement Ring 101 at some point in our lives.

buying engagement ring 101

Some of us have absolutely no clue where to start when buying an engagement ring. “Pavé”? How is that even pronounced? (protip: “pah-vay”). And how does one narrow down all of the sparkly choices??

Still, we know the process is worth the perfect reaction. For such a meaningful choice and such an important spend, how do you surprise your SO with exactly what they want?

Buying an Engagement Ring 101

Deep breaths! Our non-commissioned Customer Service team is here to answer your questions, 24/7. To start you out, we sat down with our Customer Service certified experts to mine their most helpful tips and tricks.

No idea what you’re doing? Start with the diamond shape.

choose diamond buying engagement ring 101

If you’re not sure what kind of ring to get, our experts suggest you start by choosing the diamond shape: “There’s lots of little nuances between all the different faceting styles,” explains one of our Customer Service reps. The first and most basic decision is whether your SO would want a fancier shape or a more timeless diamond.

So, what do we know about your SO’s style?

find style buying engagement ring 101

Would she love to rock a more unique diamond? “When it comes to fancier shapes, such as a heart, a pear, an oval, marquise, etc., I always ask if she’s mentioned that she likes that specific shape,” says our rep. It’s better to know in advance if your SO would want a unique diamond shape, which tend to be more polarizing. If she is looking for trendy, “then ovals and pears are a great direction to go in. Marquises are really starting to gain strength as well!”

pear diamond halo buying engagement ring 101
Pear Shape Diamond Engagement Ring

If you’re just not sure, you might want to stick with a more classic diamond shape, like round, princess, or cushion cut diamonds.

You can’t go wrong with a round cut diamond!

“Whenever someone is very unsure or just completely clueless about what style to get their significant other, I always resort to a classic round center stone,” one of our experts says.  

round cut diamonds buying engagement ring 101

Benefits of the round cut diamond? It has amazing sparkle, it’s not going out of style anytime soon, and it’s by far the most popular diamond shape for engagement rings.

solitaire simple rose gold buying engagement ring 101
Round Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

For more in-depth diamond education, check out our Diamond Shape Series!

Explore Diamond Shapes

Next step: choose the engagement ring setting.

Now onto Buying an Engagement Ring 101, lesson 2! The setting of the engagement ring is, basically, everything but the center diamond. The type of ring, if you will. The most important consideration when choosing a setting according to our Customer Service team:

How will the ring fit with your SO’s lifestyle?

How active is she on the day-to-day? If she goes rock climbing, for example, or if she works in a medical field where gloves are necessary, you might want to go for a setting without exposed diamonds on the band, like a solitaire or channel-set ring.

The diamonds grooved into this ring’s band and the center stone’s basket minimize the risk of diamonds getting caught or falling out:

channel set buying engagement ring 101
Channel-Set Engagement Ring

This sleek and modern engagement ring’s center diamond is strongly protected by a bezel setting:

bezel modern yellow gold buying engagement ring 101
Solitaire Bezel-Set Engagement Ring

If her day-to-day is less hands on, you can consider a wider range of settings like the super-popular pavé setting which features more exposed diamonds on the band.

pave buying engagement ring 101

Petite Pavé Engagement Ring

Is your SO more trendy or low-key?

Like with diamond styles, our experts suggest you look at how trendy your SO is on the day-to-day. Some helpful guiding questions: Does she like to keep up with the latest fashions? Is she somebody who likes to read all the fashion magazines and blogs? If so, you might want to go for a more daring setting, like a romantic vintage engagement ring or a hyper-modern tension ring:

vintage unique buying engagement ring 101
Bird of Paradise Vintage Engagement Ring

tension modern buying engagement ring 101
Spiral Tension-Set Engagement Ring

Or is is your SO a bit more low-key? If the usual wardrobe is T-shirt and jeans, and especially if she doesn’t usually wear jewelry, our experts suggest opting for a simple, more classic style, like this baguette diamond stunner:

baguette side stone buying engagement ring 101
Baguette Side-Stone Engagement Ring

Explore Ring Settings

The Conclusion(ish)

Still feeling lost? Our Customer Service experts suggest a foolproof combo: “You can never go wrong with a solitaire setting and a classic diamond shape, like round, princess, or cushion cut.”

Ready? Get Started on Buying Your Engagement Ring! And don’t forget to get jewelry insurance at checkout.

Don’t worry, this won’t end with Buying an Engagement Ring 101! Stay tuned to this proposal series for expert advice about proposing on a budget, proposing on vacation, collaborating on the ring, and more!

RELATED READING:

For now, check out the 10 Essential Proposal Tips we mined from our customers’ experiences.

Finding this engagement ring buying advice helpful or have tips of your own to share? Let us know in the comments below, or on our social channels: Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or Twitter.

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7 Things to Do After Getting Engaged

Essential prep for the days, weeks, and months after getting engaged.

7 things to do after getting engaged cover

You’re on cloud nine after getting engaged and you don’t ever want to come down. Why would you? It’s super comfy up there! But, at the same time, you’ve never been more excited to share the happy news with your loved ones back on Earth. Quite the logistical dilemma!

We’ve put together some handy tips to keep you grounded after getting engaged, because we’re nice like that.

The Day After Getting Engaged

Wait to Celebrate

7 things to do after getting engaged grande halo split shank engagement ring

Things are about to get cray… and fast! But before you go announcing your big news to the world, why not have a little private celebration of your own? Take the time to really let it sink in and then, only when you’re ready, bring your closest friends and family into the loop. Book a table at your favorite restaurant or, better yet, invite them over for a barbeque. For a priceless reaction, casually mention you’re getting married as you ask one of your guests to pass the mesquite!

Make Beautiful Your Cuticles

7 things to do after getting engaged pavé halo diamond engagement ring

You’re jumping for joy on the inside, but your fingers tell a different story. Months of nail-biting that led up to the proposal have taken their toll. Give those sad-looking digits the pampering they deserve with a professional manicure – your cuticles will thank you! Keep it simple with a clean, shape, and polish, or go all out with some funky nail art. Either way, you’ll want to ensure your hand’s in tip-top condition and ready for the close-up.

Be Selfie-Centered!

7 things to do after getting engaged cushion outline pavé engagement ring

These days, it’s not official until you post an engagement ring selfie and the ‘likes’ start pouring in. How does one prep for the ultimate ring shot? Choose a background that doesn’t distract too much from the ring. You can include props from the proposal or hold hands with your fiancé. Make sure your ring and hand are in focus, use natural light rather than flash, and experiment with angles to maximize sparkle. After getting engaged with a James Allen ring, we’ll help you create a video of your proposal moment, complete with a 360° view of your ring. Perfect for sharing!

Ring Care After Getting Engaged

Safeguard Your Sparkle

7-things-to-do-after-getting-engaged-safeguard-your-sparkle

Although one of toughest materials on the planet, diamond still attracts dirt like any other piece of jewelry. To keep your ring at its most pristine, soak it in mild dish soap and warm water for up to 30 minutes, gently scrubbing with a soft toothbrush. It’s also advisable to store your diamond ring away from other jewelry, as it may scratch anything it comes into contact with.

Dish the Dazzle

7 things to do after getting engaged modified french cut six prong engagement ring

The safest place to store your ring when it’s not being worn is in its original packaging, as this offers the best protection. But who wants to carry a ring box around with them? A more convenient solution is to scatter several ring dishes around your house, so there’s always a safe place to rest your ring when you take it off.

The Calm After Getting Engaged

Savor the Moment

7 things to do after getting engaged savor the moment

Sounds fairly obvious, but couples often get so caught up in the excitement after getting engaged, they forget to enjoy the experience. Take some “us” time to escape the stresses of planning a wedding, even for a few hours. Whether it’s a picnic in the park or a day at the spa, you owe it to yourselves to unwind and bask in the simple pleasure of each other’s company. As for the wedding planning, go at your own pace and don’t put undue pressure on yourselves.

Band Together

7 things to do after getting engaged round and marquise shape diamond engagement ring

If you thought online engagement ring shopping was a breeze, wait till you try wedding band shopping! For one thing, you don’t have to worry about choosing the perfect diamond. Some wedding bands don’t contain stones at all and the ones that do come preset. All you need to do is decide which ring best fits your style and budget. For the ultimate sparkle combo, consider matching your wedding band with your engagement ring.

Browse wedding bands

What practical steps did you take after getting engaged? Let us know in the comments below or over on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

BTW, if you’re feeling your new sparkler, show us some Insta-love by tagging your ring selfie with #jamesallenrings.

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Jonny Hart

Jonny is passionate about puns, adores alliteration, and finds diamonds positively facet-nating! Since joining James Allen, he has written the word 'sparkle’ 9,732 times and counting.

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How to Nail the Wedding Day Schedule

You’ve been dreaming about your big day for as long as you can remember, right down to the last rose petal. Every time you run through it in your head, it’s absolutely perfect; from the dress to the cake to the… 100 white doves? In reality, getting hitched without a hitch requires a lot of careful planning and a wedding day schedule that leaves nothing to chance.

To ensure your special day is remembered for all the right reasons, consider these points when putting together your wedding day schedule.

Nail the wedding day schedule

Wedding Day Schedule: Before the Ceremony

Give Your Diamonds a Shine

Make time in your wedding day schedule to clean your bridal jewelry

Before you walk down the aisle, you’ll want to make sure your bridal jewelry is every bit as radiant as you are. There are a number of things you can do to make your diamond engagement ring and wedding ring look sparkly clean. While the correct cleaning method will depend on the type of ring setting you choose, as a general rule, it’s okay to soak your rings for up to 30 minutes in mild dish soap and warm water, and scrub them gently with a soft toothbrush.

Ladies First

Give your bridesmaids priority primping in your wedding day schedule

Let your bridesmaids have their hair and makeup done before you. Not only will you stay looking fresh for the ceremony, but you’ll also be able to have your bridesmaids in the background of your getting-ready shots. Your wedding day schedule should allow for an hour and a half to two hours for the bride’s hair and makeup, and an hour to an hour and a half for each of the bridesmaids.

Make Room for the Groom

Allow for the early arrival of the groom and groomsmen in your wedding day schedule

Typically, the groom and groomsmen arrive at the venue an hour and a half prior to the ceremony. This allows them time to welcome guests and show them to their seats… and get those wedding-day jitters under control.

Preview Your Bridal Look

Allow for a quiet moment with the groom in your wedding day schedule

With your hair and makeup done and jewelry shined, it’s time to let the groom see his beautiful bride! You might want to use this quiet moment to take pre-ceremony portraits while your bridal party and families wait in the wings. You should allocate around 15 to 30 minutes of your wedding day schedule for the first look; 40 if you factor in bride and groom photos.

Put Your Loved Ones in the Picture

Add helping the photographer identify guests to your wedding day schedule

Think about how you want your family and friends grouped in photos and prepare a list for the photographer. So there’s no confusion, you can also ask someone from your bridal party to help the photographer identify all the people on the list. Your wedding day schedule should allow up to 50 minutes for photo ops.

Wedding Day Schedule: It’s Showtime!

Get This Party Started

Make time in your wedding day schedule to have fun!

Plan to start the wedding ceremony fifteen minutes after the time listed on the invitation, as there will always be latecomers.

After you’ve exchanged vows, it’s off to the reception. Yay! You know how this part goes: cocktails are drunk, dinner is served, dances are danced, toasts are made, the cake is cut, a bouquet is tossed, and you make your grand exit. Whichever moments you choose to include in your wedding day schedule, try not to get too caught up in the details; allow yourself space to enjoy what is sure to be one of the best days of your life.

Wedding Day Schedule: Winding Down

Play It Safe

Make room in your wedding day schedule for safely storing your diamond jewelry

Once you’ve kicked off your dancing shoes and picked the last bit of confetti from your hair, you’ll probably be ready to call it a night. At this point, you might be tempted to toss your shiny new engagement ring and wedding ring into a drawer or leave them lying precariously on your nightstand – but they need a bed for the night too! It’s important to store your diamond jewelry separately from other jewelry, as they can scratch pretty much any jewel they come into contact with, diamonds being the hardest mineral on Earth and all. You’re best off keeping your sparklers in their original packaging or, if you prefer, in a separate compartment in a jewelry box.

Browse Wedding Rings

Wedding Day Schedule: Sounds Like a Plan

For more information on keeping your precious pieces in pristine condition, read this article on caring for your diamond jewelry. If you have yet to purchase your wedding ring, this blog post explains How to Match Your Wedding Ring and Engagement Ring.

Do you have any other tips for putting together a wedding day schedule? Let us know in the comments below or on our social channels: Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Jonny Hart

Jonny is passionate about puns, adores alliteration, and finds diamonds positively facet-nating! Since joining James Allen, he has written the word 'sparkle’ 9,732 times and counting.

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How to Budget for an Affordable Engagement Ring

Here are tips on how to create an affordable engagement ring within your budget.

Finding the Perfect Affordable Engagement Ring

Let us say this once and for all: there is no such thing as a “right amount” to spend on an engagement ring. Two months salary is a myth. If you’re going into debt to buy a ring – don’t. If you both would rather spend the money elsewhere – do. You should never feel pressured to spend more than what you’re comfortable with. Buy an engagement ring not because you have to, but because you want to.

Still looking for some general engagement ring budget guardrails? The average amount spent on an engagement ring last year was $6,000, according to The Knot’s 2015 Real Weddings survey. And the average diamond size was just under 1 carat: 0.9 to be precise.

Once you and your partner have decided what budget range feels right for your circumstance and priorities, here are some tips to help you get the most value for your money and score an affordable engagement ring.

AFFORDABLE ENGAGEMENT RING TIPS

ROUND AND PRINCESS-CUT DIAMONDS OFFER THE MOST VALUE

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to buy a flawless or even near-flawless diamond to get a jaw-droppingly gorgeous engagement ring. Round and princess diamonds are cut precisely to maximize brilliance and minimize the appearance of inclusions.

Round cut diamonds for an affordable engagement ring
Round cut diamonds for affordable engagement rings

Princess cut diamonds for an affordable engagement ring
Princess cut diamonds for affordable engagement rings

Let’s do a quick comparison of two round diamonds on leading online diamond bridal jewelry retailer www.jamesallen.com. Both are the same carat weight, but this one is a lower grade (H, VS2), priced just below $5,000 and this one (G, VVS2), priced over $8,000.

Keep in mind that they are both magnified 15x, so if you can’t notice much of a difference in 360° High Definition, then you definitely won’t notice it in person. Knowing that, you can then decide for yourself the diamond grades that best balance your budget and expectations and will deliver the perfect affordable engagement ring.

CHOOSE A DIAMOND JUST UNDER YOUR TARGET CARAT WEIGHT

Diamond chart showing "under-sized" diamonds - affordable engagement ring
Diamond chart showing “under-sized” diamonds just below 1 carat can be more affordable

Another way to score an affordable engagement ring is to buy an “under-sized” diamond – one that is just shy of the standard carat weight you were aiming to purchase. For example, if you’re looking to buy a 1-carat Round diamond, consider buying one that is slightly under a full carat. The difference will be virtually imperceptible and you’ll save a nice chunk of cash.

Let’s compare two diamonds with the same specs, except for the carat weight. Both of these diamonds are H-color, VS1, excellent cut, but this one weighs 1 carat and this one weighs .91 carat.  To the naked eye, these 2 diamonds look virtually identical, but you’ll definitely notice the difference in your wallet.

CONSIDER BUYING ONLINE – YOU’LL SAVE AN AVERAGE OF 30-50% OFF RETAIL STORE PRICING

Find an affordable engagement ring online
Find an affordable engagement ring online

One of the reasons we love collaborating with couples looking for engagement rings online is because it’s a sure-fire way to find an affordable engagement ring. The simple reason is this: online jewelers have less overhead, so they can sell the same products — and usually a much bigger selection — for less than brick and mortar stores.

Regardless of where you decide to shop, be sure that the diamonds you are exploring are certified by one of the top 3 grading laboratories: GIA, AGS, IGI. Keep in mind that two diamonds can be graded exactly the same on a diamond certificate, yet be priced differently, and the certificate won’t tell you why. You need to actually see a diamond to understand the nature of its inclusions. At www.JamesAllen.com you can interact with each and every one of our diamonds in 360° and superzoomed up to 40x, which is a much higher magnification than a jeweler’s loupe. In addition you can receive a FREE real-time diamond inspection with one of our non=commissioned diamond experts, who can walk you through a diamond’s inclusions and help you compare two diamonds up close.

You also want to look for a money-back guarantee (no restocking fees), free ring resizing and 24/7 customer service. That way, you can feel secure with your purchase, knowing exactly what you’re getting before it arrives safely at your door.

And, a final bonus – four little words that go a long way: Shopping. In. Your. Underwear.

Find Your Affordable Engagement Ring

Start here!

Read on for more engagement ring wisdom! Engagement Rings Under $3,000 ♦ How Much to Spend ♦ 11 Affordable Engagement Rings ♦ How to Budget ♦ How to Make Your Ring Look Bigger

Love these affordable engagement ring tips or have your own to add? Let us know on InstagramFacebookSnapchatTwitter, or in the comments below.

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Jackie B.

Jackie B.

Jackie is a writer who loves a good deal, especially when it comes to jewelry!

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design the perfect halo or solitaire engagement ring

How to Design the Perfect Engagement Ring

There is no such thing as the perfect engagement ring, but there is such a thing as the perfect engagement ring for her. All you need is to put some thought into it, and you’re sure to make the right choice. Don’t worry – you’re not alone; we’re here to help you every step of the way.

The perfect engagement ring styles

Design Her Perfect Engagement Ring in 3 Easy Steps

Step 1. CHOOSE THE METAL TYPE

Selecting the metal for your perfect engagement ring

This is the easiest to scratch off your list and help you feel like you’ve accomplished something, so let’s start with this!

Engagement rings are typically made from one of four metals: Platinum, white gold, yellow gold or rose gold.

Platinum:

Durable and great for those who work with their hands. Most expensive, since it resists tarnishing. However, it is also the most expensive to repair.

White Gold:

Easily matches most other jewelry. Has a silver-like appearance which will eventually wear off and need to be replaced. Comes in 14-karat or 18-karat gold.

Yellow Gold:

Can show scratches or other abrasions, but repairs quite easily. Comes in 14-karat or 18-karat gold.

Rose Gold:

An alternative, more delicate metal to yellow gold, with a vintage feel.

Step 2. DETERMINE HER ENGAGEMENT RING STYLE

Perfect Engagement Ring Style

Good job! You’ve chosen the metal. Now it’s time to figure out what her r