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Are You A “Normal” Ring Shopper?

Want to know how you compare to other ring shoppers? We can tell you thanks to this survey collaboration with SWNS.

A picture of an engaged couple. The woman has her arms wrapped around his neck and is showing off her diamond ring.

When do I know I’m ready to get married?

Half of Americans in a relationship knew they wanted to marry their partner the moment they met. In fact, that statistic holds up across genders! 46% of women and 47% of men immediately knew that their partner was the one. 

What about those who are skeptical of marriage? A third of respondents say that their current partner made them want to get married – that’s a quarter of women and half of men.

What does this mean for you? Well, there doesn’t seem to be much of a correlation between how long a couple dates and the strength of their marriage. Whatever feels right is right for you. It doesn’t particularly matter whether it takes months or years for you two to arrive at the altar. Your journey is your own, but the destination is the same for each married couple. 

A statistic answering the question: "When do I know I’m ready to get married?"

After the wedding, should I wear my wedding ring, my engagement ring, or both?

If you’re asking yourself, “How should I wear my wedding ring set?” then we’ve got news for you: there are no absolute rules regarding how to wear your rings! After the wedding, most Americans wear their wedding ring closest to their knuckle, paired with their engagement ring just over it. 

Other ring options:

  • Wear your full wedding set, but swap the order: the engagement ring closest to the knuckle, with the wedding ring further down on your finger.
  • Wear only your wedding ring

If you like your wedding ring best, or if your engagement ring tends to get in the way in your day-to-day life, then you may want to wear your wedding ring exclusively.

  • Wear only your engagement ring

Do you like your engagement ring more than your wedding band? Then leave your wedding band at home! You’re still celebrating your relationship, just with more emphasis on your sparkling center stone.

  • Wear your wedding ring and engagement ring on different hands

This can be a great choice for those whose wedding ring and engagement ring don’t sit flush. Or, on the other hand, your local tradition may dictate this. In Spain, for instance, the engagement ring usually goes on the left hand, while the wedding ring usually goes on the right. 

  • Wear your wedding ring and engagement ring on different fingers

Other than for style reasons, this choice is common for those whose fingers have changed size, particularly post-pregnancy. If this strikes a chord, remember that James Allen offers free ring resizing either via mail or in select Jared jewelry stores.

  • Wear your wedding ring and engagement ring on the right hand

In some cultures, right > left. In fact, Catholic and eastern European tradition dictates that the wedding and engagement ring both be worn on the right hand. 

All in all, only about half of respondents constantly wear their wedding rings and engagement rings together. The other half either wear only one ring or forgo wearing rings altogether.

The bottom line: you do you, boo.

How long should I save up for an engagement ring?

This is totally up to you. A quarter of Americans say they don’t believe there’s a set amount of time, while 65% of Americans believe you should save up for a year at maximum. 

However, there’s no majority consensus. How do people determine how much a ring should cost?

  • You can set your ring budget by the amount of money you can save in a certain number of months
  • You can determine a budget independent of time constraints
  • You can find your dream ring and save up until you have enough to purchase it

The time necessary to save up money is heavily dependent on both your budget and the price of your desired ring. And if your budget is inflexible, here are some options for lowering the overall cost of your ring!

Important: James Allen offers special financing options if you can’t fully afford your ring right now, but still want to get engaged ASAP!

How much should my engagement ring cost?

Just 15% of Americans believe an engagement ring should cost over $5,000. Why is this important? It means you shouldn’t feel pressured to buy an expensive ring.

If you want to splurge on an impressive ring, go for it! You can always add more diamonds to the basket and shank, upgrade to a more pricey diamond, or choose platinum as your ring metal.

On the other hand, you should know that smaller budgets are extremely common. Additionally, many people’s dream rings fall well within their ring budgets! 

If you’re operating within a smaller budget, have a look at our favorite affordable engagement rings. You and your wallet will fall in love!

Is it important to buy an expensive engagement ring?

71% of Americans don’t really care about the cost of the engagement ring.

What seems to be most important is that the ring suits the recipient. If your dream ring is priced higher than your current budget allows, there are plenty of ways to adjust your ring’s cost without compromising on appearance.

Ways to reduce the cost of your engagement ring:

  1. Choose a lab created diamond, which can cost up to 50% less than a traditional earth-created diamond.
  2. Go for slightly under full carats. For instance, the price difference between a .95 carat diamond and a 1.00 carat diamond is significant, but the size difference is not noticeable to the naked eye.
  3. Choose an elongated diamond shape, which appears large for its carat weight.
  4. Want a white jewelry metal? Go for white gold rather than platinum.
  5. Compromise on color. The less colorless a diamond is, the more affordable it is. Save money on a diamond with a slightly yellow tint, then pair it with a yellow or rose gold setting. The warm jewelry metal will mask the diamond’s color and no one can tell the difference!
A statistic answering the question, "Is it important to buy an expensive engagement ring?"

Should we share the cost of an engagement ring?

4 out of 10 couples share the cost of their engagement ring. An engagement ring is a big purchase! Not only can sharing the cost be a practical decision (and perhaps one that would allow for a more expensive ring), but taking this important journey together can bring a couple closer to one another.

Whether or not you share the cost of an engagement ring, here’s why we recommend designing your ring together.

A statistic answering the question, "Should we share the cost of an engagement ring?"

Should I get a custom engagement ring or a pre-set engagement ring?

36% of ring shoppers prefer a customized engagement ring, while 26% would rather go with a pre-set ring.

Any of James Allen’s rings can be customized with your unique gemstone and jewelry metal. For additional customization with unique baskets, halos, and shanks, visit the Ring Studio.

A statistic answering the question, "Should I get a custom engagement ring or a pre-set engagement ring?"

What’s the perfect proposal?

Ring in the champagne glass? “Will You Marry Me?” written in the sky? An impromptu proposal at home?

71% of Americans prefer a traditional proposal, in which a partner gets down on one knee and pops the question. It’s traditional, but there are a thousand and one ways to do it! Customize your proposal to your hearts’ content. 

Which proposal will suit the two of you?

  • Just the two of you vs. alongside friends and family
  • A destination proposal vs. a proposal at home
  • Simple vs. extravagant
  • Impromptu vs. planned

Check out our Engagement Moments for proposal inspiration from real-life James Allen customers. And for some currently relevant inspiration, have a look at our list of 9 COVID-friendly proposal ideas.

More ring-shopping guidance to browse:

  1. Top Engagement Ring Tips From the Experts
  2. At-Home Proposal Ideas From TV & Film
  3. Engagement Ring Advice from Real Couples
  4. Engagement Ring Etiquette: 5 Big Questions

Subscribe to our email list for access to secret sales, practical ring-buying tips, and $100 off your first purchase.

Rachel Hoar

Rachel is an unabashed linguistics fanatic who can identify the ancient Greek root of any word. She promises not to spray you with Windex.

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Using Pinterest to Find Your Partner’s Dream Ring

Trying to figure out your partner’s taste in engagement rings while hiding the fact that you’re ring shopping? If they use Pinterest (and they probably do), here’s how to make it your secret weapon in the search for that dream ring.

Pinterest is a brainstormer’s utopia, which is why it’s used by TONS of ring enthusiasts to virtually window shop. When your partner uses Pinterest (if they don’t, give them a nudge!), you have front-row access to exactly the rings they love. And remember, you can contact our customer service team at any time for hands-on help. 

DISCOVER THEIR STYLE

Quickly identify your partner’s ring style by identifying trends on their Pinterest boards. As you browse their ring pins, ask yourself which ring characteristics show up most often:

  • Type of setting (pavé, solitaire, halo…)
  • Ring metal (rose/white/yellow gold…)
  • Diamond cut (round, emerald, oval…)

Head to James Allen’s Engagement Ring board and easily search rings by your partner’s fav categories. Once you’ve collected your ring inspo, save the pins to a secret board (more on that below). Share them with our customer service team and within minutes they’ll help you pin-point THE ring!

Next up: how to get Pin-spired without raising any ring-shopping suspicions.

Triple Diamond Cluster Engagement Ring

Using Pinterest to Find Your Partner’s Dream Ring: Rose Gold Triple Diamond Cluster Engagement Ring.

“I took all of the best elements from my fiancée’s Pinterest and combined them into this ring. She is absolutely over the moon with it.”

-Quincy B.

FOLLOW ANONYMOUSLY

To follow your partner without them knowing:

  1. Create a Pinterest account using a non-specific username and a first name/last name that’s not your own.
  2. Search for your partner by their email address (or Pinterest username if you know it)
  3. Go into their profile and click “See all boards”
  4. Choose the relevant engagement ring-related board and click “follow.” 
  5. All the pins you follow will appear in the “following” tab at the top of the page.

Split Shank Solitaire Engagement Ring

Using Pinterest to Find Your Partner’s Dream Ring: Split Shank Solitaire Engagement Ring.

“When the time was right I scoured her Pinterest page looking at photos she had collected over the years. Through these pictures I had an idea of what she liked.”

– Zachary T.

SAVE THEIR RINGS

Once you’re following your partner, it’s super convenient to save all their relevant pins in one location. You can do this by saving their pins to your own secret board, or you can download their pins and save them on your computer – or both!

How to save rings to a SECRET board

To ensure everything stays private, all you have to do is make your board secret. Just click on the pencil icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the board tile. A pop-up will appear. Scroll down and activate the option “keep this board secret.”

If your partner visits your profile, they won’t be able to see any of your saved pins on this secret board. Your secret will be safe.

Vintage Filigree Engagement Ring

Using Pinterest to Find Your Partner’s Dream Ring: Vintage Filigree Engagement Ring

“I immediately was drawn to one ring that I had seen on my girlfriend’s Pinterest page once… I knew it was perfect for her and she absolutely loves it!”

– Zahnlecker M.

COLLABORATE WITH FRIENDS/FAMILY

How can you use Pinterest to collaborate with your partner’s friends and family? Invite them to pin to your ring board and comment on the rings you’ve found!

To get input from the people who know your partner’s tastes best, first search for your ring helpers via username or email – but don’t follow them. (If you do follow them, anyone can see you’re connected.) Then, invite them to collaborate on your secret board.

Once they accept, your partners-in-crime can help by adding ring pins and commenting directly on specific rings.

Entangled Vines Engagement Ring

Using Pinterest to Find Your Partner’s Dream Ring: Entangled Vines Engagement Ring

“My fiancée had a specific ring in mind (Which she made very well known via Pinterest) and James Allen was one of only a handful of online retailers to carry this specific design.”

– Curtis M.

FIND SIMILAR RINGS

Found a James Allen ring on Pinterest that looks almost perfect, but not quite? Open the pin and enlarge the ring to see similar-looking rings.

Our legendary customer service team is also an incredible resource. They’re available 24/7 – and super responsive! Reach out and you’ll be chatting with them within minutes. They’re fantastic at helping to narrow down ring options once you’ve got an idea of your partner’s style.

Cushion Outline Halo Engagement Ring

Using Pinterest to Find Your Partner’s Dream Ring: Cushion Outline Halo Engagement Ring

“I was on my fiancée’s Pinterest and saw a ring from James Allen…Now everyone she comes into contact with always asks about her ring and the compliments never stop!”

-Brandon M.

DO YOUR RESEARCH

So now you’re an expert, buff up your ring expertise by following James Allen Rings on Pinterest. Get the most info for your follow by starting with these James Allen Pinterest boards that are chock-full of educational advice:

Petite Pavé Engagement Ring

Using Pinterest to Find Your Partner’s Dream Ring: Petite Pavé Engagement Ring

“I noticed that 90% of her rings on Pinterest had pavé bands, so I found a really nice diamond and put the ring together. She loves it.”

-Keith G.

On a stealthy ring hunt? Read on for clues:

Subscribe to our email list for access to secret sales, practical ring-buying tips, and $100 off your first purchase!

Rachel Hoar

Rachel is an unabashed linguistics fanatic who can identify the ancient Greek root of any word. She promises not to spray you with Windex.

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engagement-ring-shopping-cover

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.

Pin this collaboration inspiration:

engagement ring shopping pinterest pin

Subscribe to our email list for access to secret sales, practical ring-buying tips, and $100 off your first order!

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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