Top Engagement Ring Tips From the Experts

Top Engagement Ring Tips From the Experts

Buying an engagement ring and wondering where to begin? Scroll down for expert advice!

Happy couple smiling with an engagement ring after proposing

We sat down with Sarah, one of James Allen’s senior customer service reps, to talk about some common questions she encounters on a daily basis from customers. Whether it’s about buying an engagement ring or making proposal plans, read on for her top engagement ring tips and more!

1. Shape Your Thoughts

When you’re just getting started, we recommend thinking about shape preference. ‘A round center stone is never going to go out of style, and it is by far the most popular shape’ explains Sarah. If you don’t know where to begin, play it safe and go for a round center stone. Oval cut and pear-shaped diamonds are a good choice for those who prefer something more trendy.

 Three Stone Engagement Ring

This stunning engagement ring features two beautifully matched round shaped rubies as an accent to the exquisite center diamond of your choice. All three stones are set in a wire basket with a slightly rounded, airline shank.

14K White Gold Three Stone Round Ruby Engagement Ring

Split Shank Engagement Ring (Pear Center)

Featuring a pear-shaped center diamond, this solitaire ring gracefully accentuates the center stone with a delicate split shank. A minimalistic design that will not go unnoticed!

14K Yellow Gold Pear Shaped Classic Split Shank Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring

Graduated Halo Engagement Ring

This dashing engagement ring features a graduated diamond halo for a romantic yet dramatic look.

2. Timing Is Everything

When you’re thinking about the proposal, consider timelines and how long it takes to make your ring. ‘I always remind our customers to allow themselves enough time because all our rings are made to order’ adds Sarah. So, remember to give yourself enough time for that sparkler to arrive! Whatever you choose, allow yourself a few weeks before getting your hands on these stunners:

Petite Pavé Engagement Ring

This French Cut pavé diamond engagement ring is created to maximize the amount of light that hits the diamonds from all sides, set with a small V-shape under the diamond, increasing their individual sparkle. The custom tailored prongs are set into the shank of the ring, allowing a variety of bands to sit flush with the engagement ring.

Bird Of Paradise Engagement Ring

Marquise shape sapphires add a touch of something unexpected and dynamic to this unique, gorgeous ring.

Two-Tone Swirl Tension Engagement Ring (Pear Center)

For a uniquely modern take on the engagement ring, this style features the ability to add a pear-cut diamond of your choice to a two-tone tension ring. Distinctive and statuesque, it is the ultimate way to showcase the perfect diamond.

14K Two-Tone White And Yellow Gold Pear Shaped Swirl Tension Setting

3. Let’s Talk Budget

You may have heard about the ‘three month salary rule’, but we think you should establish what you’re comfortable spending overall. How much you should dish out isn’t an exact science! ‘Once we know what style the customer wants, the best-sellers are a good reference’ adds Sarah. These are stunning options that won’t necessarily break the bank:

Split Shank Solitaire Engagement Ring

This solitaire ring gracefully accentuates the center stone with a delicate split shank. A minimalistic design to keep it simple, but sparkly!

 Bow-Tie Channel Set Engagement Ring

This beautiful tapered engagement ring is channel-set with eight round shaped diamonds designed to draw the eye to the center diamond of your choice.

Looking to sparkle and save? We teamed up with proposal expert Stacy Stahl to cover all your ring budget questions, including:

  1. How much should you spend on a ring?  
  2. Does bigger mean better? 
  3. How can you save money? 
  4. What’s the average amount spent?

Listen to her tips in the video below to find the best bling for your buck:

4. A Two-Way Street

Engagement ring shopping is usually a two-way street. ‘You should always keep your partner in the loop and follow their lead’ advises Sarah. Your partner is going to be wearing the ring every day, so make sure they love it! If your SO hints for something other than a classic solitaire, try something different, like these vintage rings.

Vintage Infinity Engagement Ring

This eternity-style ring is crafted in a curving white gold band and features beading and milgrain detailing for infinite style and sparkle.

Regal Frame Engagement Ring

If you are looking for a romantic yet bold design, this engagement ring will match your highest expectations without any compromise. The cathedral shank with pavé stones meets an elegant diamond frame to set the stage for the center stone of your choice.

Looking for real-life proposal inspiration? Or just want to read some feel-good engagement stories? See how our customers have popped the question in our “Engagement Moments” section.

Ready to purchase your engagement ring? Check out the articles below to get more inspiration!

Engagement ring catch your eye? Share the love on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or in the comments below!

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

Jarred Maram

Jarred is a writer by day and unofficial office ping pong champion

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Around-the-World Marriage Proposals: The Greatest Glow on Earth!

Love makes the world go round and we’ve got the awinspiring around-the-world marriage proposals to prove it!

around-the-world marriage proposals single row pavé infinity engagement ring martin flyer cover

Somewhere on this big blue marble we call home, a couple is getting engaged right now. By the time you finish reading this article, several hundred thousand more will have put a ring on it. Planet Earth is quite simply the place to pop the question – at least until commercial spaceflight becomes a thing.

In honor of World Post Day, we’ve rounded up our favorite around-the-world marriage proposals submitted by our international customers. Just as their love knows no borders, James Allen offers free shipping to over 30 countries worldwide. You could say we put the glow in global!

Around-the-World Marriage Proposals: Honduran Homebodies

14K White Gold Pavé Halo Diamond Engagement Ring (Cushion , Radiant, Emerald )
Pavé Halo Diamond Engagement Ring

Our round-the-world trip starts out in Zamorano, Honduras. Hopeful hubby Aaron left girlfriend Maria a note instructing her to meet him by a tire swing in their neighbor’s yard. As she waited obligingly by the swing, her knight in shining amour pulled up in a red vintage truck. He presented her with a bouquet of flowers and an impossible-to-resist pavé halo diamond ring, to which she couldn’t help but say yes. We love the sheer simplicity of this proposal and can practically taste the homemade baleadas wafting through the air! Read more

Around-the-World Marriage Proposals: Canadian Cascade

around-the-world marriage proposals single row pavé infinity engagement ring martin flyer
Single Row Pavé Infinity Engagement Ring by Martin Flyer

Next, we head north to Edmonton, Canada, and the scene of Carly and Roman’s gushing proposal. Roman whisked Carly off on a helicopter ride, stopping below a glacial waterfall for a picturesque mountaintop picnic. Using the Insta-worthy moment to his advantage, Roman pretended to set up the camera’s self-timer, but secretly hit record. The teary-eyed romantic then took the plunge and presented his love with a single row pavé infinity ring by Martin Flyer. Noticing that he was holding the box upside down, Carly quickly turned it right-side up and said yes through the laughter and the tears. Read more

Around-the-World Marriage Proposals: American Dream

18K Yellow Gold Petite Pavé Engagement Ring
Petite Pavé Engagement Ring

The next leg of our whistle-stop tour takes us to the City of Angels via France. Manon from France and fiancé Andrew from Texas were university sweethearts who somehow managed to make their intercontinental relationship work. While on a trip to Los Angeles to realize Manon’s lifelong dream of hiking to the Hollywood Sign, Andrew got down on one knee and proposed with a petite pavé ring. Serendipity may have brought them together, but it was their James Allen sparkler that made it official. Read more

Around-the-World Marriage Proposals: Mauritian Marvel

14K White Gold Diamond Split Shank Double Halo Pavé Engagement Ring
Diamond Split Shank Double Halo Pavé Engagement Ring

All the way over on the other side of the world, a man named Arreytambe was planning an altogether more tropical proposal. He invited then-girlfriend Bessem to visit him on the idyllic island of Mauritius, where he had moved for work. After they’d spent some time enjoying all the island has to offer, Arreytambe arranged a private dinner on the beach, complete with waiter service, hidden photographer, and drone cam. Bessem could barely contain her excitement when he got down on one knee and pulled out that diamond split shank double halo pavé ring. And who could blame her? It is quite stunning! Read more

Get down and sandy with more beach proposal inspo!

Around-the-World Marriage Proposals: Jamaican Joy Ride

14K Yellow Gold Falling Edge Pavé Diamond Engagement Ring
Falling Edge Pavé Diamond Engagement Ring

Our last stop takes us to Kingston, Jamaica and the aptly named Hope Gardens, where churchgoers Karamo and Renee got engaged. Karamo told a blindfolded Renee they were going out for a surprise dinner and drove around in circles to disorient her. In fact, he was planning to pop the question in a part of the sunken garden that he and his friends had decorated. Not even a few brief rain showers could dampen the mood of this joyous occasion. Needless to say, she said yes to him and her falling edge pavé diamond ring (in that order). Read more

Around-the-World Marriage Proposals: Bring It Home

Where (and how) on earth did you pop the question? Map it out for us in the comments below or over on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or Twitter.

Recently engaged with a James Allen ring? Share your proposal story with us and we may feature it!

No matter what time of year you’re planning to pop the question, we’ve got you covered. Choose your season:
Summer Proposals | Winter Proposals

Drop a pin on this international inspiration:

around-the-world marriage proposals pinterest pin

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

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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beach-proposal-stories-cover

Beach Proposal Stories: Sandals & Sparkle

Take a look at customers who went coastal with their beach proposal.

beach proposal stories cover french cut petite pavé engagement ring

For many, beach season means hitting the gym and going on crash diets to get the beach bods they’ve always wanted. Here at James Allen, we like to ring in the summer by sifting through customer beach proposals while filling our faces with soft serve ice cream. Hey, different strokes!

Beach Proposal: Islands of Inspiration

It’s not the size of the stone, it’s the emotion by the ocean!

We’re always in awe of how creative our customers are with their proposals. Some of the most romantic proposals we’ve seen have taken place along the Earth’s sandy shores. I mean, where else can you bare your heart and soul to your SO while simultaneously topping up your tan?

Amy & Sean

Platinum Six Prong Knife Edged Solitaire Engagement Ring
Six Prong Knife Edged Solitaire

Take Sean from Hong Kong, China, for example. He chose to propose to his workplace sweetheart, Amy, while they were vacationing in the Maldives. Their fairytale moment took place inside a huge heart in the sand strewn with flower petals. As the newly engaged couple watched the sunset, the heart lit up with fairy lights in a beautiful display of romance. Disney execs, take note! Read more

Orlagh & Mike

Platinum Round Split Band Diamond Halo Engagement Ring
Pavé Halo Split Shank

Combining business and pleasure, Mike from Manchester, England decided to pop the question while on a work trip to Hawaii. He sent girlfriend Orlagh onto their hotel balcony to admire the Honolulu sunset while he set the stage for the proposal. And what a proposal it was! A timeline of their 9-year relationship surrounded by rose petals and a video of all their friends singing their favorite Jason Mraz song. Needless to say, she was quick to utter the words, “I’m Yours.” Read more

Nathan & Nayia

beach proposal stories french cut petite pavé engagement ring
French Cut Petite Pavé

When embarking on a beach proposal, the sky’s the limit for our adventure-loving customers. This was certainly true for pilot Nathan from British Columbia, Canada. He hired a private plane and flew his girlfriend, Nayia, over Copalis Beach off the coast of Washington, where the words “Marry Me Nayia?” were emblazoned across the sand in 10ft letters. After revealing the oversized message to her, he landed on the beach and proceeded to get down on one knee. Read more and watch the video

Char & Rob

18K Yellow Gold Cable Solitaire Engagement Ring
Twisted Cable Solitaire

Char and Rob from Parker, Colorado were visiting their family’s beach house in New Jersey when it happened. Walking along the beach, Char discovered a glass bottle in the sand that Rob had carefully planted there (good thing she wasn’t barefoot!). Inside the bottle was a rolled up note with the message: “To my angel…” The next thing she knew, Rob was down on one knee, offering her the perfect ring. Read more

Fiona & Jake

14K White Gold Petite Pavé Engagement Ring (Flush Fit)
French Cut Petite Pavé Flush Fit

It was a dog day afternoon for Fiona and Jake from Melbourne, Australia, who got engaged at their local dog beach. Accompanied by their best friends, canines Archie and Louie, they found a quiet spot with an amazing view of the skyline. But it was the cable solitaire engagement ring Jake presented her with that took Fiona’s breath away. Who knew that taking the dogs for a walk could be such a life-changing experience? Read more

Beach Proposal: Sand and Deliver

beach proposal stories sand deliver

Of course, some customers need a little help when it comes to the logistics of their beach proposal — specifically, receiving the ring without their SO finding out. Having a mysterious box show up at your door is likely to arouse suspicion, no matter how discreetly packaged it is. Luckily, our Customer Service reps can help you create a cunning diversion while you slip away to bag your bling.

Beach Proposal: In Summery

Did your beach proposal go swimmingly? Let us know in the comments below or on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or Twitter.

About to take the plunge? Get swept away by the romance of this waterside proposal.

Pin this image to inspire your summer crush:

beach proposal stories pinterest pin

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

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-propose-cover

How to Propose with Flying Colors

Before you get down on one knee, check out our pro tips on how to propose like a boss.

how to propose cover

Our previous article in this series, Buying an Engagement Ring 101, took you back to the basics of ring shopping. With your yes-worthy sparkler in the bag, you’re ready to move on to the proposal. But how does one pop that most nerve-wracking of questions? We’ve put together this foolproof guide to help you nail the proposal.

How to Propose: Know Your Audience

The proposal is your chance to show your SO just how well you know them. Are they the type to go for grand gestures that leave smoke trails in the sky? If so, consider hiring a skywriter, putting on a fireworks display, or having a drone deliver the ring for maximum impact.

how to propose know your audience

If, on the other hand, your SO is the shy type, they’ll probably appreciate a proposal that doesn’t draw the attention of everyone within a five-mile radius. Pick a low-key activity you both enjoy and try to weave in your magic moment. There are plenty of fun ways to propose that don’t involve having your face plastered all over Times Square!

How to Propose: Call in the Big Guns

If you’re unsure when, where, or how to propose, why not enlist the help of your SO’s sister, mom, or best friend?

how to propose call in the big guns

By teaming up with their inner circle, you can get valuable intel, create convincing decoys, and plan a more elaborate proposal. Sure, you may not like the idea of sneaking around, but it’s all for a good cause: your SO’s ultimate happiness.

How to Propose: Give a Helping Hand

It’s a given that the moment you slip that ring on her finger, she’ll be in full-on selfie mode. But no amount of sparkle can disguise chipped nails or dry, chapped skin. Be sure she gets the ultimate ring selfie with a well-timed trip to the manicurist.

how to propose give a helping hand

This will ensure her hands are at their fleekest and you’ll come away looking like a hero. If you’re subtle about it, she won’t suspect your fiendish ulterior motive…

How to Propose: Schedule Your Jewel

Whatever you’re planning, it’s preferable to have the ring in hand before you finalize any reservations that require upfront payment. Design-your-own engagement rings can take a few weeks to arrive as they are custom made.

how to propose schedule your jewel

It’s recommended that you place your order ahead of time, just to be on the safe side. This is especially important if you’re planning a romantic getaway and extra time is needed for your order to reach you.

Apropos of the Proposal…

We’ve got more tips and tricks coming your way! Stay tuned to this proposal series for expert advice about proposing on a budget, proposing on vacation, collaborating on the ring, and more.

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

All set to pop the question? Let us know how you intend to do it on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below.

Pin this image to save your proposal inspo:

how to propose 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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proposal tips

10 Essential Proposal Tips

Planning a proposal? We’re here to give you the answers before you pop the question! Check out these proposal tips inspired by our Customer’s Engagement Moments:

Proposal Tip 1: Plan ahead to capture the moment.

This moment will be one of your happiest and most authentic. Consider hiring a photographer, or ask a talented friend with a high-quality camera. Proposing alone? Learn from Gregory and Shauntay’s incredible West Virginia beach proposal and ask your SO for an auto-timer picture with your phone right before you propose.

beach proposal tips

Proposal Tip 2: Nail the ring.

From all the stories we’ve heard, a dreamy ring is always the cherry on top of a dreamy proposal. Make sure to design a jaw-dropping engagement ring, with attention to setting style, metal, size, and diamond quality. Read our engagement ring buying guide and take a cue on ring design collaboration from Adam and Telisa’s New Year’s proposal.

new years proposal tips

Proposal Tip 3: Think about your invites.

Some want family and friends there, like Lauren and Thomas’s special holiday party proposal. Others might want it to be just you two in an intimate setting, like Heather and Tara’s beautifully simple picnic proposal. Think about how you and your SO would want to celebrate after saying yes.

friends family proposal tips intimate proposal tips

Proposal Tip 4: Add personal references to your history together.

Start your future together by reminding your SO about your unbelievable past and present. Think like Michael, who proposed to Kasey after they ran one of their most challenging races together, or like Dayron, who proposed to Melissa on one of their cherished boating outings.

 marathon proposal tips boat proposal tips

Proposal Tip 5: Take advantage of epic events.

If you propose to your SO at a once-in-a-lifetime event, you’ll always associate that legendary day with your love story. Get ideas from Brad and Ashley’s solar eclipse proposal or from Ashleigh and Justin’s Super Bowl win.

eclipse proposal tips superbowl proposal tips

Proposal Tip 6: Involve holidays to double the celebration.

‘Tis the season! Proposing during the holidays comes with double the celebration and magically lit settings. Think about proposing in a gorgeously decked-out space like Devin and Megan’s sparkling Union Station proposal.

holidays proposal tips

Proposal Tip 7: Speak from the heart.

Your connection can only be expressed in your own words. We love how spontaneously and genuinely Parker proposed to Lauren on a sidewalk – trust that your SO will be charmed by your honesty.

sidewalk proposal tips

Proposal Tip 8: Involve a decoy.

To get your SO where she needs to go without arousing suspicion, team up with a friend or family member. Make sure they’re good enough actors so the secret doesn’t get out! Think like Tony, who worked with Lindsey’s best friend to surprise her.

decoy proposal tips

Proposal Tip 9: Pair it with a bucket list adventure.

Take your SO on an adventure she’s always wanted to go on as a nod to all your future adventures together. It’ll be a great reminder of how you help each other grow. Get inspired by Lucas and Stephanie’s New Year’s NYC proposal and Glenn and Stacey’s Australian skydive story.

new york proposal tips skydiving proposal tips

Proposal Tip 10: Breathe.

You’ve got this! However you propose, your SO will love it because you love each other. We’ve seen our fair share of incredible proposal stories at JamesAllen.com and we can’t wait to add yours to the mix. Good luck and congratulations!

Read more stories and see the rings behind the moments on our customer proposal gallery.

Love these stories? Comment or share your favorites on social!

P.S. If you’re proposing with a James Allen engagement ring, tag @jamesallenrings in your proposal post for a chance to be featured on our Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat.

Pin this image to save the proposal inspiration:

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

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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