Jewelry trends come and go, even for the most traditional pieces like engagement rings. Celebrities, royals, and social trends have led to recent flurries of interest in two stone rings, colored gemstones, and sustainable pieces.
It does make ring shopping far more complex if you’re planning to propose soon. You can’t just buy a simple diamond solitaire and be done with it. And since 94 percent of brides don’t consider the engagement to be real until they get the ring, you don’t want to drag it out.
But should you be looking at unique handcrafted engagement rings or shopping for something more traditional? Let’s take a look at several factors you should keep in mind when you start shopping for this most important piece of jewelry.
Traditional or Trendsetting
The place to start with your ring shopping is by deciding just how traditional your partner might be. Even trendy fashionistas can prefer to go the classic diamond solitaire route when it comes to engagement rings.
If she likes the unique and interesting, you might not need to go too far afield in picking a ring design, but add a few twists.
Recent celebrity rings have combined a diamond with a second stone, which adds some interest without being too unusual. You could consider mixing in her birthstone or looking at the historic meanings of different types of stones in making a choice.
For example, opals in Arabic legends were said to have come from the heavens in flashes of lightning. That could make an opal engagement ring a good choice if it was love at first sight for the two of you.
Diamonds have only become the standard in the past century and an increasing number of couples are choosing to go with alternative precious gems as their center stones. That could mean a colored stone like a ruby or sapphire surrounded by diamonds.
If your bride-to-be likes to be a trendsetter, she might want to be part of the shopping process, something more couples are doing. The more unconventional her taste and style, the safer you might find it to involve her rather than trying to figure it out yourself.
Note Her Style Details
Pay attention to the details of what your girlfriend currently wears when it comes to jewelry. This can help you decide between yellow gold or white gold and how whimsical she might like her ring to be.
More than 80 percent of brides say they wear their rings everywhere and every day. Choosing a emerald cut engagement ring that can work with her everyday style ensures not just that she’ll love it, but also that she’ll want to wear it.
Listen as well when she talks about her style. You can pick up clues as to whether she thought Jennifer Lopez’s yellow diamond was a hit or miss and whether she prefers lots of sparkles or muted vintage. Her comments might help you decide between perfect machined rings and more artistic handmade rings.
Size and Shape
Bigger isn’t always better or necessary, and the stone size ranks behind many other factors for most brides. But you should consider the size of the stone because you don’t want it to be so big it overwhelms her hand.
The setting should also work with the size and shape of her hand. East-west settings are trendy now but don’t work well for all hands.
The band size is important to get right as well, especially if you choose a style that can’t be resized easily or are ordering online. Keep in mind that it’s always easier to size down than up.
Take some time to tap into the best resources you have - all the women in her life. Mom, sister, and best friend will have the inside track as to your partner’s preferences when it comes to colored stone engagement rings.
You don’t have to take them shopping with you, but they can help you narrow down your choices before you start. They should be able to answer any questions you have about the cut, metal, and even band size.
Don’t forget to stalk her Pinterest and Instagram accounts as well. Thirty percent of women find ring inspiration there, so it’s a good place to discover trends in what draws her eye. Unique rings she adds to her Pinterest boards might be exactly what you want and can save you a lot of shopping time.
Wedding Band Fit
As you look at rings, keep an eye on how difficult it might be to find a wedding band that coordinates or fits with the ring you choose. Unusual shapes and cuts might call for a band made specifically to fit with that design.
If you go with a more unique engagement ring, you might consider keeping the wedding band simple so as not to compete. You could also decide to go with a coordinating set of wedding bands so you each have the same design. In that case, you will want to keep that design in mind when choosing the engagement ring setting.
Keep Handcrafted Engagement Rings in Mind as You Shop
While traditional diamond solitaires lead the charge for engagement rings, choosing the right ring for your partner requires you to know a lot of details about their taste and preferences. More and more, young couples want to move away from the norm with colored gemstones and unusual settings. Enlist help if you want it to be a surprise or wait to shop until after you pop the question so you can choose a ring together.
If you want to go for one-of-a-kind ring options, handcrafted engagement rings offer you a wealth of choices. Shop our collection of engagement rings or contact us to talk about the process for custom rings.