The Ultimate Guide to Buying the Perfect Engagement Ring

by Brett & Kate McKay on July 1, 2009 · 71 comments

in Dating, Marriage, Relationships & Family


Find the girl who is the “one.” Check.   Ask her father for her hand in marriage. Check.  Plan the perfect proposal. Check. Buy engagement ring. Hmmmm…..  Buying an engagement ring can be an overwhelming task. There’s a lot of pressure on this purchase. It’s a symbol of your love for your girlfriend, and it’s a token of your willingness to take the relationship to the next level. Plus, it doesn’t help that your fiance will be showing off the ring to her friends and family.

For many men, the purchase of their lady’s engagement ring will be their first experience in the the wild world of jewelry. When they walk into a jewelry store they’re inundated with terms and concepts that they’ve never heard before. Tiffany setting? Inclusions? Eternity band? What the wha?

Never fear. We’ve put together the ultimate guide to help you purchase an engagement ring that your girlfriend will flip over. Let’s get started.

Establish Your Budget

First thing you’ll need to do before you step into a jewelry store is establish a budget. It will help the jeweler show you options that are in your price range. Keep in mind that like buying a car, the price of an engagement ring can often be negotiated.

You may have heard that a man is supposed to spend 2 months salary on an engagement ring. This is crap. Hoping to cash in on retuning GI’s itch to get hitched, this “rule” was invented whole cloth as part of a crafty ad campaign by the DeBeers company during the 1940′s. But there’s nothing romantic about going into major debt. Buy the nicest ring that you can afford. In the end, it’s not the amount of money you spend on an engagement ring that matters, but rather the thought that goes into purchasing it. Many women would rather start your life together debt-free or use the money for a sweet honeymoon than have you blow all your savings on some rock.

If you want to propose, don’t delay because you can’t afford a better ring. The ring is supposed to be a symbol of your love, and what does it say about your love that you’re willing to postpone your marriage to buy a better rock? A humble ring will be a memory of that hard-scrabble time when you two were young. You can always get her a nicer ring  for an anniversary present somewhere down the line.

Make It a Surprise

The jeweler I talked to noted that he’s been seeing more and more men coming in with their girlfriends to pick out a ring. While letting your wife-to-be pick out the ring she wants will ensure that the ring fits and that she likes it, you’re denying yourself a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to show how  thoughtful and romantic you are. Imagine the look of surprise your girlfriend will have when 1) you propose to her, 2) the ring fits, and 3) the ring you picked is exactly what she wanted.

If you can successfully pull off this trifecta of surprises, you will be the subject of envious conversations among your girlfriend’s social circle, your future mother-in-law will say you’re a catch, and men around you will silently acknowledge your achievement. Making the engagement ring a surprise will take some work, but it’s well worth the investment.

This is not to say that surprising her is the only way to go. Some women will insist that they go along with you to pick out the ring. If you’re like me, your wife will already have the engagement ring she wants in her possession. It was an heirloom from her great-grandmother. I just had to pick the ring up from her mom’s house. Just do what you and your girlfriend think is best.

Find Out Her Ring Size

This where a lot of men screw up in the purchasing process. They’ll have the perfect ring picked out, but they get the wrong size ring for their girlfriend’s finger. When they get down on one knee and attempt to slide the ring on their lady’s finger, it doesn’t fit and awkwardness ensues.

If you get the wrong size ring, all isn’t lost. You’ll just have to take the ring back to the jeweler and fork over some more money to get it properly fitted. But it’s best to avoid the cost and the potential embarrassment at proposing time by making sure the ring you pick is the right size.

The best way to get your girlfriend’s ring size is to get a ring that she isn’t wearing and bring it to the jeweler to be measured. If you want to maintain the surprise factor, you’ll have to be sneaky about this. Swipe a ring from her jewelry box while she’s getting ready in the bathroom or recruit one of her friends to pocket a ring while she’s over her house. Try to swipe a ring that you don’t see her wearing very much; she’ll be less likely to notice its absence.

Research Her Style


You want to pick a ring that fits your woman’s unique style and preferences. Getting a ring that she’s over the moon for will score you romance points that will last a lifetime.

Again, because of the clandestine nature of the engagement proposal, you’re going to have to harness your inner James Bond for this style reconnaissance. When you’re with your girlfriend, take note of the type of jewelry she wears. Does she wear a lot of gold? Maybe she’s a silver or platinum woman. Perhaps there’s a particular stone she wears a lot, like her birthstone, that she’d like more than a diamond. Does she like simple, understated pieces? Or does she favor the big, glitzy variety? Think about her personality; is she an outgoing girl who you know is going to want to show off her ring to everyone she meets? Then go for something big and sparkly. Is she an earthy woman, who doesn’t wear much jewelry at all? Look for rings that are simple, yet beautiful.

Another way to get a feel for her engagement ring preferences is to take her right into a jewelry store. The key to this is to go under another pretext. Tell her you need to go to the mall to look for some new shoes and that you’d like her to come along. When you’re walking to the department store, go past a Helzberg Jewelry store and say, “Hey, I want to stop and look at some watches.” While you’re busy pretending to be interested in the Omegas, dimes to donuts your gal will be looking at the rings. Look at what she’s gazing at. Make a mental note of it. Say something casual like, “That’s a nice one,” and gage her reaction. Go back to looking at watches. Leave. Mission accomplished.

Pick The Engagement Ring Band

You have a variety of metals to choose from for the engagement ring’s band. The most common include yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, platinum, and silver. You can even do a mix of different types of metals.

Each metal has their advantage and disadvantages. For example, platinum is an extremely durable metal and will last a long time. However, it dulls much more quickly than gold, and it’s harder to bring back the initial luster it once had.

Gold, on the other hand, is  shinier than platinum, and because it’s a soft metal, it’s easier to buff and polish it to get back the ring’s original luster. Gold’s advantage over platinum is also its weakness. Because it’s a soft metal, gold wears down faster. In about 15 to 20 years, the engagement ring may have to be reshanked because it’s worn too thin.

While you may be interested in the durability of the engagement ring band, your future wife  is probably more interested in the way it looks. Right now, silver-looking engagement rings are the most popular. If your lady is a woman who stays on top of the latest fashion trends, go with a platinum or white gold band.

If she’s more of a classic type of gal, go with the traditional yellow gold band.

Selecting a Quality Diamond: The Four C’s

So you’ve selected a band. We now move to the focal point of most engagement rings: the diamond. For many men, purchasing a diamond can seem like a daunting task, but with a bit of knowledge, you can walk  out of a jewelry store with a stone your fiancee will be dying to show off to her friends.

When selecting a diamond, you’ll want to take into account the “4 C’s:” cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. All four of these factors determine the quality and cost of the diamond.

Cut. Cut doesn’t refer to the shape of the diamond, but rather the angles and proportions of the stone. While nature determines the other three C’s, the diamond’s cut is determined by a cutter. A well cut diamond reflects light from one facet to another and projects the light through the top of the stone. This is what gives a diamond its sparkle. Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow leak light through the bottom or the side of the stone, resulting in a lackluster appearance.

Out of all the four C’s, cut is the most important. Even if you have the perfect color, clarity, and carat, if the cut isn’t right, the diamond won’t have that fiery brilliance that your fiancé will show off to her friends.

Color. To many men’s surprise, diamonds come in a variety of colors. Diamond color is graded on a scale that ranges from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow). Truly colorless diamonds are the most rare and most expensive. White color diamonds are the most popular. But when it gets down to it, diamond color is all about preference. Look back at your notes from your ring reconnaissance to see what your lady prefers.

Clarity. The fewer imperfections a diamond has, the more clear, and consequently, more expensive it is. When the jeweler starts discussing the clarity of the diamond, he or she will probably mention the diamond’s “inclusions.” Inclusions are other minerals or tiny fractures in the diamond. The fewer inclusions the better.

Like color, clarity is measured on a scale. SI1 and SI2 are slightly included but you won’t be able to see the imperfection with the naked eye. Try to find a diamond in this range.

When looking at a diamond, avoid stones with inclusions on the top and in the middle, as this can impact the dispersion of light, making it less brilliant.

Carat Weight. Carat refers to the weight of a diamond. The heavier the stone, the more you’re going to pay. However, there’s no need to get to caught up on the carat weight. Through proper mounting and shaping, a master jeweler can make a diamond appear larger than its carat weight might suggest.

Selecting the Diamond Shape

In addition to the four C’s, you’ll also want to take into consideration a diamond’s shape. The shape of the diamond is all a matter of your girlfriend’s preference.  Below, we list a few of the possible shapes you can get a diamond in:



A round diamond is the classic and timeless diamond shape.



The Princess is a square diamond and is the most popular shape for engagement rings right now.







Choose the Setting

A ring’s “setting” refers to the way in which the diamond is placed on the the ring. Like everything else with an engagement ring, which setting you pick depends a lot on your girlfriend’s preferences. You can actually create combinations of different settings if you want. Here’s a quick primer on the different types of settings, so you’re not completely clueless when you walk into the jewelry store.

Tiffany setting


Introduced by the jewelry company that bears the name. It’s a timeless and classic look.

Eternity band


Instead of a single diamond, an eternity band has diamonds that go all around the ring.

Bezel setting


A metal rim that encircles the sides of the stone and extends slightly above it. The rim can stretch around the diamond’s entire circumference or around only a portion of it. A bezel setting holds a diamond securely, and the low, protective profile it creates makes a bezel setting a good choice for women with active lifestyles.

Channel setting


In a channel setting, the diamond or diamonds are placed into a metal channel. It can be used as an accent to a main diamond that’s set on a prong.

Pave’ (pronounced Pa Vay)


This setting consists of lots of diamonds placed close together.

Alternatives to Buying a Diamond Ring

Most women want a traditional diamond ring. But not all do. After all, the idea that engagement rings must be diamond rings is a modern invention, a marketing ploy by the DeBeers company. Diamonds are not in fact rare or special. They are expensive merely because the DeBeers cartel has succeeded in controlling both supply and demand. Not wanting the diamonds to ever be resold, and needing people to buy the heaps of diamonds they were sitting on, they sought to  imbue the jewels with romantic meaning and social status. Launching a full-press campaign in 1938, the company sought to convince Americans that “A diamond is forever” and the only acceptable way to express your love. In reviewing their advertising strategy in 1951, the DeBeers ad agency noted:

“The millions of brides and brides-to-be are subjected to at least two important pressures that work against the diamond engagement ring. Among the more prosperous, there is the sophisticated urge to be different as a means of being smart…. the lower-income groups would like to show more for the money than they can find in the diamond they can afford… It is essential that these pressures be met by the constant publicity to show that only the diamond is everywhere accepted and recognized as the symbol of betrothal.”

And so it was that DeBeers succeeded beyond their wildest dreams in convincing  both men and women that the size of the diamond was directly proportional to the intensity of their love. Rather crass when you take  step back, isn’t it? Today a man may sometimes postpone his proposal until he can afford a proper diamond ring. All because of an ad campaign.

So why not break the mold and buy something else? How about her birthstone or some other colored gem that reminds you of her? Of course, if you are going to bust out something other than a diamond when you propose, you better be damn sure that your girl is okay with it. A lot of women have been dreaming of a diamond ring, and their heart will sink when you open the jewelry box to reveal a ruby. So check with her first.

If you’re just generally not keen on blowing a big wad of cash on a ring, ask both sides of the family if there is an heirloom that could be passed on. As I mentioned above, Kate’s mother-in-law gave me her great-grandmother’s ring. It fit like a charm, Kate loves that it has some history, and we were both giddy that we got it for free.

Insuring the Engagement Ring

An engagement ring is both a financial and sentimental investment. Because of this huge investment of money and emotion, it might be a good idea to insure your girlfriend’s engagement ring in case it’s ever lost, stolen, or damaged. Even if you and your wife decide not to replace the ring, you can at least take the cash and go on a romantic getaway. You have a few options when you insure an engagement ring:

Homeowner’s/Renter’s Insurance. Many homeowner’s/renter’s insurance policies allow you to add the value of expensive items, like jewelry, to your coverage. However, make sure to check the policy to see what is actually covered. Often homeowner’s/renter’s insurance will only cover an engagement ring if it was stolen or damaged by tornado or fires. If your wife loses her ring while cleaning the toilet, you’ll probably be out of luck with this option.

Actual Value Policies. An actual value insurance policy will pay you the value of the ring minus its depreciation from use.  So, say if the ring you bought cost $2,000 and your wife loses it five years after you tied the knot, the insurance company may only pay you $1,500, taking into account the five years of wear and tear on the ring. Because actual value insurance policies don’t pay back the full value of the ring, they’re the least expensive option.

Replacement Insurance Policies. This policy will refund to you the market value of the ring you bought. So if you bought an engagement ring with a gold band and a diamond that was cut perfectly and had impeccable clarity, the insurance company will pay you the current going price for a ring like that.  This could mean you’ll get more money than what you originally paid on the ring due to the appreciation of gold and diamond prices.

Your jeweler should be able to lead you to some reputable insurance companies. The Chubb Group and Jewelers Mutual are two such companies.

The Engagement’s Off. Can I Get My Ring Back?

Sadly, not all engagements work out. Perhaps it was the stress of picking out dishes for your new home, or maybe your fiancee gives you the “it’s not you, it’s me” line. However it ends, there will be one issue that you’ll have to resolve before you and your former true love go your separate ways: ownership of the ring.

United States contract and property law states that an engagement ring is a “conditional gift,” meaning the ring becomes the irrevocable property of your girlfriend on the condition that she actually marries you. If the engagement is called off and you don’t get married, you have a legal right to demand the ring back. In most states it doesn’t matter who broke off the engagement. It could be her or even you. As long as the engagement is broken off, you have a legal right to the ring. But some states will look to who actually called off the engagement to determine who gets the ring. If it was you, and you live in an “at fault” state, you could be out a couple thousand dollars.

Be careful about proposing around Christmas or her birthday, though. A vindictive ex-fiancee could argue that the ring wasn’t actually a “conditional gift,” but rather a normal holiday gift that becomes irrevocable once you delivered it to her. I’m not sure how successful she’d be with this argument, but it never hurts to be too careful.

Thanks to the folks at Vincent Anthony Jewelry in Tulsa, OK for taking the time to answer some of my engagement ring questions.

Have any other engagement ring advice? Drop a line in the comment box!

{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jonas July 1, 2009 at 11:25 am

This article didn’t even mention the part that I had the most trouble with when I was trying to buy my wife’s engagement ring: where to buy the ring.

I tried a few of the big box stores, but they all seemed expensive for low quality stones and they were more interested in selling me financing then the actual ring. Ask around and find a smaller, local jeweler and you will be much better off. If they actually work on the jewelery on-site, that is a good sign that you’ve found where you want to buy.

2 BRZ July 1, 2009 at 12:08 pm

I agree with Vote Jonas, you don’t want to buy the item that symbolizes your everlasting commitment at the between Orange Julius and Hot Topic.

Find a smaller store (that is not in a mall) and deal with them. I bought my wife’s ring at a small store and actually spoke with the owner of the store. I picked out a diamond and a setting and had a unique ring made just for her.

At a mall you buy a ring from the case, they go in the back grab another one just like it and put it out for the next schmo.

Take some time and do it right!

3 BRZ July 1, 2009 at 12:10 pm

I just mean Jonas, you can vote for whom ever you like. :-)

4 Diamond Cut July 1, 2009 at 12:16 pm

That was a great and thorough article covering everything even remotely involved in the purchasing of the engagement ring. I have a website dedicated specifically to the actual choosing of the diamond. I worked in the industry for about 6 years for one of the world’s largest diamond manufacturers.

Interestingly, I quote from the same DeBeers Advertising Review. In fact, in that article entitled “Truth about Engagement Rings,” I write, “It’s not nice to say, but whoever buys a diamond engagement ring is a sucker to the biggest scam in history (yours truly included). But what can we do? Our wives-to-be have unfortunately drunk the kool aid as well and it is never advisable to dissapoint a new bride-to-be!
In the diamond business there’s a word for this — “illusion.” Everyone in the diamond business knows that the whole thing is held together by one giant illusion.”

Instead of suggesting the prospective fiance buy an alternative to a diamond (which in most cases isn’t feasible as I mentioned above), I take the position that it’s best to minimize the damage to your wallet by buying intelligently as a diamond dealer would. That’s the gist of my site.

Please have a look!

5 Bill July 1, 2009 at 12:21 pm

Another tip that saved me some cash. I bought mine (or my wife’s) from a small local jeweler who had an excellent reputation — I bought in April which saved the money because apparently the diamond is April’s birthstone, so there was a sale for that whole month. YMMV

6 Dan Hallock July 1, 2009 at 12:31 pm

I was with you until the end of the article. Taking the ring back!? It may be your legal right, but come on — asking for the ring back isn’t very manly, now is it?

7 Robert July 1, 2009 at 12:39 pm

May want to check that last part… in at least some states, there’s no requirement to return the ring as conditional gifts require that the conditions be explicit, not implied no matter how obvious… that means ideally in writing and signed/notarized (good luck doing that).

I recall a radio station doing an hour dedicated to guys complaining that the courts sided with the woman that it was a gift. Happens quite often.

Bottom line: don’t propose on a whim.

8 michael July 1, 2009 at 12:52 pm

My girlfriend sent a link to me a while back that explained lab-made diamonds. They are a bit cheaper than natural diamonds, and (the important part for her) you know where they come from. She is very adamant that she not get a conflict (or blood) diamond.

9 Albert July 1, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Add me to those recommending finding a local jewelry store or antique store to find higher quality stones, lower prices, and a more comfortable purchasing experience. I actually became friends with the mom working in a family-owned shop who helped me pick out a beautiful diamond for my fiancee and drop by to say hi whenever I’m in the area.

Second tip is that you can often buy the diamond separate from the setting/ring if you really like the diamond but don’t like the ring.

10 Adam July 1, 2009 at 1:12 pm

This guide is terrific! I went through all of this, plus a little more to find my fiance the perfect ring (which she adores). I concern of the “right” places to shop. Do what I did…

Go into several jewelry stores. Latch onto one of the salesfolk like you are intending to buy a ring but make it perfectly clear that you are shopping and are looking at the various offers. I have found that this will entice them to prove to you that they are indeed “the best” and they will give you GREAT advice. In my case I thought that the tiffany ring was the way to go. I knew she loved beautiful simplisticity and that is its classic description but as I had the salesperson show me a TIffany ring I found that it jutted out quite far with a 3/4 to 1 carat diamond. Looking extremely ungangly. He immediately recognized the issue and was able to find me one that I ended up getting. Mind you…. NOT from a brick and mortar site!!!

I found the perfect ring but I wanted the perfect diamond and I found it online at a reputable dealer i.e. ones with return policies and good online reviews. They aren’t hard to find but if the price is too good to be true then search further. The cost should be 30 to 40% lower than a retailer for a diamond of similar 4C’s. Out of two or three sites I reviewed I decided to go with and it was a great choice. Sign up for a newsletter and order a free plastic ring sizer and they will send you coupons for 10% off the setting (10% !!!).

Moral of the story. She freaking loves it. She had no idea. The ring appraised for over twice what I bought it for. Success!

11 Laura July 1, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Coming from a female perspective, I cannot tell you how much it bothers me when women go out and pick out their own engagement ring. Where is the fun in that? I’m so glad you suggested that the guy not let her do that. Input is nice I suppose, but if you are ready to make a lifelong commitment to somebody you should at least know enough about their style to pick out an appropriate ring!

Now this just might be me, but I couldn’t care less how much a ring costs or how many carats it has. To me, there is no price on love. If my fiancé went out and bought me a $500 ring as opposed to a $5000 I would be absolutely fine with that. I’m probably the minority when it comes to that, but I think these days’ women want the ring more for bragging rights and to show it off rather than respect the symbolism behind it

May I suggest antique rings? There are many website out there that sell antique engagement rings. They are usually cheaper and SO much more unique than the typical generic stuff you find at Zales and such.

THANK YOU for explaining that the ring does not have to be typical white diamonds!!!! My friend recently got engaged and the way he designed the ring was by taking his fiancés 2 favorite colors and her favorite flower and designed a ring in the shape of a sunflower made of yellow diamonds and sapphires. It was the most creative and beautiful ring I have ever seen. The fact that he truly knew and loved his fiancé was projected by the thought he put into designing that ring

As for taking the ring back after an engagement is broken…depending on the circumstances of the breakup, I don’t know how a woman would not want to give the ring back. Why would you want to keep an engagement ring that never leads to an actual marriage? To me that ring would just start to symbolize heartache and loss. If the guy bought it, he should get it back. I don’t think it’s unmanly at all to ask for the ring back, especially if the woman was the one who called off the engagement.

Fantastic article!

12 Ced July 1, 2009 at 1:39 pm

now the really hard part, and not the payment of a ring but finding a woman worthy to receive the ring.

13 Ian July 1, 2009 at 2:07 pm

There is yet another option that the post did not mention: the moissanite ring.

Before getting engaged both my fiancee and I agreed that diamonds are a sham, both their value and the method in which they are extracted; however, it was hard to separate for the social pressure to get a diamond.

The perfect solution for us was a moissanite stone. It is still a diamond although it is created in a lab. The only difference between a moissanite stone and a diamond is that a moissanite is slightly less dense. Besides that moissanite stones are completely flawless and look amazing, the only way someone would know the difference is if you told them.

Also when doing my research into the stone I found out that the only reason that they need those little beepy tools to verify that you have a mined diamond is because the moissanite is so perfect jewelers could no longer determine the difference by eye.

14 Jdp July 1, 2009 at 2:16 pm

I can appreciate the comments concerning the big box stores having better deals on price, BUT be a skeptic about the local jeweler as well. I bought the engagement ring from a local and when my fiance got it appraised for insurance purposes we found the color and the clarity were not what he claimed (not to mention the value), so we took it to another appraiser and he also disagreed with the jeweler’s claim. So, remember “Buyer beware,” it may be less expensive but is the quality really as good as claimed.

15 Prazas July 1, 2009 at 2:59 pm

I know I am in the minority here, but I rather put the money that would otherwise goes towards an engagement ring into a house!! And if my boyfriend/fiance insists on getting me a ring, I rather have the man-made stuff. A diamond is a diamond (they are all just carbons anyway) whether it’s natural or man-made! The only differences (as Michael pointed out) are how many people died/suffered before the diamond made it onto the display at a jewelry store and how much bang do you get for your bucks.

As a marketer, I applaud De Beers’ marketing campaign. It’s one of the most successful ones in recent history that is still going strong. I just refuse to buy into their brainwashing message! :)

16 P July 1, 2009 at 3:09 pm

Check out ebay and antique jewelers. I got a ring from 1925, it looks so cool. Buying antique can also help you stay away from conflict diamonds otherwise known as blood diamonds.

I was unfortunately one of the few that is addressed at the bottom. I was left two months before the wedding. The only thing worse than that is I have not been able to get rid of the ring now. ebay was not effective so now I am trying an antique consignment shop.

17 Tom Noon July 1, 2009 at 4:20 pm

Excellent post! Frankly one of the best I have seen on the topic.

I’d just add a “Dad’s” piece of advice:

As men we are constantly making withdrawals from our wives / girlfriends emotional bank account. many times we don’t even know we took the withdrawal.

NOW YOU NEED TO SEE THIS…. every time your sweetheart shows her ring off to her friends and get an “OOOH” or an “AHHH” or a “WOW”, you just had a deposit made into her emotional bank account (and admit it men you know we need these deposits:-) Therefore, set the budget, stick with it and get the BIGGEST. BEST diamond you can get for the BEST PRICE.

Below is a sampling of some secrets I shared on how to do this in a recent EHow article (the link to the article is enclosed if you want to read the entire article)
From eHow article
How to Buy An Engagement Ring? Six Secrets You Need to Know When You Buy Your Diamond

First Secret – Diamond Jewelry has huge mark ups. The typical retail jewelry store marks up their jewelry between 100% and 200% over their cost. You are paying for their high cost of overhead. The typical online jewelry store has a markup of between 25% and 50%..

Second Secret – the online jewelry stores provide little service and they all sell diamonds from the same pot of other peoples’ merchandise. Picking a specific stone that is a good value is the trick….

Bonus Secret – You can save as much as 55% by buying a VS 1 graded diamond instead of an FL grade with all other factors being equal. Your best value for the money is generally SI2 to VS1 graded diamonds.

18 Brett July 1, 2009 at 4:49 pm

Thanks to all of you for your “where to buy” advice. I thought about including such a section in the post, but it had already gotten quite long. Thanks for filling in the gaps so excellently.

I second the advice about finding a nice, small jewelry store to buy your ring from. I think a good way to find out if a store seems reputable, is to buy something small from them and see what kind of service you get. The reason I chose the jewelry store I mentioned above for some of my research is that both times I had my watch battery changed (for $10) there, they sent me a handwritten thank you note. That’s definitely a good sign.

19 Amanda July 1, 2009 at 4:55 pm

I’m another woman who wants to say that I really would rather my fiance not go into debt or spend the money on something else other than buy me some honkin diamond. It’s funny, because the women above say that they’re probably in the minority, and I was going to say that too, but then I wonder if that’s not true. That most women feel that way, and the only reason we think otherwise is that successful campaign by DeBeers!

20 Scott Gentzen July 1, 2009 at 5:36 pm

I got married almost 9 years ago, and was fortunate to have stumbled into some of the tips above on my own while I was getting ready to buy her engagement ring. I got to know her taste in jewelry pretty well over the years, going along with her when she looks at jewelry, testing my assessment of her taste with jewelry at Christmas and her birthday, stuff like that.

I kind of went a different route regarding the source though. I wanted to do something unique so I sought out a local goldsmith that made custom jewelry. We sat down and talked a while he did some sketches and eventually we came up with a design that I liked. After I gave her that ring, I took her with me to meet the guy that made it and we designed our wedding bands together to compliment the design of the engagement ring.

Sounds expensive, but it wasn’t so bad. We love the set, and we’re constantly complimented on them…because they’re unusual.

One word of experience on design, BTW. My ring has a pattern in it with holes that go all the way through it. Looks cool, but being a ring, it tends to collect stuff…soap residue, dirt, sweat, etc. Gotta keep the holes cleaned out or the ring starts to smell funny.

21 Dave July 1, 2009 at 7:28 pm

This is an extremely helpful article about the engagement ring buying process, which can be incredibly overwhelming. There are, however, some benefits to choosing platinum for your engagement ring metal that are not mentioned here. First of all, platinum is hypoallergenic and therefore a good choice for anyone with sensitive skin. Gold is actually alloyed with nickel, which many people are allergic to. Secondly, platinum is 30 times more rare than gold. Many women desire platinum for this reason, because the rarity reflects how special your love is. Finally, because platinum is white when it comes out of the ground, it will never have to be replated (unlike white gold).

For any of you looking for an engagement ring out there, I hope this information helps!

22 Justin July 1, 2009 at 7:59 pm

Another thought to consider…is the diamond you’re buying for your girlfriend conflict-free? Few people realize the human rights violations committed in the diamond industry, particularly in the Sierra Leone region. By buying an expensive diamond, one may unknowingly be supporting a rather heinous industry.

This, combined with the cost, was enough to persuade my now-wife and I to use a family heirloom ring for special occasions and a simple gold band for everyday use. It cost far less, had special significance, and also gave us clear consciences. Highly recommended.

23 Robert July 1, 2009 at 8:37 pm

Regarding “blood diamonds”… you really can’t tell. Nobody is going to say, “yes, this is from Sierra Leone”.

Reality is diamonds are mined in one place, processed in another, cut in another, and sometimes even polished in another country where it’s more economical.

The jeweler very likely doesn’t know where it was mined, just who they bought it from, and that supplier likely buys from either another supplier, or someone with mines in dozens of countries. They won’t tell per diamond.

So for anyone who says “I only buy non-blood diamonds”, your really just deceiving yourself. You don’t know what you bought, and that makes you feel better.

24 Neal July 1, 2009 at 10:21 pm

Check out the diamond’s florescence. The large majority of people never get this far when buying diamonds, but the florescence is what happens when the diamond is put under a black light. Most people don’t care (for good reason), but some, like blue, can make the value of the diamond come down drastically. For some reason the market demands place a higher value on no florescence. I got my fiancee’s ring for about 66% the cost due to the florescence.

25 Titus Andronicus July 1, 2009 at 11:26 pm

Be sure that the diamond you buy is certified—a dealer might tell you a diamond is an F S1, but if he doesn’t have a certification, it’s just him selling something. I spent months researching diamonds before buying my wife’s ring, then promptly forgot 80% of what I learned when I finally went to do the buying. The diamond I have is nice, but it’s not exactly what the dealer described it as. You’ll pay more for the certified diamond, but unless you can judge the quality factors yourself it’s worthwhile.

26 Jon Daley July 2, 2009 at 4:18 am

I am not sure what I would do the second time around – I went to a small jeweler, and they totally tried to rip me off and gave me a different stone in the ring than the one I had picked out (and had their in-store certifier certify it to be something it wasn’t – my thoughts on the clarity are: if I can’t see it (and I have pretty good eyesight) I don’t care that much – I don’t think I can really tell the difference between the 10X and 100X specks – though I think the specks that can only be “seen” at 10X do lend to a cloudier ring. In my case, they switched to a stone that had specks that I could see plainly. And then when I went back to complain, they tried to upsell, saying that I never could have been quoted a price that was a stone that nice, etc. etc.

They ended up switching the stone for a ring not as nice as I originally purchased, but better than what they tried to pawn off on me.

Not a fun experience at all.

But, my wife was thrilled, and that was 8 years ago, and so I hadn’t thought about it in a long time, until reading this article…

They’ve gone out of business now, so I suppose that is how they did business.

27 Relationship Expert July 2, 2009 at 4:20 am

Finding the right Engagement ring is very difficult. You have to think what your girlfriend want. You have to also think of the possibility of you buying an expensive ring, so you have to be prepared for the expenses. Nice article. very precise and it can help a lot of people. Just always remember that you have to make your girlfriend happy whatever you give her. Thanks.

28 Relationship Expert July 2, 2009 at 6:44 am

Finding the right Engagement ring is very difficult. You have to think what your girlfriend want. You have to also think of the possibility of you buying an expensive ring, so you have to be prepared for the expenses. Nice article. very precise and it can help a lot of people. Just always remember that you have to make your girlfriend happy whatever you give her. Thanks.
Sorry… forgot to say great post – can’t wait to read your next one!

29 Jesvin July 2, 2009 at 7:23 am

is there any foolproof way to find the girl’s ring size, other than swiping a few of her rings?

And what about the preference of rings?

30 Will July 2, 2009 at 10:01 am

When you buy yours, expect 70% off; that seems to be how jewelry stores work these days: inflate the prices horrendously, then apply massive discount. Ours came from the mall, at one of the two stores that posted prices by their jewelry in the cases. (I figured the others had reason to not tell you!)

I was greatly relieved to find in both Emily Post and Miss Manners that the usual form of making an engagement is not to present the lady with a right, but to propose marriage. Then *both* of you pick out the ring. That’s what we did. I didn’t have to worry about size or style being totally unsuitable to her, and one of our first experiences as fiances me providing her with something.

We did have an appraisal, and insurance against loss. The appraiser verified that we did get a good, but not absolutely incredible, deal.

31 Dawson July 2, 2009 at 12:00 pm

This was a great post. I struggle with the sneaking around as it is, I can’t imagine how it will be when I’m trying to propose my girlfriend…at least there’s a still good many months away before that becomes a reality. Great advice through all of this though!

Also, while I’m not one for going around telling people where to shop (and no I don’t work for this company), in my long, long search for the right place to buy a ring I found these folks:

When I’m ready to make my big purchase it will be through them. They are friendly and personable and answered my email right away. If you’re looking I’d recommend taking peek. If nothing else they have great photos of their custom work for inspiration.

32 ginger July 2, 2009 at 4:39 pm

I second the advice about finding a nice, small jewelry store to buy your ring from

33 Adam Snider July 2, 2009 at 6:25 pm

I’m glad you talked about the possibility of getting a ring with a stone that isn’t a diamond. You don’t need to get a diamond (though, if you know that’s what your girlfriend/fiance wants, then that’s what you should get). My girlfriend has stated outright that she would prefer something other than a diamond—and has even told me about a few different types of gem stones that she’d like—so when the time is right, I have a pretty good idea of what I’m looking for.

The only problem is that I don’t know how to determine the quality of a stone that isn’t a diamond. Diamonds have become so mainstream that it’s easy to get educated about them…other stones, not so much.

If you know about any resources on the subject, I’d appreciate them! :)

34 Dave July 2, 2009 at 11:04 pm

I’m just starting my ring shopping here now. I’ve already got the stone (family stone), an aquamarine.

I know she wants white gold, with no side-stones on the band. Looking like it should be a fairly cheap purchase!

Now I just need to find out what her ring size is (working on it), and exactly what type of setting. I think the Tiffany one looks good, and she has a more classic taste, but I can’t be sure.

I’ve set it up where we play this game when we go shopping anywhere that has jewelry where I try to pick something I think she would like. We’ve been doing it for months now and it’s helped me figure out her taste in all jewelry, not just rings. That said, I can continue to play this game with her when we go out and not give up the secret that I’m planning this!

I still might need some more help on getting her ring size though. She doesn’t wear any rings on her ring finger right now, and I don’t believe she has any that she has worn on that finger either. Looks like I’m going to make a joke in passing about her fingers being a size 8 or something, getting a laugh out of it, and then saying something like, “well how the hell would I know what your ring size is?” She’ll probably give it to me right there.

35 Mike July 4, 2009 at 4:45 am

>is there any foolproof way to find the girl’s ring size, other than swiping a few of her rings?

Javis, David, I’m not sure exactly how well this would work, but try it…

While you’re holding hands (hopefully a fairly common occurrence…), compare her fingers with yours. Is her ring finger the same thickness as yours? As your pinky? Thinner?

If there’s a clear correspondence between her ring finger and one of yours, you could just have the jeweler measure your finger.

Also want to second everything that’s been said about conflict diamonds

36 Duane July 6, 2009 at 10:56 am

When I went to pick out the engagement ring, I was sitting at the table waiting to be helped. This younger kid, maybe just out of college, was talking to the older Armenian man behind the counter. “Let me ask you something,” the jeweler said to the young man. “You trust me?”

“Yeah, I trust you,” said the kid.

“Why you trust me for?” the man answered. “You don’t know me, you just walked in here, you gonna believe everything I tell you? You’re gonna get ripped off.” Handed him a pamphlet on the whole four C’s business, told him to do some research and come back better prepared. Not in a mean way, mind you – in a very helpful way. Don’t spend a small fortune because some random stranger tells you to.

Different story: At one point my now wife is trying on engagement rings at the diamond place. She looks at it, then looks at the *salesman* and says, “I dunno, would you go bigger?”

“I don’t know, honey,” I tell her, “Do you think the man who sells you diamonds has an opinion on whether you should get the bigger diamond???”

37 Manda H July 6, 2009 at 11:30 am

Still not sure- ASK HER MOM! If you want to propose but don’t know what ring to get chances are she’s talked about it with her mother. My mom knows exactly the ring I want, where to get it, and the size I wear. Many women plan their wedding starting from the time they are little girls so their parents (typically their mothers) know their dreams. And involving her mother will win you brownie points if the two of them are close.

If you’re not sure whether or not she wants a diamond but don’t want to ask, watch “Blood Diamond” with her and then discuss the diamond industry with her. You will then get the feel about whether or not she wants an actual diamond or if a lab-created rock works just as well.

One downfall to stealing a ring out of her jewelry box that she doesn’t wear to get it sized is that it might not fit anymore. I have several rings in my jewelry box that have sentimental value- yet don’t fit anymore. You could go through all the work to get one of these and still get the wrong size engagement ring.

If you don’t know what to get her ask her. Sure she may know you’re thinking of proposing to her, but she won’t know when or how. These are just as important as the fact that you are proposing. Besides if you ask she can look for the perfect ring and then clue you in. This is not the way to go for all women though. Some women want to be completely surprised. Others of us who are down to earth are just as excited to know you’re thinking about it and are willing to help out.

Keep in mind that not all women like being proposed to in a public way. Many women would rather you propose while you’re wearing pj’s and watching a movie together at home than if you were out in a busy restaurant or baseball game and making a big spectacle of it.

Read this article written to women on a AOM-similar site for women:

38 Ross Patterson July 6, 2009 at 12:15 pm

I know everyone’s focused on the giving side, but one tidbit from the the-wedding-doesn’t-always-occur side: law and contracts aside, ettiquite has always said that a ring should only be returned when the bride backs out. If the groom backs out, or commits some egregious offense that demands cancellation, the ring stays with her.

39 Lee July 6, 2009 at 6:21 pm

We went to several mall type stores as I let her point out the style that she was wanting.

Then later, her BFF and I spent the day at a totally different store. We first got one dealer that was horrid and were leaving. At this point, the owner came out and gave us a much better salesman. He took the time to really understand what we were wanting to do. He showed us how he could take three different rings and make the one exact that we wanted. I have all the papers, the warranty, the certifications, everything knowing that it is unique plus exactly what she wants with my own style throw in.

It is a chain, but stays out of malls, unfortunately Robbins Bros pulled out of our market. We can still use chains for inspections and still have a store in north Texas to use.

Two things I would comment on. One, is to check out radiant cut stones. They really are tougher to find, but they sparkle far more then any other cut of the same size. All the women notice, it acts like a 1.5 carat while being just under 1.

Also, consider picking out the wedding band at the same time. I took the time to make sure that the wedding band perfectly lined up with the engagement ring. It too took some modifications, but was exactly what she wanted. And the bonus is it is now one less thing for her to worry about.

40 Santa July 7, 2009 at 10:48 am

I’ve bought two engagement rings in my lifetime and am still paying one of them off. Both women ended up with other blokes and kept the rings, which I am sure they pawned off… so my advice would be to check local pawn shops too when shopping around. You may end up getting the bargain that cost a guy like me a fortune.

41 Dylan July 7, 2009 at 11:19 am

I actually came up with another way to determine her ring size without her becoming suspicious. Sadly, my last girlfriend and I broke up a few months ago after being together for 3 years but earlier on when we were both still very much in love I sent her a kind of survey that I made up which asked her over 100 questions about herself. It included everything from dress size to favorite flower, from dream vacation to favorite stone. Hidden somewhere in there was ring size…and later that year when i surprised her with a perfectly fit, custom made ring with her birthstone set in it, she was very surprised and very impressed.

42 Grey Mouser July 8, 2009 at 10:31 am

Good article. I know I did my research when I popped the question, mind you they didn’t have the quality of synthetic diamond that they do nowadays.

One thing I do strongly agree with. Buying the ring with your girlfriend takes out a certain “something” from the occasion. I mean, if you’re serious enough to think about popping the question, you’ve probably already talked about marriage. Part of the excitement is in the anticipation. And as mentioned, if you really know her this shouldn’t be so hard.

From experience, I just went with my gut and not was popular at the time (bloody Tiffany’s). Hell, I even chose the ring sized based on an comparative approximation of her finger to the shop girl’s and it never needed resizing. We must be a good match. :)

43 Lauren July 13, 2009 at 3:24 pm

I think this is absolutely amazing! Men seriously need to think of ALL of this before choosing an engagement ring. There is nothing better then having a fiance take the time to choose something he knows you will love! To ALL MEN ….. THIS IS IMPORTANT !!!

44 Mr J July 23, 2009 at 6:30 pm

The great thing about going into a jewelry store is that you can not only see but also feel the difference between the metal types…platinum has a nicer, heftier weight to it than a metal like gold. I think platinum is the better choice in the long run since you don’t need to re-plate it and since it’s so durable and won’t wear away like gold.

45 Philippine girls October 2, 2009 at 11:54 pm

Choosing the right ring for your soon to be wife is really rewarding. As I finish reading your post, it’s not easy to choose the right ring for both of you because there are lots of things that you have to consider like the girl’s ring size, style, color and much more. Men who are able to pass this challenge I salute to you.

46 Phillip October 21, 2009 at 5:28 pm

To all you women who have commented, why is that men have to go to all this trouble to present you with a token of love, but you’re not obligated to do anything. You all come off as cheap and shallow ( like most women are). Why not just be happy that he loves and wants to marry you, instead of focusing so much on a piece of jewelry?

47 meme rorie November 2, 2009 at 4:57 pm

love thee rings

48 Hayley November 5, 2009 at 5:21 pm

Phillip> What makes you think it was our idea?

49 Asian girl November 10, 2009 at 8:29 pm

Thanks for sharing this informative article about buying the perfect engagement ring. It is really helpful for those men who do not have any idea about the ideal ring to buy for their soon to be bride.

50 Christa November 11, 2009 at 8:51 pm

I don’t know if anyone has already said this, but if you want to know what your girlfriends likes, ask her best friend or sister. One time a friend of mine and I swapped pics of what kind of engagement rings we wanted so when Mr.Right came into our lives the other one could show him what we wanted. My friend did meet Mr.Right, and sure enough, he surprised her with her dream ring!

51 Brook Allen December 9, 2009 at 9:58 pm

In response to all the gentlemen who are bemoaning the extortionist practices of the retail sector. I was able to cut the cost of the stone in half by working directly with the diamond brokers and skipping the retail sector. It took a lot more time but the result paid off handily.

52 Paul Thandie December 29, 2009 at 1:38 am

Now, why have I not stumbled upon this article before? It was very difficult for me to buy an engagement ring the first time…Now that I will be on my second marriage as I am planning to propose anytime soon, I am more confident and will definitely finish in style. But, much like the first ring that I gave out on the first one, it will still be a james allen diamond engagement ring that promises class and taste…

53 ty January 14, 2010 at 11:17 am

So the engagement ring IS the wedding ring? You don’t buy TWO rings, one for engagement and one as the wedding ring? I really want to know. Or is it an optional thing? Is there supposed to be a “band” that goes along WITH the ring and the jeweler attaches the two? PLEASE, please, please help me!!!!

54 Philip January 20, 2010 at 2:06 am

Great article! Right in line with my dad’s fatherly advice but it was nice to read more in depth. Thanks for the tips on how to use my 007 skills to find the ring size… I’ll have to work on that.

Here is a website I found where you can set parameters for “The Four C’s” and get an estimated price all in an easy to use chart. After I found out what I was looking for it helped me get a general idea of how much money I need to start saving!

55 Kevin January 26, 2010 at 6:32 pm

The lure of a diamond engagement ring was started a few years back and still has not left lovers everywhere. It’s not so bad as with the internet you can find excellent quality diamonds and engagement rings at ( ) at great prices. Novori Jewelry has thousands of diamonds and hundreds of rings. If you are ready to take the plunge, check it out first.

56 RingShopper February 8, 2010 at 6:10 pm

“Make It a Surprise” Yes, there is something to that but shopping for the ring is more romantic. Remember, she will be the one wearing the engagement ring. Unless you know her taste in jewelry/engagement ring, let her pick out the ring. If you want the “surprise” of proposing to her with a ring, do so with a stand in ring. Is the surprise the proposal or the ring? Just asking.

57 Laura April 16, 2010 at 9:49 pm

@Phillip: You bring up a good point, but sound pretty grumpy and accusatory about it.

Maybe your girlfriend doesn’t want a ring, whether for financial practicality or reasons of equality—but I assume if you were on a marriage track you would know that already. Marriage is a two-way street (if you marry the right person), so perhaps the tokens of love and commitment should be also?

58 Chris September 26, 2012 at 8:23 pm

This article mentions seeing if there is an heirloom in the family. I wish to buy a new ring, but want it to eventually be a family heirloom. How do I choose a ring that my great-great grandson will still be proud to propose with?

59 Dan November 1, 2012 at 7:17 am

Very useful guide. Even though it is very long it answers most questions in regards.

60 Rachel December 15, 2012 at 11:47 am

I was surprised by my husband’s proposal and I thought it was amazing! We hadn’t even discussed engagement. I think a thoughtfully planned but private proposal is best. It can be a really intimate moment for you both. Then she can be the one to tell everyone her story..which is really fun. But like the article says you need to know your significant other. My husband picked out my ring at I am not trying to promote this company, but it did save money to cut out the middle man. He also learned a lot about diamonds because you pick the diamond based on the 4 C’s and then choose a setting for it. The diamond is GIA certified and has a microscopic laser etched number, so when you bring it to be cleaned you know you’re getting your diamond back. The only problem is you do pay to get the ring cleaned or shined. So that is a disadvantage to this. I still recommend it though. Later after the proposal I got to look at an entire book that described my diamond. It was really neat and I appreciate how much he cared about choosing my ring. Best of luck! I think it takes some effort but really it’s hard to go wrong if you’re proposing to the right lady. I think most women would love whatever their significant other picked out.

61 Sam December 28, 2012 at 2:08 am

I would like to offer one alternative; making the ring. My boyfriend’s brother in law did this, and she now has a unique one of a kind ring. They then made his wedding band together to match her engagement ring and the end product was unique and awesome.

62 Blaze January 4, 2013 at 2:00 pm

As a jeweler myself, I couldn’t have put it any better, you really hit the nail on the head. The only thing I’d add is that if you are having trouble picking out the right style, pick out a solitaire diamond, and get the nicest diamond for your budget, it’s better to sacrifice size for quality.

63 David April 30, 2013 at 2:35 am

I found this website quite good for price in Australia. I bought my engagement ring off them and got it valuated for over 2 times I bought it for.

64 Liz May 24, 2013 at 9:35 pm

This article is amazing. I hope my future fiancé will read it. :)

This may sound incredibly silly, but as a little girl I was really absorbed with the ‘Little House’ (Wilder) series and ‘Anne of Green Gables’ (Montgomery series. Both of the heroines had non-diamond engagement rings. (Anne was disappointed when she saw a diamond, thinking it would be purple!) Consequently, I have not drunk ‘the kool aid’ and would rather have something simple and non-diamond. Diamonds are a total scam indeed.

65 Gemvy June 16, 2013 at 1:01 pm

I agree with you that when it comes to finding out your girl’s taste and style preference for jewelry, her close friends are a good sources for ideas. However, the problem with that strategy is that some girls tend to get so overly excited that they sometimes give out obvious clues about the proposal, spoiling the element of surprise. Thus, it’s important to ask only those that you can trust and has the ability to keep it secret until the day comes.

66 kierwest July 5, 2013 at 5:41 am

Just read this article. It really helped a lot. Although, I have problematic situation. This girl I am dating was engaged before to a jerk, but he bought her a $6000 ring. I can’t afford that!!! That is a small car loan (if you can even get one that small anymore). The way she talked about its price tag made it quite obvious she wants expensive…. am I screwed?

67 Rosa July 31, 2013 at 8:37 pm

I’ll add another vote for asking her friends/relations what kind of ring she likes. If she really wants to be surprised, chances are she’ll have dropped anvil-sized hints ;). I don’t have any matrimonial prospects, but my sister has my ring size, preferred material, and preferred setting. And I’ve got hers.

68 Marianna September 2, 2013 at 6:44 pm

I love this, I’m so glad men are reading this! It’s what I want my boyfriend to read and what I want my friend’s boyfriend to read!

69 Brad October 4, 2013 at 2:21 pm

I actually got my wife a White Sapphire. It looks just like a diamond and isn’t a “fake” stone. It was also about twice the size of a comparable diamond I was considering to buy.

As for the James Bond sizing I was actually half a size off when I gave the jeweler the number. But we just happen to have a ring sizer wand thing in the house (I still don’t understand why we have it. I think my wife use to take rings as collateral and needed to know the size.) and I measured another one of her rings and called the jeweler back when I got home. I suppose I should have done this before I left, but hindsight is 20/20.

70 Nic October 18, 2013 at 6:58 pm

I first started my hunt in the retail stores in Canada. I went into all of them, they are a great place to learn some basics, and to learn how you can get enormously ripped off. A good local jeweler nowadays can make copies of any ring that you find in a retail store.
Me and Stephanie found a design that we both loved, but relized that the store was asking way too much for a 1 ct princess diamond. I started looking around online and getting a better idea of prices for stone.
I then found a highly recomended jeweler in Vancouver (They had tons of 5 star reviews and showed their rings on their website).
I finally got an apt and was really glad that I did. The final product was nicer than at the major canadian retailer, they were able to match the design and get me a much higher quality diamond. The cost, more than half what I was quoted from the retail store.
So guys, find a design, get a quote, then go to a few local jewelers and see what they can do.
TIps for finding a local jeweler
1. Check out their reviews
2. Ensure you can see their past rings.
3. be cautious if they inventory their own diamonds, that means they have an agenda to push them as opposed to finding you the right stone
4. Anyone with half a brain now will list their wholsaler diamonds on their website for you to browse. This way when you order the diamond you can see it then in person. If its no good they can bring in another one.
5. be cautious if they try to get you to go for higher quality than what you can afford, what they should do is try to bring you down to something more realistic in price. its easy to get caught up in mind clean as opposed to eye clean when it comes to diamonds.
5. Go to the truth about diamonds . com. its a treasure trove of information whose aim is to ensure you don’t get ripped off when it comes time to making the purchase

Ok, besides that have fun with it, once you get into a couple of stores you will feel more comfortable.


71 Karina April 11, 2014 at 5:49 pm

One way that you can get her ring size is by giving her a claddagh ring. It’s a special, Irish ring that has two hands holding a heart, and the heart has a crown on it. The hands stand for friendship, the heart stands for love, and the crown stands for loyalty. It’s a very special ring that is worn on the ring finger — the right hand, if the girl is single or in a relationship, and the left hand if the girl is engaged or married. And giving her this meaningful ring, which will indicate your friendship, love, and loyalty, is definitely something that she is going to gush about to her friends when you’re still in the pre-engagement stage!

Anyway, my then-boyfriend (now husband) knew that I wanted this ring and also wanted to get my ring size at that time, so he took me into a jewelry shop to get my finger sized, for the claddagh ring. I handed my right hand to the person sizing my finger, and she gave me an odd look, so I gave her my left hand instead. Thus, he found out my ring finger size and I got a claddagh ring! A couple of months later, he gave me an engagement ring as well! It was nice!

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