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4 Quick Tips for Selecting the Best Engagement Ring EVER

If you are getting ready to buy an engagement ring, read this first! Lots of tips and tricks for you!

Opal engagement ring

Hey, John!

I’m going to propose to my partner, Jordan, at Ainsworth House & Gardens this December. I am thrilled, nervous, and scared. The thing that scares me the most is how do I pick a ring? Do you have any helpful hints?


–Terrified Tyler in Tualatin, Oregon


Hey, Tyler!

Take a deep breath. You can do this!



Hey, Tyler!

Take a deep breath. You can do this!

I am happy to state that I am a very happy married man. When I proposed to my beautiful wife, Christie, a while ago, it was relatively easy for us men: There was a formula of buying an engagement ring that was 2 or 3 times your monthly salary. Most rings were a single diamond set in gold, platinum, or silver. Diamonds came in princess cut, oval, emerald cut, and few others.

My fraternity brother, Bill, a very decisive engineer, took 15 minutes to select the engagement ring for Debbie. She must have liked the ring and Bill—they’ve been married over 20 years!

I realize that now is different. There are so many more choices—different colored gem stones, different cuts, new setting styles, and all of that.

Let me give you a framework which might help you decide which engagement ring to select.

diamond wedding ring
Aleexandrite wedding ring on finger
  1. Who is your partner? Who is this person you want to marry? What factors resonate with this person and can those factors be incorporated into the ring? A jewelry designer once advised that the stones and the silhouette of the ring should be authentic to who you are and who your partner is. Will the ring reflect what interests the two of you? Will the ring stand the test of time or is it so on trend now that it might be dated in 10 years? Will it have the color/colors most often worn by your beloved?

2. Does the ring express your sense of romance and the love you have for your partner?

Does it represent your commitment to each other and the joining of your families?

3. Does this ring have heirloom quality?

Are the stones, metal, and craftsmanship excellent enough to be cherished by your children or grandchildren? Could it be passed on to the next generation?

sappphire and diamond wedding engagement ring
A man and woman stand in loving embrace.

4. There are three main categories of engagement rings. The category you select should reflect your values and your partner’s values.

a. New ring/natural stones: As I mentioned, this used to be almost the only category of engagement ring. Those who like to be fashion-forward will flock to this category.

b. New ring/lab-generated stones: In recent years, the quality and clarity of synthetic diamonds and other gemstones has improved so much that it’s getting harder to tell stones mined from the Earth from those created by science. These rings appeal to those who want to be fashion-forward, have an on trend ring while preferring a sustainable option—stones not cut from the Earth and not cutting up the Earth.

c. Vintage, sustainable rings: Available at jewelry stores in the Estate Sales section or at an online auction house, these rings have an undeniable charm since they are often one-of-a-kind. Since no new stones or metals were mined to make the ring, this is the most sustainable, Earth-friendly option. 

Those who support sustainability and those who love history are often enchanted by a vintage ring! That is definitely a ring destined to become a family heirloom and treasured for generations!

For more research, you might want to read, “The Guy’s Guide to Engagement Ring Gemstones,” which we posted on our blog recently.


I hope this gets you started on your quest. If you have any more questions, circle back and I’ll see how I can help you.

Your friend in the wedding business,

John Shyne

Images courtesy of and

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marriage proposal as the beach
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