How to Pick an Engagement Ring Style She'll Love

You’ve found the perfect woman for you, now it’s time to find the perfect ring for her. But unless she’s pointed out the exact piece of jewelry she’d love, you have a lot of engagement ring styles to choose from.

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Engagement Ring Styles

From the color of the band, to the type of center stone (because diamonds aren’t every girl’s best friend!), to the cut of that stone, to being big and blingy versus classically demure, and so on. It’s enough to leave you reeling.

Round Cut Diamond

Round (or brilliant) is the most popular cut for a diamond, with 58 facets of pure sparkle! About 75% of diamonds sold fall into the round brilliant category, making it a classic choice. This cut tends to be expensive, losing about 50% of the original raw diamond weight in the cutting process.

Princess Cut Diamond

The second most popular shape, princess cut diamonds are fit for royalty. From the top, this shape looks like a perfect square or a rectangle, and it is sometimes called “square modified brilliant.” When comparing a princess cut and round cut diamond of the same width, the princess cut will have a larger carat weight because of its corners.

Emerald Cut Diamond

The emerald cut was one of the first to be used in jewelry, and it was originally meant for colored stones. An emerald cut diamond looks rectangular with cropped corners, and these stones tend to give off a unique shine as opposed to the typical sparkle of other diamond cuts.

Asscher Cut Diamond

The Asscher cut is similar to emerald, but it is more square shaped than rectangular. With both asscher and emerald cuts, it is very important to be mindful of clarity when choosing a diamond; the clear view of the stone’s center will make any inclusions or flaws much more obvious.

Cushion Cut Diamond

There are several variations of the cushion cut, but it is typically a rounded square or rectangular diamond with a pillow-like shape. Cushion cuts were very popular in the 1800s, and the modified style has come back into style. This cut can have as many as 64 facets, making it a stunning choice for any ring!

Heart Shaped Diamond

This shape is a modification of the brilliant cut, and it is a unique choice for the ultimate romantic. The most important thing to look for in a heart shaped diamond is symmetry – both sides of the stone should be perfectly identical.

Marquise Cut Diamond

The marquise cut was originally designed by King Louis XV of France, who wanted a stone cut to look like the lips of his mistress, the Marchioness Madame de Pompadour. It is a unique and distinctive choice for engagement rings, but make sure the pointed ends of the stone are protected – it may chip more easily than other shapes.

Pear Cut Diamond

The pear shape is a modified cut combining the marquise and round shapes, creating a teardrop style. Symmetry is very important for this shape, and like the marquise cut, it is important to protect the pointed end of the stone with an extra prong. This glamorous shape should always be worn with the tip pointing to the wearer’s hand.

Radiant Cut Diamond

As the first ever brilliant square diamond, this shape is sure to sparkle from every angle. Radiant cut diamonds are square with cropped corners, so the shape is often seen as a middle ground between the cushion and princess cuts.

Oval Cut Diamond

Oval cut diamonds are currently having a moment as a popular choice for engagement rings. This cut is modified from the classic round brilliant shape, so it has just as much sparkle as a round diamond. The oval shape has an elongating effect that is very flattering to the wearer, and diamonds with this cut may appear to be larger.

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Advice on How to Choose an Engagement Ring

Before choice overload stalls you on how to pick an engagement ring, here are five effective ways to navigate the tricky terrain of engagement ring styles.

1. Mother knows best.

For some, there is no more special bond than the one between a mother and daughter. If the woman you love has a strong relationship with her mom, you might just have the inside scoop on the perfect ring to purchase. Bonus: You’ll score points with your future mother-in-law by giving her an integral role in the future happiness of her daughter!

2. Or maybe her BFF knows better.

Truth be told, mom may think she knows her daughter’s taste in jewelry, but be careful it isn’t personal expectations disguised as her daughter’s hopes and dreams. For the real deal on what your love wants, get a second opinion or start first with the best friend. The one closest to her likely knows what fashions, styles and trends to which she’s most drawn. They’ve probably talked about their futures in length, so ring styles may be something her bestie knows without a doubt.

3. Ask someone to take her ring shopping.

If you want to keep the engagement ring and proposal top secret, you’re going to need to help. Find a friend or close family member who can discreetly plan a shopping trip and report back to you with what your partner likes best. A friend who’s been in a committed relationship makes the perfect cover, as your love will think they’re looking for the friend, when really the friend is getting the deets for you.

4. Get her opinion.

Know someone who recently got engaged? Ask your girlfriend what she thinks of the ring. Don’t have any friends who’ve popped the question? Turn to celebrity news. The rich and famous are always getting hitched, and rings are getting shared more than ever on social media. While you probably can’t (and don’t want to) afford the estimated $10 million ring James Packer once put on Mariah Carey’s finger, you can inquire more about the details for which your girl loves.

5. Go straight to the source.

If you’ve talked about getting engaged, then why not ask her directly what she’d like in a ring? The talk doesn’t mean she’ll know exactly what you’ll pick, nor will it mean she’ll know when you plan to pop the question. It will, however, ensure that when you open the ring box, what’s inside will be something she’ll truly adore. Another great option is Hint by The Knot, which allows your fiance-to-be to search rings and send “hints” or pictures of the ring she really wants.

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Oh, No…She Hates the Ring!

Beyond dropping hints, only one quarter of brides are involved in shopping for their engagement rings. The result is oftentimes disappointment. It’s not a fun situation to be in regardless of which side of the proposal you’re on. However, if it does happen, the good news is that many jewelers have return policies when purchasing rings directly (custom-designed rings will require selling it on your own). If you want the ring and the proposal to be a surprise, and thus the bride-to-be has given no input, it might be best to work with someone who will take the ring back if it’s not perfect for her.

Photos by Chard Photo