7 Tips for Shopping for a Wedding Ring

How to make your ring win

Getting ready to enter a life of nuptial bliss can be stressful, in no small part because that rock you’re getting ready to wear forever is a major investment. To celebrate Fab’s new wedding registry, here are 7 important tips to keep in mind when shopping for rings.


Skip the solitaire

There’s more than one way to wear a carat of diamonds on your finger. A ring with a classic solitaire at this weight will generally cost thousands. But a band covered with tiny pave diamonds that add up to just under one carat sparkles plenty and can cost up to 90% less than a ring with a big center stone.

Compare the settings

The way a diamond is framed can have a major impact on how bit it looks. For example, a bezel with a thin band of metal that wraps around a gem gives the illusion of a larger stone.

Request certification

A diamond of a carat or more should come with a gem report; a gemologist’s evaluation of the stone’s color by letter grade (good stones are ranked no lower than “I”) and clarity, ranging from “flawless” (FL) to “very slight inclusions” (either VS1 or VS2) for an acceptable diamond. The cut, carat weight, and measurements are also listed.

The Gemological Institute of America issues most gem reports, but a few fine jewelry firms offer their own guaranteed certificates. The Tiffany & Co. Diamond Certificate lists a diamond’s distinguishing characteristics and its linear measurements, accurate to within .02 millimeters.

Photo courtesy of Kevin Warby

Know your metals

Platinum and gold are top choices for engagement rings. The former will cost you—a simple platinum band can cost nearly $600 more than a comparable gold one—but many brides feel the price is worth it. Platinum is far more durable metal. It will show fewer nicks and scratches, and platinum prongs will hold a stone more securely.

As for color, some people believe that yellow gold casts an unflattering light on the diamond, while others prefer the hue’s warmth and traditional look.

Invest in insurance

The cost of protecting yourself against loss or theft depends on several factors—including the value of your ring, of course, as well as where you live (major city dwellers will pay more). According to Donna Syverson, a spokeswoman for the national insurance firm Jewelers Mutual, your annual premium will be about 1 to 2.7% of the jewelry’s appraised value, even for rings that cost six figures.

Have your ring numbered

Your diamond’s certificate number (or jeweler’s designation) can be laser-inscribed on the side of the stone, allowing it to be positively identified in case of theft, or following cleaning or repair.

Such inscriptions, which are visible under magnification, don’t affect the gem’s value They cost between $40 and $200, and offer more than piece of mind; some insurance carriers will give policy discounts and inscribed diamonds.

Save big with a smaller stone

Most couples look for diamonds in whole carat weights, but what you may not realize is that jewelers charge a premium for such stones. If you opt instead for a gem just under a carat (or under two or three carats, for that matter), the savings can add up to 30%. And the difference in size is so insignificant, you won’t be able to tell.

Rachel Stinson

Rachel Stinson has always had a knack for writing, food, fashion, and sports, especially golf. Blogging has combined all four for her with an added bonus of enthusiastic audiences. She expertly analyzes real estate, restaurants, and online fashion stores with respect to pricing and people, and involved can express her opinions in an unhesitant, engaging manner for all matters.