how to buy an engagement ring

How To Buy An Engagement Ring

Congratulations! You're ready to propose! But how do you find the perfect engagement ring? We know you aren't out buying diamonds every day. You're not used to dealing with diamond-specific terms like "carat weight" and "clarity". That's why we created the ultimate guide on how to buy an engagement ring - to help you make the best educated choices. We've got practical information you need to negotiate your way through the engagement experience – from popping the question to putting that perfect ring on her finger. So don't worry. It's going to be great!

Learn About Ring Styles

Learn About Diamonds

Learn About Metal Types

Talk To Our Experts

Ring Styles

Her perfect ring is out there. If the two of you are shopping for it together, you’ll know when she has found it. But if you’re going to look for it on your own, here’s something to keep in mind – the right ring should fit her personality as perfectly as it fits her finger. But really, it all boils down to three basic styles.



A single diamond set in a plain mounting.



This normally refers to three primary diamonds, or other stones, set in a single band.

Bridal Set

Bridal Set

The all-in-one style that includes the wedding band. It’s usually multi-stoned, with a larger center stone.



Choose the diamond. Select the setting. Make it unique, individual and one-of-a-kind that captures her personality and style perfectly.

Learn About Diamond Shapes

Actually, diamonds come in a range of shapes. Some highlight the sparkle, some enhance the glow and others bring out the brilliance. All are designed to make a diamond come to life. Chances are, she has a favorite. One she has always imagined on her finger. If you don’t know what it is, see if you can find out. Look at her other jewelry, ask her friends, search her pinterest page or try and get her to tell you – without letting the cat out of the bag!

Wedding Hands

The Four C's:
Color, Cut, Clarity, & Carat Weight

It can seem a little complicated when you first start looking at engagement rings, but its actually something very simple and extremely helpful.

First, set a budget. You have to decide how much to spend. We can only recommend that you spend wisely. So don’t be shy about asking your jeweler lots of questions to learn just exactly what you’re buying.

Then, "C" for yourself. Diamonds are not only beautiful – they’re valuable. So a system was created to grade them and let us all compare their quality. It’s called the 4'Cs and it breaks diamond information into four categories. Here they are, in order to importance:

Diamond Cut Education


How shallow, how deep, determine how to find a diamond that will dazzle with a brilliant, fiery light.

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Diamond Color Education


Diamond color is graded by letter. That letter indicates the whiteness and rarity of the diamond.

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Diamond Clarity Education


Inclusions, birthmarks, blemishes... the natural identity marks within each diamond define its clarity.

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Diamond Carat Weight Education

Carat Weight

Measured in carats, a diamonds carat weight will determine its size.

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Learn About Metal Types

It's the setting's job to make the diamond look brilliant. But it still has to shine on its own. That's why it's made from precious metals.

Metal Rings


Gold has warmth and a lustrous glow that is unmatched. Its purity is measured in karats (not to be confused with carats). Pure gold is 24 karat. 18K, 14K and 10K gold all contain alloys for added strength and color. Yellow or white, gold is the most popular choice for engagement rings.

Learn About Gold


Platinum is considered the "King of Metals." It is rare, naturally white and known for its durability. It is one of the purest precious metals, making it naturally hypoallergenic and perfect for people with sensitive skin. Platinum is five times as rare as gold, making it very valuable.

Learn About Platinum
Learn About All Metal Types



Will you show me my diamond under a scope?

An Helzberg Diamonds store associate will be happy to show you your diamond under the ASET device, a tool developed by the American Gem Society, to clearly demonstrate light performance in full 3-dimension. You can schedule an appointment on the site or call your local store to schedule your viewing.

Will you demonstrate the light performance of my diamond?

At Helzberg Diamonds, we demonstrate the light performance of your diamond under the ASET Device. You can easily see the performance of your diamond with your own eyes. The ASET Device is leading-edge gemological technology and is only available at American Gem Society member firms.

Will you help me create a customized engagement ring especially for me?

Helzberg diamonds specializes in helping you select the perfect diamond coupled with a beautiful mounting that reflects her unique style and personality and, most importantly, is breathtaking symbol of how much she is loved.

Can I be assured that you conduct your business in an honest and ethical manner?

Helzberg Diamonds is a proud member of the American Gem Society® and the only national jeweler to have earned this prestigious membership. The AGS sets the standard for the jewelry industry through its dedication to consumer protection, education, ethics, and integrity. Helzberg Diamonds is also a Berkshire Hathaway company under the leadership of Warren Buffet, who is widely recognized as the standard bearer of ethical business practices.

Will you provide me with a superior and hassle-free experience?

Our goal at Helzberg Diamonds is to become your jeweler for life. Our associates love our customers. We are committed to taking the time to truly understand the wants and desires of our customers while engaging on a very personalized level that is uniquely Helzberg Diamonds. If we have served you to Helzberg’s standards, we understand that you would never consider shopping anywhere else for jewelry.

Proposal checklist

Pick a date & time

It can be a special occasion or a random day.

Select a location

Choose a location that is meaningful to you both. Make all the necessary arrangements with the location ahead of time and coordinate with the family and friends that you might want involved.

Choose the ring

Find the ring that fits her personality. Some couples shop together – or perhaps your fiancée can send you an e-hint from Another trick is to look at her current jewelry to discover her favorite shape and ring style.

Ask her parents

No matter how long you’ve been dating, this is always a classy move.

Decide what you want to say and rehearse it

Writing your proposal ahead of time will make sure that when the moment comes you don’t forget what to say.