The Ultimate Engagement Ring Guide
Buying an engagement ring can be overwhelming. With so many details to consider the options for an engagement ring are endless. That’s why Mark Michael Diamond Designs is here to help with this step-by-step engagement ring guide.
Step 1. Choose a Center Stone:
While diamonds remain the most popular choice due to their brilliance and durability, there is also a wide range of colored gemstones to choose from. If you’re interested in a colored gemstone we’ve included a great article from The Knot here that explores the many different options for a colored gemstone center. If you're leaning towards a diamond for the center stone, it’s helpful to read up on the 4 different qualities of a diamond, known as the 4C’s. We've included a link here to help you get started.
Step 2: Choose a Shape
Once you’ve selected a center stone you’ll want to decide on its shape. While round is the most popular shape due to its timeless and classic look, fancy shapes such as oval, pear, and cushion shapes are also rising in popularity. If you’re not sure which shape to choose we’ve included a quiz here to help you decide.
Step 3: Choose a Metal
Whether you want to opt for classic platinum or prefer the warmer hues of yellow or rose gold, the metal you choose should last for years to come. If you’re leaning towards a silver look you’ll want to research the differences between platinum, 18k white gold and 14k white gold.
While there is no visual difference between the 3 different metal types, platinum is a naturally white metal, is much more dense than white gold (meaning it will last the longest) and requires less maintenance than 18k or 14k white gold. Because gold is naturally yellow, 18k white gold is a mixture of 75% pure gold and the rest a mixture of copper, nickel, zinc, and silver. 14k white gold, on the other hand, is a mixture of 58.5% pure gold making it a little be harder than 18k white gold.
If you’re looking for a warmer hue, you’ll want to decide between bright yellow gold or feminine rose gold. Both yellow and rose gold are available in 14k or 18k options. For a more in-depth reading we've included a helpful resource here from one of our bridal vendors.
Step 4: Figure Out Her Finger Size
A Mark Michael Diamond Designs associate is always available to assist your soon-to-be fiancée with finding the perfect finger size. Alternatively, we can send you home with a complimentary set of plastic ring sizers so you can size her finger from the comfort of your own home. If you’re trying to keep it a surprise, one suggestion we have is to bring in another ring she wears on a different finger for measurement. Either way, it’s important to get as close as possible to her true finger size as many rings can only be sized up or down within 2 finger sizes.
Step 5: Choose a Mounting
The next step is to pick the right mounting for the stone you’ve selected. Consider things like aesthetic beauty, lifestyle, and profession when deciding on the mounting that’s right for her. A very delicate vintage ring, for example, might not be the best option for someone with an extremely active lifestyle. At Mark Michael Diamond Designs we have a selection of engagement rings that are both unique and built to last. Browse through our online selection of engagement rings here to find the mounting that is perfect for you.
Choose a Semi-Surprise
Alternatively you can choose a semi-surprise. This is a popular option for people who want a surprise proposal but aren’t sure which mounting she’ll love the most. With this option you’ll still select the center stone and we’ll set it into a simple solitaire in the metal color of your choosing. A solitaire ring is a simple all metal mounting. Depending on the metal type you choose a solitaire ring is typically in $500 - $800 range. Once you’ve popped the question, you and your fiancée will come back and pick out the perfect mounting together. Once she’s found the ring of her dreams, we credit the price of the solitaire ring towards your new purchase.
Create a Custom Mounting
Mark Michael Diamond Designs specializes in creating one-of-a-kind custom engagement rings. From extremely detailed vintage rings to sci-fi and DNA rings, we've created a wide range of personalized engagement rings. You’ll work directly with one of our on-site jewelry designers to finalize every detail of your perfect ring. Custom design is easy and fun with our step-by-step process. To learn more about custom design we've included a link here, where you can also make an appointment to meet with one of our custom jewelry designer experts.