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How to Buy an
Engagement Ring

Shop Engagement Rings

1. Set a Budget

We believe that no rule should dictate the budget you set, but before selecting an engagement ring you should decide on a budget you feel comfortable with to ensure you find your ideal option. There is an old wives tale that an engagement ring should cost 3 months of your salary, but that isn't always the case. A budget for the perfect engagement ring depends on your significant other's wants and your own personal circumstance. We can assist you in finding a diamond or other gemstone that balances size with quality at a price that works within your budget, and can tell you about lab-created diamonds or diamond substitutes like moissanites or other gemstones, which can be budget-friendly options. If you are purchasing a ring with Brilliant Earth, we have a variety of flexible payment options including 12 month financing, layaway, and easy monthly payments with Affirm.

Read Our Budget Guide

2. Select a Ring

We offer a broad range of ring settings, but we'll help you narrow down the options by taking into account the style preferences, lifestyle, and personality of your partner. Ring styles can range from halo engagement rings to a solitaire ring, or even a custom engagement ring so it's important that you have help in finding the perfect setting for your partner. Selecting an engagement ring style may be the hardest part of buying an engagement ring. For guidance, think about the types of clothing and accessories your significant other gravitates towards—this should give you some clues as to whether they’d prefer a ring that’s classic, modern, nature-inspired, glamorous, or some combination of those. Make sure to stay alert to any hints your partner might be dropping! If you two have discussed an engagement, there’s a good chance their preferences are saved to a Pinterest board. To make the decision less stressful, we offer 30-day free returns and exchanges.

ring style guide

Platinum and yellow gold are the most popular choices, but learn about your precious metals options before selecting the right metal for your engagement ring. Brilliant Earth offers yellow gold, platinum, rose gold, and white gold metal options for engagement rings. For those with metal allergies, platinum is a naturally hypoallergenic choice.

precious metals guide

If you don't know your partner's ring size, that's no problem at all. We'll teach you a few simple tips and tricks that can help you figure it out. Determining your partner’s ring size without asking is tricky, but not impossible. The most common women’s ring size is 6-6.5, and you want to err on the large side. You could sneak a ring from your partner’s jewelry box and take it to a jeweler to have it sized, or trace one of her rings on a piece of paper. You can also ask them or one of their close friends directly and request complimentary ring sizer from our website! If you get the incorrect size, within 60 days of shipment to our US, Canadian, UK, and Australian customers, we offer complimentary resizing for our standard ring styles with free shipping both ways.

Request a Ring Sizer

3. Select a Diamond

Diamonds are the classic choice for an engagement ring. Understanding the 4 C's, cut, color, carat weight, and clarity can help you identify the diamond that is best for your budget and ring. To find the perfect diamond for you, we recommend selecting a diamond shape and then finding a balance between size and quality. Sometimes choosing a smaller diamond can get you a higher quality diamond, while opting for a diamond with some color or a lower cut grade can allow you to get a larger carat weight within your budget. Because they are slightly more affordable than naturally mined diamonds of comparable shape and carat weight, choosing a lab created diamond is another great way to optimize your center diamond within your budget.

Read more about the 4Cs to maximize the beauty and brilliance of your diamond.

By understanding the way that light moves through diamond crystals, modern diamond cutters have established a set of proportions and angles that are known to harness the diamond’s internal brilliance. Cut refers to the facets, symmetry, and reflective qualities of a diamond. The cut of a diamond is directly related to its overall sparkle and beauty and can be one of the most important factors to consider when optimizing for the overall look of your diamond.

Caused by natural trace elements of nitrogen that were present when the diamond formed under the Earth’s crust. Diamond color refers to the natural color or lack of color visible within a diamond. This is based on the GIA grade scale which determines the amount of yellow or grey hues visible within a diamond. Brilliant Earth carries only diamonds within the “colorless” and “near-colorless” range. The closer a diamond is to “colorless,” the rarer it is in value.

Measures the overall weight of the diamond, which impacts the visual size of your diamond. Different diamond shapes will hold their carat weight differently, so some elongated fancy shapes such as oval, pear, or marquise diamonds can appear to be larger than round diamonds of comparable carat weight because they have longer dimensions.

Clarity is determined by the visibility of natural microscopic inclusions and imperfections within a diamond. Diamonds with little to no inclusions are considered particularly rare and highly valued.

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Gemstones can be a beautiful alternative to a more traditional diamond engagement ring. Some of the most popular alternative gemstones are moissanites, sapphires, morganites, and emeralds. Moissanites are a diamond simulant and a nice alternative for those interested in a look similar to a diamond at a lower price point. Moissanites exhibit a different kind of brilliance than diamonds do, as their faceting pattern is different, and many people love the fiery, rainbow flashes emitted by moissanites. Sapphires are a traditional and durable gemstone, making them an ideal center gem for an engagement ring. In addition to the classic royal blue sapphire, this gemstone comes in virtually every hue from peaches and pinks, teal, yellow, purple, and even white. Gemstones can add beautiful color, sparkle and can take any shape that a diamond can in a ring setting. Learn more about popular gemstones below.

While diamond is the hardest mineral with a 10 on the Mohs scale of relative hardness, corundum (the mineral family for sapphires and rubies) is the next hardest with a rating of 9. Because of their toughness, sapphires are great gemstones for everyday wear and jewelry pieces that will get a lot of use like engagement rings. While most people are familiar with sapphires being a rich royal blue color, what you might not know is that sapphires come in almost every color in the rainbow!

Moissanite is engineered to give the illusion of similarity to diamonds but is compositionally and visually quite different from a real diamond. The durability, brilliance, and color of the two gems are quite distinct.

High-quality emeralds are rarer than diamond, and since they have a lower density, a one-carat emerald will look larger than a diamond of the same size. Valued throughout history for their rich color, emeralds are a beautiful and timeless choice for an engagement ring center gemstone.

Exquisite petal pink or peach morganites are beloved for their exceptional clarity and blush tones, which allow for maximum light to enter the stone.

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4. Purchase Process

Because your jewelry is so precious, it deserves your full care and regular attention. Basic care will help preserve and protect your jewelry for years to come. You can learn more about how to care for different types of jewelry on our website.

Jewelry Care Guide

An engagement ring is a symbol of your love, so it is important that it reflects your values. We are passionate about cultivating a more transparent, sustainable, and compassionate jewelry industry. From our personalized shopping experience to our unique jewelry designs, everything at Brilliant Earth is held to exceptional standards.

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5. Propose!

The rest is up to you! Whichever beautiful engagement ring you decide on, your proposal will be a meaningful moment the two of you will cherish. Read unique ideas to make your proposal unforgettable.

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