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How do you pick an engagement ring?

Published on January 25, 2010 by deepfriedsalad

I have started looking at engagement rings online and have done some research on diamonds and settings. Right now I'm trying to figure out what the best metal for the ring would be. I would want it to be white and durable and not have anything in it that could cause allergies. What is the best ring for all that in your opinion?


You can use 14 k white gold for the metal, or palladium which is a metal in the platinum family but it costs less than gold. If money isn't a problem, you could go with Rhodium or Platinum-both white metals with zero allergens- but they are pricy. The platinum family metals are more durable than gold, so if longevity and low maintenace are on your list of must-haves then I would go with Palladium if you are on a budget or Rhodium or Platinum for the high end stuff. Just remember that not all goldsmiths are equipped to work with platinum family metals- they are harder to cast due to higher tempriture tolerances- platinum melts at 3214.9 deg. F whereas gold melts at 1947.52 deg. F. So it requires some special equipment to work with and not all goldsmiths or silversmiths have it. I know of a goldsmith in Montana that does custom work for a reasonable price. He often does custon elk ivory rings for hunters, but he also does great wedding sets. You can find him at I have used this guy before and can vouch for his work.

The responder did not cover diamonds. I have to say that the best bang for the bukc is the Marquis cut. It is long and flat and looks like a bigger ring. Carat is the total weight of the stone. In round cuts the bulk of the stone is not visible because it is down in the settting.

The marquis cut is long and flat. It looks much bigger than other stones of the same weight.

DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, GET GOLD. Unless she owns 5000 shares of gold or is personally invested invested in it in a similar such way.

Platinum is the most expensive, but white gold is tempting because it's so much cheaper (but it tarnishes). Palladium is a good middle ground because it doesn't tarnish, but it doesn't require a yearly cleaning like platinum to maintain its luster.

Round diamonds are the standard. Princess cut (sort of rectangular) and square are also common, but you have to spend a LOT to get the same sparkle that a round diamond would achieve. If you can't afford big, just make sure it's sparkly (cut so it reflects a lot of light and is nearly colorless and has no imperfect particle pieces in the diamond). I would not deviate from these three shapes. I personally would not want a diamond that is not any of these shapes, most women wouldn't, because these are the ones that make other women go "oooh, ahhh" and "that is so beautiful!"

The band and diamond setting my man, you are on your own there, because that is where how well you know your woman will really be tested. There's SO many styles of bands and settings out there, and women's tastes vary so much that it will really depend on what she likes and how well you can pick out a setting that reflects her style. There's literally a million different ones out there, and what some women may love, others may find tacky or too decorative, or too boring, or not modern enough, etc.