This post is sponsored by Blue Nile. While this was a sponsored opportunity from Blue Nile, all content and opinions expressed here are my own.
This December, I’ll be celebrating my 10-year anniversary with my husband! We got married as college students, and we definitely strayed from tradition on everything from the engagement to the wedding itself. For starters, we shopped for the engagement ring together instead of him surprising me for several reasons: 1) I had an heirloom family diamond that I wanted to have set for my ring, 2) we wanted to be sure, since we were young and on a budget, that the setting was absolutely something I would love for many years to come, and 3) it was important to us to make big purchasing decisions like that together. Now, I’m well aware that isn’t the norm, but for us, it worked.
Your engagement ring is the one piece of jewelry you’ll wear for a lifetime, and not only does it represent your love and commitment to one another, but also your personality and unique sense of style. Personally, I have very classic tastes, so we chose a setting for my family’s diamond that would be timeless. Back then, I exclusively wore silver or white gold jewelry, but because I had a lot of yellow gold pieces that had been passed down to me, I opted for a two-tone setting so that I could wear both yellow and white gold jewelry with my ring.
So, what do you need to know to find your own engagement ring style? We’ve partnered with Blue Nile to share the keys to success for choosing a ring style you’ll love and cherish for a lifetime!
Step 1: Set a Budget
Forget the outdated notion that a ring should cost some arbitrary amount of your monthly salary. The best thing you can do is purchase the highest quality stone and setting you can afford without incurring a ton of debt. That number is obviously going to be different for every couple, and there’s no right or wrong answer. Blue Nile has a handy guide on how to budget for an engagement ring, too!
Step 2: Choose a Shape
Here’s where things get a little more complicated – but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s start with the shape, which refers to the geometry of the stone (whereas the cut refers to the facets in the stone). The most popular choice is, of course, a classic round stone. I think the round shape is inherently the most versatile because it works in everything from modern bezel settings to more vintage or antique looks. However, despite being one of the most popular shapes, round stones typically cost 30% more than any other shape.
In fact, according to Blue Nile, when comparing 1 carat diamonds of comparable cut, color and clarity, the round shape was the most expensive, followed by the pear, princess, marquise, oval, emerald, radiant, cushion, and finally the Asscher, being the least expensive.
Step 3: Choose a Stone
Once you’ve chosen the best stone shape for your style, you can focus on the other 4Cs – cut, color, clarity and carat. As mentioned before, the cut refers to the angles of the facets in the stone, and this has the biggest impact on the sparkle. When considering a diamond, try to balance the best quality cut grade you can afford with the carat size. A huge diamond with a low-grade cut won’t be nearly as pretty or sparkly as a more moderate carat size with a high-grade cut.
Of course, there’s no rule that says your engagement ring has to be a diamond! Blue Nile offers hundreds of options for gemstone engagement rings, including sapphires (second most popular after diamonds), as well as amethyst, tanzanite, aquamarine, garnet, opal, tourmaline, blue topaz, peridot, citrine, morganite, ruby and emerald – literally every color of the rainbow!
Step 4: Choose a Metal
Now that you have a basic idea about what kind of stone you want, it’s time to choose a metal for your setting. Naturally, you’ll want to pick a color that fits with your style, but you should also consider the differences among the most common precious metals and how they suit your budget and lifestyle. For example, platinum is rare and quite expensive compared with other metals, but it’s also hypoallergenic and incredibly strong, meaning it doesn’t wear, tarnish or scratch like gold does over time. Blue Nile also offers 18K and 14K yellow gold, white gold and rose gold.
Step 5: Research, Research, Research
Above all else, take your time and do the research! Delve into each of the elements we covered above, as well as the policies and reputation of the jeweler you’ll be purchasing from. Buying an engagement ring is a big decision, so you want to be absolutely confident in the purchase.
Why Choose Blue Nile?
Blue Nile’s reputation in the online engagement ring marketplace is well-established and top-notch! They offer the largest selection of rings and stones compared with any other competitor, and they provide their customers with a generous 30-day return policy, price matching and inspection of gems upon request. If you’re still not sure of your own engagement ring style, worry not. Take a peek at some of the recently purchased engagement rings and get inspired!