Deciding on the perfect ring for your partner can seem daunting at first. From the ring style to the diamond, there are so many different options it can be overwhelming! Not to mention the plethora of information online that can be conflicting or confusing. We're here to de-clutter the mess for you.
Designer Catherine Angiel has been helping couples create the perfect engagement ring for over 26 years in New York's West Village. From celebrities to locals, she has worked with every budget you can imagine. You've come to the right place for the top tips on buying the perfect engagement ring your partner will love for a lifetime to come.
Style or Diamond First?
If you're like most people, buying an engagement ring may be the largest wearable purchase you've ever made. So first things first, where do you start? The designer Catherine Angiel recommends beginning with the ring style. Get an idea of what they like either from their Pinterest board, their friends, family, or straight from the source!
"It's the 21st century, the days of one partner choosing everything and presenting it to the other blindly are rare. I see a lot of couples come in and design a ring together and it's very smart if you ask me. The recipient ends up with something they love and it's no problem to keep the budget and finished product private for the benefit of the buyer." - Catherine Angiel
Once the design and diamond shape are solidified, along with the price range, the rest is easy!
Prong or bezel? Pave or channel? There are many different ways to set a diamond. Catherine suggests doing your research ahead of time to understand how different settings can effect the way a diamond catches the light or take the look from traditional to contemporary. A great resource to use is this article from The Diamond Pro that walks you through the many different setting options available to you.
What best suits your soon-to-be fiance's taste? A good rule of thumb is to pay attention to what they normally wear. Do they only wear white gold? Or does yellow gold suit their skin tone best? You only have 4 options in this category (phew!): platinum, white gold, yellow gold, and rose gold. You can also opt for various karats which is a purity measurement and can be a marker of how durable the ring can be.
The options here are endless. But it also means you and your fiance can choose something that will be unique to them alone. Art deco, vintage inspired, halo or modern...again this is very important to get your fiance's opinion on. It's too big a purchase to be taking a guess. Save the surprise for popping the question and communicate about the ring style. Trust us.
The Stone- Diamond or Alternative?
We're sure you've heard of the 4 C's (if not check out our educational article on it here). This is a good guide when considering how to best spend your money when buying a diamond. AND having a good jeweler to guide you - see below! But have you considered alternatives to a diamond before? "Moissanite is growing fast in popularity and is virtually indistinguishable from a diamond. For clients with smaller budgets, I often recommend considering moissanite which are very reasonably priced."
Other options to consider fall into the 'alternative' engagement ring category, like grey diamonds and different colored gemstones. "Grey diamonds are my favorite stone to use in engagement rings because they're super rare and give a cool factor that a classic diamond doesn't have."- Catherine Angiel. So don't be afraid to think outside the box.
The Right Jeweler
Pictured here: Catherine Angiel with client picking up engagement ring
This is a big one that people don't often put at the top of their list of considerations but it's perhaps one of the most important things to think about. A good jeweler will make sure they source the best diamonds, not just push on you whatever they have in stock that they're trying to get rid of. They will customize and work to make sure you end up with the best diamond your money can buy.
"I always like to source several diamonds in my client's price range and then show them in person so they can compare. And I always make sure I'm proud of what I'm showing. If a diamond shows up that I don't think is up to par, I don't show it. I want my work to reflect my reputation and that way the customer always ends up with the best bang for their buck."- Catherine Angiel says of her view of diamonds.