Jewelry Designs

Ultimate Guide to Buying Wedding Ring 2022

Shreya Matta

Shreya Matta

December 06, 2022

Is it about time to start ring shopping? Congratulations! Buying a wedding ring and gearing up for the proposal is a crazy exciting time, and it’s easy to get caught up in the romance, but remember: A wedding ring is usually a considerable expense, so you want to make sure you do it right.

Whether you’ll be scouting out rings together or you’re heading out to shop solo, this extensive guide is key to finding the perfect wedding ring for your significant other.

Guide to buying Wedding Rings


Narrow Down the Shape of Wedding Ring

If you know what your significant other wants in terms of diamond shape, that helps focus the wedding ring hunt immensely. Every shape (also known as a cut) is priced differently—and each has a different price per carat. Round cuts are the most expensive whereas pear and marquise are less so. If the size is important to you, you can get more carats at a better price when you choose an alternative shape to the classic round cut. Before heading out to shop for a wedding ring, study up on ring cuts and have one (or two) favorites in mind.

Choose a Metal for the Wedding Band

Traditionally, wedding rings (and wedding bands, too) are made from yellow gold, white gold, silver, or platinum—although in recent years rose gold has emerged as a fresh, modern alternative. While platinum may look quite similar to silver, platinum is significantly more expensive as it has a greater density (and is also rarer). Some metals scratch more accessible than others, so be sure to consider lifestyle—as well as budget, of course—before deciding. You’ll also want to think about if you wish to stones set in the band(s), as well!

Fix a Carat Size in Mind

The age-old question of quality versus quantity also applies to wedding rings; some people prefer a larger stone to a whiter stone, while others want the absolute clearest possible diamond, despite the carat count. “The spouse-to-be should definitely have an idea of her (or his) stone size,” says Jaclyn Kirkorian of Jupiter Jewelry in New York. “As much as people say size isn’t important, it’s always the kicking-off point, because color and clarity can always be tweaked to find something within your budget.”

It’s also important to keep an open mind. Your significant other might think they know what they want when it comes to size or shape, but trying on rings, they might find out they want something else entirely—it’s always different once you start seeing things on your finger in real life.

You can save some significant cash if you choose a less common carat size. Diamond prices increase significantly when they weigh the most desired weights: think half and whole-carat weights (.50, 1, 1.5, etc.). “Buy a diamond that is just shy of these common weights, and you’ll save money and no one will be able to tell it’s a .92 carat instead of a 1 carat,” says Emily Duke of Finesse Diamonds Corp.

Get your Wedding Ring Measured Correctly

This may seem obvious, but make sure you both get your ring fingers properly measured. You don’t want a ring that’s cutting off your circulation or, even worse, so loose it’s at risk of falling off. It should feel snug but comfortable. If you’re not shopping for wedding rings together, you can go get sized at a jewelry store on your own and then casually mention your size the next time the topic comes up (or tell your BFF so they’ll know the answer when your partner asks them).

Consider How Your Wedding Ring Will Look with Your Wedding Band

Planning to pop the question? Here is Christie's guide to buying the perfect engagement ring - The Economic Times

While it is easy to get caught up shopping for the perfect diamond, the wedding ring is only one-half (or less than half, if you’re going the ring stack route) of the equation. Your wedding band—you know, the actual symbol of your marriage—is the oft-overlooked another half.

Definitely think about what style of wedding band would go with your ring. Some wedding rings don’t allow a band to fit flush against them, so it’s important to consider the full package of prong versus pavé and channel-set stones before committing to an engagement ring style.

What Wedding Ring Setting Makes Sense?

Three diamond wedding rings – princess cut three stone, round brilliant solitaire, and emerald cut  with tapered baguette side stones.

A few of the most common settings for wedding rings are solitaire (top), three-stone (left), and side stone (right).

While there are an unending variety of patterns, details, and metal choices, there are four basic types you are likely to encounter while buying a wedding ring:

  • Solitaire – A single stone. Still, the most popular choice when it comes to buying wedding rings. The head secures the diamond. Prongs allow the diamond to catch the most light. A four-prong setting shows more of the diamond, but a six-prong setting is often more secure.
  • Sidestone – Diamonds or other gemstones, flank the main stone for additional sparkle or color. Popular side stone settings include ‘channel’, which protects stones by keeping them flush, and ‘bar-channel’, which allows more light to enter the side stones.
  • Three Stones – One diamond for the past, one for the present, and one for the future. Typically, the center diamond is larger than the two side stones.
  • Pavee (pah-vey) – The main stone is surrounded by tiny diamonds to add sparkle and the illusion of greater size.

As to actual setting design, consider her lifestyle, and how well a certain setting will fit into it. If she’s more active or outdoorsy, look for lower profile, less ornate, more sturdy choices, which are less likely to get knocked or caught on things. If she’s more of a glamour girl, look for statement settings, with a higher stone profile and more intricate ring detailing or unique motif.

Always Buy Certified Ring

Buying a wedding ring is one of life’s most expensive purchases, so take your time to shop smartly. When you finally find the dream ring, buy a certified stone from an accredited laboratory such as the American Gem Society for the Gemological Institute of America. Diamonds certified by the other labs can have inflated grades, giving the customer the illusion of a great deal when in reality they’ve gotten a lower quality diamond, warns expert Ira Weissman, creator of The Diamond Pro. In fact, according to Weissman, this is the biggest trick many jewelry stores play.

Make Sure the Certificate Matches the Diamond

Most diamonds are laser inscribed on the girdle and this can be checked with a jeweler’s loupe, says Duke. “Many have inclusions so you can look at the diamond and see if you can match the imperfections to the map on the certificate, too.”

Be Smart About the Quality of the Cut and Clarity

Your Guide to Buying Solitaires - Only Natural DiamondsSave big by purchasing the lowest color diamond that will still look colorless to the naked eye, suggests Weissman. “For round diamonds in white gold, this is typically an I or J color. In yellow gold, you could even go down to a K color,” he says.

“The difference in price between a J color and a D color is enormous.” As for clarity, the same concept goes. Opt for the lowest clarity diamond that is still clean to the naked eye, as it’ll look identical to a flawless diamond assuming all else is equal, he notes. “The difference in price between an SI1 or SI2 clarity diamond and a flawless diamond is huge.”

On the other hand, the quality of the cut of the diamond is one thing private jeweler Dan Moran, founder of Concierge Diamonds, advises clients to never sacrifice on. Why? It’s the cut of the diamond that gives it that gorgeous sparkle we love. “If you take a so-so rough diamond and cut it perfectly, it’ll look absolutely stunning. On the contrary, take a top-of-the-line rough diamond and cut it poorly, and it’ll look like absolute garbage.”

Negotiate Like a Boss

Wedding rings can be marked up well beyond the necessary margins, explains Rosey West creative director and founder Michael Dobkin. In fact, some rings are marked up as much as 500 percent. “Really do your research before pulling the trigger and don’t be afraid to negotiate,” Dobkin suggests. “A good jeweler will be willing to work within your budget and get you the best quality that works for your needs.”

Head to the Wholesale District

Another option is to work with nontraditional diamond retailers or wholesalers to avoid unnecessary markups, says Monil Kothari, founder of NYC fine jewelry start-up Andre. “A wholesaler or a private retailer like myself is able to work with customers on a one-on-one basis to create a ring specifically for them,” says Kothari. “Moreover, because we don’t have the traditional overhead retailers do, we can save them more than 30 percent, giving them the best bang for their buck.”

Some Tips for not getting caught in the wrong Wedding Ring and buying the one perfect for your loved one!

1. Don’t get caught up in a trend.

A wedding ring should be a timeless, classic symbol of your love that will last forever, so the goal should be to find the stone that is the perfect match for your future fiancé. Look at their current jewelry to see what would best suit their style. Are they gold or platinum person? Do they wear statement jewelry or instead opt for minimal pieces? Take cues from their current style to inform how you pick the piece they’ll want to wear every day for the rest of their lives.

2. A stone doesn’t have to be perfect on paper.

Diamond experts often cite the “Four Cs” (aka color, cut, clarity, and carat), but certificate grading should be just one of the many factors in your decision-making. You don’t need a D Flawless stone to create a beautiful ring. It’s better to judge a stone by the feeling it gives you rather than the GIA grading (diamonds are graded from D to Z by the Gemological Institute of America) it received. The grade can serve as a starting point, but should not be the sole determining factor.

3. Size matters only if you or your fiancé) think it matters.

How to Buy An Engagement Ring: A Step-by-Step Guide |

Go big or go home shouldn’t be the mantra unless you think it’s the most important thing to your future spouse. In that case, weigh your options. Perhaps placing more emphasis on size and less on color and clarity is worth considering.

Even those in the jewelry industry have noticed this trend. “I think there’s less pressure to have a showy ring now,” Jess Hannah, the founder of Los Angeles–based jewelry line J.Hannah says. “Now, the ring is more of an extension of someone’s personal style, and sometimes that means intentionally opting out of ‘bling.’ I love that women feel more empowered to go against the traditional jewelry store [mold] and find something that speaks to them on a personal level. It feels like a feminist choice.”

4. Know where the stone came from.

According to Page Neal, jewelry designer and co-founder of Bario Neal, clients appreciate jewelry with backstories. Especially when those backstories involve ethically sourced gems. Neal searches high and low for mines and suppliers who can prove their diamonds, metals, and gemstones have been sourced sustainably. The stones that are completely traceable from mine to market. “I think people really want to know where their jewelry is coming from,” Neal says. “People really like that we go and search for stones for their custom pieces. We look for stones that are different and interesting, and come back to discuss their options.” If you’re working with a jeweler like Neal, soak up every little detail to share with your future fiancé after you give her the ring.

5. The setting shouldn’t be an afterthought.

After falling in love with a stone, the next step is figuring out what to put around it. “My fiancé collaborated with one of my best friends, Montana Coady, to design my ring,” explains wedding stylist Cynthia Smith of Cynthia Cook Brides. Her advice was to think of the center stone as a piece of artwork and the setting as the frame. You can be bold and do something different and unique. But it is important that the ring reflect the style of the person who will be wearing it. Find an expert whom you trust, give them an idea of what you want. Let them guide you in the right direction.

6. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and choose an entirely unique wedding ring.

Millennials want everything they buy to feel special, and for a ring’s vibe to match up with their own. It’s becoming more common for women to eschew diamonds and traditional settings entirely and opt for something personal, unique, and unexpected. “People are yearning for something different. They want something that feels ‘fashion’ and relevant, but also timeless—not basic, boring, or predictable. They come to us for a ring that’s unusual but still clean and sleek so it won’t go out of style,” says Azlee designer Baylee Zwart.

7. Consider working directly with a jeweler.

“Custom feels more special than just walking into a store and picking something,” Hannah explains. “Generally speaking, a lot of people now want something that walks the line between vintage and modern. It’s not so much about a big diamond anymore—they want quality over size, or a unique shape, like a rose cut. And a lot of people are ditching diamonds altogether. I made a really beautiful ring with alexandrite, which is a color-change stone that is greenish-blue in the daylight and purple in incandescent light. [Engagement rings] aren’t one size fits all anymore.”

8. Don’t go it alone.

Wedding ring shopping can be a daunting task—get by with a little help from your friends. Ask those who’ve gotten engaged for jeweler recommendations. Call upon someone who knows you and your future spouse. Talk to someone whose taste you love and respect for their opinion regarding aesthetics. Nine times out of ten the person you’re buying for has an idea of what they want in their head and may have expressed it to a said friend (or added it to a Pinterest board).

9. Don’t commit.

Unlike the matrimonial commitment, you’re hoping to make, try to avoid entering into a binding agreement with the jeweler. Worst-case scenario, if your intended hates what you’ve come up with, you should be able to exchange it for something else. You want your future spouse to love both you and the jewelry you buy forever.

10. It’s not about the price tag.

During the Depression, in a campaign that would’ve made Don Draper proud, De Beers’ advertising geniuses started running an ad pushing men to spend one month’s salary on a ring if they wanted to be “responsible.” By the 1980s, it jumped up to two months. These days, the rule of thumb has changed. One should fork over at least three months’ salary when purchasing this piece of forever jewelry. This is all just clever marketing.

The truth is there’s no exact science when it comes to how much to spend on a wedding ring.  Some women prefer smaller, less expensive diamonds (or want to forego diamonds altogether).

Final Thoughts

Are you planning to buy a wedding ring in 2022?. This ultimate guide has provided you with valuable insights and tips to make an informed decision. You can get an understanding the 4Cs to considering your budget and personal style. This guide will equip you with the knowledge needed to find the perfect ring for your special day. Happy ring shopping!

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