Your Ultimate Guide to Buying an Engagement Ring

Know Your Audience

"It's the thought that counts" may be a nice sentiment, but it's certainly not the reaction you want her to have when she lays eyes on the ring.

Before selecting the ring, consider your girlfriend's personal style and taste. Does she favor contemporary or antique jewelry? Would a yellow-gold band match her jewelry collection, or does she tend to sport platinum or white gold? Politically minded brides will want to avoid conflict diamonds, so bear that in mind when selecting a stone.

It might be wise to enlist the help of her mother, sister or best friend, provided she can keep a secret. If you don't mind dialing down the surprise factor, you can even ask your girlfriend to design the ring of her dreams online or take her to a jeweler to browse. (While you're there, be sure to have her ring finger sized!)

Trust us -- even if she picked the ring herself, she'll still be thrilled during the proposal. And particularly picky brides will probably thank you for letting them participate in the process.

Related Articles


  • "A Very Special Engagement: Diamond Ring Glossary." Martha Stewart Weddings. 2008. (July 5, 2010).
  • "Engagement Rings With Colorful Stones." (July 5, 2010).
  • "Getting Started." (July 5, 2010).
  • "How to Buy a Diamond Engagement Ring." Martha (July 5, 2010).
  • Hoyt, Alia. "10 Classic Engagement Ring Styles." TLC (July 5, 2010).
  • Hoyt, Alia. "How the African Diamond Trade Works." April 21, 2008. (July 7, 2010).
  • Obenschain, Chris. "How to Design Your Own Engagement Ring." TLC (July 5, 2010).