Category Archives: Choose Your Ring

Wow your girlfriend with a ring on a budget

If money is no object, then choosing any kind of ring – and especially an  engagement ring – is usually no problem.

Most of us, however, have to work to a budget.  This doesn’t mean just opting for a cheap ring; it means that you should choose carefully.  If you’re set on buying a diamond then our article “How to choose a diamond ring” will give you some helpful tips on how to select a great ring.

If you’re wanting to surprise your girlfriend with a great ring, but are a bit short of cash, then there are ways of making your budget go as far as possible. There are ways that will allow you to ‘wow your girlfriend with a ring on a budget”.

– a number of stones costs less than a single stone with the same overall weight;

– a cluster of small stones looks bigger than a single stone;

– the setting can enhance the overall presentation;

– the shape of the stone is important in creating the right impression;

– the cost of the metal in the band can add significantly to the cost;

– it doesn’t have to be a diamond…. 

For  more information on these … 

Choosing a ring where the diamond (or gemstone) looks larger than it is

Alternatives to buying a diamond ………… more



How to Choose an Affordable Engagement Ring

A guide on how to choose affordable engagement rings for women.

Diamond engagement ringChoosing an engagement ring can feel like a daunting task – especially if you want to surprise your girlfriend with a ring that’s so special, she’ll just have to say “Yes!” 

However, it is not necessarily so. Choosing an engagement ring – even without your girlfriend knowing what you’re planning – can be a relatively straightforward process as long as you follow a few simple guidelines.

These rules apply no matter whether you’re working to a budget and looking for an affordable engagement ring, or where money is no problem, whether the ring is a diamond, ruby, emerald, sapphire, aquamarine, amethyst, topaz, or any other gemstone from which you may choose. So just follow these guidelines for choosing an affordable engagement ring and you will be fine!

Most guys hate shopping for anything, let alone something as important as an engagement ring. With so many things to think about: the style, the stone, the metal , the quality, the price ……it can be enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed. However, since you’ve already decided that you want to marry your girl, let’s look at the ways to make the ring buying process as painless – and ideally, as enjoyable as possible for you.

Buying a ring online from an online jewelry store can be an excellent way to find that special ring. It gives you the ability to browse a wide range of jewelry options – and do it in the comfort of your own home, without feeling under pressure to buy, until you’ve found the perfect ring…. the one that feels right for you.

Another benefit of shopping for jewelry online is that many websites sell rings at much lower prices than shopping mall and other retail jewellers; their overheads are much lower and therefore some of these savings can be passed over to you.

However, before you settle down to check out some jewelry websites, let’s look at some of the things you’ll need to know beforehand:

1. What type of ring will you’re girlfriend like?

If you’re going to surprise your loved one with a ring that you have chosen, you had better do your homework to discover the type of ring that she would choose for herself.

You need to observe and check out the following:

What style of jewelry does she tend to wear? (eg. does she favor gold or silver metal jewelry? Does she like modern designs or antique styles or maybe jewelry that’s a little unusual? Does she wear any jewelry with gemstones and if so, what color are they? Are the rings she currently wears simple slim bands or chunky in design? Has she ever made any comments about a friend’s engagement ring that can give you a clue as to what she really likes?

Checking this info out with your girl’s mother or best friend can be a good plan of action – as long as they can be trusted to keep your secret.

2. Your girlfriend’s ring size

Again, your girl’s mother or best friend may be able to help out here. However, if this is not an option – or they don’t know, then read our other article “How to find out your girlfriend’s ring size” for some helpful tips on the different ways you can discover this.

3. How much to pay for a ring?

Recommendations on this point vary tremendously, with figures ranging from allocating anything from 3 week’s to 3 month’s salary on buying an engagement ring. Three month’s salary may be fine for those flush with cash, but for many guys, finding that special ring without bankrupting yourself in the process is an important fact to take into consideration. If your budget is a little limited, there are some ring styles you can buy that look impressive, but are less expensive than some others. (Our article: “How to wow your girlfriend with a ring, without going bankrupt” will give you ideas on how to make the most of your budget.

However, when money is no object, then choosing an engagement ring is usually less of a problem – once you’ve figured out the type of ring your loved one will like.

Most of us, however, have to work to a budget. This doesn’t mean scanning the web for cheap (and possibly substandard) rings. It means that you should choose carefully. If you’re set on buying a diamond then our article “How to choose a diamond ring” will also give you some helpful tips on how to select a great ring.

Popular Ring Settings

There are several ways of setting a gemstone into a ring; the main purpose of a ring setting is to hold the gemstone securely. However, the setting is also designed  to allow the light to show off the stone to maximum effect: the light will reflect off the stone and refraction will allow light to pass through the stone. 

Which is then right setting?  There is really no right or wrong to this question. The setting is very much a case of personal preference.

Here is a selection of the most popular ring settings:

Prong setting:


Bar setting:


Bezel setting:


Tension setting:



Flush setting:


Channel setting:



Pave setting:


Cluster setting:


Ballerina Setting:


For more information see Choosing Your Ring: Popular Ring Settings 


Choosing your diamond ring

Choosing your diamond ring

1950 Vintage 1.60 ctw Diamond RingAlthough there may be a number of reasons for buying a Diamond Ring, the most common  reason is as an engagement ring.

As such, buying a diamond engagement ring is therefore part of a much bigger decision in your life – one that goes well beyond the choice of jewelry.  You have found the love of your life; you are making a commitment for the rest of your life; you have a wedding to plan. Choosing your diamond engagement ring is only the first of the decisions you will have to make as a couple.

Choosing the perfect engagement ring – a diamond ring – is not as difficult as it may appear …. as long as you follow some basic steps. Below, you can discover the things you need to take into account in “how to buy an engagement ring” – the diamond basics so to speak. We give you a simple checklist of the steps to follow together with links to other pages where you can expand your knowledge.

Do your Homework: usually unpleasant advice but essential here; look around, see what is available out there; get a feel for what you (both) like and don’t like.

Budget: work out how much you can afford to spend: determine your budget and try to stick to it. Don’t be persuaded to spend just because you can get a “great deal”. And if you are working to a very limited budget, see our article on “How to WOW your girlfriend without going bankrupt“.

The stone: when it comes to the stone itself, it all comes down to the four C’s. These are the 4 factors that jewelers take into account themselves, when assessing a diamond gemstone.

Color: do you want a white diamond or a colored diamond? Traditionally, white diamonds were seen as the only option. In recent years there has been a trend towards colored diamonds.

Carat: diamond size is measured by weight in carats: the larger the number of carrats (abbreviated to ct.) the more expensive the diamond. 

Cut (and shape): the cut determines how well the diamond reflects light to shows its brilliance. The cut is the outline or shape of the diamond and the way the facets are arranged. Shapes range from round to hearts, pears, emerald and more -see below. 

Clarity: most diamonds have tiny flaws (inclusions) invisible to the naked eye; these give each diamond its own uniqueness. You do not want inclusions to be visible to the naked eye, nor should they be so excessive that they affect the diamond’s brilliance or durability.

Shape: although this is often used interchangeably with “cut” they are not the same. Cut refers to the proportions and symmetry. Shape, on the other hand, refers to the actual shape or contour of the diamond. There are 8 popular shapes: round (also called brilliant cut), Princess cut, Emerald cut, Asscher cut, Marquise cut, Radiant cut, Pear cut, and Heart cut. 

Setting: this includes any accent stones and the way the stone is fixed on the band – in fact everything except the center diamond itself. For more information on settings ….

The band: often considered as part of the “setting”. You will have a choice of metals and styles. Most diamond rings are set in either gold (yellow, white, etc) or platinum.

Get to understand what these terms mean and look at different diamond rings. Decide which ones you like … and remember, you are choosing an engagement ring that will be with you for many years to come. 

Diamonds remain the most precious of all gemstones; a diamond represents love, commitment, and endurance—three aspects of every successful relationship. To find the perfect diamond engagement ring for you and your loved one, take into account the tips on choosing a diamond ring above and you won’t go far wrong. 

For more information and help, see our page on How to Choose a Damond Ring.




How to find out your girlfriend’s ring size

One of the problems facing any man choosing an engagement ring, a promise ring – or indeed any ring designed to show his love and commitment – is discovering what size to buy. It’s OK knowing that the average ring size is 6 but is this good enough? Of course not. In a situation like this it is important to make sure that the ring is the right size!

Rings with Love - Gemstones - Garnet - Double Heart Garnet Ring Rings with Love - Gemstones - Amethyst - Infinity Twist Band - 14k Rose Gold with Amethyst White Gold Diamond Promise Rings - 14k White Gold Diamond Promise Ring

Finding out your girlfriend’s ring size, if you’re trying to keep your proposal a surprise, requires a certain amount of ingenuity – and sometimes the help of her mother or a friend. Here are some ideas:

  • If she already wears a ring on one of her ring fingers and takes it off at night, then this may give you (or her mother or friend) the opportunity to quickly figure out the size. This you can do either by:
    • pressing it into a small bar of soft soap to leave an imprint
    • tracing a line round the inside of the ring onto a piece of paper, or
    • pushing the ring down onto one of your fingers, as far as it will go and making a small pen mark at the point where it stops – then measure round your finger to determine her ring size. (Note: If you’re using the soap trick then do remember to wipe any traces of soap off the ring before you put it back)
  • Check out her jewelry box for a ring you can borrow or take a tracing, as described above.
    Where possible take one that you know she wears on her ring finger, in case you take one that she wears on a different size finger – or is one that doesn’t fit her any more.
  • Take a piece of string when she’s asleep and gently wind it once round her finger. Make sure that the string is not wound round too tight and that it can be moved gently over her knuckle. Take hold of it at the point where it meets the end of the string and then gently remove the string from her finger, whilst keeping hold of the meeting point. Make a pen mark or cut the string length at this point. Measure the short piece of string to figure out her ring size. This trick can be difficult to achieve if she’s a light sleeper. Plus the sizing may not always be totally accurate. However, it can provide a guideline.
  • This next trick is a good way of checking whether your string measurement was correct. Buy an inexpensive but pretty costume jewelry ring in the size of your measurement. If however, you haven’t been able to do the string trick, then aim to buy a costume ring that is a size 6 – since this is the average ring size for a girl (or, if you suspect that her fingers are larger than the average girl, get a larger size) Next, pretend that you’ve either a) found it lying in the street b) won it in a competition, or c)say that your friend bought it as a present for his girlfriend but it doesn’t fit her. Offer the ring to your girlfriend. Hopefully, she’ll like it enough to try it on and you can see how well it fits her finger. This trick can also be a good way to check out her taste in jewelry – for example: try and get a costume ring in a similar style to the one you are thinking of buying her as an engagement ring.
  • Get help from your girlfriend’s mother or a good friend, who can keep a secret. Ask them to include a window shopping trip to a jeweller and try on some rings, the next time they go shopping with your girl friend. This is a good way to discover not just the ring size but your girlfriend’s preference for ring styles as well.
  • If all else fails, you will either have to:
    • guess the size and have the ring re-sized if you get it wrong (so make sure when you buy the ring that it can be re-sized – bearing in mind that the average size is 6); or
    • let your girlfriend in on part of the secret by suggesting that she try on some rings whilst you are out shopping one day. Now she’ll probably guess what you’re planning but won’t know when or where. However, at least this way, you’ll know her exact ring size and have a better idea about her likes and dislikes. Plus, by her reaction to the jewelry trip, you’ll get a good idea as to whether she’s likely to accept your eventual marriage proposal.

The ring sizing chart below gives you the diameter of each ring size and the corresponding code letter for each size. Use this to help you determine your girlfriend’s ring size, once you have managed to obtain a tracing from one of her rings, or you have one of her rings to compare.

Good Luck !