A collage of beach photos and rings, and a wedding couple

Ring Buying 101: A Ring Buying Guide for Engagement and Wedding Rings

Welcome to Ring Buying 101 with Andrew Z Diamonds. First off, congratulations! If you are looking at this guide, you probably have that special someone in mind whom you love and want to spend the rest of your life with. You are also probably thinking, "I have no idea how to go about buying a ring." Well, you’re in luck because this guide is going to outline exactly how to buy your perfect wedding ring.

A woman's hands with a 5ct diamond ring and 2ct wedding band on-top a bed of wedding rings

The Engagement Ring

I always like to start by describing what an engagement ring is first because, honestly, before working in the jewelry industry, I thought the engagement ring WAS the wedding band. Each couple is different, and

Where to Go:

The place you buy an engagement ring can be just as important in this process as the ring itself. You want to make sure that you go to a trusted jeweler with good values who truly care about you as a person to walk alongside you, rather than trying to upsell you in a pressure-filled environment. The truth of the matter is, you are going to spend a decent chunk of change on this ring. You want to make sure the jeweler is honest, authentic, and cares for you. Also, a great way to vet a jeweler is by reading customer reviews via Google, Yelp, etc. because that will give you a true idea of the customer experience.

If you have not found a jeweler yet, we would love to help serve you.

  1. Don’t just take our word for it, read our reviews at the bottom of our home page from people like you searching for their perfect ring.
  2. We are a 3rd Generation Jeweler (since 1949). Needless to say, this is not our first time around the block. Read our family story HERE.
  3. Voted Best Customer Service in both '21 and '22 in Foothills Focus.
  4. Voted Best Jewelry Store in both '21 and '22 in Foothills Focus.

If you already have another jeweler in mind, you are still free to read on and learn all you can!

Step #1: Set a budget

One of the first questions that you will be asked when you come in is what budget you have. This is not an attempt to be pushy at all or put you under pressure but rather a way for us to serve you best by finding you the perfect piece. That being said, many people like to say, "Oh, I don’t really know my budget" or "I don’t really have one."

In reality, everyone has a maximum price that they are willing to pay, and figuring that out before coming in is the perfect place to start. Is it $1,000, $5,000, $55,000? It will significantly help us either narrow down or expand your options.

Step #2: Find Your Style

If you choose us as your preferred jeweler, we will set an appointment together to find your ring style. We always recommend doing some research online via Google or Pinterest for what we call "ring inspiration." Find styles that you like, stone shapes, coloring, etc. that can give us a base for your ring. If you are buying this ring for your significant other and are at a loss in terms of the style they would like, we also recommend talking with close friends or family members for help.

As I mentioned before, these photos will give us a base for either finding your perfect ring or designing it. We specialize in custom rings, so if you want to put your own personal touch on this special piece, we have you covered. With photo ring inspiration ready to go, we can refine and narrow down exactly what you are looking for.

If you are not creating a custom ring, you will look at options we have in-store or in our catalogs to order one that you love.

Step #3: Pick your Diamond

Step #3 is all about diamonds. By this point, you will have come in a few times, approved your ring style, and now it is time to pick your stone. Maybe you have heard about what we call the 4 C’s in the jewelry industry, and maybe you haven’t. The 4 C’s help determine pricing and, of course, the overall look of the stone. I just have here a brief breakdown for reference:

  1. Color: The color grading of the stone goes from D-Z. D is considered the whitest stone, and Z is the warmest or has a more yellow tinge.
  2. Clarity: The clarity of the stone has to do with how clear the stone is. This is where you might have heard the common term "inclusions." Inclusions are
  3. Carat: The carat of a stone is the stone’s weight, rather than the actual size dimensions.
  4. Cut: The cut of the stone is simply how the stone is shaped and angled by a jeweler. If it is at its best, it will refract and reflect light better. The 15 most common shapes are listed in the photo below.

A vector style photo of th types of common gemstone cuts

Photo Credit: 1st Dibs: https://www.1stdibs.com/blogs/the-study/gemstone-cuts/

These are the four factors that determine the pricing of a stone, and variations of these give you your overall look.

Step #4: Sit Back and Relax

Once you have gone through the process with one of our design consultants, picking your ring style and perfect center stone, you just sit back and relax. Your order will be with us shortly, and we will call you when it is time to pick up your ring. After that, it is showtime: you either propose to your special someone, giving them something to cherish for a lifetime. It’s a cliché, but it still rings true, "Diamonds are Forever."

A woman with an engagement band and wedding band

Wedding Ring Buying Process

When it comes to purchasing a wedding ring, otherwise known as a wedding band, many people do this process differently, and you have to find what works for you. I will list just a couple of common ways you can go about this.

  1. You can buy the wedding band and engagement ring at the same time, finding a band that matches perfectly with the engagement ring. People like this option so that it is all done at one time, and there is no stress associated with a purchase close to the wedding date.
    1. Many people after getting married also solder their rings together. A solder is like a mini weld so that the rings are no longer separate but are together as one.
  2. You can buy the wedding band closer to your wedding date. This is a good option if you want to save up and budget for a good wedding band and have enough time to do so.
  3. You can again wait to buy the wedding band until after engagement and come in with your significant other and pick one out together. Many people love this process as it is an activity that you can do as a unit. Both people have a say which ensures that both parties will love it for a lifetime.

These are just a few common ways of buying a wedding band. If you like one of these options, we are glad we could help! If not, figure out what works best for you because ultimately, this is for you and your partner and no one else.

Furthermore, the same idea applies to the engagement buying process.

  1. Set a budget
  2. Find Your style
  3. Choose your stones
  4. Sit back and Relax

Final Words

The engagement and wedding ring buying process is always a couple-by-couple basis, and just like no relationship is alike, neither is the buying process. Have fun with it and do what works best for you. Yes, ring buying can be overwhelming; however, by following the simple and easy steps listed above, you can take a deep breath and focus on what is important: the love you and your partner share.

Blog Written by Mikayla Mays

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