Which engagement rings are best?

Weddings are a day many people dream about and can’t wait to plan. Showing off that shiny rock is an exciting feeling, but which ring is right for your fiance? Choosing a ring can be stressful because they come in different shapes, sizes and colors. Doing your research will help you to find that special ring for your forever love.

What to know before you buy an engagement ring

Before you buy an engagement ring, decide on an appropriate price range and any additional costs you may incur. You’ll also want to figure out the look and style of the ring and stone.  

What is an appropriate price range?

The first consideration is price. Diamonds aren’t cheap and they are a serious investment. While the national average cost on engagement rings is $5,500 and up according to Investopedia, it is simply a personal preference for how much you spend. The price will largely be determined by the diamond cut, color, clarity and carat. 

How do you know if a retailer is reputable? 

Once you have an idea of what kind of ring you’re looking for, finding a reputable retailer is important. Whether online or at a local store, shop around and ask a lot of questions. Compare different diamonds, too. Ask about the retailer’s return policy, warranty policy and who grades their diamonds. 

Should I purchase diamond insurance?

According to Investopedia, the average cost spent on engagement rings is $5,500 and up. If you insure your purchase, figure out the coverage, replacement, assessment of value and documentation requirements. Homeowners insurance will likely cover your engagement ring, but only to a certain dollar amount. You can purchase a scheduled personal property to protect over and above the average dollar amount on renters or homeowners policies. 

Should I ask for a discount?

Everyone likes to save money, especially on big purchases. It never hurts to ask if a retailer has something on sale. The worst they can say is no. Many retailers have promotions and discounts, especially around holidays. Do your research to make sure the sale gives you a good deal on the ring. 

What are the four C’s?

Before purchasing an engagement ring, consider the four C’s: color, clarity, cut and carat. 

Color: The most popular diamonds have no color. The whiter the diamond, the higher the cost and grade. If you’re looking for a more unique diamond, colors like blue, green and pink are more expensive because of their rareness. 

Clarity: Some diamonds have tiny crystals and other features within them. Take note that some inclusions can negatively impact a diamond’s value and clarity grade. 

Carat: The higher the diamond carat weight, the higher the cost. 

Cut: Diamonds come in a multitude of shapes and sizes. The amount of light that reflects off the stone determines its cut grade, polish, symmetry and fire. If you want to know more about a diamond’s cut, ask the jeweler. 

What to look for in a quality engagement ring


Choose a band that will complement your diamond. White gold and platinum give a modern and sleek look. These bands pair well with diamonds that are classified as colorless or near-colorless. Choose a gold band that has white metal prongs or bezels to create a gorgeous contrast with the diamond. Rose gold bands complement any skin tone because they create a warm and soothing appearance. 

Sparkle and size

Diamond sparkle comes in three categories: poor, good and excellent.

Poor: If your significant other doesn’t like too much glam, pick a diamond in this category. Diamonds that are considered poor are notably more elevated and the bright areas are much smaller. 

Good: When a diamond’s bright reflections aren’t as acute and there is a significant amount of darkening around the girdle, it’s considered “good.” This is a happy medium option between subdued and glam sparkle.

Excellent: If you’re looking for a showstopper, you’ll want a diamond in this category. When a diamond is extremely bright and shows an even pattern with a nice contrast between dark and light areas, its reflections will appear sharp and evenly balanced. 

Understand the difference between diamond shape, cutting style and cut quality

A diamond’s cutting shape, style and quality will vary. 

Shape refers to a diamond’s outline when viewed face-up. Diamonds can be round, pear, rectangle, marquise, oval, heart or square-shaped.

Cutting style is how a diamond’s facets are arranged. A diamond’s shape and size also vary in girdle thickness, table size, symmetry and polish. 

Cut quality is how well a diamond’s facets interact with light. This will impact the diamond’s overall appearance. 

Side stones

Side stones are a great way to dress up an engagement ring and add a unique touch. Along the shank of the ring, add pavé and channel set diamonds, or you can add diamond baguettes on either side of the center stone. If you want to add a vintage touch, try adding a colorful stone on the center or sides. Complement the center stone with other grades of stones similar in cut, color and clarity.

Diamond grading report

Diamond grading reports are a great resource because they give you the exact quality characteristics of the diamond. Additionally, it will tell you if the diamond has been treated to magnify its color and or clarity. 

How much can you expect to spend on an engagement ring?

How much you spend on an engagement ring is simply a personal preference. If you have a smaller budget, you can find rings for around $1,000. More expensive rings might be $5,000. 

Engagement ring FAQ

What diamond shapes are there? 

A. Diamonds come in Asscher, cushion, heart, emerald, marquise, princess, pear, oval, radiant and round shapes. 

How often should you clean your engagement ring?

A. If you wear your engagement ring daily, do a gentle clean once a week or once a month. You may want to get it professionally cleaned and inspected twice a year. 

What’s the best engagement ring to buy?

Top engagement ring

Macy's 14k Gold Round Cut 1 Carat Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring 

Macy’s 14k Gold Round Cut 1 Carat Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring 

What you need to know: This romantic engagement ring has a vintage touch. 

What you’ll love: It is available in yellow gold, rose gold or white gold. This ring is simple yet elegant and comes in a sleek and angular cut, oval cut or classic-round cut. 

What you should consider: You may want to look at this ring in person to figure out the shine, fit and cut you want.

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s

Top engagement ring for the money

Houston Diamond District 14k Gold Twisted Infinity Split Shank 1/2 Carat T.W. Diamond Engagement Ring 

Houston Diamond District 14k Gold Twisted Infinity Split Shank 1/2 Carat T.W. Diamond Engagement Ring 

What you need to know: This elegant ring has a unique flair with a twisted band and side diamonds. 

What you’ll love: Your significant other can wear this gorgeous ring separately or with a wedding band. Its 1-carat size makes it very affordable. 

What you should consider: Side diamonds may not be comfortable if they rub against your fiance’s other fingers.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Worth checking out

Houston Diamond District 14K Gold or Platinum GIA Certified Princess Cut with Side Stones 4 Carat T.W Diamond Engagement Ring

Houston Diamond District 14K Gold or Platinum GIA Certified Princess Cut with Side Stones 4 Carat T.W Diamond Engagement Ring

What you need to know: This 14K gold 4-carat engagement ring is exquisite and features many diamonds. 

What you’ll love: The princess cut center diamond is a stunner, and the side stones add a tasteful and sophisticated look.

What you should consider: Know your significant other’s ring size before you purchase.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Kohl's 14k Gold IGL Certified Marquise-Cut 1/2 Carat T.W. Diamond Engagement Ring

Kohl’s 14k Gold IGL Certified Marquise-Cut 1/2 Carat T.W. Diamond Engagement Ring

What you need to know: If you’re looking for a vintage-inspired ring, this 14K gold engagement ring will take their breath away. 

What you’ll love: This ring has GL-certified diamonds and is available in rose gold, white gold or yellow gold. It is ideal for those who prefer a more simple look with a twist.

What you should consider: If you’re set on this breathtaking ring, make sure you purchase it in advance. Due to high demand, it sells out quickly.

Where to buy: Sold by Kohl’s

Macy's 14k White Gold Black and White 1 1/3 Carat T. W. Diamond Engagement Ring 

Macy’s 14k White Gold Black and White 1 1/3 Carat T. W. Diamond Engagement Ring 

What you need to know: This beautiful ring features a cushion-cut black diamond in the center and six diamonds on the sides. 

What you’ll love: With a high polished finish and 14K white gold color, this eccentric engagement ring is absolutely stunning. 

What you should consider: This ring has specific shipping restrictions. 

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s


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Tessa Schaal writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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