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Engagement Rings 101: Picking the Perfect Ring for the Perfect Proposal

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Ready to pop the question? Make sure you pick the perfect engagement ring for your proposal! Learn more about the details and features of engagement rings so you can pick the perfect one for your partner!


Are you shopping for an engagement ring? If so, congratulations! This is a really exciting time. But it can also be a little daunting – there are so many different styles and options to choose from. This ring will be worn on your (or your partner’s) left hand forever, so it’s a big decision. Don’t worry, though– we’re here to provide some guidance on this decision with help from the team at Blue Nile.

Blue Nile has made the process of picking the perfect engagement ring less stressful in many ways. Their team is available to help with the ring selection process using online virtual appointments or via an in-store visit to one of their retail locations. In this post, we’ll share everything you need to know about picking the perfect engagement ring. By the end, you’ll be confident in your choice and ready to pop the question!

Choosing the Perfect Engagement Ring

A few tips for choosing the perfect ring for your proposal are to know your budget, narrow down the diamond shape, and have an open heart to all options at hand! The standard rule of thumb says to spend three months’ worth of your salary, but you should absolutely only spend what you can afford. Luckily, Blue Nile has rings that are perfect for any size budget. Having an open mind is very important because what a ring looks like online is very different in person. Being open to all ring shapes can make the process more fun, and you could surprise yourself with a diamond style you didn’t think you would ever like!

Selecting Your Stone by Shape

Selecting a stone is the first step in deciding what the engagement ring will look like. At Blue Nile, there are ten diamond shape options and many diamond sizes to choose from. Round, Princess, Emerald, Asscher, Cushion, Marquise, Radiant, Oval, Pear, and Heart are the possibilities of diamonds. The price will vary depending on the carat size, cut of the diamond, color, and clarity. Round-cut diamonds are the most popular (and also the most expensive at times). Understanding the different diamond shapes can make other ring decisions easier.

Selecting Your Stone by Size

Carat sizes range from 0.23 to 21.46. When choosing a carat size, it is important to remember your ideal price point and remember that the smaller the finger, the larger the diamond will appear on the hand. The average engagement ring size is between 1.00 and 2.00 carats. On the Blue Nile website, the ability to filter exactly what you want is possible under the Design Your Own Ring tab, so it makes finding the perfect stones easy-peasy.

Selecting Your Stone by Color

The color of a diamond ranges from the letters D through K. Here’s how those letters break down in simple language:

  • D-F are colorless diamonds, the highest quality with a pure look
  • G-H and I-J are near-colorless diamonds, great value for quality
  • K, faint color diamonds, budget-friendly

So the later the letter, the lesser the price, and also the less clear.

Selecting Your Stone by Clarity

According to the Blue Nile website, “Diamond clarity is the assessment of small imperfections on the surface and within the stone.” To the naked eye, the clarity of the diamond cannot be picked out, making SI and VS diamonds the best and most affordable options.

  • SI1 and SI2, Slightly Included Diamonds, blemishes noticeable at 10x magnification
  • VS1 and VS2, Very Slightly Included Diamonds, minor blemishes, great value

Once you weigh up all these options, you can select the perfect stone that meets your specifications at a price point you’re happy with!

Blue Nile Engagement Rings

The Band and Engagement Ring Setting

Now that you’ve picked the perfect stone, you can add it to your choice of band and setting. Below are things to know and keep in mind when selecting the band or setting for your engagement ring!

Selecting the Metal for Your Band

There are four different metal options when choosing the band of a ring. The metals are platinum, rose gold, white gold, and yellow gold. Rose gold metals have slowly become more popular over the years. However, gold has reined supreme as being the most popular for decades.

  • Platinum metal will never fade or change color, lasting forever
  • Gold metal is a natural yellow color; it will never rust or tarnish

Selecting Your Ring’s Setting

Another big decision when choosing an engagement ring is the setting style. On the Blue Nile website, there are more than a thousand options to choose from! Below is a small list of the many setting styles:

  • Solitare: simple yet timeless design will never go out of style
  • Halo: a single or double ring of diamonds surrounding a center diamond
  • Diamond Sidestone: a center stone, with smaller stones covering a part of the band
  • Three-stone: one center stone with a stone to either side
  • Vintage Inspired: heirloom quality with unique engraved details and small diamonds
  • Pavé: a band covered in petite diamond side stones

Top Engagement Ring Styles for each Diamond Shape

Round Diamond Ring

Round diamonds are timeless and reign supreme as the top choice for a diamond engagement ring. If you want to make your ring more unique, consider adding a halo to the setting or pave diamonds around the band.

Oval Diamond Ring

Oval diamonds are always popular and will continue to be in 2023! Go classic with a simple oval solitaire on a plain platinum band. To enhance the unique factor, add a diamond band or unique setting for something a little different.

Emerald Cut Diamond Rings

Emerald cuts are one of the oldest diamond shapes, and their shape captures the higher brilliance and beauty of the diamond. Try an emerald-cut cathedral solitaire in 18k yellow gold. 

Radiant Cut Diamond Rings

With a rectangular shape, large table, and numerous facets that filter a lot of light, brides love the bright, beautiful sparkle that radiant cut diamonds offer. Try a radiant cut cathedral ring with pave sides in white gold to amplify the stone’s brilliance! 

Pear-Shaped Diamond Rings

Ideal for someone who has a classic yet unique sense of style, the pear-shaped diamond ring is a timeless, vintage cut that sparkles brilliantly. Consider setting your pear-shaped diamond in a pave band with a hidden halo for a truly stunning ring.

Two Stone Diamond Rings

If you’re looking for something a bit unique that will stand out among a sea of rings, consider a two stone engagement ring. The two-stone design symbolizes the two halves of a whole, two partners in love, two people uniting as one in marriage.

Shop Blue Nile for the Perfect Engagement Ring

Well, there you have it, some things to keep in mind when beginning your engagement ring shopping journey. And remember, the most important thing is to find a style that suits her personality and one that she’ll be proud to show off for years to come. So take your time, do your research, and have fun with it! After all, this is supposed to be a happy time in your life. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or don’t know where to start, we suggest checking out Blue Nile.

Now that you know the basics of how to pick an engagement ring, it’s time to put your knowledge into practice. Shop Blue Nile for the perfect ring to propose to your love. With a variety of rings and styles to choose from, we’re sure you’ll find the one that she’ll say yes to. Now go out there and find the perfect ring for the perfect proposal! Follow Blue Nile on Instagram for more engagement ring inspiration.

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Blue Nile Virtual Engagement Ring Shopping Appointments

Meeting with a jeweler virtually is similar to meeting in person, thanks to the awesome technology that Blue Nile utilizes. Their diamonds are all displayed with full 360-degree views highlighting the stones from every angle. They make the appointments as interactive and enjoyable as possible! As we mentioned, there are storeroom locations throughout the country for couples who like in-person appointments rather than virtual ones. However, don’t count out this convenient online option to help you shop for this epic purchase. Book a virtual appointment with a Blue Nile jeweler today!


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