How to Choose an Engagement Ring

Pick out the perfect engagement ring before popping the question.
Pick out the perfect engagement ring before popping the question. Photo credit: Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock

The Book of Good Manners, published in 1925, has a tidy section on The Ring. “You or she,” it reads, “may select the ring. The ideal solution, perhaps, is for a man to go with his fiancée to the jewelers and allow her to choose her engagement ring.” Still, there are those who prefer the surprise. As with weddings, each couple will decide what suits them best. One way or another, knowing a little something about that special ring is always fun and worthwhile.

According to, a popular website for all things wedding-related, one of the most popular engagement rings include floral accents like petals and vines. While you can find a wealth of information on the web, when it comes to diamonds you simply can’t pass up a visit to a local jeweler. After all, they sparkle and shimmer and a person needs to see what they look like on their finger rather than on their screen.

Jan Rose of Rose Jewelers in Southampton says that halos are still popular, as are the classic solitaire. A halo refers to the circle surrounding the diamond. “A halo enhances the diamond,” explained Rose, and it can hold a round diamond in a square setting or a square diamond in a round setting. “White gold or platinum are still more popular [than yellow gold],” said Rose, but for someone who wears exclusively yellow gold, it might be the way to go.

Some striking engagement rings include unique features such as micro pavée on either side of the diamond and others are classic 3-stone settings. To know the what’s what, a visit to their website,, will clarify with an easy-to-use buying guide that describes the various shapes—round, marquise, emerald, radiant, pear, princess, oval, trillant, heart, asscher, and cushion. There are plenty of factors to consider—some shapes will make your hands look slender and long, others will make a smaller diamond appear larger, or give a heightened clarity to the stone. The guide also explains what is known as the 4Cs: cut, color, clarity and carat.

Rose Jewelers also works with jewelry designer Naledi. Naledi has an interactive website that allows for clear visibility on your phone or iPad. Just about anything can be done for any size diamond and Rose can custom-make your perfect ring. They also have a trade-in policy so that any diamond purchased from them can be transformed into something else in the future. A little something learned from Naledi’s website: “Carat is a measure of a diamond’s weight. A carat is one fifth of a gram. The larger the carat weight, the more rare and valuable the diamond. A diamond’s physical appearance is not only influenced by its carat weight, but the quality of its craftsmanship also has a significant impact. Properly proportioned diamonds will look larger and more beautiful than most poorly cut diamonds.”

Locally, there are so many places to visit when looking for your ring. So do a little online browsing and then stop in at a few places and see what looks best for you. The East End has no shortage of top jewelers! In Southampton alone, there’s Christopher Kaufmann, London Jewelers, Eric Messin, Corwin’s Main Street Jewelers, and Betteridge (now partnered with Hollis Reh & Shariff). In Hampton Bays, there’s always Macy’s. East Hampton is also home to Christopher Kaufmann and London Jewelers. On the North Fork, Robert’s Jewelers on Main Road in Southold has a wide selection of engagement rings as well. In Riverhead there’s Kay Jewelers on West Main Street and Kay Jewelers Outlet at the Tanger Outlets. And in Eastport, there’s Marinelli Jewelers.

Whatever your budget may be, there are options and styles for all. Don’t forget, most jewelers also offer custom services. Off you go, love birds.

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