Rings 101: A Complete Guide to Engagement Rings

You might be surprised to find out that engagement rings go as far back as Ancient Rome. Then, women received rings made of ivory, flint, bone, copper, or iron to affirm their mutual love and obedience.

In 1477, the Archduke Maximilian of Austria commissioned the first-ever diamond ring for his bride, Mary of Burgundy. This ring had long and narrow diamonds mounted in the shape of an “M.”

Engagement rings arrived in America in the 1840s but were still relatively uncommon until the turn of the century.

Now, they are so common that it’s basically a requirement of prosing!

So now let’s look at all the options to help you figure out how to choose the perfect engagement ring.

Colour of Band

The first step in how to choose an engagement ring is to think about what colour you want the engagement ring band to be.

There are three main choices: yellow gold, silver (or white gold, platinum or other metal) or rose gold.

Yellow Gold

Yellow gold is a timeless choice. It was the most common option for centuries. In recent years, yellow gold has begun to make a comeback.

Yellow gold is a great choice if you are a bride that wants her ring to coordinate with her everyday jewellery style and personal collections of other accessories.

White Gold

White gold is silver in colour. It looks similar to other metals such as platinum.

You might be wondering if white gold really is gold. The answer is yes. White gold is an alloy of gold mixed with at least one white metal such as silver, nickel, or palladium.

White gold looks good on most skin tones but it’s a good idea to compare how your hand looks with yellow vs white gold jewellery.

Rose Gold

Rose gold is a recent addition to the engagement ring scene. Many brides prefer the softness and femininity of rose gold.

Like white gold, rose gold is an alloy. Commonly rose gold contains 75% gold and 25% copper. It’s the copper that gives these rings their special pink hue.

Once you have the colour narrowed down, you need to think about engagement ring styles.

Platinum

A great option for people with sensitive skin is platinum. Our PT950 Platinum consists of 95% platinum and 5% palladium. It is non-allergic and another good alternative if you are looking for non-gold.

Note that platinum only comes in one hue. It is similar to white gold but has an added luxurious silver tone.

Once you have the colour narrowed down, you need to think about engagement ring styles.

Engagement Ring Styles

There are hundreds of styles of engagement rings that it would be almost impossible to list them all.

Yet before you buy an engagement ring, you should know the basic styles that are common.

Solitaire

The most classic and traditional engagement ring is the solitaire.

This type of ring has only one stone in the design. For maximum wow-factor, the single stone is often held in a claw or prong setting.

This type of ring will never go out of style. If you want a timeless beauty, a solitaire is a solid choice.

Cluster

Cluster engagement rings have several small stones set together to like like a larger diamond. These are also known as illusion rings.

This is a good option for couples on a budget because you get maximum sparkle for less.

You can choose between a traditional cluster in a circle or pick an asymmetrical design that is unique and modern.

Halo

The halo ring is a popular choice. This ring has a centre stone surrounded by a border of smaller gems.

This creates a halo effect on the central gem. Choosing a halo setting can make a small diamond look larger.

It can also be used to create contrast. You can opt for a diamond in the centre and coloured gems as the border. Or vice versa.

Three-Stone Style

Three-stone engagement rings are an incredibly romantic choice. The three stones in a trilogy ring are symbolic. They are said to represent the past, present, and future. Other people say the three stones represent you, me and us.

There are many variations of this style. Commonly there is one larger central stone flanked with two smaller stones. Or you can choose three equal-sized gems.

Band-Style Rings

Some couples are moving away from traditional, single stone engagement ring towards a band-style ring.

Some couples prefer to skip the engagement ring and purchase a ring that can serve as both engagement and wedding band.

This is not uncommon in European countries where most people do not wear engagement rings but rather wedding bands.

Also, the current pandemic safety measures are partly informing this ring choice. Band rings are easier to clean and sanitize. These can also endure the constant hand washing and sanitizing of our current daily lives.

Next, you need to choose the stone (or stones) you want in your ring.

Choosing Gemstones

A diamond is a traditional choice in terms of the history of engagement rings. You can choose diamonds if you want to stick to tried and true and timeless.

Some couples prefer to make a statement by selecting other gemstones. Some brides want to have a ring that is nothing like what anyone else is wearing.

The good news is that some gemstones are less costly than diamonds. This means you can opt for a bigger rock for a better price.

You can select a gemstone in round, oval or other geometric shapes according to your taste.

Possible gemstones include sapphires, tourmaline and other coloured precious stones. Another choice you’ll need to make is which hand you want to wear your ring on.

Ring on the Right or Left Hand?

How to wear your wedding ring might depend on where you live.

Wearing rings on the fourth finger of the left hand is common in Western countries. Yet in Europe as well as India and Greece, it is very common to see couples wearing their rings on the right hand.

In some countries, like Brazil, couples will wear their wedding rings before the wedding on one hand. They will then switch to the other hand after saying their vows.

Which Ring Goes First?

Another common question people ask is which ring to slide on the finger first? Is it the wedding ring first with the engagement ring on top or the other way around?

Actually, there is no hard and fast rule. It’s all a matter of preference. Many people prefer to wear the engagement ring on top (or second).

To do this, remove your engagement ring before the ring ceremony. Then after the band is on your finger, put your engagement ring back on.

It’s a popular option to wear the engagement ring first followed by the band. This makes logical sense because you get the engagement ring first, then the wedding band.

People who choose this method also like the symbolism of this method. Your engagement ring represents a promise. The wedding ring crystallized that promise.

So, if you like the linear timeline of first, you’re engaged, now it’s official, you may want to use this method. The good thing about this method is you can stack your hand with anniversary rings down the line and still maintain the order!

Engagement Ring for Men

The majority of men choose to only wear a wedding band. But some men want an engagement ring to show that they are in a committed relationship.

If you plan to propose to a man, then you may want to have a ring ready.

Engagement rings for men are distinct in style from women’s rings. The good news is there are so many options.

You can opt for a simple band with or without gemstones. Or choose an intricate band with bevelled edges and gems.

There are also a variety of colours you can choose. By picking a ring made from a mix of metals you can have an inlay colour that is different from the outside colour.

Active men might opt for an alternative metal ring.

More than anything else, personal preference is the most important factor when it comes to choosing an engagement or wedding ring for men.

Some men will wear only one ring but choose to don it upon engagement. Others may prefer to have an engagement ring and also have a wedding band. In this scenario, simply move your engagement ring to another finger or opposite hand once you have your wedding band.

Matching Rings

Some couples also try to choose the man’s rings that complement the fiance’s ring. You might choose the same metal, stone or style.

Of course, all of this comes down to preference. There is no rule that your ring needs to match your partner’s.

You Are Ready to Buy an Engagement Ring

Thanks for reading. We hope this guide has helped you feel more confident as you get ready to buy an engagement ring.

Deciding on engagement and wedding rings is a wonderful opportunity to create a symbol of love that will last a lifetime.

At Tailored Jewel, we are a team of multi-award winning jewellery craftsmen. Visit our website to find out why couples are choosing us for their custom wedding rings.

Just picked up our rings today and couldn't be happier with them

Just picked up our rings today and couldn’t be happier with them. The level of service and attention at TJ is incredible – Zach was patient and took the time to explain the different grades of diamonds. We absolutely love our wedding bands and highly recommend TJ. Beautiful jewellery and amazing staff!

Today was our big day and the bands were showered with compliments from the guests.

It was a no-brainer to acquire our wedding bands from Tailored Jewel after they delivered our quality solitaire ring as promised. We immediately set our sights at one of their stylish bands when we browsed through their fine collection at their service hub. Zach was very attentive and helpful all the while. He made sure our rings are of the right size and are delivered in time for our big day. Today was our big day and the bands were showered with compliments from the guests. I wouldn’t hesitate to go for Tailored Jewel again. Out of this world! ??

The rings were displayed in detail and we bought them directly from the website.

Due to MCO, me and my fiancé decided to purchase the rings online and we stumbled upon TJ. The rings were displayed in detail and we bought them directly from the website. Zach approached us and was really helpful in determining the right size. The team responded to us very quickly,plus they made the whole process seamless and smooth. Worth the purchase price considering that we had the rings engraved as well.

TJ helped us make this milestone so much more pleasant.

Very unique designs and materials. Amidst the chaos and planning our ROM during the MCO period, the team at TJ delivered the beautiful rings and offered us excellent service. They helped us make this milestone so much more pleasant. Thank you so much!

Did my entire order online without even going into the store

Excellent experience, beyond what I imagined. Did my entire order online without even going into the store (couldn’t go in store for work Location reasons). Got a custom made engagement ring, they did everything they could to help me, direct messages, pictures, updates on progress and an exact collection time. The ring is beautiful and well produced to a very high standard, could not have asked for more.

Would definitely recommend and will be shopping here again.

Really loved the product & the customisation is flawlessly!

We are exceptionally pleased with the services provided! Ethon was very patient throughout the entire process and catered to our needs and expectations. I really loved the final product and how the customisation was executed flawlessly! It made the entire experience really special for my Fiancé and I. We highly recommend everyone to experience Tailored Jewel’s passion and attention to customer service.

Far more superior than what you could get out there

Thank you so much for your service TJ!

I found the ring I’ve been looking for my soon bride-to-be.

It was a headache since the design we love is either too expensive, or too dull.

We were skeptical at first since it’s an online business but we decided to pay a visit to the physical shop in Atria.

They present to us with many brilliantly done rings they had to offer.

The process is so simple, the explanation is very detailed, they know their product well, and the best part is that the end product is far more superior than what you could get out there with just a fraction or the price!

Definitely recommend this brand for those looking for rings with lower budget.

Worth every penny!

Thumbs up guys and thank you for everything!

From customer service to impeccable products, TJ never fails to impress me.

We are a couple from north, Kedah, and we’ve never stepped in to their Atria Mall service hub to look at their sample rings. Every process was through phone calls and messages.

From their prompt customer service and professional advices, to their spectacular and impeccable end products, TJ never fails to impress me. This proves how pleasant the whole online experience is with Tailored Jewel, and i would highly recommend for couples from other states (especially those with zero knowledge of diamonds and rings just like me) to give a call to TJ to experience their first class service.

Two thumbs up for Ethon and TJ crew!
P.s. the review is written by my fiance who is super satisfied with everything from TJ.

The level of service and assurance provided combined with finish result speaks volume of TJ

Buying jewelry online takes tremendous bravado as this can go so wrong. I’m clearly not that brave which is why I’m glad TJ opened a service hub in Atria which allowed me to view their items and speak to one of the founders (i was lucky to have met him).

Needless to say, I got a lovely piece, and he offered a complimentary service for my diamond ring which i left with him in good faith.

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It was a bliss working with TJ. My fiancee was really pleased

First met Ethon couple of years back to have a chat on engagement ring. He’s very knowledgeable with his stuff and never too pushy about selling. Back to few months ago where I finally made the decision to get the a ring. Met up with him again and it was a bliss working with him to get the ring of my requirement and budget.

Talking about budget, I’ve got to commend Ethon on his ability to work around your budget to get you the best diamond by giving insightful suggestions.

Service was good and the production of the ring was timely as well. My fiancee was really pleased and satisfied with the ring when she saw it, which at the end of day was what meant the most to me.

The final result is a beautiful, sparkly, bespoke diamond ring with excellent finishing

Came across Tailored Jewel via some online forums, and my attention was caught by the unique proposition they presented; my fiance could design the engagament ring of her dreams and not leave me broke as a result!

They were very patient with us throughout the process, from pre-sales (entertaining our request for more diamond options), incorporating my fiance’s last minute ring design changes, all the way to post-sales (assisting us with resizing)!! Their response was also extremely quick response whenever we had queries or needed advise. The final result is a beautiful, sparkly, bespoke diamond ring with excellent finishing.

Overall it was a good experience designing and purchasing my proposal ring with Tailored Jewel. Can attest to their professionalism and integrity as online diamond jewellery makers.

My custom ring was perfect! Extremely professional, very patient & affordable price

I must say that Tailored Jewel is probably one of the best recommendation that I’ve received in my life. It was a total different experience when I was purchasing my proposal ring with them.

First of all, they were extremely professional. They spent quite a bit of time educating me on the difference between the grades of diamond and they taught me how to identify the difference. They we’re very patient when it came to my million and one questions.
Secondly, the price was really affordable in comparison to the ones available outside. And when I say comparison, I’m talking about a huge margin of difference.

Thirdly, the outcome of my custom ring was perfect! I was a little skeptical at first when I wanted to customise my ring, but the result was way beyond what I’ve expected. Great finishing and perfection to the detail. They delivered as promised! Thank you Wong Sifu!!!
Thank you Tailored Jewel. Thank you for assisting me throughout the process of designing and purchasing my proposal ring.

More bang for the buck, my fiancee was beaming with joy

Got my engagement ring earlier than expected. Quality was splendid, Diamond was brilliant, Service was exception. They also gave be very good advice choosing them diamonds. Not forgetting getting more bang for the buck, my fiancee was beaming with joy when I presented her with the ring. Definitely a satisfied customer.

Appreciate the patience and guidance given. Le fiancé loves it!

Incredible service! Appreciate the patience and guidance that Ethon gave me as I was clueless on my selection. Le fiancé loves it!

Good explanation on diamond stone & ring customisation. Highly recommended

Is time for me to review this. I love the design and Ethon support on choosing the right purpose ring and engagement ring within the range of Budget. He not like others seller which give u something within your Budget. He give good explanation on diamond stone and ring customise. Highly recommendation for others feel free to buy from ethon. Keep up the good work.

Able to provide the best to satisfy your needs and work on your budget

Two words.. Fantastic Service & Best Price.. i guarantee it myself. Meet up Ethon. Very good service and advise from him…able to provide the best he can to satisfy your needs and work on your budget. The customize engagement ring that i requested was in good condition and beautiful. She loved it very much. Thanks tailored jewel for such a great service