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How to Choose an Engagement Ring

How to Choose an Engagement Ring

An engagement ring may very well be one of the most terrifying purchases of your life. We had a gentleman at Perrara recently who said he was so nervous, so intimidated by engagement ring shopping, that he parked at our store every Saturday for the previous three Saturdays and just couldn’t work up the nerve to come in! If you are one of these men, our singular goal is to make this a comfy cozy, calm & informative experience. Don’t worry about what you do know, or what you don’t know...we want to help you find the perfect engagement ring, the one that you are excited to propose with. How do we do that? Here’s a few things that make Perrara the Okanagan’s premier engagement ring shopping destination.


Engagement Ring Styles

a yellow gold diamond engagement ring with a twisty band

We are proud and excited to showcase the most on trend engagement ring styles. How do we know that? Because we are aligned as exclusive partners with the most desired brands in North America. Our selection is vast, diverse & best of all fun. Here’s what you need to know about selecting a style:


  • You need to be in-store

Shopping for the perfect engagement ring is not like ordering a pair of jeans from the Gap. These engagement ring settings are crafted out of precious metals like white gold, yellow gold, rose gold & platinum. They are hand crafted, set with diamonds & possibly other gemstones. It is in your best interests to see, feel, touch & experience these rings in real life. We always encourage visits to your local jewelry store to see these rings first hand. You don’t see sparkle on the internet!


  • Have your significant other try on as many rings as desired

This is your time to explore, have fun! At Perrara, we encourage her to try on lots of styles, even if she has a design style in mind. I recently had the pleasure of working with a young professional woman who was absolutely sure she wanted an oval shaped diamond on a yellow gold band with no smaller diamonds on the foundation. But it turned out her personal style, the engagement ring that made her heart go pitty-pat was a pear diamond on a diamond encrusted foundation. She wouldn't have known that if she hadn't taken an hour or so to visit Perrara and explore all her options. She loves her ring (she might have shared that she bumped into a wall at work while walking and admiring her new ring!)


  • Don’t make a decision on the spot

After a half an hour, maybe more, you will undoubtedly need a break from ring shopping. Do you want a halo engagement ring? What were the four c’s again? What carat weight did you think would make the perfect engagement ring? We understand, you don’t do this everyday and after a hot second things tend to blur together. Before you leave your jeweler, select your top 3-6 favorite designs and call it a day. The next time you visit, even if it’s a day or two later, your eyes will be fresh & we promise, it will be much easier to narrow down your top 1-2.

Pro tip: ask your jeweler to pop photos of your top favorites into an email for you to review at home.
  • Have your finger sized at your first visit

Every persons hand & ring finger is different, people like to wear their rings fitting different ways and you’ll want to get this as close to perfect as possible. Even if you are not purchasing or even ordering the ring that day, have your jeweler note your ring size. Then the next time you visit, go through the process again and see if you still like that fit on a different day (maybe you had sushi the night before your last visit and you really need half a size smaller when your hands aren’t puffy!)


Choosing a center stone


Designers like Tacori, SimonG, Noam Carver & Parade Design don’t sell the centre stone in their engagement ring settings. Why not? Here’s a couple reasons that are truly in your favor:


  • You get to choose your diamond shape

Most if not all engagement ring settings can be customized for whatever diamond shape she loves. Does she have long slim fingers and prefer the unique marquise shape? Does she enjoy the architectural vibes of the emerald cut? Have your jeweler request a bespoke crafted ring with whatever diamond shape she loves.


  • You get to choose your diamond origin

Unlike years gone by, today we have so many options for the perfect center stone. You may wish to read this article about the pros and cons of natural mined diamonds vs. lab grown diamonds but those are two options you’ll have to decide between. Both hold very different values - if that is important to you, be sure to discuss it with your retailer to make an informed decision.


  • You can choose an alternate gemstone

Perhaps she has always dreamed of incorporating a blue sapphire, a ruby or other gem into her engagement ring. Because you can order the ring setting the way you want it, you aren’t locked into the version in the showcase. Go on, make it your own!

an oval cut blue sapphire with three marquise shaped diamonds on each side

If a gemstone is high on your wish list for a perfect ring, be sure to discuss the specific hardness of the gemstone you desire. You’ll want to be sure that the gem she loves will stand the test of time & your lifestyle.
  • You can control the budget

If budget is important to you, choosing your center stone and your ring setting is perfect. Your jeweler can then show you ideas and options that fit in budget, you choose & they will put the ring together for you.  At Perrara, we promise to make this as easy (and fun!) as possible.


  • You can make the decision

In addition to the tips above, a cut diamond must be seen to be appreciated. You simply cannot get the sparkle, the vibes, the wow from a GIA certificate! If these things are important to you, and it’s OK if they are not, ask your jeweler to show the inclusions in a diamond - these are the blemishes or imperfections that make up the unique blueprint of a diamond. Some are visible to the naked eye, so you’ll want to see that for yourself (again if that is important to you). Take the time to choose a center diamond shape that deserves to be the focal point of her diamond engagement ring.

At Perrara, we aim to equip you with as much or as little information as you need to make a great decision. Some want to explore all the ins and outs and every teeny detail. Others want to feel comfortable, see a great diamond and enjoy an easy peasy purchase. No matter what your preference, we have a vast collection of both natural mined and lab grown diamonds for you to choose from. We promise to guide you with just the right amount of really! We got you.



What diamond carat should I buy?

This is one of those reasons you should absolutely shop for a diamond in person: carat weight is a unit of weight, not size. This means you can have two round brilliant cut diamonds, that both weigh 1.00 carat and they can be vastly different sizes, that you can see with your naked eye. A diamond is a three dimensional object and carat always refers to the weight so you’ll be glad to see a variety of carats and be able to choose the best one for you.

What do prong, bezel & pave refer to?

These are different ways of holding your center stone and any smaller diamonds or gems on the ring. For more details on these types of settings, please see the article “Everything You Need to Know About Engagement Ring Styles”.

What diamond shape should I buy?

Gone are the days of round brilliant cut diamonds being it! Cushion cut, emerald cut, radiant cut...the perfect diamond is your perfect diamond. We have you covered there too! We’ve written an extensive article called “What is the Best Diamond Shape for an Engagement Ring” to highlight the most popular choices in diamond shapes and there are some very helpful pros and cons for each style.

How can I find out my partner’s ring style?

If you’re the type of person to go at this solo, here’s some helpful tips for determining her personal style:

  • Note what style her current jewelry is: does she favor smaller, more petite jewelry or are her pieces larger in scale? Does most of her jewelry collection consist of yellow gold, white gold or rose gold?

  • Does she use social media to save, like or collect imagery of rings she likes? Her Pinterest board or Instagram account may prove very useful in narrowing down her loves! Take special note if most ring styles are solitaire (one center diamond), halo settings (where there is a string of smaller diamonds around the center stone), three stone (as the name suggests, there are three prominent center stones) or if gemstones are boldly featured. This will give you insight into the kind of engagement ring she’s been dreaming about.

Does the warranty on my new engagement ring cover me for everything?

You are going to be glad to gain this insight: warranty covers manufacturers defect. This means there has to be an inherent defect in the casting or workmanship for a ring to be replaced under warranty. No matter where you purchase your engagement ring, wedding band or wedding rings, we always recommend having insurance. Insurance will cover you for all the scenarios that do not fall under warranty: theft, loss, damage, mysterious disappearance. More often than not, you will experience one of these scenarios so you’ll want to be sure you’re covered for replacement or repairs.

Pro tip: Jewelers Mutual Insurance provides coverage for all life can throw at you and most often they will offer zero deductible. Get a free quote here.

How important is it to know the alloys that are used in a particular ring?

This probably won’t be as high a requirement on your information checklist, unless she has a metal allergy. The most common metal allergy is to white gold and that is because white gold typically has a high nickel content, which some are sensitive to. If this is a concern, ask the retailer if the ring can be crafted with palladium as an alloy instead of nickel. Or consider moving to platinum, which is a naturally white metal and, often times, hypoallergenic.


In Summary:

Visit Perrara Fine Jewelry, located at 101-590 KLO Road to experience how engagement ring shopping should be: relaxed, fun, filled with variety & the best designers in North America. Choose your fav’s in a low pressure environment, snap some photos, go on a date night & then visit again with fresh eyes. You’ll love that you weren’t pressured to make a snap decision!

That lovely gentleman from the introduction? He worked up the courage to come in one sunny afternoon and picked the perfect engagement ring. Several weeks later, he brought his new fiancée in to meet us & share in their engagement. We couldn’t have been more overjoyed to have played a small role in one of the most momentous moments of their lives. And we can’t wait to be a part of yours too.

With Love, Perrara

Author: Lisa Maloney, Proprietor

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