SET A BUDGET

When selecting an engagement ring, a great place to start is with your budget. Deciding on a budget early helps you find the perfect engagement ring within your price range.

WHERE TO START

It’s likely you have heard the commonly-stated guideline that your budget for an engagement ring should equal about two months’ salary. What you may not know is that this two months’ salary rule was originally a marketing campaign created in the late 1940s by an advertising firm, at the behest of the world’s largest diamond producer!Engagement rings hold symbolic value and they last a lifetime, but every couple is different. We don’t believe there should be any rules or guidelines on the budget you set. What is most important is that you are comfortable with how much you are spending. Many people spend more than two months’ salary on an engagement ring, and many spend less.

MAXIMIZE YOUR BUDGET

Once you’ve decided on a budget, it’s time to explore the engagement ring options that are within your price range. There are many ways to maximize the money you spend, so you end up with the ring that’s right for you. Some great ways to maximize your budget include

FLEXIBLE PAYMENT OPTIONS

We offer a variety of flexible payment options to make your engagement ring shopping experience as stress-free as possible. 12 month financing options are available subject to credit approval. We also offer a layaway plan, allowing you to make monthly payments on any purchase after an initial deposit. We accept all major credit cards as well PayPal. Bank Wire payments are also accepted for purchases over $500.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Whatever your budget is, our goal is to help you to select an engagement ring that is completely right for you. FLYNNI representatives will work with you to get the most value out of your budget and create an engagement ring that she will absolutely adore. We offer a range of financing and flexible payment options to help make your purchase affordable and convenient.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT DIAMOND

Diamonds are the traditional choice for engagement rings. Classic and timeless, they are the most popular kind of center gem, as well as the most durable and lasting.

 

ROUND DIAMONDS

When selecting a diamond, your first priority is usually to choose a shape. If you’re unsure of what shape to choose, it may be helpful to know this: round diamonds are by far the most popular choice due to their incredible brilliance, fire, and light performance. Round brilliant diamonds make up about three-quarters of all diamond purchases, and offer maximum sparkle.

FANCY SHAPES

Princess diamonds feature an angular, contemporary beauty that looks gorgeous in classic and geometric settings, and are second in popularity, offering the brilliance of a round brilliant diamond at a lower price. Cushion diamonds are an ideal choice for vintage-inspired settings, and radiant diamonds are a stunning alternative to princess and cushion diamonds for those preferring a rectangular shape. Asscher and emerald diamonds are step-cut, for a sleek, elegant appearance. They emit less fire or sparkle than round diamonds but are more transparent. Marquise, oval, and pear-shaped diamonds are more distinctive shapes, and help fingers look long and slender due to their elongated appearance. Heart-shaped diamonds express your sentiment with a flourish and are often favored by die-hard romantics. Marquise or pear-shaped diamonds may appear to be larger, given that more of the stone shows from the top view (looking down on the diamond).

Based on the laws of supply and demand, you can currently save up to 40 percent by selecting a non-round diamond. At FLYNNI, we offer 10 classic diamond shapes. Please contact us for other diamond shapes, such as trillions, baguettes, and half-moons.

CHOOSE A SIZE

The final set of considerations involves two main factors: the size of your gem and its quality. When selecting your perfect diamond, determine what is most important to you within your given budget – size, quality, or a trade off between the two. Many people start with size, as this is the most visually apparent aspect of a diamond. Keep in mind that a carat is actually a unit of weight, but it can be used as an approximation for the size of a diamond. You may find the measurements of a diamond another useful indication of the actual dimensions, as seen face up.

LEARN ABOUT QUALITY

The most important quality characteristic of a round brilliant diamond is the cut, which impacts the brilliance, fire, and scintillation of the diamond. If the workmanship and cut of a diamond are poor, the diamond will look dull and lifeless. With round brilliant diamonds, the cut is easy to assess because it is formally graded by independent diamond laboratories. For other diamond shapes, the cut is much more subjective. Cut grades, if given, are more arbitrary. For engagement rings, we typically recommend round brilliant diamonds with a cut grade of very good, ideal, or super ideal. Choosing a high cut grade maximizes the beauty of a diamond for a given carat weight.

FAIR CUT:Good quality cut which reflects some light while maximizing weight. While not as brilliant as a good cut, still a quality diamond.

GOOD CUT:Premium quality cut to optimize the size without sacrificing quality or beauty. Reflects most light that enters.

VERY GOOD CUT:Superior quality cut that reflects nearly as much light as the ideal cut while at a substantially lower cost.

IDEAL CUT:Exquisite quality cut to create the optimal combination of brilliance and fire. Reflects nearly all light that enters the diamond.Top 3% of diamond quality based on cut.

SUPER IDEAL CUT:Cut to the most exacting standards. These diamonds have the most desirable dimensions and are proportioned to return the maximum possible light. Round diamonds will show a “hearts and arrows” facet pattern.

COLOR

The other main quality characteristics to decide are the color and clarity of your diamond. Although individuals vary in their ability to observe color differences, most people prefer a colorless or white diamond, or at least a color that is not very detectable to the untrained eye. With engagement rings, the most common color grade selection for the center diamond is F-H color.

I-J:Near-colorless. Slightly detected color—a good value.

G-H:Near-colorless. Color noticeable when compared to diamonds of better grades, but offers excellent value.

F:Colorless. Slight color detected by an expert gemologist, but still considered a “colorless” grade—a high-quality diamond.

E:Colorless. Only miniscule traces of color can be detected by an expert gemologist—a rare, high quality diamond.

D:Absolutely colorless or icy white. The highest color grade—extremely rare and most expensive.

CLARITY

Clarity is usually the characteristic determined last, given it has the least impact on a diamond’s appearance. Some diamonds graded “SI2” or “SI1” do have visible inclusion

At FLYNNI we will contact you if the diamond you have chosen has an inclusion that we can see with the naked eye. Many FLYNNI customers choose the “VS2” or “SI1” clarity grades for the center diamond of their engagement ring. A few customers for whom clarity is important go as high as the “IF” or the “VVS” clarity grades.

Slightly included 2. Inclusions are visible under 10x magnification and may be visible with unaided eye. More inclusions than SI1.

Slightly included 1. Inclusions are visible under 10x magnification, but may not be very visible with unaided eye.

Very slightly included 2. Difficult to see inclusions under 10x magnification. Typically cannot see inclusions with the naked eye. Slightly more inclusions than VS1.

Very slightly included 1. Difficult to see inclusions under 10x magnification. Typically cannot see inclusions with the naked eye.

Very very slightly included 2. Very difficult to see under 10x magnification. Slightly more inclusions than VVS1.

Very very slightly included 1. Very difficult to see under 10x magnification.

Internally Flawless. No internal flaws.

Flawless with no internal or external flaws. Extremely rare and valuable.

FINAL THOUGHTS

It is always best to choose a diamond that comes with an independent diamond grading certificate from a recognized gemological laboratory. An independent assessment ensures you are getting exactly what you are paying for. Keep in mind that evaluations by the European Gemological Laboratory, or EGL, are much more lenient compared with evaluations by other laboratories. We recommend striking a balance between a diamond’s size (as represented by carat weight) and its quality (or its cut, color, and clarity). Our online interface makes balancing these factors easy. Learn more about diamonds and read our jewelry specialist’s advice on how to buy diamonds online.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT SAPPHIRE

Sapphires are an alluring alternative to diamonds. They come in every color of the rainbow, from vivid blues to feminine pinks. Another reason to consider sapphires: they’re more affordable, which allows you to buy a larger sapphire on the same budget.

When selecting the perfect sapphire, the most important factors to consider are color, shape, and size. There are no standard measures like the 4C’s for diamonds. Rich, deep blue is the most beloved sapphire color, and is the color most people prefer. The saturation of the color is also a key indicator of the quality of a sapphire. Sapphires with an even coloring command a Choose the Right Sapphirepremium over lighter, less saturated sapphires or darker, inkier ones. In addition, make sure the sapphire you select has no inclusions, or tiny imperfections, visible to the eye.

 

For sapphire center gems, many shapes are available. Overall, the most popular shapes are round, oval, and cushion. The standard size for a round sapphire is 6mm – the equivalent of a .75 carat diamond – though at FLYNNI, we also offer larger and smaller sizes. 8x6mm oval sapphires are also an excellent choice. Kate Middleton’s engagement ring, previously worn by Princess Diana, is crowned by a large, beautiful oval sapphire.

Sapphire engagement rings often feature diamond accents and/or engraving details to provide added complexity and contrast. Three stone sapphire and diamond engagement rings, which feature a center sapphire flanked by a diamond on either side, are a popular choice. For a luxe appearance, consider sapphire halo diamond rings, which feature diamond accents that encircle the center gem. Kate Middleton’s sapphire halo engagement ring, for instance, features an oval sapphire encircled by 14 round diamonds. Sapphire and diamond rings are always a luxe and distinctive selection.

Engagement rings featuring vibrant sapphires alone also have a distinct appeal, allowing the eye to be drawn toward the solo, sparkling center gem.

SELECT A RING

To choose a ring setting, you’ll need to select a style, metal, and ring size. You’ll probably devote most of your attention here to picking a style given the multitude of options.

FIND HER STYLE

One advantage of buying your engagement ring from an online jeweler is the expanded access you get to ring styles. At FLYNNI, we offer almost every ring style imaginable – and if we don’t have a style you want, we can custom design a ring for you. To choose the perfect ring, consider what fits her lifestyle and personality best. In addition to your budget, her personal style and her daily activities are the main considerations that should guide your selection of a setting. Here are recommendations that match personality traits with various styles of engagement rings:

TRADITIONAL & ELEGANT

A classic solitaire setting is timeless and showcases the center diamond without any distraction. Solitaires, which are rings that feature one center diamond, are the most popular style for engagement rings. The most traditional solitaire features a plain metal band. To add a bit more refinement or to ensure the center diamond is set especially low, consider a trellis setting or a basket setting. For a touch more glamour, add a row of diamond accents on the band or consider peekaboo diamonds (diamonds set in the gallery or undercarriage of the ring that are not visible from the top). Three stone engagement rings are another prevalent alternative to the traditional solitaire.

STYLISH & OUTGOING

If the wearer wants to dazzle with glamour, she might love a setting that holds her diamond higher, or perhaps one that features sparkling pavé-set diamonds on the band of the ring. Halo engagement settings are also very popular. Halo settings add a circle of diamonds around the center diamond to add sparkle and make the center diamond appear larger.

OUTDOORSY & NATURE LOVER

Is your significant other a nature lover or someone who is happiest outdoors? Ring settings with organic elements in their designs such as leaves, vines, and flowers may suit her well. For an active woman, consider a setting that holds the diamond lower to the hand. A bezel setting, or a thin metal band that hugs the diamond all the way around its girdle, is also great for keeping a diamond protected.

ROMANTIC & TIMELESS

Does your partner love all things romantic and vintage? Consider ring settings that feature milgrain details, filigree or scrollwork patterns, intricate galleries, or dainty bands. View our diamond engagement rings featured in our Antique Inspired Collection. Or, if your partner loves unique one-of-a-kind items from the past, consider an authentic antique engagement ring. FLYNNI has one of the largest online collections of antique rings, and it is constantly being refreshed.

MODERN & CONTEMPORARY

Does your beloved appreciate a modern, fashion-forward style? Look at sculptural rings – rings that experiment with non-traditional forms. Consider a bezel setting – a thin metal band that hugs the diamond all the way around its girdle. If she wants to forgo the traditional center diamond altogether, consider a wide band ring with beautiful detail. Add sparkle with diamond or gemstone accents.

UNSURE?

If you feel unsure or overwhelmed, consider selecting a diamond but proposing with a temporary engagement setting. This approach allows her to select her own perfect setting. Women take part in over 60% of engagement ring decisions, so rest assured you are not alone. If you prefer to surprise her and are just looking for more ideas, view our Customer Favorites or Top 20 Engagement Rings, which feature our most popular rings. You can also get inspired by our Top 10 Pinned Rings by discovering what styles are trending on Pinterest.

PRECIOUS METAL OPTIONS

As you choose a setting, it is important to decide on the type of precious metal for the ring. Your significant other may prefer a specific color of precious metal (yellow, white, or rose), or a specific type of metal (gold, platinum, or palladium). Look to see what jewelry she typically wears for clues. Platinum, white gold, and palladium are all silvery-white and more or less identical in hue. For a golden look, choose yellow gold. For a rose or pink hue, choose rose gold.

FIND HER RING SIZE

The most accurate way to determine ring size is to have your partner’s ring finger measured by a professional jeweler. But if that’s not possible, don’t be concerned. There are other approaches you can take. Ask your partner’s parents or close friends about her ring size. Or, try borrowing one of your partner’s existing rings. Our online ring sizing guide contains some additional hints on ring size. And if you contact us, we’re happy to provide extra guidance or send you a complimentary plastic ring sizer.

JEWELRY DESIGN GLOSSARY

When selecting the perfect ring setting style, there are several design features to consider. Take into account today’s most loved design elements, as well as those that suit her style and personality. Learn about the options for your center gemstone setting, accent gemstone setting, band, and finishing details.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT JEWELER

An engagement ring is a symbol of love. So it’s important that your ring be sourced in a way that is consistent with your values. But that doesn’t mean you should compromise. Choose a socially and environmentally responsible jeweler that also has a reputation for outstanding quality and customer service.

ETHICAL GEMSTONES

We believe that an ethically-sourced engagement ring is made more beautiful by the knowledge that its origins are pure. If ethical sourcing is important to you, we recommend choosing a jeweler with a proven commitment to socially and environmentally responsible diamond mining.

If you’re unsure about your jeweler’s sourcing methods, be sure to ask questions – not only about the diamond’s physical characteristics and qualities, but about where the diamond was mined and the labor and environmental conditions in place at the mine.

 

CHOOSE A SOCIALLY AND ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE
JEWELER WITH A REPUTATION FOR OUTSTANDING QUALITY AND
CUSTOMER SERVICE.

Avoid buying from jewelers that claim their diamonds are “conflict free” but rely solely on compliance with the Kimberley Process. The Kimberley Process, an international diamond certification scheme, gives “conflict free” certification to diamonds mined in violent and inhumane settings. It completely ignores problems such as child labor, poverty, and environmental degradation. Read this guide for more specific tips on buying an ethically-sourced diamond.

ENVIRONMENTAL HARM

Mining for precious metals is extremely harmful to the environment. Gold mining, which releases mercury and cyanide into the air and water, is particularly harmful. Look for jewelers who obtain their precious metals from environmentally responsible sources. At FLYNNI, we use recycled precious metals in our ring settings. Recycled precious metals offer the same look, durability, and quality as newly mined metals, but they avoid causing environmental harm.

SERVICE AND QUALITY

Since this is a significant purchase, you owe it to yourself to choose a jeweler offering superior customer service and quality. Choose a jeweler with a flexible return policy, a manufacturing warranty, a free diamond upgrade policy, and free resizing. At FLYNNI, our jewelry specialists are happy to answer your questions, explain options, and guide you in making decisions. We also stand behind our product: our manufacturing warranty is a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects on our jewelry. Read more about our customer care.

One of the best ways to receive the quality and customer service you deserve is to choose a jeweler with an outstanding reputation. FLYNNI has earned such a reputation, both online and as a San Francisco jeweler. Please see our customer testimonials to learn why so many couples rate their FLYNNI experience so positively.