Shopping for engagement rings can seem daunting, but the trick is to learn a bit of engagement ring vocabulary. Most important, when it comes to engagement ring diamonds, you should know “the four C's” -- cut, color, clarity, and carat.
The cut refers to the angles of the facets in the stone, which determines the diamond's brilliance and shape. In addition to the cut, engagement rings come in a variety of shapes, including round, princess, emerald, and pear. Color, obviously, refers to the stone's hue. Diamonds can run the gamut of colors from colorless to light yellow or brown. Clarity depends on how free of imperfections the engagement ring stone is. Finally, carat refers to the diamond's size. Another important factor in shopping for engagement rings is metal. You can find engagement bands in a variety of metals, including platinum, gold, titanium, palladium, and even recycled metals. Once you've figured out your stone's style, it's time to determine the ring's setting. Some of the most popular engagement ring settings: prong (where the stone is held by three to six “claws”), bezel (where a metal rim surrounds the perimeter of the stone), and channel (where stones are sandwiched together in a channel in the band, a popular look for wedding bands). If you're having a hard time imagining these, take a look at our Engagement Ring Search tool, where you can scroll through over 300 engagement ring styles, including modern, vintage, traditional, and unique styles. Or, design your own engagement ring using our Engagement Ring Builder.