Traditionally, a bride doesn’t see her ring until it’s already bought and insured (which you should definitely do, by the way). However, recently many brides have been picking out their own engagement rings. According to a survey by DeBeers, the “leading role in diamond exploration,” only 19% of engagement rings are a surprise to the bride. We emailed Josh Holland, a spokesperson from Blue Nile, to learn more about finding the perfect ring!

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Most women already know about the four essential “C’s:” cut, color, clarity and carat. According to Holland, the most important C to consider is the cut. “Cut has the biggest impact on a diamond’s brilliance, or what we think of as sparkle,” says Holland. Another great thing about the cut is that it’s one of things you really have a personal choice on. “Round diamonds are the most popular overall, followed by princess-cut diamonds. Both make for a classic, beautiful ring she’s sure to love.” Both rings pictured here are round cut diamonds from the Blue Nile Promise Bridal Collection.

On the recent trend of brides choosing their own rings, there are pros and cons to each side. “Many brides have thought about their engagement ring for years, and they have a lot of opinions about what they do and don’t like. On the other hand, her soon-to-be fiance may also really want to surprise her, so dropping hints about shapes, colors and styles is recommended!” says Holland. However, if you’re surprised by a ring you’re just not in love with, Blue Nile offers a 30-day return policy.

As for the metals, platinum is considered the most practical choice, because of its strength, durability and the fact that it will not need to be replated over time like white gold will. Yellow gold is a good choice if you’re a fan of the color. “Yellow gold is a classic metal that’s easy to polish, and has a rich color that’s resistant to rust and tarnishing but isn’t quite as durable as platinum,” says Holland. No matter what you choose, make sure to take care of your beautiful ring. “Having your ring cleaned professionally and inspected is important, so we recommend having an expert take a look every six months,” says Holland. Blue Nile offers this service free of charge for their customers!

The author: Beth Wertz

Beth graduated from James Madison University in 2014 with a degree in journalism. Most of her spare time is spent looking at wedding dresses and watching Netflix, hoping to get more ideas for Style Inspirations.