Are you shopping for engagement rings? Then there are a few things you should know about the potential styles available, as well as what to avoid. Here are our four tips for finding the right ring. 1. The Four Cs of Diamond Grading An easy way to understand the value of diamond rings is the four C metric. Color, cut, clarity and carat are what matters when it comes to picking the right stone. What should you look for? The best diamonds are colorless, though overall, diamonds can range from clear to yellow. Diamond color is graded from D (the best) on down to M or lower (light brown in color). Cut and clarity play a huge deciding factor in how brilliant, or sparkly, the diamond appears. While a more colorless stone helps, the cut and clarity of the diamond directly correlates with how light reflects within the diamond, causing it to sparkle. Although color, cut and clarity all work together to determine the overall quality of the diamond, often these differences aren’t noticeable to the naked eye. Carat refers to just the weight of a diamond, though it is commonly misunderstood to refer to quality when it only attributes to size. 2. Your Shape and Band Choices Apart from the four Cs, you have many choices when it comes to ring styles. The most popular diamond shapes are round, accounting for 53% of sales, and princess, at 30%. Other popular options include radiant, cushion and emerald. Although the princess cut has only been around since the 1980s, it is exceedingly popular because it has the high sparkling brilliance of a round diamond in a squared off shape. For bands, platinum is the most popular choice because it is the most durable of metals, although is it the most expensive choice. Varying shades of gold: white, yellow and rose, are all popular choices for bands as well, but platinum is the longest lasting and most durable choice for your band. 3. Make Sure You Get The Right One Picking the perfect ring is a daunting task. If you have no idea what she wants, you can still pick the perfect ring without ruining the surprise. You can ask her friends and family for tips, have her friends “stage” a run through a store to get ideas, or even bring in pieces of her own jewelry and photos of her to help determine her style. If you want to maintain the surprise but your partner is bad about giving clues, ask their friends and family for tips, or even ask a close mutual friend to guide them to a ring store to see what they gravitate toward. Overall, an estimated 65% of brides are involved in their ring selection. It’s not uncommon for the bride to be involved at the beginning, middle, or even entire engagement ring planning phase. 4. How much should you spend? The old adage is that a ring should cost the equivalent of three to six month's salary, though many people no longer adhere to this, either going up or down depending on a number of factors. The average engagement ring cost is $9,000, although preferences, style choices and diamond type all play in to that cost. There are options available below or above that price point. When you choose a budget, Mervis Diamond Importers will help you stretch that budget to not only get the most bling for your buck, but also the most value for your money. Have any tips for finding engagement rings you would like to add? Let us know in the comments!