7 Engagement Ring Shopping Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

7 Engagement Ring Shopping Mistakes and How to Avoid Them Cover Photo
7 min read14 December 2021

Do you need to surprise your partner with an engagement ring? Not always! 62% of couples go engagement ring shopping together. While this makes it easier to select an engagement ring that fits your partner's tastes, there are still many common engagement ring shopping mistakes that you can make.

So how do you choose the best engagement ring? Keep reading to learn about the top seven mistakes engagement ring shoppers make and learn how to avoid them!

1. Choosing Something Too Trendy

The first thing you should consider when you buy an engagement ring is whether or not it is a timeless style. Just like any other type of fashion, engagement rings go through trends. What is popular one year may look outdated the next.

When you choose a ring, make sure it is something you can see your partner wearing for years to come!

2. Focusing on the Price Tag

Next, you need to make sure you focus on more than just the price tag of your engagement ring. Many people feel they need to spend three times their salary on an engagement ring, to show their partner that they love them enough.

But this was a marketing campaign started by De Beers in the 1930s to boost the sale of diamond engagement rings.

Most want to find something that fits their style, even if it costs less than other options. Often, you can get a beautiful ring that meets all of their needs without spending more than your ring budget.

Both small and large rings can be great options, no matter the price. However, comparing ring prices can help you find something that fits your budget.

Instead of focusing on arbitrary rules about the cost of your partner's ring, choose something that you and your partner love, regardless of whether or not it costs enough.

3. Not Getting Help

Buying engagement rings can be difficult for those who do not know much about the diamond industry. To help you through the process, you should get help from others!

This help can include friends and family members, jewellers, and other engagement ring specialists - just like us.

This way, you can get help by asking questions, choosing a beautiful ring, and finding something within your budget.

4. Prioritising the 4 Cs

When buying a ring, you need to know the 4 Cs. These are known as cut, clarity, colour and carat. But one trap is focusing on picking a flawless stone (or trying to maximise the 4 Cs). You do not need to do this.

Instead, you can find other beautiful stones without spending more on a higher grade. There is a point where you get diminishing returns with an increase in quality.

That is why at Four Words, we focus on maximising the highest quality stone while being the most cost-effective. You can read more about the 4 Cs and our standard here.

Many people would not even notice these minor differences with the naked eye, so buying a twice as expensive stone with virtually unnoticeable differences will waste money.

While the 4 Cs are a good starting point for choosing a ring, this should not be what finalises your decision for an engagement ring.

5. Buying on Impulse

When buying a diamond ring, try not to buy on impulse or feel pressured because there is a "sale." While you may find a ring that you love, you should still take some time to think about your decision for a few days. As mentioned, these rings can be costly.

Plus, many couples get stuck with a pushy salesperson who may try to sell you the most expensive ring in the shop. Setting a ring budget and thinking carefully about your purchase makes you more likely to get a ring you will love instead of the one you bought because you felt pressured to do so.

Make sure to shop around to get a feel for what is out there in the market – including the different types of styles and stones.

6. Not Researching Types of Stones

Since the 1930s engagement rings have been traditionally mined diamonds. However, there are a huge variety of other options.

Lab grown diamonds

If you're not already familiar with lab grown diamonds, these are the same as a mined diamonds, but without questionable ethics and environmental issues (read more here).

Couples today are opting for lab grown diamonds. They are identical to mined diamonds (down to the atom). But have an ethical supply chain, are much more sustainable and are of better value.

The only difference is how they're created – one below the ground while lab grown is formed above ground.

Lab grown diamonds are exactly the same as mined diamonds – physically, optically and atomically. They are much better for the environment, with a 7x less negative impact compared to mined diamonds. While allowing you to get a 30% larger stone than a mined diamond for the same price.

At Four Words we only work with lab grown diamonds because we believe they are better than mined diamonds in every single way.

Lab grown diamond


Another alternative is moissanite (which appear closely to diamonds but are much cheaper). Moissanites have a different chemical composition and are made out of silicon carbide. Whereas diamonds are made out of only carbon – this gives moissanite different properties.

Compared to diamonds, they are a lot more affordable. If you're interested in moissanite, be sure to work with a jeweller who knows how to specifically cut them. Below is a recent piece we created.

Four Words Moissanite

Most jewellers cut moissanite in the same way that they cut diamonds and in doing so, it gives a hazy look. If they are cut properly, they appear more brilliant than diamonds and can give off a 'rainbow-like' reflection

Learning more about the different types of stones available and which your partner prefers can help you save money on your engagement ring.


Beyond diamonds, are gemstones (which can also be lab grown) for example:

  • Sapphires (Blue, Pink, Champagne)
  • Rubies
  • Emeralds
  • Alexandrite
  • Aquamarine

These stones are great if you have a special meaning attached to them (e.g. birthstones) or you want some colour in your design. Often, gemstones can offer a more affordable price range as well if you are on a tighter budget.

We routinely work with customers who choose to go with a lab grown gemstone as their centre stone — contact a concierge to find out more.

Four Word Emerald

7. Guessing on the Ring Size

Finally, try not to guess the ring size. While you can always get the ring resized after proposing, it will take a while.

If you and your partner are shopping together for engagement rings, jewellers have ring sizers that make it easy to find the best size for your partner.

But if you are doing so discreetly, one option is to borrow an existing ring they may have and get it sized.

By getting the right size of ring from the beginning, you will not have to worry about changing it after you pop the question.

Get Help Avoiding These Engagement Ring Shopping Mistakes

By taking your time researching the materials available, you will find a high-quality ring in your budget without making these engagement ring shopping mistakes!

If you want an easy way to get a high-quality diamond ring at a better price, Four Words can help!

Contact our team today to learn more about our ring design process and to start creating your dream ring today!

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Diamond Illustration

Whether you’re just starting out or have done all your research, we are here to help.

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