16 Things Everyone Should Know Before Buying An Engagement Ring

9. If you want something a little more *unique*, check out salt and pepper — also known as grey or included — diamonds.

“In the diamond industry, they’re not considered very practical so they tend to be a little less expensive,” Sheffield said. But they’re shimmery, textural, naturally occurring, and magical AF.

10. If you want the grey diamond look for less, go for rutilated quartz.

If you want the grey diamond look for less, go for rutilated quartz.

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The rutilated quartz stone (pictured above) has black turmaline crystals inside of it, which gives it that mock grey diamond feel. Since quartz is a semi-precious stone, it will cost considerably less than a diamond. Black diamonds also tend to be less expensive than white diamonds as they are *imperfect*.

11. If you were hoping for a pink diamond, take a look at morganite.

“Pink diamonds are extremely expensive because they’re really rare, so morganite is a great way to get that clear pink look,” Sheffield said. Morganite is a member of the beryl family (which includes emeralds), and it tends to be very *sparkly*. To play up the color, try setting it in a rose gold band.

12. If you’re not into diamonds, check out diamond alternatives.

If you're not into diamonds, check out diamond alternatives.

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“You want to be careful with pearl and opal engagement rings,” Thames said. “They’re not built to wear everyday, so if you’re out hiking you may want to take it off and wear a gold band that day.”

13. Know how to pick a damn perfect gemstone.

Know how to pick a damn perfect gemstone.

“For precious stones — like emeralds, sapphires, and rubies — there’s a grading system where the more clarity and saturation it has, the nicer it is,” Sheffield said. Learn about the gemstone grading system here.

14. If you want an impressive AF-looking ring without the high price tag, get a halo.

If you want an impressive AF-looking ring without the high price tag, get a halo.

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A halo is a cluster of tiny diamonds encircling the center stone. “What you save in the center stone you can make up in for in other ways like having a halo,” Sheffield said. Exhibit A: the roughly 1 carat stone above (with a halo) that looks just as big as the much pricier 2 carat stone. Also, if you have a rose cut stone that isn’t as shiny, a halo is a great way to add some extra shimmer.

15. Compare different types of gold to get the perfect color.

Compare different types of gold to get the perfect color.

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“The number before the ‘k’ refers to the actual percentage of gold in the band,” Thames said. “The higher the karat, the more yellow intensity, the softer the metal is.” If you’re going for a higher karat gold, consider a thicker band.

16. And watch a video about everything you need to know when it comes to engagement rings here:

To learn more about all of the rings pictured, visit Catbird and Anna Sheffield.

Over and OUT.

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