Choosing the one of the best engagement rings can be a difficult and stressful experience. If you plan on proposing this year, you have probably asked yourself too many times: Will I choose a ring that she will like? Will the ring I choose show how much I tried and care? What if she could choose a ring herself, which one would she choose? Will she love it for the rest of her life?
Of course, you know your fiancee best and nobody can tell better what she likes and how she is other than you yourself. But if you are completely clueless about where to even start, then you might want to hear what we and the ladies of the world have to say on the subject.
In this guide, we will show you the best engagement rings of the year. Browse through and check if any of the rings stand out to you. Basically, if they’re on our list, you can’t go wrong! We’ll also give you the run down on some engagement ring trends and etiquettes you should be aware of.
Top 10 Best Engagement Rings of 2018 Compared
Table of Contents
- Best Engagement Ring Trends
- Twisting and Woven Silhouettes
- Distinctive Diamond Halos
- The New Three-Stone Styles
- Delicate Silhouettes
- Rose-on-Rose Rings
- Geometric Designs
- Colorful Jewel-Toned Rings
- Scalloped Pavé Accent
- Fancy Shaped Accents
- Nature-Inspired Designs
- Non-Traditional Designs
- Unique Vintage Rings
- Solitaire Rings
- How To Choose The Best Engagement Ring
- Establish Your Budget
- Engagement Rings On A Budget
- Make It a Surprise
- Find Out Her Ring Size
- Research Her or His Style
- Pick The Engagement Ring Band
- Selecting a Quality Diamond
- Putting Insurance on the Engagement Ring
- More Diamond Cut Tips To Help You Choose
- Avoid Buying A Conflict Diamond
- Purchase from Retailers and Brands that Have the Conflict Free Certification
- 1. 1 7/8CT Vintage Morganite & Diamond Engagement Wedding Ring Set 14K Rose Gold
- 2. Forever Us Two Stone Round Diamond 1.00Ct Solitaire Ring 14k White Gold
- 3. 1.00 cttw IGI Certified Diamond Engagement Ring in 14K White Gold (J-K Color, I1-I2 Clarity)
- 4. 1.60 Carat (ctw) 14K White Gold Princess & Round Black Diamond Solitaire With Accents Engagement Ring
- 5. 14k Yellow OR White Gold SOLID Wedding Engagement Ring
- 6. AGS Certified 3/4 Carat TW Diamond Halo Engagement Ring in 14K White Gold (K-L Color, I2-I3 Clarity)
- 7. Moissanite Forever One Engagement Ring in 14k Gold 5.00MM 2/5 CT D-E-F VVS (Equivalent 1/2 CT Diamond Weight)
- 8. 14k Yellow OR White Gold SOLID Wedding Engagement Ring
- 9. 1ct 3 Stone Diamond Engagement Ring 14K Yellow Gold
- 10. 1ct Diamond 3 Three Stone Engagement Ring 10K White Gold
Best Engagement Ring Trends
Choosing an engagement ring need not be a daunting task for the groom to be. In fact, it should be an especially exciting time for any couple, especially the bride (that is if you’re picking it out together). The whole experience is more than just a purchase.
It’s an opportunity for you and your partner to bond over something that will serve as a symbol for your lifelong commitment to be together. So it helps to be somewhat informed about engagement rings before you go ahead and make this all-important purchase. The best part is that there are many options out there, making it easy for a traditional or non-traditional bride to receive their dream ring.
Twisting and Woven Silhouettes
For many couples, intertwining strands of metal and diamonds are thought to symbolize unity and entwined fates. Thus it comes as no surprise that couples view this ring as a beautiful expression of love and romance, untouched by the mark of time.
Distinctive Diamond Halos
The halo marking of these rings make it a firm favourite as accentuates the size of the diamond, allowing it to appear even larger than it is. The vintage-inspired look is also great for those who want to go for an old-world feel. Except for the original style, couples can and often do opt for more unique designs, ranging from curvy to ornate halos, or even the complex multi-dimensional halos.
The New Three-Stone Styles
A distinctive and classic design; the three-gemstone engagement ring is considered by many a beautiful symbol of the couple’s past, present, and future. In terms of options, you can choose between a nature-inspired look or the halo marking with the three stones.
Sometimes couples prefer to go back in time, opting for thin engagement rings. The gemstone in the middle is the pièce de résistance, as the petite bands add delicate undertones of shimmer which suit any bride-to-be, especially those who want to embrace classic elegance. Perfect for the minimalist couple that likes to keep things simple.
Pink gold rings are seeing a resurgence in fashion, as they flatter a variety of skin tones. They certainly make an adaptable choice for any bride to be. Mostly loved by romantics, these morganite stones are the perfect choice for lovers of a bit of color.
Times are changing: not every bride-to-be is interested in round rings or bands, and in recent days many couples are intrigued by more contemporary styles. These styles include geometric designs with a center diamond, a unique choice that’s sure to set you apart from the rest.
Colorful Jewel-Toned Rings
As an untraditional bride, you may also wish to go for something which complements your quirky and distinctive style. Colour-loving brides could opt for sapphires with emerald yellow accents or sapphires in rose or pink gold. Otherwise, why not choose a more bold design which integrates blue-green tones and sapphires, or a darker tone like chocolate or black diamond?
Scalloped Pavé Accent
These graceful rings feature French pavé diamonds which flatter the central gemstone, creating an effect of pure shimmer. The increased popularity of these rings in recent times might relate to the boost in popularity of handcrafted vintage bands, and if you’ve already dreamt of something different which would allow you to still keep your glamor, this one might just be for you!
Fancy Shaped Accents
I’ve already told you about the square shape, but what else could you opt for when choosing an interesting and unique design? Amongst your choices, you can find pear-shaped diamonds, baguettes or trillion. A guaranteed head turner!
For nature loving and eco-conscious brides to be, these rings make the perfect gesture, as they feature unique, nature-inspired shapes like leaves, buds, and even vines.
Now let’s say you like all of these options, or that you like certain features, but not the whole design. I’ll put your mind at ease by letting you know that you can seek custom-made rings which can express your personality and aesthetics. Ranging from aquamarines to rose or black rhodium, the choice is purely yours!
Unique Vintage Rings
If you’re in love with history, then these vintage styles are just the thing you should be looking for. Popular during the Georgian and Victorian eras, these rings combine contemporary and vintage inspiration that’ll add a touch of antiquity to your own love story. And the heirloom quality designs are timeless, not to mention and formidable investment.
Solitaire rings are classic and timeless, with settings that blend some of the desired qualities of the styles mentioned above. You can even request to create your own solitaire design with your jeweler, by choosing a truly unique setting that suits your style and preferences.
How To Choose The Best Engagement Ring
We’ve shown you different styles which you may choose from, but how can you actually select the perfect engagement ring, for you and your partner?
Establish Your Budget
It’s important to be realistic about your goals and expectations. Figuring out how much you’re willing to spend will help the jeweler understand what you’re looking for within your price range. In addition, remember that you are building a life with your significant other, thus there is little reason to impress with huge diamonds and emerald dreams. There is nothing romantic about being in debt. An alternative would be to look at one of the cheaper options below and give it as a diamond promise rings.
Engagement Rings On A Budget
As cheesy as it may sound, the nicest thing you can do for your partner is to respect and love them. The ring should be an expression of that, not the reason for it. In addition, you can always surprise your partner with a better one down the line, thus don’t delay your proposal on account of that. And this doesn’t mean you have to go for the cheapest engagement rings available. There is a happy medium.
Make It a Surprise
Whilst you may be thinking that letting your partner choose their own ring is going to save you some embarrassment or hassle, what you’re actually doing is depriving yourself of the chance to see their expression when receiving the ring. If everything goes to plan (she or he likes the ring, it will actually fit) then you’ll always feel proud of orchestrating such a special moment for them.
Find Out Her Ring Size
You can’t choose the ideal one without doing some homework about your partner’s ring finger size. To avoid the awkwardness and embarrassment that may ensue from an ill-fitting size, it’s best to borrow one of the rings she isn’t wearing at that point and ask your jeweler to have it measured. Another suggestion would be to recruit one of her best friends and try to get her to ‘borrow’ one of your girl’s rings while she’s over for dinner.
Research Her or His Style
If you want life-long brownie points, then it might be time to go back to the drawing board. Take notes on the type of jewelry your loved one wears, the colors involved, or the size. Also think of their personality, if they’re outgoing or shy, and like that you’ll more or less realize if they’ll want their ring to be noticed. If at the end of it all you’re still unsure, again, ask one of her friends. The good thing about that, you may also choose to blame them if something goes wrong! Just joking, don’t do that.
Pick The Engagement Ring Band
As mentioned before, you have many options, and when it comes to the ring’s band that still applies. Choices range from yellow gold and rose gold to white gold, platinum, or silver. However, just like with anything in life, there are both disadvantages and advantages.
On the one hand, extremely durable bands include platinum, a very durable material which unfortunately dulls a lot quicker than gold. On the other hand, gold is shinier and easier to clean than platinum; however, its drawback is its weakness (it only lasts 15 to 20 years). Regardless of that, nowadays couples are opting for silver-looking engagement rings, but as mentioned before, it will all depend on your partner’s personality.
Selecting a Quality Diamond
Okay, let’s just say that you’re going for a diamond one. What are the things you should look out for? According to experts, there are 4 aspects to take into consideration: cut, clarity, carat weight and color. Put together, they influence the total cost of the chosen diamond. I’ll tell you more about it in a bit, so keep on reading.
Putting Insurance on the Engagement Ring
Some of you might choose to go all-out when purchasing an engagement ring. If that’s the case, it’s important to insure it, as with any big financial investment. Whether it’s stolen, lost, or even damaged, you know what they say, better safe than sorry.
More Diamond Cut Tips To Help You Choose
As mentioned before, there are four aspects to consider when purchasing a diamond. If you were ever unsure about what they meant, we’ll provide you with some answers.
This part tells a tale of the edges and proportions of the diamond. This factor is considered to be the most important of the four, so make sure to get the cut right. In addition, a poorly cut diamond might seem dull, and if you don’t have an eye for detail, your partner might.
The GIA grades diamonds ranging from D to Z. The D refers to colorless diamonds (e.g. white), whereas the Z refers to light colors (e.g. light yellow). In addition, there is a separate category for fancy colored diamonds such as blues or pinks. The color is the second most important thing to bear in mind considering that when diamond size increases, the color becomes a lot more noticeable.
The clarity of the diamond refers to the how many inclusions (otherwise known as fractures) the stone has. As the diamond size increases, the size of the facets also increases, thus needless to say that if there are very few imperfections then the diamond will be more expensive.
As the name suggests, the heavier the stone, the bigger the price tag. Visually, you will not be able to see a difference, but your savings will definitely benefit.
Avoid Buying A Conflict Diamond
Conflict diamonds, also known as blood diamonds, are sourced from war-stricken countries mostly in West and central Africa. Profits gained from the sale of these diamonds often end up financing all kinds of violence and illegal war activities such as invading armies and dangerous warlords, with devastating effects on the quality of life in the surrounding communities.
Moreover, these diamonds are mostly mined using illegal child labor, obviously something you wouldn’t want to associate with your one, which is a sacred symbol of you and your partner’s love.
So here are some simple facts and tips to keep in mind on how to avoid conflict diamonds when purchasing your engagement ring.
Purchase from Retailers and Brands that Have the Conflict Free Certification
This certification was created through the Kimberley process that seeks to regulate diamond trade and is composed of the diamond industry, activism organizations and 80 member countries that make up most of the international diamond trade.
Luckily, over 90% of today’s traded diamonds are conflict-free and pretty easy to find. And supporting conflict-free diamonds means that a percentage of the profits are used to develop the countries of origin.
To ensure that your diamond is conflict-free, you can ask your retailer about the diamond’s origins and they should be able to provide you with the stone’s System of Warranties document, which can confirm that the diamond ring you’re buying is in fact, conflict free.
You can find a diverse selection of gorgeous conflict free rings from the following retailers:
- Brilliant Earth : One of the leaders in conflict free and now, fair trade diamonds, Brilliant Earth’s diverse options of will leave you drooling at the sheer quality and gorgeousness of their rings.
- James Allen : James Allen offers all the traditional settings and styles with an option to fully customize it. And they also offer financing options for more expensive bands.
- Noémie : In addition to being certified conflict free, Noemie also offers a lifetime warranty on their diamonds, stocks bands made from recycled 18K gold and various awards. They truly go the extra mile to help you design a conflict free jewel that you can be proud of.
- Zoara : Zoara maintains very strict quality standards with an emphasis on preserving ethical and fair diamond trade, stocking only conflict free diamonds.
- Bario Neal : These guys are the place to go for one of a kind design on unique settings with mind-blowing customization perks that you’d have to experience to believe.
- Isadoras : This is a go-to source for conflict-free antique diamond rings that go as far back as the 1800s! And every one comes with a ‘circa’ sign followed by the date on which it was mine, so you know which era it comes from. A precious little touch if you ask me.
- Trumpet & Horn : Another reputable stockist of vintage jewelry, the selection of Trumpet & Horn bands come in the form of recycled, repurposed, eco-friendly and pre-conflict diamond rings.
- Tiffany & Co. : A trusted name when it comes to sourcing all types of cuts, designs, settings and styles, Tiffany &Co. continues to resonate with the times with diamonds that are both conflict free, fair trade and timeless.
- Forevermark : Another institution in the jewelry industry, Forevermark embellished some of the world’s most famous celebrities for some of their most important moments.
- Amazon : You can now search for, and find a wide variety of conflict-free diamonds on the world’s biggest online retailer.
With so many retail options to choose from, it’s easier now more than ever to choose and support ethical trade diamonds to mark your special occasion. And the best part is that conflict free diamonds are available at all price points so you won’t have to break the bank to keep your conscience clean as you prepare to enter a new chapter in your life.
1. 1 7/8CT Vintage Morganite & Diamond Engagement Wedding Ring Set 14K Rose Gold
The last women’s engagement ring on this list features a 7mm round morganite and round cut accent diamonds of 1.75 carats. All stones of this one are set in solid 14k rose gold band 2.4 millimeters wide. The diamonds are natural, conflict free and heat treated. This item also comes with a nice free gift box.
If you are looking for engagement rings under 1000 bucks then this should be your number 1 choice.
- Very feminine and elegant rose gold band
- 7mm round morganite and round cut accent diamonds
- Solid 14k rose gold band 2.4 millimeters wide
- Natural, conflict free diamonds
- Unique vintage looking design
- The designs on the sides give this ring a very classy look
- Comes with a nice free gift box
- Some stones can look a bit cloudy, but very little and vary rarely
2. Forever Us Two Stone Round Diamond 1.00Ct Solitaire Ring 14k White Gold
This lovely diamond ring features 1.00 ct white diamonds in prong-setting and comes in both white gold and yellow gold band. All the 22 diamonds are sparkling, 100% natural (not treated in any way) and conflict free. The ring comes with a free gift box and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
- Very good looking – sparkles and shines in a rich, deep color
- Features 1.00 carat white diamonds
- Comes in both white gold and yellow gold band
- Total of 22 diamonds on this ring
- Sparkling, 100% natural (not treated in any way) and conflict free diamonds
- Comes with a free box and a 100% satisfaction guarantee
- A bit more expensive than some other options with same carat diamonds
- In rare situations some of the stones can be cloudy and not completely clear
3. 1.00 cttw IGI Certified Diamond Engagement Ring in 14K White Gold (J-K Color, I1-I2 Clarity)
Meticulously crafted in 14k white-gold, this ring is an exclusive design by NATURAL DIAMOND. This design features a sparkly round-brilliant-cut center stone, graded J-K / I1-I2 natural diamond (not treated in any way) and 8 side stones graded K-L color, I1-I2 clarity. The measurements of this design are – top of the ring 2.6mm, bottom of the ring 1.75mm. The diamonds on this one are 100% natural and conflict free diamonds – compliant with the Kimberley Process.
- Meticulously crafted in 14k white-gold
- Features a sparkly round-brilliant-cut center stone and 8 side stones
- 100% natural and conflict free diamonds – compliant with the Kimberley Process
- Very beautiful, brilliant diamond sparkling design
- Great value, worth the price
- Stones are not treated
- Very gentle ring, might have problems with stones falling out if resized
- A bit more expensive than the other rings on the list
4. 1.60 Carat (ctw) 14K White Gold Princess & Round Black Diamond Solitaire With Accents Engagement Ring
This lovely diamond engagement bridal ring feature 1.60 ct sparkling and 100% natural 15 black diamonds in prong setting. The diamonds on this one qualifies as rose-cut or diamond accents and are semi-faceted and natural. The black diamonds on this ring are not of gem quality and contain a varying number of facets from 0 to 16. It is made with heat treated black diamonds, treated with the High-Pressure Heat Treatment (HPHT) method. With the HPHT treatment, diamonds are heated to approximately 1260 degrees, this way the diamonds become black. This is a completely safe and permanent treatment.
- A unique design because of the black color of the diamond
- The ring comes with 1.60 ct sparkling black diamonds
- The total number of stones on this item is 15
- Diamonds are semi-faceted and natural
- Made with heat treated black diamonds, treated with the High-Pressure Heat Treatment (HPHT) method
- Very good, stylish design
- Well made and expensive looking
- Good value for the price
- Black diamonds are not real but treated with the HPHT method
- The black diamonds on this ring are not of of gem quality, and contain varying number of facets from 0 to 16
5. 14k Yellow OR White Gold SOLID Wedding Engagement Ring
This brilliant item is crafted from magnificent 14 karat gold and is complete with a dazzling high polish finish. The band width is 2.5mm and comes in both white and yellow gold for you to choose from and a 1 carat center stone. The band of the ring is romantically twisted, a symbol representing two lives coming together and becoming one. The ring also comes with a nice looking gift box.
- Great choice for everyone not looking to spend a fortune on a beautiful engagement ring
- Crafted from magnificent 14 karat gold
- Comes in both white and yellow gold to choose from
- The band is gentle and feminine looking with width of 2.5mm
- The center stone is 1 carat
- The band of the ring is romantically twisted
- Stone is a perfect size, not too big, and not too small
- Center stone reflects light beautifully
- Great workmanship
- Great value for the very affordable price it comes at
- After really long wear the small stones might fall out if they’re not secured well
6. AGS Certified 3/4 Carat TW Diamond Halo Engagement Ring in 14K White Gold (K-L Color, I2-I3 Clarity)
This is a beautiful diamond engagement ring crafted in 14K white gold. A beautiful 0.50 carat center stone, diamond color K-L, clarity I2-I3 is prong set on a band featuring 40 sparkling white side stones. The ring’s side stones weight 0.23 carats in total. The jewelry comes accompanied by an independently graded AGS (American Gem Society) certificate detailing the quality of all materials used in its production.
- Crafted in 14K white gold
- The center stone of the ring is 0.50 carat
- The ring comes with a total of 41 stones, one main center stone, and 40 sparkling white side stones
- The ring’s side stones weight 0.23 carats in total
- Comes with a certificate detailing the quality of all materials used in its production
- Very delicate and simple design
- Center stone is really bright and reflects light very well
- Looks nice and elegant on all finger sizes
- The small side rings are sometimes not secured very well and might fall off
- Very delicate so might not react well to resizing
- The side stones do not reflect light so well like the center one
7. Moissanite Forever One Engagement Ring in 14k Gold 5.00MM 2/5 CT D-E-F VVS (Equivalent 1/2 CT Diamond Weight)
This is a 0.4 karat round diamond ring with a 14K gold 5mm band. Charles & Colvard is the original creator of moissanite and is dedicated to offering environmentally and ethically responsible choices in the fine jewelry industry. Forever One is the epitome of created moissanite. It’s formed from a specific structural configuration of silicon carbide and was previously only offered in one grade, colorless. The new, near-colorless grade gemstone is also cut from this same high-quality material, ensuring that no matter what Forever One grade you choose, your stone will be more brilliant than any other gemstone.
- A very feminine 0.4 karat round diamond
- 14K gold 5mm band
- Simple, classic design
- Environmentally and ethically responsible choice
- Formed from a specific structural configuration of silicon carbide
- Near-colorless grade gemstone
- Very high-quality ring made with ideal-cut
- Stone is perfectly white
- Comes with a rose gold, white gold and yellow gold band for you to choose from
- A bit more expensive than other models on the list
8. 14k Yellow OR White Gold SOLID Wedding Engagement Ring
This brilliant ring has been crafted from magnificent 14 karat gold and is complete with a dazzling high polish finish which is sure to catch the eye of anyone who can appreciate it’s beautiful design. The width of the band is 4mm and it comes in both white gold and yellow gold for you to choose from. The center stone is 1.25 karat, and it comes packaged in a free gift box.
There are not many good engagement rings under 200 bucks that will impressed your loved one. But if you really want to get something now with the intention to upgrade it later, then this is your best choice.
- The ring comes with an elegant, gentle design and stone that is not too big, nor too small
- Comes in both yellow and white 14 karat gold for you to choose from
- The center stone is 1.25 karat
- Comes with a free, elegant gift box
- Very well made
- Looks much more expensive than what it really is
- Doesn’t look too overboard
- Very affordable
- Great value for the price
- The little stones can get loose after long wears and fall off
- The side stones do not look as good as the center stone
9. 1ct 3 Stone Diamond Engagement Ring 14K Yellow Gold
This ring is made of 14K yellow gold and comes with 3 white diamond stones of 1 carat. It’s elegant looking and the band is 2 millimeters wide. The diamonds shines very good lighting and is a very good cut. With its great price for the value, this one is sparkly, attractive and eye catching.
- Comes with 3 white diamond stones of 1 carat
- Made of 14K yellow gold
- Everyone will find their fit, since there’s a great choice of sizes
- Very well made ring of great quality
- Very nice, feminine design
- Impressive stone that sparkles
- 2 millimeters wide
- Comes with a price, really affordable
- Great value for the price
- Sometimes the large stones can come with large cloudy spots
- Sometimes the large stones can be yellowish
10. 1ct Diamond 3 Three Stone Engagement Ring 10K White Gold
This 1 karat beautiful diamond ring comes with three stones. It’s made of elegant white gold and the stones are white, clear and very sparkly. This is a gentle, romantic, absolutely beautiful ring that never fails to receive hundreds of compliments. It comes with a nice, elegant looking black gift box and a lifetime guarantee. This well-made item comes at a great price for its high quality.
In our opinion this is one of the best engagement rings under 500 bucks. It is beautiful and timeless, and made to impress.
- 1 karat beautiful diamond ring
- Comes with three nice stones
- Great, romantic design
- Made of elegant white gold
- Stones are white, clear and really sparkly
- Comes with an elegant looking black gift box
- Comes with a lifetime guarantee
- Very well made, high-quality design
- Great value for the price
- No carbon spots anywhere on the stones
- The stones are not perfectly white and are the tiniest bit yellow
- Sometimes the center stone comes a little cloudy
It all depends on you and your fiancee – is she someone who’d rather stick with the classics that will always remain in style, or is she maybe someone who likes more bold and unique designs? Will she prefer a modern cut or an alternative design? An engagement ring is something your fiancee will be wearing for many years, so make sure you do your research and decide on a ring that shows off your partner’s style and personality.
Do share with us in the comments!