How to Pick Out The Perfect Engagement Ring…Without Getting Caught

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If you’re at the stage in your relationship where you’re ready to start browsing for rings, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind so your secret doesn’t slip. In this post we’ll review the best ways to go about searching for an engagement ring. Plus, how to secretly get her ring size to place your order.

Doing Your Research

Before you even start to look at rings, you’ll want to make sure you know exactly what you’re looking for. Chances are, your significant other has sent or shown a picture of her dream ring to a friend or family member. Our first suggestion is to reach out to the people closest to her and see if you can get a good framework for what she wants. If she’s always wanted a diamond engagement ring, but you were thinking she’d like a colorful gemstone, you’ll be doing a ton of research for no reason.

Next, you’ll need to decide if you’re going to purchase the ring online or in-store. There are pros and cons to each.

  • Online shopping:
    • Less hassle
    • No pushy salesmen
    • Often free shipping
    • Likely less expensive
  • In-store
    • Get to see everything in-person right as you shop
    • Can take some items home that day if you’re in a rush

Our suggestion would definitely be to go online. Unless you’re trying to pop the question in a very short timeframe, eCommerce ring shopping is a lot easier. Plus, many online stores provide live-view videos to watch to help see every angle of the ring.

Pro tip: if you are searching for engagement rings online, do so in an incognito window. If you’re not incognito, marketing ads from those companies, and their competitors, will follow you around not only on your computer, but likely on your cell phone, too. This could be a huge risk that our girlfriend finds out about what you’ve been up to.

Next you’ll want to research the 4 C’s of diamonds (if you’re going that route) so that you can be prepared with knowledge before you make such a monumental purchase.

  • Cut: determines how effectively light is refracted within and reflected back out the top of the diamond. This determines the amount of sparkle it gives off.
  • Color: when it comes to color in a diamond, the less = the better. Colors that are closer to the end of the alphabet have more and more presence of yellow, with ‘D’ being flawless (no presence of yellow).
  • Clarity: this determines the amount of inclusions and blemishes in the stone. As long as the stone is SI2 or better, it generally means it will be ‘eye clean’ (you can’t see any flaws with a naked eye).
  • Carat: the size of the diamond plays a fairly large role in how much it costs. Often, if you get a diamond that’s just under a whole number (1.7 instead of 2), you’ll save a significant amount of money.

Figuring out the exact specifications of your diamond before you go online or in-store can save you tons of time.

Finally, you’ll want to figure out her ring size. The easiest way to do this is to use a ring she already has. However, this is also a great time to enlist her friends or family members to figure out her exact ring size. Have them ‘go shopping for themselves’ and ask her to also try on a ring. This will keep the heat off you, while still getting you the information you need.

Pro tip: For the most part, a ring can be resized to be smaller, but not bigger. If you’re in between sizes, we’d suggest you size up.

Engagement ring shopping can seem like an overload of information, but it really comes down to being organized and asking for help. Using these tips, your proposal is sure to be the perfect surprise.


Just A Guy Thing is a men's lifestyle magazine focused primarily at guys wanting to better themselves.

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