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What Every Bride Should Know Before Shopping for an Engagement Ring

Congratulations! You're engaged (or about to be). We know that fluttery feeling is practically floating you away—and we don't blame you! But before you rush off to the jewelry store, make sure you're totally prepared before you grab the credit card and go.

Take Your Search Online

Take Your Search Online photo

When you first start shopping for some bling for that finger, make sure you're carefully weighing your options on whether to choose a large chain jewelry store, a small local store, or an online jeweler. Today's millennial brides are choosing to shop, customize, and purchase their perfect engagement ring online, like the ever-popular Oscar Winter, rather than the traditional jewelry store experience. The reason? The unmatched customer service and, most importantly, the ability to completely customize an engagement ring that perfectly suits their style.

Jewelers like Oscar Winter are experts when it comes to helping brides and grooms create their dream rings. With so many setting and stone combinations available, you'll be able to customize a ring that perfectly symbolizes your love for each other. The Oscar Winter team offers guidance from a Personal Jewelry Advisor to ensure that you not only find your ideal ring, but ultimately enjoy your shopping experience.

Want to see what all the fuss is about? Be sure to head to OscarWinter.com and start customizing your ring today.

Build A Budget You're Comfortable With

Build A Budget You're Comfortable With photo

Before you start shopping, be sure to sit down with your partner and discuss a budget that you're both comfortable with. The "three months salary" rule doesn't necessarily apply in this day and age. This should be an open and honest conversation about finances, and it's nothing to be afraid of. Discuss your ideal stores, styles, stone types, and really understand what your partner is looking for. Keep in mind, costs will fluctuate based on diamond shape, size, clarity, and choice of metal, so take your time when discussing your options.

When you choose to customize your ring with Oscar Winter, you'll be able to keep the costs right where you want them by utilizing their price setting feature. Even better, there's no surprises when you choose an Oscar Winter diamond or design, so you can rest easy knowing you will find an exceptional value and stunning style within your budget.

The 4 Cs

The 4 Cs photo

Now that you're ready to get shopping, it's time to get to know the ever-important 4 Cs. The 4 Cs refer to a diamond's carat, cut, color, and clarity, as graded by The Gemological Institute of America (GIA). The 4 Cs are important to know because they'll determine the cost, so master them now, and request a GIA report before purchasing your ring.

Often mistaken for size, a carat is actually a unit of measurement for the diamond's weight. How large it appears—and the way it catches and reflects light—is dependent on another, more important C, the cut.

The C with the biggest impact on price? Color. A completely colorless diamond is a D, with slightly more color presenting in "near-colorless" G and H diamonds. Diamonds characterized as I and J are near colorless with a slight tint, all the way to Z, or brown. Keep in mind that anything graded above an I (D-H) will be almost impossible to detect with the naked eye unless directly compared to another stone. The same goes for clarity, or the rating of a stone's blemishes or inclusions. Like a stone's color grade, a diamond's clarity can usually only be determined by an experienced professional using a high-powered microscope—meaning they are normally not visible to the naked eye.

Are all of the diamond characteristics becoming too much? We've been there, and that's why we love Oscar Winter's team of Personal Jewelry Advisors. They will help you not only understand the 4 Cs, but can talk you through balancing the 4 Cs, discover an often forgotten Fifth C, and find a ring to maximize your investment.