Buyer's Guide: What Engagement Ring Will Suit Me?
Every single one of us is individual and unique. You might have fingers that are long and slender, short and stubby, long, thin, short, wide, the possible combinations are practically endless. Which is why it’s important to know what style of engagement ring will look best on your finger/hand.
While there are many engagement ring styles that are popular at the moment, the reality is that some of them will look better on your hand than others. Which is why you should try on a few different ring styles, and see which ones you find flattering, and which ones you don’t.
To this regard, trying on engagement rings is a lot like trying on wedding dresses. We’ve all had the experience of seeing a dress that looks amazing on the mannequin, but which wasn’t so flattering on our figure. Maybe it just didn’t hang right, or perhaps the design lines just didn’t work for your height and shape. The reason really doesn’t matter because most of the time, we either love it or hate it and that’s all there is to it, right?
How to Choose an Engagement Ring for Your Finger Shape:
The first thing you should know is that there is no magic formula for determining what style of engagement ring is the perfect balance for your finger type.
Trying to figure out the ratio of finger length x width + diameter of the diamond/width of the ring + ring shape + style ≠ the right ring.
It’s more like knowing your preferences + ring style + realistic expectations + incredible sparkle = the perfect engagement ring. But let’s be honest, none of this math is going to impress Einstein because I totally made it up on the fly.
What to Look For When Buying an Engagement Ring:
When considering all the different engagement ring styles that are available, take a moment to consider the length and width of your finger, along with the overall size of your hand, and weigh those factors against these key points:
- Ring style.
- Width of the ring.
- Shape of the center stone.
- Size of the center stone.
Subtle (or not so subtle) qualities such as the length and shape of your fingernails will also factor into the equation, but it’s important to remember that this factor is likely to change in accordance with current fashion trends.
For the moment, just take note of whether you usually keep your fingernails trimmed short, or whether you wear them long, manicured, and if so, in what shape?
Generally speaking, you’ll probably agree that longer nails tend to make your fingers look longer and slimmer, and this can affect the way a ring looks on your finger.
Personal Style & Preferences of Engagement Ring Design:
While it certainly is important to take the shape of your fingers and overall appearance of your hand into consideration when choosing an engagement ring, the most important thing will be what you personally find appealing in terms of design.
With that in mind, consider the following tips to be more of a general guideline. This article is not the final word on what style of engagement ring you should choose based on your fingerstyle. If you’ve got your heart set on a specific engagement ring style, that is exactly what should buy because that’s what is going to make you happy. Understood? Good.
At the same time, after reading this article your mind might be open to a broader range of possibilities, especially after you try on a few of the engagement ring styles recommended based upon your finger type.
With that in mind, we recommend trying on several different styles of engagement rings to get a better idea of what looks good, and doesn’t look good, on your hand. Remember that it’s one thing to like a ring in the pages of a bridal magazine, or on the pages of Pinterest, and quite another to see how it looks on your hand.
Go ahead and make a day of it! Grab a few of your favorite girlfriends and take a trip to the higher end jewelry stores in your area. Try on lots of different rings, snap a few pictures for Instagram, and leave hints of the top 1-2 around for your boyfriend to find (even if it’s just for fun).
You’d be amazed how many guys contact us to have us custom make a ring similar to the one his girlfriend flagged in a bridal magazine with a sticky note… or he might sent us a picture from your social media bookmarks. Word to the wise: Don’t litter your Pinterest boards or Instagram accounts with a wide variety of different ring styles, that just confuses the poor guy! Keep it simple (most guys need and appreciate the guidance).
Nailing it Down…
Just like all of the clothing featured in most fashion magazines, most engagement rings look amazing on long fingers. Most engagement rings are designed for the national average finger size of 6.5 and thus practically any ring style will look good on fingers in that size range.
At the same time, take a moment to consider these points when choosing engagement rings for long fingers.
- The most flattering shapes for long fingers are round brilliant, cushion brilliant, and princess cut diamonds, but practically any shape looks good.
- Wider bands can look amazing on long fingers.
- Thin rings like a traditional solitaire look equally as impressive.
- Halo settings and bold styles look great!
When choosing an engagement ring for slender fingers, the basic idea is simply not to overpower them with a ring that looks too heavy. Which is not to say that you can’t rock a big diamond!
- Smaller diamonds balance well with slender fingers.
- Larger diamonds on thin bands look amazing.
- A thicker band might make your finger look wider.
- Once again, the more popular shapes of diamonds look great on slender fingers. The most popular choices are round brilliant, cushion cut, and princess cut.
Most people with short fingers want a ring that makes their fingers look longer, regardless of the width of the fingers. With that in mind, concentrate on rings with these characteristics:
- Oval, pear shape, or marquise cut diamonds can make your finger appear longer.
- Rectangular shaped diamonds, like radiant or emerald cut are also popular choices.
- Wide, straight-edge bands tend to make short fingers look shorter.
- Narrow bands tend to create an illusion of length and make fingers look longer.
Many women with wide fingers prefer ring styles that cover most of the skin between the hand and the knuckle. If you’re blessed with wide fingers, you have the freedom to explore ring styles that would be overwhelming on a lot of smaller hands. Keep the following style hints in mind:
- Diamond shapes that are wide or longer in shape, such as cushion cuts, emerald cut, marquise cut, or radiant cut diamonds, offer good coverage.
- Cluster settings, floral settings, and halo settings are very complimentary.
- Choose a ring shank that is medium to thick.
- Angular shapes and asymmetrical designs tend to look quite pleasing.
Regardless of the overall shape of your fingers, many women complain that they don’t like the look of their knuckles. While the reality is that most people don’t notice the shape of our fingers and knuckles, a lot of women tend to focus on them and think their knuckles are too large.
Regardless of whether this assumption is true, if you think you have large knuckles, then you probably want to draw attention away from them, so that people are focusing on your ring. One of the best ways to do this is to consider heavier, thicker looking bands, which will draw attention to the mid-section of your finger.
But the biggest challenge that people face when their knuckle is larger than the ring portion of their finger, is determining the best ring size so that the ring doesn’t fall off your finger.
Sizing beads are the best solution for obtaining a good fit when your finger is smaller than your knuckles. Sizing beads are simply little round beads which are made out of the same alloy type as your ring, which are soldered on to the bottom of the ring shank.
You’ll want to size the ring so that it can slip comfortably over your knuckle with just a little resistance, so that it doesn’t slide off easily, but isn’t difficult to remove either. When sized this way, the ring is likely to spin around on your finger easily, but don’t worry, the sizing beads will take care of that.
Sizing beads work by catching the fleshy part of the finger that rests on the inside bottom of the ring shank, so that the ring won’t spin around on your finger. The odds are that the sizing beads will cause you to have to work the ring over your knuckle a little bit, but you can use water as a lubricant to make the process faster and easier.
Ring styles for small hands:
If you have hands that are smaller in size, then you probably want a ring that is in proportion with the rest of your hands. Round brilliant, square cushion cut, heart-shaped, oval brilliant, and princess cut diamonds tend to look very nice on smaller hands.
Ring styles for large hands:
If your hands are larger in size, you might prefer larger, bulky looking, heavier engagement rings, or even a wrap which is designed to encompass a traditional solitaire.
Wrapping Things Up:
Remember that all of these tips for which style of engagement ring tends to look best on different finger sizes are a general guideline. There is no exact formula for determining what style of engagement ring you should pick based on your finger shape because everything is strictly a matter of personal opinion and preference.
While this might seem counterintuitive, at the end of the day, only you can decide what style of engagement ring looks best on your hand from your perspective. Sure, you can ask your girlfriends for advice, no doubt that your mom would be honored to weigh-in if you ask her to, but ultimately it’s your ring and you’re the one who has to love it!