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The Guide to Buying Your First Engagement Ring

To help make the designer engagement ring finding process simple and easy, the engagement ring experts at Michael M have put together this simple step-by-step guide on how to find the ring style, precious metal, and diamond shape, perfect for any bride-to-be.

Don’t worry, we get it. Here at Michael M, we understand how daunting the world of designer engagement rings can feel. Sometimes even for us, the large number of ring styles, types and settings available can feel a bit on the intimidating side. Fortunately, after years of helping couples find the perfect Michael M designer engagement ring we’ve picked up a few tricks.

To help make the designer engagement ring finding process a little simpler for you, our engagement ring experts have put together this simple step-by-step guide on how to choose the perfect ring style, precious metal, diamond shape and more!


Before starting your designer engagement ring search, you’re going to need an understanding of your bride’s fashion preferences. You can get a good idea of this by (stealthily) taking a peek at her jewelry box, subtly asking her about what she does or doesn’t like, or even asking her friends and family what she might like.

One very important thing you need to know is whether the bride would prefer a vintage-inspired or modern-style designer engagement ring:

Vintage-style rings typically feature ornate and finely-detailed designs and are usually made with rose or yellow gold.

Modern designer engagement rings tend to be understated and streamlined, as well as frequently made using platinum or white gold.

Lucky for you, at Michael M, we are extremely proud of our large selection of vintage and modern-style designer engagement rings, which seamlessly blend these two sensibilities. Our designer engagement rings are available in a multitude of styles, most of which fit into one of three types: sidestone, three stone or halo-type engagement rings.


Sophisticated and graceful, sidestone style rings are instantly recognizable by luminous diamonds that adorn the band itself. Set with the utmost care by Michael M’s skilled artisans, these sidestones draw attention to the center of the ring, creating an engagement ring of breathtaking beauty.


With three similarly-sized diamonds, three stone style rings are ideal for brides who are interested in a ring of effortless elegance and sophistication. Additionally, meant to signify a couple’s shared “past, present and future,” three stone type rings are an incredibly romantic start to any marriage.


A unique mixture of vintage designs and modern bridal aesthetics, halo-style engagement rings feature a row (or rows) of small-sized diamonds that surround a brilliant center stone. One of today’s most popular designer engagement ring choices, halo engagement rings accommodate most major center stone shapes.


After getting an idea of what Michael M designer engagement ring style your beautiful bride-to-be prefers, the next things to decide is what precious metals will comprise the piece.


Generally, designer engagement rings are made with white gold, yellow gold, rose gold or even platinum, all of which have their own particular advantages and strengths that need to be considered before choosing.

Yellow Gold: Instantly recognizable for its bright coloring, Michael M uses only 18-karat yellow gold which complements all diamonds, is nearly hypo-allergenic and incredibly resistant to tarnish, as well as everyday wear-and-tear.

White Gold: With a unique silver-like coloring, 18-karat white gold designer engagement rings are easily resizable (within the ring’s parameters) and elegantly emphasize the center stone’s natural diamond sparkle.

Rose Gold: Another common metal used in designer engagement rings, 18-karat rose gold makes for a romantic and unique alternative to the traditional gold fare.

In addition to these fabulous options, Michael M designer engagement rings are also available made with long-lasting 950 platinum. Absolutely hypoallergenic, 950 platinum will never lose its distinctive shine, is extremely low-maintenance and simple to clean.


Once you’ve found a designer engagement ring with of just the right style and precious metal, the next thing to determine is what kind of center stone you want to the adorn the ring? Whether you’re searching for a diamond, or another brilliant center gemstone, it is important to always keep in mind the 4 C's of center stone buying.


The 4 C’s is the way that expert gemologist determine the attributes and relative value of a diamond. The 4 C’s refer to:

1.Cut is the shape of the diamond's facets. It can also refer to the general shape of the center stone itself. (Think “round", "radiant" and "princess")

2.Clarity is how jewelers describe inclusions or flaws in the stone.

3.Carat is all about the weight of the stone. (Note: carat is not the sole factor in determining a stone’s value, brilliance or sparkle)

4.Generally reserved for diamonds, stone color is graded from D to Z, and most high-quality diamonds will be around F and H.

(Note: Michael M uses only G grade diamonds in their engagement ring semi-mounts)


Finally, after finding the perfect designer engagement ring for your beloved, now is the time to buy. One of the concerns that we always hear from first-time ring buyers is price. When considering the prices of designer engagement rings, it is important to remember a few things.

First, keep in mind that if a ring is properly maintained, it can last a long time. A well-made designer engagement ring can be passed down through generations, remaining as an everlasting reminder of you and your bride’s love. Additionally, most Michael M authorized retailers offer reasonable financing options to keep budget from getting in the way of you and the perfect designer engagement ring.

If you’re still having trouble making a final decision, make sure to talk to friends and family who have already gone through the ring-buying experience. Also, the staff at most jewelry retailers are specially trained to assist and answer any questions that you might have about the purchasing process.


With years of experience in the bridal jewelry industry, all Michael M pieces, including our wide selections of designer engagement rings, wedding bands and fashion jewelry, are entirely handmade in our state-of-the-art Los Angeles, California, design studio. Each and every one of our engagement rings is a unique combination of time-tested construction methods and innovative fashion-forward designs, and as a result are some of the most well-constructed and glamorous fine jewelry items available today.

From an array of designer ring collections each Michael M engagement ring can accommodate most center diamond shapes (with minor modification) that include, round brilliant, princess, asscher, radiant cut and many more.

For those interested in the engagement rings, wedding bands, or the fine jewelry items that we have to offer, please visit an authorized Michael M retailer. Additionally, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest for the all the latest from Michael M.


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