We asked designers and retailers for their best tips and tricks.

"Basic" may have adapted a negative connotation in recent years, but there's no shame in seeking advice on theoretically simple sartorial conundrums. In our latest column, "Back to Basics," we're here to guide you through life's most common (and important) fashion and beauty concerns. Here, we tackle the topic of shopping for an engagement ring.

If you're reading this, you're doing it. You're about to get an engagement ring. Are you feeling overwhelmed? Excited? Clueless? That's totally normal. "A diamond ring purchase can be someone's first financial decision," says Kristen Lawler-Trustey, a spokesperson for the De Beers diamond brand Forevermark. "It's such an important decision both from an emotional and financial standpoint." But with a little knowledge, the shopping experience won't be so intimidating, and that's where we come in.

The majority of this article will best serve the lucky partner who's doing the purchase and the big ask. But it also helps for both parties in the relationship to be equally informed when it comes to purchasing a rock that's forever. Read on to learn some key advice, tips and tricks from expert designers and retailers on shopping for an engagement ring.


The three-month's salary rule? A myth. "It's all marketing," says Blue Nile spokesperson Josh Holland, who counsels customers to set a budget that they can reasonably afford and stick to it. It's the least romantic — and often uncomfortable — part of an engagement ring, but it's the most important when it comes to looking for one. "Once you know what your budget is, you can find the perfect ring. It's hard to narrow down your choices without it," says Elizabeth Doyle of Doyle & Doyle, a jewelry shop in New York City. "We don't want to show people things that are outside the budget because it's a waste of time for everyone." She also recommends finding a jeweler who will respect your budget and show you anything that works with it, which leads us to…


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“Janet, thank-you for everything you do. As I said before, you are truly an artist, and that is why it is so special buying jewelry from you.” Peter, Atlanta, GA

” Beauty, exquisite design, pleasant and personalized attention. These qualities have been constant in our 20 years of shopping with Janet and Jeff Deleuse – Two exceptionally talented and caring people. The Best!’ Helen P.,Belvedere

"This store has a very pleasant environment and Jeff and Janet are both kind, wonderful people. I used Jeff a few times for appraisals and he was very thorough and was happy to answer lots of questions. He uses scientific methods and tests rather than going solely by appearance as some jewelers will try to do, and his expertise is well respected. On one occasion, he even went out of his way to help expedite a deal for me. He has my highest recommendation. Suzanne T., San Rafael, CA

“Jeff is an incredible gemologist who knows everything there is to know about gem stones. He is a true professional and can be trusted. The quality of their work is impeccible and always consistent. I would recommend Deleuse Jewelers to anyone looking for a new, “bauble,” for themselves or someone special!” Terri B., Ross

"I have used Deleuse Jewelers for many years - for everything from purchasing jewelry to repairing jewelry to getting appraisals on jewelry. Their service and work is superb. I highly recommend them." Suzanne S., Tiburon, CA

"I purchased this beautiful chain from Janet Deleuse about 3 weeks ago. It was an online purchase so I was hoping I would be pleased. It exceeded my expectations as it was exactly as pictured. Delicate and perfectly crafted. Packing was very secure and shipping was quick. I would not hesitate to purchase from Deleuse again! Michele, New Jersey

“Janet and Jeff designed and crafted our wedding rings and did a great job. They worked with existing diamonds we had in an antique ruby cocktail ring, added the sapphire stone and made a beautiful pendant with the ruby. In addition, they designed earrings for our daughters. All are still in great shape today. They are easy to work with and very reliable and trustworthy.” Peg M., San Anselmo

Accreditation includes diplomas from the Gemological Institute of America and the American Gem Society and thirty years of experience.

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