How to Choose a Timeless Engagement Ring

An engagement ring can be one of the largest purchases of young couples' lives. Here’s how to make your investment a long-lasting one.

Ada Diamond engagement ring
Photo: Ada Diamonds

Stay True to Your Personal Style. Think about the jewelry you wear on a regular basis; if you tend to choose silver, then a yellow-gold engagement ring may not be your best match. “When designing a ring, make sure it is 100% reflective of your personal style and taste. Avoid giving into the fleeting trend of the year,” says the experts at Finer Custom Jewelry.

Don’t Get Hung Up on Trends. Browsing the latest trends is helpful to narrow down your options, but don’t get swayed by something that doesn’t fit with your innate sense of style. “Trends come and go, but your ring should represent you no matter what the year. Rose gold is great for fashion jewelry, but may feel very 2010s later in life,” says Lindsay Reinsmith, co-founder of Ada Diamonds.

Keep it Simple. “There's a reason they call a timeless solitaire ‘timeless.’ Solitaires allow your center stone to shine while staying classic,” says Reinsmith. Also, choose colored stones carefully. “Avoiding colored gemstones as accents is the number one thing in keeping your engagement ring timeless. If your center stone is a diamond, it is best to use diamonds as accents, and if you really want to add color, do it in a subtle hidden way,” says Kaeleigh Testwuide, founder and owner of The Diamond Reserve.

The Diamond Reserve engagement ring
Photo: The Diamond Reserve

Think About Durability. If you want your ring to be truly timeless, it has to stand the test of time physically as well. “Avoid overly thin, delicate bands. While super thin bands look great on Instagram, they do not stand up to years of wear,” says Reinsmart. “Diamonds are the hardest material on earth, but precious metals like gold and platinum can bend or break from rough wear.” And if you’re thinking about swapping out the diamond for another stone, remember that not every stone can stand up to years of use and abuse. Special stones can require special care. “Opals can crack easily when exposed to rapid temperature change or lack of moisture in the air,” warns Finer Custom Jewelry. "Emeralds, on the other hand, might need to be oiled a few times and cannot be cleaned with just any cleaning supply."

Invest in the Stone, Not the Setting. “Should you want to change your setting later in life, resetting a center stone is relatively inexpensive and easy to do. However, trading out your stone can be much more difficult and expensive,” says Reinsmith. “When choosing an engagement ring, it's best to go with a simpler style and invest in a better center stone rather than a super intricate setting with a lower quality center stone.”

“A common mistake that most people make when designing their engagement ring is thinking they need to have all the bells and whistles,” says Matthew Kaufmann, co-founder of JK & Co. “Pave set diamonds on the band are great, so are hidden halos, so is a satin finish, and so are micro halos, but do you need all of these elements on your ring for it to look great?”

Finer Custom Jewelry engagement ring
Photo: Finer Custom Jeweley