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woman rejecting wedding proposal

Source: Antonio Guillem/

An engagement ring symbolizes a personal decision about a long-term commitment. So you don’t want to let other people’s opinions bully you into a momentary trend. After all, if your marriage goes according to plan, your partner will wear that ring for the rest of their life. 

On the other hand, an engagement ring can also represent a public signal about a once-in-a-lifetime occasion, so you are likely working under a lot of pressure with limited experience. You want something that’s unique, but there’s a reason that jewelers are full-time professionals. That uranium ring might stand out from the crowd, but that’s because the crowd is correctly avoiding a radioactive hazard. What if you don’t know your partner’s preference? What if your own taste in jewelry shifts as suddenly as your fickle taste buds? Tomatoes used to make you queasy but now they are your favorite food, just like your mom annoyingly predicted.

It’s only natural to look at trends and seek advice, but how do you customize that input for something that is a lifelong fit for your personality and relationship? Here’s a practical guide on trends to avoid when shopping for a ring.  

1. Overspending Just to Prove Something

Not gonna lie — a lot of people get caught up in this. But when it comes to getting burned by trends, just picking the highest price tag is a pretty surefire way to flame out. While marriage has become a multi-billion-dollar industry, proposing should be an expression of your love and commitment to your partner — not a display of how much money you have or how good your credit is. Besides, if you spend a ton of money on something that’s going to be discounted next week, what’s the advantage there?

Some studies have even suggested that overspending on engagement rings has an inverse relationship on the durability of the marriage. But it’s unquestionably true that the more you think through what aspects of the ring are the most important to you, the more affordable engagement ring options come into view. No matter how much you can afford to spend, opting for a more affordable option when engagement ring shopping allows you to focus on your love and your partner’s preferences rather than focusing on the price tag.

So, How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring?

placing wedding band on hand

Source: MCarper /

2. Suffering Unnecessary Discomfort

Is everybody you know going for a vintage look? Great! But maybe that ring in your grandma’s attic has been sitting where it is because it turns the wearer’s finger green. Or irritates a nickel allergy. Consider something in a style that has stood the test of time, but makes use of modern technology that can guarantee hypoallergenic materials. There are plenty of trendy styles that mimic vintage designs, so it’s easy to get the best of both worlds. 

Extremely large gemstones can cause discomfort, too. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to show off a stunning center stone, but there’s no point in a ring that’s so large and uncomfortable it’s difficult to wear. Whether you’re shopping for a solitaire ring or browsing other engagement ring styles, make sure it will be comfortable for your partner to wear. 

3. Taking Your Skin Out of the Game

You know when it’s time to give a trend a miss – when it looks bad from the jump. Trendy engagement ring designs come and go, but some things are constant. Thick bands and thin bands might come in and out of fashion, but thick bands will still look better on some types of fingers than others. Metallic shades will fall in and out of favor, but skin undertones are a constant current. For example, yellow gold and rose gold will always pair beautifully with warm undertones, while white silver, platinum and white gold suit those with cool undertones. So spend less time figuring out what is hot right now, and focus on what’s warm or cool for the ring wearer.

Does Silver or Gold Look Better on Dark Skin?

4. Losing Confidence in Yourself

Don’t be afraid of your instincts here. You are about to make a lasting commitment to another wonderfully complicated human being, so let that be the context. If you’ve got a taste of “When you know, you know” sensation, let that be your guiding compass. Your tastes may change, but that doesn’t mean you abandon what you used to like. So if the section of the catalog containing unique oval engagement rings is calling your name, don’t hang up. If that eternity band captures some of the sparkle of your partner’s smile, don’t be afraid to smile back. And if you think your partner will prefer colored gemstones rather than a traditional diamond solitaire, listen to your instincts. They won’t let you down!

Are Cheap Engagement Rings Bad? We Set the Record Straight

5.  Ignoring Practicality

Intricate filigree and nature-inspired designs are undeniably stunning, and they’re all the rage right now. But before you buy one, consider practicality. Elaborate ring settings are gorgeous, but they are also more difficult to maintain than simpler styles. Intricate details are magnets for dirt and grime, and finely detailed areas are not always easy to clean. Keeping intricate settings clean takes a lot of effort, so your bride-to-be may prefer something simpler. Consider practicality when buying wedding bands, too. A smooth, unadorned shank is much easier to keep clean than an infinity or channel-set ring. 

6. Shopping for Social Media

Social media is a huge part of our lives, and plenty of us love sharing the best parts of our lives with the world. While you should, of course, consider aesthetics when shopping for an engagement ring, that doesn’t mean you should make a decision based on how many likes you think a particular style will get on Instagram. If you are concerned about that, take a step back and remind yourself of what’s really important. 

rose gold solitaire engagement ring

Closing Thoughts

Ring shoppers have more information and more options than they ever did before. They don’t have to rely on the seasonal stock of a nearby jeweler or availability of family heirlooms. And if that wasn’t enough, Modern Gents can also offer the assurance of our jewelry’s ethical origins and back the quality of our craftsmanship with a lifetime guarantee. And if someone steers you the wrong way on an initial purchase, we also provide hassle-free exchanges.