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5 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying an Engagement Ring

November 15, 2021 3 min read

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying an Engagement Ring

For many couples, the engagement ring is the most expensive and most sentimental piece of jewelry they’ll own. No stress in getting it right, right?

Read on to discover the five most common mistakes we see clients make so that you’ll be as prepared as possible for a seamless ring-buying experience (and hopefully one you won’t have to repeat!).

1. Not getting the correct ring size

When your partner gets that new ring, you’ll likely both be excited to show it to everyone. But what if you unintentionally got the incorrect size?

An ill-fitting ring can be more than just a proposal bummer. A ring that doesn’t fit perfectly may pose some other problems:

  • Very limited resizing options, depending on the style of the setting
  • Being too small to be worn at all
  • Being too loose to stay on the wearer’s finger

While resizing may help in some cases, an engagement ring is a work of art, and not all styles can be perfectly resized. Bands with pavé diamonds are especially challenging as the prongs can loosen after resizing due to the nature of the process, leaving the stones vulnerable to fall out. If this is your first time buying fine jewelry, you’ll find sizing needs to be more precise than typical fashion jewelry sizing so it’s best to get the correct size from the start for a seamless, safe fit.

To get a perfect fit for your partner, you can purchase our easy-to-use ring sizer. If you’re in Seattle, you can visit our store to be sized as well.  



2. Not choosing the correct style

The wrong style for an engagement ring can be the difference between the setting remaining safe and secure for decades and the center stone being damaged—or worse, lost forever. Fortunately, you can drastically reduce this risk by choosing the right style for the wearer. And no one knows the wearer as well as you do.

Ask yourself a few questions about your partner’s lifestyle: do they wear gloves at work? Are they very physically active? For example, if your partner works with their hands all day, a large solitaire engagement ring may not be appropriate. Low profile rings settings offer a more streamlined fit for those who work with their hands. 

Take notes on what your partner does in their daily life around the house, at work, and for any hobbies. We can then offer guidance on whether a given style would be ideal for them.

3. Opting for price over quality

Your engagement ring is an investment piece, and perhaps even an heirloom for future generations. You want something crafted to last, and one solid way to get a high-quality engagement ring is by avoiding unverified online sources.

Unfortunately, the internet is full of people selling poorly made, cheap engagement rings, so do your due diligence here: read reviews, ask questions, and research, research, research.

Independent designers are often small, locally owned businesses with higher overhead costs than corporate-owned chain stores. However, we do our best to keep our prices fair, and we are always here to help you—even if you’re on a budget.

4. Not Budgeting Enough Time

We love custom work as much as our clients do. However, good things take time! 

If you’re new to custom engagement rings and looking to propose soon, you must allot enough time for every step of the process.

This means factoring in the time required for each step which typically takes a minimum of 6-8 full weeks here at Valerie Madison:

  • Sourcing the perfect center stone
  • Getting the sizing confirmed
  • Perfecting the design details with digital renderings
  • Getting the ring made and stones set
  • Having the ring shipped

The good news? We’ll stand by your side and keep you informed throughout the whole process.

If you’re short on time and need a ring as soon as possible, check out our ready-to-ship engagement rings.

5. Not researching what you want

Only you can tell us what you or your partner likes. By gathering information on what you or they like and then researching your options, you’ll save time and reduce stress when it comes to finding The One (ring, of course).

We can offer guidance from there and show you your options, but help us help you by bringing in notes and perhaps some inspirational photos from our Instagram. It’ll make the process easier for everyone involved—and, best of all, it’ll get the ring in your hand as quickly as possible. 

We’re all human, so mistakes are inevitable. Luckily, when it comes to buying an engagement, there are a number of mishaps you can avoid with just a little bit of planning and research.

If you’re ready to start your ring-buying journey or have any further questions, reach out to us at and also be sure to read our page on custom engagement rings.