Choosing a Ring – A Shopper’s Point of View
So you’re shopping for an engagement ring, and you hear about a website where it's rumored that you don't need to be some kind of darn jewelry expert to find the perfect product-- and plus the company promises to provide precious metal mountings set with budget-value cubic zirconia stones visually indistinguishable from a perfect, flawless diamond to the unaided eye.
Sounds good, right?
Let's say in a few months or weeks you'll be popping the question.
(note: for dramatic effect, this article is written from the standpoint of a male buyer soon to be proposing engagement to his female sweetheart...but the tools, jewelry terminology and website smart menu options discussed work just as well for any customer of any relationship orientation...picking out any ring for any purpose!).
You wanna make sure you have the perfect ring to provide the crowning climax on all the engagement proposal fun you have planned.
Of course, you’ve been dating her for quite some time now, so you have a fairly clear idea about what tickles her fancy, what turns her knees to jelly, what makes her eyes well up, what her pet-peeves are, what she likes and dislikes, and can even at times figure out what mood she's in depending on the clothes she has on for the day. LOL
That includes having the inside scoop on what kind of jewelry she’s more likely to wear. So even though figuring her out completely is an adventure you're unlikely to complete in a lifetime of trying, you're so crazy in love with her that you don't mind too much if she seems like she wants one thing one minute and another the next!
That's why just to be sure…
…You’ve quizzed her friends and even her family about what she might like in an engagement ring.
Is she more likely to ooh and ahh over a plain metal band or one studded with stones?
Speaking of metal, does she prefer one metal over others? Or even a specific metal color? (For example, 6 of the 12 precious metals offered for CubicZirconia.com products are "white" metals, plus 3 karat purities of rose gold and 3 of yellow gold).
Does she want a simple solitaire with one stone, a three-stone style, or something with even more bling?
Does she prefer one center stone shape over others?
You've looked over our articles for "Choosing the Right Center Stone Shape for You/Her" and "Choosing the Right Precious Metal for You/Her" (or you just opened those in a new browser tab for later leisurely study!).
In short, you’ve done your homework -- and you're pleased with your research.
One could say you're ready to put the SMACK-DOWN on this website's shopping cart, baby! (if one were so inclined)
You know for a fact that she feels strongly about the illegal diamonds trade, especially after you both saw that Leo DiCaprio movie, Blood Diamond. You remember her saying after watching the movie that the thought of wearing sparkling jewelry that’s supposed to symbolize love and devotion-- but may as well have been polished by blood-- sends shivers down her spine.
And she’s got a big heart!
Yay for having a good conscience as a consumer!
How could you be so lucky?
Smiling to yourself, you open up your device and navigate online to the one and only CubicZirconia.com.
After the website you heard about loads, you see the company's homepage.
'Online since 1999' jumps out at you. Sounds pretty legit!
“Oh! They have earrings too! I gotta bookmark this page for when I need to buy her a gift in the future.”
Done and bookmarked. OK, back to the purpose for TODAY'S visit, shall we?
----------> THE RING! <----------
Casually exploring the page, you notice something else a bit different than your original plan to shop for an engagement ring.
This time, though, you're not being distracted...you're being PROACTIVE.
“Hmmm! Bridal Sets. Maybe I can find an engagement ring with a matching wedding band and buy the whole set? I mean, I will need that second ring, right? Or maybe I can just buy the engagement ring now and return later for the wedding band. Sounds like a plan. Really, CubicZirconia.com website creator guy, one ring is all I have headspace for right now, thank you very much!”
Editor's note: All rings purchased from CubicZirconia.com are eligible for a multi-ring discount from 6-12% depending on your metal type chosen and total order value. Our website shopping cart applies the discount to SOME BUNDLED PAIRS OF PRODUCTS, but not others so please reach out and ask before purchase and we can apply the discount. And you don't have to purchase both at the same time...a purchase of a second ring any time within 60 days of the first, and you'll still be able to get the discount! We'll even apply the same discount percentage you get on the second ring RETROACTIVELY to your first ring purchased today! Pretty sweet, huh?
So you decide: “For now, let’s choose 'Engagement Rings'!”
And as you’re about to click, you notice something that momentarily has you stunned.
Your inner 12-year-old girl comes out with: "OH MY GOD! I’m going to look for a single engagement ring from a pool of 3,808 available designs?!?!”
"This is going to take a WHILE.”
Not to be dissuaded by a few thousand engagement ring design options, you think of how happy she'll be wearing the ring you give her and with a burst of testicular fortitude you silence that little brat deep inside long enough to click “Engagement Rings”-- bracing yourself for what you fear may indeed be a long search.
Then you see a ray of hope. Hell, it may be a gosh-darn ball of sunshine.
You scroll down and what you see brings a slow smile to your face...
“Hmmm… the makers of this website might be pretty smart, after all...because who has time, patience or sanity to look at 3000+ products in order to pick one? Hello, Mr. 'Filter Products' button, my new friend!"
– a smile that in no time breaks into a full-sized, 'Cheshire cat' grin.
"I believe this will allow me to narrow down my search based on what I’m looking for-- and what I think she might like most! Awesome sauce!”
“So, let’s start narrowing down our options!”
“We know we’re looking for ‘Engagement Rings’, so let’s click that."
And just like that, the machine goes to work for you, bringing manly order to crazy .com chaos.
A chuckle begins to rise deep in your throat.
"Bye-bye 'cocktail rings'. Sorry 'bout your luck 'promise rings'. Maybe next time when I'm shopping for a daughter or female relative. But right now I'm LASER-FOCUSED on getting this engagement ring in the bag, baby!"
“Let’s scroll down to see how large our search area is now…”
“Whoa! 79 pages! That’s a lot! Whoo boy, we've gotta do better than that. I mean, I love her to pieces and all but can't we do the 1-10 items grocery checkout style of shopping today? Or is that asking too much, website creator guy?”
You figure a few more clicks and you can narrow that 79 pages of products down to more of a number you can live with, because you don't have all day.
And you're RIGHT!
There are two types of product webpages on CubicZirconia.com:
1) those that include the word “/products” in the URL (see screenshot below)...
...And 2) those that include the word “/collections” in the URL (see screenshot below).
The product filter options you’ll see on the left side panel of our product catalog can be used to narrow down your “/collections” search results based on the selections you make for different choices, preferences and features.
Using these filter options, you can significantly narrow down your search for the perfect ring, earrings or pendant out of the many thousands of designs we have available for you. In other words, fewer "/products" results will be visible in the personalized products collection you create just for you based on your previous choices. Make sense?
Let’s say like today's story hero you’re looking at rings, and specifically “engagement rings”.
Well, a “browse”-style shop of our engagement rings catalog could entail looking at hundreds of pages filled with thousands of products!
There’s a good chance we have something you/she/he will love...but finding it may take a bit of effort to give us the knowledge you have about what you/she/he likes and wants. That’s where the product filter options on our website’s left side menu come in.
You can make multiple selections, one each for each of the available option categories.
So once you choose “engagement rings” as your ring type you will NOT see other kinds of rings.
And once you select “Platinum” for example as your preferred metal type, you will ONLY see products that can be made for you with platinum.
OK, then let's return to our intrepid hero shopper, shall we?
Let's say you know for a fact that your honeybunch wants white metal for her ring.
"Probably white gold or platinum. Lemme see…”
You think about clicking 'white gold' but don't. You think about clicking 'Platinum' but don't pick that, either.
“Oh yeah, website creator guy, you got it going on! 'Any white metal' sure sounds like it combines BOTH platinum and white gold, right? So let’s just select 'Any White Metal' for now and I can decide between white gold and platinum later.”
Boom! That was some seriously 'easy button' shopping.
TIP: If you/she/he like white metal, but you aren’t sure if you want and can afford platinum versus palladium, white gold or .925 sterling silver...that’s why we created the “Any white metal” option (it includes all four). Not sure what metal type to choose? See our article Which Precious Metal Is Right For Me/Her?
“Now, let’s see how much we’ve narrowed down our search.”
“What?! It didn’t change! Maybe this filter thing isn’t working…”
A red wave of anger starts to color your cheeks. You're thinking about taking back all the nice things you said about this website and already close to forgetting the company was recommended so highly. But then you have an epiphany.
“Wait… Either the filter thing isn't working or this just means all of the available engagement ring designs are available in all white metals…”
So you decide to keep going, and try another filter option and see what happens.
“I know she would want a round cut center stone. That’s the shaped cut she insisted her best friend go for when they shopped for her ring last year.”
(Note to customers who have no idea on this question: if you’re unsure about what center stone shape to choose, check out this article, “Which Center Stone Shape Is Best For Me/Her?”)
“So, let’s choose ‘Round Cut' and see if this overwhelming-79-pages-of-products-situation can be improved, shall we?”
Click and Boom!
“Well, what do you know! The filter actually works! We’re down to just 26 pages from 79!”
“Hmmm...that's still an AWFUL LOT OF SCROLLING AND CLICKING. There's got to be a better way! OK Mr. 'Filter Products' Menu, I'm gonna trust you to take me to the Proposal Promise Land with the perfect engagement ring. Let's go!"
So you decide to make a choice on the center stone’s size.
(Note to customers who have no idea on this question: if you need help choosing the right center stone size for your ring, check out this article, “Which Center Stone Size Is Best For Me/Her?”)
“My love knows she’s getting a cubic zirconia ring. But not everyone does. Not that we care what everyone thinks. But I think it's more interesting and FUN if everyone else assumes we paid the real diamond price. Why not? It's our money to spend on what we want, ya Nosey Parkers!”.
You sit and think for a few minutes, wondering what size is best...wishing there was an article online about "Cubic Zirconia and the 'Diamond Mystique': How Big is too Big to Be Believable?" Hint: there is such an article on our site.
“If we go for a crazy-huge center stone, everyone will ignore what their eyes see and suspect it’s not a real diamond just because I'm not exactly Richie Rich. But if we go for a more conservative-sized stone, people will just look with their eyes and see a perfect, flawless stone-- with no reason to suspect we didn't get the real thing!"
You like that idea to invoke the "Diamond Mystique", and you're pretty sure she will, too. She can always tell anyone who asks the truth if she wants, but you don't think they'll actually ask (hint: it's considered rude and they won't).
“I know a 3-carat flawless diamond would be more than I could afford, so no one's going to see it and believe it unless I'm walking around town, having sold my house and car and everything I own while working my tail off with no eating out and no Starbucks coffee for a few years. And lots of other people we interact with on a daily basis know enough of my finances to be suspicious if I put a 3-carat rock on her finger."
Your finger hovers over the next button to be clicked and you decide: "So let’s go for 1.00-2.00 Carat, that's believable as a diamond!”
“Awesome! That narrowed down our search even further! We’re now down to just 19 pages from 26. Boom shaka-laka, this is super easy!”
“Wait… I wonder what's the actual measurement is of a 1.0 carat or 2.0 carat stone. Hmmm…”
(Wanna know the carat weight equivalent of cubic zirconia stones in millimeters? Check out this article: “Cubic Zirconia size chart by Carat Weight”)
“Oh, okay. So a 1.0 carat round-cut stone is actually 6.5mm, while a 2.0 carat round-cut stone is 8mm. That looks conservative enough. Nice!”
Now you feel like it's time to filter this list of products down further by choosing some design elements.
But really, what the heck do you know about jewelry anyway?
“This looks tough..
'Center Stone Setting Type'…
These things seem to be written in English but without some kind of jewelry glossary with pictures and definitions...I have no earthly idea what these things mean, website creator guy! Damn you, CubicZirconia.com. You promised I could shop your site without being a jewelry terminology expert!"
Don't worry, buddy. We've got your back.
Do you have information on what’s the preferred Center Stone Setting Type? If so, choose it (see portion marked “1” on the screenshot below). If not, leave it blank without making any "Center Stone Setting Type" selection.
Are you thinking just a solitaire to keep it simple? Then filter out everything else when you select "Stone Layout_Solitaire" from the filter menu (see portion marked “2” on the screenshot below). "Two stone" and "Three stone" and "Five stone" mean exactly what each sounds like: the total stone count. If you're not sure if you/she would want one stone, two, three, five or many stones, then just leave "Stone Layout" category without making a choice.
Does she love a halo? Choose the "Halo_Yes" filter. Not sure? Leave it blank. Does she dislike halo designs? Well, take a second to filter those out by selecting "Halo_No" (see portion marked “3” on the screenshot below).
But our hero shopper today doesn't want to filter out halo designs. Because he's no longer angry with our website creation team!
He's stopped scrolling down with increasing irritation, and in a flash the grin comes back.
“Halo! I remember her admiring her sister’s engagement ring that had a 'halo' of stones around the center stone. Hell, yes! ”
That's when you decide to select the 'Halo_Yes' option on the Filter Products menu and see what that does.
“And we’re down to 9 pages!”
The total products to review just got more than cut in half.
You're loving this.
“What a button! What a website. I’m on a roll!”
You see the company has 9 pages worth of 1-2 carat, round-cut-centered, halo-style engagement rings you can choose to have made any any white metal.
But that's still way too many to shop efficiently, right!?
And we men were made for efficiency, right!?
“Let’s see what else we have here; surely, in just a few more clicks I'm gonna find the perfect ring. I mean, Mr. 'Filter Products' Menu hasn't let me down yet!”
You see another term you have heard.
Thanks to that school requirement for 2 years of a foreign language, you happen to know a little French.
"I bet ‘pavé band’ most probably means the band of the ring is ‘paved’ with small stones. It makes sense. Instead of paving stones or cobblestones on a street, it's just a circle of little gems around the ring. Let's see if I'm right and if so, this design feature will be my own personal input on this ring!”
And that's when you click the button for ‘Pave band’.
“Boom chick-boom! Now we’re really getting somewhere! We’re down to just 5 pages from the original 79! And just as you suspected...there are little stones going around the band of all the options that are now showing!”
You just earned yourself a drink, big fella. Go ahead and get one. We'll wait.
You back yet? We're here, holding your place in line so to speak.
Measure twice, cut once, drink often.
That's the advice ol' grandpap would have given if he had lived long enough to see us launch this website.
“We’ve made good progress so far! But looking at where we stand right now, it looks like each page contains about 48 ring designs. If we still have a pool of 5 pages to browse through, we’re still talking about at 240 rings overall.”
That's more than you want to look at, and who can blame you?
Certainly not us. After all, we put hundreds of hours into creating this menu to make shopping easier and guilt-free!
“OK, website creator guy, I think we can see what other options are available to choose from so we can filter this down even further…”
"Hmmm... 'Accent Stone Shape'... I didn't notice that before... What would be a good accent stone shape for a round cut center stone? Eeny, meeny, miny, mo - Heart cut! Why not? Let's go ahead and click that."
"Whoa! That's not right! Don't tell me I blew my progress straight out of the water. Oh man! Surely, I wouldn't need to go back to square one, would I?"
Taking a big gulp out of the drink you just got for yourself, you brace yourself for 'Take 2' of the entire episode. But then you decided to see if unclicking that last selection will do anything good. I mean, what's the worse that could happen, right?
"I wonder what will happen if I unclick 'Heart Cut'..."
"Boo-yah! I'm back, Baby!"
"So you can unclick a filter selection and go back to where you were before you clicked it. Cool! Website creator guy, you're proving to be one smart fella!"
"Ok, so what else do we have here?"
“What's this? 'Hidden stones'… That sounds interesting…'Peekaboo'? I wonder what that is. The only peekaboos I know are the now-you-see-me-now-you-don't-kids'-game...and something to do with that sexy lingerie I bought her last Christmas.”
Since both of those are fun memories, and you aren't sure what else to click...you take a deep breath and go for it.
“Oh! So that’s what 'peekaboo' means for a ring..." you think, as you hover over one of the product images and it shows you a SIDE VIEW picture of the ring with small stones 'hidden' underneath the main stone.
(If you wanna know more about ring design elements, checkout our Rings FAQ Frequently Asked Questions page)
"I think she’ll really like that!"
You scroll to the bottom and see not only do you LIKE this recent change and think the products showing are pretty cool, but then you think...
“WOW! We’re down to one page! If the price is right, then it's just about time for the HAPPY DANCE and Daddy's gonna get that credit card ready thanks to Mr. 'Filter Menu' and CubicZirconia.com website creator guy.”
You're super happy that from 3000+ designs, you now have cut all that down to just 10 designs to look at and choose from-- and all of them look amazing!
“Also, I noticed something with this filter options thingie…if you choose a particular design element from any given menu section, your options automatically eliminate all the other you did not select. But if you don’t choose an element from a given menu section your options will still include all of the available choices in that set.”
Yes, good on ya for noticing that mate!
It’s totally okay not to choose a design element or any option from a small menu section if you’re unsure. You can just choose the ones you’re really familiar with and your pool of choices will still continue to get smaller and more manageable.
“I like this a lot! I wonder what else we can do with these 10 designs…”
We won't call you a greedy greeder-ton to want even more (ahem...even less).
"...Wait! ‘Cathedral setting’?! I almost forgot that!"
You remember her saying she likes the look of a cathedral setting, not to mention thinking it looks pretty sturdy because of the multiple connection points between the center setting and the ring's body (Editor's note: the stone is attached to the body of the ring both underneath the main stone and also along its sides).
"...or something like that." you think, since it was more than a year ago and you weren't exactly paying 100% attention to her ring-related hints before getting serious about this engagement planning.
But in order to see what happens, you go ahead and click to select ‘Cathedral Setting’. After all, there are 10 products on one page so it's not going to make a huge difference to narrow it down, but it might get you closer to a single choice.
“Now we’re down to just 6 designs! And they all look so pretty! I’m sure any one of these rings will surely look good on my sweetheart’s finger!”
Are you ready? We've done our job pretty well, haven't we? And if you have any questions we're just a call or email away. We think it’s time for you to choose the perfect ring!
“And the winner is…”
“Wait! I have another idea! I want to have something engraved on the ring! I wonder which one of these rings can be engraved on…Wonder of wonders! Mr. 'Filter Products' Menu actually has a choice for engraving!”
No this website is not actually reading your mind.
“Anyway, let’s choose the option for 'Engravable_Yes’!”
“Whoa! Good thing I did that! I was thinking about choosing that ring design that got filtered out!”
You're now down to the final 5 designs.
And because of how you arrived at your 5 choices, and the company you're dealing with, you have a deep confidence that any of these ring designs could be a good choice. It's really like multiple choice, and every answer is correct: A, B, C, D, or E!
But which is the best choice to BUY TODAY!?
“OK, I think I have the winner…
I choose…'The Bailey'!”
And you're now on not just A product page but THE product page for the exact ring you've decided to buy!
Great work, fella.
“Now, let’s go ahead and decide on the specifics of this ring…”
You remember that as far as the center stone size is concerned, you chose the filter menu option for, ‘1.0-2.0 Carats’ a while ago. And you know from the cubic zirconia size chart that a 1.0 carat cubic zirconia stone measures 6.5mm while a 2.0 carat stone measures 8mm.
But which exact size to choose?
“I say we split the difference and go for a 1.50 carat center stone size. Easy peasy.”
(Editor's note: 1.50 carat is the most popular size sold over the last 7 years CubicZirconia.com has been tracking this choice across all our worldwide sales)
“Thanks to Teresa's help, I already know she wears a U.S. size 6.5 ring. So let’s put that in.”
(If you’re unsure about her ring size and you’d like to find out with or without her knowing what’s going on, read our article, “What Is Her Ring Size? Sneaky Tips To Learn Her Finger Ring Size without Ruining The Surprise”)
You're forging ahead and not a problem so far!
Now it’s time to decide on the metal type for her copy of 'The Bailey' ring.
“I know she wants a white metal ring.”
Which one to pick?
“As it is now, if the ring was made of Sterling Silver, it will cost me $620.43*.”
“That's pretty affordable. Hmmm… Lemme think…she already knows she’s getting an imitation diamond, so we’re practically spending pennies on the stone…we can spend a bit more and really jazz it up with the precious metal...after all, precious metals are actually rare and valuable.”
You see that it looks like you can get multiple white metal options.
In addition to sterling silver, 10 karat white gold in an option for a bit more. Or for a little more you can buy 14 karat white gold. Or for a little more you can buy Palladium or 18 karat white gold. None of those prices seem outrageous, really.
“What about Platinum?" you wonder.
Platinum is supposed to be the most luxurious and most expensive of the 4 precious metals, right? Besides, you know she loves it because she's forever oohing and ahhing over platinum jewelry worn by other women the two of you meet and spend time with out and about.
So you click to check it out, thinking to yourself "OK, CubicZirconia.com team, how much do you want for a Platinum 1.50 carat copy of 'The Bailey' engagement ring if I go all out and can swing it?”
“$1146.81*? OK, deal. Awesome! I can live with that cost"
Your finger hovers for one more click, and it's a biggie.
Are you really READY FOR THIS?
The answer is easy.
"What do you say, we go ahead and click this ‘Add to Cart’ button and get this engagement party started!?”
Now, you're movin' on up!
And so, the ring was bought and paid for.
The proposal went as planned, even though you didn't use (or need) any of our blog's many helpful proposal ideas and tips for a great engagement party.
All by yourself, you made it a time that was memorable, lovely and romantic.
The balloons, candles, flowers, rose petals and string quartet were spectacular!
I mean, we hear it was like a scene straight out of a romantic movie.
The wedding was set (we're still waiting for our wedding invitation to be sent to PO Box 93, Pendleton KY 40055)
And we’re genuinely hopeful they’ll live happily ever after-- whether we get invited to the wedding or not!
* Finished jewelry prices on CubicZirconia.com fluctuate regularly based on wholesale precious metals market costs.
- Marvin Jay Torres