The engagement ring shopping process can feel a bit overwhelming for first-timers. After all, an engagement ring is a major purchase, and one that comes with a lot of pressure to get right. However, there’s nothing to be stressed about when shopping for an engagement ring. If you learn the basics about what to look for in a ring, you’ll find that the shopping process is something that you can truly enjoy. To help all the newcomers out there have the best possible shopping experience, here are some helpful tips for first time engagement ring shoppers.

1. CONSIDER STYLE

Engagement rings come in a huge variety of styles. For example, there are simple styles, like the solitaire, and glamorous styles, like the halo. There are so many different options when it comes to engagement ring styles — when it comes time to buy, it’s really a matter of deciding which would be right for you.

If you’re shopping as a couple, deciding on a style is usually easier, as your soon-to-be fiancé probably has a good idea of what they might like. However, if you want to surprise someone with a ring, picking the right style can take a little more consideration. Think about what your partner likes to wear or perhaps how they like to decorate. Are they more traditional? More trendy? Or maybe they like to stand out from the crowd? Spend a little time thinking about what they like and try to narrow in on the style that best suits their taste.

2. DIAMONDS VS GEMSTONES

In years past, white diamonds were the ubiquitous choice for an engagement ring’s center stone. However, today,gemstone engagement rings are becoming increasingly popular, as more and more brides are drawn to the unique look of gemstone engagement rings. So, know that diamonds are no longer the only option for an engagement ring. Consider whether a traditional diamond is right for you or if you might prefer a gemstone.

3. PICK YOUR SHAPE

Whether you decide on a diamond or a gemstone for your engagement ring, all gems can be cut into many shapes, so there’s still the matter of deciding which you prefer. Round is the most popular shape, while princess is the second most popular. However, there are also many other shapes to consider, like the vintage-style cushion cut or the more unique oval shape. A diamond or gemstone’s shape has a big influence on a ring’s overall style, so take some time to think about which shape’s style you like the most.

4. PRECIOUS METAL OPTIONS

Ring settings can come in a number of different precious metals. There’s yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, and platinum. Platinum is a modern option that’s very popular, as it’s hypoallergenic and incredibly durable. However, platinum only comes in one color, a glowing white. Gold, on the other hand, is slightly less durable but comes in a number of different colors that can widen your style options. All these precious metals are a great choice for an engagement ring; it’s really a matter of deciding which you like the most.

5. KNOW YOUR BUDGET

Your budget is something that you should take into consideration before shopping for an engagement ring. While there are many “rules” you may read online or hear from friends and family concerning what you should spend on an engagement ring, the only real rule is that you should spend an amount that you’re happy with. Whether you want to spend a little less or spend big, decide on the dollar amount you’re comfortable with before you shop.

6. RING SIZE

Before you buy an engagement ring, you’ll need to know which ring size to buy. If you’re shopping as a couple, this is easy to figure out. If your partner doesn’t already know their size, you can go to any jeweler to get sized or order a ring sizer online. However, if you aren’t shopping together, figuring out your partner’s ring size can be trickier. You may have to do some digging (asking friends and family is a good option) to learn the right size.