Ring Buying Guide

A ring’s round shape symbolizes eternity and holds the promise of enduring love. This ring buying guide will help you choose rings for yourself and others that both look great and will last a lifetime.

Rings 101

Rings symbolize love and are the perfect tokens of affection for the special people in your life, from close family and friends to the soul mate you can't live without. Rings are also an ideal gift to mark special occasions like birthdays and graduations for kids and grandkids, and for grownups, too. The great thing about a ring is that you can enjoy its beauty and meaning at any time by simply stretching out your hand. Whether you’re getting glammed up for a girls’ night out or a mother-daughter lunch date, rings are the perfect accessory to perk up your wardrobe. Buying the right ring starts with setting a budget and choosing a stone and matching band style. Don't forget to size it properly, and you'll have a beautiful accessory that will last for years.

Types of Rings


Cubic Zirconia Rings

Every woman needs a little sparkle in her life, and cubic zirconia has plenty to spare. This synthetic alternative to diamond ranks high in colour, carat, cut and clarity — but at a fraction of the price. Because of their sheer brilliance, cubic zirconia rings make stunning accessories for special social occasions like cocktail parties and holiday fetes. Eye-grabbing cubic zirconia stones come in a wide range of colours and reflect light beautifully, making them the perfect way to bring on the bling on a budget. Cubic zirconia isn't as durable as diamond and may scratch over time, but its affordability makes it the ideal everyday accessory. 

Diamond Rings

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend and a worthy addition to her jewellery collection. When shopping for a diamond ring, consider the 4 Cs — cut, carat weight, clarity and colour. Cut refers to a diamond’s facets, and a well-cut diamond offers more shine and glitter. Carats refer to a diamond’s weight, which affects its value. Clarity refers to its quality, with the best diamonds being flawless. Colour refers to a stone’s lack of colour, so the clearer the diamond, the more valuable it is. A diamond’s cut, setting and shape can enhance its strengths and minimize its imperfections.

Fashion Rings

Fashion rings come in an endless array of designs, colours and styles to help you rock all the latest trends. From gold-plated stackable rings to brightly hued baubles, fashion rings let you experiment and express your personal style without breaking the bank. These affordable accessories are ideal for dressing up everyday wear, and allow you to quickly transform your outfit from casual to date-night glitter. Assemble a collection of fashion rings to mix and match with all your favourite clothing items, and you'll be ready with a stylish look for every fashionable occasion. 

Gemstone & Birthstone Rings

Gemstone rings are the perfect keepsake gift for a daughter, sister, mom or best friend. From precious gemstones (rubies, sapphires and emeralds) to semiprecious stones (amethyst and aquamarine), these polished minerals come in a myriad of colours and colour combinations for a variety of looks. For a more personal touch, make your keepsake gift a birthstone ring. These special rings are ideal to celebrate a new baby, milestone birthday or religious event. When shopping for gemstones and birthstones, choose clear, intense and saturated colours. And remember, the brighter, the better. 

Gold Rings

Gold rings hold their value over time, which makes them worthwhile investments for your jewellery collection and great gifts for your loved ones. Gold is measured in carats, and the ratio of alloy to gold content determines its carat weight, or purity. The higher the carat weight, the higher the price. At the same time, higher purity gold rings are softer and more easily damaged, so some alloy for added durability is a good thing. Gold rings may also be plated or filled, which means a thin layer of gold has been applied over a sturdier metal. These rings offer the look of gold at a lower price, but the gold plating is subject chipping and wearing. Choose solid gold for rings you wear regularly, and reserve plated or filled rings for occasional wear. 

Silver Rings

Whatever your style, silver is sure to add sparkle to your wardrobe. An affordable alternative to gold, silver is an attractive accessory for everyday wear or posh nights on the town. Like gold, silver is a soft metal and requires proper care and cleaning for lasting beauty. Silversmiths mix pure silver with other metals to add strength and prevent tarnishing. For rings you'll wear regularly, shop for sterling silver, which is 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper, and look for hallmarks to verify the purity of the silver. 

Pearl Rings

With their classic look and timeless beauty, pearls are ideal way to add both glitter and elegance to your ensemble. Pearl rings make a simple yet distinctive style statement that suits both weddings and workday lunches. You can match your pearl ring just as easily with an evening dress as a well-worn pair of jeans. Freshwater pearls are more affordable than saltwater pearls, but they’re comparable in quality. The lower cost is due to the source: freshwater mussels can yield up to 50 pearls per shell, while ocean oysters can only produce one or two. Freshwater pearl colours include pink, lilac, brown, chocolate, black and white.

Engagement Rings

An engagement ring is a symbol of love, so it’s important to choose one that reflects your personal style and has significance for both of you. Diamonds, emeralds, sapphires and rubies are the most sought after stones for engagement rings. Once you’re set on a stone, conduct your search with the four Cs in mind — cut, clarity, colour and carat weight. The next step is to choose a metal for your band. Your options include gold, silver, stainless steel, tungsten and titanium. Finally, choose a ring style and setting that suits your personality and lifestyle. 

Wedding Rings

Like your love, your wedding ring should last a lifetime, so it's important to shop for materials, settings, stones and styles that are enduring. Setting a budget and striking a balance between size, quality and durability will ensure an accessory you’ll admire throughout the ages. For the band, look to durable materials like gold alloy, platinum or tungsten, and choose stones like diamonds, sapphires and rubies that are strong and resistant to abrasion. Wedding ring sets, in which engagement rings and wedding bands are coordinated in similar metals and features, make it easy for you to enjoy your rings happily ever after.

Ring Buying Tips:

• Focus on cut and size and buy the biggest and best-quality gem you can afford
• Choose a band based on the gem: Warmer-hued gemstones (ruby, topaz) look better on gold rings, while cool-coloured gems (sapphires, emeralds) look best on silver rings
• For everyday rings, buy stronger gemstones like diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and rubies
• Buy ring designs that can be resized for comfort
• Look for certificates of authenticity and hallmark stamps to verify quality
• Look for rings that feature rounded edges for a comfortable fit

Ring Features

Sizing +

Your ring should fit your finger comfortably, snug enough to stay on your finger but loose enough to slide over your knuckle. Your ring size will change based on time of day and weather, so it’s best to measure your finger at the end of the day when fingers are warm. If you’re surprising your daughter or mom with a ring, borrow one of her rings or use a ring sizer to determine the correct size. Since your ring size can change over your lifetime, choose a style that can be easily resized in the future.

Metals +

Ring metals range from classics like gold, silver and platinum to modern materials like chrome, titanium, tungsten and stainless steel. Before buying, consider your budget, style, design and durability. If you want elaborate details and filigree work, stick with malleable metals like gold, silver and platinum. Modern materials like titanium, tungsten and cobalt are too hard for anything but simple details. If you want a ring that will live up to your active, outdoorsy lifestyle, look to steel, gold, titanium and tungsten for durability. If you have skin sensitivities or allergies, avoid alloys and opt for purer precious metals.

Finishes +

Your rings need the perfect finish to show off their beauty. The most popular finishes are polished, satin, brushed and hammered. Polished rings are shiny and reflective, but they show more scratches and need more care to keep them shiny and new. Satin finishes appear smooth and matte without the shine, so they’re perfect for understated looks. Brushed finishes resemble satin finishes but have texture, making it easier to hide scratches and scuffs from daily wear. Hammered finishes lend a textured appearance to rings for a unique look.

Cuts +

The cut of a diamond or gemstone refers to its brilliance, or ability to reflect light, which is part of what determines its value. Diamonds and other gemstones come in a range of cuts, including round, oval, heart, radiant, princess, marquise, pear and emerald. A well-cut diamond will reflect as much light as possible for maximum fire and brilliance. Your best bet for brilliance is a round, brilliant cut diamond with the highest clarity and quality you can afford. Marquise, oval and pear cuts offer similar sparkle.

Head +

The head of a ring is the part that holds the centre stone, and is made up of prongs, a base and a peg on the bottom that holds it to the mounting. Heads are either low profile (the gemstone sits low in the mounting to avoid getting bumped) or high profile (the stone sits high for greater visibility). Be sure to choose the right head for your gemstone, to ensure the stone gets seen in the best light, and for your lifestyle, to ensure the stone is well protected.

Prongs +

The prongs are four or more pieces of metal that wrap around the gemstone to hold it in place. Typically, the more prongs on your ring, the more secure the gemstone. Over time, prongs can break and wear down. Be sure to check them every six months for signs of damage because they’re the only part of your ring that protects your gemstone from falling out.

Centre Stones and Side Stones +

Rings feature gemstones as centre stones, side stones or both in solitaire, side stone and multi-stone settings. Solitaire settings showcase a single well-cut gemstone prominently on your finger. If you prefer a little more sparkle, accent diamonds or smaller gemstones like sapphires, rubies and emeralds can be incorporated into the design as side stones or used in place of a centre stone. Multi-stone settings showcase several stones of equal value. Three-stone rings display three side stones to represent the past, present and future of your relationship.

Settings +

There are a variety of settings styles to show off your rock in all its radiance. Some settings, such as prong, illusion, pavé, halo and invisible, elevate the gemstone to make it appear bigger and to allow more light for increased shine and glitter. Other settings, such as bezel and channel, envelop the stone to keep it secure and protect it from chipping and breaking.

Sets +

Many engagement and wedding rings come in beautiful matching sets that intertwine to symbolize the meeting of soul mates. The two rings in the set complement one another and sometimes fit together like puzzle pieces or interlock with a simple hook and slot.

Shop Accessories & Related Products:

Ring Care & Safety:

• Soak diamond and gemstone rings in mild soap and water regularly and dry with a soft cloth to preserve their lustre
• Clean pearl and soft gemstone rings with a soft cloth dipped in mild soap and water rather than soaking them
• Regularly brush settings with a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove dirt
• Store rings, especially pearls, separately in soft pouches or individual slots in a jewellery box to prevent scratches
• Remove rings when applying lotions and cosmetics
• Have your jeweller check your gemstone settings every two years
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



Store details