Picking the right engagement ring

Darcy Miller / Martha Stewart Weddings /

Your engagement ring: It's only the symbol of your eternal commitment, a piece of jewelry you'll wear every day for the rest of your life.

No pressure there, right?

Here, some pointers to help you decide on a dazzler that's ideal for you.

Which statement describes you?

• I want a sparkler that stands the test of time.

Then go for a prong-set solitaire, which is as classic as it gets.

• I'm outdoorsy and active.

A bezel setting, where the metal surrounds the gem, holds a stone securely and won't snag Spandex during downward-facing dog.

• I like to wear gold on some days, silver on others.

Select a band that combines different metals, or choose a setting with a single metal and mix it confidently with your other jewelry.

• I'm a traditionalist but don't want a round diamond.

With its rectangular shape and history dating back to at least 1477, an emerald-cut diamond engagement ring is time-honored yet unexpected.

• I love vintage, and I'm wondering where to look.

Surf antique-jewelry sites to see vintage offerings. Browse by decade to learn about the styles of each era.

• I want a major rock on a minor budget.

A halo setting imparts the illusion that you have a larger stone. Small diamonds encircle — and augment — the center gem.

• I'd like to just wear a band.

Sounds great! Just remember that, if going the band-only route, opt for a piece that works twice as well at expressing your sense of style.

• I'm not really a super-sparkly type of gal.

Countless varieties of rough-cut diamonds embody cool-chic while remaining as stunning and special as their polished counterparts.

• I have large hands.

I suspect you're the only one who thinks so! That said, a wider setting, such as a split shank, flatters any finger size.

• I love colored diamonds, but they're beyond my budget.

Get the look with a sapphire — available in blues, browns, greens, oranges, pinks, purples and yellows — at wallet-friendly prices.

For more style advice, visit marthastewartweddings.com .

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