Engagement rings come in many different settings and with wide variety of diamond shapes to choose from. Shopping for that perfect ring begins with setting your budget. From there you can let your heart guide you. If you're trying to surprise her you'll have to determine what her favorite shape is - oval, round brilliant, emerald cut, marquise cut, princess cut, heart shape, pear shape, or Asscher cut. You will also need to choose carat weight. Engagement rings range from 0.5 carat to 2.0 carat and larger. The price you pay is reflected in the size of the diamond, the cut, the clarity, and the color of your diamond. The Four C's of Diamonds Let's have a look at the four C's, their role in purchasing engagement rings, and how they affect the price. Cut How the diamond is cut determines how much brilliance your diamond will have. You can have perfect clarity and color but if your diamond has a bad cut, it will be not sparkle and glitter like it should. When you are shopping, the cut is where you must focus. You can give up quality in the other areas and still have a beautiful diamond, but a bad cut is unforgiving. Color The less color a diamond has the more expensive it is with a colorless diamond being the most valuable. Carat The larger the diamond the more rare it is, and the more it will cost to buy. Rather than shopping based on simply carat weight, look at all four C's and find a balance that fits your budget offering you the best value for your budget. Clarity The fewer inclusions (internal flaws) the more the diamond will be worth. The majority of inclusions aren't visible with the naked eye. Thanks to lower operating costs and highly competitive market, you can save 50% buying online. Finally, make sure you receive the certificate that provides you with the grading of the diamond you are going to purchase. There are many beautiful engagement rings available to buy online.