Cuts, color, cost – engagement ring tips


Brian Hayes

A variety of rings ranging from $3,599 to $19,999 at Helzberg Diamonds in Town East.

In Kansas it is thirteen varied shades of green outside, which means spring is here and with it comes wedding season.

Amongst the choices for bridesmaids and groomsmen, amid the vanilla, marble and red-velvet silk flavored cake samples, party planners and prenuptials, one thing is often forgotten before the planning of a wedding: the importance of the engagement rock.

Often overlooked are the specifics of a suitable, affordable – yet elegant – engagement rings, especially amongst young newlyweds. One Wichita gemologist weighed in on the importance of shopping smart before popping the question.

Nathan Regan has been a jewelry designer and part owner at Burnell’s Fine Jewelry and Design for the past 11 years. On a weekly basis, Regan is tasked with helping college aged future husbands and wives find a quality, instore option for engagement and wedding bands, which leads to the first important bit of advice:

Find a Reputable Jeweler

Some shop online, frequent pawn shops or sift through rings in Old Town thrift stores. Regan says that a professional dealer is the way to go.

“Make sure you are comfortable with the dealer you are going to,” Regan said. “You don’t want to feel rushed.

“Going to a jewelry store makes all the difference in the world.”

Avoid Secondhand Dealers

If you have ever been on West St., you have probably seen the sea of pawnshops with jewelry in their storefronts. This is best to be avoided in the ring search. Given that many secondhand dealers may not know what they have, you might be risking your time and money.

One point Regan stressed is that pawn shops and even outlet stores may not offer the best customer protection.

“They don’t take care of you after the purchase,” he said. “Even mall stores may not be the best option.”

Ask About the Gem Cut

When shopping, ask a professional about the cut. Otherwise, you may end up slipping a ring on someone’s finger that is not as vibrant as could be.

“One thing people glaze over is the cut.” Regan said. “If it is a lousy cut, it will not be as beautiful as candy. Go to a gemologist and pick their brain.”

Know Your Budget

Additionally, know that getting your partner something special is by no means impossible on that ramen noodle diet budget that you are currently on. Some think buying a flashy engagement ring is out of the question in college.

“That is not true,” Regan said.

If You Must, Research Online

If buying online is your go to, then do a bit of inquiry. At Gemological Institute of America’s website,, gemstones for any engagement ring can be thoroughly examined before any purchase is made.

In the end, be happy with your decision of ring.

“She’s gonna love whatever ring you choose, truth be told,” Regan said.