1. Is the ring the right size for your hand?
Your ring should not be so big as to overpower your fingers. On the other hand, it shouldn’t be too small either, or it will be barely noticeable.
The ring you choose should be big enough to stand out on your hand when worn, without looking out of proportion.
2. Does it fit well?
Make sure your ring fits your finger perfectly well. You don’t want it to be so tight as to get stuck and limit the blood supply to your finger.
However, if the ring is too loose, it can slip off and get damaged easily.
3. Is the ring easy to resize? Even if your ring fits well when you buy it, there is no guarantee that your finger will not change in size down the road, even if that change is slight.
That’s why it pays to make sure that the band is easy to resize.
For example, rings with channel settings are very hard to change in size, so make sure you are aware of how easy it will be for your ring to be resized if needed.
4. Is the band wide or narrow?
This refers to how much of your finger the ring covers: If the band is too wide, it will make it harder to bend your finger; if it is too narrow, it may bend or break easily.
5. Is the ring top heavy?
If the stones on your ring are too big, or if there is too much metal in the setting, the ring will not be well balanced on your finger. As a result, your ring will move around when you wear it.
That’s why you need to ensure that the top of the ring is proportional to the rest of its body.
6. Does the band have sharp edges?
This is an often overlooked characteristic. If your ring has sharp and pointed parts, it may be uncomfortable to wear.
You cannot find out how a ring will feel just by looking at it, so make sure you try it on and check whether it sits comfortably on your finger.
7. How thin is the ring’s band?
Make sure the band of your ring is not too thin. With time, rings wear down, so if your ring was not reasonably thick when bought, it won’t be long before it becomes thin enough to bend or even break.
8. What is the setting?
Make sure you know what the pros and cons of your chosen setting are. For example, channel settings look great but are not easy to repair.
Invisible settings also look appealing, but the stones in them are not held as securely as in bezel or prong settings.
Don’t forget to check also if the setting is prone to catching your clothes.
9. Is the ring easy to clean?
Take a good look at the ring’s construction, and see if it will be easy to reach its crevices in order to clean them. Dirt tends to accumulate underneath gemstones, so make sure that these parts are not impossible to clean.
10. How many prongs does the setting have?
If you are looking at rings with prong settings, make sure you consider how many prongs your ring will have (most rings have four to six).
If there are too many of them, they may snag your clothing and hair. Also, the more prongs you have, the more you will have to pay to have them rebuilt when they wear down.
11. Is the stone setting too high?
It is good for your gemstone to be prominent and visible, but if the setting makes it sit too high, it will be easy to hit your ring, and your stone will be more likely to get bumped and damaged.
12. How durable is the metal?
If your ring is made of a softer metal such as gold or silver, it will scratch more easily and wear down more quickly. There are more durable alternatives such as platinum, which is also more expensive.
Make sure you are comfortable with the durability of the metal, its appearance, and the price you will have to pay for the ring.
13. Is the ring plated?
If your ring is plated with gold or rhodium (as is the case with white gold), keep in mind that the plating will wear off with time, and you will need to have the ring replated every couple of years or so.
14. What are the warranties and return policies?
Ask whether the ring comes with a service plan that will cover future repairs, and make sure you are informed about the terms of the coverage: It is likely that you will need something fixed on your ring at some point, so don’t overlook this part.
If you are buying a diamond ring, ask to see the stone’s certificate in order to verify its quality.
It is also best if the ring comes with a return policy: You never know how good of a fit a ring will be before you have worn it for a couple of days.
Don’t forget to ask also about any other warranties that cover your ring and its stones.