When it’s time to tie the knot, there are so many things to think about. The engagement ring is one of the first and most pivotal, but sometimes people forget about the minutiae of this complicated matter. You probably want to ask the love of your life to marry you as soon as possible, and you want the right ring to do it with, but you should take your time to consider what you should buy and why. When you’re going to buy an engagement ring, here are five things you should think about first.

Where Does the Stone Come From?

If you are buying a ring with a stone or a gem, one of the most important questions to ask is “where does it come from?” This is pertinent for many reasons. For example, there are so many unethical stone dealers out there, making money from war-torn places where conflict has risen out of the precious materials. If you are buying a diamond, you likely have blood on your hands. Still, you can buy just what you want ethically if you do a little research.

Can I Find an Ethical Alternative?

It doesn’t matter what you want, there is an ethical alternative out there. Whether you are set on a diamond or want a different stone like a ruby or sapphire, there are a variety of different gems you can get from conflict-free zones. Make sure that your buyer advertises that they only buy from conflict-free places. Beyond that, you can also skip the whole ordeal and buy something produced in a lab. Diamonds are the most commonly lab-produced stone because of their ethical perils, but you can also buy all kinds of synthetic gems. Not only are these lab-created stones more ethically sound, they are also cheaper.

How Much Should I Spend?

This idea that you have to spend three months’ worth of salary on an engagement ring is outdated. Actually it was always a myth created by jewelers to sell more expensive rings. The truth is you don’t have to spend much to find an amazing ring with a large stone. Take moissanites, for example. Similar to diamonds, they are beautiful, large, and strong. Second only to diamonds in hardness, they are almost as durable but are sold at a fraction of the price. Not only are they cheaper and produced in a lab, an oval moissanite engagement ring looks just like a diamond.

How Big Should the Stone Be?

Once you have determined where you will get your ethical stone, you should decide on how big you want it to be. This, of course, greatly affects the price. But if you have the money and know that the gemstone is ethically sourced or produced, the sky’s the limit on how big and expensive the stone’s engagement ring can be. This has more to do with your partner’s preference and your budget than it does the market and ethics of gemstones, but it is something you must consider when you are buying an engagement ring.

What Style?

Finally, after you have determined where you will get the ring, what kind of stone it will have, and how much you are willing to spend on the stone and band, you should think about what style the ring will be in. Is your partner into elegance or subtlety? There are so many different types of engagement rings, shapes of stones, and options for the band that you might not know where to start. You can ask your partner sly questions and talk to a jeweler about what your significant other might like based on their personality. After all the decisions you’ve made, picking the style for the ring is the fun part.

This is an exciting time, but you should make sure you’re thoughtful about all the details. Not only is getting married a huge decision, buying the ring to propose is just as significant. Not only will you likely be dropping a lot of money on a ring, you want to make sure that it is ethical while fitting your partner’s taste. There are a lot of questions surrounding engagement rings, but if you ask yourself them beforehand you will know what to do.