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Engagement Rings for Nurses and Doctors

By Mike Fried,

Doctors and nurses often lead active and hands-on careers, necessitating engagement rings that won’t interfere with their daily duties or the well-being of their patients. The best engagement rings for medical professionals prioritize durability, safety, and practicality.

Bezel and channel settings, which enclose diamonds or gemstones securely, are commonly recommended due to their snag-free design. Low-profile rings that sit close to the finger minimize the risk of catching on medical equipment or gloves. Moreover, when purchasing a ring for a medical professional, one should also consider ease of cleaning, as the ring may frequently come into contact with substances.

Durable metals like platinum or white gold are often favored for their resilience to daily wear and tear as well as having a greater resistance to bacteria than other metals. In essence, the ideal engagement ring for doctors and nurses seamlessly blends functionality with elegance, ensuring that the symbol of love also caters to their professional demands.

Here’s what we’ll cover in this article:

Tips for buying a ring for medical professionals
What are the best engagement ring styles for nurses?
What are the best wedding bands for nurses and doctors?

To help you with the diamond buying process we lean on our expertise and experience. The author of this article, our CEO, Mike Fried has over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. Mike started from the bottom, sorting and evaluating hundreds of thousands of diamonds to learn every facet (pun intended) of diamond quality and value. Mike followed that up by spending years buying and selling diamonds on the wholesale market as well as selling tens of millions of dollars worth of diamonds to diamond retailers.
yellow gold wire basket solitaire james allen
Wire Basket Solitaire Setting by James Allen

Shopping for engagement rings for nurses or doctors is no easy feat. As well as finding a diamond and setting your girlfriend will love, you need to take into account the conditions she works in every day. The ring needs to be safe, for both your spouse and her patients. It has to be set so as to avoid snags, be easy to clean and hold up to the regular activities of your spouse’s profession.

Luckily, you don’t have to compromise and buy a boring ring. There are plenty of engagement ring styles that are suitable for nurses or doctors. As such, you should be able to find a beautiful, practical ring that aligns with your girlfriend’s taste.

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Low-profile engagement rings are a great choice for nurses, as are bezel set rings. Both are unobtrusive and robust, offering fewer opportunities to tear gloves or snag on equipment and less chance of damage. 

What if you and your partner are enamored with rose gold pavé rings, but are concerned about wearing it regularly with gloves. This ring from Blue Nile, while stunning, may be set too high. On the other hand, this setting from Blue Nile, which is incredibly similar, would be perfect.

Multi-row diamond bands are another option which, while less traditional, has much less chance of causing damage than a traditional high-set ring. Alternatively, medical-grade silicone rings are a less flashy choice, but easy for an RN to wear throughout the workday.

Once you know what to look for, you’ll be able to find the perfect ring for your perfect significant other.

Fun Fact: Gold has been used in dentistry for fillings, crowns, and bridges for many years. One of the reasons for its use, besides its malleability and durability, is its resistance to bacterial colonization compared to other materials.

Tips for Buying Engagement Rings for Medical Professionals

As a medical professional, your future spouse needs a ring that can hold up in a busy, hands-on workplace. As such, there are several points to take into consideration before you buy an engagement ring. 

First is the setting. Many engagement rings have a high setting, with the diamond held well above the band. While this shows off the diamond very clearly, it presents issues for people who work with their hands. 

High-set rings are easier to get caught or snagged. This can break holes in the latex gloves worn by medical professionals, which presents a health and safety risk, and costs time for the nurse or doctor to re-sterilize.

Engagement rings with a high setting also damage easier. They can knock against tools or equipment when you’re moving fast. When this happens, there is a risk of the diamond breaking loose from its setting.

The other key point to consider is the engagement ring metal. The ring has to hold up to constant hand washing and being present in environments with a lot of chemicals, which can degrade low-strength metals very quickly.

To avoid this, you might want to stay away from rings made from silver or gold. These metals are quite soft and weak and will wear down or scratch easily. This is true specifically for 18K gold. Gold of 14K or lower purities will provide more durability.

Platinum, however, is much stronger and more durable than all forms of gold, which makes it the best choice if you anticipate your spouse to be quite active while wearing their engagement ring.

Best Engagement Rings for Nurses 

It might seem like an added hassle to check all the boxes required for finding a ring that suits your girlfriend’s profession. It could also have you thinking you need to settle for a boring ring. Thankfully, that’s not the case, and it’s quite easy to find a beautiful ring that will also hold up in your girlfriend’s line of work.

Here are some of the best engagement rings that suit the busy working environment of a nurse.

Low-Set Engagement Rings

twisted halo setting

The best advice is to look for engagement rings that are set low. These will present a much lower risk of breaking latex gloves, knocking against equipment or scratching patients, as the diamond setting doesn’t protrude as much (look at the Petite Twisted Halo setting from Blue Nile above).

While the diamond in a low-set ring isn’t as prominent as a traditional high-set ring, many styles make up for this with additional, smaller diamonds set around the band. This gives a stunning appearance and sparkle. It can actually be more beautiful and attract attention better than a ring with a traditional band.

Channel set rings are a style that finds a great balance between beauty and practicality. They’re secure and safe, while the layout of diamonds on the band gives an extra level of sparkle and style.

See this Channel Set Princess Cut from Blue Nile and this Round Cut from James Allen as examples of how stunning a channel set can be.

Bezel-Set Engagement Rings 

Bezel setting

Another style of ring that is suited perfectly for doctors and nurses is a bezel setting. This is where the diamond is held in place by a thin metal rim, instead of prongs.

This type of setting is much more secure, making it less likely for the diamond to come loose. It also protects the diamond from damage. The lack of prongs and lower setting means a reduced chance of snags or scratches. There’s very little chance of a bezel-set ring getting caught on clothing or gloves.

A nice advantage of a bezel setting is that it can also create the appearance of a diamond with a slightly larger diameter, according to the GIA, as the bezel surrounds the diamond’s girdle and helps to add to its perceived size.

Bezel-set engagement rings are most common for round cut diamonds, but can be made for any shape. The two pictures above are great examples of a bezel setting from James Allen.

Diamond Bands

diamond eternity band in rose gold

While not traditional as engagement rings, multi-row diamond bands or eternity bands (look at the example above – riviera pavé diamond eternity band from Blue Nile) are a much more practical choice for women working in medical professions.

Instead of presenting a single diamond in a prominent setting, diamond bands have a number of smaller stones laid out over all or part of the ring, presenting much less risk of damage. Compared to a traditional engagement ring, diamond bands have a bigger sparkle, due to diamonds encircling the whole finger. 

You could go with an eternity band, such as this one from James Allen, which gives an all-round shine without any protrusions. This style of ring is more common to see in wedding rings, or rings for anniversaries or other special occasions. However, depending on your girlfriend’s taste and the importance of adhering to tradition, it can make a fine choice as an engagement ring as well.

Alternatively, you can meet in the middle between a diamond band and a traditional ring with a pavé setting, which pairs a single diamond in the main setting with rows of diamonds laid into the band. This is a great way to make up for what you lose in a low-set ring.

Here is an example of a pavé style engagement ring with a triple row of diamonds encrusted on the band.

Best Wedding Rings for Nurses & Doctors

The same tips laid out above also apply when buying a wedding ring for your nurse spouse-to-be. However, since they are generally less prominent than engagement rings, it’s easier to shop for wedding bands for medical professionals. The diamond setting on the engagement ring is the hardest part to plan around for a doctor or nurse.

mini diamond pave ring blue nile
Mini Pavé Ring

The best wedding rings for nurses should be able to hold up to a lot of water and chemicals with no issue. White gold is a popular metal for wedding rings, but platinum is a better choice, as it is more robust and holds up better.

You can go with a classic low-profile wedding band like this one from Blue Nile. Alternatively, if you want a more pronounced appearance from the wedding ring, eternity rings like this pavé set eternity ring from James Allen stand out beautifully.

One additional advantage of a simple band is that some research suggests that this type or ring may be more hygienic in a medical environment than a more ornate, sophisticated ring with a diamond set high above the band itself.

In one study published in the journal Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, researchers found that traditional band style rings don’t appear to be a source of bacterial load, provided they’re subject to a standard surgical scrub procedure.

Still, it’s important to note that this research is preliminary, and any type of ring — from small and simple to large and sophisticated — needs to be cleaned carefully by people who work in a medical environment.

pave and milgrain profile ring blue nile
Pave and Milgrain Profile Ring

Many medical professionals may also opt for medical-grade silicone wedding rings. These are a more modern, less traditional choice, and a more practical option if your spouse works with their hands all day. Silicone holds up better than metal, and poses no risk of ripping gloves or causing any other kind of damage.

As an added bonus, silicone wedding bands are much cheaper than those made from traditional metals, allowing you to cut down cost while increasing practicality.

Whichever style of wedding and engagement ring you choose, just know that there is no need to settle for a boring ring. There are more than enough styles that are both beautiful and practical.

Need more personalized advice? Contact our experts, and we’ll be happy to help you find the highest quality ring to suit your budget and requirements.

James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices. They also have the nicest collection of lab-created diamonds online.
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. James Allen will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free International Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisals
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Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well-known internet jewelry seller. They have a very large exclusive online inventory. Their high-quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. 
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • 100% credit towards future upgrades (must be at least double in value)
  • Best in class fulfillment
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About the author

Mike Fried Mike Fried Mike Fried has over 25 years experience in the diamond industry working with Leo Schachter Diamonds, Moshe Namdar Diamonds, and joining The Diamond Pro in 2007. He is recognized as an industry expert and has been quoted in publications such as Us, People, Page Six, The Next Web and more.

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