Many trusted jewelers will be happy to tell you about the 4Cs—carat, color, clarity and cut—but a select few elevate the experience of shopping for an engagement ring to an entirely different level. When a gentleman really wants to wow his bride-to-be, he can’t go wrong by choosing Cartier, De Beers or Harry Winston.

Cartier has been a part of beautiful love stories (think Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III of Monaco) since it was founded in 1847. The company recently introduced a new engagement ring collection: Cartier d’Amour. “A new interpretation of the timeless solitaire,” explains Amanda McGovern, a Bridal Specialist at Cartier’s Fifth Avenue boutique, “it is intended to be admired from all angles and the unique setting enhances the center stone with a touch of modernity.” The jeweler’s Set For You by Cartier offering also includes the 1895, the Ballerine and the Déclaration settings. McGovern also notes that it was Louis Cartier who pioneered the use of platinum in the 1860s; “platinum is the perfect partner for a diamond and enables the jeweler to design delicate, graceful creations,” she says.

With an exclusive focus on diamond jewelry, Devon Pike, CEO of De Beers Diamond Jewellery US, says the company was the first to introduce the concept of the 4Cs in 1939, but she adds that De Beers goes well beyond those characteristics. “Experts at the De Beers Institute of Diamonds,” Pike says, “individually analyze the perfection of each diamond’s cut and proportions, as well as its natural transparency to ensure that every De Beers diamond will catch the light and sparkle gloriously with fire, life and brilliance.”

In their stores, clients will be able to see just that with the company’s proprietary De Beers Iris. “It enables our clients to view diamonds through the eyes of an expert,” Pike explains, “providing visual proof of the beauty and maximum sparkle of our diamonds.” The De Beers Marque ensures that each stone is individually catalogued in the company’s diamond registry, while the De Beers Passport guarantees that every diamond is natural, untreated, conflict-free and responsibly-sourced and manufactured.

Visiting a Harry Winston salon is sure to be a unique experience. “Just like the company’s diamonds, each has its own character,” says Anthony Ledru, Vice President of Global Sales. “Selecting an engagement ring is a collaborative process in which the client and sales executive work together,” he adds. “There is always a focus on craftsmanship, enduring style and iconic design.” The almost 80-year-old company continues its high level of connoisseurship—each diamond is selected by leading gemologists and engagement rings are made and set in platinum in the Harry Winston workshop on Fifth Avenue. Ledru finds that there are still men who choose the ring alone to surprise their fiancée, while for others, it’s a collaborative process that the couple does together. Either way, Ledru notes that ultimately it’s about emotion and “what the jewelry means and represents to the individual.”