Select the Right Metal The first aspect to consider is the metal which your ring will be made of. If you are not sure which metal to choose, consider platinum or 18K gold, the two most popular choices. Both are lustrous, durable and, most importantly, beautiful materials to work with.
Select a Right Setting Style Next up is the way in which he stone will be mounted, also referred to as its setting.
There are four main styles.
- Solitaire Settings - A solitaire setting is one in which a single diamond is held securely atop the ring by several prongs, or by a circular band of metal around the edge of the stone. This latter is called a bezel setting. Solitaire settings are the most common way of displaying a diamond on an engagement ring.
Other, often more intricate settings, can be found by seeking out designer jewelry.
- Settings with Side Stones - A popular option to the solitaire setting is a ring with side stones. These are diamonds or gemstones that are set into the body of the ring and can be done as an addition to a solitaire setting or as a way to mount the main diamond.
The intent is to add additional sparkle to a ring, and if colored gemstones are used, give the ring a burst of color. Also, setting stones into the body of the ring provides a greater level of protection to the stones.
- Settings with Matching Bands - If your bride wants to wear her wedding band on the same finger as her engagement ring then you can opt for settings with matching bands. You can be as ornate or as plain as you wish. Take some time to look at the range of options that are available to you.
- Three-Stone Settings - A popular approach that has gained a lot of traction in recent years is the three-stone setting. Three stones, usually all diamonds, represent the past, present and future of your relationship.
Lastly, with the advent of build-your-own ring software, you can create your own ring, making it even more meaningful. However, not everyone has a keen eye for design, so keep that in mind if you try this approach.
How to Buy an Engagement Ring She'll Love
A critical question when selecting a perfect engagement ring is that whether or not she will like it. As mentioned earlier, a little research will go a long way to getting it right. Consider her lifestyle, ask her friends and relatives for any possible likes and dislikes regarding jewelry or try to discreetly find out from her on your own. Any effort expended in this regard will be worth it, even if you don't come up with much information. At least that way, you will have made a "good faith" effort.
An alternate, though uncommon, approach is to shop together. The universal tradition is to surprise your prospective bride with a marriage proposal, but if you feel it's in your best interest to get some direct input from your spouse-to-be, then you may opt to have an inexpensive, simple ring to present when you "pop the question" and tell her that the "real" engagement ring is something that you two can pick out together. Admittedly, this is an uncommon route to marriage but it may serve you well.
Choosing the Diamond
A diamond engagement ring is one of the most important - and often one of the largest - purchases you will make in your life so you will want to be sure you do it right. For many, the choice of a diamond is the most difficult part, but with the help of the information provided here, you will be much more informed and hopefully more confident about the process.
Step 1- Set a Budget
While there is much reason behind the old adage that a diamond engagement ring is the ultimate symbol of enduring love, the guideline of two (2) month's salary, it is just that, a guideline. But a diamond engagement ring is one of the most important - and often one of the largest - purchases you will make in your life so you will want to be sure you do it right. For many, the choice of a diamond is the most difficult part, but with the help of the information provided here, you will be much more informed and hopefully more confident about the process. Throughout the process, keep in mind that if you do it right, it's the only one you will ever have to buy and it will never wear out, never lose its sparkle, and always be a family heirloom to be passed down from one generation to the next.
Step 2- Choose a Shape
The shape of a diamond reflects it character and different people are attracted to different shapes. There is a common misconception that all diamond rings look good on all fingers, but that's not quite true because some diamond shapes look more striking on some fingers than others. This quick guide will help you to learn the difference between the different diamond shapes.
Round- This is by far the most popular shape of diamond and has been around for hundreds of years. The diamond cutters have been working with this shape and making sure that maximum brilliance and shine can be obtained. When it comes to balancing the grades for clarity, color, and cut, this shape offers flexibility but will retain its brilliance and shine you are looking for.
Marquis- If you want a diamond that looks larger then its carat weight, this is the ideal shape for you. This stone is used with other shapes such as pear. If you wear marquise diamond in a ring, your hands will look slender and long. If you wish to know the outline of the diamond, you should look for the length to width ratio. This will also give you an idea about the shape and the look of the diamond.
Emerald- The striking point for these diamonds is in their pavilion. The original clarity of this diamond can be seen in its shape and oversized table. When you are making a purchase, make sure that you see the clarity plot and check for the certificate. The rectangular shape of these diamonds can vary greatly. Know the length-width ratio so that you understand how your diamond will look if you see it from the top.
Radiant- Radiant diamonds are unique. What makes them so are the corners that are trimmed with utmost care and perfection. The cut is also one of the reasons why this diamond is used with a number of shapes and used in making some exquisite jewelry pieces. Even when this diamond is set with round or baguette, it will make a striking appearance and give a new look to the jewelry item. The rectangularity in these diamonds can vary largely. Again if you wish to buy these diamonds, make sue that you take a look at the length width ratio.
Pear- If you have seen the shape of a teardrop, you would be able to get an idea about this particular shape of diamonds. These diamonds are cut brilliantly so that maximum shine can be obtained. This is also called a teardrop diamond because it has a single point and an end that is rounded. The overall look of this diamond is unique and thus it is used in a variety of jewelry designs. If you wear an elongated pear shaped diamond in your ring, your hands and fingers will look slimmer due to the shape of the diamond.
Princess- One of the most popular diamonds that are not round in shape is the princess cut diamond. They stand out of the crowd and look different due to their cut and brilliance. If you are buying a color grade diamond, the appearance of the diamond will be exceptional and the color that you choose will be visible in the corners of the diamond. These diamonds can be rectangular or square and by getting an idea of the length and width ratio, you will be able to get an idea of the exact shape of the diamond.
Oval- Just like the round diamonds, the oval diamonds too have a brilliance that the onlooker would fall for. Oval diamonds are quite popular and are used in rings and other jewelry items. They are used in rings to give a slender appearance to the hands and the fingers. If you are looking for a traditionally cut oval diamond, the length to width ratio will be between 1.33 and 1.66. You can ask the jeweler to tell you the exact length and width of the diamond so that you can imagine its shape when viewed from the top.
Trilliant- If you are looking for some fancy cuts, you should consider this shape. These cuts are unique and used in a variety of jewelry items. As the name suggests, these diamonds are cut into the shape of a triangle. The cut makes the diamond shine in a more brilliant manner. The unique triangle form generally has 50 facets and the sides of are cut in equal dimensions. The classy jewelry items have these diamonds due to their unique shape and cut. Most of the people consider buying these cuts for vanity jewelry rather than the everyday wear jewelry items.
Heart- As you know, heart symbolizes love; this is one of the most distinctive shapes of all the diamonds. The shape and cut are unique and this is what makes it a favorite with the jewelers. The corners of this diamond may show the color if you are buying a color grade diamond. The shape originated from the pear shape when a cleft was made in the shape. The length and width of the diamond can vary and thus the size of the heart and the broadness too will vary. Choose the size according to the jewelry item in which you wish to get it placed.
Asscher- This is yet another beautiful and unique shape of diamonds that almost look like emerald cut but its shape is slightly square. The pavilion of this diamond is cut in a rectangular style and this is what makes it different. Like other diamonds, the color that you choose will be visible in the corners of the diamond. Many stars and celebrities have been seen wearing jewelry items in these cuts and this has just added to the popularity of this cut. You should look at the certification and the depth ration while making a purchase for a diamond. Most of the diamonds cut in this shape will appear to be square. If you need a unique ring for your mate, an asscher cut diamond ring is the perfect choice.
Cushion- This shape has been around for hundreds of years and due to the shape of these diamonds, they are known as pillow cut diamonds. The corners of these diamonds are rounded and the facets are cut larger to increase the shine of the diamonds. The large facets give rise to clarity in the appearance of the diamond. You can buy these diamonds in square and rectangular shapes. These diamonds are rising in popularity by the day. Taking a closer look at these diamonds you will see a combination of oval and old mine cuts.
Step 3- The “4 C’s”
The quality of a diamond is evaluated using 4 primary characteristics known as the 4C'S - cut, color, clarity and carat. There is a wide range of diamond sizes and qualities available within any given budget. The challenge is to determine which of the 4C's is most important to you in order to narrow this range so you can make the best choice.
Cut- The cut of a diamond determines its brilliance and sparkle. Cut is important because it is a direct indication of the brilliance and sparkle of a diamond. Diamonds with perfect clarity or color but which are badly cut can appear dull and lifeless, but finely cut diamonds can in many cases be brilliant even if with average or below average color and clarity. The better the cut, the more rare and the more valuable is the diamond.
Color- The color of a diamond results from light passing through chemical impurities and/or defects is the crystalline structure. These inclusions alter the amount of light absorption pattern so that color is visible to the human eye. While diamonds come in many colors and many hues, the most common color and hue is yellow. The amount of yellow hue is graded according to a scale which ranks rewards the lack of color with the highest letter grades and which ranges from D (colorless) to Z (heavy yellow). Diamond whose color is beyond Z are denoted as "fancy" diamonds and are graded using their own scale and terminology. The purer and more intense the color, the rarer and more valuable is the diamond.
Clarity- The clarity of a diamond is a measure of the number and type of inclusions within the diamond and on its surface. The fewer the inclusions visible under a 10X magnifier, the higher the clarity grade which ranges from flawless to heavily included..
Carat- The term "carat" refers to the weight and size of a diamond. The value of a diamond rises exponentially with its size. Most diamonds fall in between 0.01 carat and 1.00 in size. Put another way, that range is between a hundredth of a carat and a full carat in weight.
Step 4- Other Characteristics
Fluorescence is another characteristic of the diamond that should be considered before buying. It refers to the blue light, which is emitted by some diamonds under black UV lights. Some diamonds emit blue glow while others emit moderate glow, some don't even glow at all. Fluorescence is a complicated characteristic as it can either decrease or increase the worth of a diamond. For the colorless diamonds from the scale of D, E, F. Fluorescence is not that beneficial but for the stones that have yellowish tinge as J, strong or medium Fluorescence help in making it appear white. Consider all the above stated factors and have a happy diamond shopping experience.