Everything that you need to know about engagement rings
So you are ready to make the commitment and propose to the one you love. Now you are faced with the task or finding an engagement ring to give your prospective bride when accepting the marriage proposal But it can’t be just any engagement ring. It has to be “the perfect engagement ring.”
Now if we were living in Roman times, things would have been easy. Anthropologists believe that the Roman tradition was to present the wife with a band attached to small keys indicating ownership. The diamond engagement ring didn’t show up until 1477, when the Archduke of Austria commissioned the creation of the very first recorded diamond engagement ring to be presented to Mary of Burgundy. From that moment on, the diamond became the new trend among the European aristocracy.
Through the ages, the diamond remained as the centerpiece of the engagement ring. Durig the Victorian era, the diamonds were mixed with other gemstones and fashioned into rings with a floral motif. In the Edwardian era, the jewels were set in very intricate filigree settings. It wasn’t until DeBeers opened up the infamous mines in Africa that diamonds became accessible to the rest of the general population. And It wasn’t until 1947, when the classic “A Diamond is Forever'” campaign resonated throughout America, that the diamond became the standard measure of one’s true love and commitment
Understanding Your Budget
There are several factors to consider with your budget. Some may know exactly what they can spend before going into the process, and others want to know what is required for the perfect ring, and save up to afford it. No matter how you go into the buying process, you should always be aware of the diamond size, diamond grade, metal quality, and setting details for the perfect ring.
If your budget is limited, try and find out what matters most to you and the person you’re buying the engagement ring for. A high-quality diamond may be more important than size with some, and with others, size matters more than quality. Same goes for the ring setting when picking out the metal quality and setting details. Some prefer a nicer ring setting and consider the option of getting a better diamond down the line. You may also run into situations where it’s better to get a simpler engagement ring setting and a more detailed wedding band.
This is a lot to consider, and if you’re still not sure about what your budget is, read a bit more in the next couple of steps of the engagement ring buying process to learn more about the importances that go along with each decision.
Comparing the Different Cuts
“I want a princess cut diamond, solitaire setting, white gold…” You’ve probably heard it before, the essentials that describe their perfect engagement ring. This may not have made sense to you in the past, but now, you can finally see what a princess cut is, as well as some of the other most popular cuts for engagement ring stones. With this knowledge, you hold the key to success in step 2 of the engagement ring buying process.
Now that you know the name, take a look at the images below to see what they actually look like. Some of them may seem very similar, but the way the light refracts through the stone can differentiate, and create a whole new look. To you, it looks square, but it’s the micro cuts that add up to make each cut unique on a ring.
Popular Stone Settings for Engagement Rings
Understanding the different style of stone settings is very important when it comes to the ring buying process. Step 3 is the step that sets your ring apart from every other ring in the world. You can find some of the most delicate and interesting details in the stone settings, making a ring unique to the one who plans to wear it for the rest of their life. This is where you find the best qualities in your significant other, and portray it in a ring.
If you know your significant other well, then this step will be easier than you think. That moment where you say, “this is the one” all comes down to this part of the process. Some rings are simple and elegant, and others are complex and vintage. Use these adjectives to relate to the soon-to-be ring wearer. Are they someone who will appreciate a specific style because it is the epitome of who they are as a person?
Some may look to a stone setting such as the halo because they can’t afford a larger diamond, and this style creates an illusion that the center stone is larger from far away. Others look to the three stone because they want to feature 3 beautiful stones. Another popular setting is the solitaire because it allows the ring to be the center of attention. It is also a great complement to practically any wedding band. Bottomline, pick a setting that works with the shape of the chosen center stone and be sure to find one that also works with your budget.
Engagement Ring Metal Settings
Once you have your design elements in place, the last step is to find a ring metal that complements your choices. Diamonds will go with any metal color you choose, but if you make any colored stone additions, be sure to pick a metal color that works well with your stone.
There are several types of natural and alternative metals to choose from for your engagement ring, but we highly recommend going with platinum or gold as they provide great durability and are a higher quality. Platinum is a great option for a white colored metal. It is a very bright silver, and is resistant to change in color over time so it will stay a nice shiny white shade for many years ahead.
Gold is also a highly recommended selection, and comes in yellow, rose/pink, and white. Yellow is a classic gold color, and looks great with many ring selections. Rose gold is a trending selection for engagement ring metal colors, and adds a unique spin to the classic ring. This is a great choice for those who like to make a subtle statement of their eclectic ways. White gold is one of the top choices for many as it has a similar look to platinum, and looks amazing with any diamond or stone choice. It gets its bright white coloration from a rhodium treatment, and requires maintenance over the years, but is a very sturdy metal for everyday usage.
The ring picking process doesn’t end with the engagement ring. Wedding rings are usually disregarded in this process. The ring buyer doesn’t think past this part and overlooks the importance of finding a wedding ring that will pair perfectly with the engagement ring. In our experience, we highly recommend at least reviewing the wedding rings while making your engagement ring choice. You don’t necessarily have to pull the trigger on the wedding ring initially, but it is great to have in mind so when you come back to the store, you already know what will work well with the initially purchased ring.
Wedding rings can be styled many ways. They can sometimes be created to match the stone setting as well as the diamond’s measured path. Another option is to go with an eternity band where the diamond setting goes all the way around the ring. Once you know the stone path, you can pick the design of the setting. The options vary between channel, pave, bezel, and prong for example. They can also have details surrounding the setting such as with beading.
The wedding ring shape can also be made to fit the path of some uniquely shaped engagement rings. When looking at the wedding rings, test their pairing with the engagement ring, and try them side by side. You want to make sure that the fit is comfortable, and is an optimal complement for one another. If you already made the engagement ring purchase, and haven’t even considered the potential wedding ring options, you can also bring in the engagement ring after the fact and compare it to similar wedding ring styles in our store. If you have trouble finding a perfect match, you can take elements of the engagement ring and use it to build a custom wedding band that is an exact match. No matter what your situation may be, always consult with a professional to make sure you are able to find the right rings that you and your loved one can cherish for life.