Planning to propose? Make sure you choose the right engagement ring with our buying guide
So, you’ve been building up the courage, and have decided now that the timing is right… you want to find the perfect moment to pop the question.
But before you plan where to drop down on one knee or, how you’re going to create the best surprise proposal scenario, you need to make sure you’re confident on your engagement ring choice and get that part spot-on.
Your groom or bride-to-be may have been dropping little hints about rings for ages, or their mum might be able to help with ideas, but really it’s all down to you.
Of course, making such an important buying decision and all the deliberation that comes with it, can naturally bring a bit of stress – afterall, there is so much choice out there and you want to get it right.
With a bit of guidance from diamond enegagement ring specialists, Angelic Diamonds, you can get yourself clued up quickly on all the available styles and narrow down the search. The perfect engagement ring is out there and you will find it.
Step 1: Choosing the perfect ring style for your partner
The first thing to consider is, which style will best suit your love? The style is very important as this can determine how many diamonds the ring will hold, how they’re arranged, and the way that it looks on the finger.
There are eight styles choices to weigh up – unless of course, the preferred style has already been discussed and agreed on.
- Solitaire—Do you want to keep it simple and classic? The solitaire ring could be the best choice. It features a single round stone in the centre of the band.
- Shoulder—This style has a strip of diamonds running down each side (shoulder) of the band, and it usually has a larger diamond in the centre too.
- Halo—This is a great choice if you are really unsure which style to go for as it’s one of the most popular styles and features a centre diamond which is framed with smaller diamonds to make the centre stone look bigger.
- Three-stone—Keep it romantic and symbolic with a three-stone (trilogy) ring. Said to symbolise the couple’s past, present, and future, a three-stone band is often made up of a large diamond which is framed by a smaller diamond on each side.
- Cluster—Looking for something bold without paying the cost of a large diamond? This could be a good choice. In a cluster ring, smaller diamonds are grouped together to give the appearance of one big stone.
- Tension—In a tension set ring, the tension of the band keeps the diamond mounted and often creates a bold and modern look.
- Bezel—In a bezel ring, a thin piece of metal holds the ring in place. You can choose from full bezel ring settings where the diamond is fully circled or partial bezel settings that only cover part of the diamond.
- Vintage—Inspired by the past, a vintage engagement ring is designed to look like it’s from centuries ago, perfect for someone who loves a quirkier style.
Step 2: Getting the right amount of sparkle
Now, we’re getting a bit more technical in looking at the exact cut of the diamond. This determines how much sparkle and shine a diamond has.
You might be gobsmacked by the array of choices here but this is were the ring starts to become very personalised and remember, choosing the cut of the diamond can be exciting too!
- Round—This is the most popular cut and is known to be the most brilliant by many. The stone is cut into a cone shape which allows light to enter the stone.
- Princess—This cut looks like it’s a square or rectangle but is a pyramid shape and is one that is recognised for its brilliance.
- Emerald—An Emerald cut diamond is rectangular with rounded corners, designed to highlight the gem’s shine.
- Oval—Cut in a similar way to the round diamond, an oval cut is more elongated and gives the ring a more modern feel.
- Pear—Also known as the teardrop, the pear cut diamond is usually worn pointed away from the hand. Due to its unique nature it has become a popular shape in recent years.
- Marquise—Cut with an elongated shape and sharp ends, the marquise diamond gives off a majestic and elegant appearance. People like it because it makes the finger looks longer and slender.
- Cushion—Also referred to as a pillow cut diamond, the cushion shaped diamond can be square or rectangular with larger facets—surfaces of the diamond— and rounded corners. This is known to be the vintage version of the round cut.
- Asscher—Cut in a similar way to an emerald diamond, an asscher cut diamond has an octagonal shape and more brilliance.
- Heart—The heart cut is obviously cut in a heart shape and it symbolises love. It has a similar brilliance to the round cut diamond, but it is more eye-catching because of its shape, it’s guaranteed to turn heads, and is perfect for someone who likes to be different.
- Radiant—This type of cut has a square shape and rounded corners; it is symmetrical and similar to the emerald cut. However, a radiant cut diamond has more brilliance and sparkle.
Step 2: The diamond shopping checklist, otherwise known as ‘the 4Cs’
With this easy to remember breakdown, known as the 4Cs, you can determine both the appearance and cost of a diamond for your ring.
- Cut—As we mentioned earlier, the cut of a diamond refers to its symmetry, proportions, and polish. This should not be confused with the shape of the diamond.
- Clarity—This refers to the diamond’s internal properties, or ‘inclusions. The more inclusions that a ring has, the less appealing it is.
- Colour—Most diamonds look colourless to the naked eye, if you look closely you might be able to see that there are some subtle yellow and brown tones that separate them. Less expensive diamonds are usually the ones with the most of these tones.
- Carat weight—Carat is the unit that diamonds are weighed in. Beware, this is different to a Karat which is a measurement of purity in gold.
Step 4: Don’t be thrown by jargon
Truth be told, there is a lot of jargon out there but don’t let that slow you down. Getting your head around the lingo will help you fine tune your ring choice and leave you feeling confident in your decision making.
- Culet—This is the point at the bottom of the diamond. The size and angle of this can affect the diamond’s worth.
- Brilliance—This refers to the appearance of white light in the stone. Light passing through the stone produces this and it’s expertly measured with a Brilliance-Scope.
- Prong—This is a type of setting, also known as the claw. It uses less metal to hold the stone and therefore more light can pass through the diamond.
- Channel—Another setting, a channel secures diamonds in place and sits them flush with the band of the ring.
- Pavé — A pavé setting sets groups of small gems in place and makes the ring appear to sparkle all the way round the band.
Photo by Jose Escobar