Top 5 Things to Know Before Buying an Engagement Ring

How does the diamond style suit her hand?

For longer fingers, stone shapes that work well are elongated cuts like the marquise, emerald, oval, and radiant cuts.

For short fingers, a round cut or princess cut (square or slightly rectangular) works well. A three stone (also known as a trilogy set) or side-stone set is also worth considering.

Which gemstone, or gemstones, should go in the engagement ring?

The hardness is the most important factor to consider and this is why diamonds are most often chosen. Diamonds are rated as a 10 out of 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness meaning it is the hardest mineral.

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Sapphires and rubies are coming back into vogue and are both rated as a 9 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, which means they are also suitable to be worn every day.

Sapphires are incredibly unique due to natural variance in shades, meaning no two sapphires are alike, which guarantees a distinctive and special ring.

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A ruby is in fact a red sapphire, but the color may range between orange-red to purple-red. Finding a high-quality ruby above one carat in weight is incredibly rare and this is also why they are highest cost-per-carat gemstone.

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An engagement ring with an emerald is a less common choice but they are usually more affordable than diamonds. Emeralds are classically green and are rated as 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, which means that daily wear can damage the stone. Regardless of emeralds durability, it is still considered a valuable and prestigous gemstone, and oftentimes is chosen for uniqueness or symbolism.

What shape and cut should be chosen?

The most popular cut is the classic round brilliant because of their impressive sparkle and universal shape that works well with almost any setting style.

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Princess cut (square and rectangular) is the second most popular; it is considered more modern and chic and has a distinctive sparkle and color towards the edges.

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The Marquise cut helps to maximize carat weight and emphasizes the size of the diamond with it’s long length.

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The Cushion cut (named for it’s pillow like shape) is an old world cut that is becoming more popular; they have less sparkle than brilliant cut diamonds but they have their own unique brilliance and work well with halo settings.

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There are many different stylish, but less popular, styles of cuts to consider.

What metal should the ring be made of?

Platinum, white gold, yellow gold, and rose gold are all classic choices.

Pure gold, also called 24 Karat gold, is 99.9% pure but is too soft for jewelry; it is alloyed with other metals for strength and color. 18 Karat gold is 75% pure and is the purest form of gold used in jewelry. 14 Karat gold is 58.3% pure and is the most popular gold used in wedding and engagement rings.

The rich yellow appearance that makes gold attractive is most prominent in 18 Karat gold. This purity of gold has little risk of skin irritation (e.g. due to nickel allergy) but it is fairly easy to scratch and significantly more expensive than 14 Karat gold. The best mix of durability and affordability, while still maintaining the rich golden color, is found in 14 Karat gold which is why it used in about 90% of all engagement and wedding rings.

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Rose gold is a gold and copper alloy and is considered more durable than yellow or white gold. Rose gold can complement skin tones but be aware that it is not hypoallergenic due to the copper. Rose gold is often considered to impart a vintage or antique appeal.

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White gold has a mixture of zinc, nickel, and copper to improve durability and is almost always plated with a thin layer of rhodium to give a more brilliant, pure white appearance. White gold looks virtually identical to platinum but the rhodium plating can wear off with time; white gold items should be plated every 1 to 2 years.

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Platinum is chosen due to its strength and durability along with the strong white color. It is a great choice and is typically the most expensive choice of ring metals.

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Will the engagement ring fit with the wedding band?

Once you’ve picked the perfect engagement ring, you now need to pick a wedding band that matches. There’s a lot to consider and many options to choose from. Some jewelry brands offer matching wedding bands; search for “Wedding Ring Set” or “Bridal Set”. Start shopping for the wedding band early; don’t let it become an afterthought or a rushed decision. Remember: The wedding band is a symbol of forever, therefore you must find some that will stand the test of time.

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