Let’s lay the groundwork – this isn’t as complex as quantum physics.
Despite the nerve-wracking narratives you might have encountered (or heard from others), securing the perfect engagement ring for your partner is totally within reach once you have a handle on the top 5 things to consider before embarking on this exciting journey.
We can safely presume that you’ve spent enough time getting to know this special lady, her likes, dislikes, fashion sense, and the trends she swears by. Through this guide, we aim to prepare you for the key elements to consider when on the hunt for the perfect engagement ring.
1. What Diamond Style Suits her Hand?
Sounds tricky? Let’s frame it differently:
Given her finger shape and size, which diamond cut will enhance her hand’s beauty?
While this is often influenced by an individual’s personal style, as a general guideline, those with longer fingers typically find that elongated diamond cuts like the marquise, emerald, oval, and radiant are particularly flattering.
For those with shorter fingers, a round cut or princess cut (square or slightly rectangular) usually complements them well.
Also, give some thought to a three-stone (also known as a trilogy set) or side-stone set, which are worth considering for their timeless appeal.
2. Which Gemstone(s) Should Set in the Engagement Ring?
The age-old adage, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” is taking on a new spin as people increasingly branch out to explore other gemstones for their engagement rings.
Let’s face it; diamonds are beautiful, sparkling and classic, but they are not the only show in town. Yes, their unmatched hardness makes them a durable choice, but what if you are craving something different?
Enter the colorful and enchanting world of sapphires and rubies. Back in vogue, these gemstones are hard enough to withstand the rigors of daily wear, each scoring a 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness.
Each sapphire is truly one-of-a-kind, displaying a unique blend of shades, promising a ring as unique as your love story.
Rubies, on the other hand, add a pop of vibrant red to the mix. Did you know a ruby is essentially a red sapphire? Their color can range from a fiery orange-red to a deep, romantic purple-red. The catch? High-quality rubies exceeding one carat are rare, hence their lofty cost-per-carat.
Emeralds, though less common for engagement rings, make a unique and usually more affordable alternative to diamonds. Their trademark green hue oozes a sense of timeless elegance and grace. However, with a Mohs hardness of 7.5 to 8, they are more susceptible to wear and tear. But don’t let this deter you; the allure and prestige associated with emeralds often overshadow their lower durability.
So, while diamonds undoubtedly have their charm and beauty, don’t feel confined to this traditional choice. Remember, your engagement ring should mirror your love story – unique, personal, and extraordinary.
3) What Shape/Cut to Choose?
Navigating the third question – ‘Which diamond shape or cut should I choose?’ – could feel like a complex puzzle, but fear not. The first thing to remember is that the diamond or gemstone shape should echo your partner’s style and preference.
If you’re overwhelmed by the countless options – round, heart, princess, oval, marquise, and more – take a moment to observe her style. Look at the jewelry she already wears and the shape of her fingers. Long fingers or short ones? These subtle cues can help you narrow down your choices.
The round brilliant cut, known for its striking sparkle, is the darling of diamond shapes. Its universal appeal makes it compatible with almost any ring setting.
For a dose of modern elegance, consider the princess cut. This square or rectangular gem has a unique twinkle, especially towards the edges.
If size matters to you, the marquise cut might just be your pick. Its elongated shape not only emphasizes the diamond’s size but also enhances its carat weight.
The cushion cut, reminiscent of a plush pillow, is a classic choice gaining popularity. These diamonds may not compete with the brilliance of round-cut diamonds, but they exude their own unique charm, particularly in halo settings.
For those unafraid to wear their heart on their fingers, the heart-shaped diamond is a befitting symbol of love. Best showcased in single-diamond settings, these rings make a romantic statement.
There are also other popular cuts, each with a unique aesthetic that might be just the perfect match for your significant other. So, keep exploring till you find ‘the one’!
4) What Ring Metal to Choose?
Next on your engagement ring buying checklist is the choice of metal. With options like platinum, white gold, yellow gold, and rose gold, each metal brings its unique charm and quality to the table.
Pure gold, also known as 24 karat gold, stands at 99.9% purity. However, due to its softness, it’s rarely used in jewelry. Instead, gold is alloyed with other metals to increase its strength and change its color, creating diverse and durable alternatives.
18k vs 14k Gold Rings
18-Karat gold, being 75% gold and 25% alloy, is the purest form used in jewelry. Its rich yellow hue is unmistakably gold. Despite being more prone to scratches and carrying a heftier price tag than 14k gold, it poses minimal skin irritation risk, making it an ideal choice for those with sensitive skin.
On the other hand, 14-Karat gold, containing 58.3% gold and 41.7% alloy, strikes an optimal balance between durability, affordability, and the trademark golden color. Hence, it’s the preferred gold purity for most engagement and wedding rings.
Now, for a touch of romance, consider rose gold, a durable alloy of gold and copper. With its rosy warmth, it beautifully complements various skin tones. However, it might not be the best choice for people with copper allergies. Rose gold is also often associated with vintage or antique aesthetics.
White gold, blended with zinc, nickel, and copper, is another popular choice. To enhance its luster and durability, white gold is generally plated with a thin layer of rhodium, resulting in a dazzling, platinum-like appearance. Keep in mind that the rhodium plating may wear off over time and need re-plating, especially for everyday wear pieces.
For those who prioritize strength and longevity, platinum is an excellent choice. Its stark white color and high durability make it a premium option, albeit at a higher cost.
Remember, the right metal complements both the gemstone and the wearer, making the ring truly shine.
5) Will the Engagement Ring Fit with the Wedding Band?
Now that you’ve made the key decisions for the engagement ring, it’s important to consider its future partner – the wedding band. While this might seem a little premature, considering both together can ensure they make a harmonious set.
Certain jewelers offer “Bridal Sets” or “Wedding Ring Sets” that include perfectly matching engagement rings and wedding bands. However, don’t feel obligated to opt for a predetermined set; sometimes, mixing styles can lead to an even more unique and personal combination.
But don’t delay the wedding band selection process – it should never be an afterthought. Begin your search early and give it the time and consideration it deserves. Remember, the wedding band symbolizes the infinite nature of your love, so select a design that will endure, just like your commitment.
Where to Find Inspirational Ideas for Engagement Rings?
The digital world is teeming with ideas. You can browse through Pinterest or Instagram for a variety of ring styles, or directly visit renowned online jewelry stores like James Allen, Whiteflash, or Blue Nile. They offer extensive collections that can help you explore and discover your perfect match.
Remember, picking out an engagement ring and wedding band is not just about buying jewelry. It’s about finding symbols of your love and commitment that reflect who you are as a couple. Happy ring shopping!