We have been talking about proposals, rings and engagements in general a lot lately! We know that many of you are gearing up for a big life change, an engagement! It’s hard to even know where to start when you begin thinking about being engaged, planning a wedding and becoming a husband or wife. First things first though, even before you select the perfect date, venue, gown and cake, you (or your fiancé-to-be) must land on the perfect engagement ring. Most of us have never shopped for such a meaningful, lifelong item that will be worn and shown off daily, so we get it, the pressure is on! Shopping for an engagement ring can be a whirlwind of nerves, excitement and confusion, but we want it to be stress-free and fun. That is why we created a little engagement encyclopedia for you and your soon to be fiancé to keep on hand during the eventful and exciting engagement season.
THE FOUR C’S:
The Four C’s: Most of us have heard this phrase used before, weather it be at the jeweler, from your friends or in your favorite chick flick, people throw around this phrase like nobody’s business. So if you’ve been wondering what this really means, but have been too embarrassed to ask, the four C’s are the main factors that determine your diamond’s overall appearance, quality and value. The four C’s are Carat Weight, Clarity, Color and Cut.
Carat Weight: the size of the diamond you choose will be proportional to its carat weight. Large gems of high quality are harder to come by compared to a smaller gem of high quality; therefore, one two-carat diamond ring will cost you more than two one-carat diamonds. As the diameter of the diamond increases the carat weight will also increase!
Clarity: Another important word that will keep coming up throughout your shopping experience, the clarity of your diamond is determined by the imperfections in the gem. A diamond with good clarity won’t have any imperfections; watch out for the word “inclusions, ” which is another word for imperfections. These will affect your diamond’s overall appearance and durability.
Color: This one seems like a no-brainer, but what does color really mean when it comes to choosing that perfect diamond? We’re not talking about red, green and blue here, when we use “color” in reference to a diamond we are talking about the subtle hints of color that are still found even in a colorless diamond. It is traditionally thought that a diamond with the least trace of color is the most desirable. (Color grade is rated from D-Z)
Cut: The cut of your diamond not only refers to the physical shape of the diamond you choose, but also to the way it sparkles as light strikes through it. You will want a well-cut diamond that sparkles in the light.
Metals: The metal you choose for the perfect diamond you pick depends a lot on preference and style but also takes budget into consideration. We usually see engagement rings that use metal of yellow gold, white gold, rose gold or platinum.
Platinum: This is a rare and valuable metal found in just a few regions of the world. As you partake in the shopping experience you will notice that platinum rings are more expensive than rings with other quality metals. Another benefit of platinum is that it is not only beautiful but it is strong and durable, perfect for your lifelong commitment!
Rose Gold: Rose gold is one of the hottest metal trends right now that we are seeing everywhere in the wedding industry. Rose gold is actually a copper alloy that is known for its warm coloring.
White Gold: White gold looks similar to platinum, but it is less expensive. If you choose a white gold band for the diamond keep in mind that it may lose it’s white shade overtime and needs to be re-plated in order to keep the same beautiful “white” gold color.
Yellow Gold: This is that golden color that comes to mind where you hear the word “gold.” Yellow gold is the most common kind of gold because it is typically in its most natural color state. Some pros to this ring band choice is that this metal does not tarnish, rust or corrode, so you can count on it to look beautiful for many years to come!
Setting: The setting of your engagement ring refers to the way in which the stone is set into the band. Some of the most common settings for engagement rings are, solitaire, pave, channel set, side-stone, tension and halo.
Bezel: This setting is known for both it’s simplicity and durability. The diamond is held into place by a raised surrounding with a lip that overlaps with the stone and holds it into place. A benefit to this setting is that it can accommodate any diamond shape you choose!
Pave: This setting is “paved” with diamonds. This option closely sets smaller diamonds together, giving the ring an overall continuous sparkle and shine.
Prongs: This is the most traditional setting. An advantage of choosing this traditional setting is that it allows for the diamond to be shown off and exposed the most. This setting allows for more light to shine through the gem and adds to the sparkling effect.
Channel Set: This setting has side diamonds that are thoughtfully placed into the ring without prongs into the “channel grove.”
Side stone: This is a setting that includes side diamonds that enhance the appearance and brilliance of the main center diamond.
Solitaire: This is a simple and elegant setting option. A single diamond is set into the ring, not too trendy, but definitely a beautiful traditional and timeless option.
Tension: This is a setting where the diamond is held in place by physical force.
Three Stone: This setting has two side diamonds that will accentuate the main middle diamond and draw attention to the center while also adding more glitz and sparkle!
Diamond Certificate: Never buy a diamond without a diamond certificate. This certificate may seem like a small element, but this will verify your diamond’s specific features, such as color grade, carat weight, and cut! (Basically all the good stuff we’ve just discussed.)
Fancy Color: Fancy colored diamond are the diamonds that go beyond the hints and hues or color we typically find in “colorless” diamonds. Typically, diamonds become more valuable as the intensity of color increases. The most common Fancy color diamond is yellow, also known as the canary diamond. This is a choice you would want to confirm with the bride-to-be because although these stones are precious, rare and stunning, some brides would rather opt for a traditional colorless stone!
Budget: We know you know what this word means so we are not going to define it for you but we wanted to add some words of wisdom to our encyclopedia. There’s not a quick and easy answer for how much you should spend on the engagement ring. Don’t let anyone tell you or pressure you into a certain price range. You’ll want to find a jeweler that makes you feel comfortable and will help you balance size and quality to find the perfect ring within your price point.
Ring Size: this is the measurement used to evaluate the circumference of the ring that will perfectly fit your fiancé’s ring finger. This can be something tricky to figure out if you’re opting for a complete surprise, but the good news is that most rings can be resized to fit her finger perfectly. The most common ring size for a woman is 6-6.5. If you’re deciding between a couple sizes, opt for the larger one. If you’re trying to be sneaky, consider grabbing a ring from her jewelry box to either bring into the store or trace it on a piece of paper and the jeweler will be able to help you determine the perfect fit!