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Selecting the Perfect Engagement Ring

How to Pick the Perfect Engagement Ring

English: Diamond Engagement Ring with side sto...

Three stone emerald cut engagement ring

When the time is right the both of you will want to select the perfect engagement ring. Choosing a ring will not be a difficult process if you do some simple planning and research ahead of time.

The Diamond Engagement Ring Investment

When in the market for an engagement ring there are many things to consider. The first important thing to think about is the budget. How much you can afford to spend will help you when deciding about the other details you need to consider. The price of a diamond engagement ring is primarily determined by the size of the diamond, the quality and clarity of the cut and, to a lesser extent, the metal used to make the rest of the ring.

Cut diamonds

Diamond Cut and Style

Before even setting foot in a jewelry store or looking at one of the many online jewelry sites try to decide what diamond cut or shape style your fiancé desires. There are several different cut options and it comes down to preference for this so do some investigating before shopping. The eight most popular diamond cuts for an engagement ring are:

  • Round
  • Princess
  • Emerald
  • Marquise
  • Radiant
  • Oval
  • Pear
  • Heart

The 58-facet round brilliant cut is the most popular because of its fire and brilliance, and thus, it’s the safest option. It is possible to make simple styles more elaborate with more facets creating more internal sprays of colored light or “fire”, and more brilliant. Generally speaking, gems with more sparkle are more highly desirable.

Diamond engagement ring in platinum

Diamond Carat Weight or Size

Once you have decided the cut style, the next step is to decide what size the diamond should be in the engagement ring. Carat is the term used to describe the weight of any gemstone, including diamonds. A carat is defined to weigh 200 milligrams, or 1/5 of a gram. Diamonds can range in size from a fraction of a carat to several carats. Given the rarity of large stones, the price quickly increases with size; so a single 2-carat diamond will cost much more than two 1-carat diamonds. Most women would consider a diamond which is two carats or above would be considered large. The averaged sized engagement ring today is between 1 and 2 carats.

A related term, total carat weight (TCW) is the combined total weight of all the stones in jewelry pieces with more than one diamond.

Diamond Color

Choosing the color of the diamond will be the next step and this step sounds a little misleading since for traditional diamonds it is better to have colorless diamonds. According to the GIA color grading scale, the “purest” colorless stones are graded from D to F, “less pure” near colorless stones from G to J, and faint yellows are graded K to M, very light yellows are N to R, and light yellows are S to Z. Getting a colorless diamond will shine and sparkle better than any others.

Engagement ring - 1.51ct princess cut

Diamond Clarity

Finally choosing the clarity of the diamond will be the last step for evaluating the diamond of the ring. Clarity is determined by the number and severity of inclusions and blemishes within or on the cut stone. “Inclusions” refers to anything within the diamond that affects its luster or brilliance, such as cavities, clouds, or other internal flaws. Diamond clarity comes in the following rankings from best to worse:

  • FL Flawless
  • IF Internally flawless
  • VVS1 Very, very slightly flawed
  • VVS2 Very, very slightly flawed inclusion
  • VS1-VS2 Minor inclusions
  • SI1-SI2 Slightly Included
  • I1-I3 Obvious included imperfections

Keep in mind that all real diamonds have imperfections and jewelers use a 10x magnification loupe to see them. A stone with only a few hard-to-see pinpricks located near the edge can usually be covered by the ring mounting.

Three gemstone engagement ring

Diamond Setting

Now that the perfect diamond has been chosen it’s time to choose the ring material and settings. Today most engagement rings are gold, silver or platinum. Platinum is similar in color to silver but has a softer look which some people prefer. It is also the most expensive of the three metals.

The solitaire style of setting showcases a single diamond with no accent stones is most common technique for mounting a solitaire is prong setting. Next in popularity is the three-stone setting. Each diamond represents the past, present and future of your relationship.

Matching bridal sets refer to engagement rings can be paired with a matching wedding band that wraps around the center stone or fits against the engagement ring like a puzzle piece.

Synthetic Diamonds

Cubic zirconium (CZ) gemstones are often presented as faux-diamonds because they closely resemble many diamond gemstone attributes. However, their color and clarity are what sets them apart: CZs are man-made synthetic, flawless, pure white stones, and when hit with light only refract a rainbow of colors with no brilliance.

When investing a large amount in the purchase ask for a diamond appraisal from a recognized organization like: Gemological Institute of America (GIA) Gem Trade Lab , American Society of Appraisers , and the American Gem Society , and European Gemological Laboratory .

Choosing the perfect engagement ring is an important step in any relationship. Most people will keep and cherish this ring for the rest of their lives so it’s important to put in plenty of thought and research before coming to a final decision.

Three stone emerald cut engagement ring

 

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