Engagement rings are highly personal and intimate gifts. Each ring given is as different as each woman that receives one. There is no hard and fast rule about the giving of an engagement ring, and since each couple has their own style and personality, each engagement ring in turn should have its own style and personality.
History of Diamond Engagement Rings
Diamonds were not widely given in engagement rings until the 1930’s, when De Beers launched a campaign that would sell more diamonds to the public. This campaign worked, and since that time, the diamond has been the most popular gemstone to include in a diamond ring. The most common type of ring given in those days was the solitaire round brilliant cut. This is the most common cut of diamond, and became known as the Tiffany diamond or Tiffany setting. This setting is still quite popular today.
As far as what can be considered for an engagement ring, the sky is the limit. Each engagement ring can be designed to fit the personality and style of each individual couple. Many couples like to shop for rings together, many men prefer to surprise their bride-elect with a ring of their choice. Becoming more popular still is the giving of a family ring or family stone set in a new setting. Any of these situations is acceptable. Feel free to make your own rules when it comes to engagements and rings.
Many Different Cut Options
There are several different cuts of diamonds that are popular today or that have been popular, and several kinds of settings that you can choose from to accompany the diamond of your choice. First, we’ll focus on the diamond choice.
When choosing a diamond, remember to treat this purchase as an investment for the future. Diamonds do not typically depreciate like other property, so buy your love a diamond that will be perfect today and tomorrow and twenty years from now, knowing that it is quite possible this diamond will be passed down through family generations.
When purchasing a diamond, always purchase from a well-known and certified jeweler that has a reputation for good and honest work. A good jeweler will be able to work within your budget to find you the most beautiful stone for your money.
There are many different ways of grading the quality of diamonds. Most popularly and well-known are the four c’s: color, cut, clarity, and carat. Each of these are important to consider when choosing your stone. An acceptable diamond should be nearly colorless and flawless, with the imperfections not detectable to the untrained and naked eye. Many diamonds will have a small flaw, but these should only be able to be seen under a microscope and by a trained jeweler.
The diamond should be cut to refract the maximum amount of light. The cut will determine the amount of “fire” and color refraction your diamond will have. The carat weight of a diamond is one of the most determining factors of the price. Be sure that your jeweler knows you budget AND the size of stone you desire. By coming close to the size of diamond you desire, he may be able to save you a bit of money without depriving you of the size of stone you wish for.
The term “cut” of a diamond is a bit misleading. The cut of a diamond refers to how the diamond is shaped within the stone and the internal molecular structure of each individual stone. This internal structure will determine which SHAPE the stone will most naturally become. The shape of the stone is what most people refer to as the “cut.”
- Round Brilliant Cut: this diamond is shaped like a cone with the face or table being a circular shape.
- Princess Cut: This stone is shaped like a square. This cut has become quite popular in recent years.
- Asscher Cut: This stone is square-shaped with rounded corners. It is often called a “cushion cut.”
- Oval Cut: The stone is shaped like an oval.
- Emerald Cut: The stone is shaped like a rectangle with long faces and tables. Very elegant cut.
- Marquis Cut: This cut is shaped like a long thin oval with pointed ends.
- Heart or Flower-Shaped Cut: The stone itself is polished and cut into a heart or flower-shape.
- Pear Cut: This diamond is cut into a pear shape, with one end having a pointy tip and the other a fatter, rounded tip.
Settings for each diamond are as individual as the woman you are buying for. There are many different ways to mount the stone into the ring, as well as different metals for the ring itself. The most popular metals are white and yellow gold, rose gold, or platinum. Platinum is the strongest metal, and will therefore be more expensive. When deciding what metal to choose, pay attention to the color of jewelry she already wears. If she wears yellow gold, a yellow gold setting is your best bet. If she wears a mix, get the opinion of her friends, or buy her a two-metal setting.
Side stones can also be included in the setting of your diamond and will add a little extra sparkle and femininity to a plain band. You can add tiny stones along the band and/or setting or add two larger stones on either side of the center stone. These three-stone rings are sometimes referred to as trinity rings or past-present-future rings.
When choosing the cut and setting of your engagement ring, remember to keep the personality and lifestyle of your loved one in mind. If you still have trouble determining what she would like, enlist the help of a friend who can keep a secret. Pay attention. She’s most likely dropping hints for you! Always remember that the woman you love with adore whatever ring you pick. She will love it because it is a symbol of your love for her and your commitment to her. You can buy your engagement ring with confidence!