Getting engaged is one of the most exciting times of your life! You are anticipating putting that perfect engagement ring on your love’s ring finger and you can hardly wait to start your forever together. Engagement ring shopping should be a fun adventure and not hectic or overwhelming…that may come later with the wedding planning itself. To help take the guesswork out of finding your engagement ring, we have a few pointers to make this process streamline and enjoyable!
Pick your engagement ring metal
There are several choices when it comes to the precious metal that your engagement ring can be crafted from. Once you make your choice, you are one step closer to your proposal ring!
- Yellow Gold: the all-time classic. Gold in its natural state is a luxurious yellow color. 24k gold is pure but is too soft to be worn as jewelry, that is why alloys are added to it to make it more durable and to change its color. For instance, when you see 14k (karat, not carat; carat is reserved for diamonds only) this means that there are 14 parts of pure gold and 10 parts of alloy totaling 24 points or 24 karats.
- Rose Gold: this is yellow gold added with copper or other alloys to give a romantic rose color to the gold.
- White Gold: this has alloys added to it to make it a white color which is more modern and a less expensive option to platinum.
- Platinum: this metal is 40% more rare than gold and thus more expensive but the white crisp color of platinum really pops against the white of diamonds.
- Other metals: there are other metals such as sterling silver, tungsten, titanium that are often advertised with bridal jewelry but these are usually options for the groom’s band and not the engagement ring since setting diamonds into these metals can be a challenge.
Pick your main stone
This may seem like a no-brainer decision since you think the easy answer would be diamond. However, there are other choices for the center stone in your engagement ring than just diamond. Popular and timeless choices include blue sapphire and ruby. These gemstones are the second hardest stone, second to diamond, and can withstand the day to day wear an engagement ring. Other gemstones can be chosen, but you want to have a secure setting for softer stones since an engagement ring is usually worn every day. If you do decide that a gemstone is the choice for you, you can still follow our flow chart of decisions and end up with a finished project that will leave her speechless. If you opt for a diamond, then this choice was probably the easiest!
Pick your stone shape
Shape and cut are often interchangeable terms in the engagement ring world. They are very different, however. The shape is pretty much what you think it is…the shape of the center diamond or gemstone in the engagement ring. The cut is actually how well is sparkles. You will want to select your shape first and then look at several different stones in that particular shape. Even without looking at a diamond report you will probably see that some diamonds just have that “it” factor or that “fire” and others don’t. What you are witnessing is a good cut versus and a not so good cut.
- Round: the round or round brilliant is probably the most traditional and all-time classic shape to have in the center of the engagement ring.
- Princess: princess cut or square is a more modern shape. A princess-cut diamond with a good cut has a lot of facets and reflects the light beautifully.
- Oval: the oval has an elongated shape that looks lovely on long fingers. This shape can even be set sideways (from east to west) for a more modern take too.
- Emerald: emerald cut or rectangular shape has long facets that gives a crisp clean look to the engagement ring. This shape is seen in a lot of Art Deco and vintage settings. It can also be set sideways for a more unique vibe.
- Marquise: the marquise cut was huge in the 1980s but it has made a huge comeback in the last several years too. The long shape also gives a lot of sparkle to the engagement ring and can also be set sideways for an elegant updated look.
- Heart: the heart shape is the ultimate “love” shape. This is definitely not a shape seen often in engagement rings so you would have a special ring for sure.
- Trillion: the trillion or triangle shape is also pretty rare. It is very unique and often set in a modern, abstract type of setting that can be avant-garde.
- Asscher: this silhouette was predominant in Art Deco jewelry and is recently making a huge comeback.
- Cushion: the cushion cut is a square cut with soft corners and is sometimes referred to as the old mine cut. This shape is meant to retain the most weight, to look the biggest for the weight it holds. (i.e. a cushion cut that is 1.00ct will look bigger than a marquise that is also 1.00ct)
- Radiant: the radiant is the newest of all the shapes. It has trim corners like the Asscher but with vibrant facets that gives a very lively sparkle.
Pick your engagement ring setting
Now we are at the final choice and probably the most tricky. There are so many different engagement ring settings to choose from out there. Let’s look at some of the most sought after and classic.
- The solitaire: this setting is exactly what you think it is. A solitaire is one solitary stone set in a simple setting. This option leaves your wedding band choice wide open. The solitaire engagement ring will always be in style and you can never go wrong with just showcasing your fabulous diamond or gemstone.
- The side accent setting: this setting will have the main stone set in the center with side accents (either diamonds or gemstones) set on each side. The setting of the side accents can range from channel set, pave’ set, or prong set.
- The halo: the halo is a nod to vintage styles but is widely sought after in engagement ring fashion today. A halo setting has a single, double, triple or more row of diamonds or gemstones set around the center stone. A diamond halo around a center diamond can give the illusion of a bigger diamond and has a very luxurious and elegant look.
- The matching set: this is often referred to as a bridal set. This is where the engagement ring and wedding band match and fit together perfectly. They are usually sold as a set.
- The three stone setting: this is has a sweet meaning behind this particular setting. The three stones are meant to stand for your past, present, and future.
- The vintage setting: this type of setting can actually be an antique heirloom or can be made to look vintage. Engagement rings with vintage touches are lovely and romantic. Even just a milgrain edge on a band or an engraved detail on the setting can give a delicate antique touch that makes the engagement ring special.
- The custom setting: this category is wide open. This can lead to bold abstract designs, mixed metal usage, gemstone accents, or a mixture of every style of setting we have mentioned above.
Selecting an engagement ring can be a streamline and a sentimental experience at the same time. You can enjoy the process while also having a clear cut plan. If you need help determining how much you should spend, check out this blog post here. If you need help determining what your love may actually want, check out this post here. Let us be the first to congratulate you on the most exciting time of life. Presenting your love with the engagement ring you have cherry-picked is wrapping your love around their finger forever!