Engagement Ring Buying Guide
ANSWERS TO ALL YOUR QUESTIONS TO
FIND THE PERFECT ENGAGEMENT RING
If getting engaged is on the horizon, then you probably find yourself looking at jewelry a little more closely (wink, wink!). You have also probably realized that there are so many different types and styles of rings out there, and you might be having a difficult time finding the language to communicate what styles best reflect your/your partner's personality. This guide is designed to give you clear, useful information about engagement ring styles and components so you know what you are looking for before setting foot in a jewelry store.
WHAT ARE MY CHOICES?
In addition to the diamond (or a colored gem for a nontraditional bride), a ring is differentiated by its diamond Shape, Setting and Style. Here’s what you need to know to make sure you have the information to find a ring you’ll treasure for a lifetime.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT The Setting?
The Setting holds the ring's center diamond (and any additional diamonds or gems), and gives the ring its unique design. The more durable the precious metal, the better protected your investment (the diamond!) will be.
Settings around the center diamond can be found in four basic styles:
PRONG: tiny wires suspend the stone, making it visible from all sides for maximum sparkle.
CATHEDRAL: this setting has rising slopes that protect the stone on both sides.
BEZEL: A frame of precious metal surrounding the stone keeps it very secure.
TENSION: the stone appears to hover, held in place by thousands of pounds of pressure.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DIAMOND Shapes?
The diamond is valued by size, color quality, clarity and cut (also known as ‘the 4 C’s).
You can select your center diamond from nine basic shapes:
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT Styles?
How do you make the ring design a personal creation of your very own? It’s all in the details of the setting.
A solitaire setting has a single diamond. The solitaire either has a solid band with no additional diamonds or gemstones, or the band is set with pave diamonds (see setting types below) – this is an option for all setting types.
A center diamond with accent/side stones setting features a center diamond with side stones that are usually of a different shape and smaller in carat weight from the center.
A traditional three-stone setting has a center diamond with two gradually smaller side diamonds. Alternatives to the traditional would be to use equally sized and shaped diamonds on either side of the center, use colored gems rather than diamonds, or vary from the shape of the center diamond.
Types of side diamond settings include:
Thin metal bars separate each stone but leave the sides open to bring in light.
Lots of small diamonds or gemstones set closely together in its own discreet setting.
Two rows of very small, round diamonds set side by side on the band of your engagement ring.
Each diamond shares one set of prongs with the diamond next to it which allows more light to pass through.
Examples of details for the ring include:
This setting encircles the center diamond or gemstone in a collection of diamonds or gemstones.
From the French for “a thousand grains,” this is a close set row of beading framing the band.
A delicate metalwork, resembling lace, made with tiny beads and/or twisted threads.
A style in which the band splits and meets again at the center setting.
DID YOU KNOW?
Engagement rings and wedding bands are subject to constant wear. Your rings will be exposed to stress, chemicals, bumps, and bangs. Therefore, choosing an enduring metal that holds diamonds and gems securely is crucial. Platinum’s unique qualities make it one of the most durable, precious metals for your jewelry.
In addition to security, the optimal setting for a diamond or fine gem is a white metal that won’t reflect color into the diamond or gems. Platinum is a naturally, pure white metal that will keep its brilliant white luster. Gold is a naturally yellow metal, so white gold is created by mixing alloys with the yellow gold and then plating the metal with rhodium to appear white. However, over time, the plating will wear away and a yellow hue will appear. In order to maintain its white look, it must be re-plated during its lifetime.
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THE “I do” MOMENT - WEDDING RINGS
Ring decisions don’t end with the engagement. Start thinking about the wedding bands.
He deserves the best too, and platinum's durability will be his (other) perfect match.
She should consider how her wedding band pairs with the engagement ring.
Think about your bands early and you'll save yourself some last-minute, wedding stress. Find more wedding band inspiration by visiting the platinum jewelry gallery.