A Guide to Engagement Rings
Are you planning to propose to your partner? Or are you helping your partner choose your own ring? Either way, you’ll need to understand the different styles, settings, stones and metals that engagement rings can come in. Here we take you through the most common terms you’ll find when browsing engagement rings, so you can feel more confident when picking out that all-important piece of wedding jewellery!
What are the Four Cs?
Firstly, if you are planning on buying a diamond engagement ring, it’s worth understanding the diamond grading process so you can recognise a good quality stone. Every diamond is unique and it’s the cut, colour, clarity and carat that helps define every stone’s true quality. Below, we explain what these terms refer to:
The cut of the diamond can be confused with the diamond shape. However, when you’re looking at the standard of the cut, you’re looking at the quality of how the diamond has been crafted and shaped. To release its inner beauty, a diamond must be cut in perfect proportions. A beautifully cut diamond will have lots of sparkle!
The colour of the diamond is a fairly simple one! It refers to how clear or discoloured the diamond is. A diamond’s purity is measured by its lack of colour. A pure stone will have a bright, white appearance.
The clarity of a diamond refers to the blemishes that the diamond possesses. Almost every diamond on the market will have some level of inclusions or imperfections, but the key is to try and find one with as few as possible – which is where the clarity grade comes in.
Often confused as the size of a diamond, the carat is actually the measure of a diamond’s weight.
What are the Different Engagement Ring Stones?
While diamonds are traditional and classic, there are actually many different engagement ring stone options available. Colourful gemstone engagement rings are rising in popularity, thanks to royals and celebrities, adding pops of colour and personality to engagement rings. Here are some of the most popular choices:
Of course, a diamond is a classic choice and is still one of the most popular. A chic diamond engagement ring is still perfect for a timeless and elegant look.
Sapphires are the second most popular choice of centre stone for engagement rings after diamonds. Considered the most popular coloured gemstone for engagement rings, the beautiful blue sapphire has a regal finish that looks even more remarkable when complimented with a halo of diamonds. They’re an excellent choice if you are after a splash of colour or a larger stone that is not going to break the bank.
Rubies were a popular choice for engagement rings. Red is the colour of passion and love, so a ruby engagement ring is incredibly romantic. Rubies are exquisitely beautiful especially when paired with beautifully contrasting white diamonds.
Historically, emeralds were highly prized by Cleopatra and thought to possess unique healing powers. Today, this gemstone is loved by celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Halle Berry. The colour of the highest quality emeralds is almost pure spectral green, sometimes with a faint touch of blue.
What are the Different Engagement Ring Cuts?
The cut, or shape, of your stone is really important because it will define the overall look of the engagement ring you buy. Here we have the most popular cuts for engagement rings.
Round or brilliant-cut diamonds is a more traditional shape for a diamond. Typically cut with 57 facets, the round shape lets the light disperse beautifully for a magnificent sparkle.
Oval diamonds are a stunning twist on the classic round brilliant cut diamond. This means they radiate a similar exceptional sparkle to the round brilliant cut but are different for their vintage-inspired shape.
The princess cut diamond is another popular design, a sharp, square cut. A contemporary diamond shape, the princess cut showcases a modern square-shape with a glamorous feel.
An emerald cut is stylish and sleek with long facets. This style is perfect for lovers of vintage glamour and elegant style and looks particularly beautiful with a halo of round brilliant diamonds.
Also referred to as a navette, the marquise cut is stylish and chic’. For something a little different, a marquise cut diamond is a perfect choice. Often described as ‘boat-shaped’, the elongated shape gives you a visually larger diamond.
Also known as the teardrop diamond, the pear shape is an unusual design. The pear shape is a beautiful combination of round brilliant and marquise cut diamonds, so you know its sparkle will be breathtaking. This style can be worn with the point facing upwards or downwards, depending on your preference.
The radiant cut diamond has a square shape with cropped, flat corners. It’s a unique choice, perfect for those who like quirky jewellery.
What are the Different Engagement Ring Styles?
Once you have the cut of your stone, you can choose the style of engagement ring that helps define the personality of the ring. Here we have the most popular engagement ring styles.
Solitaire rings showcase a single diamond at the centre of a metal band. Due to its simplicity, it is seen as the most timeless of all engagement ring styles. They’re usually set with prongs and give maximum exposure to the diamond.
A cluster ring is a classic, with a number of stones that elaborately splay from a centre stone. These rings have kept in fashion over the years with the Duchess of Cambridge re-popularising the ring with her engagement to Prince William.
Halo rings have a centre stone that is surrounded by a circular halo of diamonds. These rings are similar to cluster rings, though are seen as more contemporary.
Trilogy rings have three stones and have emotional symbolism. They are designed to represent your love in the past, present and future, acting as a lucky charm for your life together! Usually, the central diamond will be either the same size carat or a few carats bigger.
What are the Different Engagement Ring Settings?
Alongside the style, there are options of the setting of the ring that holds the stones in the engagement ring. Here we have some of the most popular engagement ring settings.
The claw setting is possibly the most common setting, grasps the stone with claws spaced evenly around the ring. This setting contains pillars, either 4 or 6, that hold the ring up and encourage light to flow through the diamond, highlighting its brilliance, while still holding the stone securely in place.
The channel setting secures a row of diamonds sunken into the ring band. The diamonds are nestled next to each other without any metal in between. These rings provide a slim clean appearance to the engagement ring, creating a modern look.
A pave setting is used for small stones. The diamonds are held onto the surface by small beads of metal raised from the ring itself. The centre diamond is joined by lots of smaller diamonds around the entire band (full pave), or halfway down the band (half pave).
The bezel is a very secure setting. This setting is when a metal rim surrounds the entire diamond and creates the illusion of a larger diamond.
The gypsy setting is when the diamond is set into the metal of the ring for a well-protected setting.
The tension setting uses metal to hold the stone in place, making it seem as if the stone is floating. Very modern and eye-catching, it will allow the maximum amount of light to pass through the stone.
What are the Different Engagement Ring Metals?
While talk around engagement rings usually centers around the type and size of the stone, the metal you choose for your engagement rings is also important. This metal can also influence your eventual choice of wedding bands. Your lifestyle as well as your aesthetic preferences – and the jewellery you already own and wear will need to be considered before you reach a final decision. Here we have the most popular engagement ring metals.
Yellow gold is one of the most traditional ring metals, perfect for those who like a classic look. Warm, sumptuous yellow gold is ideal for a classic, romantic look. The honey-coloured tones of this precious metal set clear diamonds off to perfection, while slim golden bands are often the first thing that comes to mind when we picture marriage.
A white gold engagement ring is one of the most popular choices as it looks classy and elegant. 18 carat white gold offers around 75% pure gold, alongside a really bright, lustrous finish, which is part of the reason why it’s so desirable. White gold is also an ideal metal for your wedding ring, as it offers the luxury and prestige of real gold but with a cool, elegant, and silvery tone.
A white metal, platinum is one of the most popular for engagement rings, perfect for those who like stunning, clean-cut, timeless jewellery. The purest metal available, platinum is extremely strong and has a gorgeous white shine to it. Although it has a more ‘grey’ finish than white gold, this makes the diamonds sparkle even more in comparison.
Rose gold has become an increasingly attractive choice for modern couples seeking to tie the knot. The blush-colour of the metal symbolises love and affection. Rose gold is often used as an accent metal. However, the radiant colour means it’s also an excellent choice for an entire ring as it shows off diamonds to perfection.
So, now that you have everything you need to know about engagement rings, discover the top engagement ring trends for 2021!
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