Prayer For Engagement Ring
How to Purchase the Perfect Diamond Engagement Ring
November 24, 2015
Diamond engagement ring shopping should be a joyous occasion. Our tips will help you make sure she loves her ring.
It should be one of the most memorable moments in your life. You pull an engagement ring your pocket and ask the love of your life to be your wife. You desperately want her to say yes and fall in love with her ring too, right?
You can make sure that happens if you follow these tips to pick out the perfect engagement ring:
Decide How Much You Want To Spend
You will be confronted with a dizzying array of choices when it comes to engagement rings. Have a price range in mind before you start to shop. Going in with fairly specific parameters will help your jeweler find the right engagement ring to fit your budget.
Do Your Homework
There’s a lot you can learn about diamonds before you even set foot in a jewelry store. Start with the 4Cs – Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight – so you understand how each influences the value of the diamond and adds to the overall appearance of the stone. You’ll learn what is most important to you and where you might want to compromise to fit your price range.
Understand her taste in jewelry
Pay attention to the kind of jewelry she already wears. Is she more classic or modern? Does she wear more white metals or yellow gold? Do her pieces tend to be more delicate or chunky? Sleek or ornate? Have these preferences in mind when you set out to shop. If you buy something similar to what she already s, you can't go wrong.
Know her ring size
If she wears rings, borrow one she already owns. Trace the inner circle on a piece of paper, or press the ring into a bar of soap for an impression. You can also slide it down one of your own fingers and draw a line where it stops. A jeweler can use these measurements to identify her approximate ring size.
If she doesn't wear rings, estimate in the following manner: The average ring size in the U.S. is 6 ( the 'average' U.S. female being 5'4″ tall and weighing 140 lbs.
) If she's more slender, or fine-boned, her ring size is probably in the 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 range. If she is heavier, larger-boned or taller, her ring size is probably in the 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 range.
It's always better to buy a ring a bit bigger than you think she'll need, because sizing a ring down is much easier than increasing its size.
Know her favorite shape and cutting style
If she hasn't made it easy for you by already voicing an opinion on the subject (or admiring someone else's engagement ring), keep these thoughts in mind when considering shape: She will be wearing this ring every day of your married life.
It will need to go with everything from jeans to evening wear. If you're uncertain about her diamond shape preference, it's sensible to stick to the classics, such as a round or square shape.
They became classics because they appeal to most people most of the time.
Certain shapes pair more successfully with other shapes in multi-stone rings. Round, oval and marquise shapes work well sitting side-by-side. Pear and heart shapes are more challenging.
These diamonds feature a range of shapes and cutting styles. From left: cushion cut, Ascher cut, emerald cut, princess cut, oval shape, marquise shape, pear shape. Courtesy of Lazare Kaplan Diamonds. Preference in shape may be reflected in other aspects. If she prefers clean, modern lines in furniture, for example, it's ly she'll react well to the same aesthetic in rectangular or square shapes. If she tends towards the traditional, a round shape rarely misses. Are her tastes eclectic or bohemian? She may favor more unusual shapes, a triangular or marquise shape.
A diamond’s cutting style refers to its facet arrangement, rather than its shape.
Round-shaped diamonds, for example, are cut in the brilliant style − an arrangement of 57 or 58 facets designed to maximize the diamond’s sparkle and minimize the appearance of inclusions.
The fewer the facets, the more visible any inclusions will be, so a cutting style such as a step cut (a.k.a. emerald cut), for example, requires higher clarity in the diamond.
Decide on a setting
Consider her lifestyle and how well a certain setting design will fit into it. If she's more active or outdoorsy, look for lower profile, less ornate or more secure mountings, which are less ly to get knocked against or caught on things. If she's more of a glamour girl, look for statement settings, with a higher stone profile, more intricate ring detailing or a unique motif.
While there are endless design choices you can make for her ring, there are some basic setting types you are ly to encounter:
A single stone and still the most popular style choice in engagement rings. If prong set, the head secures the diamond and the prongs allow the diamond to catch the most light. A six-prong setting is more secure than four prongs. A bezel setting is even more secure and protects the girdle of the stone, but allows the diamond to catch less light than a prong setting.
Smaller diamonds or other gemstones that flank the larger center stone for additional sparkle or color. Popular sidestone settings include prong, channel (which protects stones by keeping them flush), and bar-channel (which allows more light to enter the sidestones).
Typically, the diamonds are the same shape with the center diamond larger than the two sidestones.
Designed by Michael Russo.
The center stone is surrounded by tiny gemstones in a pave (pah-vey) setting, usually diamonds, to add sparkle and to give the appearance of a larger center stone.
Decide on a metal
A diamond engagement ring is meant to last a lifetime so it is often made of gold or platinum – highly durable metals that can withstand many decades of daily wear.
Metal color is a matter of personal preference with gold providing more color options: white, yellow or rose. Metal color is also a consideration since the appearance of a diamond’s color is affected by its surroundings.
Once you’ve selected your diamond, ask your jeweler to show you how it would look with different colored metals.
Find a jeweler
You don’t have to go it alone. A good jeweler will ensure that your engagement ring buying process is stress-free. He or she will educate you about the 4Cs of diamond quality, answer your questions in detail, and help you narrow your choices to those that fit your intended’s tastes and your budget.
Look for a jeweler with professional training and a good reputation – asking friends or relatives for recommendations or seeking a referral from a jewelry association is a good place to start. Learn about the store’s return policy.
And be sure to ask for an independent grading report, those provided by GIA, prior to purchasing a diamond to validate the quality of your purchase. GIA’s Retailer Lookup can help locate a jeweler in your area who carries GIA graded diamonds and has GIA trained associates on staff.
Buying an engagement ring can be easier than you think, if you educate yourself about diamonds and the 4Cs, know her tastes and find a good jeweler to work with. Enjoy the process and imagine the look of awe, surprise and love you’ll get when you put that perfect ring on her finger!
If you’re wondering why you’re buying a ring in the first place, check out our timeline that charts the long history of the engagement ring.
Amethyst Engagement Ring – A Proposal of Purple
In Greek mythology, there was a maiden named Amethystos. She was pitied by Artemis who heard her prayer to remain innocent. It seemed that Dionysus, the god of wine and intoxication, more than fancied her.
But she didn’t want any of that so the Virgin goddess Artemis turned her into a white stone. White – to honor her purity. Learning this and moved by Amethystos wish to be chaste, Dionysus gave honor upon the stone, offering wine over it.
The color of the wine now taints the stone purple, a hue of which the stone amethyst is widely known for.
This story about the amethyst creation is not much of a secret. In fact, the name “Amethyst” is identified to come from the very name of the Greek maiden, meaning “not drunken” or “sober.”
The Greek story about the amethyst has other versions just as the amethyst stone has many uses nowadays. It isn’t merely a birthstone for a specific month or a choice jewelry of a person with a specific taste for the purple stone. It is now one of the many other colored gemstones that adorn engagement rings.
So if you are a guy who embraces unconventional practices and wants to show how there is no harm in expressing love in a nontraditional way to your girlfriend, then maybe you might want to consider buying her an amethyst engagement ring.While other men impress with eccentric presentations over dinner, in an airplane high above the ground, or engagement rings hidden in sweet boxes, you might want to be unique in choosing the stone to represent your “transformative” love.
In fact, the secret of how the amethyst can be capable of transforming its wearer is evident in how it can transform itself. This can be seen when an amethyst’s color changes when exposed to heat.
The PROS of buying an amethyst engagement ring:
- The amethyst gemstone will be perfect for a girl who is especially born or finds a close affinity to the month of February. Showing this in an amethyst engagement ring will be proof that you are paying close attention to the important dates in her life.
- If that isn’t the case then you might as well opt for a February engagement. Why? Because February, from Februarius, meaning to “purify” was, in ancient Roman traditions, a month of celebrations to reestablish the Empire’s want for righteous living. With this in mind, the month you propose will not only be the month of hearts but also the month of purification and what better way to remember it than with an amethyst engagement ring, which equally symbolizes spirituality.
- Although the meaning of this semi-precious gem does not immediately point to marriage, unity, and love, its ability, as known to some to sober up addictions, calm down anxiety and transform negative to positive energy, assures a harmonious union. Amethyst symbolizes spirituality, sincerity, and purity, all of which are great characteristics of a wedding vow.
- Most importantly, after digging into your pocket, you will be pleased to know that amethyst engagement rings compared to conventional engagement gems are affordable. This is owing to the recent discovery of amethyst mines in South America and Russia.
The CONS of buying an amethyst engagement ring:
- It is not widely accepted in comparison to the traditional diamond engagement ring, which for many readily symbolizes wedding before, after and forever. Compared to the amethyst, which comes from Greek “amethystos” or “not drunk”, the diamond comes from Greek “adamas” meaning “unconquerable”. If you are superstitious with meanings, you might want to consider before you give your girlfriend either a “sober” ring or an “undefeatable” ring.
- If your girl is mix-and-match conscious, she may find that, as romantic your idea may be of setting the engagement day on February with a purple-hued engagement ring stone to seal it, she may find it difficult to wear on daily basis. Un diamond, which goes with daily colors, the amethyst’s rich color may prove to be a challenge.
- Recently in the market today, the amethyst isn’t the only affordable gemstone used to complete an engagement ring. In fact, where others prefer citrine and blue topaz, many choose their birthstones even to adorn their wedding rings.
- Some jewelry experts do not really warm up to the idea of a non-diamond engagement ring for the simple visual fact that colored rings do not come close to a formal diamond engagement ring. They suggest that colored engagement rings signify diffidence in the relationship. Why? You can go back to the fact that only a diamond stands for “undefeatable” love.
Famous People who tried the Colored Engagement
Ben Affleck popped the question to Jenifer Lopez with a six-carat pink, radiant-cut diamond which costs more than $3 million. What makes it even more expensive are the three additional, surrounding white baguette diamonds. Although honoring the event with the traditional diamond, the idea that it comes in pink some amethyst hues makes for a colorful and unconventional celebration.
Even more colorful is Princess Diana’s engagement ring from Prince Charles. What looked a flower was made up of an eight-carat oval sapphire adorning the center of the ring while fourteen little white diamonds encircled it tiny petals.
I am however aware that no matter how expensive and grandiose these rings were, these celebrity couples didn’t last, as diamonds do – “forever”.
I then went ahead to browse through forums and check on how men and women feel about engagement rings that weren’t necessarily diamonds.
After reading, I came to the general conclusion that not everyone is nearly as traditional or scared to end up J.Lo and Ben or Princess D and Prince Charles.
If you ask me…
While browsing through online discussions, I also realized that, next to diamond, sapphires and rubies are popular options for engagement rings.
What I am “proposing” is a little awareness about how meaningful an amethyst stone could be for an engagement ring. But as a woman (and I am sure other women will agree with me when I say) any lady with a ring finger waiting is ready to be swept off her feet with any colored ring as long as it involves the big question.
WEDDING AND ENGAGEMENT RING ORDER?
Does the order in which you Wear your Wedding Band and Engagement Ring on your Wedding Ring Finger really matter?
Are there any real reasons why the Wedding Rings have a particular stacking order to them?
Let’s Find Out…
It’s a really crazy thing, because the order of the Wedding Rings doesn’t make any sense at all… But we’ll get to this in a minute. First, we’ll get the answer: The Correct Order that the Rings go on your Finger is this…
The Wedding Ring goes on the Finger FIRST!
Wedding Ring First on the Ring Finger…
Then the Engagement Ring second.
But the whole order of things doesn’t hold water.
Why? Because of what happens at the Altar! That’s right! The Altar.
Let me Explain!
You wear an Engagement Ring the entire time you’re Engaged. It could be days, it could be years. You wear it by itself on the Wedding Ring Finger. (Which is the 4th finger on the Left hand!) Then comes the Wedding Day! Your Wedding Ring is placed on your Ring Finger during the Ceremony at the Altar.
But there’s a Problem to doing this…
Because the Engagement Ring is already there! This adds confusion.
Do you Remove the Engagement Ring, put the Wedding Ring on, then Replace the Engagement Ring with hundreds of people watching? Lots of couples don’t know. Or, do you slip the Wedding Band on, leaving the Engagement Ring where it’s at, and have her switch the order later, after the Wedding?
I’ll tell you the best two things to do, so you don’t make the transition any more confusing than it really is!
Here are your Choices:
1) Have her start the Wedding without Rings on her finger, and slip them BOTH on at the same time during the Ceremony. Or…
2) I already said, just Slide the Wedding Ring on behind the Engagement Ring and have her swap their places later.
You may have problems with the latter if the Wedding Ring is an Insert. (An Insert or Jacket, is where the Engagement Ring slips inside of two Rings…
That’s why they call it an “Insert!”)
Those will have to be done in Advance!
If the Rings don’t fit well, or easy. If they Interlock or Hook, or are just Soldered together, then by all means, have the two Rings already together, then put the two Rings on at the same time during the Wedding.
If the Wedding Band is just a Channel Set Diamond Band, or a Plain Gold Band, then it’s fine to have her wear her Engagement Ring during the Ceremony and slip the Band on at the Altar.It all depends on the Style of Rings you have. They will either fit flush and easy, or they’ll be Difficult and a Pain to get right. If it’s a pain, do it ahead of time!
What’s interesting about this whole Tradition of putting a Wedding Ring on next to the Engagement Ring, is that times are changing rapidly!
Change is Good?
A lot of Rings that you find in the Jewelry Stores Today are sold as a One-Piece Ring.
That means it stands for everything!
It’s both the Engagement Ring AND the Wedding Band! It’s the Entire Package. This way, she has one Ring to begin with, she gets that Ring put on her during the Wedding, and that’s all she gets! One ring to rule them all! (Most of the time, these Rings are a little bit wider than a normal Ring!)
One-Piece Wedding Rings makes the crazy time at the Altar, Smooth, Effortless, and a Piece of Cake. (Mmmmm, I Love Wedding Cake!)
That’s a Wrap…
Some couples have the ever popular Classic Engagement Ring, which is a standard Tiffany-Style Solitaire Ring. ( the Pear-Shaped Diamond in the Picture)
One of the choices you can use as a Wedding Ring with Solitaires are what they call Wraps! Wraps are Rings that “Wrap” around the center Diamond. (See Picture for a Wrap!)
Sometimes they go all the way around the Solitaire, other times they just fit on either side of the Diamond.
What’s funny about these, is that people don’t know which side is the Wedding Band side, since it’s wrapped around your Engagement Ring, it’s hard to tell. Each Wrap is different, so you’ll have to look good to see which Band is actually the Wedding Band.
The Side that has the Wedding Band goes on the Finger First!
But that still leaves one Big Question…
Why DOES the Wedding Ring go on the Finger First?
We know HOW, but what about the WHY?
People always want to know who made up this madness and why? Here we go… The Wedding Ring is put on the Ring Finger First, because myth says, that the Wedding Ring is always worn CLOSEST to the Heart! Aww! How Special!
Why the 4th Finger?
And why are the Wedding Rings put on the 4th Finger of the Left Hand? You’re going to love this one as well…
Myth states that the Wedding Ring Finger was the Finger used, because that was the Finger that had a vein in it, that ran directly to the Heart! WOW! You see, it’s all about Love and Romance. (And Gold and Diamonds… and Veins!) This wonderful myth or legend may not be correct, but somehow, the tradition still lives on Today!
Last Word on the Wedding Rings…
Make sure the rings fit together properly, and make sure they fit together on Her!
People don’t know this, but normally when you add the Wedding Ring to the Engagement Ring, you’ll have to get them sized up at least 1/4 size larger to fit.
That’s correct! At least a 1/4 size, if not more! (Don’t wait until the big day to realize this!) But it’s the truth, 2 Rings take up more space on your finger than one Ring. Taking up more space means, they’ll fit snugger! Make sure you have it checked out ahead of time. (It could be embarrassing at the altar trying to force the Rings on!)
Speaking of Weddings…
Don’t Forget This:
Get both Rings Polished and Cleaned BEFORE your Wedding Day!
You don’t want Wedding Photos taken of a Dirty Ring!
Get them Professionally Cleaned and Polished. (And Soldered together if necessary!) (Read my blog about: Should you get your Rings Soldered Together Before the Wedding?) And remember… Make sure you wear the Wedding Band closest to your Heart!
Tradition or not… You can’t Fool the Heart!
Choosing the Right Metal for Your Engagement Ring
It’s time to buy an engagement ring — and there are so many factors to consider. Choosing the metal alone is a more complex decision than it used to be. Where it once was a simple choice between yellow and white, now you have a whole range of possibilities to consider, including:
- What's the difference between white gold and platinum?
- What exactly is rose gold?
- How do newer, alternative metals popular in men’s wedding rings, titanium and tungsten carbide, complement gold and platinum in engagement rings?
Take it one step at a time — starting with the type of metal — and you’ll end up with a ring that suits her style and that she’ll cherish forever. Use this as your guide to the different types of metals available for ring settings.
What's her style?
Focus first on determining your fiancée's style, and then finding the right metal and color to complement that style. One of the first things you need to think about when choosing a metal for a setting is the type of jewelry your future bride typically wears:
- If she’s drawn to cooler hues and silver-toned jewelry, then platinum or white gold is the way to go.
- Yellow gold or rose gold are good choices if she tends to gravitate toward warmer tones.
- Mixing metals white gold and yellow gold is a smart option, because it will allow her to complement any piece in her existing jewelry wardrobe.
- Even if you decide on a warmer metal yellow gold, setting the diamond in a white metal head (which holds the diamond in place) platinum or white gold will accentuate the diamond, showing off its brilliance to sparkling effect.
Platinum is a naturally white metal with a cool luster that showcases the brilliance and sparkle of diamonds beautifully. It’s a popular choice for engagement rings and wedding bands, and is considered the most precious of all jewelry metals.
Compared to gold, platinum is five times as rare and purer when used in jewelry. Platinum is durable, making it a good option if your fiancée leads an active lifestyle — its density provides a secure setting for diamonds or gemstones. Platinum is also naturally hypoallergenic, so it’s a great choice for those with sensitive skin.
Its elegant sheen will not fade or change color over time, making re-plating your platinum ring unnecessary. Because of its strength, it’s a popular choice for setting diamonds.
Gold is an extremely versatile metal, and the most common choice for jewelry. The standard measurement of gold is a karat, which is divided into 24 parts. Pure gold is 24 karats, meaning 24 24 parts are gold.
Pure gold is too soft to be used for jewelry, so it’s combined with other metal alloys to increase its strength. You’ll find 22K gold, but most often gold comes in 18K (75% gold), 14K (58% gold) and 10K (about 42% gold).
The remainder is made up of other metals — silver, copper, nickel and zinc — to lend strength and durability. The type and percentage of metal alloys used determine the shade and color of gold.For example, 22K gold tends to be a rich, saturated gold color, while 14K gold may appear as a slightly paler yellow.
Gold jewelry usually comes in these colors:
Classic yet fashionable, yellow gold achieves its warm patina from the red of copper and the green hue of silver. Yellow gold lost favor to white gold for a while, but has recently regained popularity.
More contemporary than yellow gold, white gold gets its silvery white character from combining yellow gold with copper, zinc and nickel (or palladium).
It’s plated with a hard element called rhodium (a platinum group metal), which costs about four times as much as platinum, resists scratches and tarnishing, and gives white gold a reflective appearance.
However, it may wear away over time, requiring a quick trip to your jeweler for re-plating.
Unique and romantic, rose gold has a warm, pink hue created by combining yellow gold with a copper alloy. The overall percentages of metal alloys are the same for rose gold as they are for yellow or white; it’s just a different mixture of alloys used.
While not all that common, green gold is unusual and nature-inspired; it has a soft, pale green color created by mixing yellow gold with silver, copper and zinc. Use green gold together with rose and white gold for an interesting, different tri-color look.
The perfect setting
Now that you understand the differences between metals, it’s time to put the pieces together. Choose your metal, pick your style and complete the look with a brilliant diamond or gorgeous gemstone.
In the process, you’ll discover things about your future wife that you may not have known about her before — and that’s part of the fun.
In the end, you’ll create an engagement ring that’s just as unique and beautiful as the woman who will be wearing it.
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