4 Things to Remember When Shopping for an Engagement Ring

Getting the proposal perfect!

Gearing up for a proposal is an exciting endeavour. However, planning how to pop the question is just half the battle.

Along with it, you also have to plan out other details, such as purchasing the perfect ring to mark the special occasion.

Now, this task can both be overwhelming and daunting, especially for individuals who aren’t that knowledgeable about jewellery.

In the past, most people only had to worry about the size and cut of a diamond. However, we are now presented with more choices, from classic diamond rings and modern teal sapphire engagement rings to eye-catching shape-shifting rings, and having so many options can make it more difficult for a couple to decide on which one they really want as a symbol of their promise.

Fortunately, you don’t need to have extensive knowledge about fashion and jewellery to pick out one ring.

All you have to do is familiarise yourself with certain terms and details. To help you with that, we’ve prepared a simple guide you can use in choosing the perfect engagement ring for your significant other.

1. Understand the Concept of the 4Cs

To choose an appropriate gemstone, couples need to take note of its cut, clarity, colour, and carat. This is what is referred to as the 4Cs, a global criterion created by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), and it used in assessing the quality of a gem. To explain it better, let’s take a look at each category:

Cut

Most people mistakenly think that cut merely refers to the shape of the gem. However, it actually involves three factors: shape, cutting style, and cut quality.

The shape of a gemstone refers to its outline when viewed from afar. At present, the most popular shape is round, but there are also other shapes available such as marquise, pear, rectangle, square, heart, and oval.

Cutting style, on the other hand, is how the facets of a gem are arranged. Currently, the standard brilliant cutting style with an arrangement of 57 to 58 facets is most commonly used in engagement rings, but other styles like that of an emerald cut and radiant cut are also quite popular.

Cut quality determines the chemistry between the gem and its cut by focusing on how well its facets interact with light. Putting it simply, it measures the brilliance of a gemstone depending on its style and shape.

However, cutting gemstones in the same shape and style does not mean they will have the same cut quality. After all, gems have varying structures that give them unique properties. This means that every gem has a special way of cutting that maximises its brilliance.

Clarity

This category measures the amount of inclusions (internal flaws) and blemishes (external imperfections) a gemstone has.

Luckily, you won’t have to determine this by yourself as stores already label their rings according to the GIA scale of clarity. Check it out below:

  • FL – Flawless
  • IF – Internally Flawless with Minor Surface Blemishes
  • VVS1, VVS2 – Very, Very Slightly Included
  • VS1, VS2 – Very Slightly Included
  • SI1, SI2 – Slightly Included
  • I1, I2, I3 – Imperfect with Eye-visible Inclusions

Gemstone clarity is measured and labelled according to this standard. And needless to say, the more flawless a gem is, the more expensive it will be.

Colour

In the past, diamonds are graded according to their colour. The rarest ones are colourless, thus, they are also very pricy. With the inclusion of coloured gemstones like sapphires, the colour standard of engagement rings now depends on the hue, saturation, and tone of the gemstone.

Carat

In general, the gemstone carat denotes its weight and size. And naturally, the higher the carat of a gem is, the higher it is priced as well.

via GIPHY

2. Choose a Metal Band

Choosing the cut, clarity, colour, and carat of the gemstone is only one aspect of buying an engagement ring. Aside from the gem, you also have to take your time in choosing the right metal band to go with your chosen centre stone.

By far, white gold and platinum are amongst the top choices, and they are often a great option for colourless diamonds. Gold and rose gold metal bands, on the other hand, are great to combine with coloured sapphires.

3. Decide on the Type of Setting

The setting of an engagement ring has two functions. One is to hold the centre stone in place, and the other is to protect it from damage. It also influences the final look of the ring. The setting you choose should fit the lifestyle of the wearer, too.

via GIPHY

4. Consider Additional Touches

Putting additional touches is a good way to add some glamor on an inexpensive engagement ring without having to spend a lot. You can opt to incorporate a few side stones to make the ring look shinier. Instead of the classic highly-polished metal band, you can also try milgrain and filigree styling for a more exotic or unique look.

Buying an engagement ring is a considerable expense, so it’s important to choose a ring that’s worth the cost. Keep this guide in mind when you go shopping, and you’ll be able to narrow down your options to rings that you and your beloved will be proud and happy to own.

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