Your 3-Step Guide to Engagement Rings

Art deco vintage engagement rings

Say you want to propose. But how do you pick a ring? Here are the three factors you should consider before you—or you and your significant other, since about 61% of couples involve both parties—head out shopping for diamonds.

Diamond Quality

There are four “C” words that describe a diamond: cut, clarity, color and carat weight. The first refers to the shape a stone is cut into (cushion cut diamond engagement rings are among the most popular, but other cuts such as emerald and marquis are becoming more popular as well), which affects how brilliant (sparkly, in layman’s terms) it is. Clarity refers to how many flaws are in the diamond. The closer to being colorless a diamond is, the higher its quality.

Carat is how the size of a diamond is measured. Because carat weight is not the same as surface area, however, the cut of a diamond heavily affects how large the stone appears. Often, 2 carat diamond engagement rings—traditionally a simple band with a diamond solitaire—are considered to be the standard, but this size may be too large for women with small hands.

Setting Style

The ring into which a diamond is incorporated is known as the setting. Recently, antique diamond engagement rings have grown to be immensely popular, so you’ll likely to see rings with a large cusion-cut diamond surrounded by many smaller stones. A simple choice is the classic diamond solitaire on a narrow band.

If you’d like something more unique, consider looking for mixed metals, incorporating both platinum/white gold and yellow gold.

Seller Benefits

Large jewlery chains offer a few benefits, such as included cleaning and warranty plans. This is handy if you expect to move. But smaller jewelers may offer more unique selections and be able to customize a style just for you. If you’re looking for a real antique, there are many stores that specialize in selling jewelry collected from estate sales and similar venues.

If you want to buy online, ensure that you’re working with a reputable seller. Read numerous reviews and check on the legitimacy of the site before you submit any payment information. And it’s always a good idea to at least try on a few rings in person, since you never know how a ring will look on any given person until you see it.

How do you feel about buying real antique diamond engagement rings, versus new rings modeled on vintage styles? Share in the comments. More on this topic.

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