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  • How to Purchase a Diamond Engagement Ring?

    Know what 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. Going in with fairly specific parameters will help your jeweler find the right engagement ring to fit your budget.

    What kind of jewelry does she already wear? Is she more classic or modern? Feminine or sophisticated? Does she wear more silver or gold? Do her pieces tend to be more delicate or chunky? Simple or ornate? Have these preferences in mind when you set out to shop. If you buy something similar to what she already likes, 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 US is 6 (based on the ‘average’ US 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.

    Are her preferences hard to pin down? Consider buying an unset diamond. If you choose the diamond first and have the setting made later, you can include her in selecting the style and final details of the ring (always a good idea) and avoid the awkwardness of choosing a ring that’s more to your taste than hers.

    Diamond is the birthstone for April, a fitting gem to symbolize the start of something new just like springtime. The word diamond is derived from the Greek word “adamas” meaning “invincible”. Most diamonds come from South Africa. It is said diamonds are good for coughs and mucus problems. Diamonds are the symbol of innocence and constancy. To clean diamonds, wash in warm soapy water and dry gently with a soft cloth.

    Know what diamond shape suits her. If she hasn’t made it easy for you by already voicing an opinion on the subject (or admiring someone else’s engagement ring), here are a few things to keep in mind when considering shape:

    – She will be wearing this ring 24/7 every day of your married life. It will need to go with everything from jeans to evening wear. If you’re uncertain about her shape preference, it’s sensible to stick to the classics. They became classics because they appeal to most people most of the time.

    – Cutting styles with fewer facets, such as emerald cut or rose cut, require higher clarity. 

    – Certain shapes pair more successfully with other gems in multi-stone rings. Round, Oval and Marquise all work well. Pear and Heart shape are more challenging.

    – If she prefers clean, modern lines in furniture, for example, it’s likely she’ll react well to the same aesthetic in Rectangular or Square shapes, like the Emerald Cut or Princess Cut. If she tends towards the traditional, a round shape rarely misses. More bohemian types tend to favor more unusual shapes, like Trilliant or Marquise.

    What Setting Makes Sense?

    While there are an unending variety of patterns, details and metal choices, there are four basic types you are likely to encounter:

    Solitaire – A single stone. Still the most popular choice in engagement rings. The head secures the diamond. Prongs allow the diamond to catch the most light. A four-prong-setting shows more of the diamond, but a six-prong setting is often more secure.

     

    Sidestone – Diamonds or other gemstones, flank the main stone for additional sparkle or color. Popular sidestone settings include ‘channel’, which protects stones by keeping them flush, and ‘bar-channel’, which allows more light to enter the sidestones.

     

    Three Stone – One diamond for the past, one for the present, and one for the future. Typically, the center diamond is larger than the two side stones.

     

    Pavee (pah-vey) – The main stone is surrounded by tiny diamonds to add sparkle and the illusion of greater size.

    As to actual setting design, consider her lifestyle, and how well a certain setting will fit into it. If she’s more active or outdoorsy, look for lower profile, less ornate, more sturdy choices, which are less likely to get knocked or caught on things. If she’s more of a glamour girl, look for statement settings, with a higher stone profile and more intricate ring detailing or unique motif.

  • The Many Shapes of a Diamond

     

    ROUND BRILLIANT DIAMOND

    The round brilliant diamond is by far the most popular diamond shape. Perhaps this is because the round brilliant diamond has the most sparkle of any of the shapes. The round diamond is often perceived to have a ‘classic’ style that complements almost any style of setting that it accompanies.

    PRINCESS DIAMOND

    The princess diamond, like the round brilliant diamond, is cut with a brilliant facet pattern, maximizing the sparkle in the gemstone. Although the length-to-width ratio can vary, princess diamonds are traditionally square in shape.

    CUSHION DIAMOND

    The cushion diamond features a square shape with rounded corners. They can vary in the length-to-width ratio with some being more elongated than others. The cushion diamond has experienced several refinements since its creation some 200 years ago, leading to a recent resurgence in popularity.

    EMERALD DIAMOND

    The emerald diamond, unlike the brilliant cuts mentioned above, is characterized by a step cut facet pattern. While emerald diamonds do not give off the same ‘fiery’ reflections as some of its counterparts, the step cut creates a mirror effect that reflects light in a dramatic way. Emerald diamonds are traditionally more elongated, but can also be cut to more of a square shape.

    RADIANT DIAMOND

    The radiant diamond can range in its length-to-width ratios with some being more square in shape and others being more elongated. With cropped corners and its brilliant facet pattern, the radiant diamond has characteristics similar to both the princess and cushion diamonds.

    ASSCHER DIAMOND

    The Asscher diamond was first developed in 1902 by the Asscher family from Holland and experienced its peak popularity in the 1920’s. For this reason, it is often perceived to have a ‘vintage’ style. With its square shape, cropped corners and more extreme step cut (than its emerald diamond cousin), the Asscher diamond has experienced a resurgence in popularity in recent years.

    OVAL DIAMOND

    The oval diamond is a modified round brilliant cut that offers a similar fire and brilliance as its more popular round diamond counterpart. For this reason, the oval diamond is a great option for those who are attracted to the round diamond’s features but is looking for something a little more unique.

    PEAR DIAMOND

    The pear diamond is another modified brilliant cut that combines the looks of a round diamond and a marquise diamond. As its name suggests, the pear diamond features a round shape on one end and tapers to a point on the opposite end.

    MARQUISE DIAMOND

    The marquise diamond is a modified brilliant cut with an oblong shape featuring two points on either end. With its long and narrow shape, the marquise diamond can make the wearer’s finger appear longer and slimmer.

    HEART DIAMOND

    The heart diamond is a modified brilliant cut that is obviously derived from the universal symbol of love. Symmetry is perhaps the most important quality to look for in a heart shaped diamond.