Choosing a perfect engagement ring can be daunting. Oftentimes one can become overwhelmed with the sheer amount of choices in diamond cut, size, and clarity, what color gold to choose, whether to engrave or not to engrave, as well as several other options. Here are five tips to consider when choosing your own engagement ring.
- Consider the “4 Cs” when choosing your diamond, if you choose to have one.
The most important aspects of a diamond are in measuring its four “Cs” or carat, clarity, cut, and color.
Carat: The carat refers to the size of a diamond. The larger the carat weight, the more expensive the diamond typically is. Generally, anywhere between 0.30 carats to 0.50 carats is considered normal for a first engagement ring.
Clarity: This is another very important feature in choosing a diamond. Diamonds can range from flawless to included, which means they range from exceptionally clear to flawed with carbon inclusions that can greatly decrease their value. Generally, diamonds are graded as follows:
FL: Flawless, without any flaws; this is very rare and quite expensive.
IF: Internally flawless; these diamonds are nearly perfect, and are still quite rare.
VVS1-VVS2: Very, very slightly included; this means they are essentially “eye clean,” or you would need a jeweler’s loupe at a magnification of 10x or greater to notice any imperfections.
VS1-VS2: Very slightly included, slightly more included than VVS
SI1-SI2: Slightly included; these are still good diamonds, but may have a few small inclusions that can be seen with the naked eye.
I1-I3: Included; these diamonds have visibly obvious inclusions that can be seen with the naked eye without magnification.
Never feel intimidated by diamond selection Any reputable jeweler would be more than happy to help you select the perfect one.
- Do you want something traditional or more personalized?
If you choose to personalize your engagement ring, look for designs and patterns that appeal to you. Twisted rope edging, variegated hammered centers, tiny milgrain beading and more are subtle details will truly bring your treasured piece together. Consider adding pave set diamonds for a radiant effect around the circumference of the band if you choose not to showcase one diamond.
- What color gold is your preference?
Most engagement rings will come in yellow, white, or rose gold. Yellow and white gold are more common than rose, but rose is a beautiful option for anyone who prefers warm, pink tones. But when choosing wedding bands, it is important to consider any possible sensitivity you may have to certain metal alloys. Because anything less than 24k gold is mixed with a combination of other precious metals such as copper and nickel, it is important to know whether or not your skin is averse to these metals. Try borrowing or wearing a 10k gold ring for a few weeks. We suggest 10k because it is less pure gold than other gold standards. If you start to develop a rash or skin discoloration, it is best to choose wedding bands that are at least 18k gold.
- How often do you work with your hands?
This may not seem as obvious, but if you find yourself working with your hands often, choosing an engagement ring that has intricate prong work or other parts that can snag on material or scratch against hard surfaces would not be an ideal choice. Consider smoothed bands with or without pave set, or channel set diamonds to avoid constant headaches with rings that may be too elaborate or delicate for more aggressive daily wear.
- Don’t rush it.
Take your time when choosing your perfect engagement ring. Jewelers are more than happy to work with you to go through all of the specifics involved in selecting the most ideal choice, whether it is a more traditional one, or something you decide to have customized to your own liking. Keep in mind that each and every wedding band choice can be fine-tuned to suit your personal and aesthetic needs. In the end, you will be wearing this wedding band for the rest of your life. It is important to choose one that most suitably honors and commemorates the deep love and bond you have with your spouse and truly makes you happy.