Choosing the Perfect Engagement Ring
Your engagement ring will always be with you, as an ever-present reminder of the moment you became engaged, and as a symbol of the deep and beautiful love between you. Since this ring is such a focal point on your hand, and since it will be one of your most treasured possessions, a great deal of care must go into choosing the perfect engagement ring. That’s why a top wedding trend right now is for the bride to be involved in designing or selecting her engagement ring.
Our stylish New Jersey and New York City brides say they definitely had a say in the choice of their ring style, without ruining any of the magic of the proposal itself (that is most often still a surprise!) and their grooms are very happy to give their brides the experience of trying on rings at the ring shop. That’s a bride’s dream come true! And you get to try on different styles to pick The One for you.
As you begin thinking about your perfect engagement ring choice, think about your personal style first. Do you want a Wow Factor ring with lots of sparkle, a larger stone and a ton of diamonds surrounding the band? Or do you prefer a subtler, more understated solitaire diamond standing solo from a shining platinum, unadorned band? Brides’ styles range from splashy to sophisticated, to antique to artsy, and with so many gorgeous engagement ring styles available, you’ll find a wide range of rings to suit your preferences.
First, begin with considering your ring setting:
- “Prong” style is the most common ring setting style, with ‘claws’ holding the stone in place on top of the setting to show off more of the diamond itself. Four prongs are usually chosen for this stone-showing effect, and six prongs can be more secure but also hide a larger portion of a smaller stone.
- “Tension” settings set the stone between two narrow bands of metal, with compression holding the ‘floating’ stone in place. This style isn’t recommended for stones other than diamonds, sapphires or rubies, since it takes a tough stone to hold up to the pressure in this style.
- “Bezel” is a metal rim with edges that partially or fully surround the perimeter of the stone, for a flat effect.
- “Channel” is a popular wedding style that lines up stones between two horizontal metal channels for all or part of the ring’s band. Round stones are most often shown off in this ring style, since they’re easier and less expensive to set than other shaped.
- “Pavé” setting features three or more rows of small stones set level with the surface of the ring, for a very sparkly effect.
- And more. Ask your jeweler to show you designer, custom settings, and vintage-inspired settings with unique band shapes.
Once you choose your setting, it’s time to choose your metal, from platinum to white gold to yellow gold, palladium, rose gold and other unique metal blends. Talk to your ring sales official about the details of ring hardness or softness, and ask also about ethically-mined ring golds and precious metals.
Next, choose your stone shape, from asscher, cushion, emerald, heart, marquise, pear, princess, radiant, round, oval, square, and rectangle. Be sure to try on different shapes of stones, even if you think you know your favorite shape, since many of our wedding couples say a try-on of a different shape revealed The One.
And look also at traditional diamonds, colored diamonds like pink, yellow or chocolate diamonds, to get a feel for the different colors of stones, and one top engagement ring trend now is choosing gemstones like rubies, sapphires, emeralds, citrine and other stones if color is preferred. For diamonds and gemstones, read up on the 4 C’s : carat, cut, clarity and color to choose the perfect stone for you (and for your budget, since more perfect stones cost more.)
Speaking of budget, one insider secret from jewelers is that a ring with more stone surface will look bigger and very impressive, but won’t sparkle as much as multi-faceted rings. And a stone that is slightly-less than the next carat – such as a 1.9 instead of a 2 – will be markedly less expensive than that 2. Another engagement ring trend is to choose a gemstone for the larger center stone, and then flank it with two smaller diamonds or small diamonds in the band. White gold costs less than platinum, as well. And you may get a price break for buying an engagement band and wedding band set.
When you try on The One, you’ll simply know. And your ring will be perfectly matched to you and your sense of personal style. If, in the future, you’d like a larger stone or a different setting, that can always be arranged.