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Put a Ring on It! Guide to Picking the Perfect Engagement Ring

In Pearl Jewellery
18 Feb 2015 | No Comments

So you’ve found the woman you want to spend the rest of your life with. You’ve asked her parents for her hand in marriage. Now the only thing that’s left to do is get down on one knee and pop the question—but wait! What about the ring?

Perhaps the hardest part about proposing is picking the perfect engagement ring. There’s a lot of pressure on this purchase because it basically symbolises the beginning of a new and exciting journey. Like finding ‘the one’, buying the perfect ring can also be overwhelming, what with all the choices and technical terms you need to understand.

But fret not. Here, we offer a guide to help you pick the ring for the one.

Anatomy of a Ring

When jewellery shopping, take note that there’s more to a ring than the gemstone it features. You also need to pay attention to its other components, such as the band and setting.

The Band

This is basically the body of the ring. There are a number of choices available, but the most common are:

  • Platinum – although slightly pricier than white gold, platinum is preferred by many because of its strength and durability. It keeps its colour forever and doesn’t wear as much over time.
  • White Gold – this enhances the sparkle of the stones and is also scratch-resistant.
  • Yellow Gold – a less expensive option, yellow gold is the traditional choice for engagement rings.
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The Setting

This refers to how the gemstone is secured or placed on the band. Popular settings include:

  • Prong – also known as the claw setting, this type features three to six claws that hold the stone firmly in place. This is one of the most popular settings because it allows light to flow through the stone, accentuating its arch.
  • Bezel – in this setting, the stone is held in place by a metal frame. The gem can either be partially or completely wrapped.
  • Tension – this setting uses pressure to secure the gem, creating an illusion that the stone is floating on air.
  • Cathedral – this is similar to prong, but has rising slopes of metal that secure the gem on two sides.

The Stone

The obvious choice is, of course, a diamond. Take note though, that diamonds aren’t created equal. So if you want to give your lovely lady the best friend she deserves, you’ll want to take into account the four Cs: cut, clarity, colour, and carat weight. These elements determine the quality, beauty and value of a diamond.

  • Cut – this refers to the angles and proportions of the diamond, and not just its shape. When a stone is skilfully cut, it will be able to reflect light from one facet to another. This creates the sparkle or fiery brilliance that’s sure to dazzle your future fiancée.
  • Colour – the stone’s colours also contribute to its value. Colourless diamonds are rare and thus, more expensive. But even rarer and more precious are fancy coloured diamonds such as blue, red, and Argyle pink diamonds.
  • Clarity – this refers to the absence or presence of inclusions or flaws in a stone. The fewer inclusions, the better.
  • Carat weight – this represents the weight, and not the size of the diamond.

Alternatives to Diamond Engagement Rings

While it’s common to give a dazzling, diamond ring when proposing, you can always break the mould and choose other types for your special someone, such as:

Opal

Also known as the “Queen of Gems,” opal makes for a great engagement ring as it symbolises loyalty and fidelity. The most valuable and rarest of opals is the black opal, which can be found in the Lightning Ridge area in New South Wales. This Australian opal features a kaleidoscope of brilliant colours that shine against a dark, mysterious backdrop.

Pearl

For women with a refined and eclectic taste, pearl jewellery is the perfect fit. Pearl engagement rings are not as common, but they still make for an ideal engagement ring as they are timeless and symbolise faith and harmony.

Buying an engagement ring may be a daunting task. But all the planning, researching and confusion will definitely be worth it once you get the sweetest “Yes!” you’ll ever hear in your life.

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