By Devorah Isenberg
, Friday, May 13, 2011
The diamond engagement ring
is one of the most financially and sentimentally important objects you will ever own. It is a hugely important decision, so it is completely understandable that many would-be grooms become overwhelmed when they first set out to purchase the all-important diamond engagement ring. But armed with a little time, a lot of patience, and a good amount of information, anyone can choose the perfect diamond engagement ring, whether it is for yourself or someone else. Here are just a few of the major decisions involved in choosing the ideal engagement ring that will suit your budget and lifestyle.
Surprise Her or Shop Together?
Decide whether you want to surprise her with the ring or purchase it together. Although romantic comedies would have you think that every guy surprises his girl with the perfect diamond ring, the truth is that more and more couples are heading to jewelry stores together. After all, chances are you’ve already discussed the idea of getting married in general; plus, if she is going to wear the diamond engagement ring every day, she might want input into how to looks. Either way, you can plan a romantic proposal that is completely a surprise.
Custom or Pre-Designed?
One way to make sure that your diamond engagement ring is truly one-of-a-kind is to literally make it unique by having it custom designed to your exact specifications. You will get to choose every detail of the ring design, from the setting style to the design elements on the shank. However, buying a ring “off the shelf” doesn’t mean you have no choices. Most diamond engagement rings are sold as empty settings; the jeweler will place your choice of a certified loose diamond
into the setting once you purchase it.
A solitaire diamond engagement ring
, in which the center stone rests in a simple setting with no adornment on the band, may seem like the most inexpensive option, but in order to create a really beautiful solitaire engagement ring, the diamond used for the center must be a top-quality certified loose diamond, of a significant size, in order to create the visual impact needed. Although embellished diamond settings are more expensive, they coordinate better with smaller, more modest diamonds. Ultimately, you have to decide whether you want to invest most of your budget into an exquisite diamond or set aside some of it for a fabulous setting.
Round or Fancy Shape?
There are many advantages to the classic round diamond shape
. First, they are the most common, so you will find the greatest possible variety in your certified loose diamond search. Second, they are scientifically engineered for maximum light performance in a way that is not always possible for fancy shapes. Finally, many of the certifications and reports used to grade diamonds apply only to certified loose diamonds that are round. Fancy shapes, like emerald-cut, princess-cut, pear and marquise shapes, each have a unique style and elegance to them. They are more unusual than round diamonds and can really make a diamond engagement ring stand out.
Once you’ve decided on the perfect certified loose diamond and the setting style, you have to choose your metal. Many jewelers, especially online jewelers with greater variety, offer the same settings in yellow gold, white gold, and platinum. Each material has its relative advantages. Platinum is durable, valuable, and never loses its luster. White gold has the same crisp white finish as platinum for a more affordable price, although it will need to be re-dipped every few years to maintain its sheen. Yellow gold, and its lesser-known cousin, rose gold, has a unique vintage-y appeal that many diamond engagement ring buyers value, although it does not always maximize the light potential of a quality certified loose diamond.