Engagement Ring Buying Guide

An engagement ring is a purchase that will last a lifetime. Consequently, there are many important things to consider when choosing a ring, such as the style, grading and cost. This guide will help shed some light on these factors so that you can choose the perfect ring for your soon-to-be fiancee.

Types of Engagement Rings

Most engagement rings feature diamonds. Timeless and classic, diamonds are the center of the ring. There are a number of different styles of rings that you can choose. They range from simple to spectacular. Here are a few of the popular styles.

Diamond Solitaire

The classic engagement ring choice, these styles feature a single, sparkling diamond on a band. Diamond solitaire rings perfectly showcase the center diamond. Solitaires have always been a very popular choice and can be designed to suit almost any taste.

Solitaire With Accents

For a bit more glamour, consider a ring that features a solitaire with accents. These engagement rings have a main stone, typically a diamond in the center of the ring. Smaller accent stones, such as rubies, emeralds or diamonds surround the large solitaire stone. Accents can add sparkle and made the center stone appear larger.

Bridal Set

A bridal set features both the engagement and wedding bands that fit together. These sets are designed and paired together to perfectly complement one another. Featuring limitless combinations of stones and styles.

Three Stone Rings

Three-stone engagement rings feature three stones to represent your past, present and future together. They also can signify friendship, fidelity and love. Sometimes called past-present-future rings, these rings are a celebration of a coupleís romantic journey.

Custom-Designed

A custom-designed engagement ring lets you create the ring of her dreams by designing it yourself. This is a great ring to show her just how special and unique she truly is. You can literally choose from thousands of different settings and stones to create a custom-designed ring.

Pay Attention to

When buying an engagement ring, it is important to pay attention to the four Cís. The four Cís refer to clarity, cut, carat and color. Care is also discussed in this section as proper care will help keep the engagement ring looking its best for many years to come.

Clarity

Clarity refers to tiny imperfections that are found in almost every diamond. A flawless diamond is the most desired due to its rarity. These diamonds are also the most expensive. It is common for most diamonds to have minor imperfections. Imperfections usually occur during the mining or processing phase. Imperfections can also be formed during the diamondís formation, or crystallization period. Imperfection can refer to anything from dark spots to white dots. Flaws can be internal or external. Diamonds are assigned a grade based on their clarity. There are 11 grades in all, with the FL grade being flawless and I grade being imperfect. FL grade diamonds cost the most while I grades are the least expensive.

Cut

This term refers to a diamondís shape, symmetry, polish and proportions. Many people consider the cut of a diamond to be its most important factor in respect to its beauty. The cut determines the brilliance of the stone, or how light is dispersed and reflected. Proportion refers to the relative angles and sizes of the diamond's facets. Symmetry is the precision of the cut design, especially the facets. Polish is the luster and smoothness of the diamond's surface. Diamonds come in many different shapes. Some of these include round brilliant, pear, oval, heart, marquise, fancy, cushion and emerald. The most popular cut is the round brilliant.

Caret

This refers to the weight of a diamond. Larger carat diamonds are more expensive because they are rarer.

Color

The color of a diamond actually refers to its lack of color. The less color a diamond has, the higher its grade or value. Color is considered to be the second most important characteristic of a diamond. A color grade of Z is the lowest grade while D is the highest.

Care

Care of a diamond is very important. Proper engagement ring care will keep the ring and stone looking their best. It can also help prevent them from being damaged or lost. Diamond engagement rings can collect a buildup of makeup and dirt. This can diminish the brightness of the stone. Therefore, the ring should be taken for professional cleaning approximately every six months or so. It is important to invest in a professional cleaning, as it is a stipulation of many warranties. In addition, the jeweler can look for loose diamonds or settings.

Top Brands and Product Lines

Here are some of the highest-rated engagement ring designers, along with their most popular rings.

Neil Lane

The Neil Lane Bridal Set was designed to fit perfectly together. It features an engagement ring with a 1 Ĺ total carat round diamond. The diamond is showcased in the center of the ring and framed with smaller accent diamonds. The band of the engagement ring and the wedding band are both 14K white gold. The bands also feature smaller accent diamonds.

Tacori

Tacori engagement rings combine modern style with classic elegance. Tacoriís 18k white gold diamond engagement ring from the Crescent Collection is a classic Tacori solitaire. This attractively feminine ring perfectly suits most tastes.

Tolkowsky

The Tolkowsky diamond engagement set in white gold features a gorgeous center diamond with a unique criss-cross pattern of ribbons of 14K white gold on the band. The band is also decorated with accent diamonds. The total weight of this set is 1 ? carats.