by Nalini Naik

First and foremost you will have to ascertain her taste where jewelry is concerned. Find out whether she likes settings that are simple and sophisticated, or styles that are bold and colorful. Is she partial to any particular gemstone? Then there is yellow gold or white gold for the band to choose from, or even platinum.


An engagement ring is a very important piece of jewelry because, it is a symbol of a commitment to care, to love, and to cherish. It is a promise of togetherness for a lifetime. So, the utmost care has to be taken when choosing the ring or this very important occasion. Buying an engagement ring is not one of the easiest of tasks. But, with a little help and guidance, you will be able to acquire a beautiful ring which will bring a sparkle to her eyes. So here are a few guidelines to help you select the ideal engagement ring:

Her choice

First and foremost you will have to ascertain her taste where jewelry is concerned. Find out whether she likes settings that are simple and sophisticated, or styles that are bold and colorful. Is she partial to any particular gemstone? Then there is yellow gold or white gold for the band to choose from, or even platinum. One way of determining this is by the kind of jewelry she already possesses and wears. You can also enroll the assistance of a close friend or close relative. Once you are fairly sure of her choice in engagements rings, the next step is to decide your budget.

Your budget

How much are you willing to spend or better still how much can you afford? With a wide array of diamonds and other gemstones and other gemstones to choose from, the sky is the limit. But if your budget is limited, do not worry. One can acquire beautiful rings made of diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires or even semiprecious stones at a most affordable price. So, you don’t need to set your targets too high. With good taste and a little creativity you can buy a ring which is impeccably stylish and sophisticated. Remember, great style does not always comes at a great price. Once your budget has been decided, your next step would be to make sure you get value for your money. In order to do this a fair knowledge of diamonds and other stones will go a long way in helping you make the correct choice. You will have to know the variety that is available and how to determine their quality. Armed with this knowledge you will be able to get the very best they have to offer, and within your budget.

So let’s begin by making a study of diamonds and their characteristics. Diamonds; they say diamonds are forever. How true! This gem which is called a girls best friend, is known for its durability and beauty. But, all diamonds are not the same. They not only vary in size, but also in their quality. This is what determines their price too. For example solitaires of one carat and more are the most expensive. And as for their quality, this is determined by their cut, clarity, color and carat. To know a little more about the four ‘Cs’ as they are called, lets go into them one by one.

Cut: This important aspect is what gives the diamond its brilliance and fire and sets it apart from the other gems. The light reflecting off a beautifully cut diamond is what adds to it’s sparkle and luster. A diamond that is not so well cut looks dull and lifeless. In fact before you make a final choice make sure the diamond sparkles beautifully in natural and artificial light. Remember, an ideally cut diamond has perfect proportions,

Clarity: The best diamond is the one without any spots and discoloration. It should be absolutely colorless and clear. In fact the value of the diamond is also determined by it’s clarity. The more spotless and clear the diamond is, the more value it will have. Sometimes the spots and discolorations are very visible to the naked eye, but most times they are not. This is why most of the reputed jewelry outlets offer magnifying glasses to their customers. When viewed through a magnifying glass, any spot or discoloration is visible immediately. So take a good look before you make a final choice.

Color: The white diamond devoid of any color or spots is rare and most valuable. These are most favored. Of course there are colored variations available too. But these are not very expensive or popular because of the many impurities present in them.

Carat: The carat or the measure of the size is what makes it more or less valuable. The bigger the diamond the more expensive it is. A solitaire weighing a cart or more is definitely more expensive than cluster of small diamonds adding up to the same carat weight.

Thus, keeping all the above mentioned factors in mind one can make a fairly good choice. But before making a final decision lets learn a little more about the gems. Gemstones like rubies, emeralds and sapphires are quite valuable, though not as much as diamonds. These three varieties are popularly used in celebration rings. These may be used on their own or mixed with other gems and diamonds. The dark green of the emerald, the deep red of the ruby and the mystic blue of the sapphire, all complement each other as well as the diamond, when used along with them. The vibrant colors of these gems has to be seen to be believed.

Rings crafted intricately with these precious stones never go out of fashion. Keep in mind some important points when choosing these gems- the gems should not be chipped or cracked. The color should be even as far as possible. Like diamonds, the cut and clarity is important and their prices vary with their size. All these gems come in various shapes too. The band and ring setting has to be decided on next- the band could be 14k or 18kgold. The gold could be yellow or white, These bands studded wit diamonds and precious stones could take your breadth away. Then there is platinum. Bands made of platinum are best suited for solitaires because they hold the stone much better. Of course, platinum looks god with small diamonds too. As for the setting, a cluster of small diamonds, set in different patterns, can look impeccably stylish. And when mixed with other gems, like emeralds, rubies and sapphires, they look stunning .

All in all, you can get settings from the classic to the contemporary styles. So the choice is very wide indeed. When choosing a pattern, follow your instinct, and you cannot go wrong. But all said and done, if your budget permits, I would recommend a solitaire. It is a once in a lifetime buy, and no woman young or old can resist the allure, the mystic and charm of a solitaire. One last piece of advice. Always buy gems from reputed jewelry outlets. These give you a buy back guarantee as well. Make sure the gems, especially diamonds are certified. Check out with different jewelers before making the final choice. This way, you’ll get the best your money can buy And last but not the least, do not forget to create the perfect ambience and mood , when presenting the ring. Good Luck.