by Theresa Smith
Finding an engagement ring that is special and symbolizes the love and devotion two people share for one another has never been easier. These days – with the help of information-rich websites that allows consumers to not only view up-close images of fine jewelry to suit all tastes and budgets but also provide access to important information about the piece â€“ couples can shop in the privacy and convenience of their home.
A couple’s engagement is a commitment to live a life together in connubial bliss, while the ring itself symbolizes something that is beautiful, rare and precious – like the love they share. The process of choosing an engagement ring that is as unique as the woman who is to wear it needn’t be a daunting undertaking. To my mind, choosing an engagement ring is best done together unless the prospective groom is thoroughly convinced of his fianci’s taste in jewelry. Give her what she wants Knowing what kind of jewelry she owns will give you insight into what to buy for future anniversaries and special events, but when it comes to choosing the engagement ring and wedding band, it is best to let her choose.
Although this may sound less romantic as opposed to immersing a diamond solitaire in her champagne during a romantic candle light dinner, she will value your good judgment to elicit her opinion and in giving her what she wants. Even so, it is valuable to know whether she prefers modern or traditional jewelry. Does she favor white gold, yellow gold, two-tone (white and yellow gold) or platinum (currently the most popular metal for engagement rings)? Finding an engagement ring that is special and symbolizes the love and devotion two people share for one another has never been easier.
These days – with the help of information-rich websites that allows consumers to not only view up-close images of fine jewelry to suit all tastes and budgets but also provide access to important information about the piece – couples can shop in the privacy and convenience of their home. Celebration of individual taste Be prepared to examine many different styles of engagement rings before selecting a few to evaluate individually to make a final choice. Bear in mind that the design of an engagement ring should be a celebration of individual taste – whether she prefers a plain, simple design or a more unusual, distinctive creation.
If what’s readily available doesn’t make your hearts sing, then perhaps you should consider commissioning a jewelry designer to create a custom-made ring for you. For design ideas look at both modern and antique rings for inspiration. Combine different design features you like. Rings can also be engraved with personal messages or names on the inside of the band to add a personal touch. Bear in mind that the choice of a wedding band must compliment the engagement ring. Diamonds, colored gemstones and pearls Most men still believe that their special lady will want nothing other than a diamond engagement ring, however trends have changed and many women combine a color gemstone with a small diamond on each side.
For instance the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Anne and Princess Diana received sapphire engagements rings, and Princess Sarah Ferguson’s engagement ring was a ruby. The idea is to choose a ring that best symbolizes your relationship and love. There are many colored gemstones that convey personal emotions; for example, red stones – including ruby, red garnet, red tourmaline or red spinel – symbolize passion and a zest for life. Green gemstones symbolize faithfulness and continuity – including emerald, green garnet and green tourmaline. Blue gemstones symbolize spirituality and purity – including sapphire, blue spinel, iolite and blue tourmaline. Another gem that is associated with love is the pearl. Traditional diamond solitaires top the list of popular engagement rings, of which the most favored is round brilliant; others include pear, emerald, oval, heart, marquise and princess.
Other settings that are becoming increasingly popular are clusters and the fashionable three stone ring. Know what you’re buying It is important to know what to look for when purchasing an engagement ring. Experts recommend the ‘Five Cs’ which comprise cut, color, clarity, carat and cost. The cut – tiny planes cut on the stone’s surface – defines the sparkle and the shape which can be a round cut, the emerald, the pear, the marquise, the princess, the oval and the heart shape. Ask to see pictures of all these shapes. Color is an important consideration, as well as the clarity of a stone. The weight of a stone is measured by carat. The average size of an engagement ring stone is between one carat and half a carat. When buying diamonds you should ask for a ‘cert stone’ which is a diamond that has been assessed, graded and coded with a laser by an independent gemological laboratory.
It should be an internationally recognized certificate. Ring size Buying the correct ring size is very important. One could wrap a piece of string around the ring finger to find the diameter and check the number against the table to get the ring size, or one could try different rings on in different sizes to ensure a good fit. When you are ready to order the ring online, know the ring size; on average women wear a size 7, although ring sizes are between 5 and 9. How much to pay? How much you are prepared to spend on an engagement ring is a personal matter. Ensure that a detailed receipt is issued with your purchase in the event of an insurance claim or future repair.