If you are planning your proposal and shopping engagement rings, there are a few things you should know before you begin your journey. You are just a few facts and tips away from finding the perfect ring. Keep reading to discover what you need to know about engagement rings.
Engagement Rings are Not the Only Rings
Before you make the big purchase, think about how the future wedding band will fit against it. Traditionally, wedding rings match. This does not mean everyone has matching rings. It is very common to find a man sporting a rugged tungsten band, while his soulmate rocks yellow gold. However, you will need to think about how her wedding ring will match and fit against her engagement ring. You will need to carefully consider the color of the metal and the color of the stone. Some engagement rings can be purchased as a bridal set, which is always easy. When you want something very specific and unique, it requires more thought. If the stone and band are of a shape that will not allow another band to fit against it, this might create a future problem.
Choosing the Metal
You must choose the type of metal to wrap around her finger. This is a band she will wear for the rest of her life. It should be comfortable. You might want something that is easily sizeable. Consider whether she is allergic to nickel. Some engagement rings use nickel as an alloy. The color of the metal should match her skin tone. This decision will be more about preference. Keep in mind that the choice of metal should also be matched with the color of the stone. Platinum or silver bands require a near colorless diamond due to the bright appearance of the metal. Yellow gold is visually appealing and compliments tinted diamonds that would not be compatible with silver and platinum bands.
The 4 Cs
The color, clarity, cut and carat affect the value of diamonds. Size is far less important than the color and clarity. You should consider the cut of the stone, which is the shape of the cut stone. The cut of a diamond can enhance its fire, brilliance and scintillation. If a stone lacks the life of rainbow flashes and bursting reflections of light, it will have far less appeal and less value. The clarity refers to the internal flaws, which are called inclusions and blemishes. The clarity is the degree of flawlessness. No stone is completely flawless. We imagine a diamond as being bright and white; however, the color can range between colorless and light yellow. A colorless diamond is rare and more expensive. The setting can make a stone appear lighter. Carat is the unit of measurement of a diamond’s weight. One carat is divided into 100 points, and in total weighs 200 milligrams. It is important to remember that a large low quality stone is just a bigger version of a low quality stone. Bigger is not always better. Find a balance that looks beautiful and fits the budget.
Parts of a Diamond
A diamond has a table, girdle and culet. The table is the flat top of the stone. The girdle is the entire top or crown down to the pavilion or bottom of the stone. The widest part of a diamond is fitted within prongs. The culet is the very bottom point formed at the bottom of the stone.
Shapes and Cuts of Engagement Rings
The shape and cut is not up to mother nature. This is a feature made just for you. The shape of the stone can be marquise, oval or round. Each cut creates a different optical illusion. The cut refers to the facets and steps that are cut into the diamond, such as princess and cushion. The most popular cut for engagement rings is the brilliant cut with fifty-eight angled and proportionate facets. Something to note is that a round stone appears smaller than other diamonds of the same weight in a different cut. Princess cut engagement rings can have between 49 and 144 facets. The marquise cut appears bigger than its actual carat weight.
Yellow gold is probably the most popular precious metal chosen for wedding rings. It is visually appealing and compliments tinted diamonds that white gold, silver and platinum bands cannot pull off. Yellow gold is an expensive metal; however, the price decreases with alloys that create 10K and 14K gold.
White gold can be a little bit of a mystery, since gold is not naturally white. White gold is achieved by combining other metals, such as platinum, palladium or silver. The application of rhodium plating creates the final touch. Rhodium is another rare and expensive precious metal; however, electroplating only requires a thin layer of rhodium in the process.
Platinum Engagement Rings
Platinum is one of the most desirable metals and one of the most expensive. It is a strong and durable metal that becomes beautiful with age. Unlike silver engagement rings that require constant polishing to prevent tarnishing, platinum maintains a bright luster.
Silver Engagement Rings
Fine silver is a soft precious metal that is commonly preferred for engagement rings with intricate designs. Fine silver is also known as pure silver or 99.9% pure. Sterling silver is a pure grade of silver, composed of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. Copper is added for durability.
How Much Should You Spend?
We should never go insanely in debt to purchase the perfect wedding rings. Engagement rings tend to be an emotionally driven purchase, but always keep that emotion in check with common sense spending. You have probably heard the old income rule for engagement rings that says it should cost twice a month’s salary. That old rule is a faded trend that fails to calculate a budget realistically. Instead, spend a comfortable amount on the ring that does not start your life together in unnecessary debt.
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