Whether you’ve said ‘yes’ or you’re about to pop the question to the one you love, you’ll know by now that finding an engagement or wedding ring is easier said than done. For your special moment, only the best ring will do, but with thousands of different settings, cuts and carat weights to choose from, you might be finding yourself a little overwhelmed, especially since it’s likely to be the most costly piece of jewellery you’ll ever buy.
Luckily, we’ve got a guide to help you make the right choice, whether that’s for your loved one or for yourself.
When it comes to an engagement ring, we think that no truer words have been spoken than ‘diamonds are a girl’s best friend’. Their timeless quality will ensure that you won’t get bored of it over the years, and it’ll go with anything from your favourite little black dress to your go-to everyday outfits. If you’re struggling to know where to begin, a great place to start is to focus on the diamond itself, to help narrow down your choice.
Look out for ‘the Four Cs’ of a diamond: carat, clarity, colour and cut.
- Carat: the weight of a diamond is stated in carats, with a single carat the equivalent to a fifth of a gram. One carat is equal to 0.20g. The word carat takes its name from the carob seed, the original measuring device used for weighing diamonds.
- Clarity: diamonds feature internal and external characteristics unique to each stone, often not noticeable to the naked eye. The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) grade diamonds on an 11 point scale, ranging from Flawless (FL) to I3 (Included).
- Colour: most diamonds feature a slight tint of yellow or brown, and all diamonds are graded according to how noticeable these shades are. The GIA Colour Scale begins with D (colourless) all the way through to Z (light yellow).
- Cut: the diamond cut helps to maximise how light strikes the surface of the stone, how much enters the diamond, and how it returns to the eye. The GIA Diamond Cut Grading System looks at the overall appearance of the diamond to predict brightness, fire and scintillation, along with features like weight ratio, durability, polish and symmetry.
These factors are vital to consider when choosing your ring so that you can be certain you’ve got the look and quality of diamond you’re after.
Once you’ve thought about ‘the Four Cs’ carefully, taking into consideration your budget, the next decision is the setting of your ring. This is the fun part, because it’s all about your individual style. You can go as understated or as glamourous as you want, but if you’re still not sure about what’s out there, we’ve rounded up some of the most popular ring settings to help you decide.
For a classic look that never goes out of style, you’ll want the timeless solitaire. Set with a single diamond in the centre of the band, solitaire rings show off the cut of the individual diamond and accentuate your finger with understated elegance. In a range of styles and cuts to choose from, a solitaire setting truly lets the diamond speak for itself.
If simplicity and elegance are the key aspects that you’re looking for in a ring, an eternity setting will be perfect for you. Set with multiple diamonds in a row across the band, they’re ideal for stacking on top of your wedding band after you tie the knot.
Ideal for those who really want that ‘wow’ factor, this setting catches the light and sparkles from all angles, so nobody will miss the diamonds on your finger. If you love a glamourous look that’s fit for a film star, a cluster ring delivers every time.
A halo ring is set with a single diamond surrounded by smaller stones and offers a little more structure than the cluster setting. These rings often exude a vintage look that boasts all the sophistication of a family heirloom, and this setting also helps to make that diamond look even bigger.
If you favour modernity, rings with a channel setting deliver a chic, contemporary look that still shows off the beauty of the diamonds. This setting is a gorgeous way to display the quality of the gold that holds the stones, as well as the diamonds themselves, so if you’re all about a style that’s fresh and new, channel settings are the perfect choice.
Why have one diamond when you can have three? A truly romantic choice, trilogy rings boast the classic style of a solitaire and the beautiful multi-diamond effect of an eternity ring, making it the perfect mid-way point between the two.
Whichever setting you choose, the important thing is that it reflects your own personal style. Everyone has their opinions about which setting looks best, but only one opinion really matters – yours.
A ring that complements your look – whether that’s simple and sophisticated or a glamorous statement piece – will be the one that you’ll love to look at and treasure for years to come.
We hope we’ve helped you get a few steps closer to finding your dream ring. Check out our sparkling selection of diamond rings here for more inspiration.