JamesAllen.com: 6-Step Guide to Choosing the Best Solitaire Engagement Ring
ENGAGEMENT RINGS, SOLITAIRE, DIAMONDS, FANCY COLOR DIAMONDS
This is a blog post I was asked to write as part of the recruitment process for a position at JamesAllen.com.
The term diamond solitaire has become synonymous with engagement rings over the past century. You’re likely well aware of the history of diamond engagement rings becoming popular during the Victorian era due to the discovery of new diamond mines as well as the Industrial Revolution. However, it was Tiffany and Co. (yes, that place where Audrey Hepburn ate breakfast), who helped capture the public’s long lasting fascination with diamond solitaire rings in 1886 with its six-pronged piece. Of course, options have improved enormously since then.
SO, WHAT IS A SOLITAIRE?
A solitaire refers to any piece of jewelry featuring a single, or solitary, diamond (or another stone). Therefore, diamond solitaires can placed on any number of pieces of jewelry. As such, the most well known of these is the diamond solitaire ring. This usually consists of a band made from any type of precious metal such as platinum, white gold, yellow gold, or rose gold, and secured in a special setting which mounts the stone atop the band. Over the past century and a bit, they have come of mark the most significant events in a person’s life such as one’s sweet-sixteen, anniversary, but most of all the engagement proposal.
As with the purchase of any diamond, selecting the best solitaire for your dream ring comes down to understanding the famous “Four C’s”. As with body types, the same is true with diamonds, therefore the shape is what first needs to be determined before we get to the Four C’s.
1. THE SHAPE
The shape above all others helps establish the the best ring setting for the diamond. A variety of diamond shapes are available including the princess, emerald, and marquise among others. The shape is best determined by the recipient’s personality and will naturally differ from one person to another. Think about what makes the recipient unique in your eyes. For the record, the round shape is the one most preferred by brides-to-be, with over 60% desiring this shape.
2. THE CUT
This brings us to the first of the Four C’s which is the cut. A diamond’s cut determines its sparkle. The cut refers to the symmetry, proportioning and polish of a diamond. At JamesAllen diamond solitaire cuts range from “Good”, “Very Good”, and “Ideal”, through to the internationally renown “True Hearts” cut which less than 1% of the world’s diamonds qualify for. Think of it as a representation of your heart. You know it’s priceless.
3. THE CLARITY
The second of the Four C’s is the clarify. Clarity in essence refers to the presence (or lack) of inner flaws or inclusions within a diamond. Think of this as the diamond’s individual birth marks. The fewer a diamond contains, the clearer and more brilliant the diamond is. The clarity grade that is used ranges from flawless/internally flawless (FL/IL) to diamonds with obvious inclusions (I1-I3). If your love is pure, so should your diamond be, right? ;)
4. THE COLOR
The third of the Four C’s is the color. A lesser known fact about diamonds is that they are available in virtually all colors of the rainbow. Hence, this criterion is down to the individual’s own taste. Traditionally, colorless diamonds are commonly considered the most desirable due to their ability to reflect the most amount of light. Colorless diamonds have their own scale ranging from D (colorless) to Z (light color). Fancy colored diamonds, however, have become popular of late. These are graded on a separate scale for color intensity, ranging from Fancy Vivid to Fancy Light. The depth of the color here determines the value of the diamond. Is your loved one vibrant and dynamic, or serene and graceful?
5. CARAT WEIGHT
The fourth and final of the Four C’s is the carat weight. The carat weight measures the size of the diamond. In everyday numerical terms, a metric “carat” is defined as 200 milligrams. Furthermore, each carat can be subdivided into 100 points. This allows very precise measurements to the hundredth decimal place. You know what they say, the bigger the carat...
Once the diamond has been selected, all that’s left is the design of the ring itself. There are several settings to choose from such as cathedral, prong, bezel and tension styles to name but a few. No one wants to lose their carefully chosen diamond so the design functions to hold the stone securely in place. We know, we know, it’s been quite the task getting this far, so we’ve compiled a list of the trendiest engagement ring designs settings to help you decide once you’ve made your choice of diamond solitaire.
They say, diamonds are forever, which in itself is appropriate as it captures the essence of eternal love between a bride and groom. A solitaire engagement ring encapsulates this indestructible bond between lovers and serves as a timeless reminder of the sparkling romance which will last a lifetime, particularly with the recipient glancing at it for decades to come!
Which was the engagement ring you were given? If you did the giving, did your special someone love your choice? Sound off in the comments below!
(Or perhaps it’s you who are thinking of popping the question but need some help deciding? Then contact our non-commissioned gemologists team for expert advice today!)
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