The Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands Explained
You know she’s the One—the woman you want to spend the rest of your life with. In fact, you’ve already envisioned your life together: two beautiful kids, a comfortable home, careers that allow you to excel, maybe a car, too, and a small dog. It’s a wonderful life.
But before you can live that dream, you need to have your wedding. And to get that started, you first have to make a grand proposal, which means that you need to find the perfect diamond engagement ring. So how do you find the perfect ring, exactly? Here are 10 things to consider:
Diamonds are generally assessed using the “Four Cs” (more on that shortly), but there’s one other C that each man should also consider above all else—cost. Before you do any serious ring shopping, check out the range of prices in various jewellery stores in Singapore, and then carefully consider how much you can actually spend (keeping in mind the big wedding cost up ahead). This way, you have a definite parameter that lets you know what your actual options are.
Three-stone round cut diamond ring with custom setting from Ling Jewellery.
It’s the cut that brings out the beauty of a diamond, and therefore its most important quality. A diamond must be cut perfectly—it should have just the right number of facets at just the right angles—to optimize its brilliance or how it sparkles by reflecting light. (Technically, this is what diamond experts call “fire”). Among the Four Cs, only the cut relies on the skill or craftsmanship of the jewellery-maker, so choosing a good jewellery shop is as good as choosing a well-cut diamond.
Custom-made diamond engagement ring from Fonder Diamond
Clarity refers to the appearance of inclusions and blemishes in the diamond. Clarity ranges from “Slightly Included” (this means inclusions are quite visible to the naked eye) to “Flawless” (this means even microscopic inclusions are absent in the diamond). Flawless diamonds are extremely rare, and therefore have the highest value. While clarity is often the quality least observed by other people, a woman who loves her ring will spend a lot of time staring at it and will notice any blemish, if there are any.
Round cut diamond ring in custom-made rose setting from Ling Jewellery
Diamond colour are graded from D (absolutely clear) to Z (has an obvious yellow tint), and the less colour a diamond has, the higher its value. Most diamond engagement rings have an F–H grade, which means that they are not perfectly colorless, but the tint is so faint that it’s undetectable to the untrained eye. There are also some naturally-occurring diamonds called “fancies”, which have distinct and unusual colours (there are blue, red and green ones). They are extremely rare and are often prized the same as grade D diamonds.
Four-pronged sapphire ring with halo setting from Fonder Diamond.
The price of a diamond rises along with its carat weight or size. However, a 5 carat diamond that does poorly in the other three of the 4 Cs will likely have a lower value than, say, a 3 carat diamond that is perfectly clear, colourless, and expertly cut. Still, you shouldn’t discount this quality. After all, size always matter, and your girl would probably want a diamond ring that she can easily show off, which means your rock should at least have a decent size.
Round cut diamond ring with multiple sidestones from Fonder Diamond
The shape of the gem in your engagement ring should reflect your partner’s personal style. Shape, by the way, should not be confused with cut: shape refers to the gem’s form as seen from above (think: 2D), while cut is about facets and angles (3D). Round shape is both the most traditional and popular, and therefore the most expensive. The next most popular choices are cushion and princess. Other shapes, such as marquise, asscher and pear, are typically used in other gemstones.
Heart-shaped cut diamond ring with halo setting from Fonder Diamond
As with shape, consider your partner’s taste and lifestyle when choosing the setting of your engagement ring. Is she very active or has a low-key charm? Then choose a ring with a more secure setting and simple elegance—a six-prong round cut diamond, for example, or one that’s bezel mounted. Does she have a flamboyant personality and like to look glamorous? She’ll be more appreciative of an engagement ring with side-stones, or even a three-stone ring or one with a halo setting.
Solitaire diamond ring with matching accessory rings from Ling Jewellery.
By far, the most popular choice for diamond engagement rings is platinum as it enhances the shine of the stone and is highly durable. However, do check other options such as traditional gold, white gold and two-tone—sometimes, contrasting elements make a ring more beautiful as the band directs more attention to the gem. (Tip: a yellow band can make a low-grade diamond look whiter.) Don’t forget to check if your partner is allergic to certain metals, just so you know which to avoid.
Three-stone diamond ring with traditional gold band from Fonder Diamond
A lot of guys forget to consider this, and end up with an awkward moment during the proposal where it becomes obvious that they got a ring that’s too tight or too lose. (Not to mention the costly re-adjustment later on.) To avoid this mistake, bring one of your partner’s rings when you go shopping. But if you want to surprise her, and that would be dead giveaway, just put on her ring and then mark on your finger where it fits.
Round cut solitaire ring with custom-made band from Ling Jewellery.
Lastly, there are two other Cs you have to consider: the jewellery shop’s credentials and certifications. To guarantee the authenticity of the diamond in your engagement ring, request your chosen jewellery shop to present you with either a Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or American Gemological Society (AGS) certificate of the diamond. As a final advice, keep in mind that if you’re going for a customized diamond engagement ring, your jeweller would typically need 4–6 weeks to make it.
Heart-shaped cut diamond ring with sidestones from Ling Jewellery
Now that you know what to look for in a diamond engagement ring, you’ll feel more confident as you shop for one, and, hopefully too, about your decision to propose to your partner. Good luck, mate!