Engagement rings come in many different sizes and shapes, stones and settings, making the possibilities nearly endless. Someone who is ready to pop the question, but who doesn't know a thing about rings, will want to consider several factors. The parts of the ring should be considered, as should the possible cuts of the diamond.
Basically, engagement rings have three parts:
- The band is the part of the ring that goes around the finger. Bands are made of silver, platinum or gold.
- The setting is the part of the ring holding the stone. On some rings, the setting is pronged, while other settings are more "invisible."
- For many, the stone is the most important part of the ring. Diamonds are the stones most often associated with engagement rings.
The size and the shape of the stone is usually a matter of budget since the bigger the stone, the more expensive it's likely to be. Most engagement rings have diamonds, although this isn't always the case. Choosing the type of stone, therefore, is usually quite easy, cut choosing the size (or carat) and shape of the stone is a whole other story.
The different cuts of diamonds are as follows:
- Round — The most popular style for rings. Round goes with just about any setting and is supposed to be the best shape to show off the stone's brilliance.
- Princess — A square diamond which looks bigger than differently shaped diamonds of the same weight.
- Emerald Cut — This rectangular diamond is considered the most sophisticated of all the shapes.
- Marquis — Although it's also round, it looks longer than a round or oval cut diamond because it's pointed at two ends.
- Pear — The pear shape is almost rounded at the top but pointed at the bottom. The pear doesn't look very good as a single stone set into a ring. This shape is recommended for other types of jewelry, such as necklaces or earrings.
- Oval — This cut is similar to the round cut, but looks bigger because of its shape. This shape works best with larger stones.
It's okay for shoppers not to know what type of ring to purchase. Doing some research beforehand helps, and those who have questions or who aren't sure which diamond is right for them should be afraid to ask the jeweler. If he or she is reputable, the jeweler be more than happy to share his or her expertise.