What do love and engagement rings have in common?
They can both be really confusing! Not only are there a ton of metals and bandsto choose from when picking the perfect engagement ring, but there are also countless styles and stones available as well! If you’ve been looking online to figure out what sort of engagement ring you or your sweetheart might like, here’s an easy breakdown to make communication with the jeweler easier once you make up your mind.
Styles of Rings
This is one of the most classic styles of engagement rings. Solitaire rings carry one single diamond, typically on a fairly simple band. They are known for their simplistic elegance and named after the French word for “alone.” Usually, this style of ring stations the gemstone up high, granting it maximum exposure to sparkle in the light.
Solitaire with Side Accents
This type of engagement ring is very similar to the traditional solitaire setting. The only difference is that it includes two small stones or details in the band on the sides of the diamond in order to add a little more visual appeal.
This style is just perfect for a woman in love with symbolism. It features a trinity of diamonds (or other stones) laid out to represent your past, present and future. Typically, the center stone is set higher than the two on the sides to add visual interest and depth to the ring.
This is a slightly newer style of engagement ring, but it is well on its way to becoming a new classic style. Essentially, this ethereal ring style features a central gemstone with a row or a ‘halo’ of smaller diamonds situated around it. This type of setting makes the central gemstone appear larger, shinier, and more glamorous, and is very well-suited to fashion forward women of any age.
Your lucky lady doesn’t have to be very religious to appreciate a cathedral style ring. This design uses a setting that is angled upwards in order to draw the viewer’s eye right to the gemstone. Not only are cathedral rings beautiful, but they also protect the diamond from being bumped out of the setting, which makes them perfect for a woman who values both fashion and function.
This is another ringstyle thatborrows its name from the French language, this time from the word for ‘paved.’ That’s because it features a band that is ‘paved’ with diamonds set as closely together as possible. The goal is to give the band the appearance of being a solid diamond surface. If your lady loves a look that is all sparkle and shine, she’ll likely be interested in a pavé style ring.
Though it’s similar, the Channel ring should not to be confused with the pavé style. It is a bit more modern and sleek, with small diamonds actually embedded into the band in a row. The result is a fresh look that highlights the beauty and brilliance of the ring’s main diamond.
The epitome of romance, this setting is ultra-feminine and a perfect fit for the traditional bride. It features a swirl of metal or small stones that circles around the central diamond from opposite sides.
Regardless of the setting of engagement ring thatyour special someone would find most attractive, you’re going to need a working knowledge of the various types of shapes and cuts of diamonds available to set in it! This is actually one of the more difficult parts of picking an engagement ring, because some cuts can be difficult to differentiate to the untrained eye.
Round: This is one of the most traditional and common of diamond shapeand is most ideal for reflecting the greatest amount of light, and thus appearing to be incredibly sparkly. Round diamonds may be more expensive than those of other shapes, because their production leads to greater loss of rough stone than that of other cuts and because they are a cut that’s always high in demand.
Princess:Debuting in 1980, the princess cut is one of the most popular diamond shapes because it suits almost any style setting well. It’s a square or rectangle shape and has the look of an inverted pyramid when looking down on it.
Cushion: This is a square cut diamond with rounded corners, which looks a little like a pillow. It is more classic than you may think, as the shape has been around for nearly 200 years. While this particular shape of diamond fell out of style for a short period of time, advancements in diamond cutting have led to a resurgence in its popularity.
Emerald: This is a very unique cut for rectangular diamonds with step cuts and a hall of mirrors effect. Inclusions and body color are easier to see in this shape of diamond, which can be a pro or a con depending on your individual tastes.
Asscher:First seen in 1902, this cut is very similar to the emerald cut except it is square with a higher crown and larger step facets for more brilliance.
Pear:A combination between round and marquise diamond shapes, the pear features one tapered end and one rounded end. Finding a high-quality pear-shaped diamond doesn’t have to be difficult. Just keep your eye out for a high level of symmetry and uniform curves.
Oval: This is a bit of a modified take on the round cut diamond and offers the same brilliance and fire as a round cut diamond. Oval diamonds are superior, though, in that their elongated shape lends the illusion of a larger size.
Marquise:The marquise cut also lends the appearance of a larger size without a larger price! It further maximizesits potential to trick viewers into thinking they’re looking at a larger diamond with the largest surface areas of any diamond shape on the market.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t! As long as you have already narrowed your options down to a few potential styles and cuts of stone before walking into your favorite jewelry store, you won’t need to worry about memorizing this entire list.
Rather, it’s a great place to get started and learn the basic lingo of engagement ring anatomy so you won’t feel like a stranger in a strange land when you go ring shopping for the first time.
About the Author: Ed Bush is a jewelry and style writer and frequent guest blogger for a variety of online publications. He’s also managing partner at Barmakian Jewelers, one of the oldest and most trusted sources of Boston engagement rings. He enjoys sharing his expertise and passion for fine jewelry with readers whenever he can. Click here for more info.