Choosing Your Engagement Ring

 Your Engagement Ring: How to Choose

Custom-made engagement ring

With so many engagement ring options to choose from, it's a daunting task to find the perfect ring--the one that will symbolize your commitment and love and last a lifetime.

One way to make your search easier and get the ring you really want is to have it custom-designed, made just for you.

With decades of experience, I can work with you to create an heirloom you will treasure and enjoy--one that will stand out as uniquely yours.  

Here are some important factors to consider when choosing your engagement ring:

Style:  Should it be trendy and cool, or classic and traditional?  Consider that you'll have this ring for a long time--the rest of your life in fact--so you don't want to be stuck with something that's cool today but "out" tomorrow. That doesn't mean you have to accept something boring, either.  My designs are typically clean and classical, but with a contemporary flair.  It's a balance thing.  Check out the rings on this website with an eye to style and let me know which ones are closest to what you would like.  We can take it from there.  

Learn more about my design style here.

Setting method--Prongs or Bezel?  The most typical setting for mounting a diamond or other faceted stone is with prongs, but is that the best choice?

 Learn about the differences in setting styles here.

Metal:  Wedding rings and engagement rings symbolize love and commitment but they also show the world where you stand socially.  It's OK to choose a metal other than gold, but gold is the, shall we say, gold standard?  It's still the best choice in my opinion, and you can't go wrong with yellow gold.

14K or 18K?  Go with 18K if it's within your budget.  Usually the cost difference between the two metals is slight relative to the total cost of the ring, so why not?  But if your budget is tight, go with 14K, the standard in the U.S.  And if you need to, you can save with 10K and hardly anyone will know.

Learn more about the differences here.

Yellow, white or rose gold?  Yellow is the traditional choice.  White is more contemporary (but yellow is trending again just now).  Rose is romantic and more unusual if you want to stand out a bit.  Personally, I prefer either 18K Yellow or 18K Palladium White Gold.  

What about Palladium or Platinum?  Both of these white metals are perfectly fine choices.  Platinum is more expensive because size for size it weighs almost double that of 14K gold.  And since 14K is 58.5% pure while platinum is usually 95% pure, the difference is four times more.  Is it worth it? Some prefer platinum because it's the most expensive. It also has the advantage of being the most wear-resistant metal, but it is not hard as many "experts" tend to say.  On the contrary, platinum is rather soft relative to 14K gold, say, and loses its shine easily. When this occurs, it's hard to put that shine back on platinum because of its resistance to wear. Palladium, on the other hand, is whiter and harder, making it a better choice in my view.  If you want white metal, I suggest 18K palladium white gold.

What about silver?  There's nothing wrong with silver, but it's just not the traditional choice.  Silver is not as "noble" as gold; it tarnishes (becomes blackened) whereas gold does not.  

Learn more about choosing metals here.

Stones:  Diamond, or?  Diamond is traditional for a reason: it symbolizes purity and clarity and durability--the characteristics you want in a marriage.  Because it's expensive, it tells the world that you're serious and that you've made a serious commitment.  It also says something about where you stand socially.  Another possibility, and probably the second most common choice, is a sapphire. Prince Charles could have given Lady Di a huge diamond, but he gave her a beautiful sapphire instead.  Does that tell you something?

Diamond Types:  If you have already looked at rings, you've no doubt heard about the four C's: Color, Cut, Clarity, and Carat weight.  Beyond those factors, there are some types of diamonds that are less well-known such as the antique diamonds known as Old Miners and Old Europeans.  These stones were cut by hand, before machinery was used, so they have charm and history that sets them apart from the modern Brilliants.  They have the additional advantage of having zero connection with Conflict Diamonds.

 Learn more about antique diamonds here.

How big?  Size really does matter. Of course, in most circumstances, bigger is better.  But more important than size is the symbolism, and for that purpose a diamond is a diamond is a diamond no matter what the size.  On the other hand, your engagement ring sends a message about social clout.  That is a fact, like it or not.  Size is something to consider carefully.  Like all major expenditures, the amount of money you're willing to spend for a ring should be a joint discussion.  You don't need to go overboard either way.

I hope these points are helpful to you when choosing your engagement ring.  If you are ready to commission a ring, learn how here.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions or want suggestions.