An engagement ring is a piece of jewelry that you will not only have your whole life, but an heirloom that might even be passed down from generation to generation. It's meaningful, symbolic, and a true symbol of love. So, more than anything, you want to make sure that your personality truly shines through the ring that you choose! Today, we're partnering with Clean Origin to help give you some helpful tips on how to make this happen. Whether you're picking out your ring with your significant other, or dropping hints for a surprise proposal, make sure your ring represents you!
If You Pick It Out Together
If you and your significant other have planned to pick out the perfect ring together, your worries will be less about them 'getting it right' and more about figuring out what you really want. The idea of picking out an engagement ring seems simple, but there are a fair amount of options and styles you'll need to choose from, so there's a bit of homework that needs to be done beforehand.
Different setting styles
There are various overarching categories of settings that you can choose from to help narrow your search quite a bit. The most popular are: halo, solitaire, classic, vintage, and three stone. From the get-go, you might already be able to knock a few of those off your list. If not, here's a breakdown of each setting style.
- Halo: as its name describes, a halo setting is simply a solitaire or classic ring with a circle or 'halo' of diamonds around the center stone. With the addition of the extra diamonds, halo's are often liked by individuals who gravitate towards the more glamorous things in life. This setting also tends to make your center diamond appear larger than it actually is. So, if size is what matters most to you, a halo might be your best bet.
- Solitaire: a solitaire is likely what comes to mind when you think of the quintessential engagement ring. A simple band with a single center stone diamond, the solitaire is a great choice for those who want to show off a unique stone shape. It can be a bit harder to find a halo or vintage ring that will accommodate a fancy shaped diamond, so solitaires are one of the best ways to go.
- Classic: this setting is like a sparkle upgrade from a solitaire. With a classic ring, the only difference from a solitaire is that there are now diamonds lining the band of the setting. This is also called pavĂ© -- coming from the French word that means "to pave" with diamonds. Someone who enjoys clean lines and lots of shimmer would be the perfect candidate for a classic ring.
- Vintage: if you or your loved ones has a knack for history or just really loves the designs from centuries past, then a vintage ring is definitely the way to go. From Art Deco to Mid Century Modern, there are tons of vintage ring styles available that will combine the styles of previous periods with the beauty of a new ring.
- Three-stone: finally, one of the most symbolic settings is the three-stone. Representing your past, future, and present, this ring a favorite amongst those who want their ring to tell a story.
There's really no rhyme or reason behind picking out your setting or diamond first. However, there are a few situations where you might want to go one way or the other.
No matter which is chosen first, it will likely narrow the choice of the other when you finalize a decision. For example, if you choose a halo ring, it's likely that your diamond shape choices will be automatically narrowed for you. It's harder to find a halo that will accommodate an emerald than it is to find one that will fit a brilliant round. On the other hand, if you choose your diamond shape first, finding a ring that will fit a less common shape like a marquise, might make your options a bit more slim. When we asked a diamond expert at Clean Origin their thoughts, this is what they had to say:
"It will really all comes down to preference. If you or your significant other has also dreamed of a halo ring, then start there. If you have no idea where to start, then come to us. We'll help you find the setting and the diamond that truly represent who you are as a person."
Different diamond shapes
The most popular diamond shape, by far, is the brilliant round. Not only is it classic in its appearance, but it's also the shape that the majority of settings hold best. If you're interested in a round diamond, you will likely have many more options to choose from than say someone that's looking for a pear-shaped stone.
What happens quite often is that the shape of the diamond is liked or disliked because of the way it looks when it's actually on-hand. Tons of people go into the engagement ring shopping experience thinking that they want one thing but leaving with something completely different because of the way it looked when they were wearing it.
Our advice? Take an afternoon to go try on different diamond shapes. Figure out what you like and don't like and take notes. But, don't let the in-store sales people pull you in. Engagement rings tend to be much more affordable when bought online. Get home, head online and find a lab-created diamond similar to the one you loved.
The last major part of the ring that you'll need to decide on is the metal color and type. At Clean Origin, all rings come in white, yellow, and rose gold, as well as platinum. Color really comes down to personal preference. Traditionalists will tend to stick with white or yellow gold, while trend-setters will branch out to rose gold. But what about the actual metal?
The metal that's best for your ring can be chosen fairly easily. It will all really come down to color, price, and durability. Platinum, the strongest metal available for a ring, is a similar color to white gold and it's the most expensive. So, if you're looking for yellow or rose gold, you'll need to decide between 14k and 18k gold. The higher the number, the more actual gold is present in the ring. For this reason, it also means it increases in price. However, since gold is a fairly soft metal, the higher the gold percentage, the less durable the ring will be. If you plan on working a lot with your hands or your think you'll often forget to remove your ring for certain activities (working out, gardening, etc), then you'll want to go with the 14k.
If It's A Surprise
If you feel like you're getting to the point in your relationship where a proposal is on the horizon, but your significant other has yet to ask your preference on a ring, you might want to start dropping some hints. Unless he or she has been paying really close attention to your style over your time together, then it's likely that they'll just go with something that's universal. So, to ensure that you get a ring that really expresses your style, you'll need to find ways to get ideas in front of him.
For starters, make sure all of your close friends and family know what you like and don't like. These might be sources they turn to during a ring search. Next, create a Pinterest board of styles you love. Try to find images that link to the exact ring you want so there's no room for change. Finally, do a search for some of your favorite rings while you're on his/her computer. The ads will be sure to follow them around online!
As one of the most important pieces of jewelry you'll ever have, an engagement ring should be something you'll love for years to come. Personalize it to your liking and make sure it represents who you truly are and the love you have for your future fiancĂ©.
This post has been brought to you in partnership with Clean Origin. All opinions are, as always, our own, and we appreciate you supporting the brands that support Apple Brides!