The Ultimate Checklist for Choosing Engagement Rings

Take all the stress out of shopping for engagement rings with our super handy checklist that covers all the basics of ring shopping.

From metal bands all the way to shape, cut, colour, clarity and carat, we have compiled an easy to use checklist of the things you need to consider when choosing the perfect ring. With this list, it will become far simpler to know what is important to note and what is less important. As they say, knowledge is power, so be sure to arm yourself and make the ring choice that guarantees a “yes!”.

A Simple but Comprehensive Checklist for Buying Engagement Rings

Without further ado, here are some of the most important checks to make when purchasing engagement rings:

  1. Band

The band of the ring is often overlooked, but is almost as important as the stone. There are a number of things to keep in mind when choosing a band, from colour to durability and even practicality, and each type of metal has its own advantages to offer. Once you know more about the options on hand, you can choose from the following examples:

  • Platinum
  • White Gold
  • Yellow Gold
  • Rose Gold
  • Blended Gold
  1. Shape

The shape or style of the diamond can be referred to as the cut, even though technically, the cut refers to the way that the stone is crafted. It is essential to put some thought into choosing the best shape, so be sure that you know what each type is all about as well as what characteristics each shape has. After determining which shape is best for your future fiancé, you can check off your choice from the following examples:

  • Princess
  • Pear
  • Emerald
  • Round
  • Marquise
  • Radiant
  • Cushion
  • Asscher
  • Oval
  • Heart
  1. Cut

Referring to the qualities and dimensions of the stone, the diamond cut is quite possibly one of the most important aspects to consider when choosing engagement rings. Along with colour, clarity and carat, the cut makes up the 4 Cs of diamond grading. A good cut will maximise the amount of light that reflects off the top of the stone, which enables the diamond to give that all-important sparkle. Each angle is carved to produce the best possible refraction of light, while the finishing process also determines the stone’s ability to shine. Don’t get too confused when the term cut is also applied to the shape – ideally, you need to aim for the best cut possible. Shapes that produce a good shape include round and oval.

  1. Carat

Also included in the 4Cs, this is the weight standard for diamonds as well as other precious gems. A carat equates to about 0.2 grams. Typically, the higher the carat; the higher the cost – this is because larger diamonds are much rarer than small diamonds. In a diamond engagement ring, some of the carat options could include the following examples:

  • 5ct
  • 75ct
  • 0ct
  • 5ct
  • 75ct
  • 0ct
  • 0ct +
  1. Colour

Diamonds are graded according to their lack of colour rather than their colour. The highest quality stones have a colour grade of D, meaning that they have no hint of colour whatsoever. Colour grades of E and F fall under the white diamond category, but have a very small amount of colour that can only be seen by a gem specialist under magnification. G-J graded stones appear colourless to the naked eye but when compared next to a pure white diamond, hint of colour can be seen. K-M stones have the lowest colour grading, and may not reflect light to the same degree that a higher graded stone is able to do.

  • D, E or F
  • G, H, I or J
  • K, L or M
  1. Clarity

Last but not least on the engagement ring checklist, clarity is the factor that determines the amount of tiny flaws within the diamond. Formed deep within the layers of the earth under heat and pressure, almost every diamond has some inclusion on the surface or deeper within its shape. These could include air bubbles, cracks, deposits from other minerals, scratches, pits and chips. Diamonds that have few or no inclusions are the rarest (and priciest) of them all. This does not mean that a stone with some very small inclusions will have visible flaws – very often these tiny marks can only be seen under a magnifying glass, and even then, a gem expert may be the only one to notice the flaws. Stones too many inclusions lack sparkle, as the path of light is blocked. Clarity grading levels include the following:

  • Flawless (FL) and Internally Flawless (IF) – no visible inclusion under 10 x magnification
  • Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) – contains tiny inclusions that are difficult to see under 10x magnification
  • Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) – contains tiny inclusions that are relatively difficult to see under 10x magnification
  • Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) – noticeable inclusion under 10x magnification
  • Included (I1 and I2) – visible inclusions that may also affect brilliance

We suggest that you print this checklist out when you are ready to being shopping for engagement rings, so that you have a handy guide to refer to and a better idea of what things you need to keep top of mind during the process.

Best Engagement Rings for Women

Choosing engagement rings for women can be done with your fiancé or without her if you feel that you know her well enough to choose wisely. If you are observant and keep her overall style, personality and even her unique quirks in mind, it is far simpler than you may think to make the selection without direct input.

Every woman has her own allure – the thing that caught your eye in the first place. Perhaps it is her ability to always deal with every obstacle in her path like a boss, her warm smile that makes everyone around her adore her or even her ability to always look stylish without ever trying.

What may be perfect for one woman is of course not always ideal for another. This is why it is useful to consider what the ring would say about her style.

What Does Her Engagement Ring Say About Her Style?

Through all of the research and studies done by jewellers around the world, it has become possible to notice that rings can be suited to their wearer’s sense of style, romance and even personality. Some of the engagement rings that could suit your lady perfectly include the following:

  • Marquise

Straight-forward, honest and strong, this is the woman who knows what she wants and is able to deal with any obstacles that come her way. She has loads of sex appeal without coming across as needy or over the top. Celebs who have favoured this ring style include Victoria Beckham as well as Catherine Zeta-Jones.

  • Heart

A romantic at heart who adores all things girly, pink and pretty, this classic shape appeals to those who are sentimental and dreamy. If she loves being a girly girl and has a fondness for hearts in other jewellery, accessories, prints and fabric, she is sure to find this symbol of love and devotion a dream

  • Colourful

This untraditional woman likes to stand out from the norm. She prefers to walk to her own beat, and has an appreciation for things that are unusual and interesting. With variations in diamond ring colours, this ring can appeal to her uniqueness without being impractical or overdone.

  • Round

As a classic and timeless diamond shape; round stones will never go out of fashion. That does not make the woman you give it to a conformist or boring however. As this ring is the most practical and simple style, those who live active, adventurous lives are drawn to the simplicity. The ring has the best shape for full sparkle too, and often, this woman will be full of life, too.

  • Princess

As the name suggests, the woman who wears this cut is a princess. She loves to be treated like a lady, and values chivalry and romantic gestures. She is almost always stylish and glamorous, with a fondness for the finer things in life without being a drama queen. She really and truly believes in fairy tale endings, and sees you as her Prince Charming.

Of course, there are many other styles to choose from and many that you can create from scratch with the help of a talented designer. Whether you get her input or not, choosing an expert jeweller to assist you in creating the perfect choice of engagement rings will go a long way in making that proposal one to cherish forever.

 

Choosing the Metal Bands on Engagement Rings

With so much focus on the stone, the band of engagement rings is often something that is overlooked until the time comes when the jeweller asks how the ring should be set. Of course, making a snap decision without knowing what to consider is not always ideal.

To help you get a better idea of how to choose the band of your future fiancée’s ring, there are a few things that you should first keep in mind. One of the most important things to remember is that many brides match their engagement rings to their wedding rings – some couples have the man’s wedding ring also match, too. With this in mind, it is good to pay careful thought to how practical the metal is in its colour and durability, while also thinking about whether you want the band to be simple, adorned with stones or somewhere in between.

A good rule of thumb to decide on the type of metal to choose is to scope out your beloved’s style. Someone who wears cooler colours and has a lot of silver jewellery will likely wear a ring that has a platinum or white gold band. Someone who wears warm tones and has gold jewellery will easily wear a ring band made in yellow or rose gold meanwhile. You could also mix metals such as white and yellow gold for a more subtle option that fits into almost every style. Another option to bring out the stone’s brilliance is to choose a platinum or white gold setting, with a warmer toned band.

What else should you be considering when it comes to the bands of engagement rings and how do the different metals compare?

How to Find the Right Band for Engagement Rings

Some additional tips to consider include the following…

  • Platinum is an expensive but very durable choice for bands. Five times purer than gold when used in rings and other jewellery, platinum is pricey for good reason. If your fiancée is active and leads a busy lifestyle, this durable metal will ensure a long-lasting option that needs no re-plating. It’s also hypoallergenic, making it good for those who have sensitive skin or allergies. It has a cool, bright silver shine that does not dull.
  • Gold is versatile and offers a range of style options. A popular choice in jewellery, this metal is measured in karats, which are divided into 24 parts – pure gold having the most parts at 24 karats. Colour options in this metal include yellow gold (a bright, classic gold colour), white gold (looks closer to silver or platinum, with a softer edge), rose gold (pink toned and unusual, with copper blended into the metal) and green gold (very rare and unique green tinted gold). Mixing different gold colours can result in a one of a kind ring that suits those who prefer to have their own style.
  • You will need to have accurate finger measurements to have a band that fits. The simplest way to get the band sized properly is to pinch one of her rings and take it with you to the jeweller if you are surprising her with a ring. You could also ask her mom or best friend for help if you have trouble sneaking into her jewellery box. If sizing at a jeweller, it is important to remember that various things affect the fit – body temperature needs to be normal with no salt or water retention, and the weather should not be too hot or cold either, as this could make hands bigger or smaller respectively. Avoid ring fittings first thing in the morning to allow salt retention to ease, and after exercise, when fingers swell.

If you need any further advice on pairing the metal with your chosen stone, we are happy to assist however we can at Cape Diamonds. With a bit of planning however, you can choose the perfect band that suits your choice of engagement rings as well as your future bride just so.

Choosing the Metal Bands on Engagement Rings

With so much focus on the stone, the band of engagement rings is often something that is overlooked until the time comes when the jeweller asks how the ring should be set. Of course, making a snap decision without knowing what to consider is not always ideal.

To help you get a better idea of how to choose the band of your future fiancée’s ring, there are a few things that you should first keep in mind. One of the most important things to remember is that many brides match their engagement rings to their wedding rings – some couples have the man’s wedding ring also match, too. With this in mind, it is good to pay careful thought to how practical the metal is in its colour and durability, while also thinking about whether you want the band to be simple, adorned with stones or somewhere in between.

A good rule of thumb to decide on the type of metal to choose is to scope out your beloved’s style. Someone who wears cooler colours and has a lot of silver jewellery will likely wear a ring that has a platinum or white gold band. Someone who wears warm tones and has gold jewellery will easily wear a ring band made in yellow or rose gold meanwhile. You could also mix metals such as white and yellow gold for a more subtle option that fits into almost every style. Another option to bring out the stone’s brilliance is to choose a platinum or white gold setting, with a warmer toned band.

What else should you be considering when it comes to the bands of engagement rings and how do the different metals compare?

How to Find the Right Band for Engagement Rings

Some additional tips to consider include the following…

  • Platinum is an expensive but very durable choice for bands. Five times purer than gold when used in rings and other jewellery, platinum is pricey for good reason. If your fiancée is active and leads a busy lifestyle, this durable metal will ensure a long-lasting option that needs no re-plating. It’s also hypoallergenic, making it good for those who have sensitive skin or allergies. It has a cool, bright silver shine that does not dull.
  •  Gold is versatile and offers a range of style options. A popular choice in jewellery, this metal is measured in karats, which are divided into 24 parts – pure gold having the most parts at 24 karats. Colour options in this metal include yellow gold (a bright, classic gold colour), white gold (looks closer to silver or platinum, with a softer edge), rose gold (pink toned and unusual, with copper blended into the metal) and green gold (very rare and unique green tinted gold). Mixing different gold colours can result in a one of a kind ring that suits those who prefer to have their own style.
  •  You will need to have accurate finger measurements to have a band that fits. The simplest way to get the band sized properly is to pinch one of her rings and take it with you to the jeweller if you are surprising her with a ring. You could also ask her mom or best friend for help if you have trouble sneaking into her jewellery box. If sizing at a jeweller, it is important to remember that various things affect the fit – body temperature needs to be normal with no salt or water retention, and the weather should not be too hot or cold either, as this could make hands bigger or smaller respectively. Avoid ring fittings first thing in the morning to allow salt retention to ease, and after exercise, when fingers swell.

If you need any further advice on pairing the metal with your chosen stone, we are happy to assist however we can at Cape Diamonds. With a bit of planning however, you can choose the perfect band that suits your choice of engagement rings as well as your future bride just so.