A Guide to Heirloom Engagement Rings

Heirloom engagement rings are rings that are passed down in the family. Some may be passed down from the grandmother or passed close relative of the groom-to-be, while others might be handed down by a living relative such as a mother. These rings can also be handed down by more distant relatives such as aunts.

What makes these rings special is the history behind them, as well as the significance that they hold. This adds plenty of romance while continuing a long-lasting legacy through generations of brides. With that said, these engagement rings are not always perfect for every type of bride. Those who prefer modern jewellery may be touched at the idea without loving the style of the ring. With this in mind, it is always a good idea to think carefully about heirloom rings before you propose. This guide shares some tips to help you get started.

Everything You Need to Know About Heirloom Engagement Rings

There are a few things that you should know about heirloom engagement rings. Some of the most important points to consider include the following:

Asking permission for the ring

In many families, rings are handed down to the oldest son or the first child to get engaged. In other families, rings may be kept somewhere safe until you ask whether you can give it to your beloved. If you are unsure of the protocol for this, it is best to keep it straightforward and simply ask your mother or father. Chances are high that they will be thrilled at the idea of continuing the tradition.

Consider your bride’s preferred style

Many vintage and antique rings are beautifully designed, with timeless styles that are every bit as stunning today as they were many decades ago. Others may feature stones, settings, designs or metals that are not suited to your bride’s style. Before you get down on your knee, take a good look at the ring and take a close look at the type of rings your love wears. Look at the metal she prefers, the stones she likes, the size of the ring she favours, and any other detail that gives you a hint on whether she would love this ring. If you are not sure it is her style and there is no way to make alterations to suit her preferences, it is better to go with a new ring instead.

Think carefully about alterations

You may need to have the ring resized, which is a simple alteration. It is a good idea to have the ring checked by a specialist to ensure that its settings are still in place. You could have the ring cleaned, too. You could have stones reset or even changed to different types of gems. Depending on the ring, you may be able to change the band and keep the stones. Do not ever make changes without checking with your family, however. Although the important thing is keeping the ring in the family, making drastic changes may not be the right move if it turns the original ring into something completely different. It could also end up costing more to change the ring than to invest in a new ring.

Ultimately, whether or not you go with a heirloom ring will come down to personal preference and your unique family traditions. If you are looking for expert help in evaluating, resetting or customising your engagement ring, contact Cape Diamonds and we will help you add the final touches to your heirloom ring.

How to Layer Stacked Wedding and Engagement Rings

While they are not a new style, stacked engagement rings have grown in popularity in recent years. Along with their beauty, these rings also offer a way to customise your rings and wear your wedding and engagement ring along with any other rings you feel like wearing on any given day. Unlike conventional rings, these rings are typically fine and delicate, with thin bands and shapes that make them easier to stack.

Wondering how to wear stacked engagement rings? Keep reading to find out how to create the perfect ring stack.

How to Stack Wedding and Engagement Rings

There are a few different ways to stack your wedding and engagement rings with other rings. Some of the most important tips to keep in mind include the following:

Choose the ring style carefully

As we mentioned briefly above, stacked rings should be fine enough to easily stack without taking up your entire finger. Look for delicate rings that are made specifically for layering or rings with thin bands and settings that will allow easier stacking. You can also look for ring sets that are designed to work together. These rings feature shapes that allow you to layer rings in a variety of ways.

Choose the setting carefully

Prong settings work well for regular rings and they can work on stacked rings. They can also make it harder to easily layer rings, however. Instead, it is best to choose bevel cuts or pave style bands with settings that do not stand up too much or get easily caught on clothing. To add detail, choose different cuts or shapes such as triangles that fit together or fan shapes that also flow together.

Choose the ring design carefully

This includes your choice of stone and your choice of metal. You can easily pair yellow, rose and white gold if you are sticking to classic diamonds. You can also play around with colour, but make sure that you choose colours that offset each other without clashing. Although you can mix and match, it is best to stick to a combination that will work however you stack your rings. When ring styles are dramatically different, the effect will end up looking strange.

Choose the number of rings carefully

Consider the number of rings you want to add to the stack very carefully to make sure that you get the balance between an elegant stack and over the top layers. This is where fine bands are essential – they allow you to layer three or even four rings easily. When you add too many rings, you will lose the overall effect of this ring style. Instead, keep it simple and choose an engagement, wedding and accent ring to pair together.

Looking for inspiration on this type of ring? Contact Cape Diamonds and let us know how we can create the engagement ring you have always wanted.

How to Pair Your Engagement Ring With Other Jewellery

Pairing your engagement ring with other rings and jewellery can be as easy as finding pieces that work well with your ring. It can also be a challenge when you are trying to accentuate your ring without anything clashing or looking strange. Wearing rings that could scratch or damage any ring worn on the same hand is never a good idea. Wearing rings that detract from your ring is never ideal, either. In this guide, we share some tips on how to pair your engagement ring with other jewellery and what to wear with your engagement ring, on your wedding day, for evening events, and during the day.

Pairing Your Engagement Ring With Other Jewellery

There are a few things to keep in mind when pairing your engagement ring with any other jewellery. The most important factors that can either cause clashes or achieve a cohesive style include colour choices (metal and stones), the size of the jewellery, how much jewellery you wear, and the style of each piece. Some additional things to keep in mind include the following:

On your wedding day.

For your big day, you want to aim for a minimal look that will not take away attention from your dress. Remember that your wedding ring will be added to your engagement ring. If you are wearing rings on every finger, the effect may be over the top. Keep necklaces and earrings simple, too. A delicate chain and pendant would not detract from your dress and ring, while a very large piece might ruin your look. Rather than trying to follow trends, stick to your style.

For formal events.

You can add more sparkle for evening or formal events, but remember to use your ring as a guideline when choosing other jewellery. If you have a classic diamond ring, it will go with just about any type of stone. If you have a coloured diamond or a precious stone that is brightly coloured, you would need to stick to neutral coloured jewellery or stones that do not clash too much. Diamonds, pearls, white sapphire, and black stones are all understated enough to avoid clashes.

During the day.

Here, you can also mix things up. It’s worth noting that you should choose rings carefully if wearing them alongside your ring. You don’t want to risk damaging your ring with sharp edges or ring styles that overlap onto your adjacent finger. Stacked rings can be a great way to change things up without going over the top. These rings are delicate and subtle, and won’t detract too much from your main ring. You could also stick to minimal rings that do not get in the way. If you live an active lifestyle, keep in mind that any jewellery you wear might be damaged when playing sports. It is best to rather wear no rings than to risk losing or damaging your ring.

For more inspiration on choosing your ring, be sure to follow our blog. At Cape Diamonds, we offer custom-made rings that are designed according to your specifications. Get in touch today to learn more about finding the perfect engagement ring to suit your style.

How to Drop an Engagement Ring Hint

How can you be sure that your loved one will get you the engagement ring you truly desire? How do you make suggestions without ruining the suspense and coming right out and telling your love what you want? Although there is much to be said about choosing rings after the proposal, there is also plenty of romance and magic in having the perfect ring presented in the proposal. One of the worst things that can happen is that you are presented with a ring that you truly do not like.

While marriage is about love rather than rings, this is something you will wear for the rest of your life. Naturally, you want to feel giddy every time you look at the ring rather than long for something different. To make sure that your love is able to read between the lines, dropping the right engagement hints is crucial.

Dropping Engagement Ring Hints

You could wait and see whether you get the engagement ring of your dreams without hints, but giving a few clues definitely makes things easier – for you and your love. Here are a few ways that you can get the message across in a subtle yet effective way.

Use social media.

Pinterest is especially useful for this task. Make sure that your partner follows you, then create a board filled with dream rings. You can be subtle and add in other jewellery, too. The reason that this one works so well is that your love can see the styles that you truly like. He will able to use that as inspiration, without the risk of not having a clue what you really want in a ring.

Get friends involved.

Another way that you can let some ideas slip is to get your friends involved. You could ask them to see if your partner has mentioned anything and make sure that they are more than happy to give him ideas. You could even give them one of your rings (making sure it fits on the right finger) to make sure that your love has the right size. Ask them to drop hints on your favourite stones, metal, styles, and designs, too.

Start a conversation.

Finally, you could also simply start a conversation. If you both know that wedding bells are soon to be heard, it can be a lot easier to talk things through rather than leave anything to chance. When you are both open and honest about where you see your relationship heading, it will be easier for you to make direct hints about jewellery and rings you love or point pictures out in magazines. This can save you both a headache or two.

At Cape Diamonds, we work with you and your love to create spectacular custom rings in Cape Town and surrounds. Contact us today to learn more about how to create your dream engagement ring.

Before You Get Your Engagement Ring Engraved…

Engagement ring engravings are a romantic way to add a personal message to your ring. Often, these engravings are placed on the inside of the band where only the bride can see them. There are many things to engrave onto a ring, from a simple heart to your initials, the date of your wedding or even a personal message or lyrics to your song. With that said, there are things that can go wrong when it comes to engraving an engagement ring.

Avoid These Engagement Ring Engraving Mistakes

Although there is no doubt that engagement ring engravings are super romantic, they can go wrong if you don’t put a bit of thought into things beforehand. Here are some things to avoid to ensure the best results.

Not considering the width.

If the band is very delicate, it will be very hard to engrave a message onto the ring without taking up too much space or losing the readability. Worse, it could end up looking squashed. Always think carefully about the size of the text compared to the width of the band. In other words, choose the band and then choose your message.

Not considering the fit.

Make sure that the ring fits perfectly before you take it for engraving. If the ring is too big, it will need to be reduced, which could affect the engraving. Likewise, if the ring is too small, it will need to be enlarged, which will also have an impact on the engraved message. Get the ring sized and then get it engraved.

Not considering the method.

You’ll also need to think about how the engraving will be done. If the band is engraved by a machine, you will need to make sure that the band is thick and wide enough to ensure that the words can be easily placed within the metal. If done by hand, it will be easier, but then the jeweller will need sufficient space to work without taking up the entire band.

Not considering the text.

You will want to be absolutely and completely sure that you are 100% certain about the message before getting it engraved into the ring. The jeweller or engraver is not responsible for any spelling mistakes. Likewise, messages that are too long may not be possible. Keep it simple to avoid issues.

Not considering the font.

Finally, you should also think carefully about the font you choose. You can find a pretty font, but make sure that it is easily read without the words blending into each other or being easy to misconstrue. Taking the time to research some fonts and writing them in a size similar to the size you will have on the ring is a good way to be sure that you choose a good font.

To find a wide variety of rings or to have your very own custom engagement ring crafted, get in touch with Cape Diamonds today.

How to Add Meaning to an Engagement Ring

Whether you are getting an engagement ring made for your love or having one designed with your input, adding meaning can be a great way to increase the romance factor. This type of ring is meant to be rich in meaning, symbolising the great love you share with you and your beloved. Although you could consider symbolic rings that clearly signify this love, you can also add meaning in more subtle ways. In this guide, we take a look at some of the ways that you can add meaning to your engagement ring.

Adding Meaning to Your Engagement Ring

Some of the ways that you could add meaning to your engagement ring include the following:

Inscriptions

Inscriptions are a very simple way to add meaning. Ask your jeweller to inscribe a special date, phrase or even a word that has meaning that only you and your love will understand. Everything time you look at this inscription, you will be reminded of your love. You could inscribe something onto the band, on the underside of the band or even on your wedding rings as well. You could even opt for an almost invisible message that can only be seen under a magnifying glass. If you are surprising your love with a ring, this can be especially romantic.

Hidden Birthstones

Another deeply romantic way to add meaning is to add a hidden stone. Birthstones are ideal for this type of ring. If your love has a stone that means a lot to her, you could also consider this stone as well. Add it to the side of the diamond or even deeply set within the underside of the band. This is a great way to bring in her special stone without being too over the top.

Engravings

You can also add engravings in other ways aside from inscriptions. Try a symbol that represents your love – doves, hearts, the name of the place where you met. Get creative and think of something that has deep meaning for both of you. Like inscriptions, this can be added somewhere visible or somewhere hidden.

Coloured Diamonds

Coloured diamonds can be surprisingly meaningful. Certain colours may represent certain meanings or memories in your relationship. Many colours have broader meanings as well, similar to birthstones. If she has a favourite colour, you can add a very tiny colourful diamond somewhere in the design that will make her smile whenever she looks down at her ring finger.

Custom Stone & Setting

Another way to add meaning is to go with a customised diamond shape or setting that has meaning for both bride and groom. For example, a heart-shaped diamond may not mean something to everyone, but to you, it may signify a personal story or a hardship you have overcome together. Think about who your love is and what sort of stone and setting would truly suit her.

Looking for gorgeous custom rings for your love? Cape Diamonds will help you plan the perfect engagement

The Worst Engagement Ring Styles to Avoid

With so many exquisite engagement ring styles to be found, future brides have more choice than ever when it comes to finding a dream ring. That can sometimes lead to ring decisions that are less-than-flawless, however. Although the most important thing of all is to find a ring that you truly love, there are a few styles that are not practical. The problem with choosing an engagement ring that features a soft stone, impractical setting or a colour that you likely will not love as much by your first anniversary is that you will end up not loving your ring as much as you should.

To make sure that you stay in love with your ring year in and year out, look out for these styles to avoid.

Stay Clear of These Engagement Ring Styles

Some of the worst engagement ring styles to avoid include the following:

Pearl rings.

As lovely as pearls are, they do not make the best stone for rings – especially not for a ring that is meant to be worn every single day. Pearls have a very low Mohs hardness rating, which makes them prone to scratches and chips. They can also lose their shine very easily. Add to that the fact that they are hard to maintain, and you have a ring that will require a lot of effort and care.

Opal rings.

Another soft stone is opal. These stones are popular. With their unusual colour, it is not surprising. For rings, they do not make good stones at all. Like pearls, they are also prone to chips, scratches and surface damage. They also lose their shine very easily, which means that you will need to either not wear it daily or take it for endless maintenance and re-shining sessions to keep it looking as good as new.

Amber rings.

Yet another terrible choice for rings is amber. Although not as popular as opal and pearl, amber has gained a following over the years. Many believe that this stone has healing properties. Although it can work in some jewellery, it is not ideal in a ring that you will wear every single day of your life. The colour of amber is also variable and when the surface is dull, the colour appears dull as well.

Giant rings.

Large, over the top rings might seem like every bride-to-be’s dream. In reality, very large rings are not only tacky; they are also far more likely to get in the way. Large rings are also more likely to catch on anything and everything, making them more prone to damage. If the ring has prong settings, there is more chance of getting stuck on fabrics and even loosening the centre stone.

Trendy rings.

Finally, stay clear of rings that are trendy for just a moment in time. That bright pink diamond ring may seem like a good idea now, but you may not love it as much in a year. Likewise, stay clear of Disney style rings, red or other coloured metals, strange designs that come and go with each season, and anything else that you would not feel the same way about in a few years.

Looking for the perfect ring? Dreaming of a custom ring? Visit Cape Diamonds to view our full collection of engagement rings to see what we offer.

Unique Engagement Ring Ideas

Searching for an engagement ring that is interesting, unusual and unique? We have you covered. Your ring is the one piece of jewellery that you will likely wear day in and day out for the rest of your married life. Having a ring that feels right for you is therefore essential.

 

To help you find some inspiration for your engagement ring, we have put together some of our favourite unique rings.

Get Inspired by These Unique Engagement Rings

If you’re looking for something a little bit out of the ordinary, these unique engagement rings are sure to inspire…

Dalmatian Jasper Triangle Ring

Unique Engagement Ring Ideas - Dalmatian Jasper Triangle RingImage: lovetatum.com

Jasper is a very interesting stone with a Mohs hardness rating of 7 to 7.5 that comes in a wide variety of colours and types. Each Jasper stone is one of a kind, making this an excellent choice for those wanting a ring that truly stands out for all the right reasons. This ring uses a triangle cut in gold, with dalmatian jasper taking centre stage. It would also work well in any other metal and in other jasper stones such as ocean, fancy, green, red, or brown.

Diamond Encrusted Vine Ring

Unique Engagement Ring Ideas - Diamond Encrusted Vine RingImage: flipkart.com

With its intricately twisted band that features tiny pave stones and two tiny diamonds on each end, this vine-inspired ring works especially well in rose gold. This ring would appeal to romantics and feminine brides-to-be who favour pretty, delicate designs. It would also work well in yellow gold, and the stones can be changed to just about anything from black diamonds to morganite.

Platinum Pave Twist Ring

Unique Engagement Ring Ideas - Platinum Pave Twist RingImage: shireeodiz.com

The twisting design of this ring brings out the pave stones to perfection, giving you a sparkly, classic ring that will never go out of fashion. It works very well in platinum, with the cool tone of the metal off-setting the diamonds perfectly. You could also add in some colour in the centre stone, choosing a ruby, emerald, tanzanite or something more unusual, like an opal.

Moss Agate Crescent Ring

Unique Engagement Ring Ideas - Moss Agate Crescent RingImage: etsy.com/shop/MinimalVS

This ring is unusual on many levels. The crescent design adds a touch of drama that works well with the moss agate. This interesting stone offers lots of drama, setting off the gold of the setting and creating a ring that is sure to stand out anywhere. This style could also work in any other metal and stone, too.

Diamond Phalanx Ring

Unique Engagement Ring Ideas - Diamond Phalanx RingImage: net-a-porter.com/Shop/Designers/Delfina_Delettrez

The design of this ring allows you to choose smaller tones rather than a bigger, pricier stone. Each of the four stones is carefully positioned to hug your finger, adding subtle sparkle. The white gold metal of the ring helps to maintain its subtle appeal, but it would also work well in rose or yellow gold as well, or even platinum.

Pink Tourmaline Ring

Unique Engagement Ring Ideas - Pink Tourmaline RingImage: jessiewestern.com

Tourmaline rings offer a great alternative for those who are not too keen on diamonds. Those stones come in a variety of bold colours and styles. A deep pink tourmaline stone sets perfectly against a twisted gold band, offering a fresh, fun ring that is certainly not too traditional or boring! Tiny pave diamonds add the final touch.

Bright Rose Gold Ring

Unique Engagement Ring Ideas - Bright Rose Gold RingImage: nudejewellery.co.uk

Another good choice for those who prefer something different, this colourful ring is romantic, floral and delightful. Pink and purple sapphires are set on a soft rose gold band in a floral arrangement. You could choose your favourite stones, try coloured diamonds or opt for unusual stones with interesting patterns to further mix things up with this style.

Opal and Diamond Crossover Ring

Unique Engagement Ring Ideas - Opal and Diamond Crossover RingImage: catbirdnyc.com

Although opal is not always the best stone for rings, as it does not have a very high hardness rating, it can work well if the stone is not too large or if it is cut well. The style of this ring crosses over, with a diamond and opal at each end and a gold band that accentuates both stones perfectly.

Platinum Fynbos Flower Ring

Unique Engagement Ring Ideas - Platinum Fynbos Flower RingImage: capediamonds.co.za

Finally, from our very own Fynbos Collection, we have the exquisite King’s Queen Solitaire White Gold or Platinum Fynbos Flower Diamond Engagement Ring. This ring takes its name and inspiration from one of South Africa’s most recognised fynbos flowers, with a beautiful design that brings to mind wide open spaces, natural splendour and clear blue skies.

Find your perfect ring at Cape Diamonds or let us help you plan your dream ring today. Contact us to learn more about custom engagement ring design in Cape Town and surrounds.

Looking for Genuine Engagement Ring Advice?

Getting accurate engagement ring advice is not always as simple as it sounds. Whether you are planning to pop the question or you are trying to find ideas for your own ring, it is natural to get input from friends, family and other people when making the decision. Some may know instantly what they want – most need a bit of time to think. This is, after all, a ring that will be worn forever. As such, it makes sense that you would want to make an informed decision.

In this short guide, we share some tips on who best to NOT ask for advice when planning an engagement ring, and who to rather ask instead.

Engagement Ring Advice Sources to Always Ignore


No matter how well-meaning these sources may be, it is never a good idea to take engagement ring advice from any of the following:

Moms or any other relative.

The exception to this rule is, of course, any relative who truly knows your style. If you are proposing to your love and asking for advice from family, it is best to speak to the relative that is closest in age or the relative who frequently goes shopping with your love has brought her jewellery before or has a very current idea of the type of jewellery she wears. Asking moms, grannies or aunts who may not have an accurate idea may end up in suggestions that are outdated or based on the relative’s own preferences. Moms may want you to consider the family heirloom ring that is in storage or tell you plenty of stories about what she loved when she got married.

Salespeople looking to close the deal.

This sounds a bit obvious, but it can be easy to get a bit overwhelmed if you step into a ring shop. Whether you are looking at rings for someone or yourself, the sheer volume of choices can make the process more than a little flustering. Often, salespeople will make the experience even more confusing by offering suggestions that may not be right at all. They may draw your attention to pricier rings or tell you about certain rings that are popular with customers. They may also pressure you into making a decision without giving you time to think things through. Finding a good jeweller online can often take away a great deal of this stress, helping you find time to think and weigh up your options.

Friends who do not know your style.

Asking a best friend or close family member is often a far better option. Asking friends who do not really know your style or your future bride’s style can be risky. If you ask more than one person, you are likely to get many different answers. Most people tend to give advice based on what they themselves would do or wear. Although this can be great for finding ideas, it is not always the most helpful. When you are getting input to help you pop the question, it is even less helpful. Someone who genuinely knows you would be able to tell you what suits you, what you would wear often, and what would be just as stunning in a decade as it is today.

On our blog, we work hard to find and share a wide range of tips and tricks to help make the shopping process that much easier. Be sure to follow us to get objective, no-frills engagement ring advice, every time.

Before You Get That Colourful Engagement Ring…

Whether you are dreaming of a bright, bold engagement ring with a coloured diamond or you are aiming to surprise your love with a colourful precious stone that you are sure she will love, colourful rings are not always as simple as they seem initially. The trouble with this type of ring lies in the very thing that makes it so special – its bold colour.

While a vivid red and black ring works well now, while you love the colour combination, it may not appeal to you as much in five years, let alone a decade or two down the line. That’s not to say that there is no place for colour in engagement rings, however. It simply means being aware of what this type of ring entails so that you can make an informed decision.

 

What to Know About Colourful Engagement Rings

 

Some things to consider when it comes to colourful engagement rings include the following:

The colours themselves.

If you are going to add colour, don’t choose a colour that you have only started liking recently. Don’t look at trends, either. Instead, think about the colours that you have always loved. Think about the colours that you wear frequently (and have worn over a long time frame). Think about colours that go with other colours as well as neutrals, without any risk of major clashes. Even think about your skin tone, eye colour and hair colour and how the colour looks against your skin. If the colour does not work well, you may start to find it less charming as time passes.

The style of the ring.

If you have a simple solitaire style, you could replace the stone or revamp the ring in a few years if you find yourself feeling less enamoured of the colour. If the ring design is more complex, it may not be as simple to make adjustments. Complex ring designs may end up being ruined if any stones are moved or replaced, while simple cuts and designs should allow small changes within reason. That’s not to say that you should aim to make changes, of course. If it comes to that, you should be able to have the option, however.

The type of stone.

Another thing to consider is whether you will go for a coloured diamond or a colourful precious stone. If you choose the former, you will be able to ensure a high rating on the Moh’s hardness scale – in fact, the very highest rating possible. If you opt for another colourful stone, you will need to do some homework to ensure that the stone you choose has a decent hardness ratio. That will help to prevent scratches, chips and other damage to the stone over time.

If you are looking for beautifully made custom diamond rings in any colour, we are here to help. Contact us with any engagement ring queries and we will do our best to assist however we can.