Just as every couple is unique, so too should every engagement ring be an original creation. Make your proposal pop with a custom engagement ring that's been mindfully designed just for your partner. There's a lot to think about when you're designing a ring, but this article will walk you through all the basics.
Select the Shape of Your Diamond
The shape of your diamond will influence many factors that you need to consider later, such as the setting, so this is a good place to start. Review your options and consider each style with your partner's taste and personality in mind. Some common options include:
- Round: This simple, traditional shape offers outstanding brilliance and versatility in your design.
- Princess: Both beautiful and affordable, the princess cut features 90-degree corners for a more modern look.
- Oval: The smooth shape of the oval is ideal for an active lifestyle and offers an eye-catching alternative to round diamonds.
- Marquise: This elliptical shape has a large crown surface area, which makes it look larger than it is.
- Heart: A heart-shaped diamond is a very distinctive choice that may suit someone who likes a stone that departs from the ordinary.
- Emerald: Emerald-cut diamonds are rectangular with a stair-step cut running down the side for a dazzling mirror-like effect.
- Asscher: The Asscher cut is like the emerald cut but with a square shape and larger step-cut facets.
- Pear: Shaped like a drop of water, this trendy diamond offers incredible brilliance.
- Cushion: Cushion diamonds have a pillow-like appearance with a distinctly vintage feel.
- Radiant: A radiant diamond is similar to an emerald-cut diamond with rounded corners and enchanting sparkle.
Review the Four Cs of Diamonds
The four Cs outline the most important aspects of a diamond.
It's important to understand carat weight because this is not proportional to the value of the diamond. Bigger is not always better in this area, so you don't necessarily want to prioritize a high carat weight at the cost of clarity and color. It's helpful to understand your partner's preferences. Some people do prefer a larger diamond, but others may want a stone that's more subtle and comfortable to wear, preferring one with great sparkle to one that's just big.
A diamond's cut refers not to the shape but to the quality of the angles that comprise the stone. Diamond cutters may sacrifice a quality cut to get a larger carat weight. While this gives you a bigger, more affordable stone, it can also result in one that's excessively deep or shallow with less brilliance and symmetry. You should examine each stone individually, even if the carat weight is the same, to see how the cut impacts its appearance.
A diamond's color rating refers to the stone's tint. The most highly prized diamonds are colorless with a high rating of D. As you progress down the scale toward Z, you'll find that the stones have more of a yellow or brownish tint.
Clarity refers to the number and size of blemishes or inclusions in the stone. These imperfections impact the way that light passes through the stone, so you'll experience less sparkle in a stone with a lower clarity rating. Some diamonds with poor clarity may even have blemishes that are visible to the naked eye. Clarity ratings are:
- FL (Flawless).
- IF (Internally Flawless).
- VVS1 (Very, Very Slightly Included 1).
- VVS2 (Very, Very Slightly Included 2).
- SI1 (Slightly Included 1).
- SI2 (Slightly Included 2).
- I1 (Inclusions 1).
- I2 (Inclusions 2).
Explore Engagement Ring Settings
The setting determines how your chosen stone is held. This element doesn't change the cost as much as your choice of diamond, but it will have a significant impact on the ring's overall appearance. Some common options include:
- Prongs: The most common option, this setting uses four to six metal claws to keep the stone in place. Prongs show off the diamond well, but they can snag or scratch.
- Pave: A pave setting surrounds your central stone with other tiny gems, adding outstanding sparkle and interest to the design. However, this setting is less secure and not ideal for an active wearer.
- Bezel: A bezel setting encloses the edges of the diamond for a secure fit that's great for an active lifestyle. This design can reduce the sparkle marginally.
- Flush: A flush stone sits within a hole in the ring, keeping it especially safe and flat for an understated look.
- Tension: With a tension setting, the stone appears to float between opposite ends of the band. This has a striking, modern look but doesn't offer as much protection for your stone.
These are just a few of the options that you will see as you explore engagement ring styles. Let your jeweler know which features you like or dislike, and they can steer you toward a custom design that suits your needs.
Get Your Partner's Ring Size
Your partner's ring size is a critical piece of the puzzle if you want your engagement ring to fit upon the proposal. To preserve the surprise, you might ask friends or family members if they know her ring size. You could also take your partner shopping to purchase a ring for a mother, sister, or other family member and ask her to help you by trying some on.
Know Where to Shop
For a quality design, make sure you choose a jeweler with experience designing custom engagement rings. Our team at Martin Busch Jewelers will work with you through every step of the design process, keeping you involved during all the stages. We can help you design a custom ring from scratch or redesign a special ring you've inherited so you can retain that special piece while giving it a fresh look.
If you're interested in creating a one-of-a-kind engagement ring, visit our store in New York City to find plenty of inspiration and expertise. Visit Martin Busch Jewelers to create the perfect ring to start your new life with your partner.