Buying Engagement Rings

  • Selling Jewelry with Have You Seen the Ring - an Infographic

  • Hottest 2013 Trends in Engagement Rings

    Without overplaying the engagement ring purchase too much, it does represent one of the most significant items you will ever buy, as well as being one of the most romantic.  The engagement ring is a symbol of love and devotion, but can also make a unique fashion statement. There is no bride that will deny that the day her husband got down on one knee and slipped the engagement ring onto that left ring finger was one of the happiest days of her life.

    Fashion is constantly evolving and engagement ring styles are no different. The traditional classic ring is making way for settings with a more unique appearance. With that being said, today’s designers are not moving away from the classic ‘Tiffany’ style solitaire ring too much, they are just creating a bolder, more ornate style that produces a little more sparkle.

    For brides looking to move towards more modern ring styles, many love the halo setting.  Halo rings both highlight the beauty of the center stone and make the center diamond look larger.  These settings can work with round, cushion, princess, and many other diamond shapes.  Halo settings can also be paired with a thin, pave diamond band, a traditional metal band, or with a split-shank style.  Whatever the band, halo settings make a bold, beautiful statement.

    Another hot trend is vintage looking engagement rings.  Whether these rings are authentically vintage or new rings designed to look older, many brides opt for a vintage style ring.  Vintage rings have intricate details, and often utilize brightly colored centered stones.  Many brides looking for a one-of-a-kind ring choose a vintage style.

    Many modern brides are also turning to eternity rings as their engagement ring of choice.  Eternity rings are understated, refined jewelry that can be worn alone or stacked with other rings.  Brides that have busy lifestyles often like eternity rings as they can be worn during athletic or other physical activities.

    Whatever engagement ring she chooses, every bride hopes that her engagement ring will bring a lifetime of happiness.
  • The Increasing Popularity of the Princess Cut Diamond

    With the round brilliant cut diamond sitting pretty at the top of the diamond popularity charts, the princess cut diamond is to be considered a young pretender comfortably placed in second place. Year on year, the demand for a princess cut diamond continues to grow and someday it may actually become the leading diamond shape.

    There is plenty of disagreement about who first invented the princess cut diamond, was it London based Arpad Nagy in the 1960’s, or Basil Watermeyer of Johannesburg? There is a little more clarity (pardon the pun) around who was responsible for the princess cut diamond in its present guise. In the 1980’s, Betzalel Ambar and Israel Itzkowitz jointly created the magnificent shape that we see today.

    Like me, you may not have the $1m reportedly paid for the 14-carat princess cut diamond that was given to Hilary Duff. Thankfully though, we won’t have to pay the huge insurance premiums that come along with it!

    Wow, Hilary Duff's beautiful huge diamond.
    Think of the insurance premiums that must come with it!

    Why is the Princess Cut Diamond Becoming So Popular?

    Aside from personal preference and style, there are a number of reasons why the world has fallen in love with the princess cut diamond:

    • Less expensive – Illusion of greater size
    • Better color retention
    • Hides inclusions better than other shapes

    Why is it less expensive?

    The princess cut diamond tends to have a slightly lower price-per-carat than round cut diamonds, in some cases up it can be 30% cheaper!

    There is less waste in the shaping process, typically the diamond retains about 80% of the original rough diamond. This greatly reduces the cost of manufacture; therefore a princess cut diamond comes at a cheaper price.

    Compared to a similar weight round diamond, the crown surface area of a princess cut is roughly 10% less. However, the corner to corner measure of a princess cut is about 15% larger than the diameter of a same-weight round diamond, thus the illusion of greater size.

    Better color retention when compared to other shapes?

    The measurement of color is a little more subjective than a round diamond, many buyers for example prefer the G-H which is slightly warmer than the almost cool colorlessness associated with color D to F.

    A princess cut diamond typically retains the color much better than other cuts. Therefore, you don’t necessarily need to need to search for a princess cut diamond that grades higher in terms of color; most of them do anyway.

    Why does it hide inclusions better than other shapes?

    Princess cut is great at hiding natural inclusions of the diamond, this results in a better ranking on the clarity grading chart.

    The corners of a princess cut diamond are more susceptible to chipping. To prevent this, the princess cut diamond should always be prong set as this will protect the four corners.

    These corners were once near the outer edge of the rough stone, the area of the stone where flaws such as naturals, extra facets, and other inclusions are more commonly located. Since the corners are now covered by the prongs, these flaws will be invisible to the naked eye once the diamond is set.

    What else should I be aware of when buying a princess cut diamond?

    When it comes to the “Cut”, the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) is only prepared to offer their opinion about the polish and symmetry. They do not grade the cut like they would with a round diamond

    Why is the cut of a diamond important? Well, the cut of a diamond determines its level of brilliance.  For example, a poorly cut diamond will have a dull appearance even if the color and clarity is perfect.

    The cut should reflect the maximum amount of light to the viewer's eye and this doesn’t happen if the diamond is cut too deep or too shallow.

    A simple rule of thumb with princess cut diamonds is to avoid those with a table % that is greater than the depth %.

    Check out the GIA website to learn more about diamonds.

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