diamond engagement ring on woman hand

Engagement ring terminology explained

Have you and your significant other been thinking about taking the next step together? If yes, then you must have already begun searching for the diamond engagement ring. As exciting as it sounds but it is one of the most difficult tasks to find that perfect ring. As you go through the process, you will come across various terms and concepts, some that you would have never heard of before. What is a carat anyway? And who knew there were so many different cuts for a diamond?

Ring shopping should be fun, exciting and a rewarding experience. Rather than have your experience spoiled by the confusing terms used by the jeweller, why not do a little research before going ring shopping. To help you get started on the right foot, I have put together a guide to ring terminology.

Here I have explained the basic parts of an engagement ring, the types of materials they can be made with, setting you can choose and the stone you may consider.

The Band

The band is the section of the ring that goes around the finger. It is the main component of the ring and is available in a wide range of styles. However, you need to decide what type of metal you want the band to be made from. The common options are:

Gold – It is the most typical choice for an engagement ring and usually comes in three different shades that is, white, yellow and rose.

Platinum – This metal choice is the best for engagement rings and has the same appearance as white gold, but is stronger, durable and lasts longer.

After you have made a metal choice, the next step is the ornamentation. You can choose a standard, all-metal band with no decoration or decide on the band with any number of diamonds or with intricate carvings.

The Settings

The setting in a diamond engagement ring is the part that holds the centre diamond/gemstone in place. It rests on the band and positioned on top of the finger. Here are the some of the most popular styles of settings.

Prong – This is the most commonly used setting, especially popular to display solitaire engagement rings. This style features a set of claw-like arms that form a basket shape to hold the stone. The arrangement might be 4 prongs, 6 prongs or any other number of prongs and patterns.

Cathedral – This style features slope of metal that gently rise up on either side of the centre stone to hold it in place. This setting is also called contour setting.

Channel – This setting is used for rings that feature a band of diamonds. It has a band of metal running down each side of the row of diamonds. The metal cars protect the diamonds and hold them in place.

Bezel – In this setting, a band of metal entirely surrounds the centre stone and secures it in place.

Pave – Tiny metal beads or prongs are used in pave setting to give an illusion that the shank is covered in diamonds.

The Stone

It might seem pretty self-explanatory, however, there is bit terminology that comes along with the stone. Here are the basic terms you may come across.

Centre Stone – This is the largest and the centrepiece of the ring. Everything else that goes into the ring whether extra stones or ornamentation of the band, all are designed to complement the centre stone.

Solitaire – Solitaire is just a single diamond on the ring. This style ring is simple yet elegant and draws the attention to just the diamond. The band may be or may not be ornamented.

Three Stones – This describes the style of ring featuring one centre stone prominently and the other two stones on either side each. The side stones may be the same size as the centre stone or smaller.

Halo – This style describes a circle of smaller stones around the centre stone giving a halo effect. This style enhances the centre stone by giving it larger appearance and more brilliance.

4Cs – Acronym standing for cut, colour, clarity and carat weight. These are the top 4 characteristics to look for when buying diamond engagement rings.

Diamond Cuts

A diamond’s shape refers to its physical form and each diamond shape is different possessing unique characteristics.

Round Brilliant – This is the most popular shape of diamond for an engagement ring as it has the maximum ability to reflect back the light giving it more shine and brilliance.

Princess Cut – This is one of the few mixed diamond cut types and has elements of both brilliant and step cuts. These diamonds are very brilliant but less expensive than round brilliant.

Cushion Cut – This cut is also known as a pillow because it has soft edges and large facets. It has impeccable brilliance and clarity.

Emerald Cut – This cut offers a unique optical appearance because of the rectangular facets. The cut showcases diamond’s original clarity.

Asscher Cut – This cut is often mistaken for an emerald cut because of its similar cut style, however, it is square rather than rectangular.

The above-mentioned are the terms you may come across and by taking into consideration all the different aspects of the engagement rings, you can better prepare to ask for what you want. With all these things in mind, I hope that you will be able to shop with more confidence, enthusiasm and excitement. However, just remember that you should buy certified diamonds from a reputable jeweller.

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