If you have only just started shopping for an engagement or anniversary ring it is likely you’re hearing all kinds of technical terms. You’ve heard about cut, clarity, carats, color, prongs, facets, girdles, and pavilions, plus a lot of other terms. While it is a good idea to understand all of these things in order to enjoy a much easier buying experience in the future, when you are looking only at engagement rings, you should really master only a few of the terms.
For instance, one of the most popular of all styles of engagement ring is the “solitaire” ring. This is a design that puts the emphasis on one gorgeous stone…you know the kind that we mean; the precious metal band with the great big stone sitting right in the middle. This is the style that grabs every lady’s eye, but you should know that it isn’t just one type of ring, setting, or even stone.
Here is what we mean: a solitaire ring can use prongs or claws to hold the stone OR it might be set into a bezel. The ring can be even more unique and feature the metal shaped in a way that allows it to wrap or frame the stone too. This might be something like a band that splits at the diamond with one end sitting on top of the stone and the other end sitting on the bottom; effectively pinching the stone between the two edges.
There are also different cuts or types of diamonds that can be featured in a solitaire ring. The most popular are:
- Round brilliants – More than 75% of the diamonds sold as jewelry are cut this way. They are always round stones with many small cuts known as facets. This is what makes them very sparkly and attractive. Even a diamond with lower clarity can be cut in this way and look impressive.
- Princess – This is a square cut meant to be just as glittery and fiery as the round brilliants. The look is pretty modern, and the setting will have to protect the pointed tips of the stone, but this is another popular choice.
- Emerald – Square or rectangular and with blunt or sharp tips, this is an older fashioned cut that uses less facets. This is the cut for a very flawless stone as it doesn’t offer as much brilliance.
- Oval – Whether of the rounded style or the “marquise” design, this is a very sophisticated cut that can be very fiery or more subdued.
Making Your Choices
So, you can have the prongs or the bezel (which is basically a metal cup-shaped around the stone), and you can choose a range of cuts and shapes. This leaves only the choice of the metal as the last issue. Will you use gold, white gold, silver, platinum, copper, titanium, or some other popular metal? That is something that will have to be based on the personal preferences of the recipient. Choosing the solitaire design means the accent is on the stone, so that is where most of your energy (and budget) should go!