You can feel it in the air. The time is right. The butterflies have not stopped fluttering around inside you. You have found the one, and deep down inside, you know it to be true. And for that, you want to surprise her with the perfect diamond ring.
Now, if you remember, we recently worked with our friends over at Shane Co to give you a guide on how to buy a diamond, but let’s be honest – that’s only part of it. There is far more to it than that. You can spend hours looking through the diamonds available to find the perfect one, but the setting is really what will make it pop. So here we are, ready to help once again, and make sure that you not only find the perfect stone, but ensure its shown off perfectly. So with that, we have two parts to finding the perfect ring.
First off – know what she likes. Many moons ago, I was a salesman for a local jewelry store, and I cannot count the number of times I would have a gentleman come in wanting to buy a ring, but not knowing what his lady liked. Now, these were the days before Pinterest and other design website, but really? So, I always helped them out the best way I could by asking these questions. If you can answer them, I feel it will point you in the right direction.
Is her taste in home decor classic, contemporary, or modern?
Is her sense of style more individualistic, trendy, or ageless?
What kind of jewelry does she wear already? Is it big and bold, or subtle?
Let’s be honest – your lady deserves something unique, not something from a big-box jeweler. If you could walk in and pick a ring based off those three answers, you wouldn’t be here. Beyond knowing the shape of the diamond and color of the gold, you need to understand the elements of the ring. I want you to walk into that store informed, knowing what to ask, the differences in the setting features, and to leave satisfied and excited. This is your homework done for you; settings 101.
There are different terms used to describe an engagement ring, the most common being prong, channel, bezel, and tension.
Prongs: This is the most common element of the ring that is holding the diamond in place. Often popping above the main ring, this “head” is make of 3 to 6 claws. The biggest thing to know is the fewer prongs, the more that beautiful diamond will be shown off. While it may not protect the stone as much as other settings, its displaying of the brilliant stone will make the disadvantage worth it.
Channel: Not as common in women’s rings for the center stone, a channel setting is where the stone or stones are held inside the band itself with no metal separating them. The protect the girdle of the stones, but don’t allow the brilliance to be shown. It’s often recommended to use channel for complimenting features.
Bezel: This has always been a favorite of mine, often described as a halo or belt around the stone. It is a thin piece of the metal protecting the edge fully around the perimeter of the stone, secure and clean, but can give the impression of a lower quality stone if not paired perfectly. It still allows most the brilliance to be displayed of the center stone, and can often be highlighted by other stones surrounding it.
Tension: Let me be honest – this is the coolest, most unique setting you can find. At the same time, it’s the setting I would be most worried about. Tension is a design that uses the pressure of the shank (also known as the ring) to hold the stone in place. This allows for the most light to appear, but can prove difficult when it comes to resizing, repair, and softer stones.
There you go. It really is more than a diamond, and displayed properly, you are going to give her the ring she will love forever. Of course, there are other elements that help define the perfect ring, but walking in informed will help make the process of finding the right one a lot easier. A final tip: find a store and representative that is there to help you, not just sell and move on. It’s about the relationship you make, the comfort you feel, and the education you receive. And always find a store with a reputation and a warranty. This is a big purchase, and you want it to be protected.