‘Rock On’ with your engagement ring purchase!
There are many things to think about when investing in an engagement ring, but the one major focus is the center stone. Most of the time, this diamond accounts for a substantial or, in some cases, the largest part of the expense.
Young lovers ready to pop the question frequently ask us, “How big a stone can I afford?” or “Can I use another stone, such as a sapphire, to make the ring more affordable and at the same time unique?” They want to impress the love of their life with the largest center stone possible, yet they’re trying to manage other expenses and save for the future, so they’re stuck with making a tough decision.
We don’t want you to feel you need to empty your bank account to get the biggest center stone in the jewelry case. First and foremost, get an engagement ring that will be special to the both of you, but one that fits within your budget. What’s more, jewelers can tailor an engagement ring to make a moderately sized stone look bigger and more sparkly. You’ll still end up with a stunning piece that your loved one will cherish forever. The trick is knowing what to look for.
When shopping for your ring, consider these style options:
A halo setting.
Surrounding the center stone with a “halo” covered in tiny pavé stones will make even the smallest diamond or other gemstone look extra “blingy”. Best of all, going the halo route will increase the ring’s carat size for about half of what a ring with a larger stone would cost.
A low-color stone.
Because diamonds are graded based on their clarity and color, choosing a stone found lower on the color scale can make a larger diamond more affordable. Also depending on the shade, you can call these stones by fancy names like “chocolate,” “espresso” or even “champagne.” Alternatively, a non-traditional colored gem can save you some green and still pop brilliantly.
Diamonds are used in engagement rings to “endure” (much like a marriage). Did you know sapphires and rubies also are good choices for an engagement ring? These stones are also very durable and can be a close second for endurance. By contrast, even though emerald is in the “precious stone” family, it should not be used in an everyday ring.
When ordering and planning your ring, look for these attributes:
- The perfect cut.
- A well-cut stone will reflect light off its angles and facets, increasing its brilliance. By contrast, a cushion cut stone sports a larger top surface and facets, but won’t sparkle as much.
- Oval stones.
- These shapes are not the largest or weightiest, but they appear to be. Oval stones are elongated, so they look larger compared with other shapes.
- A thin, delicate band.
- Whereas a wider band will make a smaller stone appear tiny, that same center stone will look more substantial against the background of a wispy but stylish band. A small band made of bright, reflective white metal or one that tapers in toward the center will add to the effect.
Once you’re engaged and the ring is being worn every day, your loved one can enhance the stone’s appearance by having the ring cleaned regularly. A clean ring will sparkle more brilliantly than a dirty ring, and that will make the stone appear larger. Take the ring to an expert jeweler for cleaning at regular intervals, ideally every 6 months. At Braunschweiger, we offer complimentary cleanings and free inspections to ensure your ring is looking its best and also that all your stones are safe and secure.
Whatever size stone you choose, the experts at Braunschweiger Jewelers will work with you to create the perfect engagement ring for you and your loved one. Visit us at our Morristown or New Providence locations, or visit our website at www.braunschweiger.com.
For more information on diamonds and diamond education, please visit our educational blog and read about the 4C’s anatomy.