I’m a very indecisive person. Whether it’s something small like what to have for dinner or something big like buying my next car, I’m always afraid I’m going to make the wrong choice.
That also includes spending hundreds of dollars on a ring I’m going to wear every day. Forever. That’s a long time.
While my parents were in from Ohio last weekend, I drug my mom out to go wedding ring shopping with me because she’s essentially a jewelry pro. She’s got the good stuff, while I wear $8 earrings from Banana Republic because, let’s face it, I’m probably going to lose them in a week.
My engagement ring, which is a princess-cut solitaire, lends itself to a multitude of wedding bands: wraps, enhancers, anniversary bands, eternity bands, pavé settings, ring guards and even design-your-own. The choices are almost endless.
As if all of the different styles weren’t enough to make my head spin, I couldn’t forget about the most important part, the diamonds and their four C’s.
Cut: According to 4diamond.com, this not only includes the shape of the diamond but also the actual cut, which allows the maximum amount of light to enter “through its top to be reflected and dispersed back through its top,” increasing its brilliance and shine. If the diamond is cut too deeply or too shallow, the light doesn’t reflect back properly.
Color: While diamonds come in all colors, the ones in the white range are ranked from D – colorless – to Z – which is light yellow. Light will pass through a colorless diamond the most easily, giving off the best shine and brilliance.
Clarity: This is where it gets tricky for me. My mom had to explain this a couple of times. Diamonds are ranked on a scale to determine how many imperfections, or inclusions, are visible when magnified by 10x. The fewer the inclusions, the easier light passes through the diamond, making it more brilliant.
The scale is as follows:
FI – Flawless
IF – Internally flawless, minor surface blemishes
VVS1 to VVS2 – Very, very small inclusions
VS1 to VS2 – Very small inclusions
SI1 to SI2 – Small inclusions
I1, I2, I3 – Imperfect inclusions that are visible to the naked eye
Carat weight: The weight of the diamond measured in carats. As this number gets bigger, so does the price.
After being schooled on diamonds, it was time to dig in and try on some rings. Usually, I don’t get too wild with my jewelry, but my mom definitely expanded my selection by persuading me try on a couple of bands with blue diamonds, which I ended up really liking, and some unconventional bands that I would’ve never considered.
Check out one of my favorites that I never would’ve picked out before this weekend. This blue diamond wrap in white gold looks completely different when it’s next to my solitaire.
It’s traditional to wear your wedding band on the inside so it’s closest to your heart, according to BlueNile.com, with your engagement ring worn over it. If following tradition, it’s important to think about how the two will look together. You want something that’s going to compliment your engagement ring, which could be two rings that fit side by side or something that wraps around your engagement ring and enhances it.
According to the Knot, several styles of rings are popular right now. Stacked rings, including anniversary bands or eternity bands (with stones all the way around), look good together. Colored stones are also quite popular. This can include colored diamonds or even gemstones like blue or red sapphires or birthstones.
Pavé (pronounced pah-vay) diamonds also are very popular right now.
Since1910.com describes a pave setting as the following:
“A pavé setting contains small round brilliant cut diamonds that are set level with the surface of the ring. Tiny holes are made in the setting and once the diamond is placed into the hole the surrounding metal is raised to form tiny beads or prongs that will hold the diamond in place. Pave adds brilliance to the ring and creates the illusion of a larger center stone. Pave settings are commonly designed using white gold or platinum to minimize the appearance of metal.”
Another thing I learned about is channel set vs. pronged rings. I prefer channel set, which is when the diamonds are set down into the ring. I like the way the channel set looks next to my engagement ring. This gives a smoother look and protects the diamonds a little. Prong-set rings use the smallest amount of metal possible to hold the stone onto the ring, which provides more light reflection and greater brilliance.
Remember to ask what the quality of the diamonds is and don’t be afraid to barter. Jewelry is usually marked up so it can be marked down. Ask for the best price they can give you. One jeweler even told me about an upcoming friends and family sale. Remember the 4C’s if you’re looking at diamonds, and do your research.
No matter your preferences, definitely shop around, and keep your options open. You never know what you’re going to find. It’s like trying on dresses; some rings look completely different after you put them next to your engagement ring. Who knew I would end up loving rose gold or blue diamonds?
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