Finding The Perfect Engagement Ring

An engagement ring can seal and/or symbolize the relationship between two people. The ring is generally made with some gemstones, metals and/or some other types of jewelry materials. It can be a newly made or a pre-owned ring. A newly made engagement ring is either a preset (ready-made) ring or a ring that you custom made for your fiancé/fiancée. A pre-owned engagement ring can be any ring that may have been previously owned by anyone or a vintage or antique ring. To find the perfect engagement ring (with or without diamonds), you will really only need to know what your options are.

Gemstones can be classified into four different groups, that is, natural, synthetic, imitation and composite. Natural gemstones are created by nature, synthetic gemstones are the lab or man made version of natural gemstones. Imitation gemstones are natural gemstones imitated look-alikes. And composite gemstones could be a mix of natural, synthetic and/or imitation gemstones combined/fused together. 

Gemstones may also have different types of shapes and/or what is typically referred to as their cuts, which will include some shapes like round, oval, heart, square, emerald, princess, radiant, marquise, asscher etc.

Jewelry metals include the precious metals such as gold, platinum, palladium and silver, and base metals like titanium, stainless steel, copper, brass etc. Other types of jewelry materials that can be used to make or create engagement rings include wood, ceramic, glass etc.

An engagement ring will typically consist of a setting, which will include the band of the ring and one or more gemstones that are mounted or fitted into the setting.

Setting Types

An engagement ring setting is the metal base that secures and holds the gemstone(s) in place, it may be used to create some decorative designs on the ring too.

Some ring setting types include pave, bezel, channel, invisible, prong and tension settings. Pave settings generally make use of several smaller gemstones that are placed close to each that would end up looking like one single gemstone from the top/surface. Bezel settings will surround each gemstone with a metal rim.

Channel settings use gemstones in rows like channels, while invisible settings hold the gemstones in place underneath, with metals that won’t appear on the surface making them to appear invisible. Prong settings hold the gemstones in place with some metallic prongs, and tension settings can make a gemstone to look like it is floating, the gemstone is typically held in place with some pressure/tension.

An Engagement Ring Setting
Jewelplus Cathedral Style Solitaire Engagement Ring 14K White

Jewelplus Cathedral Style Solitaire Engagement Ring 14K White

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The Band

The band (or the shank) of an engagement ring can be narrow, wide, twisted or splitted or in some other type of style.

A narrow band is the regular and circular type of band that most people associate with ring bands. A wide band can be over 5 millimeters wide while a twisted band will generally have a twisted ring band. A splitted band is splitted into two up to the center gemstone of the ring.

Custom Engagement Rings And Mountings

While there are quite a lot of ready-made (or preset) engagement rings for you to choose from, if you can’t find the specific type of ring that you want however or you will simply prefer to give a custom made ring to your fiancé/fiancée, you can design and create a custom engagement ring.

With it, you will be able to select the specific type of gemstone(s), metal, design, style, color etc that you want with the ring exactly. You will however need the service of a custom jewelry designer in order to make or create a custom engagement ring.

You may allow your selected custom jewelry designer to supply the gemstone(s) that you need or you may choose to select some loose gemstone(s) and a setting (blank or empty) or a semi-mount ring.

You will need to choose the right gemstone shape and size for your selected blank/empty setting if you are choosing both of them together by yourself. A semi-mount ring is a ring that is partially mounted with some stones without a center stone, you will need a center stone to make the ring complete.

A Semi-Mount Engagement Ring

14k Yellow Gold Diamond Ladies Semi Mount Engagement Ring

14k Yellow Gold Diamond Ladies Semi Mount Engagement Ring

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Ring Designs

Engagement rings can be made with different types of designs including contemporary, vintage, antique, vintage-style, antique-style, Celtic, filigree, figural and inlays designs and/or design elements.

Contemporary designs are modern or present day designs and/or traditional designs that may have been modified/changed to fit a modern setting. Vintage and antique designs are designs that were made in some past era and can be found on vintage and antique engagement rings.

Vintage-style and antique-style designs are a replication of vintage and antique designs. Celtic rings are typically designed with knots while filigree rings are made with ornamental and lace-like designs. Figural rings are designed with some form of objects like butterflies, letters etc. Rings with inlays are designed with oxidize metals and carbon fibers inlays etc.  

In addition to this, you may also choose to use a custom design for your fiancé/fiancée’s engagement ring too.

Surfaces Finishes And Textures

An engagement ring can be finished or decorated with some finishes and textures like polish finishes, hammered textures (made with an hammer) etc too.

Ring Styles

Some common engagement ring styles include solitaire, three stone and two-tone styles. A solitaire ring is a ring with a single center gemstone. Three stone rings will typically have a center stone and two other stones with one on each side of the center stone. A three stone ring can be used to symbolize you and your fiancé/fiancée’s past, present and future. A two-tone ring is made with two different types of metals.

You may also decide to create an engagement ring that would match your wedding rings/bands too, these are generally referred to together as the bridal set.

A woman will usually get an engagement ring, she may however decide to give an engagement ring to her fiancé too. A woman’s engagement ring may match her wedding band, or it could match both hers and her fiancé wedding bands/rings.

In addition to this, you and your fiancé/fiancée may simply go for similar engagement or wedding rings only or whatever you both prefer.

A Solitaire Engagement Ring

Cushion Cut Solitaire Engagement Ring with Created Ruby in .925 Sterling Silver
Solitaire Engagement Ring with Created Ruby

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How To Choose A Quality Engagement Ring

The quality of an engagement ring is determined by the value (the real worth) of the materials it contains.

As noted earlier engagement rings can be made with some gemstones, metals and some other type of jewelry materials. And a gemstone can be natural, synthetic, an imitation or a composite. Jewelry metals are classified as precious metals and base metals.

The only type of jewelry materials that is generally considered to be valuable that is of some worth are some natural gemstones (like diamonds, rubies, tanzanites, sapphires etc) and the precious metals (gold, platinum etc). Hence the best quality engagement ring that you can get, are engagement rings that are made with such valuable natural gemstones and/or the precious metals.

Some of what you will also need to know in order to select a quality engagement ring are as follows.

1.  Cut, Clarity, Color And Carat

All natural gemstones (except pearls) are graded by their cuts, clarities, colors and carats which can be used to determine the value and quality of each gemstone individually. The cut of a gemstone generally refers to its symmetry and proportion, clarity defines how flawless the gemstone is, its color grade is an indication of its color intensity, while carat specifies the gemstone’s weight.

Pearl uses a different set of grades and these are shape, luster, bodycolor (the body color of the pearl gemstone), overtone (the color that may appear over the gemstone’s body), nacre thickness (nacre is the substance that forms the pearl), surface (of the pearl gemstone), matching (how well the pearl matches others if it is with a given set), weight and size.

The most common type of grading system used for gemstones is the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) grading method/system.

[1a].  Diamonds

With the GIA grading system, diamond gemstones are classified as colorless and colored.

A Diamond Engagement Ring

10k White Gold Diamond Ladies 3 Stone Swirl Engagement Ring

10k White Gold Diamond Ladies 3 Stone Swirl Engagement Ring

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(i).  Diamond Color Grades

(a).  Colorless diamond color grades are from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow), that is D, E, F, G, H to Z.

(b).  Colored diamond color grades range from Fancy Vivid, Fancy Deep, Fancy Intense, Fancy Dark, Fancy, Fancy Light, Light, Very Light to Faint.

(ii).  Clarity Grades

GIA clarity grades (for all natural gemstones except pearls) are from F (flawless) to I (inclusions – the most flawed) that is F, IF, VVS (VVS1 and VVS2), VS (VS1 and VS2), SI (SI1 and SI2) to I (I1, I2, I3).

(iii). Cut Grades

GIA cut grades (for all natural gemstones except pearls) are from Excellent to Poor, that is, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair to Poor.

Highest Quality Diamonds

Hence, the colorless diamond gemstone with the highest quality will have the following grades:

Color – D
Clarity – F
Cut - Excellent

While the colored diamond gemstone with the highest quality will have the following grades:

Color – Fancy Vivid
Clarity – F
Cut – Excellent

Thus, the highest quality blue colored diamond gemstone that you can get for instance should have the following grades:

Color – Fancy Vivid Blue
Clarity – F
Cut – Excellent

[1b].  Other Types Of Gemstones

For other types of gemstones, that is, any gemstone apart from diamonds, color is the most important factor that would determine their qualities.

A Tanzanite Engagement Ring

Tanzanite Engagement Ring

Tanzanite Engagement Ring

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Gemstones’ Color Grading

The color grade of a non-diamond gemstone on the GIA grading system is determined by the gemstone’s hue, saturation and tone, that is

Hue - The color of the gemstone
Saturation – The intensity of the gemstone’s color or how rich the color is
Tone  - How light or dark the gemstone’s color is

Each gemstone is described with a primary color (hue) and may also be qualified with a secondary color. That is, if a blue gemstone has some traces of violet it may be referred to as violetish blue in color.

Some gemstone color grades are as follows:

  • Red
  • Orange
  • Yellow
  • Greenish Yellow
  • Blue
  • Violetish Purple
  • Purple

The color saturation scale is from 6 to 1 with 6 being the best grade, for most natural gemstones however, a saturation grade of 6 may be very rare.

GIA (Non-Diamond) Gemstone Color Saturation Scale/Grades

Scale  Description

6  Vivid
5  Strong
4  Moderately Strong
3  Very Slightly Grayish (Brownish)
2  Slightly Grayish (Brownish)
1  Grayish (Brownish)

The color tone scale is from 0 to 10 and is specified as follows:

GIA (Non-Diamond) Gemstone Color Tone Scale/Grades

Scale   Description

0   White or Colorless
1   Extremely Light
2   Very Light
3   Light
4   Medium Light
5   Medium
6   Medium Dark
7   Dark
8   Very Dark
9   Extremely Dark
10  Black

For colored gemstones, only the scale 2 to 8 is generally used. The color tone of a gemstone should ideally not be too dark or too light. Tones that are too dark will generally affect how brilliant and transparent a gemstone is. While those that are too light will affect the intensity or the richness of the gemstone color.

As an example, the ideal tone grade for a blue tanzanite gemstone should be between 4 to 6 (that is, neither too dark nor too light), while its optimal saturation grade should be 5. Different types of natural gemstones will most likely have different optimal tone and saturation grades.

Gemstones’ Clarity Grades

Although diamond and non-diamond gemstones’ clarity grades are evaluated differently they however use the same GIA grading convention of from letter F to I. 

The cut grade of all natural gemstones (except pearls) can be further defined by their table and depth percentages too, diamond may however have a much more uniform range of table and depth values than other gemstones. The depth and table percentages for a gemstone can be found on the gemstone’s certificate/grading reports.

[1c].  Carat

Carat is mainly used together with the color, clarity and cut grades of gemstones (that is, for both diamond and non-diamond gemstones) to determine their values.

2.  Inclusions

These are flaws in gemstones, a natural gemstone may have some flaws by nature, and while some inclusions may not have any affect on the quality of a gemstone others will.

Some gemstone inclusions can make a natural gemstone to be more prone to damages, that is, the gemstone may crack or split unexpectedly etc, such inclusion-filled gemstones should ideally not be used with engagement rings. This is one of the reasons why you should know the cut, carat, color and clarity grades of the gemstones in the engagement ring you may want to buy.

Gemstones with a clarity grade of I (that is, I1, I2 or I3) will generally have inclusions that are visible to the unaided eye which will either impact the appearance or durability (or both) of a gemstone negatively.

3.  Pearls

The values for pearl grades on the GIA grading scale are as follows

●  Shape
Round, oval, button, baroque etc.

●  Luster
Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor.

●  Bodycolor
White, green, black etc.

●  Overtone
Orient etc.

●  Nacre Thickness
In millimeters

●  Surface
Clear, Lightly Spotted, Moderately Spotted and Heavily Spotted.

●  Matching
Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor.

●  Weight
In grams.

●  Size
In millimeters.

Round is the most popular pearl shape, the highest quality pearl gemstone will therefore have the highest or topmost grade values and size, these will also define its value too.

4.  Jewelry Metals

Jewelry metals are usually mixed with some other metal alloys to make them more durable and stronger. Gold is measured in karats (K), 24K is pure gold, gold in rings can be found as 10K, 14K, 16K etc which means 10, 14 and 16 parts in gold and 14, 10 and 8 parts in some other type of metal alloy(s) respectively.

Pure gold is yellow in color, and gold can be mixed with other metals to form white, red, green gold etc, which are a mixture of gold with a white metal, copper and silver respectively.

High-quality platinum and palladium engagement ring will generally contain about 95% of each type of metal respectively. High-quality silver rings will contain at least 92.5% of pure silver, this is generally referred to as sterling silver.

Some base metals have some grades that may provide some indications about their qualities too. Titanium for instance has grades like commercial pure, aircraft grade and extra hard with ascending quality. There is also stainless steel and the higher quality surgical stainless steel too.

5.  Your Engagement Ring Certificate And Other Details

You should be able to get the gemstone certificate, grading reports and other details on your chosen engagement ring from any of the jewelry stores you may have chosen to buy some loose gemstone(s), setting (blank/empty), semi-mount ring, ready-made engagement or pre-owned engagement ring from, or the custom jeweler who may be designing a new engagement ring for you.

Any one of these should be able to provide you with the information/details that you need on your selected engagement ring.

A gemstone certificate will have the information on the cut, color, clarity and carat and other details about the gemstone(s) in your engagement ring. You should also be provided with the information on the type of metals and other type of materials that your engagement ring is made of too by a store.

The gemstone certificate details and other information on an engagement ring should ideally be available on the site of the store that is selling the engagement ring even before you buy. If this is not the case, you can simply ask for such information/details before making a purchase. This should help you to do some effective comparison before you buy.

The cut, color, clarity and carat grades/values for the gemstone in your ring should be stated as single values. However you should note that some gem lab or jewelry store may provide a range of values for some of these. For instance, a store may give the color grade of a diamond gemstone as G – H, that is G to H, which means the gemstone color grade could be either G or H.   

For some expensive engagement rings (or any engagement ring), some ring buyers may want to ensure that they are actually getting what they are paying for from a store or jeweler, by getting an independent appraisal with a reputable jewelry appraiser and/or an independent gemstone analysis with a gemstone institute like GIA, both of these are paid services.

The appraisal will confirm the details of the engagement ring that was provided by the jewelry store/jeweler while the gemstone analysis by GIA will confirm the details on the gemstone certificate, you may also want to do this with your chosen engagement ring too.

6. Quality That Is Based On Designs Etc And Not On Real Worth

While the best and the highest quality engagement rings that you can get are those that are made with some precious metals and some valuable gemstones, you can however get or create some quality engagement rings too with other types of gemstones, metals and jewelry materials whose qualities are solely based on their designs qualities and some other type of attributes and not on their real worth.

These will include the engagement rings that are made with some low-cost natural gemstones like topaz, quartz etc and those that are made with some synthetic, imitation and composite gemstones, the base metals (titanium etc) and jewelry materials like glass, ceramic etc. All of which can be used to create engagement rings with different types of styles, colors, shapes, bands etc too.

These can essentially provide you with more engagement ring options especially when you are searching for some low cost engagement rings.

Some synthetic (like moissanite) and imitation (such as cubic zirconia) gemstones may adopt the grading system of natural gemstones.

Valuable Engagement Rings

Engagement rings can typically be bought based on their retail prices, that is, the price you will pay for them in the stores. However, they may also be bought based on their real values, that is, their real worth too.

A valuable engagement ring, that is, an engagement ring with some real worth as noted earlier will typically consist of some precious metals and/or some valuable natural gemstones. By adding together the real value/worth of each one of the materials/components in an engagement ring, you can generally have some approximate or rough idea about the worth of any engagement ring you may wish to buy.

An Example Of A Valuable Engagement Ring

14k Yellow Gold Blue Sapphire Ring

14k Yellow Gold Blue Sapphire Ring

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The real value of precious metals and valuable natural gemstones can be determined with some market research.

The current market price of precious metals like gold, platinum etc can be found in newspapers, on the internet etc. The current market price of a valuable natural gemstone can be determined by doing some research on the prices others would be willing to pay for the specific type of gemstone based primarily on its carat, cut, color and clarity in the open jewelry market, which will include gemstone resellers, jewelry resellers, dealers, auctions, private buyers etc online and offline.

An Example

As an example, to get an 18K (karats) gold engagement ring with a real worth (not retail price) of $1,000 with a metal ring weight of 10 grams, and a natural blue sapphire gemstone, the following are some of the steps you will need to take:

1.  Determine The Current Real Worth Of Gold (Or The Precious Metal)

The precious metals are generally measured in troy ounces and 1 troy ounce equal 31.103 grams. Hence if you know the current market price of a precious metal, you can determine its current worth too.

  • 1 gram of a precious metal = $ (the current market price of the precious metal / 31.103)

If the current market price of gold is $600 per troy ounce

  • 1 gram of gold = $ (600 / 31.103) = $ 19.29

An 18K gold ring will contain 75% of gold content since pure gold is 24 K (Karats), with our example of a metal ring of 10 grams, the gold ring’s worth will be

  • 19.29 x 75% x 10 = $ 144.67 

2.  Do Some Research On Natural Blue Sapphire Gemstones’ Worth/Values

Since the metal ring’s gold worth (for our example) is $144.67, you will then need to do some research to determine the current grades (that is the cut, carat, cut and clarity) of the natural sapphire gemstone that may be worth about $855.33, to make up the total value of $1,000 in real worth for the engagement ring. You can do your research in the open jewelry market as stated earlier.

We will assumed that after some research, you discovered that on the average the grades of the natural blue sapphire gemstones that fall within that market price/worth ($855.33) are

Cut - Excellent
Clarity – VS1
Color - Blue
Carat – 1.00 ct (that is, 1 carat)

3.  Find The Engagement Ring

Your next step will be to find an engagement ring in the stores with the following specifications:

  • 18K gold ring (could be a white or yellow gold ring) with
  • A sapphire gemstone with Excellent (Cut), VS1 (Clarity) and Blue (Color) grades weighing 1.00 carat
  • The gold metal ring alone should be 10 grams in weight

The weight of the band’s metal ring should be provided as some additional information with any engagement ring you may be interested in, if this is not available you can simply ask the store/site directly for it.

If you cannot find an engagement ring with those specifications in the stores or you wish to create a custom design with your engagement ring, you may provide your chosen custom jewelry designer with the specifications so that he/she can get all the components you will need to create/make the ring for you.

You may also choose to buy some of the components of the ring by yourself too, that is, the loose blue sapphire gemstone, a setting or a semi-mount ring, which you may then give to a custom jewelry designer to create the engagement ring for you.

The retail price of the engagement ring that you will get with those specifications will vary from one store to another, and if it a custom ring, the price too will vary from one custom jewelry designer to another. 

The real worth or value of the engagement ring ($1,000 in this example), will most likely be a fraction of the retail price for the ring, since each jewelry store or jeweler would have added some other business related costs to the price of the ring. Depending on where you will buy the ring and how much you may have to pay for it, the difference between the ring’s worth and its retail price may be large or small.

However, irrespective of the type of store you will be buying a ring with those specifications from or how much you may have to pay as the retail price of the ring or spend to create it as a custom ring, the ring will still have a real worth or value of $1,000 at the end of the day.

Since it is the real worth/value of its components in the market that will determine its worth/value and not its retail price or the cost of making the ring. You should therefore keep that in mind when you are buying your engagement ring.

Some vintage and antique engagement rings may have some value/worth too apart from any precious metal or valuable natural gemstone they may contain as a result of their age, era etc.

You can use each of these steps to determine the real worth/value of any engagement ring you may want to buy even before you buy irrespective of its retail price tag. You do not have to wait until you have actually bought the ring to do this, just use its specifications and details and do some research on what a similar ring will be worth in the open market and not in the retail stores.

Why A Couple May Want A Valuable Engagement Ring

Getting a valuable engagement ring is especially important to those who will want their engagement ring to have some real monetary worth in addition to any sentimental value it may have when it is passed down as heirlooms to their children, grandchildren etc.

A valuable engagement ring is important too to those who may want the rings they buy to retain or have some real monetary value after they may have bought them.

Designer Engagement Rings

Designer engagement rings are either made by a well-known or popular jewelry designer or company.

An engagement ring from such brands, designers or brand names will generally command a higher retail price. However the real worth or value of any engagement ring from such brands/designers will be determined primarily by the value/worth of the components (that is, the precious metals and valuable gemstones) of the ring too as explained earlier.

The real worth/value of a designer engagement ring will most likely be a fraction of the retail price you may have to pay for it too.

Sometimes a designer engagement ring may be worth more in the open market because of its brand, this is however not always the case and is not guaranteed either.

You should do some research in the open jewelry market to find out about the possible real value/worth (not the retail price) of specific designer engagement rings before you buy. You should also do your research using several sources and not just one or two.

If your fiancé/fiancée likes or would prefer a designer engagement ring, you may want to get this for him or her.

A Tacori Designer Engagement Ring

Tacori Ladies Engagement Ring
Tacori Ladies Engagement Ring

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High-End And Luxurious Engagement Rings

A high-end and luxurious engagement ring can be made from all types of gemstones, metals and other types of jewelry materials. That is, from some natural, synthetic, imitation or composite gemstones, the precious metals, the base metals, glass etc, it can also be sold at any retail price too.

If you want a valuable high-end and luxurious engagement ring however, you will need to ensure that your chosen luxurious ring contains some precious metal(s) and/or valuable natural gemstone(s) with the specific amount of real worth/values that you will want with the ring.

Treated Gemstones And Engagement Rings

Some natural gemstones may be treated (enhanced) in order to remove their flaws. It should be clearly stated on a gemstone’s certificate if the gemstones in an engagement ring are treated or not. You will need to know the type of treatment that may have been applied on an engagement ring’s gemstone(s) in order to know how to take care of the ring effectively. You will also need to find out if the treatment is permanent or not.

An engagement ring with a treated natural gemstone should generally be less expensive than a similar ring with an untreated gemstone.

Some Rare Gemstones For Your Engagement Ring

Some of the following natural gemstones are valuable and are also rare or hard to find, for some of these however it is actually the specific variety or color of the gemstone that may be rare. Rare and valuable gemstones can be used or selected with engagement rings too, they are however very costly/expensive.

For those who may want some rare and valuable gemstones in their engagement rings, here is a list of some rare and valuable natural gemstones

  • Blue Diamond
  • Red Diamond
  • Pink Diamond
  • Blue Garnet
  • Alexandrite
  • Jadeite (Jade)
  • Red Beryl

Alexandrite - A Rare Gemstone In An Engagement Ring
14K Yellow Gold Natural Alexandrite Ring

14K Yellow Gold Natural Alexandrite Ring

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Hypoallergenic Engagement Rings

Some people are allergic to jewelry metals like copper, nickel etc, hence before you can choose an engagement ring, you will either have to know if your fiancé/fiancée is allergic to some of these metals or you can simply ensure that you only select or choose an engagement ring that only contains hypoallergenic jewelry metals.  

You will also need to ensure that the ring does not have such metals as alloys too, bearing in mind that jewelry metals are usually alloyed with some other metals in order to make them more durable in engagement rings and other types of jewelry pieces.

Some jewelry stores/jewelers will provide you with some information about the alloys that were used with a ring in addition to some other details. If this is not available however you can always ask for it directly too. 

Some hypoallergenic jewelry metals include gold, silver, palladium, platinum, titanium etc.

Durable Engagement Rings

Engagement rings can be made with different types and combination of gemstones, it is therefore a good idea for you to know how durable some of these are.

Natural gemstones on the whole are generally more durable than other types of gemstones.

Cubic zirconia (an imitation gemstone) is an affordable gemstone that is commonly used with engagement rings, however the gemstone may become dull or cloudy after some time and may therefore need to be replaced. There is however some enhanced version of the gemstone in the market that may not be prone to this.

Swarovski crystals, rhinestones and other types of crystals are imitation gemstones that could be used as accent stones, side stones and/or as part of the overall design of an engagement ring. Such crystals are typically made from glass and are usually coated with some other substances to make them look like real gemstones, over time however some of such coatings may peel off, a lot will depend on the crystal stone/gem quality.

The best type of (glass) crystals that could be used with an engagement ring is swarovski crystals.

The scratch resistance (hardness) of different types of materials is measured on the Mohs scale. The scale ranges from the lowest 1 to 10, diamond has a hardness of 10. Gemstones and metals with higher hardness values are more resistant to scratches and will therefore be more durable than those with lower values.

The precious metals are more resistant to corrosion than other types of jewelry metals. Silver however can tarnish but can be polished to restore its luster.

The quality of the workmanship of an engagement ring will also determine how durable it will be too. All engagement rings will need to be maintained in some way over their lifetimes.

In addition to this, how an engagement ring is used, cared for and maintained will also determine how durable and long lasting it will be too.

Sparkling Gemstones In Engagement Rings

Some gemstones can sparkle while others cannot, however most gemstones (natural, synthetic or imitations) will generally have some measure of brilliance or shininess that is generally referred to as their refractive indexes.

Gemstones with high refractive indexes will usually appear more brilliant or more shiny/sparkly than other gemstones. Some of the factors that can maximize the shine/sparkle of a gemstone are the gemstone’s cut, fire and scintillation.

How well-cut (top cut grades) a gemstone is, will affect how well it will sparkle too. Fire is the dispersion or splitting of light into a rainbow of colors in a gemstone, colored gemstones’ fires are usually overridden by their colors. Scintillation is the flashes of white and black lights when a gemstone is moved. A well-cut gemstone with some fire that can also scintillate should be able to provide an optimal sparkling effect.

You can generally use the refractive index of a gemstone as an indication of how shiny or sparkly a gemstone is hence the refractive indexes of some gemstones are as follows:

Moissanite (Synthetic)   2.65 - 2.69
Diamond   2.417 - 2.419
Cubic Zirconia   2.15 - 2.18
Garnet (Demantoid)  1.88 - 1.94
Sphene  1.843 - 2.11
Zircon  1.81 - 2.024
Sapphire   1.762 - 1.778
Ruby   1.762 - 1.778
Tanzanite  1.691 - 1.7
Jade (Jadeite)  1.6 - 1.627
Emerald   1.565 - 1.602
Pearl  1.52 - 1.69
Swarovski Crystals (Coated Glass)  1.50 - 1.70
Acrylic Glass (Beads)   1.490 - 1.492

The following natural gemstones are notable for their fire:

Gemstone    Fire (Dispersion)

Garnet (Demantoid)  -  0.057
Sphene  -  0.051
Diamond  -  0.044
Zircon  -  0.039

These should give you some idea of how much sparkle you should expect in any gemstone in an engagement ring in relation to other gemstones. It can also help you to decide on the best type of sparkling gemstone that you would want with an engagement ring too.

How To Get A Low Cost Engagement Ring

You can get or create an engagement ring in any price range that you can afford. Some of what you can do to get a low cost engagement ring however is as follows.

(a).  Choose A Ready-Made Ring

A ready-made or preset engagement ring will usually be cheaper than a custom made ring with the same specifications.

(b).  Choose A Gemstone With A Lower Grade

The difference in appearance between one gemstone grade and the next may not be all that apparent and could provide you with a lot of cost savings. For instance the difference in the clarity grades - VS1 and VS2, VVS1 and VVS2 will not be obvious to the unaided eye, since any inclusion or flaw in the gemstones with these grades can only be seen through a microscope.

The difference in their prices may however be very significant and this will reflect in the prices of the rings they may be used in. You can therefore look at a range of engagement rings with similar gemstones and then compare those with higher and lower grades to see if you can still get what you want with one or two gemstone grades down.

(c).  Choose A Palladium Or Silver Engagement Ring

Palladium and silver are precious metals but are usually cheaper than gold or platinum. Palladium is a very good substitute for platinum, while silver is the cheapest of the four metals.

(d).  Select A Base Metal Engagement Ring

You can select or custom build an engagement ring that is made with some base metals like titanium, tungsten, stainless steel etc too, these are usually more affordable than the engagement rings that are made with the precious metals.

(e).  Colorless Diamond Look-Alike Gemstone Engagement Rings

The following gemstones can imitate the look of a colorless diamond, you may therefore choose or custom build an engagement ring that makes use of these as gemstones too. Engagement rings with these alternative gemstones are usually cheaper than diamond engagement rings.

  • Moissanite (Synthetic)
  • Cubic Zirconia
  • Quartz (Rock Crystal).
  • Zircon
  • Topaz

A Topaz Engagement Ring - An Alternative To A Diamond Ring

White Topaz Engagement Ring
White Topaz Engagement Ring

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(f).  Deals And Discounts

You can check and/or keep track of the deals and discount offers that are provided in one or more stores in order to get your selected engagement ring at some reduced price too.

(g).  Colors And Low Cost Natural Gemstones

A lot of low cost natural gemstones are available in the specific type of gemstone color that you may want with an engagement ring, you can therefore choose or select an engagement ring that is made with some of these instead of the more costly gemstones.

For instance some low cost red natural gemstones are garnet and coral, while some low cost blue gemstones are topaz and agate. You may therefore choose or select engagement rings that are made with these low cost gemstones instead of ruby or sapphire for example.

A Low Cost Natural Gemstone Engagement Ring

Blue Topaz Engagement Ring
Blue Topaz Engagement Ring

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(h).  Synthetic Gemstones

Synthetic gemstones are usually cheaper than their natural gemstone counterparts, hence if you cannot afford to buy an engagement ring that is made with some natural gemstones like emerald, diamond, ruby etc you can always get a ring that is made with their synthetic version instead.

(i).  Imitation Gemstones

Low cost imitation gemstones like cubic zirconia can be used as the gemstone of engagement rings too.

You can buy a low cost engagement ring now if that is all you can afford and then replace it with a better quality or bigger ring later on.

A Low Cost Cubic Zirconia Engagement Ring
Cubic Zirconia CZ Engagement Ring

Cubic Zirconia CZ Engagement Ring

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Unique Engagement Rings

You can get or create a unique engagement ring with

  • A Unique Design
  • A Unique Gemstone Shape
  • Engraving
  • A Vintage Engagement Ring
  • An Antique Engagement Ring
  • A Handmade Engagement Ring

Personalization And Engraving

You can personalize an engagement ring by engraving it. You may engrave the ring with a word, phrase, initials, symbols, in your language or another language.  You may use some words like “yours”, “forever”, “always” etc, and you may also use your fiancé/fiancée’s initials, poetry etc.

Hand engraving can be done easily on silver, gold rings etc, metals like titanium and tungsten may however need to be laser-engraved since they are generally more difficult to engrave by hand.

Ring Sizes

You will need to find out what your fiancé/fiancée ring finger size is in order to get the right size of engagement ring, this is very important because a titanium ring for instance cannot be easily resized.

Some online jewelry stores may have some ring size chart that you can use to determine the correct size for a ring, you should also check to see if some additional information like the width, length or height of the ring are provided too for a more correct and precise selection.

The Traditional Or Classic Engagement Ring

The traditional engagement ring is a diamond solitaire ring, the metals that are typically used with the ring are gold and platinum. The most popular gemstone shape for solitaire engagement rings is the round cut. Some other traditional or classic gemstone shapes are princess and emerald cuts.

Men’s Engagement Rings

While women can use virtually all types of designs, styles, colors etc with their engagement rings, men would generally need/want a less frilly or somewhat toned-down but stylish and elegant ring designs or styles, hence when you are looking for a man’s engagement ring you should generally try to choose a ring with

  • Simple Styles
  • Simple Designs
  • White Metals
  • Yellow (Gold) Metal
  • Colorless Gemstones
  • Black Gemstones
  • One Or Few Gemstones
  • Rings With Metallic, Oxide (Silver, Yellow Gold And Gray) Or Carbon Inlays

If your fiancé however prefer a ring that is different from any of these, he can simply go for it. You can also look at the men’s jewelry style section of some sites or stores too for more options.

A Man’s Engagement Ring
Tungsten Blue Carbon Fiber Mens Engagement Ring

Tungsten Blue Carbon Fiber Mens Engagement Ring

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Selecting An Engagement Ring That He Or She Likes

You will need to select an engagement ring that your fiancé/fiancée likes or wants, you can do this by asking him/her about what he/she wants or by allowing your fiancé/fiancée to show you what he/she wants or likes.

Some women like diamonds while some don’t, if you are going to buy a non-diamond engagement ring for your fiancée however you will need to ensure that a diamond engagement ring is not her first choice or preference, ask her if you need to, this may be very important to your fiancée.

You can select an engagement ring for your fiancé/fiancée based on his or her favorite color, gemstone, metal, design, style, gemstone shape etc and interests (that is, if he or she likes antique, nature etc).

You can also select any one of the following types of rings for your fiancé/fiancée too

  • A Classic Or Traditional Engagement Ring
  • A Trendy Engagement Ring
  • A High-End And Luxurious Engagement Ring
  • A Birthstone Engagement Ring
  • The Best Type Of Engagement Ring (that is, a valuable engagement ring)
  • A Popular Engagement Ring Style
  • A Unique Engagement Ring
  • An Heirloom Engagement Ring
  • A Vintage Engagement Ring
  • An Antique Engagement Ring
  • A Designer Engagement Ring
  • A Handmade Engagement Ring

You can use all of the tips that are provided here to get any one of these types of rings as the perfect engagement ring for your fiancé/fiancée. A very important aspect of this however is for your fiancé/fiancée to like the ring you will eventually choose for him or her. You should also remember that you can always get an engagement ring within your budget too, that is, at the price you can afford with different types of jewelry gemstones and metals as explained and noted here.

You May Also Like:

Engagement Rings
The Difference Between Valuable And Expensive Jewelries And Their Worth
Jewelry Quality – Choosing The Best Type Of Jewelries In Terms Of Quality
Valuable Jewelries: The Metals And Gemstones That Make Your Jewelry Valuable

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