Engagement rings, how do I pick "The One"??

Engagement rings come in different band widths, styles, metals, settings and of course is the key to holding that precious diamond!

Hold on to your hats guys...engagement rings aren't cheap! Be prepared to spend any where from $2000 and up for a nice ring. You can get them cheaper, but the quality of the diamond won't be as good.

The setting itself, the ring without the center diamond, has a few styles that you can choose:

Solitaire: This is simply a ring with one, single diamond.

Trinity: This is a setting that contains a smaller diamond on each side of the center diamond, creating a row of three diamonds, each diamond stands for something; The Past, The Present and The Future.

Decorative: This is a setting that contains many diamonds or other jewels along each side of the center diamond.

What holds the diamonds in place can either be prongs, bars or channels.

Prongs are pieces of metal that come up and hook around the edge of the diamond to hold it in place. This allows the diamond to be shown quite well.

Bars and channels tend to hide the diamond a bit since the diamond sets down in to the ring. I have a ring which has channel set diamonds set in the band, a trio of prong set diamonds on each set of my center diamond which is also set with prongs...quite beautiful!

Then the crowning jewel so to speak...the "center of attention" of those engagement rings...that center diamond!!!

There is what is known as the "4 C's" of describing a diamond:

Carat - This describes the weight of the diamond, they are typically expressed in fractions such as .25 for a quarter carat, .50 for a half carat, 1.25 for a one and a quarter size carat and so on...As you can imagine, the heavier the diamond the more it costs!

Cut - This is how the diamond was cut. This can include the number of facets, whether it has a deep cut or a shallow cut, as well as if it has culet or not (flat surface on the bottom). There are some cuts that allow for more light to be reflected.

Color - This is a grade on how little color the diamond contains...D, E and F are considered colorless, G, H, I and J are considered near colorless, K, L and M have a faint yellow, N - R have very light yellow color and S - Z are much more yellow especially towards Z. The less color, the more expensive the diamond.

Clarity - Describes how "clean" the diamond is on the inside. Depending on the number of blemishes, inclusions or feathers... as well as how noticable the imperfections may be, are combined to give a diamond a clarity score. The further down the scale, the less expensive the diamond. The scale runs as follows: FI and IF (flawless) VVS1 VVS2 VS1 VS2 SI1 SI2 all the way down to I3 (Included).

There is your lesson in diamonds!

All of these are combined to come up with a price so you may want to pick and choose which are more important to you to help purchase the right diamond.

If she wants a huge diamond...it doesn't make sense to buy a huge 1.25 carat diamond that is poor in color and clarity just to get the larger diamond.

Strike a balance in there somewhere!

Remember guys, those engagement rings are what you are presenting to her in hopes she says yes...really wow her!

Helpful hint...
Since you may be spending quite a bit of money...when shopping for engagement rings, you may want to go out and shop together. She at least can give you some ideas on styles she likes.

You don't have to pick out "the one" unless you want to. I like the element of surprise, so gave him some ideas...but I wanted him to pick it out since it was his gift to me.

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Lori St.Onge
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Useful books to help you with your wedding plans:

Wedding planning guide
Planning a theme wedding Wedding speeches
Marriage and wedding vows

Budget Busters:

Guide to wedding savings
Create your own wedding flower arrangements
Cake decorating