The 4 C’s: know your ins and outs about diamonds
Before your start your quest for the perfect engagement ring, it is wise to educate yourself. Education about diamonds always starts with the 4 C’s of diamond valuation. The four C’s are Carat
. Together, these factors determine a diamond’s quality and its value. As you can imagine: a diamond with a lower quality costs less than a diamond with a great quality. I can tell you about the 4 C’s for hours, but here are the basics:
The weight of a diamond is measured in carats. One carat equals 200 mg and 100 points. Half a carat is 50 points and weighs 100 grams. A diamond of 25 points is a quarter of a carat or 0.25 carats, etc.
The color of a diamond – or rather the lack of it – also relates directly to a diamond’s value and quality. A diamond that consist of carbon only is perfectly colorless. We sometimes refer to completely colorless as pure white.
Clarity refers to the amount and the size of imperfections inside a diamond. We call these imperfections “inclusions”. These are dark spots, like fractures, tiny parts of carbon or cavities. We call a diamond without any imperfections a flawless diamond. Flawless diamonds are extremely rare.
The cut is the diamond’s shape and the quality of that shape. A diamond shape has a so-called “ideal cut”. It is a rule on how the perfect diamond is proportioned. The diamond cut is the only C a diamond worker can influence. Here he can show off his skills.
The 5th C
Often, people talk about the 5th
C. This stands for “Confidence”. Confidence refers to the company where you buy your diamond engagement ring. It is important to buy at a trusted seller
. A seller that is already around for a long time and will be around for a long time as well. The fifth C does not say anything about a diamond but is crucial nevertheless.
The ring setting
When people are talking about a ring, they often mean the setting. The setting is the material in which the diamonds are set. The setting can differ. Not only in size but also in shape, design and the number of diamonds you want inside it. The options are endless. Did I already say there is something for everyone? Let me tell you about the different most popular engagement rings.
Solitaire engagement rings
You can’t go wrong with this one. Solitaire engagement rings, or “solitaires” in short are rings with one diamond. Solitaires are by far the most popular engagement rings out there. It is the classic design you see in most romantic movies. Even within the solitaires, there are options galore. There are so many different types of solitaire diamond engagement rings
that I decided to devote a blog to it. In short, there are solitaires with:
Solitaire ring with prong setting
A solitaire diamond engagement ring with prongs is the most well-known and beloved option. The single diamond is kept in place by little claws or prongs. It depends a little on the shape how many prongs a solitaire diamond ring has. In general, you can say that the more prongs, the securer the diamond is attached. But with fewer prongs, you can see more of the diamond. That is why most solitaire diamond rings have four or six prongs. This is the ideal mean. But for certain diamond cuts, it’s better to go with a different amount of prongs. Within the solitaires with prongs, there are many different options. You can read about them here
. Solitaire diamond engagement ring on Coster box
Solitaire ring with bezel setting
A bezel setting is something we also affectionately call a “donut setting”. A donut setting hugs the diamond all the way around. This way, you know for sure the diamond is not going anywhere. But at the same time, a bezel setting shows less surface of the diamond.
Solitaire ring with tension setting
The tension setting is one of the most modern-looking solitaire settings around. Nothing classic about this one. We call this ring a tension setting because both sides of the metal press against the diamond to keep it in place. The diamond “floats” in the air, only held by the two ends of the ring. It is a very distinctive design you either love or hate. Bezel ring (left) and tension ring (right) are different variations on the classic solitaire ring.
Halo engagement rings
Though not as popular, the halo engagement ring is a worthy opponent of the solitaire. When you hear the term “halo” this might be exactly what you think it is. Just like an angel, an engagement ring can also have a halo. But instead of floating in the air, it is a circle of diamonds around a single center stone. The halo of diamonds emphasizes the beauty of the gem in the middle. It puts a spotlight on center stone. This stone is usually (a lot) bigger than the diamonds around it. I speak of a stone instead of a diamond. That’s because a halo engagement ring often comes in versions with a gemstone as a center stone. In that case, the gemstone is surrounded by a halo of diamonds. Roughly there are three types of halo-like engagement rings:
- Classic halo
- Micro halo
All options can be with diamonds alone or with a combination of diamonds and a gemstone.
Ring with classic halo setting
A classic halo has usually a diamond in the middle. This diamond is most often a round shape, like a brilliant cut
or a Royal 201 cut
. But a halo also works with other diamond shapes. In fact, a diamond engagement ring with a halo and a different shape can look really special. Examples of shapes that work well with a halo are pear cuts, oval cuts
, princess cuts
, cushion cuts
and Asscher cuts
. Regardless of the shape, the halo makes sure that stone in the middle stands out. A nice bonus is that the center stone looks bigger because of the diamond halo. Pink pear cut diamond with halo
Ring with a micro halo setting
An engagement ring with a micro halo is the same as one with a regular halo. The only exception is that the micro halo is a lot smaller than the regular halo. On paper, it sounds more or less the same, but there is a reason I discuss this one separately. The micro halo is so tiny that it doesn’t take any attention away from the main diamond. Whereas the halo of a classic setting is part of the entire look, a micro halo has the sole purpose of highlighting the center stone.
Ring with entourage setting
One of the most famous examples of an entourage ring, is Princess Diana’s engagement ring. The ring with a blue sapphire in the middle which is surrounded by diamonds. Nowadays worn by Kate Middleton, Prince William's
wife. The “Lady Diana ring” is one of the most popular engagement rings worldwide. The entourage differs from the classic halo. The classic halo is a perfect circle of diamonds, whereas this entourage of diamonds looks like the petals of a flower. The diamonds of the halo are less tightly connected in the ring with this flower-shaped halo. Kate Middleton wearing her sapphire entourage engagement ring
You & Me engagement rings
This ring is known under various names. Some call it the “two-stone diamond ring”. Others name it the “Forever us”. But the most common name for this popular engagement ring with two diamonds is “You and Me”. The two diamonds represent the both of you. The most common design for the You & Me ring is the intertwined lock. The ring has somewhat of a bypass setting with two stones on each side. It shows that the two diamonds are together in perfect harmony and a strong union together.
One of the things I like most about the You & Me setting is that you can use this design to express yourself. A classic You & Me contains two diamonds. But it’s also possible to swap one diamond with a gemstone or even a semi-precious gemstone. The combination of diamond and sapphire is a classic one. But how about a combination of a diamond and her birthstone
? This can make it even more personal than the ring already is. You & Me engagement ring
Trilogy engagement rings
Just like the ring with two stones, this type of setting is also known under various names. Some call it the triple diamond ring. Others opt for the less inspirational “three stone diamond ring”. However, the most common term for an engagement ring with three diamonds is the “Trilogy”. The trilogy rings have always been in demand. But especially after the engagement of Meghan and Harry, the trilogy ring is one of the most popular engagement rings. And why wouldn’t it be? It is a very romantic ring. The three diamonds represent the past, the present and the future together. Trilogy ring
Alliance and Eternity rings as engagement rings
Alliance and eternity rings differ from the other most popular engagement rings. Many opt for one of these as a wedding band. But some actually prefer these over the classic options as an engagement ring. Eternity rings and alliance rings both consist of a row of diamonds.
Alliance rings often have five or six diamonds in a row. They usually cover the upper part of the finger. It looks like a continuous string, but it is not. A benefit of the alliance rings is that they are more comfortable to wear compared to an eternity ring. An
eternity ring goes all the way around
Eternity rings have a continuous row of diamonds that goes all the way around. We call these rings eternity because of two reasons. The first one is the practical one since the diamond row never ends. The second reason is that this ring stands for eternal love. That’s why these rings are very beloved engagement and wedding rings.
The pave: a sparkling addition to every engagement ring
A pave (pronounced “pa-vay”) is a setting that consists of a lot of small diamonds attached to the band. As a result, the surface of the ring looks like it was ‘paved’ with diamonds. It is possible to wear a paved band as an engagement ring, but this is not very popular. The reason I added the pave to my list is because it can also be a great addition to the most popular engagement rings. A well-set pave can give any ring an extra “wow” factor. We use the term pave to describe a row of small diamonds encrusted in the setting. Solitaire diamond engagement ring with pave
How are paves used on engagement rings?
We see diamond paves most often in combination with solitaires and halos. For solitaires, a pave is sometimes called “shoulder stones”. Because the diamonds encrusted in the band look like they are the ‘shoulders’ of the diamond. However, many people confuse shoulder stones with a trilogy. Therefore, it is quite an unfortunate name for this. That’s why we call this a pave. For halo engagement rings, the pave stones are usually similar in size to the ones used for the halo. This gives the whole a sparkling look.
Unique diamond engagement rings
If you consider your partner unique, why not find her a ring that is as well? In the past couple of years, we noticed more and more people opting for one-of-a-kind engagement rings. Especially those with an outspoken style really appreciate some 'out of the box' thinking. The beauty of this is that you can go as big or as small as you want. That’s why we also often receive requests for custom made rings. Flower-shaped one of a kind ring
Custom made engagement rings
Custom made engagement rings become more and more popular every year. It’s not hard to see why. Because what is more romantic and shows more how deeply you care for someone than going the extra mile? It’s amazing to see the love of your life wearing something you designed yourself. It shows you care, you know her, and at the same time, it fits her like a glove. That’s what I call a win-win.
Costs of a custom made engagement ring
In contrast to popular belief, custom made engagement rings do not have to cost an immense amount of money. Want to know more? Contact a diamond consultant
. Tell us your wishes as detailed as possible and our consultants get back to you with a quotation. If you also provide your budget they will keep this in mind.
Find your ideal engagement ring
I think I covered all most popular engagement rings by now. However, remember that the most important thing is that you propose with a ring you like and your partner likes. After all, you are the one that pays for it – except if you are going Dutch on the engagement ring
. And she is the one who will wear the ring for the rest of her life. Are you ready to propose yet? If you need help finding the perfect diamond engagement rings you can always contact our diamond consultants
. These are trained professionals that can assist you in your quest.