Buying an engagement ring can be one of the most important purchases of a guy’s life. It has to be beautiful and special just like the girl you love. Perhaps you know exactly what type of ring she would like, but can’t find it – or maybe you want an engagement ring that is more personal and unique to both of you. Don’t worry, in these situations there is a solution and that is to design your own engagement ring.
These days it’s fairly easy to design your own engagement or wedding ring as there are a number of websites that help you to select the best quality gemstone that you can afford and have it set in a design of your choice. So within a short space of time you can build a ring that will be the perfect one for you and your girl.
There are a few things you need to know before you design your own engagement ring – such as how to choose a ring setting and what to look for when buying a diamond.
Build a ring – settings
The main purpose of a ring setting is to hold the gemstone securely and in a way that allows light to reflect off the stone for maximum effect. With so many different and beautiful ring settings, there really are no right or wrong settings to choose; a setting is very much a case of personal preference.
Settings you can select if you customize your own ring include
- Single stone solitaire in a prong setting – one of the most popular settings
- Side-stone setting – great for making the central stone look more impressive
- Three stone ring setting – can be more cost effective than one large diamond
- Pave setting – gives lots of sparkle and make a smaller central stone look bigger
- Contempory settings – eg. tension and bezel settings for a clean modern look
- Matching wedding sets – where the engagement ring complements the wedding ring
Build a ring – Cuts
So once you’ve decided on which setting you want to make your own ring with, the next step is to decide on the stone. There are many different cuts to stones and finding an interesting cut can help you customize your ring to make it unique to you. Some of the cuts are:
- Full cut round brilliant – to create great sparkle
- Princess Cut – a square shape with pointed corners that reflects light beautifully
- Radiant Cut – similar to the Princess but with trimmed corners
- Asscher Cut – a square cut that was used on Elizabeth Taylor’s famous 33.19 carat Krupp Diamond
- Cushion Cut – a 4 sided deep square or rectangle with rounded corners and facets that reflect high levels of light. One of the most sparkling cuts
- Oval Cut – creates an optical illusion to look larger than it is
- Marquise Cut – A pretty shape that helps to make fingers look longer and more elegant. A cut worn by Madame de Pompadour
- Pear Cut (also known as Teardrop). Its elongated look makes it look bigger than it is and has a hand slimming effect
- Emerald Cut – An elegant rectangular shape with facets around outside to reflect light. Great for colored gemstones, but essential to have a stone with good clarity or it will look dull.
- Heart Cut – A romantic cut with love as well as sparkle
Build a ring – Selecting a Fine Diamond
If you want to to design your own engagement ring with a diamond it is important to understand about the 4C’s – Carat, Cut, Clarity and Color and the benefits of the different settings.
The 4 C’s
This relates to the size and weight of a diamond. The most popular and most frequently purchased sizes of diamond are between 0.5 and 1.5 carats. However, if you can afford more, I’m sure your loved one will be more than delighted.
Diamonds, as with many gemstones, can be cut into many different shapes. However, the quality of cut will determine how much light the diamond will reflect and the amount of sparkle a diamond can have. The higher the quality of cut, the higher the price of the diamond ring will be. Categories of cut are defined as follows:
- Ideal cut (this reflects nearly all the light that enters a diamond)
- Very good cut (reflects almost as much light as an ideal cut)
- Good cut (reflects most light but not as much as the above)
- Fair cut (reflects quite a lot of light but will not be as brilliant as the ideal cut, very good cut or the good cut)
- Poor cut (very little light reflected and therefore will not sparkle much)
It is therefore important that if you cannot afford a very large diamond, then get one that has a good cut, to maximise the sparkle factor.
Clarity is assessed by the lack of flaws (otherwise known as Inclusions) in a diamond. Most inclusions are microscopic and therefore not visible to the naked eye. However, where there are visible inclusions then these can reduce the diamonds natural lustre. The clarity of a diamond is graded in the following way.
FL (Flawless) and IF (Internally Flawless): These are very rare and expensive
VVSI and VVS2: These are very, very slightly included and the flaws cannot be seen without a microscope)
VS1 and VS2: These are very slightly included, but not usually to the naked eye)
SI1 and SI2: Some inclusions may be visible to the naked eye, but the diamond is still considered to be of a good clarity standard)
I1, I2, and I3: The inclusions are visible to the naked eye and the diamond is considered to be of poor quality
The most popular and frequently purchased diamonds are the VS!, VS2, SI1 and SI2 as they are good value for money diamonds
A pure colorless diamond is the most sought over since this contributes to a diamond’s ability to sparkle. The color quality of a diamond will vary from colorless to those with a yellowish tint. Diamonds are color coded as follows:
D This is the purist most colorless grade and also very rare
E-F Colorless and also fairly rare
G-H Very nearly colorless and an excellent quality diamond
I-J Nearly colorless but still a good diamond
K-M Has a noticeable tint of color and not considered to be of good quality
N_Z The poorest quality diamond
The most popular and most frequently purchased diamonds are ones between F and J
Whilst not one of the above 4 C’s, there is a 5th C, which stands for Certification. You should always make sure when buying a diamond that your ring will come with a certificate of authenticity, guaranteeing that the ring you purchased is of the quality that was advertised. The two most respected authorities that grade diamonds and provide certification are: The GIA (Gemological Institute of America and the (AGSL) American Gem Society Laboratories. Check to see whether your diamond ring will come with a certificate from one of these authorities before you buy.
Designing your own engagement rings can be challenging but rewarding experiences for guys wanting to go that extra mile to build the perfect ring. If you’ve already searched to find the perfect ring but can’t see it– or want to make a ring that you’ve poured your heart and soul into, then with all the above information, you should be ready to take that creative step to designing your own.
Most online Design You Own Ring sites have easy to follow stages that enable you to choose Your Setting, Your Cut and Your Quality of Diamond – in fact everything you’ve just read about – so that you can create the ring of your loved one’s dreams.