With so many options out there, picking the perfect diamond engagement ring can be overwhelming. However, if you keep a few simple guidelines in mind and understand the basics of diamond quality and ring styles, choosing the right diamond engagement ring will not only be easy but fun too!
What Are GIA Certified Diamond Engagement Rings?
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is s a nonprofit institute dedicated to gemology and jewelry making. In the 1950s, the GIA developed the International Diamond Grading System to standardize the quality of diamonds, as well as the 4Cs standard to describe diamonds.
A GIA Certified Diamond means that the diamond has undergone GIA’s stringent grading process and it is accompanied by GIA reports outlining comprehensive grading results.
The reports include information about the 4Cs of diamond quality (color, clarity, cut, and carat weight), in addition to its fluorescence, treatments, and more.
Since a diamond engagement ring is one of the most important purchases you’ll make that typically requires a significant investment, choosing a GIA certified diamond engagement ring is a good way to ensure you’re getting the quality you’re paying for.
Understanding The 4Cs of Diamond Quality
The 4Cs of diamond quality outlines the most important information you need to know about a diamond engagement ring. They are color, clarity, cut, and carat weight.
A diamond’s color evaluation is based on the absence of color whereby the less color a diamond has the higher the quality. Diamonds are graded on a scale from D to Z.
- D – F: Colorless
- G – J: Near-Colorless
- K – M: Faint
- N – R: Very Light
- S – Z: Light
Diamond clarity describes the absence of inclusions, whereby the fewer inclusions a diamond has, the higher the quality. The Diamond Clarity Scale has six categories. However, some of these categories are divided, yielding 11 grades in total.
- Flawless (FL)
- Internally Flawless (IF)
- Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2)
- Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2)
- Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2)
- Included (I1, I2, and I3)
Contrary to popular opinion, diamond cut does not refer to its shape (round, princess, baguette, cushion, etc) but rather, it means how well a diamond’s facets interact with light. Factors such as the diamond’s resulting brilliance, fire, and scintillation come into play when evaluating its cut grading. A diamond cut is graded according to the following scale.
- Very Good
Diamond Carat Weight
A diamond’s carat weight measures its apparent size and specifically, how much it weighs. A metric “carat” is defined as 200 milligrams so a one-carat diamond weighs 200mg while a 1.5-carat diamond weighs 300mg. Though a diamond’s carat weight has a significant impact on its price and desirability, color, clarity, and cut should also be considered for overall quality.
Popular Diamond Shapes
For most people, before deciding on the diamond quality or whether or not to go for a GIA certified diamond, they already have an idea of the diamond shape they want for an engagement ring. Diamonds come in a wide array of shapes from classic round to sophisticated squares to elegant marquise. Shape refers to the silhouette of the diamond (e.g. round) while cutting style refers to how the diamond’s facets are arranged (e.g. brilliant).
Round brilliant cut diamond engagement rings are the most popular by far. This is because round brilliant diamonds, which have a total of 57 or 58 facets, are designed to offer the greatest sparkle, fire, and brightness. If you lean towards classic engagement rings, the round brilliant cut diamond engagement ring is a fantastic choice. It’s important to note that diamonds that are not round are called fancy shapes.
- Emerald: step-cut rectangle
- Cushion: rectangle with curved sides and rounded corners
- Radiant: rectangle or square with cropped corners
- Princess: square with pointed corners
- Asscher: square with cropped corners, resembles an octagon
- Marquise: Elongated with pointed ends and curved middle
- Pear: teardrop shape with one rounded end and one pointed end
The Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring
A classic choice among engagement rings is the solitaire diamond engagement ring, which as its name suggests, features a single diamond. Along with the diamond shape and the 4Cs, another important component to solitaire diamond engagement rings is the setting.
A prong setting, for example, holds the diamond like a claw from underneath without getting in the way of the stone. Prong settings typically come in four-prong (ideal for diamond shapes with four corners) or six-prong styles. It was Tiffany & Co. that introduced the six-prong setting over a century ago and it is particularly popular with round brilliant solitaire diamond engagement rings.
Another setting for solitaire diamond engagement rings is the bezel setting, where the ring metal frames the diamond entirely. Finally, there’s also the tension setting, where the diamond seems likes its floating as the ring serves as a spring to keep the stone in place with no metal underneath it.
Other Popular Diamond Engagement Ring Styles
While solitaire rings are beloved as traditional diamond engagement rings, there are other styles to consider too. For instance, halo diamond engagement rings, characterized by rows of smaller diamonds framing the larger main diamond, have become exceedingly popular in recent years. Halo diamond engagement rings come in all sorts of designs from classic round rows to stylish cushion-shaped rows to ornate floral type rows.
Other sought-after diamond engagement ring styles include diamond-paved bands and side-stone engagement rings with smaller diamonds flanking the main diamond. Of course, there are also vintage-style diamond engagement rings with traditional decorative techniques such as filigree or milgrain detailing.
Designer Diamond Engagement Rings
Sometimes, only the best will do and for this, we turn to the finest jewelry houses in the world that make exquisite diamond engagement rings.
Whether Tiffany diamond engagement rings, Graff diamond engagement rings, or Cartier diamond engagement rings, these leading names in fine jewelry offer unparalleled craftsmanship, topnotch quality, and covetable designs.
Diamond Engagement Ring Metal Options
While we’ve spent plenty of time discussing the diamond part of the engagement ring, the metal type of the ring is just as important. Diamond engagement rings come in an assortment of precious metals to suit a range of tastes.
When selecting a diamond engagement ring for your significant other, consider the color of jewelry she wears more often–gold-toned, silver-toned, or rose-toned?
Most diamond rings include just one type of metal, whether that yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, or platinum. But there are also two-tone or even tri-tone options for those looking for unique diamond engagement rings.
If you’ve settled on a silver-toned engagement ring, there’s the choice between platinum or white gold. Platinum is more durable than gold but it is less malleable, thus more labor-intensive to work with. As a result of this and also because of its relative rarity compared to gold, platinum engagement rings are typically more expensive than gold engagement rings.
Gray & Sons’ Diamond Engagement Rings
For beautifully crafted diamond engagement rings, look no further than Gray & Sons’ impressive collection. Take advantage of our assortment of beautifully restored pre-owned diamond engagement rings to enjoy big savings off retail prices so you take home the ring of your dreams.
From classic yellow gold solitaire diamond engagement rings and contemporary platinum diamond halo engagement rings to desirable designer diamond engagement rings and showstopping large diamond engagement rings, we have it all here at Gray and Sons.