Ringing in your engagement with style

Many aspects go into choosing the right wedding ring including metal, gem cut and preferred gem. Photo illustration by Brittany Tankersley

By Mariah Bennett | Assistant News Editor

Engagement rings today symbolically stand for the promise of marriage, devotion and commitment one has for their partner. However, that doesn’t mean its aesthetics shouldn’t matter. There are multiple factors that go into an engagement ring’s style including the stone, cut, metal band used and much more.

Band Metal

The ring’s band is the base of the jewelry, and therefore requires thought and consideration when choosing the type of metal. Factors can include whether the metal is compatible with one’s lifestyle, whether it pairs well with the preferred stone and the metal’s price point.

According to an article by The Knot, certain affordable metals like white and rose gold require re-plating over time, adding to the current cost in the future. However, more expensive metals like platinum are extremely durable.

Popular metals include white gold, yellow gold, platinum, rose gold and sterling silver. Sterling silver is also noted as great for those with an active lifestyle.

Stone Type

Besides aesthetics, diamonds and gemstones in general are rated and valued by the four C’s: cut, clarity, color and carat. The stones can receive grades ranging from AAA to D, with AAA being the highest.

For centuries, diamonds have been chosen as the centerpiece of an engagement ring. The stone has a hardness of 10, which means it resists scratches better than any other gemstone.

However, the classic stone has gained competition with the more affordable Moissanite. While not a replacement stone, Moissanite is nearly as hard and durable as a diamond, but has nearly doubled the fire and brilliance of the classic stone. Alternative colorful gemstones include sapphire, emerald, ruby, morganite and opal.

Stone cuts

Engagement ring cuts vary in multiple shapes, with the eight most popular being round, cushion, princess, Asscher, triangle, heart, pear, emerald, radiant, baguette, oval and marquise. What truly sets these cuts apart, besides shape, is their sparkle, brilliance and fire, terms ranking how a diamond in the case reflects light and is pleasing aesthetically.

According to The Diamond Pro, round-cut diamonds have the most sparkle, or its brilliance and fire reflect light, with the cut having 58 facets, followed by princess, radiant and cushion cut. The lowest two ranked cuts in sparkle were emerald and Asscher cuts.

What really matters isn’t the aesthetic, but that the person receiving the ring is excited to marry. According to an article by Ring Concierge, ways to go about figuring out what the person being proposed to wants includes checking their style, their Pinterest pages, consulting their close friends and even asking the person themselves.

It’s about taking the time to figure out the other person’s needs and caring for them, shine or no shine, which really is what marriage is all about.