3 pitfalls to avoid disappointment when choosing an engagement ring

Published: 21st September 2009
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Choosing your engagement ring can be an exciting experience, but for many people, there can be pitfalls. The last thing I want to do is take the wind out of your sails,but by paying attention to a few imporaatnt details you can make the process as painless as possible and ensure that your ring continues to give pleasure for many years to come.

1.Consider your lifestyle and daily activities when choosing your ring. Of course you want to wear this ring as much of the time as possible, but if you work in food preparation or with young children it may be impractical to have a high or intricately set ring. If you spend a lot of time lifting and handling, stones in a channel set ring may be more likely to be damaged, and a thick band may prove uncomfortable. Your lifestyle may also sway your choice of stone. For those of you who spend your days elbow deep in a sink full of grimy water, opals may not be your stone of choice as they are porous and can be permanently marked. Think also about the type of metal used in your ring. Platinum is the most expensive but also the most hard wearing metal. If your choice is gold, consider carefully the carat weight of the gold (not the same as carats used for diamond weight). Gold carat weight refers to the purity level of the gold. 24 carat gold is 99% pure, 18 carat gold is 75% pure, whereas 9 carat gold may be less than 40% pure. The purer the gold, the softer and more prone to damage it will be.

2.If you are choosing a diamond as the centerpiece of your ring, make sure you find out about the 4 Cs ' Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat before you buy. These are the four criteria used to assess the beauty and value of a diamond and understanding what they mean can ensure you are 100% satisfied with your stone. The cut of a diamond, be it round, heart, pear, marquise, emerald, oval, cabochon or princess cut determines the brilliance of your diamond ' the amount of light and fire it reflects. White diamonds range in color from D (the very best) through to J (near colorless). Diamonds graded K and above will show hints of yellow. The more colorless the diamond, the more light it will reflect and the more it will sparkle. Clarity refers to the number of inclusions, or flaws, within the stone. F or flawless stones are very expensive, however stones graded VVS & VS (very very small & very small inclusions) will only have slight inclusions that are not visible to the naked eye and do not detract from the beauty of the stone. Carat refers to the weight of the stone. Remember that both the cut of the stone and the type of setting can affect how large or small the stone appears in your ring.

3.Make sure you consider how the ring will look on your finger. You should ensure you order the right size ring for your finger. Think about the type of wedding band you would like and whether you want it to fit flush with your engagement ring without spaces. Historically, engagement rings were purchased separately from wedding bands and were never meant to fit together without spaces, the choice is yours. Remember that the size of your fingers will determine how large or small the stone looks when the ring is being worn. If you have particularly petite fingers a smaller stone will look larger and vice versa. A good way to get an idea of how various sizes and shapes will look on your finger is to visit your local jewelry store and ask to try on different styles of ring.

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