The Ultimate Wedding and Engagement Ring Guide

It was once believed that a vein of blood ran directly from the fourth finger on the left hand to the heart.  Because of this hand-heart connection, this putative vein was known as vena amori, Latin for “the vein of love”.  It is tradition in many western cultures to wear the bridal ring on the fourth finger of the left hand.  Because of the symbolic importance of this ring, it is important to select a ring for your sweetheart that not only will last forever, but will also make her eyes light up when she wears it. Every ring has several defining characteristics that make it unique from other rings.  Besides taking into consideration your budget, you will also need to consider your sweetheart’s jewelry preferences and style.  For many women, the most important part of a ring is the diamond.  Before you head to a reputable jeweler, it is extremely beneficial to educate yourself on the types of diamonds available.  Some considerations to make when picking the perfect stone include shape, cut, carat, and color.

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1 – Shape

Diamonds come in many different shapes.  When shopping for a ring, look at a variety of rings to find one that fits your sweetheart’s personality and looks good on her hand.  It may be easiest to find the right shape if you are shopping together, but if you are trying to surprise her, ask her ahead of time what shapes she prefers.  You can also pay attention to the shapes of jewelry that she currently wears, or ask her friends or family for advice.  Currently, the most popular shapes are round, princess cut, marquise brilliant cut, oval shaped brilliant, and pear shaped brilliant.

2 – Cut

The cut of a stone is different than the shape of a stone in that the cut refers to the stone’s angles and proportions. The reflection of light in the stone depends on the depth of the cut, which results in more brilliance and value.  A good cut should be from 53-64% of the stone’s girdle and a good depth should be from 58%-64%.  The best way to determine a good cut is by referring to the grading reports or certificates issued by reputable organizations.

3– Carat

The term “carat” refers to the measure of a diamond’s weight.  This is not to be confused with size.  The term carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams.  The total carat weight refers not only to the center stone, but also the side and accent stones.  It may be less expensive to select a single large stone than a medium stone with several side stones.  Bigger does not always mean better.  Personal preference and the size of your budget should be taken into consideration.

4 – Color

A colored diamond makes a beautiful alternative to a colorless stone.  Some women prefer colored diamonds for a unique and yet still classic ring.   The color is determined by both natural and synthetic processes. Before purchasing a ring, be sure to have the color certified for both hue and intensity.

Although there are several options when considering loose diamonds for your ring, the most important thing to keep in mind is the ring’s symbol of love.  As you keep the symbol of love in mind while ring shopping, you are sure to find the perfect ring to express your love to your sweetheart.

Krissy Gardner is a fashion advocate and loves to write about all things fashion and beauty.