Engagement Rings with Birthstones
Engagement rings with birthstones are becoming more popular and are an unusual alternative to engagement rings with conventional stones and will not necessarily break the bank.
Birthstones look very beautiful, most are less expensive and are more unique than traditional diamond rings.
Before shopping for a ring do some online research into the quality of the gemstones and which cut and setting would be suitable.
Matching the cut of the ring to the wedding band is also something to take into consideration.
The cut of a gemstone is important.
Every precious gemstone should be cut to display all positive aspects of the stone.
Light is important in showing a gemstone in all its glory, therefore the cut should let light into the gemstone.
Not all birthstones are suitable for every day, all-day wear.
If you are prepared to remove your engagement ring when doing heavy work or when coming into contact with chemicals and you are prepared to take extra care of your ring, there is no reason why your birthstone shouldn’t be suitable.
Read more about your birthstone and about the Mohs Hardness Scale for gemstones to find out more about your personal birthstone.
All About Engagement Rings
Engagement and wedding rings are worn as a symbol of love, honour, commitment, and eternity.
How much do you know about the history behind wearing an engagement ring?
The History of Engagement and Wedding Rings
In 1477 Archduke Maximilian of Austria was the first to gift his betrothed an engagement ring with a diamond. The engagement ring as we know it was born, however, at that time it was known as a Poesy Ring, meaning promised to each other.
During colonization in America, Puritans did not wear jewellery, believing any beautification to be a sin.
In those times a thimble would be presented to the fiancée by the man.
Once married, the wife could then use the thimble in all future sewing she would have to do.
It was during this time, women began cutting off the outer ring of the thimble and wearing it as a ring on the ring finger.
These rings were the first wedding rings.
Nowadays traditionally, an engagement ring is worn on the ring finger of the left or, in some countries like Poland, Germany or Brazil, right hand.
The wedding band is thought to have originated from Egypt where circles made of interwoven plants were worn as a sign of eternal love.
These rings made of plants were worn on the fourth finger as this finger was believed to contain a vein leading straight to the heart and was, therefore, known as the ring finger.
The Roman belief was similar, they, however, offered a ring made of metal, often engraved, as a sign of claiming the woman to be their property.
The Romans were the first to engrave rings.
In Asia and Arabia, puzzle rings were popular and used as wedding bands, mostly amongst the wealthy.
A Few Thoughts Before Buying an Engagement Ring
Shopping for engagement rings is not as simple as you might think.
The engagement ring or rings that you and your partner are going to purchase hold special value.
An engagement ring signifies the special and unique bond between a couple.
An engagement ring stands by far for the greatest of all emotions, love.
For such a memorable occasion the engagement rings that you are going to purchase are simply priceless.
It is important you make your selection carefully.
Buying an engagement ring is a new experience for a couple and can be quite daunting, even more so if only one of the couples decides to buy the ring alone.
It is helpful if he or she has paid attention to what kind of jewellery their future wife wears and has listened carefully if they have ever talked about their likes in jewellery, rings in particular.
These days couples often choose the engagement ring together.
Proposing and getting engaged is a new chapter in a couple’s relationship.
Engagement rings play a huge role and it’s therefore, important to find one which symbolizes the love the couple has for one another, is to the taste of the bride and is within the available budget.
Finding an engagement ring within the available budget is the ultimate quest.
Engagement rings with quality diamonds can be eye-openers as far as the price is concerned. A good reason for considering an engagement ring set with a birthstone.
The Different Cuts of Gemstones
Round Cut or Brilliant Cut has 57 facets cut methodically capturing the brilliance and sparkle of the gemstone.
Pear Cut has the shape of a teardrop.
The Cut is a modified Round Brilliant Cut and has 71 facets.
The pointed end of the gemstone is mostly worn pointing towards the fingernail, but this is not a must and remains a personal choice.
Princess Cut is square-shaped with cornered facets.
It is one of the most popular cuts for engagement rings in a bezel setting.
Radiant Cut is a combination of Princess and Cushion Cut.
A rectangular-shaped cut gemstone with cornered facets.
Cushion Cut has 64 facets and is square-shaped with rounded edges and soft corners.
The Cushion Cut is sometimes referred to as Pillow Cut.
Emerald Cut is a rectangle cut with 50 facets.
This cut was originally used for cutting Emeralds, hence the name.
These days it is used on most gemstones.
Heart Cut is a modified Pear Cut and is exactly what the name says; heart-shaped.
This Cut has 59 facets presenting breath-taking sparkle.
Trillion Cut is triangular in shape with between 31 and 43 facets and is a modified Round Brilliant Cut.
Oval Cut is a modified Brilliant Cut crafted with 69 facets.
The oval shape creates an illusion of the gemstone being larger in length than it is and gives the finger a longer and slimmer look.
Marquise Cut has 57 facets.
It is a modified Brilliant Cut, enabling the highest amount of reflection of light to create utmost sparkle.
The two end-points must line up with each other.
Cabochon Cut was developed for opaque gemstones with little clarity.
A round top with a flat bottom this Cut is without facets and is ideal for gemstones such as turquoise, opal, and jade.
Engagement Styles and Designs
Solitaire is probably the most popular style for engagement rings.
This classic minimized design comprises of a single stone set in four or six prongs.
A Halo design is a centre stone surrounded by small stones, usually diamonds but not necessarily.
A diamond halo is the most popular.
The gemstones used in a Three Stone design represent the past, present and the future.
The most popular cuts of the centre stone are Round or Princess.
The Side Stone design comprises of a feature gemstone flanked by two or more smaller gemstones on each side.
Split Shank features a split band with a centre stone.
The split shank can also contain small gemstones.
Bridal Sets are either an engagement ring with a coordinated wedding band, an engagement ring with complimenting wedding rings for the couple or matching wedding bands.
5 Tips for Buying an Engagement Ring
Determine your budget at the beginning of your search for an engagement ring. Do this before you do anything else. This will help you eliminate the irrelevant rings and gemstones, and will start making your choice a little easier.
Remember it doesn’t have to be diamonds. Birthstones are personal and beautiful and often nowhere near as expensive as many diamonds.
2. Personal Taste
If you are buying an engagement ring as a surprise, do some research.
Try to observe your partner’s jewellery and notice if they like white gold or yellow gold, big flashy jewellery or more delicate jewellery etc.
Asking your partner’s close friends for advice can be helpful – they usually know.
If the engagement ring is not a surprise, or it’s an upgrade to a prior ring, make the decision together.
3. Learn About the Gemstones you want to Buy
Learning about the 4 C’s- Carat, Color, Clarity, and Cut is an easy way to learn basically everything you should know before purchasing gemstone jewellery. This does not only pertain to diamonds.
Learning as much as you can about precious gemstone will help you understand the cost and quality of the stones in the pieces of jewellery you are looking at.
Once you have learned about the 4 C’s, it’s time to choose your gemstone.
4. The Cut
Precious gemstones come in many shapes and sizes. For example a very popular shape for a diamond is the round brilliant cut, for the emerald the cushion cut.
Find out as much as you can about the best cut for your birthstone.
5. The Setting
Once you have chosen your birthstone, you can choose a setting to mount it on.
Some of the most popular settings for engagement rings include the solitaire, the halo and the three-stone setting. Settings are available different metals, white gold, yellow gold, and platinum being the most popular.
What Comes Next?
Once the engagement ring has been purchased, the search for the perfect wedding ring or wedding band is the next move. Some couples choose an interlocking or matching bridal set. Whatever your choice, try to find a wedding ring which enhances the beauty of the engagement ring.
You could help the environment by choosing a ring made of recycled gold. Did you know that mining gold for one wedding ring creates 20 tons of mine waste? Recycling gold is now more relevant than ever and the jewellery industry is waking up to the idea that jewellery can be beautiful and environmentally acceptable. By melting down gold a new ring can be formed to a design of your choosing. If you have some old gold jewellery which holds sentimental value but you never wear, you could have this jewellery melted down to create a ring with a very special meaning. Whatever your reasons, the recycled engagement ring can meet all your requirements.
When choosing jewellery make sure the retailer has signed up to the No dirty gold campaign and works hard to ensure that the gold in your jewellery has not been produced at the expense of local communities, workers and the environment.