Now that you’ve decided to pop the question, there’s another big decision staring you in the face–what kind of engagement ring should you buy? Jewellery shops are full of enticing, sparkling baubles, each more brilliant than the last. So how do you know what to buy and ensure you get the best match between stone and setting?
After The Four C’s–Grading Diamonds From D To Z
Educating yourself about diamonds, beyond the “four C’s” you hear about when you’re diamond shopping, is the key to making a ring choice that delights your fiancee and is a sound investment. Colour, cut, clarity, and carat are certainly important. But what, exactly, is a jeweller referring to when they discuss these traits?
Three of the four C’s are easy. The cut is the faceted shape of the stone–oval, round, emerald, or another shape. The carat is the weight of a given stone. Clarity refers to any flaws a stone may have. This means no inclusions (very rare) to those that are visible to the naked eye.
Colour is a bit more complicated, but understanding this C will help you choose the right setting and metal for your engagement ring.
Gemologists grade diamonds from D–colourless–to Z–definite yellow or brown tinge. D, E, and F stones are icy white and rare. Most diamonds that appear to be icy white are in the G-J range, or near colourless. Experienced cutters know how to make a slightly coloured stone appear to be a higher grade. K-M stones have a faint yellow hue, while N-R grade diamonds are a very light yellow. S-Z stones are a light yellow. It’s unusual to see a stone with a grade lower than a K marketed as a white diamond.
How Cut Affects Colour
A rough stone can be cut any number of ways. But in reality, there is one ideal cut for a given diamond. The right cut is going to let the most light come underneath the stone and sparkle the most. This masks any inclusions in the stone. So while one grade H round-cut stone has brilliant fire and you can’t eyeball any flaws, another H grade round-cut stone looks blah and dirty. An ideally cut diamond distracts the eye from any flaws in colour with sparkle and fire.
How Metal Affects The Diamond Colour
Diamonds are extremely reflective–the tiny cuts in the stone act as mirrors, so when light bounces off the diamond, it reflects the colour of the band and prongs. A white gold, platinum, or palladium setting is most desirable for stones that are D-J grade; the cool silver tones complement the icy white of the diamonds.
Yellow and rose gold are a better match for stones in the K grade range. If your fiancee is partial to these colours, a stone with a yellowish tint is a better choice–the golden hues of the metal complement the slight yellow of the diamond. A diamond graded below M can really dazzle when it’s cut properly and set in yellow gold. It looks softer and warmer than the stark icy blue of higher-graded stones.
Yellow diamonds have become quite popular recently, so if you choose a stone that’s graded M-Z you want to enhance the yellow tones. The contrast between a yellow stone and white prongs highlights the stone’s colour.
If you want an antique or vintage look, a rose gold setting for a diamond in the K-N range is stunning. Rings with a filigree or halo setting are flattering for any skin tone.
Some people prefer a yellow gold ring but want a colourless stone. The solution to that is to mix your metals–set the centre stone in white gold or platinum prongs, on a yellow or rose gold band. The white prongs will not contrast with the diamond’s icy white colour: yellow or rose prongs would not only contrast, but make the stone look slightly yellow.
In short, ensuring your diamond is shown to its most brilliant finest is the work of the metal as well as the cutter. Choosing the best colour to enhance your stones is easier when your jeweller is experienced in the ways of diamonds and engagement rings, and Australian Diamond Wholesale Brokers are the experts in matching stone to setting. If you’re in the market for diamond jewellery of any kind, we can help you choose the right colour and setting to enhance your diamond’s sparkle.