As we move into the Spring and Summer months the wedding invites start to appear, perhaps you are even planning your own big day? I usually write something about current trends for wedding guest outfits however this year it is the engagement rings which are in focus. I think we can all say it is thanks to the Royal Wedding which has sparked such media interest in the topic and the hundreds of ‘”Princess” Catherine style’ engagement rings cropping up. There was much speculation as to why Prince William choose to give Catherine Princess Diana’s ring some saying it would be bad luck, William just wanting a lasting symbol of his dear mother. Whatever the reason it has caused a shift in engagement ring trends. For the past couple of decades yellow gold and gemstone rings have taken a back seat whilst white gold and platinum diamond rings have taken center stage. Thanks to the crazy world of Hollywood and WAGs huge, gobstopper rings have been all the rage. Ever on the hunt to out do each other the celebs have also created a trend for colour diamonds, JLO and Mariah Carey opting for baby pink stones whilst Rebecca Romijin and Kelly Clarkson choose yellow diamonds, most famous of all Carrie Bradshaw’s black diamond. More recently there has been a shift back to subtler engagement rings, Scarlet Johansson and Claire Danes both choosing traditional smaller stones with yellow gold bands. Halle Berry broke all the rules and went for a very modern emerald design. The main thing to remember is that this ring will be worn for the rest of your life, so choose one which suits your own style and tastes.
There are some key facts to help you choose the right ring for you. Samara James, a diamond engagement rings specialist lists the four C’s rule – cut, clarity, colour and carat. The first part of the diamond grading process is carat – where the stone is cleaned then weighed to calculate the size. Next a gemologist will grade the diamond by colour, this is done by comparison to a master set of diamonds. The highest is grade D which is total clarity and colourless, and the lowest Z. Next is to assess clarity, this is a microscopic assessment of the inclusions within the diamond. The final stage is the cut, where the diamond is scanned by laser and each facet recorded, this gives the idea recommendation for the best way to cut each stone. The cut is very important as a diamond which has better angles and proportions will have noticeably superior amounts of brilliance – the proportion of light reflected, scintillation – how the light reflects to give sparkle, and fire – how the light refracts to create colours within the diamond. Each diamond could be cut to it’s perfect state of beauty however in some cases a large stone would have to be cut down very small which would effect the size of the diamond or yield. Therefore bear in mind the four C’s when choosing as you may find the more beautiful diamond is smaller or may choose to have a larger stone with less facets – it really is personal choice. When choosing your ring Samara James recommends:
“We would always recommend choosing the best proportioned diamond possible, even it means reducing the colour and the clarity of the diamond to keep within budget. This is because the perfectly cut diamond will have visibly more brilliance, fire and scintillation than a less well cut diamond.” If you haven’t seen Samara James, they have a wonderful range of diamond rings, with some very unusual and also classic designs.
(Images credit: smh.com.uk, vh1.com, fancywedding.wordpress.com)