Create Your Own Custom Engagement Rings
It can be very difficult to choose the exact ring that is right for you from the many different options in front of you. You want this ring to be special, to be unique to your loved one. We can help you on this journey to celebrate your love with a special custom engagement ring. Continue reading to learn more about what goes into making a ring. We also invite you to call us at 416-366-1200, or visit us in person so that we can share our expertise with you.
How to Pick the Right Ring
With so many styles of ring design and gem colours, cuts, and types, it may seem a little daunting to find the right ring for you. Here are some tips on what to look for when picking out an engagement ring.
The first piece of advice we give to all clients is to set a budget that is comfortable to you, and to stick to it. There is always going to be an option for a bigger diamond or more expensive engagement ring. And it is always an option to “size up” to a larger diamond after a few years. It will be helpful for you to consider an amount that works for you and to keep within that range. It may be that your budget is not in line with the size of diamond or type of engagement ring that you would like to propose with. In that case, your budget or your expectations for the diamond and ring may have to be adjusted.
We understand budget and are sensitive to it. We source our diamonds directly from the factory, not from wholesalers or other jewellers. And we keep our margins below the margins of the online diamond retailers that you may be considering separately. At the same time, while we aim to offer great value for your engagement ring, we do not aim to be the cheapest. That would mean we would have to take shortcuts in our production that would negatively impact the durability of your engagement ring over the years. For example, we see many rings that are made too thin or with too little gold holding the side diamonds. We want our engagement rings to be items of beauty that last.
We would be happy to have a preliminary appointment with you to help you understand the different “levers” that affect the price of your diamond and engagement ring setting. We will give you a Diamond 101 for you to better appreciate the differences and nuances, by looking at actual diamonds, not a computer screen or mock diamonds. This will help you to consider the budget you want to set for yourself. Educating yourself for this important purchasing decision is key.
How to Pick the Right Diamond
The center gem is the heart of your ring. It is also the majority of the cost. Although we refer most often to diamonds, we are seeing more couples choose gems other than diamond for their engagement rings. However, not all gems are recommended for engagement rings. The reason is that they may be too soft and will abrade too easily when worn continuously over the years. We can guide you on our general recommendations for which gems are most suitable for engagement ring purposes.
Below are some pointers on things to consider when looking for your diamond.
1. The Grading Laboratory
When it comes to choosing the diamond that is right for you, the laboratory that grades the diamond and issues the grading certificate is fundamental. All of our diamonds above 0.30ct are graded by The Gemological Institute of America, better known as the GIA. In our opinion, the GIA has the most consistent grading practice and is most rigid in its grading policy. For example, at the GIA grading office you will never see the gemologist who grades your diamond. In some local laboratories, that could happen. This could take away the subjectivity of the grader. Also, GIA graded diamonds come with a laser inscription of your grading report on the girdle of your diamond. When you leave our design studio with your engagement ring, one of the last things we will do with you is to show you your GIA grading report number under a microscope.
Below is some more general information about diamonds. You can also read more information on the GIA website at How to Purchase a Diamond Engagement Ring.
2. The 4 C’s of A Diamond
The main focus of your engagement ring is the diamond in all its glittering glory. Of course, the design and metal of the ring adds to the attractiveness of your ring, but the diamond is what catches people’s eye.
WHAT ARE THE 4 C’S?
Carat: This is the weight of the diamond. Carat weight is not something that should be relied on by itself in deciding the size of your diamond. For example, there can be a poorly cut 1ct round diamond that could have a diameter of 6.2mm. A better cut 1ct round diamond should be closer to 6.4mm in diameter. Also, there could be value for you in finding a diamond just under certain size thresholds. The wholesale diamond price structure is based on set USD prices per carat across a range of different diamond colours and clarities. As another example, if you are looking for a 1ct diamond, there is an opportunity to meet your budget with a well sized 0.90ct round diamond. This carat weight of diamond falls below the 1ct price threshold and is very similar in diameter to the 1ct diamond you may be seeking. We will share all of these nuances in pricing opportunities for you when we sit down together for our appointment.
Cut: This is about the quality of the cut, symmetry and polish of the diamond. Grading starts at Excellent, and then goes down to Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor. You may not be able to see the differences between the grades. For engagement rings, we recommend at least Very Good. There are some exceptions to this. For example, when looking for a coloured diamond in a non-round shape. A Good symmetry could release less light through the diamond, to better trap the colour of the diamond and have a good visual impact.
Clarity: This is the quality of visual appearance of the diamond. When a diamond is formed, there may be some imperfections in the crystal make-up of the diamonds that remain as “inclusions”. Depending on the number, size and placement of the inclusions, a diamond is graded from Flawless, to Internally Flawless, Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2), Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2), and Slightly Included (SI1, SI2 and SI3). You should not rely just on the clarity grading in the certificate to decide how your inclusions show. For example, we distinguish between what we call good SI1s and not-so-good SI1s. Each could be priced very differently, but with the no-so-good SI1s not being eye clean. Also, the grading certificate, even from the GIA, does not specify if the inclusions are black (more visible to the naked eye) or white in colour. At !Xam, we will not sell you a diamond with a black inclusion. This is all in line with the many practices we adopt to to act with distinction when we work for you.
Colour: This is the hue and intensity of a diamond’s colouration. The GIA colour grading starts with D, E and F (called “Colourless”), G, H, I and J (called “Near Colourless”) and all the way to Z. The difference between colour shades can be slight. Here too we try find ways to find you the value in your purchase. For example, if you are trying for a 1.50ct diamond, going for an I colour over an H will help stretch the budget and the result can still be very attractive.
To learn more about the 4 C’s and for other insights into the diamond you are looking for (do you know what an overtone is?), call us at 416-366-1200 to set up a consultation or come visit our showroom.
3. Shape of the Gem
Another aspect to determining what kind of diamond you are looking for is the shape of the gem, not to be confused with the cut. The cut of a diamond refers to the facets and angles of the gem to affect how light reflects out to the eye. As for shapes, there are many shapes that a diamond could be made into, to appeal to your personal choice. Here are 10 of the most common and popular shapes.
Many Styles of Engagement Rings
Now that you have narrowed on your diamond or other center gem, it is time to design the engagement ring around it. When it comes to engagement rings, there are many different styles of design. Here are four styles we work with regularly: Solitaire, Halo, Contemporary and Vintage.
Solitaire Engagement Rings: If you’re looking for a ring that celebrates the shape of the center diamond or other gem, look for Solitaire engagement ring styles. Here, the center diamond or other gem is the focus. Your solitaire could have diamond or other gem details on the side of the ring, or be simple and classic with no side-gems.
Halo Engagement Rings: Halo engagement rings have become more popular over the past few years. A halo is essentially a frame of small-sized diamonds or other gems around the center diamond or other gem. There are many types of halo. For example, the halo could be set very tight and close to the center gem, or with a space. Also, the size of the diamonds in the halo could differ. If using smaller sizes of around 1 to 1.2mm, the look is of a thin line or row of diamonds. If larger, each diamond in that halo can be seen more easily.
Contemporary Engagement Rings: Contemporary engagement rings stand out. Here, you may choose a gem that is not commonly used for engagement rings. For example, a beautiful and vivid blue aquamarine or yellow sapphire. Also, the style of the ring will have clean lines and other details that are personal to your groove.
Vintage Engagement Rings: A Vintage engagement ring will give you a more ornamental look with a central diamond and surrounding smaller decorative diamonds, either on a halo and/or on the side of the ring. One detail to get that “antique” feel is to use milgrain, which is a beaded type finish that is applied on the outer edges of the ring.
Metal Options for Your Ring
Another consideration for your ring is the metal in which your diamond will be set. There are different types of metal, different finishes, and different colours. The most common choices of metal are gold and platinum. Silver is an option but is softer, so it is less durable for engagement rings. Also, we suggest not to set diamonds in silver (except for black diamonds, which have a lower price-point than white diamonds). Gold comes in white gold, yellow gold, and rose gold. Each give off their own glow and accentuate different cuts, shapes, and colours of your diamond.
See the True Beauty in Person
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We have many different styles and designs of engagement rings and diamonds to look at and to choose from. Give us a call at 416-366-1200 to set up a consultation or to learn more about our jewelry.