Ring Education: How To Shop For A Ring

Selecting your dream engagement ring is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and significant things you'll ever do. The choices can seem endless and the process may seem tiring, but don't be tempted to settle on a ring that's "on sale for a limited time" or because it's the "last one." Be sure to spend time getting to know what to look for when viewing and trying on engagement ring settings. After all, this is the only purchase you'll ever make that will be worn everyday for the rest of your life, so take a few minutes and read key points below that will help you be an informed engagement ring shopper.

Diamonds

When you are searching for your dream ring, it is key to pay attention to the diamonds that are set in it. To get the maximum beauty and brilliance, you want the side diamonds to all match for clarity, color and cut, so you cannot visibly see a difference. This will get your ring noticed from across the room!

Channels

You want to be proud to show off your new ring, and the way your diamonds are channel set will help you do just that! If the diamonds are set unevenly or with gaps, the diamonds will fall out or rub together and chip each other. When choosing a ring with channel-set diamonds, look at the ring under a 10 power Gemscope, so you can see the precision in the setting, to know you are getting a ring you will be thrilled to show off.

Polish

It is vital to have a ring that does not have a porosity problem because that ring will break down over time and will not last a lifetime. Porosity is little surface holes that get worse as you go further into the metal and is a result of poor casting, over "cooking", undercooking and improperly mixed metal alloys. Porosity makes a ring brittle and is non-repairable. It is usually the result of mass producing rings with little quality control. You do not want rough spots in the metal either. You want a smooth, lustrous, high polished finish to the metal. Viewing your ring under a 10 power Gemscope will allow you to know whether the ring you love has a porosity issue or not.

Shank

When deciding on the perfect ring for you, it is imperative to notice the thickness of the ring shank. When less metal is used to make the ring, it keeps the cost lower at first, but you will end up spending more money on the ring in the future because over time, the ring will either crack or fall apart. You don't want a shank that is thin and hollowed out, you want a solid shank so it will last a lifetime.

Stamp On Shank

When selecting a piece of jewelry, it is important to see that it has both a quality mark as well as a trademark. A quality mark is a stamp on a piece of jewelry that identifies the type and content of the metal, so you know exactly what you are purchasing. A trademark is a symbol registered with the government, which indicates the jewelry manufacturer responsible for creating and standing behind the piece. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires that all jewelry stamped with a quality mark also be stamped with a manufacturer's trademark.

Other Jewelers up close...

Mismatched Side Diamonds

Often the side diamonds in other rings have only limited brilliance and vary in size, color, and clarity.

Often the side diamonds in other rings have only limited brilliance and vary in size, color, and clarity.

Irregular Channels

The channel settings from many jewelers are uneven and sometimes very thin, and the diamonds are set unevenly or with gaps.

The channel settings from many jewelers are uneven and sometimes very thin, and the diamonds are set unevenly or with gaps.

Imperfect Finish

Mass-produced rings often show rough casting spots and little bubbles in the metal called porosity. This type of rings will not last a lifetime.

Mass-produced rings often show rough casting spots and little bubbles in the metal called porosity. This type of rings will not last a lifetime.

Lightweight Shank

Other rings are often much lighter in weight and wear out quickly because the metal of the shank is thin, to cut production costs.

Other rings are often much lighter in weight and wear out quickly because the metal of the shank is thin, to cut production costs.