The 3 D’s of Engagement Rings

The 3 D’s of Engagement Rings
You’ve probably heard of the 4 C’s of Diamonds – Color, Cut, Clarity, & Carat Weight – but what about the 3 D’s of Engagement Rings? Doesn’t ring a bell? That’s because we just made it up! But nonetheless, it is a great cheat sheet for those who are ready to get an engagement ring for their sweetheart but have no idea where to start.


As the centerpiece of any engagement ring, diamonds can make a big difference in the look of the ring overall. The cut of the diamond plays a big part of that. Round brilliant cuts are the most popular, followed by the square Princess cut and the rounded edged Cushion cut. Pear and Marquise cuts are both on the rise – the both create eye-catching designs and their oblong shapes naturally elongate the fingers and make them appear slimmer. For ladies looking for a vintage feel, Emerald and Asscher cuts are the ultimate throwback. Modern brides are loving Oval and Heart Diamonds (who could forget Lady Gaga’s stunner?). And for breathtaking sparkle, consider the Radiant cut. Not all diamond cuts reflect light the same way, meaning they won’t deliver the same sparkle. As you’re pondering shapes, ask to see each of them side-by-side in the same carat weight. Narrowing down the shape is only your first step. Next, you’ll want to compare carat weights. This will impact how large the diamond appears, though be aware that not all diamonds “spread the carat” the same way. Here is where seeing the stones side-by-side comes in again. Do you really know what a 1 carat diamond looks like? You may be surprised. Finally, you’ll look at color and clarity. The highest rating a diamond can receive on the GIA color scale is D, which indicates that the diamond is colorless, though truly colorless diamonds are very rare and grades G – J, the Near Colorless grade, are still stunning. Clarity indicates number and nature of a diamonds inclusions, naturally occurring characteristics that make up the unique “fingerprint” of a gemstone - these also help to distinguish between naturally occurring diamonds and synthetic or lab-grown diamonds. There are 11 points on the GIA Clarity scale ranging from FL, or Flawless, which indicates that there are no blemishes or inclusions under 10X magnification, to I3, which indicates inclusions that are obvious to the naked eye and may impact brilliance and transparency. Understanding the 4C’s that determine a diamond’s value is important, but in the end, trust your eye and your heart as well!


The ring itself is just as important as the diamond, as it really speaks to her style & personality. Is she classic and minimalistic? A Solitaire ring could be perfect for her. Does she turn heads when she walks in a room? Go for a Halo setting to really make her center stone shine. Is she always a step ahead of the latest trends? Choose an engagement ring that mixes metals, features a split shank, or if you’ve chosen an oblong diamond, an East-West setting. And for ladies who look to the past for style, vintage inspired engagement rings and scroll work on the bands are a must.


The most expensive diamond and trendiest design might impress her, but that won’t mean as much as making the ring that she’s been dreaming of come to life. Some guys choose to bring their sweethearts with them to the jewelry store so they can be part of the process and get the exact ring she’s been dreaming about. For those who want to get her dream ring but keep it a surprise, check out our Sneaky Guy’s Guide for Getting the Perfect Engagement Ring.
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