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Choosing A Diamond Engagement Ring

Jan 11, 2008
The process of getting married used to be fairly straightforward. As with many things, they got more complicated over time. Many marriages were arranged in many cultures around the world and some still actively practice it today. An engagement ring was never a necessary part of getting married since the responsibility of betrothal rested with the parents of the future bride and groom.

While it seems like a very long time ago, the tradition of proposing marriage with a diamond engagement ring actually dates back to 1477 when Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor gave Mary of Burgundy an engagement ring as an engagement present It was during the 13th century that the practice grew to become an essential facet of Christian marriages. It was only when diamonds became a lot more affordable and within reach of their budget that the common people started buying and giving engagement rings as gifts.

Selecting the perfect engagement ring can be daunting because everyone wants to give an engagement ring that will "wow" their future lifetime partner and create the perfect atmosphere for a "yes". Diamonds are now commonly used in engagement rings because of a clever advertising campaign by the diamond company De Beers during the 1940s. There are a variety of ring designs and precious metals to consider in the choice of a ring.

The first step is to narrow the search by choosing the ring design or style. Traditional engagement ring designs range from the simple to complex. Here, it is important to note what kind of lifestyle your partner has. In many cases, this is in-line with your preferences as well. If your partner is casual, a simple yet attractive ring design will do. On the other hand, if your partner dresses more formal most of the time, a more sophisticated design may be appropriate. An active person will prefer a ring that offers daily comfort over a ring that encapsulates a huge cumbersome diamond.

Traditional engagement ring designs, however, do have their limitations. Some tend to be trendy and fall out of fashion in a couple of years. Opt for a more everlasting design that won't fade in its attractiveness over time. Another option is to go with Celtic engagement rings which make excellent rings because of their intrinsic meaning. Celtic rings tend to have an everlasting quality to them and have been around for centuries. Many Celtic designs were derived from ancient manuscripts with each symbol containing deep significance.

Next, consider the day to day accessories already worn by your partner. Does she wear platinum or white gold versus yellow gold? Yellow gold has always been the favorite overall. Just in the last few decades, however, platinum and white gold gained increasing popularity because of its ability to match many clothing ensembles. Platinum also has the feature of being hypoallergenic for most people because of its purity but it tends to be a lot more expensive compared to gold. If budget is an issue, white gold is a great alternative choice. The precious metal chosen is an integral part of choosing the perfect engagement ring and will help ensure that the diamond engagement ring will match beautifully with her existing clothing ensemble.

The third step is to choose the diamond that will be placed in the engagement ring. Since the diamond adds a considerable percentage of the cost to an engagement ring, knowing the rating of the diamond you buy can raise or lower the overall cost significantly. In diamond grading, the "Four Cs" system is used. The first C is carat which is the measure of the diamond's weight. The second C is clarity which indicates the presence of naturally occurring diamond flaws. The third C, color, is the slight tint of the diamond. The fourth C, cut, is the exact cut within the shape of the diamond.

Of course, if you have rough ideas of a design you want but don't see it anywhere and budget isn't an issue, customization will be a route to take. A professional jeweler can translate your ideas into a beautiful design that your partner will love for years to come.
About the Author
By Tim O'Malley for Shanore.com Shanore specializes in handcrafted Celtic jewelry. Let the professional Celtic jewelry experts customize your Celtic wedding rings for that memorable occasion. Their Claddagh rings are popular and are shipped all over the world direct from Ireland. Contact them to get a quote on your ring customization today.
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