All Things Rings: Your Engagement Ring Cheat Sheet
Words by Megan Greaney
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1. What are the different engagement ring styles?
The first place you’re likely to start, is with the style or overall look of the engagement ring. At Michael Hill we have a wide range of styles for you to choose from, including:
The most classic engagement ring, a solitaire ring is a style that features a single diamond. If you’re unsure which ring to choose for your fiancé-to-be, you can’t go wrong with a solitaire. They’re incredibly versatile for styling with wedding bands and will suit just about every bride’s personal style.
Halo and Double Halo rings
Halo rings feature a centre stone surrounded by a ring, or ‘halo’, of smaller diamonds, for a beautifully sparkling effect. Likewise, double halo rings feature two rows of stones for incredible brilliance. Halo and double halo rings are great options for achieving a large and impressive look, for less than a solitaire with the same total carat weight.
Cluster rings are styles that feature multiple smaller diamonds, without a centre stone. Cluster rings include clever designs that group the smaller diamonds together to resemble a larger diamond, as well as a range of unique shapes.
Three Stone rings
As the name suggests, three stone rings feature three diamonds, generally set in a row. These designs will often feature a larger centre stone flanked by two smaller stones. The three stone is a timeless and meaningful style, representing your past, present, and future together.
Vintage Inspired rings
Vintage and Art Deco inspired engagement rings feature unique and intricate details reminiscent of old-world romance. These styles will often feature a detailed halo, which may showcase a floral shape, or a mix of different diamond shapes.
3. What are the diamond Four Cs?
You might have heard of the Four Cs. These refer to the different characteristics of diamonds, which are used to grade their quality and rarity. Premium colour and clarity grades are more important in styles such as solitaires, three stones, or halo rings with a larger centre stone, where these qualities will be more noticeable. However, it’s up to you which factors matter most to achieve the look that’s perfect for you or your partner.
Here’s a quick run-down on each:
This refers to how expertly your diamond has been cut, to maximise the light it reflects. A better cut grade equals more sparkle! For this reason, cut is considered the most important ‘C’, and it’s recommended you choose the best quality cut that your budget allows.
This refers to the traces of colour present in a white diamond. Colour is graded from D – Z, with D being completely colourless. Traces of colour in stones graded ‘near colourless’ (G – J) are difficult to see, making them a beautiful and great value choice.
Clarity is affected by imperfections that naturally occur as a diamond forms. Almost all diamonds have these ‘birthmarks’ and it’s part of what makes each diamond unique. If you choose a clarity grade of Slightly Included (SI) or above, these imperfections generally won’t be visible to the naked eye.
Usually associated with size, a diamond’s carat is actually its weight. A solitaire diamond ring will have a carat weight that refers to the single diamond. Multi-stone rings will have a total diamond weight (TW) and this refers to the combined carat weight of all the stones in the ring.
4. What are the different types and colours of gold?
Not to be confused with diamond carats, the caratage of your gold (represented by ct or kt) refers to the amount of pure gold in the alloy. Almost all gold jewellery is made with an alloy, which means the gold is blended with another metal. This is because gold in its pure form (24kt) is too malleable for jewellery, and an alloy helps to hold its shape.
While higher numbers indicate a higher percentage of pure gold, options like 10kt and 14kt are more durable and resistant to scratching (they also come at a more affordable price point). 10kt, 14kt, and 18kt gold are all popular options for engagement rings.
Alloys are also used to create different shades of gold. At Michael Hill we offer stunning engagement rings in every shade including yellow gold, white gold, and rose gold.
Once you have an idea of the perfect engagement ring style, as well as the best diamond and gold options for you or for your partner, explore our wide range of rings or book an appointment with our expert team to take the next steps.
Words by Megan Greaney
Megan has been a writer for over 10 years, and has been writing content at Michael Hill for over two years where she has gained an extensive knowledge of jewellery – from styling and craftsmanship to materials and stones. With a background that also includes fashion, and studies of Journalism and Anthropology, she is perceptive of the emotions and cultural contexts linked to what we wear.
Last updated 3rd August, 2021