Technical Help

Buying a Diamond Solitaire Ring

Technical Help. Buying a Diamond Solitaire

Diamond solitaire engagement rings are popular worldwide, making them an iconic symbol of commitment. Simple, dazzling and elegant, diamond solitaire rings are perfect for women who appreciate classic styles that still make a bold statement. The unique, striking beauty of these rings make a beautiful addition to the left hand, showing others that the wearer is proudly committed to the love of her life.

The option of later additions, can take the pressure off fiancés who worry about having to choose a distinctive style.

The lone diamond

When shopping for a diamond solitaire ring, the most important thing to consider is the diamond, which does all the work to make the ring spectacular. The best thing to do is choose the diamond first, and then you can find a style and setting that will fit perfectly around it.

You may be unfamiliar with diamonds, with little or no understanding of how to distinguish the difference between the carat, colour, clarity and cut, typically known as the 4C's. These are used to clarify a diamonds worth and quality – for more information, read our simple guide on understanding the '4C's of diamonds.'

Don't concern yourself too much with the details of diamonds though – it can be rather complex. A trustworthy jeweller will be able to help you with the 4C's and show you relevant diamonds based on your budget and the level of sparkle you're after. Ultimately, you'll want to trust your eyes when choosing the perfect diamond for your ring, here are some key things to consider:

Size: A carat is a measurement of the diamond's weight, not the size. 1 carat diamonds can differ in size depending on the shape and the way it has been cut. Rather than focusing on the carat weight, think about the impact of the diamond and how sparkly it looks in its setting. If you want a brilliant sparkle and a big diamond, there are ways to make a diamond solitaire appear bigger, without breaking the boundaries of your budget.

Shape: Diamonds come in many shapes, with round diamonds being a classic favourite for solitaire rings. Rectangular or square cut rings are known as 'princess cut' and is also a popular shape for all types of engagement rings. If your fiancé prefers an elaborate styles or an edge of uniqueness, she may prefer emerald, marquise, pear or other fancy shaped diamonds.

Beauty: The colour diamonds is a measurement of how white they are – the whiter they are, the more beautiful. The clarity measures the number of flaws inside the diamond – fewer flaws means higher clarity and price. It's difficult to judge the clarity and colour with the naked eye, but you will be able to see the dullness of diamonds with poor colour and clarity against the shine and sparkle of those of a higher grade.

Brilliance: The cut of a diamond is probably the most important factor; the angles and facets of a diamond effects the sparkle, as it determines how light will shine through. Similarly to the colour and clarity, the cut is hard to judge, but many branded diamonds are cut in specific ways. You can stand a few meters away from a selection of diamonds and see which catches your eye from a distance. You can also ask your jeweller to view diamonds under a gemmological microscope, to compare the sparkle under lights.

Ring of desire

Once you've chosen the perfect diamond, the next step is find it a suitable band and setting – keeping in mind your fiancés style, what colour metal will she like and will the setting affect her lifestyle?

Settings: The two settings that work particularly well with solitaire engagement ring is the claw and halo setting.

  • The claw setting uses four or six claws to raise the diamond up above the band, and allows more light to shine through the diamond. This setting is not ideal for women with active lifestyles where they use their hands a lot, as the claws can snag or scratch, putting the diamond at risk of damage or loss.
  • A halo setting has the security of a claw setting with the added protection of smaller diamonds encrusted into a halo, keeping the large centre diamond from damage. This setting makes the diamond appear larger and creates an extra level of sparkle. Unlike the claw setting, it is an appropriate setting for women with hands-on jobs or hobbies. [For more information, read our guide on Engagement Ring Settings].

Band: Choosing a band for the solitaire ring will require some thought into your fiancés style and the jewellery she already wears. Does she wear chunky or delicate necklaces and rings; yellow gold or silver-tone metals; are her items plain or engraved? She will be wearing her engagement ring every day for the rest of her life, so it's important to think of how it will complement her current everyday jewellery.

Diamond solitaire engagement rings are powerful and a beautiful sign of the love and commitment you share together – Good luck!