“…In chemistry, the diamond, being pure carbon, is one of the most common elements. Yet it fashioned by nature into a magnificent crystal with the most dramatic history of all gems…” C.W. de Kiewiet
Engagement rings were conceived as a universal symbol of love and commitment. Eventually, they acquired additional meaning: badges of wealth and social status.
Early engagement marks were as simple as a few grass braids tied around the wrist or ankle. It was a nice addition to a dowry, usually consisting of a few sheep or cows. In the old days, men in power used rings as tags for keeping track of their wives and concubines. Puzzle rings and ornate bands were popular in the East, while the European tradition favored rings set with inexpensive gemstones.
By the end of the Middle Ages, diamonds appeared in betrothal rings, and by the 20th century, diamonds were set in almost every engagement ring. Even today, finding a couple without an engagement ring is hard.
Even when called by other names, such as a “promise ring” or a “friendship ring,” they still serve the same purpose.
The ring announces to everyone that the person is engaged in a relationship. A hand is the best spot on the human body for a ring to be attached to and noticed.
Why a diamond?
Why diamond? First of all, it’s a tradition. Wearing a diamond ring is ingrained into the very fabric of society. Cosmo Kramer said it the best: “If you’re not gonna be a part of civil society, then just get in your car and move to the East Side.” Or as George Costanza put it: “… we’re living in a society! We’re supposed to act in a civilized way!”
Following the relentless marketing juggernaut of DeBeers, diamonds ruled every matrimonial aspiration. Diamonds last forever as a sign of vanity and bondage between two people. In addition to being virtually indestructible, diamonds are rare, valuable, and above all – very pretty.
Diamond’s lack of color makes it the perfect companion to a modern bride. Unlike a colored gem, colorless diamonds do not contrast with any outfit, garment, or accessory. Diamonds are easy to color-coordinate, and they fit virtually any situation in life, whether casual or formal. A diamond will burst in a brilliant fire everywhere: outdoors or in a dimly lit office.
Why a natural diamond?
“The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.” Robertson Davie.
Spiritually a natural diamond’s power is said to restore the true meaning of the engagement ritual and purify its corrupted Karma. Lab-grown diamonds’ Karma-healing properties have not been tested yet. However, we are optimistic that that day will come.
Diamonds, much like Bitcoins, hold no intrinsic value in the absence of a socially accepted value. Even though they were synthesized fairly recently, lab-grown diamonds are fully accepted by the general public.
A lab-grown diamond will save you a lot of money with zero trade-offs. They are virtually indistinguishable from natural diamonds but are made by man. You get the same mineral with the same optical properties, hardness, and beautiful look. Whether the painter used oil or acrylic does not affect the value of the painting as long as he is a true artist.
Engagement ring styles
Diamond engagement rings come as solitaires, halos, or three-stone rings. Solitaire is a minimalist design emphasizing a single diamond. A halo ring frames the view and brings the diamond into a focal point. A three-stone ring enhances the center stone with side diamonds on each shoulder, emphasizing its importance and beauty. Decorative elements should be used in moderation because it takes attention away from a center stone.
Staying with tradition is the key to a perfect engagement ring. The ultimate goal is to have a thin, delicate band with the center stone set relatively low to the finger. The ring must be designed to complement the diamond, emphasize its strong points, and take attention away from any weaknesses. A perfect engagement ring shows a minimum amount of metal while maintaining its structural resilience.
If you are hard on your jewelry, stay away from delicate micro pave. A solitaire or a three-stone ring is a practical option. Never ask to modify an engagement ring to fit flush with a wedding band – it’s a bad solution to a problem that does not exist.
Limited budget - no problem!
- Choose a lab-grown diamond
- Get a smaller stone
- Compromise on color and clarity
- Choose less pave
- Get a fancy shape instead of round
A lower color brings the price down more than lower clarity. Most people cannot see the difference between an F and an H grade when the stones are apart. Round diamonds are much more expensive. A brilliant-cut is better at hiding inclusions; an SI1 clarity is acceptable for a round diamond.