Wedding Fashion

Engagement Rings 101

By Alice Prendergast, the 15/11/18
Alice Prendergast
Engagement Rings 101
Jacob Mercari

Don’t know the first thing about engagement rings? We’ve got the lowdown on the four c’s, settings, metals and more to get you started.

Ready to put a ring on it? Well, you’re going to need an engagement ring to seal the deal. Whether you want to propose with a vintage sapphire piece or work with a designer to customize a brand new diamond ring, there’s a lot to wrap your head around. This process is more involved than simply knowing your partner’s ring size, so we’ve laid out the basics for you.

Here’s everything you’ll need to know before purchasing an engagement ring.

Sourcing your diamond is an important part of the journey and buying local is the way to go. While Africa and Europe have their fair share of diamond mining operations, Canada’s got a pretty sweet stash of gemstones itself (it’s the third largest producer of diamonds in the world). These diamonds are conflict-free and their mining is held to high environmental standards, making them a win-win. Luckily, many jewellers, including our beloved Birks and Peoples, offer Canadian diamonds in-store.

The Four Cs
The most important elements of diamond engagement rings are the four Cs, and you’ve probably heard of them before: cut, clarity, colour and carat weight. These are the pillars of ring shopping so you’ll want to be acquainted with them before you step foot in a jewellery store.  

Cut refers to the shape of the stone and how much light it lets in. Chances are your significant other already has a cut in mind, so you’ll want to keep an ear out for hints. The most popular shapes for engagement rings are:


When you think of diamonds you think of clear shimmering stones, but not all are created equal and that’s where clarity comes into play. The highest quality stones flaunt few to no inclusions and blemishes - meaning they look pretty darn flawless. On the other end of the spectrum is imperfect stones with a fair number of blemishes. Need more info? The scale goes as follows:

Colour is pretty straightforward: the less colour a diamond has, the higher quality the stone is. If you want something on the pricier end of the spectrum, look for a stone that’s almost colourless.

Last but not least is carat weight. This refers to the unit weight of the stone itself. It’s often confused with the size of the diamond, but don’t be fooled, a big rock can have a low carat weight, and vice versa. Again, more carats will leave you with a bigger bill to pay.

Pamela Lauz Jewellery

Now that you’ve learned the basics of diamonds, let’s deal with mounting that stone onto a band. This sometimes involves adding more gems into the mix or altering your choice of cut, so come to your jeweller prepared.

For those who want to go with multiple diamonds, opt for:

If you’re looking to make one diamond the main event, opt for:

There’s a bevy of other settings to choose from, but these are far and away the most popular for engagement rings.

Alternative Stones
While diamonds remain the most beloved option for engagement rings, some people like going off the beaten trail with their stones (be it for cost, style or other reasons). If you’re fiancé(e) doesn’t seem like the type to proudly sport a diamond, try a different gem. This opens a whole world of colour options, so choose wisely. Here are some of the most popular alternatives:

Pamela Lauz Jewellery

Once you’ve mastered stones you can move onto bands. There’s a bevy of metals to choose from and the one you select will affect how the rings looks and wears over time. Here’s a rundown of the most popular metals on the market:

Passion Diamonds

 Find engagement rings and wedding bands on WeddingWire »

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