Ring Buying Guide
Types of Rings
Cubic Zirconia Rings
Gemstone & Birthstone Rings
Ring Buying Tips:
• Choose a band based on the gem: Warmer-hued gemstones (ruby, topaz) look better on gold rings, while cool-coloured gems (sapphires, emeralds) look best on silver rings
• For everyday rings, buy stronger gemstones like diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and rubies
• Buy ring designs that can be resized for comfort
• Look for certificates of authenticity and hallmark stamps to verify quality
• Look for rings that feature rounded edges for a comfortable fit
Your ring should fit your finger comfortably, snug enough to stay on your finger but loose enough to slide over your knuckle. Your ring size will change based on time of day and weather, so it’s best to measure your finger at the end of the day when fingers are warm. If you’re surprising your daughter or mom with a ring, borrow one of her rings or use a ring sizer to determine the correct size. Since your ring size can change over your lifetime, choose a style that can be easily resized in the future.
Ring metals range from classics like gold, silver and platinum to modern materials like chrome, titanium, tungsten and stainless steel. Before buying, consider your budget, style, design and durability. If you want elaborate details and filigree work, stick with malleable metals like gold, silver and platinum. Modern materials like titanium, tungsten and cobalt are too hard for anything but simple details. If you want a ring that will live up to your active, outdoorsy lifestyle, look to steel, gold, titanium and tungsten for durability. If you have skin sensitivities or allergies, avoid alloys and opt for purer precious metals.
Your rings need the perfect finish to show off their beauty. The most popular finishes are polished, satin, brushed and hammered. Polished rings are shiny and reflective, but they show more scratches and need more care to keep them shiny and new. Satin finishes appear smooth and matte without the shine, so they’re perfect for understated looks. Brushed finishes resemble satin finishes but have texture, making it easier to hide scratches and scuffs from daily wear. Hammered finishes lend a textured appearance to rings for a unique look.
The cut of a diamond or gemstone refers to its brilliance, or ability to reflect light, which is part of what determines its value. Diamonds and other gemstones come in a range of cuts, including round, oval, heart, radiant, princess, marquise, pear and emerald. A well-cut diamond will reflect as much light as possible for maximum fire and brilliance. Your best bet for brilliance is a round, brilliant cut diamond with the highest clarity and quality you can afford. Marquise, oval and pear cuts offer similar sparkle.
The head of a ring is the part that holds the centre stone, and is made up of prongs, a base and a peg on the bottom that holds it to the mounting. Heads are either low profile (the gemstone sits low in the mounting to avoid getting bumped) or high profile (the stone sits high for greater visibility). Be sure to choose the right head for your gemstone, to ensure the stone gets seen in the best light, and for your lifestyle, to ensure the stone is well protected.
The prongs are four or more pieces of metal that wrap around the gemstone to hold it in place. Typically, the more prongs on your ring, the more secure the gemstone. Over time, prongs can break and wear down. Be sure to check them every six months for signs of damage because they’re the only part of your ring that protects your gemstone from falling out.
Centre Stones and Side Stones +
Rings feature gemstones as centre stones, side stones or both in solitaire, side stone and multi-stone settings. Solitaire settings showcase a single well-cut gemstone prominently on your finger. If you prefer a little more sparkle, accent diamonds or smaller gemstones like sapphires, rubies and emeralds can be incorporated into the design as side stones or used in place of a centre stone. Multi-stone settings showcase several stones of equal value. Three-stone rings display three side stones to represent the past, present and future of your relationship.
There are a variety of settings styles to show off your rock in all its radiance. Some settings, such as prong, illusion, pavé, halo and invisible, elevate the gemstone to make it appear bigger and to allow more light for increased shine and glitter. Other settings, such as bezel and channel, envelop the stone to keep it secure and protect it from chipping and breaking.
Many engagement and wedding rings come in beautiful matching sets that intertwine to symbolize the meeting of soul mates. The two rings in the set complement one another and sometimes fit together like puzzle pieces or interlock with a simple hook and slot.
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Ring Care & Safety:
• Clean pearl and soft gemstone rings with a soft cloth dipped in mild soap and water rather than soaking them
• Regularly brush settings with a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove dirt
• Store rings, especially pearls, separately in soft pouches or individual slots in a jewellery box to prevent scratches
• Remove rings when applying lotions and cosmetics
• Have your jeweller check your gemstone settings every two years