Ring Buying Guide – All You Need to Know
It is true than a woman is spoilt for choice when it comes to buying jewelry. Jewels make the outfit. They show style and flair. They come in so many colors, makes and designs that a lady could have a whole chest of these glittering ornaments to match every outfit in her wardrobe. Yet…her choicest jewel doesn’t need a huge chest. It fits her finger.
The ring – This perfect, bejeweled circle is considered a symbol of eternal love by many. There is a special ring to mark every event in your life. Soon after birth, the birth ring. In the growing years of your life, there is the school ring. At the threshold of an exciting new phase in life, the engagement ring is displayed with pride. And, the most important, lasting, and divine relationship of marriage is sealed with an invaluable wedding ring. Every ring has a memory attached to it. A cherished moment of nostalgia. A tender reminder of the past.
Rings have a universal appeal. Rings are for all – women, men, girls, boys, teens, and the elderly. With a dizzying array of choices available, choosing the perfect ring can be a daunting task!
In this guide for buying rings, we have done our research to give you all the information you need. Right from selecting the type of ring to the last, intricate detail, we have provided you with all you have ever wanted to know about a ring. Read through and may the best ring be chosen!
Types of Rings
Just as we each have our own favorite hairstyle or preferred clothing, rings are also a personal choice. Since they adorn our fingers, the choice of the right ring will largely depend on your lifestyle. A diamond ring may be glamorous, but if you work with your hands all through the day, it may not be the best choice. In such a case, a stainless steel or titanium ring would be more appropriate. You can wear a silver ring or a platinum band to make a style statement.
If you are not very keen on spending too much for a ring, you could opt for inexpensive but classy rings made of Sterling silver. If you are a party hopper with many grand dresses, diamond or gem stone rings may serve you well. But if you are more of a casual dresser, a stackable ring that is gold plated will do. As you see, the choice of a ring will depend on your wardrobe.
Here are some of the most popular types of rings.
These rings typically have a birthstone and are popularly set in Sterling silver. The birthstone corresponds to your month of birth. A birthstone is a gem, like a diamond, emerald or ruby or any other precious stone. Each stone is believed to have a certain virtues in specific association with the month of the year. Every stone has a quality attached to it like good luck or good health or other such symbolic inference. Given below is the list of months and the corresponding birthstone.
You can use the chart in this link to find your birthstone –
Birthstone rings are good gifts to give for teenage girls and also to fashion=conscious women. It is very common to see men wearing their birthstone rings for good luck and success.
Friendship and Loyalty Rings
These rings are popularly worn by students of Primary and Middle schools. Usually worn on designated days like Friendship Day to avow loyalty and devotion to a friend in a platonic sense. They are inexpensive rings or bands that are often hand-made.
Independence or Single status Rings
In recent times, women are getting more independent, financially and emotionally. They do not want to be bound by the shackles of society. They do not wait for the right man to come and slip the customary ring of bliss. The new woman is seen flashing her diamond ring, but on her right hand ring finger! This is often seen as a proclamation of her wealth and financial independence.
Styles of Rings
Arranging many gemstones together in a compact pattern is called cluster. It is design that gives lot of scope for creativity. Multi-colored rings can be created.
These are a popular pattern for wedding rings. In this design, the entire circle of the ring has diamonds or other gemstones.
This ring has a flat surface and edges. The width is uniform for the entire ring.
These are similar to clusters but have a larger pattern of gemstones in them and are worn at dinner parties.
This consists of two or more bands that are meant to be stacked and worn together,
usually matching the outfit.
This ring is typically a bridal ring, signifying the concept of eternal love of the past, present and future.
This ring has two bands, one on top of the other. The lower band is fixed and the top band spins. The top band usually has a geometric pattern.
Engagement rings are a symbol of commitment. A promise of a future together. It is imperative to make the right choice for that special person who will be your partner for life. It is a gift that will be remembered and cherished for life. It is also, probably the first and only time a man would be ready to spend so much money on a stone! So it is all the more important to make an educated and well-informed purchase. Take your time to read our suggestions before you buy the ring of promise and embark on the next exciting phase of your life.
Love is blind, but not stone-blind!
It has almost become customary to seal your loving relationship with a diamond ring. After all, diamonds are forever and they are a women’s best friend! But they are arguably the costliest of stones.
Diamonds have that allure. They have a rich past. Full of magic and mystery. We have all grown up listening to fairy tales and folk stories featuring mystical rings of diamond. These startlingly beautiful stones have fired the imagination and riddled the minds of several generations. Diamonds supposedly have paranormal powers, antidotal ability of neutralizing any poison, and pave the path to your immortality, to name a few! It is considered an emblem of undying love and trust. A diamond ring is a symbol that represents the sanctity of a relationship which it seals.
If you plan to buy a diamond ring, you’d better get your basic Cs right – Color, Cut, Clarity, Carat weight.
Every diamond is unique. Nature has ensured that the diamond you are to gift your loved one is peerless! It is one of a kind.
A diamond’s color is graded by GIA (Gemological Institute of America). The GIA color scale categorizes colors on a scale of D (colorless) to Z (light yellow/brown). It is extremely difficult to find a colorless diamond and most of the jewelry is made with colorless diamond with a brown or yellow tint. A diamond is color graded by comparing it to a master set. Each letter denotes a specific color and grading is done by observing how noticeable that color is.
The GIA standard for cut of a diamond ranges from Excellent to Poor and applies to diamonds that are color graded by GIA standards. A polished diamond’s beauty depends on its interaction with light. How the light strikes the surface, the amount of light entering the diamond and the way it finally reaches the eye of the beholder, will determine the diamond’s sparkle.
There are three attributes to the cut.
Brightness is the total of all white light that is reflected from the interior as well as the surface of a diamond.
Fire refers to the flares of colors that are emitted by a diamond.
Scintillation is the flashes of light observed whenever the diamond, observer or the light moves.
All these attributes contribute to the overall quality of a diamond. So, it is important to cut a diamond in perfect proportions and symmetry. It must be polished to optimize its reflective quality and have maximum brightness, fire and scintillation.
The GIA has eleven grades for judging the clarity of a diamond. It starts with Flawless, which is nearly impossible to find. Since diamonds are formed as a result of being subjected to very high temperature and pressure, some innate characteristics are unavoidable. In fact, these very ‘imperfections’ are helpful in distinguishing an original from a fake!
One carat of diamond equals 200 milligrams in weight. If the weight is lesser than this, then points are used. Each carat is equal to 100 points.
So, 1/2 carat = 50 points and 3/4 carats = 75 points.
Rings of other stones and metals
Though an overwhelming majority of Engagement and Wedding rings are of diamonds, non-diamond rings are gaining popularity in recent times. The reasons are varied but the basic truth is that women do not wear their Engagement or Wedding ring just for the day; they wish to display it all through the year!
- Diamonds. Glamorous they may be, but functional they are not. The idea of doing all your daily work with a delicately mounted Solitaire sitting on your ring finger can be quite unsettling. Though it is the hardest substance on earth, we really cannot afford to take chances with a diamond. There are several other options available that could be considered.
- Topaz – This comes in many colors like yellow, orange and the popular blue hue. It is a very strong stone and is recognized as the official birthstone of November. Its natural color is pale. So, it is an usual practice to add color to it in a laboratory. But the color fades after a while. Scratches are prominently visible.
- Opal – It is considered a ‘secondary gem stone’. Opal is available in several colors because every stone is different from the other. Multiple colors ‘flash’ across a single stone. They have moderate strength. They need moisture and tend to develop cracks when kept in dry conditions.
- Amethyst is a very deep violet stone. It has varying hardness and hence can be cut to different shapes. But Amethyst is found to develop blemishes over the years. Though the rich color can mask its imperfections for some time, they become too pronounced in due course of time.
- Pearl – These are classified as ‘organic gemstones’. They are unique as they come from oysters.
Perfectly round pearls are hard to find and are expensive. They are the official birthstone of June. They are very soft gems.
Emeralds are also used for rings but they have to be ‘oiled’ periodically to keep their shine. This frequent treatment damages the internal structural integrity and the stone shows blemishes.
Though gold was the most widely used metal for making bands, rings and mounts, Sterling Silver, Stainless Steel and even copper are increasingly used.
Rings for Men
Fashionable rings for men are available in truly enviable patterns from the biggest designer names. The rings use platinum, steel, titanium, cubic zirconia or silver for that elegant finish.
Tips for cleaning rings
Make a mild cleaning solution with soap and water.
Soak your rings of gold, silver and gem stones in them for a few minutes.
Then take them out and clean gently. A soft tooth brush could be used.
Wipe them dry with a lint-free soft cloth.
Don’t soak pearl or other soft gems like this.
Clean them with a soft cloth dipped in cleaning liquid.
How to store rings
Store rings in their individual pouches or in separate jewel boxes.
Keep each ring in its own compartment.
If you have rings with hard gemstones keep them separately. Never with pearls,
Check periodically for loose fittings.
Take your precious jewels to a jeweler and have them checked once in a few years,
Make sure you polish your silverware yearly once.