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    The Complete Guide to Diamonds and Gemstones for Engagement Rings

    The Perfect Sparkle: Exploring Engagement Ring Diamonds and Gemstones

    Whether you shop for an engagement ring pre- or post-proposal, it’s one of the most important steps in the journey to getting married, as well as one of the most daunting. There are so many elements to consider that it’s hard to know where to begin your search, but selecting the perfect stone is a great starting point.

    While diamonds have long been the traditional choice when it comes to engagement rings, alternative gemstones are increasingly gaining in popularity for their unique beauty and personal significance. In this blog post, we delve into the enchanting world of engagement ring diamonds and gemstones, outlining how we help our clients discover the perfect sparkle for their loved one.

    The Timeless Elegance of Diamonds

    Historically, engagement rings featured all manner of gemstones, varying from country to country and according to trends. Then, along came the diamond – still the most popular stone today when it comes to engagement rings. The trend was set in 1947 by DeBeers, who launched their iconic “A Diamond is Forever” marketing campaign to encourage men returning from war to propose to their significant others with a diamond. Incredibly durable and always ready to impress, the enduring love of diamonds makes them a beautiful choice for a truly spectacular engagement ring.

    Knowing the 4 Cs of Diamonds

    At Orsini we are often asked: what is meant by the term ‘the 4 Cs of diamonds’, and what it means when it comes to diamond certification, appraisal and grading. A lot as it turns out, and it’s essential to understand the 4 Cs when you’re shopping for a diamond to add to your engagement ring setting. The 4 Cs of diamonds - cut, colour, clarity, and carat weight – greatly impact a diamond's value and appearance, as well as its suitability for use in an engagement ring.

    In the 1940s, Robert M. Shipley, the founder ofGemological Institute of America, coined the now-famous term to help his students remember the four factors that characterise a faceted diamond. The concept was simple, but revolutionary. The creation of the Diamond 4 Cs meant diamond quality could be communicated in a universal language, and customers could now know exactly what they are purchasing. 

    What Are The Most Popular Diamond Cuts?

    We often think of a diamond’s cut simply as its shape, but what itactually means is how well a diamond’s facets interact with light. Precise workmanship is required to fashion astone so its proportions, symmetry and polish deliver the dazzling light only possible in diamonds, and achieving the best cut reflects in the final beauty and value. 

    Some of the most popular diamond cuts for engagement rings are:

    Round: The round brilliant cut has been carefully engineered to produce the most sparkle. A well-cut round diamond is a beautiful choice for any engagement ring, but as rounds are the most popular cuts, they're also the most expensive.

    Princess: The princess cut is one of the most brilliant diamond shapes and, compared to a round, is a little less expensive. The most popular of the fancy shapes, princess cuts look great in any setting.

    Oval: Ovals still have most of the brilliance of rounds, and their elongated shape has a lengthening effect on the finger. They are also significantly cheaper, so a great choice if budget is an issue.

    Cushion: Cushion-cut diamonds show excellent fire, the angles perfect for enhancing flashes of coloured light. 

    Pear: Not only do pear shaped diamonds have a unique and beautiful silhouette,their prices are also less expensive than rounds.

    Marquise: The elongated shape of a marquise cut makes a diamond look huge - and stunning in any setting.

    Gemstones: A Captivating Alternative

    Mesmerising gemstones exist in such an incredible variety, with a stone for almost every colour on the spectrum. For this reason and others, some are choosing to consider a gemstone for their engagement ring as an alternative to the classic choice of diamond. It’s a great way to add something extra special to your piece, especially if the gemstone holds special meaning to the wearer, but as it is worn daily, durability is crucial. We recommend gemstones like rubies and sapphires, which are known for their resilience as well as captivating colour. 

    Sapphires are a favourite gemstone for engagement rings because of theiraforementioned lustrous colour and durability, coming in at 9 on the Mohs scale. They also come in a rainbow of colours, making for a truly spectacular choice.

    Rubies are part of the same mineral species as sapphires, corundum. This means that they share many of the same traits as the sapphire, with the only difference being that rubies are much rarer and more expensive. In fact, rubies are the second most valuable gemstone in terms of price per carat after fancy colour diamonds.

    In terms of durability, the only difference between rubies and sapphires is that rubies are not quite as tough as their siblings, and this is because of an element called chromium, which causes the beautiful red colour in these stones. 

    Combining Diamonds and Gemstones

    As artisans, at Orsini we love the idea of combining diamonds and other gemstones for engagement rings, which lets you embrace the best of both worlds. A stunning mixed setting will allow diamonds to provide brilliance, while the likes of sapphires and rubies add a pop of colour and individuality.

    When it comes to design possibilities, we’d love to help you discover different engagement ring styles that beautifully integrate diamonds and gemstones, such as halo settings, three-stone rings, and side stone accents. The possibilities really are endless!

    Explore the world of bespoke engagement rings at Orsini

    At Orsini we love the process of helping our clients to create the perfect engagement ring for their style and budget, letting you personalise the design, stone arrangement, and metal choice to create a one-of-a-kind symbol of love.

    If you have an idea in mind for an engagement ring and don’t know where to start, we’d love to meet with you and give you an insight into our process and how it can work for you. The Orsini team consists of talented jewellery designers, premium diamond graders, gemmologists and master goldsmiths, all trained to create unique pieces of jewellery through every stage of the process, with great precision and finish. 

    Feel free to contact us at any time, or visit us instore at our elegant Parnell atelier, where we invite you to relax while we discuss the seemingly endless possibilities for your bespoke design.