History of Diamond Engagement Rings
The origins of diamond engagement rings are reputed to date back to 1477, when Archduke Maximilian of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy with what is believed to be the first-of-its-kind diamond engagement ring. Before this, rings were typically simple gold or iron bands.
However, it wasn’t until much later, the 1940s to be precise, that the diamond engagement ring trend really took off. This was largely due to a clever advertising campaign by renowned diamond specialists, De Beers, which used Hollywood A-listers and coined the now-famous phrase “A diamond is forever”.
The campaign successfully created a shift in consumer attitudes and helped increase the desirability of a diamond ring, so much so that today, it is considered highly unusual to imagine any other type of ring on the finger of a bride-to-be.
Consequently, since this time, fine jewellers like ourselves have spent years developing our skills and knowledge in diamond sourcing, cutting and shaping, all in order to offer you the most extensive range of rings to choose from.
Types of Diamond Engagement Rings
Diamond engagement rings come in just about every shape, size and colour, meaning there is guaranteed to be a style that suits every taste and budget. Typically, colourless diamonds are the most desirable, and round brilliant cuts the most popular for engagement rings.
Looking for something that fits this description? Why not take a look at the below:
- Round brilliant diamond halo plain band platinum engagement ring
- Round brilliant cut diamond halo plain band 18ct yellow gold engagement ring
- Round brilliant solitaire 4 claw plain band 18ct yellow gold engagement ring
- Round brilliant cut diamond halo 18ct rose gold engagement ring
- Round brilliant solitaire with tapered baguettes 18ct rose gold engagement ring
But if you’re looking for something slightly more unique, there are a number of other options to consider. Firstly, there are a variety of diamond cuts to choose from, including emerald, marquise, oval, pear, princess and more. The type of cut you go for will determine how sparkly and durable a ring is. This is because the way in which a diamond is cut can reflect light in various ways and withstand different amounts of pressure.
You can also opt for different choices in colour to really make your ring yours. Colour choice generally starts with the band, with the option of yellow gold, rose gold or silver. Within each, the intensity and tone can vary depending on the alloy composition used to create it. For instance, rose gold alloys with more copper content tend to have a more reddish tone, whereas those with more yellow gold are more champagne in colour.
But as well as the band, diamonds are available in different colours too. Although colourless diamonds are desirable, they are some of the most rare to find. But what should be noted is that even though a diamond may look white or colourless to the eye, it may have a slight hint of yellow when examined more closely. The best way to assess your diamond is by checking its grading on the GIA diamond colour scale, which assigns each diamond a letter from D-Z, with D being colourless and Z being the most yellow or brown in hue. You can read more about diamond grading here.
There is also the option of fancy diamonds, which refers to diamonds that exhibit just about any colour or shade on the spectrum, including red, blue, green, pink, grey and black. These diamonds are incredibly rare and therefore, often come at a higher price.
For instance, a black diamond is one that has thousands of microscopic inclusions or fractures, which on a colourless diamond would be seen as an imperfection. However, finding a diamond with such a high volume of these inclusions is rare and results in a unique black colour, which helps increase desirability and interest in the diamond.
While traditional colourless diamonds decrease in value with more colour, fancy diamonds, or those that surpass Z on the grading scale, become more valuable the greater the intensity of their colour.
What diamond size is best for an engagement ring?
The size of an engagement ring is usually measured in carats, which refers to a diamond's weight. It’s a common misconception that the bigger the diamond in an engagement ring, the better but this is not always the case.
The most common size of engagement ring is 0.5 carats. While this may not sound very big, it can look sizable on the finger. Therefore, rather than simply going for the biggest diamond you can find, it’s important to take into consideration the size of the hand it will be worn on, too.
Similarly, different diamond cuts can make diamonds look larger or smaller in size, which is another thing to take into consideration.
What to look for in a diamond engagement ring?
If you’re buying an engagement ring for your partner, the most important thing to consider is their style, ring size and your budget. Once you have all these in mind, the search for their dream ring becomes slightly less overwhelming.
When it comes to diamonds, the best way to ensure you’re making the right choice is by following the GIA 4Cs guide, which covers carat, cut, clarity and colour. For instance, carat refers to the weight of the diamond, cut the way in which it reflects the light, clarity helps determine whether there are any imperfections or inclusions present and colour assesses any yellow hue.
It can be easy to fall into a trap of believing a higher carat of diamond for a low price is a great deal, however this would often indicate that it is lacking in one, two or all of the other Cs. Therefore, it is important to look out for all four when buying a diamond engagement ring.
Where to buy diamond engagement rings?
Many fine jewellers sell diamond engagement rings online and in-store and while they are readily available, it is essential that you choose a retailer whom you can trust and that is knowledgeable. This way, it is guaranteed that the diamond you are purchasing is ethical, legitimate and of high quality.
It is always recommended you visit a jeweller in-store, or at least have a video consultation in order for you to see the pieces in person and assess the level of service you can expect from them after the purchase.
As the saying goes, a diamond is forever and to ensure yours remains looking its best, you firstly need to be sure you’re purchasing one that is durable and professionally cut and set. Next, you will need to ensure you have access to a cleaning, polishing and maintenance service for the many years to come.
Here at Paul Sheeran Jewellers, we offer a complimentary, lifetime worth of servicing appointments with the purchase of every diamond engagement ring so your ring will continue to sparkle and bring you joy.
How much is a diamond engagement ring in Ireland?
The price of a diamond engagement ring in Ireland varies depending on its size, cut and the metal type it is set in. At Paul Sheeran Jewellers, we stock a wide variety of diamond engagement rings with prices starting at around €1,700 and with our bespoke ring building service, we can help you find a ring that meets your every style and budgetary requirement.
To find out more, or to take your first step in finding your ideal diamond engagement ring, get in touch today.