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Met the woman of your dreams? Check. Planned the perfect proposal? Check. Found an engagement ring that she'll love forever? Hmm...not so fast. Gentlemen, we know that buying that all-important diamond can be a hugely daunting affair – and one that'll cost you a pretty penny if you don't get it right. To make sure that doesn't happen, get up to speed with everything you need to know about engagement rings: cuts, settings, and of course, where to buy swoon-worthy wedding bling in Singapore. Check and mate.
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You can never go wrong with a round cut diamond. Why? Because it is undeniably the most popular choice amongst couples, representing 75% of all diamonds bought worldwide. Due to its shape, round cut diamonds offer maximum sparkle – making them perfect for couples who prefer a timeless design.
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The princess cut diamond is shaped like a square or rectangle and is the second most popular shape of diamonds (after the round cut). It must always be set with prongs at all four corners to prevent chipping.
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Characterised by its square cut and rounded corners that resembles a pillow (hence the name), the cushion cut diamond is sometimes also referred to as the candlelight diamond. Having been around for almost 200 years, cushion cut diamonds are typically surrounded by a halo of diamonds to add more sparkle to the ring overall.
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Looking for an engagement ring that’ll really stand out? The marquise cut is an excellent choice, thanks to its unique, elongated boat-like shape with pointed ends.
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It gets its regal name from King Louis XIV of France who commissioned the development of a diamond to match the Marquise de Pompadour’s charming smile. Long, narrow stones are more likely to break or chip, so protect your marquise cut diamond with added prongs on both ends.
Resembling a teardrop, the pear-cut diamond is a hybrid of the round and marquise with a tapered point on one end. It is one of the most difficult shapes to cut and must be set with a prong at the tip to prevent chipping.
The emerald cut was originally developed for cutting emeralds and features a rectangular shape with cropped corners. The most defining characteristic of the emerald cut is the step cut style, which produces a concentric effect.
First produced by the Asscher Brothers of Holland in 1902, the asscher cut is similar to the emerald cut but square in shape. Due to its larger step facets that resemble an octagon, the asscher cut diamond produces more brilliance than the emerald cut.
Asscher cut diamonds first peaked in popularity in the 1920's and only made a comeback in the early 2000’s after appearing on Sex and the City and on the ring fingers of certain celebrities. The most famous asscher cut diamond of all was the $8.8 million 33.19-carat Krupp Diamond, given to Elizabeth Taylor by Richard Burton in 1968.
Heart shaped diamonds are a popular choice amongst lovebirds and are considered one of the most romantic diamond cuts – no prizes for guessing why! When choosing a heart shaped diamond, size is very important: it may be difficult to perceive its shape if the diamond is less than 0.50 carats.
The most common and classic ring setting is the prong: a metal claw that grips and holds a diamond firmly in place. Most prong settings feature either four or six prongs. One drawback is that a prong setting may loosen its claw grip on the diamond over time.
Derived from the French word “to pave”, pavé settings feature small diamonds closely set together in holes drilled into the ring band to produce a brillant, sparkling effect. Diamonds have to be as small as 0.01 to 0.02 carats to be pavé-set. If a ring is pavé set around the entire band, it can be difficult to change the ring size.
Halo settings feature a centre diamond or gemstone surrounded by a halo of smaller stones – a great way to make small diamonds appear larger. Halo settings are often paired with pavé-set bands for maximum sparkle.
A channel setting uses two tracks of precious metal to set diamonds and gemstones in a row. It is commonly used for wedding bands or stackable rings with smaller stones.
Instead of prongs, a bezel setting uses a thin metal rim to encircle the centre diamond or gemstone. It is the earliest method of setting gemstones and it also one of the most popular (after the prong), thanks to its clean and modern look.
A flush or gypsy setting features a diamond set into a drilled hole so that it sits “flush” with the ring band. This setting is a popular choice for men’s wedding bands as it prevents the diamond from chipping or falling out