Now that you have chosen an engagement ring style and setting, have a think about what the gemstone itself might be.
It is only as recently as the late 1940s that the Diamond became the go-to choice for engagement rings. Before then, it was more usual to have other gemstones – Sapphires, Rubies, and Emeralds were all very popular. More recently, there has been a shift back towards these more colourful gems.
Tanzanite, a relatively new discovery, has also become a popular gemstone for engagement stones, due to its fabulous blue to violet hue, and its association with new beginnings.
If you want a more individual choice, birthstones often feature as engagement gemstones – perhaps consider a setting that combines both of your birth gems for a truly meaningful touch.
There are a huge array of shapes and cuts available on the market. A round brilliant cut is the most traditional cut for a solitaire, but it is definitely worth having a look at some other options if you’re after something a little bit different:
Round - Will usually produce the most sparkle of any cut. The most traditional cut for a Diamond solitaire engagement ring.
Oval - This shape has many benefits, giving a larger look than a round cut gem of the same size.
Cushion - A square shape with rounded, softer looking edges, often looks very vintage.
Trillion or Trilliant - The triangle brilliant cut, which can be pointed or soft-edged, an adventurous cut.
Emerald - The classic cut for an Emerald, using its naturally elongated shape. Can be used for other gems too.
Asscher - Developed by the Asscher Brothers, this cut was en vogue in the 1920s and will give a very authentically vintage feel.
Princess - One of the most sophisticated and modern-looking cuts, a more squared version of the cushion cut.
Heart - The most romantic cut of all, a heart shape is very difficult to cut in certain stones.
Marquise - An elongated oval with two tapered ends, named after the smile of the Marquise de Pompadour. An unusual choice, it can leave gemstones vulnerable to damage, so needs more care than some other cuts.
Pear - Said to suit small hands best, the pear shape is a combination of the oval and marquise cuts. The pointed end can be vulnerable to damage if it isn't protected in the setting.
With all of these cuts, look for gemstones that have symmetrical facets and that it reflects light evenly across the surface. Make sure the polish is good, with no scratching and that they have even colour, with no light or dark areas. Some gemstones are cut to maximise carat weight, rather than beauty. Look out for gemstones that have ‘fat bottoms’ or ‘fat girdles’ (the widest part of the gem) and that have a bigger carat weight for their size than similar stones. Here at Gemporia, we always cut our gems for beauty rather than carat weight.
Finally, our last guide How to Choose an Engagement Ring Part Five - Final Thoughts, runs through a few final considerations to ensure you have chosen the perfect ring.