Your Crash Course in Diamond Engagement Rings

Exclusive access to expert wedding planning advice and resources from top industry professionals.
With proposal season quickly approaching, it's time to educate yourself on the basics of diamond engagement rings. Whether you are considering diamond engagement ring or open to other alternative engagement rings, it's important that you know these key facts about your potential bling. Consider this your crash course into the world of diamond engagement rings. 

Diamond Shapes

The setting can have a major effect on the look of a diamond. The metal color you choose, as well as the use of additional stones, will change how a diamond looks and how a diamond engagement ring looks on your finger. (It's also why an inherited diamond can look completely different after it's re-set!) Some setting styles to get familiar with are Tiffany setting, bezel, pavé, channel, eternity, 4 prongs, and 6 prongs. If you try on rings, ask to try on different settings so you get a sense of which you like best. 
The most important thing to remember about diamond engagement rings is that they symbolize a promise to marry and spend your life with someone. Don't get hung up on how big it is or if it isn't what you always wanted. Every engagement ring is beautiful. 
Diamonds come in a variety of shapes. The choice of diamond shape often boils down to personal preference, but it's worth noting that certain shapes can create the illusion of a larger or more brilliant diamond, often reflecting a specific bridal style. Currently, the most favored cuts include the classic and timeless round diamonds, known for their larger and more brilliant appearance, and the square-cut princess diamonds. Beyond these, various other shapes are prevalent in jewelry stores, such as pear, oval, marquise, radiant, emerald, and Asscher cuts, each offering unique aesthetic qualities to cater to diverse tastes.
14K White Gold Pavé Halo Diamond Engagement Ring (Oval Center)
18K Yellow Gold Petite Pavé Engagement Ring (Flush Fit)
14K White Gold Falling Edge Pavé Diamond Engagement Ring

The 4 Cs

Understanding the 4Cs—cut, color, clarity, and carat weight—is crucial for couples embarking on the journey of choosing a diamond engagement ring. These four characteristics are the universal language of diamonds, defining their unique qualities and ultimately influencing both their aesthetic appeal and value. The cut determines the diamond's brilliance and shape, color reflects its hue and rarity, clarity gauges the presence of imperfections, and carat weight measures its size. Together, these factors play a pivotal role in crafting a ring that reflects your individual preferences and style.


Cut goes beyond the diamond's shape; it delves into the intricacies of angles, a factor that significantly influences the sparkle and brilliance of the gem. Often regarded as the most crucial of the 4Cs, the cut plays a pivotal role in defining a diamond's overall visual appeal. Notably, certain diamond shapes, such as the emerald cut, accentuate the importance of the cut, showcasing its impact on the stone's radiance. Understanding the nuances of cut is key to appreciating why it takes precedence among the 4Cs, ultimately contributing to the diamond's captivating allure.


The fewer imperfections the diamond has, the clearer it is. Inclusions are minerals or tiny fractures in the diamond, so the fewer the inclusions, the better the clarity (and the higher the price).
Clarity is measured on a scale; S1 and S2 are slightly included but aren't visible to the naked eye, so this is the range you should try to shoot for if possible.


Diamonds boast a diverse spectrum of colors, graded on a scale from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow). The pinnacle of rarity and expense lies in truly colorless diamonds. While white diamonds hold widespread popularity, the significance of diamond color ultimately hinges on personal preference, with the allure of colored diamonds steadily gaining momentum. Embracing a range of hues beyond the traditional white, colored diamonds add a distinctive touch, reflecting evolving tastes and a desire for uniqueness in the world of diamond selection.


Carat refers to the weight of a diamond. The heavier the stone, the bigger it is, so the more you’re going to pay. However, a good setting can really show off a diamond and make it appear larger than it really is, and the shape of the diamond can affect how big it appears as well.
Many individuals tend to neglect the diamond crown's measurement when selecting carat size. Make note of where the majority of the weight sits—whether it's concentrated on the pavilion (bottom) or at the top. This aspect aids in selecting a diamond that might have a lower weight but still gives the illusion of a larger size.

 Engagement Ring Settings

The engagement ring setting can significantly alter the appearance of a diamond. It affects how the diamond is held and displayed, influencing its overall look and style. For example, a classic solitaire setting emphasizes the diamond's simplicity and brilliance, while a halo setting adds more sparkle and makes the diamond appear larger. Different settings can enhance or modify the diamond's visual impact, allowing you to choose the one that suits your desired aesthetic and budget.
Below is a list of the top engagement ring settings:

1. Solitaire Setting

A classic choice featuring a single diamond or gemstone held by a simple band, the solitaire setting allows the center stone to shine brightly.

2. Pave Setting

Tiny diamonds are set closely together on on the band, adding a dazzling, continuous sparkle to the ring.

3. Channel Setting

Diamonds are set between two metal channels on the band, providing a sleek and secure way to showcase multiple stones.

4. Bezel Setting

The center stone is encircled by a metal rim, offering both protection and a modern, clean look.

5. Three-Stone Setting

Symbolizing past, present, and future, this setting features three stones of varying sizes, often with the center stone being the largest.

6. Halo Setting

This setting surrounds the center stone with smaller diamonds, creating a sparkling halo effect that enhances the overall brilliance.

7. Vintage Setting

Inspired by bygone eras, vintage settings often feature intricate details and filigree work, lending a timeless and romantic feel.

8. Tension Setting

The center stone appears to float between the two ends of the band, creating a contemporary and unique appearance.

9. Cluster Setting

Multiple smaller stones are clustered together to create the illusion of a larger, more prominent center stone.

10. Cathedral Setting

The center stone is elevated above the band, typically with arches or curves, giving it an elegant and regal look.

11. Split Shank Setting

The band splits into two as it approaches the center stone, adding a touch of sophistication and style.

12. Twisted Setting

The band is designed to twist or intertwine, creating a visually captivating and artistic look.

13. Flush Setting

The stone is set into the band, making it sit flush with the surface, ideal for those seeking a low-profile and understated design.

14. Bypass Setting

The band appears to "bypass" the center stone, resulting in an elegant and contemporary look.
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