From selecting your stone to finding the right size, navigating the jewelry world can feel like a journey. These must-read guides will make it a little easier for you to find your forever ring.

How to select your metal type

Diamonds aren’t the only decision you must make when shopping for a ring. The type of metal you select determines its durability, affordability, aesthetic appeal and how it fits into your lifestyle. Gold has been a staple in jewelry design forever, used in various forms and rendered in different colors — yellow, white, and rose gold. Gold’s color is determined by the metals with which it is alloyed. The karat reflects the measurement of purity of gold — the higher the karat, the more pure the gold. It is essential to note pure gold is soft, making solid gold (24k) less ideal for jewelry because the softness cannot hold fine details and stones safely.

Yellow gold exudes a classic and timeless look. It’s often mixed with copper, silver and zinc. White gold is yellow gold alloyed with copper, zinc, and nickel or palladium, then coated with rhodium, which gives it a pure white color. Because the desired color is achieved by plating, white gold requires continual maintenance. Rose gold, on the other hand, is achieved by alloying 24-karat yellow gold and copper. Because of its warm and contemporary look, rose gold has been gaining popularity over the years.

Known for its durability and silvery white color, platinum is a popular choice that requires less maintenance than other precious metals. It’s also considered hypoallergenic, which makes it an appealing option for those allergic to nickel. When shopping for a ring, think of which metal fits best with your lifestyle.

Natural versus lab-grown diamonds

Whether you’ve just started looking for a ring or are further along in your journey, at some point, you most likely have wondered about the differences between lab-grown and natural diamonds. Natural diamonds are formed deep within the earth, shaped by geological pressure and heat over millions of years. Mining them is difficult and complex, contributing to their value and rarity.

Lab-grown diamonds, on the other hand, are grown in laboratories above ground. Contrary to what people believe, they aren’t different from natural diamonds in their makeup. These synthetic gems share the same chemical properties as natural diamonds. A lab-grown diamond is a real diamond — only made in a laboratory in a much shorter time.

As far as properties go, lab-grown diamonds also come in various shapes, sizes, colors and clarity grades. It is impossible to distinguish between a natural diamond and a lab-created one with the naked eye, which is why they’ve become a popular option for those seeking more affordability. Whether you select a natural diamond for your wedding jewelry or a synthetic diamond, it comes down to personal preference.

Understanding the 4 C’s of diamonds

You’ve probably already heard the term “4 C’s” when shopping for diamonds. The four “C’s” are broken down into diamond cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. Each one of these factors influences the diamond with respect to aesthetics and affordability. While there’s no right or wrong choice, it’s crucial to understand the differences between the four C’s and determine which matters most to you.


Not to be confused with shape (round, princess, emerald, etc.), a diamond’s cut determines how light interacts with the gem. Its geometry — think: symmetry, proportions, and polish — dictates its brilliance. That’s why “cut” is often considered the most important “C” of the four.


You might think of a typical diamond as being transparent, but in reality, diamonds range in hues, from colorless to yellow to brown. A diamond’s color is graded on a scale of D to Z, with D being considered the highest grade. Generally, the higher the grade, the more “colorless” the diamond.


A diamond’s clarity comes down to the amount and types of flaws (or inclusions) that affect the gem’s appearance. Minor differences in the top clarity grades are almost invisible to the naked eye. However, the lower you get on the clarity scale, the worse a diamond’s brilliance gets.


A diamond’s carat signifies its weight. In theory, a higher carat weight translates to a larger diamond size, but that’s not always the rule. Remember a diamond’s shape also influences how it looks and how large (or small) the gem appears.

Types of diamond shapes

While the cut of a diamond denotes its geometric angles and polish, the gem’s shape is all about its physical outline. Although “round” might be the ultimate bestseller and a longstanding favorite, there are so many other options to select from. Each shape has its advantage; it ultimately comes down to what resonates with you and complements your hand shape.

Types of diamond settings

Once you’ve figured out your diamond shape, the next step is to determine your gem’s setting. A diamond’s setting is how it is mounted to the band, and that’s largely dictated by its shape, lifestyle, and aesthetic preferences. In a halo setting, pavé diamonds are set around a larger center stone, making the stone appear much larger than it is.

What is Vermeil?

Vermeil is when gold plating is applied to silver. Different from gold plated jewelry, vermeil has a base metal that is still a precious metal and the piece must meet qualifications such as the thickness of plating.

What is PVD?

PVD stands for physical vapor deposition. It is a vacuum coating process that provides an extremely durable and tough wearing bright gold coat, possessing a higher resistance to wear than traditional gold plating

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