As a symbol of undying love and commitment between two people, an engagement ring ranks among the most important purchases many people will make in their lives.
Engagement rings come in an endless variety of shapes, cuts and styles, offering you a huge selection to choose from. But too much choice can sometimes feel overwhelming. In this guide, we’ll take you through the different kinds of engagement rings, and discuss why buying a second hand engagement ring could be a fantastic idea.
Features of Diamond Engagement Rings
When it comes to engagement rings, the diamond often takes centre stage. But what makes one diamond engagement ring stand out from another? When you’re on the hunt for the best place to buy second hand engagement rings, it’s essential to consider these elements to ensure you’re getting a diamond ring that resonates with your and your partner’s personal style.
What are the Four Cs of Diamonds?
If you’ve been researching diamond engagement rings, you may have come across something referred to as the ‘Four Cs’. The Four Cs stand as a universal standard for evaluating the quality and value of the gem. These four criteria—Carat, Cut, Colour, and Clarity—help in determining the diamond’s overall appeal and worth.
- Carat: Often mistaken for size, the carat actually refers to the weight of the diamond. One carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams. While larger diamonds are often more valuable due to their rarity, it’s essential to consider the other Cs, as a bigger diamond isn’t necessarily a better one. The carat weight can influence the price, but it’s the interplay of all four Cs that determines a diamond’s true value.
- Cut: The cut of a diamond is the most crucial factor in determining its brilliance. It refers to how well the diamond has been shaped and faceted. A well-cut diamond will reflect light beautifully, giving it that sought-after sparkle.
- Colour: The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grades diamond colour on a scale from D (colourless) to Z (light yellow or brown). Diamonds come in a spectrum of colours, but when it comes to engagement rings, the most valued are often those that lack any colour at all. Truly colourless diamonds are rare and, therefore, more valuable.
- Clarity: This refers to the presence of internal or external imperfections, known as inclusions and blemishes. Almost all diamonds have these tiny imperfections, but the fewer there are, the more valuable the diamond. The GIA’s clarity scale ranges from Flawless (no inclusions or blemishes visible under 10x magnification) to Included (inclusions and/or blemishes visible to the naked eye).
Shape and Radiance
The shape of a diamond will determine its overall appearance and the way it captures light. From the timeless round cut to the elegant oval or the unique marquise, each shape offers a different kind of brilliance.
The way a diamond is cut and faceted can enhance its natural sparkle, making it a centrepiece that’s hard to ignore. Here are some of the different kinds of shapes diamonds can be cut into:
- Round: The most sought-after shape, round diamonds are known for their unparalleled brilliance. Their symmetrical form allows for maximum light reflection, making them sparkle intensely.
- Princess: With pointed corners and a square or rectangular profile, princess cuts are a modern favourite. They exude contemporary elegance, making them a top choice for engagement rings.
- Oval: An elongated version of the round cut, oval diamonds give an illusion of greater size. Their stretched shape can also make the wearer’s fingers appear more slender.
- Emerald: Characterised by its rectangular facets and cropped corners, the emerald cut offers a unique, open appearance. The focus here is on showcasing the clarity and depth of the diamond, rather than sparkle.
- Pear: Resembling a teardrop, pear-shaped diamonds are a fusion of round and marquise cuts. Their graceful style can make a distinctive statement.
- Marquise: With its elongated shape and pointed ends, marquise diamonds maximise carat weight, making the diamond appear larger than it is.
- Cushion: Often referred to as “pillow-cut”, cushion diamonds blend the square cut with rounded corners. They have a vintage charm and offer a soft, romantic radiance.
- Asscher: Similar to the emerald cut but square, Asscher diamonds have a more visible X pattern when viewed from the top, giving them a unique allure.
Think of the setting as a stage for your diamond. Whether it’s a classic prong setting, a secure bezel, or a vintage-inspired halo, the right setting not only secures the diamond but also elevates its beauty. It can add depth, create illusions of size, or even introduce additional sparkle with side stones. The setting is often chosen to complement the diamond to its greatest effect.
The choice of metal for an engagement ring is both an aesthetic and practical decision. The choice of metal can also influence the ring’s cost, with some metals considered more precious than others.
When selecting the perfect engagement ring, it’s important to consider how the choice of metal complements not just the diamond, but the intended wearer’s style. Most commonly, engagement rings are available in gold or platinum.
Gold has long been a favoured choice for diamond engagement rings. Its malleability allows for intricate designs, ensuring the diamond is showcased beautifully. The timeless allure of gold, whether in classic yellow, sophisticated white, or romantic rose, easily complements the sparkle of a glittering diamond, no matter its size or cut.
On the other hand, platinum can also make a wonderful choice. With its bright, silvery sheen, it can enhance a diamond’s radiance. It’s also a hypoallergenic metal, making it the ideal choice for people who have a sensitivity to gold. And while platinum may come with a higher price tag, its durability means less wear and tear over time, reducing the need for frequent trips to the jewellers for cleaning and repairs.
Stone Choices for Pre-owned Engagement Rings Beyond Diamonds
While diamonds are a classic choice, many other gemstones have made their mark in the world of engagement rings. Sapphires, with their deep blue hue, symbolise loyalty and trust. Fiery red rubies represent passion and love. And glittering green emeralds embody the idea of growth and new beginnings. Then there are moissanites, which offer a diamond-like sparkle at a fraction of the cost.
Each gemstone brings with it a unique meaning and style, allowing couples to choose a stone that resonates with their personal love story.
Diverse Styles for Every Taste
Engagement rings come in a variety of styles, from the timeless solitaire that lets the gemstone shine on its own to intricate and timeless vintage designs. Whether you opt for a diamond ring or choose a different precious gemstone, your choice of style all comes down to personal preference. Here are just a few of the different types of styles popular for engagement rings:
- Solitaire: Characterised by its simplicity, the solitaire style features a single stone, usually set on a plain band. This classic design places the emphasis squarely on the stone, making it the centrepiece of the ring. It’s perfect for gemstones, especially diamonds, that have been exquisitely cut.
- Halo: This style surrounds the central stone with a ‘halo’ of smaller stones, often diamonds, enhancing its size and sparkle. It’s a design that offers added brilliance and is perfect for those looking for a ring designed to dazzle.
- Three-Stone: Symbolising the past, present, and future, this style features a central stone flanked by two smaller stones on either side. It’s a meaningful choice that also adds extra sparkle.
- Pavé: French for ‘paved’, this style has the band adorned with small gemstones set closely together, creating a continuous sparkle that complements the central stone.
- Bezel: In this style, the stone is encircled by a metal rim, offering both a modern look and added protection for the stone.
- Tension: A contemporary choice, tension-style rings hold the stone in place with pressure rather than prongs, giving the illusion that the stone is floating.
Benefits of Buying Second Hand Engagement Rings
If you’re searching for a pre-owned engagement ring to buy, there are plenty of options available. The second hand market can offer you some truly distinctive designs, from Art Deco masterpieces to retro beauties, ensuring you find a ring that’s as unique as your love story. In particular, vintage and heirloom rings come with a fascinating and timeless charm that’s hard to replicate.
Opting for second hand jewellery can also lead to substantial savings, which means you can still find a beautiful, one-of-a-kind engagement ring for a fraction of the cost. In addition to this, choosing a second hand engagement ring, whether you want the classic appeal of a diamond ring or something different, is an eco-friendly choice. By purchasing a second hand engagement ring, you’re helping to reduce the demand for newly mined metals and gemstones, which is a big help for Mother Earth.
Tips for Buying a Second Hand Diamond Ring
If you’re looking for second hand engagement rings for sale, be sure to inspect the ring closely before you make your final decision. Here are a few pointers you can use when inspecting a second hand engagement ring for sale:
- Certificate of Authenticity: Always ask for a certificate from a reputable gemological institute. This document will provide details about the diamond’s cut, carat, clarity, and colour.
- Overall Condition: Examine the ring for any visible signs of wear and tear. Look for scratches, dents, or any other imperfections on the band and setting.
- Prong Inspection: Ensure that the prongs holding the stone are intact and not bent or worn out. Loose prongs can lead to the stone falling out.
- Stone Security: Gently shake the ring close to your ear. If you hear a rattling sound, the stone might be loose.
- Gemstone Clarity: Check the stone for any chips, cracks, or inclusions that might affect its value and appearance.
- Hallmarks: Look for hallmarks inside the band that indicate the metal’s purity, such as “14K” for gold or “950” for platinum.
- Ring Size: Ensure the ring is the right size or can be resized without compromising its structure.
- Ask About the Ring’s History: While this won’t give a physical insight, knowing the ring’s backstory can provide context about its age, care, and any modifications.
- Compare Prices: Research similar rings online to ensure you’re getting a fair deal.
- Seek Expert Advice: If in doubt, consider getting the ring appraised by an independent jeweller or gemologist for an unbiased opinion.
Caring for Your Engagement Ring
Once you’ve got that sparkling engagement ring on your finger, it’s essential to keep it shining bright. Regular cleaning is crucial. Over time, dirt and oils from your skin can dull a diamond’s brilliance. Fortunately, keeping it in pristine condition is easy.
Simple at-home cleaning methods, like soaking the ring in a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap, can work wonders. Gently scrubbing with a soft toothbrush can dislodge any dirt, ensuring your diamond continues to sparkle as brightly as your love.
Alternatively, you can always take it to a professional jeweller to have it cleaned to renew its sparkle and splendour.
Navigating Gumtree for the Perfect Engagement Ring
Whether you’re searching for a classic solitaire design or a unique vintage piece for your loved one, Gumtree offers a range of choices when it comes to second hand jewellery. If you’re looking for second hand engagement rings in Australia, then you’re definitely in the right place.
To make your search on Gumtree more effective, filter results based on your location to find rings nearby or use specific keywords to narrow down your search. You never know—you could just find the perfect engagement ring that will symbolise your and your partner’s love for the rest of your lives together.