The holidays are on the horizon, and that means proposal season will soon be in full swing. While Valentine’s Day is the most popular day to get engaged, New Year’s Day, Christmas Day, and Christmas Eve follow close behind. If you’re planning on popping the question anytime soon, you’re probably also looking into buying an engagement ring. Whether you’re shopping on your own or doing it with your future spouse, it’s always helpful to have a guide to help you through the process. Luckily, we asked Jillian Sassone, Founder of Marrow Fine, to share her insight into selecting the perfect ring.
Before you even walk into an appointment with a jeweler or a ring designer, know how much you can spend. This will make the ring shopping process easier for you and the professional helping you. You also want to be sure that you and your future spouse are on the same page on how much you can actually afford. “Discussing finances can get tricky, but ultimately you’re working with the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with, so you’ll want to make sure you’re going into the engagement ring appointment on the same page,” explains Sassone.
If you’re shopping on your own, it’s important to know your partner’s style preferences when it comes to shape, metal, and size. But as Sassone points out, this is one of the biggest mistakes people make when shopping for a ring. “There are so many different directions an engagement ring can go, so making sure you have an idea of what your partner would gravitate towards is super important,” she says.
Stone Shapes 101
Shapes are divided into two categories: round and fancy shape, which include princess, emerald, cushion, oval, pear, and heart-shaped. For couples that are looking to go for something out-of-the-box, Sassone says to go for it! “There are few times in life where a situation is entirely about you—your wedding is one of them, so why settle for doing something or buying something you don’t love simply because tradition says you should? There are so many unique gemstones and designs out there—you’ll easily be able to find something that speaks to you, even if it’s not traditional.” Right now, Marrow Fine is seeing a big uptick in requests for marquise and cushion stones.
There are also a variety of metal types to choose from when designing or selecting your engagement ring. White gold and platinum are the two most popular metals because they are so durable. And couples that want to select something a bit different can opt for yellow or rose gold. “We're designing chunkier, more metal-heavy settings, and this seems to be taking off as well!” says Sassone.
Clarity vs. Carat
Clarity is the measurement of how “clean” the stone is when it comes to internal and external flaws, while carat size refers to the weight of the diamond. So which is more important? While Sassone says there’s really no right or wrong answer, she's more partial to clarity than carat weight. “There's just something about a super clean diamond that sparkles and faces up better than a less clean stone would,” she explains.
Mined vs. Lab Grown
Mined natural diamonds come from the Earth; lab-grown diamonds are, as their name suggests, created in a laboratory. Again, it comes down to preference, but Marrow Fine chooses natural gemstones in their designs. “Lab-created gems may hold their value over time, but there's no real data around that,” says Sassone. “However, ultimately as long as the wearer loves it, that’s all that matters.”
Typically, if a couple opts out of white diamonds, they're typically leaning towards a sapphire design, with Sassone noting that it is highly durable with absolutely breathtaking color options. Marrow Fine has also been working more with rubies, emeralds, and spinels.
“We're seeing a lot of experimentation with shapes and negative space,” says Sassone. “Clients are wanting something that no one else seemingly has, so adding funky-shaped wedding bands to their more traditional engagement ring designs is a fun way to play with trends, but still have your main engagement ring design remain timeless.”
All photos courtesy of Marrow Fine