Let’s take to have and to hold literally for a second.
There are a few important decisions that go into making an engagement ring ‘to have’ and ‘to hold’ for every day combining everlasting beauty and quality.
So we thought we would share what we ask ourselves when we start designing, envisioning and creating an engagement ring for you. (We’re here to help if you have any more questions too, like about our custom ring process or anything else jewellery, we’ve got you! Contact us or visit us at our James St Studio).
We have a passion for sourcing unique, rare, and unrepeatable gemstones to highlight within our handcrafted signature settings. So that’s always where we like to start.
Of course, diamonds are the traditional engagement option, but personally, we love engagement rings with all the stones under the sun. Emeralds, sapphires, morganites, tourmalines, and diamonds, of course, are some of our favourite gemstones.
But before you decide on a gemstone for your engagement ring, let’s learn about the 4C’s (and how they can be applied to all gemstones, not just diamonds).
Created by GIA, the Gemological Institute of America, in the 1940s, the 4C’s are universally considered as the markings of diamond quality. However, this grading system is now used more widely, with cut, colour, clarity, and carat being recognised as important features of any gemstone.
All gemstones should be graded within their own potential.
For example, emeralds are not and should not be expected to have the same clarity as a diamond, as they are well-known to have valuable, unique, and visible inclusions. Another example is that the colour of a blue sapphire would be incomparable to the blue colour of an aquamarine, due to their mineral composition.
So, as valuable as the 4C’s are, they can’t always be taken as the be-all and end-all of gemstones. It’s all about finding out what you, or your partner, love in a gemstone, whether that’s a colour, cut, clarity or carat.
The cut of a gemstone is the first thing you see and is classified by how its facets interact with light. Popular gemstone cuts are round brilliant cut, oval, emerald, pear and marquise. In our opinion, cut is the most underrated of the 4C’s as it is essential to the sparkle in diamonds, and other gemstones, that we know you love.
The grading of a gemstone's colour is usually broader with coloured gemstones, in comparison to diamonds. Sapphires, tourmalines, and other multi-coloured gemstones are graded in regard to their hue, tone and saturation.
As gemstones are naturally occurring elements, they can form with internal inclusions and external blemishes which can affect their clarity.
For gemstones other than diamonds, clarity can be less of a determining factor in a gemstone's worth. As we stated prior, emeralds are well-known and loved for their inclusions, and unique inclusions or blemishes make each gemstone unique and sometimes more valuable.
Carat is the unit of weight for gemstones (it also measures the purity of gold but let’s not get sidetracked). The gemstone’s carat is the distribution of the stone’s weight. For example, a deeply cut gemstone may have a small table (aka the top of the stone) and may be comparable in price to a shallow stone with a large table, whilst appearing completely different. This weight will be listed as 2.17ct or 0.40ct, and tells you the carat weight of the gemstone.
The setting of your engagement ring is like the cover of a book, the strong, beautiful protection encasing wonder inside. And you can’t judge a book just by its cover (although we are fond of a pretty cover). The setting and the gemstone of your engagement ring are equally important, they can complement or juxtapose each other for a unique ring.
One of our favourite settings has to be the bezel setting. The key features, and pros, of a bezel setting are;
- The metal completely encompasses the sides of the gemstone
- The stone, particularly for softer gemstones, is very secure as it is completely held in by the metal setting
- The setting enhances the size of your gemstone
- No claws = no snags
Contrary to popular belief, bezel settings do not dull or lessen the sparkle of your diamond or gemstone. While, yes, less light is entering into the stone, the light of your stone refracts from the top, making a bezel setting equally sparkly.
Bezel settings are central to our collection, with some of our most beloved signature settings being bezel settings.
The beloved and noteable Nico, has been a signature By Baby setting from the start. Featuring bold signet-inspired proportions, the Nico moves around the gemstone with a striking strong bezel setting. Its chunky setting is complemented by a brushed finish, with a polished bevel edge around the gemstone.
Another beloved By Baby classic is the Esmeralda signature setting. A more refined take on a bezel setting, the Esmeralda features a polished bezel setting, with our signature tulip detailing on the underside of the gemstone.
Celeste & Athena
A combination of the bold and the defined is Celeste and Athena. These signatures are semi-bezel settings, with defined carved detailing on the edges of the band. The gemstones within these settings are highlighted with the unique semi-bezel detailing.
Claw set engagement rings have to be the most classic and beloved setting style, allowing the gemstone to shine from all angles. The key features, and pros, of a claw setting are;
- They often feature four to six claws that hold in the edges of the gemstone
- The setting is very secure
- The gemstone is highlighted, as the setting allows the gemstone to be centre stage
- Claw set rings can be easier to resize
- Details of the underside of the setting can be unique
Tulip Detailed Setting
Our signature tulip detailing on our claw set (and bezel set rings, Esmeralda) features dainty floral petal curvatures, that let light through the bottom of the stone.
Single Bearing Setting
Hammer set rings have a modern and sleek design, with the gemstone essentially ‘hammered’ or set directly into the ring. The setting doesn’t feature any raised metal around the gemstone, as the gemstone is essentially encased in the ring. The key features, and pros, of a hammer setting are;
- The gemstone is extremely secure, it is ‘hammered’ into place
- Once again, no claws = no snags
- They have a sleek, modern, masculine design
The Orion signature setting features a hammer set baguette diamond and is surrounded entirely by a rectangular signet-inspired setting.
Of course, there are also three-stone rings, diamond shoulders, bold domed settings and many other engagement ring styles to consider, but what it always comes down to is what you (or your partner) would love to have and to hold every day.
The countdown to the busy holiday season is here, and we know how special it is to celebrate this time of year by maybe popping a certain question. However, this is your official PSA, if you would to make a custom enquiry for an engagement ring (or any custom jewellery) and need it before Christmas (aka the 25th), your final date for an enquiry is the 28th of October. You are welcome to ask to make enquiries during the holiday season, but please be aware your order will not be complete until February 2024.