Engagement Ring Designs

Design Your Own Engagement Ring

Are you looking into engagement ring design ideas, but don’t know where to begin? Whether you are looking to design your own engagement ring or one for your girlfriend, here are a few key questions to keep in mind.

To halo or not to halo?

A popular starting point is deciding whether your center stone will be surrounded by a circle (or two!) of smaller diamonds or whether you would rather see it go solo – also known as a solitaire setting. Halos look great with pretty much any size diamond… up to a point. Once you’re in the 1.50ct+ range, keep in mind that the halo will make the center stone appear even larger.

Solitaire vs Halo Engagement Ring

Diamonds down the band?

Both solitaire and halo style engagement ring settings look beautiful with or without diamonds down the band. A traditional classic solitaire does not include any diamonds other than the center stone, but adding diamonds down the band can lend some extra sparkle if that’s what you’d like.

Solitaire vs Pave Side Diamond Engagement Ring

U-set, bead-set, channel-set, we all set?

If you’ve opted for either a halo or diamonds down the band, or both, then the next decision is the style to set them in. Do you want the side diamonds u-set, bead-set or channel-set? Better yet, what does this all mean?!

U-set diamonds have spaces for them drilled into the band, creating small u-shape windows from the profile view. This is a classic, end-to-end look as all you see is diamond from the top view. The diamonds themselves are held into place by tiny prongs formed out of the metal, giving the entire piece a uniform and smooth look – also known as “pavé”.

Bead-set diamonds are also set with tiny prongs formed out of the metal, as per u-set, but a slight border accompanies them. This is a very elegant and classic look.

Channel-set diamonds are contained within a border as per bead setting, but rather than being held in place by prongs they are held by the border itself. This is a form of tension setting.

U Set vs Bead Set vs Channel Set Engagement Ring

Straight or tapered band?

Now that the basic design elements are decided on, we can start to add some character!

When it comes to the band itself, you can opt for a straight band, or for a tapered band. The taper can also be a traditional or a reverse taper – as in the band can get skinnier or wider as it approaches the center stone.

Straight vs Tapered Band Engagement Ring

Shoulders? On engagement rings?

Your engagement ring has shoulders… seriously. This refers to the part of the shank as it approaches the center stone. They can be as low as what will appear to be a full circle with the basket sitting on top of it, or they can start to rise towards the diamond as they approach it – known as a cathedral setting. The higher the cathedral the more “elegant” the diamond appears, but also the more cumbersome the ring becomes to wear. A low shoulder is also a very nice look, and slightly more modern vs. the classic look of a cathedral setting.

Low Shoulder vs Cathedral Engagement Ring

Prongs? Even the smallest details matter.

Finally, we’ve arrived at the center stone prongs. Those little metal arms that hold the diamond in place. Traditional prongs are rounded and they can never go wrong. Another option for the more modern and forward is what are known as cat, bear or eagle claw prongs. These are very elegant and sharp-looking, literally, pointed prongs. Alternatively, why not forget the prongs altogether with a bezel setting?

Engagement Ring Prong Types

Now let’s get to work!

I hope this helps break down the key decisions when it comes to designing your engagement ring. There are many additional nuances that can be modified or implemented (band width, additional details such as milgrain, etc.), but these should serve as a framework for the overall structure of the ring.

As always, I am happy to answer any questions in the comments below. I would also be thrilled to meet you in person when you’re ready to get started with your own custom engagement ring!

unique diamond jewelry storage candelabra

How to Store Diamond Jewelry

Now that your diamond jewelry is at its sparkling potential… what is the best way to properly store it?

As a rule, always try to store your jewelry in a clean and dry place, and store your diamond jewelry separately as the diamonds can easily scratch other gemstones.

When storing jewelry, there are a few key points to keep in mind.


Showcasing your jewelry in your home can allow your diamonds and your personality to shine through.

Beware of: out of sight, out of mind. If you tuck your precious pieces into small boxes or hidden compartments of your jewelry box, you may run the risk of never seeing (or wearing) them again.

You Are Unique . . . Just Like Your Jewelry

Just as diamonds come in all shapes and sizes, so do jewelry storage options. The best method will depend on the space you have available, the type of jewelry you own and your own preferences. Depending on the amount and value of your various pieces, you may want to opt for a jewelry box or for a jewelry armoire, both of which are available in a variety of sizes and designs.

A jewelry tree is great for hanging and showcasing some of your pieces. You have the option of buying one or of making your own. If you are buying one, we recommend making sure it works for your situation and is of good quality. If you want to embark on a DIY adventure and create your own jewelry tree, get creative with it by customizing it to reflect your personal style and unique personality.

For those of you who would consider yourselves jewelry connoisseurs – a standing mirrored jewelry box or armoire can store a lot of jewelry and your pieces are visible when you open it.

I like to make sure my jewelry pieces are visible, so I decided to get creative with my candelabra (see photo above). This option works great for inexpensive (yet trendy) pieces that I wear on a daily basis.

Safety and Security

For your own peace of mind, be aware that some jewelry pieces, such as high-end diamond jewelry, have very specific storage requirements. To keep your jewelry looking its best, you may want to store your diamond jewelry in a separate cloth pouch or lined case, in order to keep it from coming into contact with other pieces. This type of storage also helps to prevent dust and surface residue.

It is always better to be safe than sorry, so assume that whenever a jewelry item is valuable, extra consideration should be given to its proper care and storage.

Another consideration for valuable jewelry is the option of storage in a safe in order to avoid the possibility of theft.

For the time being, I have peace of mind knowing that my jewelry is safely hanging on my candelabra.

Maybe one day I will need a safe?

A girl can dream …

Until next time, thanks for letting me drive you to distraction by all that glitters!

Diamond and Gold Jewelry on a Toothbrush

How to Clean Diamond Jewelry at Home

All that glitters is your gold… When you take the proper care.

The diamond is the best known gemstone in the world. Clean diamonds sparkle because the maximum amount of light can enter the stone and return to your eyes in a (Kimber) firey brilliance.

Diamonds and jewelry are designed and crafted to last you a lifetime, however, proper care is important in order to maintain the lasting qualities.

How to clean and care for your carbon crystals.

Some pieces, such as diamond engagement and wedding rings are often worn around the clock. If this sounds like you, learning how to properly care for them will go a long way.

Soap scum, hair conditioner, and dirty dishes, oh my! While diamonds are durable, they can easily become smudged, soiled and dusty thanks to lotions, powders, soaps and even the natural oils from our skin. All can create a film on your jewelry, cutting down on your sparkle potential.

Do not clean your jewelry with chemicals such as ammonia or bleach. These chemicals can wreak havoc on your jewelry, from discoloring bands, to dulling stones, to even eroding enamel or glue.

Do-it-yourself guide to cleaning your diamond jewelry.

I recently decided that it was time for me to keep calm, and for my jewelry items to sparkle on; so in true DIY fashion, I grabbed some gloves, an old toothbrush and some dish soap and got to work.

You can clean your diamonds regularly using a commercial jewelry cleaner, or use a mild detergent such as Palmolive dish soap like I did. I chose the Palmolive with the added citrus scent. This made for a very refreshing DIY experience.

Before you start cleaning, I recommend that you collect the following materials:

Latex gloves; small bowl; dish soap or alternate mild detergent; old (clean) soft-bristle toothbrush; lint-free cloth.

In a small bowl, create a mix of warm water and a mild detergent. The warm water will loosen up any oils on the stones. Then, place your jewelry in the bowl.

Soak your jewelry for a few minutes and then scrub with the toothbrush. Make sure to get under the stone as dirt and oil can easily gather there.

You can use a strainer to rinse the diamond jewelry, and then lay it flat to dry on a soft, lint-free cloth.

I guess I don’t need a new diamond ring after all…

Keep calm and sparkle on.

I am now a believer that with proper care and maintenance of your jewelry items, you will be delighted to see that your diamond really can sparkle and last a lifetime.

Now that your jewelry is at its sparkling potential, thanks to your time and efforts… what is the best way to properly store it?

I’ll be touching on this in my next article so make sure to check back for a very fun way of keeping your jewelry both safe AND readily available!

How did this process work out for you and your jewelry? Let me know in the comments below!

Valentine's Day Jewelry Gift Ideas

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for the Diamond in Your Life

We may be biased, but diamond jewelry is a great idea.

Oh, Valentine’s Day. How can a day that’s meant to be about love end up being so stressful? Of course, it doesn’t have to be. The perfect gift could be flowers and chocolate, cooking a nice dinner, or even cleaning the house. But sometimes you need to go that extra step to really sweep her off her feet.  And I can’t think of a better way to do that than with diamond jewelry.

Now, unless you’re thinking along the lines of our final recommendation (no pressure), I definitely recommend keeping the gifted piece simple, elegant and timeless. This is always my preferred route for surprise jewelry, unless you have a clear idea of a unique style she would love. There is also no need to break the bank for a “just because I love you” Valentine’s Day gift… unless you want to of course.

Starting from the ears and working our way down.

Where else would we start? Diamond stud earrings are a versatile, classic and modern addition to any outfit. They can be worn 24/7, are comfortable and, no matter the size, they always look great. This is one of the great things about diamond stud earrings; you can create a pair for almost any budget.

Style: The classic style is a 4-prong diamond stud earring, but there are endless options, including 3-prong “martini” style studs, studs with a diamond halo around them and perhaps a pair of bezel set diamond studs. These all work well, and are worth considering if you know her style calls for it.

Metal: When it comes to the metal to be used, definitely opt for white gold or platinum, unless she wears exclusively yellow gold or has a stated preference toward it. For the most part, 14k white gold will work well here as there’s not a lot of wear and tear on these pieces. We also make diamond stud earrings in 18k white gold or platinum, if you are looking for something more.

Shape: The most common diamond shapes used for earrings are round and princess cuts, but of course any diamond shape would work beautifully.

Clarity: With diamond earrings, it is common to use a lower clarity diamond (such as I1), as the diamonds are not usually looked at too closely or for a long period of time. This also allows you to maximize the size of the diamonds and can work well if the diamonds have nice, white and well placed inclusions. My preference is to stick to the eye-clean clarity range, being SI2 or above, to make sure they really shine.

Colour: As far as colour goes, keep as close to white as possible. I+ colour is best in my opinion.

Confused? Check out our diamond education section for further explanation on any of the above terminology.

A neckline like that deserves some attention.

If she already owns a pair of diamond stud earrings, a necklace is a great option that can easily compliment her day-to-day jewelry. As with earrings, you can make a necklace for almost every budget.

The classic option is a diamond solitaire pendant. This can be made from any diamond shape but is typically round or princess cut. If she has a pair of diamond earrings she wears all the time then match them in shape (unless you know there’s something else she’s been dreaming of).

Other options for a necklace include a pendant with a halo around it, a bezel set diamond pendant, or perhaps a bezel set diamond “floating” on the chain.

If you really want to go all out this Valentine’s Day, you can always go for more than one diamond. Two, three… or how about 95? A beautiful “tennis” or “riviera” style necklace is essentially a string of diamonds and can be graduated in the sizes used (larger at the bottom and smaller as the strand goes up and around the neck) or can be a uniform size across. Tempting, isn’t it?

Our diamond quality recommendations for necklaces are very similar to those for earrings, but as you spend more on the necklace (and especially if you are going for an option with multiple diamonds) we recommend leaning toward the nicer categories. A necklace is front and centre after all.

If her ring finger is bare… and you’re ready for it.

Finally, Valentine’s Day might be the perfect time to take your relationship to the next level. She might only be expecting flowers and chocolate, but imagine her reaction when she gets a commitment from you like no other? We are always here to meet with you to discuss all the options you have for this most precious of diamond jewelry gifts.

Wishing you and your loved one a very special Valentine’s Day this year, and be sure to let us know how you are celebrating the day in the comments below!