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Radiant Ruby: The July Birthstone

Tap your heels together three times and repeat after us: there’s no birthstone like ruby, there’s no birthstone like ruby, there’s no birthstone like ruby.

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Ruby, the July birthstone, is simply luxurious. Its blood-red color has been prized for millennia. Rubies are mentioned multiple times in the bible, were described by Pliny in the first century AD, and are named “the king of gems” – ratnaraj – in Sanskrit. Traditionally mined in South Asia, and in particular Thailand and Myanmar, they made their way via the silk road to all corners of the ancient world. 

Though rubies likely rose to royal status first in ancient India, they were quickly adopted into noble families wherever they went. Jaw-dropping ruby jewelry sets are currently worn by the royal families of England, Denmark, and Portugal. And a bit further back, Marco Polo wrote that the Chinese emperor Kublai Khan, upon visiting the ruby mines of Sri Lanka, was so taken by the gems’ beauty that he offered to trade a whole city for one particularly massive scarlet stone. 

Ruby’s Meaning

Ruby birthdays enjoy a wealth of special ruby meanings, among them passion, love, wisdom, wealth, and power. Nice. The ruby’s depth of history and meaning certainly makes them one of the more impressive birthstones; July babies are lucky enough to have an excuse to wear these charmed gems year-round.

The Ruby Anniversary

If you’re celebrating your 40th wedding anniversary, there can be no gift other than rubies. 40 years of marriage calls for the Ruby Anniversary, and there are plenty of ruby jewelry gifts to celebrate with.

Ruby’s Durability

It’s almost as if ruby were made to be worn. At a 9 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, rubies are quite close to diamonds in terms of toughness. They’re incredibly durable and resistant to scratching. No matter how or when you wear them, they’ll come out the other side looking as good as can be. 

Fun fact: The ruby is very closely related to the sapphire; both precious stones are a variety of the mineral corundum. However, ruby exists at the redder end of the spectrum.

The July Birthstone: Ruby Rings

A ruby ring is the perfect birthstone gift. Special, singular, and super scarlet – gifting a beautiful ruby in a meaningful setting will melt the heart of any July birthday. The ultimate advantage of a ruby ring? The wearer can always see it. They’ll hold it up to the light, wiggle their fingers, and let your ruby birthstone ring shine. 

Petite Ruby
Birthstone Ring

petite ruby ring - ruby birthstone blog

A dainty, minimalist yellow gold ruby ring for the ages. This is a beautiful ring that is perfect for daily wear. While it’s classically gorgeous on its own, it won’t steal the spotlight of other rings – say, an engagement ring. 

The ideal ruby gift for: giving as a special, but not over-the-top, July birthday present to a loved one.

Diamond Bar and
Ruby Ring

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This asymmetrical diamond and ruby open ring throws tradition for a loop. This is a ruby birthstone gift for the July birthday who’s always got a one-up on the up-and-coming. Trendy? Check.

The ideal ruby gift for: a July baby who never stops looking for the next unique jewelry piece to add to their crazy stylish jewelry ward.

Diamond Halo
Ruby Ring

pave diamong ruby halo ring ruby birthstone blog

Engagement rings don’t always have to feature center diamonds. If you’re thinking of proposing to a July baby, consider featuring a stunning crimson ruby. If you don’t want to forgo the “forever” stone completely, accent diamonds are ruby’s classic partner in crime. 

The ideal ruby gift for: proposing to your July-born beloved! 

Diamond and Ruby
Split-Shank Ring

oval ruby ring - ruby birthstone blog

This unique oval ruby is set horizontally in the less common “East-West” style and zhuzhed up with two petite round accent diamonds nestled in a yellow gold split shank solitaire setting.

The ideal ruby gift for: marking big occasions, like a graduation, a promotion, or a marriage.

The July Birthstone: Ruby Necklaces

A ruby necklace is the birthstone gift for the extroverted July birthday. It makes its wearer an instant subject of attention. What’s better than a stunning ruby pendant to punctuate a grand entrance? 

Imperial Diamond and
Ruby Necklace

regal ruby pendant necklace - ruby birthstone blog

A truly magnificent, 7-ruby clustered pendant, accented with over 25 petite round diamonds. This is a necklace to wear to your most special events.

The ideal ruby gift for: A particularly memorable wedding anniversary with the July love of your life.

Diamond Halo and
Ruby Necklace

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Sweet, petite, and what a treat!  

The ideal ruby gift for: A beloved July birthday who needs a bit more shine in their life.

The July Birthstone: Ruby Bracelets

Diamond and Ruby
Tennis Bracelet

diamond and ruby tennis bracelet - ruby birthstone blog

Make your very special July baby feel even more glorious with a diamond tennis bracelet customized to them. This 3-prong tennis bracelet is studded with fine rubies, making a beloved classic even better.

The ideal ruby gift for: A recently-promoted special someone who deserves to celebrate their professional achievements.

Diamond and Ruby
Bangle Bracelet

diamond and ruby bangle - ruby birthstone blog

Slip on this ruby bangle and start celebrating. This half-scalloped diamond and ruby bangle has party vibes – but in an elegant way.

The ideal ruby gift for: The July birthday who’s a regular at invitation-only rooftop parties.

The July Birthstone: Ruby Earrings

Inside-Out Diamond and
Ruby Hoop Earrings

diamond and ruby hoop earrings - ruby birthstone blog

These studded diamond and ruby earrings are cute additions to your gemstone wardrobe. Popping on these sparkling huggie hoops is the simple formula for an instant good day.

The ideal ruby gift for: the July baby who owns a closet full of sundresses and matching kitten heels. 

Diamond Halo and
Ruby Earrings

ruby halo stud earrings ruby birthstone blog

These are ruby stud earrings, with extra! Floating diamond halos pump up these studs with glitter. 

The ideal ruby gift for: the jewelry wearer who won’t settle for anything less than maximum sparkle.

To Sum It Up

Rubies are a bold gemstone with a deep-rooted royal history. Anyone with a July birthday has lucked out, since the ruby is a birthstone with gusto. Extremely durable, this scarlet stone can be worn all the way to your next July birthday with minimal upkeep needed. Gifting ruby jewelry is a surefire way to memorably mark your next July milestone.

Read Up On Birthstones Year-Round

  1. January Garnet
  2. February Amethyst
  3. March Aquamarine
  4. April Diamonds
  5. May Emerald
  6. June Pearls
  7. July Ruby
  8. September Sapphire
  9. November Citrine
  10. December Topaz

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Rachel Hoar

Rachel is an unabashed linguistics fanatic who can identify the ancient Greek root of any word. She promises not to spray you with Windex.

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Summer Proposal Spots And Sparklers To Match

Planning on proposing this summer? We’ve covered your proposal spot AND an engagement ring to match! 

Summer Proposal Ocean-Island Spot And Diamond Engagement Ring

If popping the question to your SO is on the to-do list this summer, you’ve come to the right place. We’re turning up the heat with proposal spot ideas so you can start the season off with a bang. From intimate beaches to exquisite European settings, read on for our top summer proposal locations with the perfect rings to match the occasion.

Hit The Beach: Twisted Pavé

Summer’s in the air and it’s the perfect time to hit the beach with your special someone. But there’s a twist – we’re talking about these stunning white and yellow gold pavé engagement rings of course! If your favorite dates include fun in the sun, the beach is your go-to proposal spot this summer. 

Planning Tip: If you’re set on a beach proposal, make sure you know which setting your partner will enjoy more. Find a quiet spot closer to sunset if your SO is the shy type.

Next, keep the ring in its ring box. We can’t stress this enough. If that beauty falls into the sand or heaven fordid, the water, we’ll start crying for you. Get one of your friends or another beachgoer to capture your “yes” moment on camera, and don’t forget your sunblock!

Summer Proposal On The Beach Front

European Style: Vintage

Now’s the perfect time to surprise your SO, together with a gorgeous European backdrop. From the cliché’ Paris proposal to the French Riviera or a Tuscan getaway, there are plenty of options and sparkle to choose from. With this type of proposal spot comes a more traditional approach and we’ve got the perfect choice – vintage engagement rings.

Planning Tip: A European-inspired proposal may take a little more effort when planning. Keep in mind you aren’t a local, so it’s important that you scout the location, know its peak hours, and double-check the weather report beforehand. The more sure you are of the tiny details, the less stressed you’ll be to pop the big question.

Summer Proposal And Diamond Engagement Ring In Front Of The Eiffel Tower

Get Lost In Nature: Side-Stone

If you’re the outdoorsy type, this may just be your dream proposal spot this summer. Feel the thrill of the wild on a safari, take a hike or find the perfect sunset to set the tone. Talk about a cliffhanger? Keep it simple with a side stone engagement ring and let nature do the rest.

Planning Tip: Safety first is our main tip here. Being in nature can be both beautiful but also unpredictable. If you’re planning a summer proposal that involves mountains and wild animals, make sure you have a first aid kit for minor bumps and scrapes, lots of snacks (so no one gets Hangry), and let your safari guide know in advance about your plan- chances are they’ll help you make it extra special.

Summer Proposal At The Top Of A Mountain Range

Greek Getaway: Solitaire

We reckon an island vibe is an almost sure-fire way to get that ‘YES!’. Seriously, is there a dreamier place for your summer proposal than Santorini? Pair a gorgeous white gold engagement ring with the ethereal beauty that is Greece and you’ll think you’ve landed in heaven.

Planning Tip: Okay, so this proposal spot makes us all kinds of jealous. Make it truly exotic by finding the perfect setting. Here you have anything from white sandy beaches to Ancient Greek monuments to choose from. Go the extra mile and do it somewhere “wow.” Find a local photographer beforehand, so there’s someone there to capture your special engagement moment.

Summer Proposal In Greece At The Ocean Side

 Desert Adventure: Halo

This one is for the adventure seekers and risk-takers! If your partner fits the description then a desert backdrop may just be your calling. The ring of choice? Be bold with yellow gold engagement rings and choose a halo setting. Once her eyes lock on one of these dazzlers, you’ll never be ‘deserted’ again 😉

Planning Tip: We know this one isn’t for everybody, but a desert proposal can be EPIC. It can be done in broad daylight after a day of excitement. Try planning activities like dune bashing, sandboarding, hiking, or quad biking.

If you’re feeling a little romantic, find a glamping spot and propose to your love under the sparkling desert night sky. Research which clothing will be best for the desert’s unique weather conditions. 

Summer Proposal In The Desert With A Diamond Engagement Ring

 Proposal plans sorted? Check out the articles below to get more inspiration!

  1. At-Home Proposal Ideas From TV And Film
  2. Engagement Ring Care: Have Bling, Will Travel
  3. Urban Glamming: Unique Places To Propose

Subscribe to our email list for access to secret sales, practical ring-buying tips, and $100 off your first purchase!

Jarred Maram

Jarred is a writer by day and unofficial office ping pong champion

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Fancy Shaped Diamonds: Discover Your Unique Style

Are you gearing up for that special proposal or perhaps ready to invest in new sparkle? Take a peek at our fancy shaped diamonds, and see our top picks! 

Fancy diamond engagement ring

A fancy shaped diamond is a perfect choice for anyone who wants to dazzle with a trendy yet timeless diamond. If you’re not sure what these diamonds look like, don’t panic. We’ve taken the time to explain why we love our favorite diamond cuts and why you’ll fall head over heels for them, too. 

We’ve covered just about any style, from elongated shapes like marquise and oval to square favorites like cushion and asscher. Each diamond cut comes with its own pros and cons, but we’ll let you be the judge of what shape intrigues you most. 

Over time, popularity shifts between which diamond shapes are going to offer the most finger space coverage and sparkle. No matter your preference, there’s a unique diamond for everyone and yearly engagement ring trends to help sway you. Keep reading to learn more about our top picks.

Oval Cut Diamonds

The oval cut is considered to be the second most popular fancy shaped diamond, after the classic round cut. This cut proves to be elegant in every way that matters and can often appear larger than it is because of its elongated shape. 

Its slender body often helps to make the hand and fingers appear slimmer, a tidbit we surely can’t ignore, right, ladies? Finally, the diamond has no sharp corners, making it a better investment if you’re afraid of chipping. 

Infinity Solitaire Engagement Ring

How to promise forever? With a sleek and timeless infinity solitaire engagement ring, of course.

Split Shank Ribbon Engagement Ring

14K Yellow Gold Split Shank Ribbon Engagement Ring

It’s the ribbon of pavé circling the center diamond for us.  

Emerald Cut Diamonds

Emerald cut diamonds are a stunning choice for those who want clean-cut lines and symmetry. Stonecutters created this fancy shaped diamond by using the same cut as emeralds. This diamond, as a result, has a large surface area with pristine clarity, a feature that will make anyone wearing it the emerald green-envy of their friends. 

One of the most famous emerald cuts sits on the hand of Queen B herself, and who doesn’t want to feel like they’re mirroring Beyonce’s style? 

Petite Pavé Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Petite Pave Engagement Ring (Flush Fit)

This French cut pavé diamond engagement ring will make you shine bright from every angle with sparkling confidence. 

Regal Frame Engagement Ring

18K Yellow Gold Regal Frame Diamond Engagement Ring

This engagement ring screams vintage romance. 

Asscher Cut Diamonds

The Asscher cut is similar to an emerald cut, except it’s in square form with cropped corners. It pairs beautifully with smaller diamonds to create a three stone design with the asscher diamond at the center. 

These stunning diamonds are clear and bright, often sparkling the way they do because of their centralized facets. 

They won’t give the same finger coverage as a pear or oval shape, but their unique pattern is enchanting for anyone looking to wear vintage glamor. 

Octagon Halo Engagement Ring

14K Rose Gold Octagon Halo Diamond Engagement Ring

Simple yet so expressive. This asscher-shaped center diamond, along with the pavé octagon halo, is the perfect blend of sparkle and sophistication. 

Bezel & Pavé Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Antique Bezel And Pavé Set Engagement Ring

Looking for something with vintage boldness? This engagement piece is a knockout with its cleverly designed pavé and bezel accents.

Pear Shaped Diamonds

A shimmering delight is what you’ll get when wearing this pear shaped diamond. It shares a common structure with the marquise cut; the only difference is a pointed tip with a rounded edge on top. A pear cut is effortlessly graceful and never fails to get that ‘wow” reaction.

These diamonds come with a bow tie as a result of the stretching facets. As a fancy shaped diamond, this dark spot could be a stunning character feature of the piece or one that you choose to minimize by finding a longer and narrow pear shape.

Prong-Set Engagement Ring

14K Rose Gold Prong Set Diamond Engagement Ring

There’s no escaping the appeal of this dynamic prong set which exposes the center and side diamonds to the most light possible to create a magical glimmer.

Laurel Leaves Engagement Ring

14K Yellow Gold Laurel Leaves Diamond Engagement Ring

A unique and earthy beauty. This piece is the perfect blend of elegance and nature and shines bright with four marquise diamonds surrounding the dazzling pear-cut diamond.    

Marquise Cut Diamonds

We consider this boat-shaped diamond  to be the most “fancy” as its historical heritage goes back centuries and was modeled by royalty. Known as the “navette” diamond, French for “little ship,” the marquise cut captures the eye with its point to point symmetry and Elvin sophistication. 

This cut is not only perfect for diamond engagement rings but compliments other gems like sapphires, rubies, and emeralds.

Comfort Fit Solitaire Engagement Ring

14K Yellow Gold 2mm Comfort Fit Solitaire Engagement Ring (Six Prong)

Looking for a classic with a twist? This petite and elegant piece has spirit with a neat marquise cut diamond at center stage with a comfy yellow gold band. 

Pavè Split Shank Engagement Ring

14K Yellow Gold Pavé Split Shank Contour Diamond Engagement Ring

Who doesn’t love a diamond-encrusted setting contouring a breathtaking marquise cut? We know we do.

Cushion Cut Diamonds

Cushion cut diamonds have a lot going for them. You’ll find these gorgeous beauties on the hands of celebrities from the likes of Gabrielle Union, to Sofia Vegara. Not only do they have a classic appeal with a rich history, but they’re overwhelmingly wholesome given their complexities. 

Their soft pillow-like appearance is a pleasant contrast from our other favorite fancy shaped diamonds, which sport sharper edges. We highly recommend this shape if you’re looking for a delicate temperament diamond.

Two-Tone Solitaire Engagement Ring

14K Gold Two-Tone 2.0mm Comfort-Fit Cathedral Solitaire Engagement Ring

A two-toned ring band is a simple and fun way to wear a chic classic with a modern touch.

Three Stone Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Diamond Three Stone Ring

This engagement ring looks as durable as it does stylish. Each diamond is held in place with seamless weaving that only adds to the ring’s strapping features.  

Final Thoughts

When it comes to picking the right fancy shaped diamond for you, James Allen has all the tools and convenience you need to browse and design your own engagement ring online. Visit our education center for  all you need to know about diamond shapes to fine jewelry, and more! 

Fancy Yourself A Diamond? Check Out Our Shape Series For More Inspo:

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Jessica Thomas

Jessica feels too much anxiety trying to come up with a cool bio. Read her awesome blog post instead.

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Lab-Created Diamonds vs. Simulant Diamonds: Everything You Need To Know

If you’re looking for an affordable alternative to a traditional diamond, you’ve come to the right place. We’re explaining the pros and cons of real diamonds and diamond simulants, so you can choose the right stone for you.

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Note: At James Allen, we sell only U.S. Federal Trade Commission-certified true diamonds, which includes both lab-created diamonds and earth-created diamonds.

What’s A “Real Diamond”?

The term “diamond” refers to a very specific stone: the crystalline form of carbon. While other forms of carbon exist, what makes diamond special is its particular atomic configuration. A carbon atom can bond with a maximum of 4 other atoms – and in diamond, all the available spots are taken by…other carbon atoms! That’s right, it’s carbon all the way. And this results in an extremely stable, super hard, super sparkling stone. 

Loose diamonds 4
Earth-created diamonds

The Lab Created Diamond

The crystalline form of carbon we call “diamond” can be attained only through intense heat, constant pressure, and a good amount of time. Nowadays, we can achieve that in a lab in specialized machines that knock a few billion years off the cooking time. The result is a lab-made diamond that differs from an earth-created diamond in name only. If you were to look at both types of diamonds through a professional jeweler’s loupe, or if you were to inspect both diamonds on a molecular level, you would see no difference. The same result achieved through very different processes. Lab-grown diamonds and earth-created diamonds are optically and chemically identical, the only difference being their relative origins. And this difference in origin leads lab grown diamonds to flaunt a much lower price point.

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Lab-created diamonds

Simulants, however, are not diamonds. They’re different minerals that bear a resemblance to diamonds. We’ll dig into two of the most popular diamond simulants: cubic zirconia and moissanite.

Diamond Simulants: Cubic Zirconia and Moissanite

Diamond simulants are various types of man-made stones that are synthesized for the purpose of being diamond lookalikes. These clear, sparkling stones mimic the beauty of a diamond, but at a much lower cost. However, they do display marked differences to both lab-created and earth-mined diamonds in non-visual traits. Why does this matter? It’s important to remember that clarity is only one characteristic of jewelry stones. Color, resilience, and sparkle vary between these different stones; stones’ specific characteristics can greatly affect how you wear them in jewelry, and their lifetime cost to you.

Cubic Zirconia

What is cubic zirconia?

Cubic zirconia is arguably the most popular diamond simulant. It’s a man-made, crystalline form of zirconium dioxide. 

How is cubic zirconia made?

In a laboratory, zirconium oxide powder is melted into various stabilizing agents at a super-high temperature of nearly 5,000 degrees F. When left to cool, this mineral mixture forms crystals, which can then be cut and polished into jewelry-grade stones.

Moissanite

What is moissanite?

Moissanite is a form of silicon carbide crystal that’s synthesized in a lab. The result is a clear stone that, on the surface, bears a striking resemblance to real diamonds

How is moissanite made?

Moissanite occurs naturally, but it’s incredibly rare. Thus, all the affordable moissanite on the market today is created in a lab. 

Distinguishing Between Diamonds and Diamond Simulants

Durability

The standard measurement to determine a stone’s strength is the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. It describes a mineral’s resistance to being scratched, and is measured from 0 (maximum softness) to 10 (maximum hardness).

Lab-created diamonds and earth-created diamonds:

Diamonds are the toughest stones out there. They score a maximum 10 on the Mohs scale, meaning they can withstand absolutely anything you throw at them in your daily life. This durability is one of the reasons diamonds are the go-to stone for engagement rings, which are worn daily for decades at a time. Because diamonds’ structure never changes, they can be passed on as family heirlooms. Both lab-grown diamonds and earth-created diamonds will last for, well, forever. 

Moissanite:

While moissanite isn’t the hardest mineral out there, it’s close. It scores a 9.25 on the Mohs scale. It’s more susceptible to scratching than diamonds are, but it still holds up extremely well to daily wear-and-tear.

Cubic zirconia:

Cubic zirconia is moderately hard. At an 8 on the Mohs scale, its resilience is comparable to that of other jewelry stones like emerald, beryl, and amethyst. Because it’s scratch-resistant, but not scratch-proof, cubic zirconia (particularly much-worn stones like those in engagement rings) often acquires many tiny scratches that cloud its appearance. When this occurs, a professional jeweler can recut the stone to restore its clarity.

Laurel Side-Stone Diamond Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Laurel Leaves Diamond Engagement Ring

“Love it! I got an oval diamond for my girlfriend and she loves it, so many compliments about the vintage style to the setting. It looks amazing.”
– Brian L.

Marquise Side Stone Diamond Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Shared Prong Marquise Side Stone Diamond Engagement Ring

I am absolutely in love with my ring! It is so beautiful. The diamond is sparkly and the setting is also very beautiful. Dainty and feminine.
– Christine L.

Lifespan

Lab-created diamonds and earth-created diamonds

How long do diamonds last? Well, you’ll never have to throw one out due to deterioration. As the famous De Beer’s slogan correctly claims, “A diamond is forever.” The oldest diamonds found have existed for nearly 4 billion years, and they’re holding strong. You can rest assured that any diamond you buy, whether earth-mined or lab-created, can be comfortably passed down through the generations. 

Moissanite:

Though not as long-lasting as diamonds, moissanite will comfortably last for decades without any significant degradation in quality. However, since it’s a relatively newly-recognized mineral, its exact lifespan is unknown. Although discovered over a century ago, jewelry-grade moissanite crystals only began to be synthesized in the 1970’s and only became widely available in the 1980’s. Meaning, many couples getting engaged today with moissanite engagement rings were born before moissanite engagement rings became a thing. 

Cubic Zirconia:

Cubic zirconia are made for short-term wear. With daily wear, you can expect them to last less than 5 years. This means cubic zirconia is a great “for the time being” stone; you can wear it as a placeholder until you replace it with your dream diamond. Be advised that contact with common chemicals will cause cubic zirconia to lose its shine, making it wearable for shorter periods of time. So make sure to remove cubic zirconia jewelry before doing daily tasks like putting on lotion, using cleaning supplies, or using hairspray.

Martini Diamond Stud Earrings

14K Yellow Gold Three Prong Martini Round Brilliant Diamond Stud Earrings

“These diamond studs far exceeded any expectations. They truly glisten. Quality is outstanding. So happy with them!”
– Anita P.

Halo Diamond Stud Earrings

14K White Gold Halo Lab Created Diamond Stud Earrings

Beautiful earrings for a great price! I ordered the VS1 1CT lab-created diamond halo earrings. They are stunning and my wife loves them. Great quality and the pricing is competitive.
-Shivam J.

Color

Lab-created diamonds and earth-created diamonds

Colorless isn’t the only option! Due to trace elements in their composition, diamonds can display a range of colors. Plus, diamonds’ color is permanent. It won’t change at high temperatures or fade over time. 

Moissanite:

Moissanite exhibits “thermochromism,” meaning that it is sensitive to color change at temperatures above 150° F (65 C). These are usually temporary, but these heat-sensitive color changes can sometimes be permanent.

Cubic zirconia:

Cubic zirconia doesn’t change color when exposed to heat, but under UV radiation it can turn color, albeit temporarily. Most commonly, it turns yellowish, light green, or white. Indoors your stone will remain clear, but if you go outside on a sunny day it may change hue.

Kite-Set Diamond Pendant Necklace

14K Yellow Gold Kite Set Solitaire Lab Created Diamond Pendant

‘My wife loves her new solitaire necklace. The chain is dainty, perfect length and great quality.”
– Kylie O.

Four-Prong Solitaire Diamond Pendant Necklace

14K White Gold Four Prong Basket Solitaire Lab Created Diamond Pendant

More incredible than I could have hoped! I have to say, I am so impressed! This design is just perfect and really lets the diamond shine.
– Maggie L.

Sparkle

A diamond’s sparkle is largely thanks to two qualities: brilliance and fire.

“Brilliance” is a specific term describing a gemstone’s ability to return white light. It’s measured by the refractive index; a higher refractive index indicates a greater amount of white light reflected. The more white light reflected, the brighter the gemstone appears to the human eye.

“Fire” refers to a gemstone’s ability to return colored light, and is measured by the dispersion score. The higher a gemstone’s dispersion, the more it will display a rainbow of colors.

Lab-created diamonds and earth-created diamonds

Diamonds have a refractive index of 2.42 and their faceting pattern returns light remarkably. They’re strikingly bright, but not too much so. Its dispersion is relatively low, at 0.044, so diamonds remain quite bright, with only minimal colorful sparkle. The combination of this brilliance (reflected white light) and fire (refracted color) give diamonds a truly balanced and unparalleled sparkle.

Moissanite:

Moissanite actually has a higher refractive index than diamonds, at 2.65, and thus appears incredibly bright under natural light. However, moissanite has crazy high dispersion: 0.104. This is why it reflects back a ton of colored light, leading to a “rainbow effect” that tends to overshadow its brilliance. The rainbow effect tends to make moissanite look fake to the well-trained eye, and is especially noticeable under natural light and in larger stones. In short, moissanite can often appear “too sparkly” under certain lights.

Cubic zirconia:

With a refractive index of 2.15, cubic zirconia is the least brilliant of the bunch. Its lower score means that it reflects less light back to the eye, appearing duller than both diamond and moissanite under identical light. It has a slightly higher dispersion than diamond, around 0.058, but isn’t very noticeable. Under natural light it will appear quite white, but it will definitely lack the sparkle of either diamond or moissanite.

Four Prong Diamond Tennis Bracelet

14K White Gold Four Prong Lab Created Diamond Tennis Bracelet

My girlfriend absolutely loved this bracelet. It looks amazing. Her eyes shined as bright as the diamonds on this piece when she opened the box. Definitely worth it.”
– Isidro O.

Bezel-Set Diamond Tennis Bracelet

14K Rose Gold Bezel Diamond Tennis Bracelet

This bracelet just exceeds my expectations! The diamonds sparkle, the bracelet is smooth, and overall the design is very nice! I just love my bracelet and NEVER take it off!
– Beth L.

Ideal Size

Lab-created diamonds and earth-created diamonds

Diamonds come in every carat. At James Allen, we sell loose diamonds in a huge range of carat sizes: from petite diamonds in 0.20 carats, all the way to large diamonds that are upwards of a whopping 20 carats. Diamonds’ stunning bright white brilliance and minimal color dispersal looks amazing in any carat weight.

Moissanite:

Moissanite’s intense rainbow effect increases as the stone gets larger. For this reason, it’s best to avoid large moissanite stones in jewelry. Stick with the smaller sizes; under 1 carat is best. Think: diamond for center stones, and moissanite for accent stones.

Cubic zirconia:

Cubic zirconia comes in as wide a range of carat sizes as diamonds do. While you can find cubic zirconia in as large a carat as you’d like, it’s best to choose an average-sized carat (around 1 carat) both to maximize the amount of light that hits the stone, and to avoid the relatively dull shine that becomes obvious in larger stones.

Seven-Stone Domed Diamond Anniversary Ring

14K Rose Gold Seven Stone Low Dome Basket Diamond Ring

“This was an anniversary gift. It’s a beautiful ring. I loved it!”
– Pankaj S.

Five-Stone Shared Prong Diamond Anniversary Ring

14K Yellow Gold Five Stone Shared Prong Contour Diamond Ring

I received this ring in honor of our 35th wedding anniversary and it didn’t disappoint. The size and clarity of the diamonds are perfect!
– Annette S.

Cost

Earth-created diamonds: 

Traditional diamonds are the most expensive choice. The process of discovering, mining, and shipping earth-created diamonds is resource-intensive; the high cost of bringing them to market has helped diamonds achieve their luxe reputation.

Lab-created diamonds:

For when you want a real diamond, but want to pay 30% less. Because the process of creating a diamond takes significantly less time and resources than mining a diamond from the earth does, lab-made diamonds cost significantly less than earth-mined diamonds.

Moissanite:

This is quite affordable compared to diamond, but it’s the more expensive of the diamond simulants. Moissanite costs about half of what a traditional diamond under 1 carat costs. As a traditional diamond increases in carat weight, comparable moissanites become relatively more affordable. 

Cubic zirconia:

Cubic zirconia is the most budget-friendly choice. It costs next to nothing compared to a traditional diamond. While a colorless, eye-clean 1 carat diamond could cost thousands of dollars, a comparable cubic zirconia will cost only a few dozen dollars.

Twisted Shank Diamond Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Twisted Shank Contemporary Solitaire

“Stunning diamond & band! Perfect engagement ring, my fiancèe was floored at how beautiful the ring was. It was exactly what she wanted and she cannot stop raving about it. I’m extremely happy with this purchase.”
– Christopher R.

Bezel-Set Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring

14K Yellow Gold Comfort Fit Bezel Set Solitaire Engagement Ring

I love my ring. I love that it is a secure setting so that I don’t need to worry about prongs being damaged, and my diamond is insane – so sparkly!
– Anne B.

The Low-Down

Choose a classic earth-created diamond if:

  1. You love diamond’s sparkle
  2. You’ll wear your diamond jewelry often
  3. You admire the billions of years of history contained in each stone

Choose a modern lab-created diamond if:

  1. You love diamond’s sparkle
  2. You’ll wear your diamond jewelry often
  3. You want a large diamond at a lower price

Choose moissanite if:

  1. You’re on a budget
  2. You like small-carat stones
  3. You’ll wear your jewelry intensively

Choose cubic zirconia if:

  1. You’re on a budget
  2. You’ll wear your jewelry carefully and not every day
  3. You’re saving up for a more expensive stone

Choosing the stone that suits your lifestyle is an important part of designing meaningful jewelry that will last you throughout your life. And if you choose to buy either lab-created diamonds or earth-created diamonds, you can choose from 1000’s of beautiful options at James Allen.

Keep up on your diamond reading:

  1. Diamonds: The April Birthstone
  2. How To Take Care Of Your Diamond Jewelry
  3. Earth-Created Vs. Lab-Created Diamonds
  4. True Hearts™ Lab Created Diamonds
  5. Lab-Created Diamonds vs. Moissanite

Subscribe to our email list for access to secret sales, practical ring-buying tips, and $100 off your first purchase!

Rachel Hoar

Rachel is an unabashed linguistics fanatic who can identify the ancient Greek root of any word. She promises not to spray you with Windex.

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Top Engagement Ring Tips From the Experts

Top Engagement Ring Tips From the Experts

Buying an engagement ring and wondering where to begin? Scroll down for expert advice!

Happy couple smiling with an engagement ring after proposing

We sat down with Sarah, one of James Allen’s senior customer service reps, to talk about some common questions she encounters on a daily basis from customers. Whether it’s about buying an engagement ring or making proposal plans, read on for her top engagement ring tips and more!

1. Shape Your Thoughts

When you’re just getting started, we recommend thinking about shape preference. ‘A round center stone is never going to go out of style, and it is by far the most popular shape’ explains Sarah. If you don’t know where to begin, play it safe and go for a round center stone. Oval cut and pear-shaped diamonds are a good choice for those who prefer something more trendy.

 Three Stone Engagement Ring

This stunning engagement ring features two beautifully matched round shaped rubies as an accent to the exquisite center diamond of your choice. All three stones are set in a wire basket with a slightly rounded, airline shank.

14K White Gold Three Stone Round Ruby Engagement Ring

Split Shank Engagement Ring (Pear Center)

Featuring a pear-shaped center diamond, this solitaire ring gracefully accentuates the center stone with a delicate split shank. A minimalistic design that will not go unnoticed!

14K Yellow Gold Pear Shaped Classic Split Shank Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring

Graduated Halo Engagement Ring

This dashing engagement ring features a graduated diamond halo for a romantic yet dramatic look.

2. Timing Is Everything

When you’re thinking about the proposal, consider timelines and how long it takes to make your ring. ‘I always remind our customers to allow themselves enough time because all our rings are made to order’ adds Sarah. So, remember to give yourself enough time for that sparkler to arrive! Whatever you choose, allow yourself a few weeks before getting your hands on these stunners:

Petite Pavé Engagement Ring

This French Cut pavé diamond engagement ring is created to maximize the amount of light that hits the diamonds from all sides, set with a small V-shape under the diamond, increasing their individual sparkle. The custom tailored prongs are set into the shank of the ring, allowing a variety of bands to sit flush with the engagement ring.

Bird Of Paradise Engagement Ring

Marquise shape sapphires add a touch of something unexpected and dynamic to this unique, gorgeous ring.

Two-Tone Swirl Tension Engagement Ring (Pear Center)

For a uniquely modern take on the engagement ring, this style features the ability to add a pear-cut diamond of your choice to a two-tone tension ring. Distinctive and statuesque, it is the ultimate way to showcase the perfect diamond.

14K Two-Tone White And Yellow Gold Pear Shaped Swirl Tension Setting

3. Let’s Talk Budget

You may have heard about the ‘three month salary rule’, but we think you should establish what you’re comfortable spending overall. How much you should dish out isn’t an exact science! ‘Once we know what style the customer wants, the best-sellers are a good reference’ adds Sarah. These are stunning options that won’t necessarily break the bank:

Split Shank Solitaire Engagement Ring

This solitaire ring gracefully accentuates the center stone with a delicate split shank. A minimalistic design to keep it simple, but sparkly!

 Bow-Tie Channel Set Engagement Ring

This beautiful tapered engagement ring is channel-set with eight round shaped diamonds designed to draw the eye to the center diamond of your choice.

Looking to sparkle and save? We teamed up with proposal expert Stacy Stahl to cover all your ring budget questions, including:

  1. How much should you spend on a ring?  
  2. Does bigger mean better? 
  3. How can you save money? 
  4. What’s the average amount spent?

Listen to her tips in the video below to find the best bling for your buck:

4. A Two-Way Street

Engagement ring shopping is usually a two-way street. ‘You should always keep your partner in the loop and follow their lead’ advises Sarah. Your partner is going to be wearing the ring every day, so make sure they love it! If your SO hints for something other than a classic solitaire, try something different, like these vintage rings.

Vintage Infinity Engagement Ring

This eternity-style ring is crafted in a curving white gold band and features beading and milgrain detailing for infinite style and sparkle.

Regal Frame Engagement Ring

If you are looking for a romantic yet bold design, this engagement ring will match your highest expectations without any compromise. The cathedral shank with pavé stones meets an elegant diamond frame to set the stage for the center stone of your choice.

Looking for real-life proposal inspiration? Or just want to read some feel-good engagement stories? See how our customers have popped the question in our “Engagement Moments” section.

Ready to purchase your engagement ring? Check out the articles below to get more inspiration!

Engagement ring catch your eye? Share the love on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or in the comments below!

Subscribe to our email list for access to secret sales, practical ring-buying tips, and $100 off your first purchase!

Jarred Maram

Jarred is a writer by day and unofficial office ping pong champion

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CoverImage-1

New Flex: True Hearts™ Lab Created Diamonds

In the market for a perfectly cut diamond, for less? You may want to scroll down.

Are you gearing up to pop the question to your significant other and still deciding on an engagement ring? If you’re been exploring our website, you may be familiar with our exclusive collection of True Hearts™ diamonds and our budget-friendly, but sparkling lab created diamonds. Good news: for the first time ever, it’s your chance to score the best of both with our brand new collection of True Hearts™ Lab-Created diamonds. Curious? Keep reading to get the down-low. Be sure to read until the end, because we’ve got a surprise in store for you.

1. What Exactly Are True Hearts™ Diamonds?

When you’re looking for a diamond cut with the most perfect precision, look no further than a True Hearts™ diamond – the premier choice for a diamond that sparkles like nobody’s business.

Why, you ask?

The answer is simple. Since cut determines a diamond’s sparkle, the best cut diamonds will give you the best sparkle. 

How do we get the best cut? Our True Hearts™ collection is crafted by the crème de la crème of diamond cutters and features a one-of-a-kind pattern that resembles hearts and arrows. Now that’s what we call romantic! Just in case you were wondering, this exceptional cut also results in facet positioning that acts like tiny mirrors (cool!), which contributes to its off-the-charts sparkle (yay!). By the way, fewer than 1% of the world’s diamonds qualify as a True Hearts™ diamond. 

Still not quite sure of the difference between a True Hearts™ diamond and an earth-created diamond? Feast your eyes on two diamonds below so we can make things crystal clear. Both of these diamonds have VS2 clarity, the same D color and weigh 1.14 and 1.12 carats respectively. However, there is an $860 price difference between the two. Why? The diamond on the right is a premier cut True Hearts™ diamond. You can tell by observing the perfect internal reflection of arrows when viewed from above and hearts when viewed from below. The result? Perfect sparkle.

An added bonus of choosing a True Hearts™ diamond is that it can actually appear larger than other diamonds of the same size. Yep, you heard right. A superior-cut diamond will offer better angles and symmetry, which allows light to refract more effectively. Lesser cut diamonds will “swallow” their light, making them look smaller, in addition to giving off less sparkle.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Interested in purchasing a True Hearts™ round-cut diamond? Keep the following tips in mind:

  • Consistency in the hearts and arrows pattern. You should see eight hearts and eight arrows, and each should be the same size.
  • Even color saturation. Each red, black and white hearts and arrow pattern should exhibit similar color distribution.
  • Optical symmetry is key. A symmetrical hearts and arrows pattern will result in maximum light return. 

In addition to round cut, our True Hearts™ collection is also available in princess and cushion cuts. 

2. Earth-Created Vs. Lab Created Diamonds: The Low Down

You may be wondering: What is a lab created diamond and how is it different from earth-created diamonds? We’re here to clarify a few points before you decide if a True Hearts Lab-Created Diamond™ is right for you.

Lab created diamonds are optically and chemically identical to earth-created diamonds. The only difference between the two is their origin.

  • Earth-created diamonds are sourced from below the earth’s surface.
  • Lab grown diamonds are created in simulated ‘below-ground’ conditions in a lab.

Needless to say, producing the special carbon arrangement of earth-created diamonds is intense. We’re talking high heat and super high pressure. Plus, very few places in the world are capable of producing earth-created diamonds.

Thanks to technology, we no longer need to go digging for our precious stones. Scientists are now able to simulate the required extreme conditions using specialized pressure chambers in a lab. Lab created diamonds are grown from tiny carbon “seeds” that develop in these chambers over months, as incredibly hot gases deposit carbon atom-by-atom onto the original seed. The result? A diamond packing the same quality and sparkle, produced a billion times quicker.

3. Enter True Hearts™ Lab Created Diamonds

Now that you’re more familiar with our dazzling collection of True Hearts™ and lab created diamonds, we have some dazzling news to share. James Allen is now offering you a chance to get your hands on the perfect sparkle of our True Hearts™ diamonds, for less. If you’re looking for the same perfect sparkle of a True Hearts™ diamond, with the affordability of a lab-created diamond, you can get both with our True Hearts™ and lab-created diamonds

Our collection of True Hearts™ lab-created diamonds are optically and chemically identical to True Hearts™ earth-created diamonds. Each True Hearts™ lab created diamond contains the same perfect internal symmetry and proportions as well as the highest gem grading for cut and polish found in True Hearts™ earth-created diamonds. The only difference between the two is their origin.

Four Prong Pendant

This light four prong wire basket is designed to showcase the unique beauty of a round brilliant diamond of your choice. Truly a classic design that is perfect for any occasion!

14K White Gold Four Prong Basket Solitaire Diamond Pendant

Kite Set Solitaire Pendant

The finely crafted four prong wire basket pendant features a kite orientation to add a twist to the traditional solitaire necklace.

14K Yellow Gold Kite Set Solitaire Diamond Pendant

Halo Diamond Pendant

This beautifully crafted pendant showcases a halo of sparkling lab created round brilliant diamonds that elegantly frame the lab created center diamond.

14K White Gold Halo Lab Created Diamond Pendant

CALLING ALL DIAMOND LOVERS!

Ready for some good news? For the first time ever, JamesAllen.com is offering 10% off True Hearts™ Lab Created diamonds. It’s like getting the best of both worlds: a super ideal cut diamond at a super accessible price point. If you’re someone who loves the highest quality diamonds and saving lots of money, this one’s for you! Now you can buy any of these gorgeous engagement rings and get bang for your buck.

Petite Pavé Engagement Ring

This French Cut pavé diamond engagement ring is created to maximize the amount of light that hits the diamonds from all sides. Custom tailored prongs are set into the shank of the ring, allowing a variety of bands to sit flush with the engagement ring. 

14K Rose Gold Pave Halo And Shank Diamond Engagement Ring Round Center

Pavé Halo & Shank Engagement Ring

This gorgeous engagement ring features pavé set diamonds on the halo and along each side of the shank, highlighting the round cut center diamond or gemstone of your choice.

14K Rose Gold Pave Halo And Shank Diamond Engagement Ring

Knife Edge Solitaire Engagement Ring

The knife edge design of this ring draws attention to the center diamond showcasing its brilliance without detracting from its beauty.

14K White Gold 2mm Knife Edge Solitaire Engagement Ring

Ready to shop True Hearts™ Lab-Created diamonds? Check out the articles below to get more inspiration!

Engagement ring catch your eye? Share the love on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or in the comments below!

Subscribe to our email list for access to secret sales, practical ring-buying tips, and $100 off your first purchase!

Most Romantic & Creative Proposal Ideas Cover

Romantic & Creative Proposal Ideas: Our Top Picks

Stumped on how to pop the question? Read our most romantic and creative proposal ideas!

If you’re planning to propose soon, you’re probably wondering: How am I going to pull it off? That’s where we come in. We’ve put together a list of fun, romantic and creative proposal ideas to guide you in the right direction.

1. Take It Outside

If you’re the adventurous type – this one’s for you. The great outdoors offers breathtaking views and natural beauty that will take your proposal to the next level. Bold views deserve big sparkle. The ring of choice? A halo.

Its slender body often helps to make the hand and fingers appear slimmer, a tidbit we surely can’t ignore, right, ladies? Finally, the diamond has no sharp corners, making it a better investment if you’re afraid of chipping. 

City Hotspots: Take advantage of the beauty of your hometown. Every city is filled with unique landmarks, parks or buildings with an observation deck that’ll add a sentimental touch to your big moment.

Beach Stroll: Writing a message in the sand is simple, but as heartfelt as proposals get. And topped off with the perfect sunset? Most romantic proposal ever.

Take a Hike: Take your relationship to new heights. What better way to start your new journey together than to propose at the end of the trail? 

2. Get Creative

This one’s for all the out-the-box thinkers who want to add a creative twist to their proposals. If your partner is the artsy type we recommend going for a tension ring

Its slender body often helps to make the hand and fingers appear slimmer, a tidbit we surely can’t ignore, right, ladies? Finally, the diamond has no sharp corners, making it a better investment if you’re afraid of chipping. 

Photo Album: Gather all those special moments you’ve shared together, then leave a blank space with a title – ‘Our Engagement’ will do the trick. Don’t forget to have your camera on standby to capture the special moment!  

Bring Flowers: Seriously, flowers make everything better. Sprinkle your chosen spot with petals or declare your love with a flower-shaped heart – you do you. 

3. Unique Proposals

Unique proposals call for unique engagement rings – vintage. If you’re the creative type who pays attention to your partners passions, a fun-filled proposal might be your calling:

Its slender body often helps to make the hand and fingers appear slimmer, a tidbit we surely can’t ignore, right, ladies? Finally, the diamond has no sharp corners, making it a better investment if you’re afraid of chipping. 

Cook Up: If you’re in agreement that food = love, then we’ve got the perfect ingredients for a successful proposal. Bring the restaurant home by preparing something delicious. Prefer something a little more intimate? Be sure to check out these home-proposal ideas for inspo. 

Between The Lines: If a book is your partner’s second best thing to snuggle up with, we’ve got the perfect solution. Tie the ring to a ribbon, slip it in between the pages and let the magic unfold.

Cut Your Trailer: In a world of ever-changing technology, video creation has never been easier. Grab your smartphone and gather all your key-moments to show your partner right before getting down on one knee.

4. Recruit Some Help

Proposal planning can be stressful, so it’s the perfect time to let those closest to you extend a helping hand. Keep this one simple, but make it sparkly with a solitaire ring.

Its slender body often helps to make the hand and fingers appear slimmer, a tidbit we surely can’t ignore, right, ladies? Finally, the diamond has no sharp corners, making it a better investment if you’re afraid of chipping. 

Scavenger Hunt: This is a great way to involve your loved ones. Help each other plant clues at your favorite spots that’ll lead your partner to the final clue – a ring.

They Said Woof: Add a little awww factor to the proposal with the help of your loyal companion. Tie the ring to your dog’s collar and send them in your partner’s direction. 

Friends Or Family: Pick a location and keep it simple – being surrounded by the people you love most is enough to make it unforgettable.

Proposal plans in order? Check out the articles below to get more inspiration!

Subscribe to our email list for access to secret sales, practical ring-buying tips, and $100 off your first purchase!

Jarred Maram

Jarred is a writer by day and unofficial office ping pong champion

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covid-friendly spring porposal ideas

8 COVID-Friendly Spring Proposal Ideas

Spring is just around the corner, making it the perfect time for an outdoor (and COVID-friendly) proposal!

cover spring proposal ideas

If you’re looking for spring proposal ideas during the COVID era, we’ve got tips on planning the perfect one below. From beaches to camping, to drive-ins and hikes, there are a myriad of options to make your engagement unforgettable. As an added bonus, outdoor springtime proposals are usually also pet friendly – and who doesn’t want their unofficial, furry family members included on such a special day? Finally, if you’re in the market for an engagement ring, we’ve got good news for you: James Allen is always COVID-friendly. 

While planning a proposal can be a lot of work, just remember – within every spring lies the word ring. Coincidence? We think not. 

1. Hike Proposal with a View

If your partner loves exercise and nature, why not combine the two with a hike proposal? To get started, pick a trail filled with local flora and fauna. Revel at nature’s beauty as you make your way up to a scenic viewpoint – don’t worry, your hard work will pay off once you get to the top! Find a secluded spot with a great view and pop the question. 

Planning Tip: Spring proposal ideas can be sometimes thwarted by weather, so make sure to take into consideration the forecast (you don’t want rain or even a very cloudy day to dampen the mood), your partner’s level of fitness (most hikes are categorized into easy, medium and hard) and fill a backpack with water and snacks – just make sure not to forget the engagement ring!

Ring Tip: Consider an engagement ring that speaks to your partner’s appreciation of the outdoors like our Entangled Vines Ring.

Entangled Vines Engagement Ring

hike proposal
14K White Gold Entangled Vines Engagement Ring

2. Sunset Proposal at the Beach

There’s a reason why the beach is a classic spring proposal idea: the sea is as beautiful as it is romantic. If your significant other loves spending time on the coast, a beach proposal might be the way to go. Enjoy the gorgeous sky as the sun descends over a vast, blue ocean. Breathe in the gentle breeze before getting down on one knee and asking the question of a lifetime.  

Planning Tip: The coast is generally cooler than the inland, especially as the sun goes down, so make sure to bring jackets or blankets to account for the change in temperature. To make sure the timing is just right, be sure to check sunset times in advance and give yourself a buffer for any possible delays, like traffic jams and bathroom breaks. Romantic touches like candles and rose petals in the sand are best left for other settings – the wind will likely blow them away.

Ring Tip: Consider an engagement ring that evokes the serenity of the ocean and the beauty of the sunset, like our Rope Solitaire Ring. 

Rope Solitaire Engagement Ring

beach proposal
14K Rose Gold Rope Solitaire Engagement Ring

3. Lake Proposal

The ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu advised: “Make your heart like a lake with a calm, still surface and great depths of kindness.” If you don’t live near the coast and your partner loves water, a lake offers an incredible backdrop for a proposal. Pack a picnic basket with your favorite foods and head out to the lake of your choice. Take in the beauty of nature reflected back at you through a still body of water, as you and your partner contemplate your future, together as one.

Planning Tip: Lakes are often surrounded by rocks, which can be uncomfortable to sit on. You might want to bring foldable chairs or a bench, in addition to a few blankets.

Ring Tip: Consider an engagement ring with sapphire accents, to give a pop of blue color, like this gorgeous French-Cut Pavé Ring. Or think about using a sapphire as your center stone. 

French Cut Pavé Blue Sapphire Engagement Ring

lake proposal
14K White Gold French Cut Pave Blue Sapphire Engagement Ring

4. Field of Flowers

Springtime makes everything bloom, so what better place to celebrate your love than in a field filled with flowers? Whether lavender, daisies or tulips, flowers provide not only a gorgeous backdrop but also a sweet smelling setting. Be sure to check for superblooms in your area – rare opportunities in which an unusually high number of wildflowers bloom at the same time. Flowers are a staple of every relationship – why not use them to signal the start of your engagement?

Planning Tip: To really nail your spring proposal idea, make sure to take into consideration the color palate. For example, if you’ll be proposing in a field of yellow daisies, you might want to think about choosing a contrasting wardrobe to make your pictures pop. 

Ring Tip: Consider an engagement ring inspired by your surroundings, like the gorgeous flower design below. Or choose a fancy color lab diamond for a center stone that really pops.

Open Lace Pavé Halo Engagement Ring

field of flowers proposal
14K White Gold Open Lace Pave Diamond Halo Engagement Ring

5. Drive-In Movie Theater Proposal

If your significant other is a cinephile, a drive-in movie pays homage to their personal preferences while also being COVID-friendly. Pack your car with popcorn and your favorite candy. Think about which parking spot makes the most sense for a proposal – do you prefer to be towards the back, for more privacy? Would you propose before, after or during the movie? Drive in and get ready for the most memorable movie experience of your lives!

Planning Tip: Many drive-ins have limited movie selections, so be sure to research different options to understand in advance which movie your partner prefers. If you’re unsure, consider a classic romantic comedy, which is a propos for day’s events. 

Ring Tip: Consider an engagement ring that screams classic Hollywood, like this Art Deco Inspired design.

Art Deco Inspired Halo Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Art Deco Inspired Octagonal Halo Engagement Ring

6. Camping Proposal

This spring proposal idea is for the adventure seekers: if you and your significant other are the outdoors-y types, how romantic is a proposal under the stars? Escape the city and take advantage of all Mother Nature has to offer – hikes with spectacular views, crisp river water and cuddling over a campfire at night (don’t forget the s’mores!). You might even cross paths with wildlife like deer, elk or bears. Springtime offers the perfect weather for camping and lush greenery – and proposals! 

Planning Tip: Make sure to reserve your campsite well in advance and check the weather before heading out. If you don’t want to invest in a ton of camping gear, ask friends if they’d be willing to let you borrow their gear.

Ring Tip: Consider an engagement ring that gives a nod to the beauty of nature, like our Organic Bamboo Engagement Ring. 

Organic Bamboo Engagement Ring

camping proposal
14K Yellow Gold Organic Bamboo Engagement Ring


7. Bring Spring Indoors

If your significant other isn’t the outdoors type, you can still hit your spring proposal idea out of the park by bringing spring to you! Start by finding out your partner’s favorite flower and fill your home with them. Sprinkle petals and light candles around the house for added effect. If you’re not the decorating kind, take to Pinterest for inspiration or enlist the help of a visually savvy friend. To make this sweet day even sweeter, top it off with your partner’s favorite dessert – what could be better than Calla Lilies and cupcakes or freesia and fondue? 

Planning Tip: Some flowers are harder to find than others, so make sure to take this into consideration when figuring out your timeline. Some people prefer potted plants because they last longer – it never hurts to do a little detective work to find out your partner’s preferences! 

Ring Tip: Consider an engagement ring that combines delicate beauty with strength and elegance. Our recommendation? A dazzling Petite Pavé design. 

Petite Pavé Engagement Ring

indoor proposal
14K White Gold Petite Pave Engagement Ring

8. Back-Up Plan

Life throws curveballs, so consider having a contingency plan. If all else fails, hit up your local outdoor farmers market (don’t forget your masks!), choose fresh ingredients and whip up a delicious dinner for two. You can also order a meal prep kit, which delivers all of the ingredients to your house, ready for you and your significant other to cook in unison. If you’re not the cooking kind, opt for a meal delivery service (also a great way to support your favorite restaurants!) paired with a beautifully set table and candles.

Ring Tip: Bring out the classics for this one! You’ll never go wrong with any of our best-selling solitaire, halo or three-stone designs.

Comfort Fit Solitaire Engagement Ring

backup plan proposal 1
14K White Gold 2mm Comfort Fit Solitaire Engagement Ring

Pavé Halo & Shank Engagement Ring

backup plan proposal 2
14K Yellow Gold Pave Halo And Shank Diamond Engagement Ring

Marquise Three-Stone Engagement Ring

backup proposal 3
14K Rose Gold Marquise Shape Three Stone Ring

Proposal plans sorted? Check out the articles below to get more inspiration!

Engagement ring catch your eye? Share the love on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or in the comments below!

Subscribe to our email list for access to secret sales, practical ring-buying tips, and $100 off your first purchase!

Jackie B.

Jackie is a writer who loves a good deal, especially when it comes to jewelry!

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Our Most Popular and Most-Reviewed Jewelry

Sure, the jewelry looks fantastic online…but what do customers really think? Read on to find out! We’ve arranged a lineup of the year’s most-reviewed items: engagement rings, wedding rings, and fine jewelry. 

Most-reviewed wedding rings and engagement rings

The reviews are in! Which items are James Allen customers totally in love with? The trends are clear: rose gold, pavé, and classic settings are in.

Rose gold jewelry

Rose gold jewelry got the lion’s share of rave reviews! Our lineup below includes rose gold engagement ringsrose gold wedding rings, and a rose gold necklace.

Pavé jewelry

This glittery lineup of popular jewelry is studded with pavé settings. Not only does pavé add sparkle, but when designed in a halo it makes its center stone appear larger!

Classic jewelry

Simple, unadorned jewelry makes a strong showing alongside its sparkling peers. Solitaire engagement rings, minimalist stud earrings, and gold-forward pendant necklaces are clearly popular.

Read on for a snapshot of our most-reviewed items…

Engagement Rings

Rose Gold Petite Pavé Engagement Ring

The Petite Pavé is one of our most popular engagement ring styles, and it’s clear that rose gold is rising in popularity. This delicate, feminine ring has just the right amount of sparkle…and it had our customers raving!

“The ring was perfect and my fiancé loved it and hasn’t stopped looking at it since.”
-Aaron B.

most popular engagement rings: rose gold pave engagement ring
14K Rose Gold Petite Pave Engagement Ring (Flush Fit)

White Gold Knife Edge Engagement Ring

A simple solitaire engagement ring – with an edge. The strong lines of this unique solitaire engagement ring draw all eyes to the featured center stone. Affordable, minimalist, and stylish, this engagement ring drew a storm of chatter.

“My fiancée loves it! The simplicity of the ring is amazing and more! It shines so big!”
– Jahaira C.

most popular engagement rings:  white gold solitaire engagement ring
14K White Gold 2mm Knife Edge Solitaire Engagement Ring

Yellow Gold Solitaire Engagement Ring
with Oval Diamond

This yellow gold engagement ring is an utter classic. It’s designed for comfort – not only is it beautiful, but you can wear it all day. And customers loved it! This setting is suitable for mounting with any cut of a diamond – and customers took advantage of this, choosing (for instance) the oval diamond featured below. 

“Bought this beautiful piece for my wife and she was super happy! The quality of the style and cut is amazing!”
– Alessandro B.

most popular engagement rings:  yellow gold solitaire oval engagement ring
14K Yellow Gold 1.5mm Comfort Fit Engagement Ring

White Gold Pavé Rope Engagement Ring

This white gold engagement ring really puts a twist on pavé. It’s composed of two thin bands – one pavé and one classic – twirled together for just the right amount of subtle shimmer. 

“Loved the ring! Shines a ton. She loved it.”
– Chris F.

most popular engagement rings: white gold twisted pave engagement ring
14K White Gold Pave Rope Engagement Ring

Rose Gold Cathedral Halo Engagement Ring

With an arching, many-armed backet, this rose gold engagement ring is pure royalty. Its unique halo is slightly almond-shaped, tapering gracefully into the curved pavé-set band. This is a super-sparkler! And thanks to the surrounding small stones, the center stone actually appears larger than it is. 

“My now fiancée absolutely loves the ring and loves adoring the size of the diamond.” 
– Jonathan V. 

most popular engagement rings: rose gold pave halo engagement ring
14K Rose Gold Cathedral Pave Halo Diamond Engagement Ring

Wedding Rings

Platinum Flush Fit Pavé Wedding Ring

This is a timeless wedding band that adds a good amount of sparkle. The pavé-set diamonds are set perfectly to allow the maximum amount of light to hit their facets. And if that’s not enough, it’s also effortlessly comfortable to wear. 

“Absolutely love my wedding band and engagement ring. My diamond is stunning and customer service was exceptional.”
– James S.

most popular wedding rings: platinum pave wedding ring
Platinum Flush Fit Pave Wedding Ring

Thin Pavé Wedding Ring

For those who love a solid stack of sparkle, this delicate pavé wedding ring is the perfect choice. Slim enough to accommodate both an engagement ring and an anniversary ring, this adds a graceful line of complementary glitter to any ring compilation.

“She said yes! The ring is absolutely remarkable and super elegant!”
– Andrew H.

most popular wedding rings: white gold pave wedding ring
14K White Gold Thin Pave Set Diamond Wedding Ring

Platinum Prong-Set Diamond Wedding Ring

This platinum wedding ring is set with 10 sparkling diamonds that cover half the band’s length. This wedding ring is gracefully bold. Its stones are larger than that of a pavé and, as such, they capture a good amount of light.

“Beautiful! Looks great with my engagement ring (which is also from James Allen).”
– Anne W.

most popular wedding rings: white gold prong-set wedding ring
Platinum Prong Set Diamond Wedding Rin

Rose Gold Vintage Marquise Wedding Ring

A wedding ring with all the romance of vintage jewels, but made to modern quality standards. The entire length of the rose gold band is set with alternating round and marquise diamonds that give off an uncommonly romantic whimsy.

“Exactly what I envisioned for my wedding band. Amazing quality too.”
– Justin L.

most popular wedding rings: rose gold vintage marquise and round diamond wedding ring
14K Rose Gold Vintage Marquise And Round Bezel Diamond Ring

Fine Jewelry 

Yellow Gold Four-Prong Diamond Earrings

These diamond studs became many of our customers’ go-to earrings this year! With their sturdy yet vanishing prongs, these yellow gold earrings upgrade your wardrobe for any occasion. You really can’t go wrong with diamond studs, especially these. 

“The 4 prong looks great!! Happy to have them!”
– Maria J.

14K Yellow Gold Four Prong Stud Earrings (Mounting)

White Gold Four-Prong Diamond Tennis Bracelet

Diamond tennis bracelet: the ultimate in shine! This bracelet is straight-up, elegant, in-your-face sparkle. A continuous line of diamonds makes this bracelet shimmer from every angle on your wrist. Sturdy four-prong settings hold 53 brilliant-cut diamonds in a single, beautifully-crafted row. 

“The diamonds are bright and sparkly!”
-Yenny C.

14K White Gold Four Prong Diamond Tennis Bracelet

Rose Gold Curved Bar Diamond Necklace

A minimalist piece with personality! This smile of a necklace features a curved row of round-cut diamonds gracefully suspended by a rose gold chain. The delicate line of glitter brightens up the wearer without being too in-your-face, and the rose gold lends this necklace a feminine touch.

This item is unique and beautiful. What a wonderful gift.”
– Shirley P.

rose gold curved bar diamond necklace

Yellow Gold Bezel Diamond Pendant

A minimalist diamond pendant necklace with an understanded, practical grace. This diamond pendant necklace takes your everyday wear to the next level. The thin bezel setting makes it a fantastic option for active lifestyles, thanks to its strong, no-snag mounting and comfortable flattened back. 

“This necklace is perfect for my everyday life, a very classic and timeless piece.”
– Isa L.

14K Yellow Gold Bezel Diamond Pendant (Mounting)

Platinum Milgrain Bezel Diamond Pendant Necklace

This milgrain setting keeps your diamond secure and stylish. Its beading is the perfect mix of modern and vintage jewelry design. The smooth, curved back adds a gorgeous element of movement, ensuring that your pendant will always move slightly to catch the light and your diamond’s facets will sparkle.

“Awesome quality!  Very happy with my purchase.”
– James W.

Platinum Milgrain Bezel Diamond Pendant (Mounting)

Customer-favorite jewelry styles:

  1. 2021 Engagement Ring Trends
  2. Trending Yellow Gold Engagement Rings
  3. Wedding Ring Engraving Ideas
  4. Engagement Ring Advice From Real Couples

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Rachel Hoar

Rachel is an unabashed linguistics fanatic who can identify the ancient Greek root of any word. She promises not to spray you with Windex.

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cover_ The Right Way To Wear A WR

How To Wear A Wedding Ring Set: The Must-Read Guide

In the world of how to wear wedding rings and engagement rings, there are no hard-and-fast rules. Even the most “universal” traditions, as you’ll soon see, are subject to variations. It all depends on the ring wearer’s particular culture and style.

So what should YOU do? Read on to find out.

The Right Way To Wear A Wedding Ring

“What’s the right way to wear my wedding ring?”

With all the traditions and rituals involved in marriage, it’s easy to get lost in the whirlpool of wedding “should”s. And there are a lot of them. But as far as how to wear a wedding ring, where to wear a wedding ring, and what your wedding ring should look like – there is quite a bit of room to express yourself! On the whole, the world of wedding rings is less rigid than that of engagement rings

Wedding Ring Pros: you have lots of flexibility in your style choice.

Wedding Ring Cons: you still have to navigate numerous, and possibly conflicting, traditions. 

That’s why we’re here to answer your questions about how to wear a wedding ring.

14K White Gold Pave Knife Edge Lotus wedding Band

#1: What’s the difference between a wedding ring and an engagement ring? 

Though there are a few key design differences, the main thing that sets these two types of rings apart is when they’re given. An engagement ring is typically given during the proposal (from the proposer to the proposee), while wedding rings are exchanged during the marriage ceremony between both partners. And while an engagement ring typically features a prominent center stone, wedding rings don’t have one focal point per se. They feature either rows of smaller stones or simply a clean solitaire band. In this, they’re more like the super-talented backup singer whose role is to gracefully point the attention to the star: your engagement ring.

Yellow Gold Solitaire
Engagement Ring

14K Yellow Gold 1.5mm Comfort Fit Engagement Ring

Yellow Gold Tapered
Wedding Ring

14K Yellow Gold Tapered Pave Band

In contrast to engagement rings, there are relatively few restrictions on how wedding rings should be worn and how they should look. Even so, navigating the myriad of loose cultural traditions and style possibilities can often be overwhelming. So let’s answer all your most pressing wedding ring questions, one-by-one!

#2: How should my wedding ring look?

Again, the answer is: anyway you’d like! There are very few customs concerning the actual design of a wedding ring. Here is a rundown of the most popular options.

Eternity ring or open ring?

ETERNITY RINGS

In some cultures, it’s a custom to wear circular eternity rings. In this case, the continuity of an eternity ring is considered to represent a couple’s endless love and their everlasting unity.

Prong-Set Diamond
Wedding Ring

Channel-Set Diamond
Wedding Ring

14K Yellow Gold Ladies Channel Set Diamond Eternity Ring

However, an eternity ring isn’t for everyone – non-circular rings are also a lovely option. This is particularly the case for anyone whose center stone is elongated – like a marquise, oval, or pear – and prevents the engagement ring from sitting flush with a round wedding ring. Two excellent alternatives are custom-curved rings, or open rings.

CURVED WEDDING RINGS

If your engagement ring has a distinct shape, your wedding ring can curve to accommodate your center stone. This gives your wedding set a unique interlocking quality. As an added bonus, the curved wedding rings’ complementary shapes reduce friction on your skin by preventing unnecessary slippage.

Pear Tiara
Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Pear Shape Bezel Set Diamond Tiara Engagement Ring

Curved Tiara
Wedding Ring

14K White Gold Diamond Tiara Matching Wedding Ring

Flower Halo
Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Fancy Pear Shape Whirling Halo Diamond Engagement Ring

Curved Solitaire
Wedding Ring

14K White Gold Matching Wedding Ring

OPEN WEDDING RINGS

Or, you can choose to wear an open ring. Though less common, open wedding rings are gaining popularity. These unique pieces complement many wearers’ unique styles, and they go beautifully with an elongated center stone.

Open Bezel
Wedding Ring

14K Rose Gold Petite Open Bezel Set Graduated Diamond Ring

Open Marquise
Wedding Ring

14K White Gold Open Marquise Shape Band

Stones or classic?

In Judaism, the wedding ring is traditionally an unadorned, simple band that’s free of engravings or precious stones. In other cultures, there are no specific customs regarding wedding ring decoration. Diamonds? Yes. Gemstones? Yes. Classic? Yes.

GEMSTONES

The beauty of gemstone wedding rings is the huge selection! Sapphires, rubies, pearls, emeralds…it’s a positive smorgasbord of sparkle. You can always choose a particular stone simply for its beauty, but you can also embrace certain stones’ meanings. For instance, you may inlay your wedding rings with your respective birthstones, zodiac signs, or stones that are particularly lucky for you.

Diamond and Sapphire
Wedding Ring

14K White Gold Round Brilliant Diamond And Marquise Sapphire Wedding Ring

Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire
Wedding Ring

14K Yellow Gold Pave Rainbow gemstone Ring By Brevani

CLASSIC

Classic wedding rings complement absolutely any engagement ring. The simplicity of a classic metal band directs all the attention to your engagement ring. So if you’re struggling to find a matching wedding ring, or you simply want to highlight your engagement ring, then a classic wedding ring could be the style for you.

White Gold Solitaire
Wedding Ring

14K White Gold 4mm Traditional Slightly Curved Wedding Ring

Yellow Gold Solitaire
Wedding Ring

14K Yellow Gold Slightly Rounded Wedding Ring

#3: Which hand should I wear my engagement and wedding ring on? 

Which hand, and which finger, on which rings are worn changes radically around the world. Even in Europe, in which rings are almost always worn on the fourth finger – the ring finger – there are at least 3 common ways to wear a wedding set.

On The Right Hand

Catholic and eastern European tradition dictates that the wedding and engagement ring both be worn on the right hand. The engagement ring is removed before the wedding ceremony, and after the wedding ring is slipped on during the ceremony, the engagement ring is replaced on top of it. The custom of wearing the wedding set on the right hand comes from an ancient Roman belief that the left hand was untrustworthy. In fact, the Latin word for “left hand” shares the same root as the modern-day word “sinister.”

On The Left Hand

On the other hand – *chuckle* – the Anglican church started doing things a bit differently following their separation from the Catholic church. By wearing both rings on the left hand, they rang in a new era of reformation by eschewing old “sinister” traditions. And this custom continues in Protestant cultures today, where the wedding ring is placed on the left hand during the wedding ceremony, and then the engagement ring is slipped on after it. Many people enjoy the symbolism of wearing their wedding ring closest to their heart, since it highlights the importance of marriage. 

Since the engagement ring is worn on the left hand after the proposal, many brides make this work by temporarily changing the hand on which they wear their engagement ring; during the wedding, they slip it onto their right hand before returning it to their left, over their new wedding ring.

On Different Hands

However, the engagement ring and wedding ring don’t have to be worn on the same hand. If it’s more your style, you can wear them on opposite hands. Spread the glitter around, as it were. In Spain, for instance, the engagement ring usually goes on the left hand, while the wedding ring usually goes on the right. 

So – there’s no dominating tradition regarding where to wear your wedding ring. It all depends on local tradition, religion, and personal style; not all of your personal traditions may line up. It’s possible that religiously, you prefer to wear your wedding ring on your right hand, but local custom dictates that you wear it on your left. 

In the end, it’s all up to you. However you prefer to wear your wedding ring is the right way to wear it.

#4: How do I match my wedding ring to my engagement ring?

The answer: however you’d like. This is where you have utter freedom to express yourself – there are very few, or no, customs regarding how to match your wedding set. So what’s this mean for you? You have 3 main elements to mix and match: metal, stones, and style

We’ve taken one of our most popular engagement rings, the Petite Pavé, to show you all the ways you can choose a matching wedding ring. 

The Petite Pavé Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Petite Pave Engagement Ring

Match by Metals

All ring metals look great together! White gold + white gold = pretty. White gold + yellow gold/rose gold = pretty. It all works. You can’t go wrong.

Rose Gold Classic
Wedding Ring

rose gold classic wedding ring

Yellow Gold Classic
Wedding Ring