Solitaire Engagement Rings: Your Complete Guide

Solitaire Engagement Rings: Your Complete Guide

Time-honored and elegant, solitaire engagement rings are easily one of the most popular ring settings available. While simple, these rings are always on trend, affordable, and look great on every finger.

3 Solitaire Engagement Rings

Loved for their crisp design, engagement rings with solitaire settings feature a single stone placed on the metal band. These rings highlight the diamond like no other, no matter its shape.

As the most iconic and popular ring style, the minimal design of solitaire rings has come to symbolize life’s most precious moments, and for good reasons. From proposals to special anniversaries, the sophistication of its sleek band, whether traditional or contemporary, it’s no wonder these have remained a firm favorite over the years.  

We’ve rounded up some of our most popular solitaire engagement rings to celebrate these classic beauties, as well as help you learn all there is to know about the forever timeless solitaire setting.

What Is A Solitaire Engagement Ring?

The word “solitaire” comes from the Latin word “Solus,” which means alone or sole. 

Therefore, solitaire engagement rings feature a single diamond in the center. The classic engagement ring has been around for decades and often makes for a true statement piece. 

Typically, there are no other diamonds or gemstones on the ring, and the band is plain without pavé diamonds. But, do not let the simplicity of this style fool you. In fact, there is plenty of room to customize it to create the ring of your dreams.

18K Yellow Gold 1.5mm Comfort Fit Engagement Ring
14K Yellow Gold Rope Solitaire Engagement Ring

Why Choose A Solitaire Engagement Ring?

For those with a simple yet refined sense of style, a solitaire setting is a perfect choice. With its polished design and uncomplicated beauty, it is the ideal complement to any outfit and occasion.

As there are no additional stones or elaborate details to distract from the center stone. Meaning, that there’s more diamond to see and more light to pass through, adding to the diamond’s brilliance. In other words, the design allows the diamond to take center stage! 

Solitaire engagement rings are also extremely versatile, which allows the wearer to pair them beautifully with a variety of other pieces such as gemstone jewelry or wedding rings. 

Other elements such as metal color can give a solitaire ring a distinct look, tailor-made to the preference of each wearer. For example, rose gold solitaire engagement rings give off a blended vintage and modern appearance. While the rosey, warm hue looks striking against many skin tones. 
These are just a handful of the many reasons why you should choose a solitaire engagement ring. Despite changing fashion trends, you can be sure that your ring will remain stylish and sophisticated.

Solitaire Engagement Rings For Every Diamond Shape

Solitaire settings are designed to fit a selection of diamonds in various shapes and sizes. This is because of their classic design and perfect prongs. Regardless of the diamond’s shape or size, it will remain well secured so you won’t have to worry about it falling out.

The timeless elegance of solitaire rings also means they can accommodate various diamond shapes and sizes. Round diamonds are the traditional choice for solitaire engagement rings, but fancy shaped diamonds such as oval, pear, cushion, marquise, and emerald cut are some of the most popular options. 

So, which one do you think you’ll pick?

What To Look For In A Solitaire Engagement Ring

Finding the perfect solitaire engagement ring isn’t just about finding something you love to stare at. But what exactly is the most important part of a solitaire engagement ring?

Here are a number of things to consider before making a big purchase. 

As we mentioned before, the design is basic and all eyes are on the diamond, it is best to try to focus on making sure that the diamond is not only magnificent but is also of great quality. Experts highly recommend that the diamond you choose is certified and details the nitty-gritty of your diamond. 

Another question on many customers’ minds is, “what is the best stone cut for this type of ring?”Due to the beauty of a solitaire ring, there is actually no optimal diamond cut, as its simplicity makes it suitable for practically any diamond shape.

Additionally, it’s good to note that solitaire rings can be customized with a variety of prong settings and designs. The most common include comfort fit, knife edge, classic split shank, bezel set, cathedral, and four and six-prong solitaire settings.

Pros and Cons of a Solitaire Setting

There are plenty of good things to say about solitaire engagement rings, which is one this ring setting is so popular. It will never feel trendy or out of style, and it’s easy to pass down. However, there are also just a few disadvantages to selecting a solitaire engagement ring.

Pros and Cons of a Solitaire Setting

Lab Created Diamond Solitaire Ring Price

If your goal is to shop for an affordable engagement ring, then a solitaire is definitely your best option. 

But, if you’re looking for guaranteed affordability, you should definitely consider a lab created diamond. Lab created diamonds are 100% real diamonds, and just like earth created diamonds, they come with their own GIA certificate. 

Lab grown diamonds have the exact same optical, physical, and chemical properties as their mined counterparts. The only significant difference is their origin. One comes from a natural and uncontrolled environment, while the other is physically created in a controlled laboratory. In fact, if you examined both types of diamonds under a professional jeweler’s loupe or on a molecular level, you would not see any differences.

There is a fast-growing trend in the diamond industry for buyers to purchase these diamonds. Why you may ask? Well, there are several reasons why lab created diamonds are so beneficial:

  • Environmentally friendly & ethically sourced 
  • At 30% less than an earth created diamond of similar size, color, and clarity, there is greater affordability
  • Available in various diamond shapes and sizes
  • Known origin of every diamond 
  • Greater purity and improved quality

This ring style offers several creative opportunities, which is perfect for those also looking to design their dream engagement ring. In fact, at JamesAllen.com, we allow you to jump into the designer’s seat and fully customize a truly unique engagement ring with The Ring Studio. You can choose from hundreds of different designs and a selection of beautiful lab created diamonds. By creating your own ring within your budget, you can create exactly what you want.

Price estimation for solitaire engagement rings

Solitaire Engagement Rings With A Wedding Band

The truth is that solitaire engagement rings can look great with just about any wedding ring. 

In general, it’s best to choose a wedding band that matches the metal and style of your fiancé-to-be’s engagement ring. However, there are no set rules to follow. If you also feel the urge to spice things up from time to time with your solitaire ring, one of the things to do is add stackable rings. Stacking multiple bands on both the top and the bottom of your engagement ring is a stunning way to add the perfect amount of sparkle and dimension you may be looking for. 
Our guide on How To Wear A Wedding Ring Set can also give you the answers you need as it goes into more detail on what you should look for when choosing a wedding band to match a solitaire engagement ring.

FAQs

  1. What is the difference between a solitaire and a diamond?

Solitaire and diamond are often used interchangeably by jewelers. However, the two actually have different meanings. Solitaire refers to the gemstone setting, e.g., a single stone mounted on a piece of jewelry, while a diamond is a type of gemstone.

  1. Does an engagement ring have to be a solitaire? 

No. There are a variety of engagement ring styles to choose from. Although a solitaire engagement ring is the most popular.

  1. Why are solitaire rings the best?

Solitaires are unrivaled when it comes to practical versatility; They pair up stunningly with most wedding bands. Since the engagement ring didn’t set a very defined style, you’re free to play with classic, vintage and bolder band combinations. They all look great!

We’re Here To Help

Finding the perfect engagement ring can come with stress and a lot of questions.  At JamesAllen.com, our non-commissioned diamond and jewelry experts are always available to help and answer any queries you may have. We look forward to assisting you! Contact us here.

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

Tarryn Snoyman

Tarryn is a content writer by day and a criminology enthusiast by night.

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cover_Blog - The Top Engagement Ring Trends Of 2022

The Top Engagement Ring Trends Of 2022

Keeping up with trends can be difficult. If you’re planning for 2022 to be the year of your proposal, start off on the right foot by taking a look at what’s trending in the world of engagement rings

Engagement ring

As we make our way through 2022, we see what engagement rings are already trending. Whether you are shopping together or planning a surprise proposal, you want a ring you’ll both love forever.

After the upheaval of the past few years, it’s becoming clear that ring-shoppers are finally feeling more stable and certain regarding the future – and they’re no longer holding back on the sparkle. 2022 is shaping up to be the year of the bling. Get ready for large diamonds and lots of them!

Pavé Engagement Rings

Pavé is popular, has always been popular, and will likely always be popular. It is no wonder why pavé engagement rings are dominating in 2022. They’re beloved due to their impact: size ratio.

Pavé diamonds are tiny – so they’re affordable, and pavé rings normally contain dozens of them – so you get ALL the facets. Pavé-set diamonds give rings a uniquely glittery quality, thanks to the hundreds of delicate facets that refract light in different directions with even the slightest shift of the finger. 

Why aren’t pavé rings more expensive if they’re set with so many stones? Well, it’s because diamonds increase in value as their carat weight goes up, but the price increase is somewhat exponential.

In other words, a ring with a handful of tiny diamonds with a total weight of 1 carat will almost always cost less than a single, 1 carat diamond engagement ring. You get more diamonds, and you pay less.

14K White Gold Petite Pavé Engagement Ring (Flush Fit)
14K White Gold Pavé Rope Engagement Ring

Vintage-Inspired Engagement Rings

We have all seen how thrifting and second-hand shops are all the rage in fashion, and engagement rings are no exception. Vintage-inspired engagement rings give that one-of-a-kind, antique feel. You get the style of today, inspired by the best styles from the past.

Cathedral settings are part of this popular trend thanks to their style, which mimics the arches of old church cathedrals. Whether you are choosing a classic diamond or a colorful gemstone, this eye-catching design will highlight your choice beautifully. 


Cushion cut engagement rings are also part of this trend. With their timeless style and vintage appeal, cushion cut diamond engagement rings are a classic choice that will always be on the cutting edge of fashion.

14K White Gold Beaded Filigree Cathedral Kite-Set Engagement Ring
14K White Gold Diamond Filigree Engagement Ring

Contoured Ring Sets

Everyone loves a matching set, right? Well, that’s why this style is at the top of 2022’s trends. These sets, which include a curved wedding ring to match your gorgeous engagement ring, were made to go together…just like you and your beloved!

There’s something particularly satisfying about a wedding ring that’s literally made for your engagement ring. Your center diamond is lovely on its own, wait until you see how it looks with your custom-made wedding band!

Advantages of matching wedding sets:

  1. No need to search for a wedding band
  2. It’s guaranteed that your wedding set will sit perfectly flush to your engagement ring
  3. More of a good thing: if you love your engagement ring, you’ll get more of what you love in your wedding ring
  4. All-in-one purchase: you can purchase both your rings at once, which can save you money.

Check out this inspo and get your own matching set!

Rose Gold Engagement Rings 

Rose gold just oozes romance. Its vintage appeal with modern flair makes it doubly trendy and its warm color makes it irresistible. Rose gold engagement rings are a great choice in addition to the more traditional yellow or white gold options and are ideal for the lover who wants a ring that is timeless, elegant, and effortlessly stylish.

This gorgeous metal looks great with both classic colorless diamonds and gemstones that share the metals warm hue. A favorite of many celebs, rose gold engagement rings are no longer just the choice of those seeking an “alternative,” rose gold is now a mainstream trend that looks like it is here to stay.

14K Rose Gold "Danhov" Spring Blossom Six Prong Solitaire Engagement Ring By Danhov
14K Rose Gold Pavé Halo And Shank Diamond Engagement Ring (Pear Center)

Hidden Diamond Details

They say the devil is in the details, but in this case, the dazzle is in the details. Hidden diamond details are all the rage for 2022 and why not? Who doesn’t want to sparkle more?

Hidden diamond details are simply, small diamonds hidden in details on your engagement ring. More sparkle where you’d least expect it. Nothing wrong with that!

At James Allen, we believe sparkle is life, the more the better! That’s why our Ring Studio has this feature.

Ring studio

But wait, what’s the Ring Studio? Our Ring Studio allows you to design your engagement ring with the metal, stone, and setting of your choice. Numerous personalization options will have you feeling like a jeweler yourself!

One of these many options is the “Surprise Diamond.” This diamond is neatly placed at the base of the prong setting on your engagement ring. Adding just a bit more bling for the love that makes you shine.

Gemstone Engagement Rings

A pop of color doesn’t just complete a room, it can also complete your dream engagement ring. While diamond engagement rings often get all the glory, gemstone engagement rings have been popular since time immemorial and have fast become a top trend of 2022.

Gemstone engagement rings don’t just add color, allow you to express your personal style, or look gloriously glamorous; gemstone engagement rings add that something special you just can’t put your finger on (pun intended!).

Check out this inspo and create your own colorful masterpiece!

14K White Gold Cushion Outline Pavé Engagement Ring
14K Yellow Gold Tapered Baguette Diamond Engagement Ring

Fancy Black Diamond Engagement Rings

A black diamond to match your black heart? Try a fancy black diamond to match your incredible style and stay with 2022’s top trends. Nothing goes against the grain of traditional colorless diamonds while staying chic AF, as a fancy black diamond engagement ring.

Rock that Main Character Energy when you sport one of these black beauties; whose popularity has only grown since being spotlighted by the one and only Carrie Bradshaw in the hotly anticipated Sex and the City reboot

14K White Gold 2mm Knife Edge Solitaire Engagement Ring
14K White Gold Falling Edge Pavé Diamond Engagement Ring

Oval Diamonds

Oval diamond rings have always been popular and continue to find their spotlight in 2022. The way the oval elongates and flatters just about any finger makes this stone a modern classic. The soft edges allow the diamond to look stunning on its own or shine extra bright when highlighted by a pavé or halo setting.

Seen on the hands of royals for centuries and consistently worn by a bevy of celebrities, oval diamond engagement rings are a trend that will forever be in style.

14K White Gold Petite Pavé Crown Diamond Engagement Ring

Lab Created Diamond Engagement Rings

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: lab created diamonds are the stones of the future. Though lab diamonds were popular before 2022, the COVID pandemic and supply chain disruptions made them an even more attractive choice for ring shoppers.

Their alluring pricing and superb quality earned them first place on diamond enthusiasts’ wishlists, particularly those who are budget-conscious; for the same price as an earth-created diamond, consumers can get a lab grown diamond that’s 30% larger!

We don’t see this trend waning; on the contrary, sales of lab created diamonds have continued to increase year after year. Despite their different origins, earth created and lab grown diamonds are 100% chemically and structurally identical.

The difference in price comes from the fact that it’s much easier, and quicker, to grow a diamond in a lab than it is to locate and wrest it from deep within the earth. Creation process aside, once they arrive at your door they are completely identical in terms of quality, durability, and sparkle. That’s why we consider lab created diamonds to be the ultimate life hack.

Final Thoughts

If you’re shopping for rings in 2022, keep an eye out for pavé, vintage-inspired, lab created diamonds, and more! Creativity is king in 2022, and you are the designer. 

Go for a classic oval diamond or a bold fancy black diamond, be perfectly seamless with a contoured set and grab a rock bigger than you imagined with a lab created option, either way, these 2022 trends will be in style long after we ring in the new year.

But most importantly, choose what you and your partner will love. Still unsure? Check out our Virtual Engagement Ring Try On so you can try it before you buy from the comfort of literally anywhere! Learn more about our virtual try on here.

Got more questions? Just Ask! At JamesAllen.com we’re at your service 24/7.

Sarah Chin

Sarah is a stickler for grammar and prefers to use the Oxford comma. She enjoys her career as a writer since being a professional snowboarder/powerlifter/pastry chef didn’t pan out.

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How Much Should You Spend On An Engagement Ring?

How Much Should You Spend On An Engagement Ring?

Getting the ring of your dreams may sometimes seem impossible, but we’re here to answer one very important question. How much should you really spend on an engagement ring? We’ve got all the tips and tricks to ensure you get the perfect ring for your buck!

Engagement Rings

Shopping for engagement rings can be stressful, time-consuming, and even a little confusing at times. We know the assumption is that an engagement ring will cost a pretty penny, but most people don’t know all the ways they can get their dream ring without breaking the bank.

We’ll discuss unrealistic engagement ring cost myths and share all the clever ways to avoid them and still get the best ring for your buck. From diamond hacks to where you should shop for your ring, our tips and tricks are sure to help you avoid unnecessary ring costs.

What’s the Average Cost Of An Engagement Ring?

Today, the average price of an engagement ring ranges between $2,500 to $5,000. However, plenty of people purchase rings that are both below and beyond that price.

As you plan to buy your engagement ring, it’s important to remember that there is no one size fits all way of doing things. Each person has their own income, ring budget, and, of course, ring preference.

14K White Gold Radiant Cut Side Stone Diamond Engagement Ring
14K White Gold 1.5mm Comfort Fit Engagement Ring

Engagement Ring Cost Myths

Outdated myths about engagement ring shopping and societal expectations can lead you down an expensive path. Let’s take a look at some of those assumptions and how you can avoid them.

Spending Three Month’s Worth of Your Salary

Spending three months’ worth of your salary was a campaign started by De Beers in the 1930s. It was traditional until it wasn’t. It changed to two months’ salary as time passed, and then the diamond needed to cost one month’s salary. Slowly but surely, those ideas changed with time, and now there are no ironclad rules about what to spend on an engagement ring.

The Bigger the Better

The bigger, the better- we must politely disagree. While the idea of a big and brilliant diamond sounds incredible, there are so many other ways to maximize your diamond’s appearance without having to purchase a huge diamond.

For one, most jewelry retailers have a large selection of diamond shapes and ring settings. So how do you go bigger without breaking your budget?

Try out an elongated diamond center stone, like emerald, oval, marquise, or pear. These diamonds can give off the idea of being larger than other round or square diamonds of the same carat weight.

Or you could invest in a setting that adds more sparkle to your ring. Side stone, halo, and pavé settings can give you the extra diamond accents you want without having to invest in a bigger diamond.

14K Rose Gold Bead Accent Pavé Trio Diamond Engagement Ring
14K White Gold Petite Pavé Engagement Ring (Flush Fit)

As Brilliant and Colorless as Possible

Color grading for diamonds isn’t as tricky as it seems- especially when picking a center stone for your engagement ring.

As you can see on the chart below, near-colorless diamonds barely have any yellow tint and are often cheaper than colorless diamonds. The diamonds below are exactly the same except for the color grade. The slight tint of color in these diamonds is almost impossible to detect with the naked eye.

For faint yellow diamonds, if cut in a flattering diamond shape and set with the right metal color, their slight color will also be disguised. In that case, you can walk away with a stunning diamond engagement ring for a fraction of the price you would’ve paid for a colorless diamond.

A diagram of the diamond color grading chart

How Much Is Too Much to Spend On An Engagement Ring?

There is no correct answer to this question. How much you spend on an engagement ring depends on your personal budget and your partner’s expectations. If you are looking to save costs and get the absolute best ring for your budget, then you need to shop smart and do your research.

Overspending on an engagement ring can mean anything from picking a colorless diamond instead of a near-colorless diamond that would’ve looked just perfect in your chosen ring setting. But you won’t know which mistakes to avoid if you don’t utilize all the information at your disposal. Many ring shoppers use free online jewelry consultants- like our diamond consultants at JamesAllen.com.

How To Cut Costs On An Engagement Ring 

Manipulate the 4Cs

Cut

The cut of the diamond is the first, arguably most important, C. Here you can decide between several fancy shapes like pear, oval, marquise, and cushion-cut, to name a few. If your partner wants their diamond to really sparkle and shine, spend some extra time choosing which cut might match their preference best.

Color

The color grade of your diamond can range from D-K. Most diamonds have a visible trace of yellow in their body color, whereas white diamonds are colorless.

Clarity 

The clarity of your diamond may differ depending on whether it has any natural external blemishes or internal inclusions. Here, you may be looking for a diamond with zero imperfections or maybe one with a bit of character to it. The clarity of a diamond is directly impacted by its cut, something for you to keep in mind. 

Carat Weight 

The final C is carat, referring to the standard weight of your diamond or gem. One carat is 0.20g, and most couples are comfortable choosing an engagement ring with a center stone from 0.50 to 1.5 carats.

So, how do you manipulate the 4Cs? Here are our top tips:

  • Find a balance between color and clarity. While that balance varies by diamond shape, you can save money without sacrificing quality by staying on the high end of the color scale but the lower end of the clarity scale, as long as there are no visible inclusions.
  • With round, emerald, and asscher cut diamonds; you can typically go as low as a J color grade without seeing any incredibly noticeable color.
  • Cuts such as oval, cushion, radiant, pear, princess, marquise, and heart require quality a bit higher on the scale (G and up) so as not to see any color.
  • Well-cut diamonds like round and princess shapes have an incredible firey brilliance, no matter the size of the diamond.
An infographic explaining the 4Cs with visual aid

Opt For Lab Created Diamonds Instead 

When buying an engagement ring online, you’ll find a wider variety of diamond and gemstone center stones. While some people prefer the traditional natural diamond, the perks of investing in lab created diamonds are growing. 

Lab grown diamonds and earth-created diamonds are optically and chemically identical. If you were to have both diamonds professionally inspected, you would find no differences. The only noticeable difference is the price tag. A lab created diamond is by far the more budget-friendly option.

14K White Gold Asscher Cut Side Stone Diamond Engagement Ring
14K Yellow Gold Falling Edge Pavé Diamond Engagement Ring

Ditch The Diamond Altogether 

If you’re on the fence about gemstones, remember this. All gemstones are rare, like diamonds, but more affordable per carat. They certainly put an alternative twist on a classic engagement ring, and they can be a more budget-friendly option compared to diamonds.

Gemstones can be set in ring settings with diamond accents or on their own in solitaire bands and still produce that show-stopping effect you want in your engagement ring.

If you want a larger yet inexpensive center stone on your ring, try a classic gemstone from sapphires, rubies, emeralds, and even morganite.

14K Yellow Gold Beaded Filigree Cathedral Kite-Set Engagement Ring
14K White Gold Pavé Trio Engagement Ring

Buy Your Engagement Ring Online 

We know shopping online comes with many what if’s, and we’re sure you’ve been left with some trust issues. However, if you find a known and trustworthy online jewelry retailer, you can end up getting the most incredible engagement ring for much less.

Pros of shopping for your ring online:

  • Special services and technology (education center, 360° HD diamond viewing)
  • Online engagement ring customization
  • Virtual engagement ring try-on
  • Online ring sizer
  • More variety for your budget
  • Lab created diamonds in all shapes, sizes, and colors
  • Affordable gemstones alternatives
  • Great shipping and return policies
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Ethically sourced diamonds
  • Jewelry insurance assistance
  • 0% interest payment options
An engagement ring in an open red ring box next to pink roses
Two stacked red ring boxes on top of a newspaper next to a topaz pendant

Wait For Sale Periods 

The holiday season is an excellent time to shop for your engagement ring. This is a promotional time for many jewelry and diamond retailers, and you could end up saving a significant amount on your engagement ring.

Once you’ve researched and found your potential go-to retailers, subscribe to their newsletter to get regular updates on upcoming sales.

Customize Your Ring Online 

Customizing your ring online is not only an incredibly personal experience but one that can ensure you get a ring within your budget that meets all of your wants and needs.

Our Ring Studio offers online customization on a whole new level. You are the leading designer instead of telling someone in a store what you like and having them create it for you. You don’t need to settle for an engagement ring that doesn’t quite suit your or your partner’s style because you can design one that is the exact representation of what you want down to every minute detail. 

A person customizing their engagement ring online at JamesAllen.com

Trends Shaping Engagement Ring Spending

Engagement ring spending has changed significantly due to how millennials and older couples who are remarrying have shifted the dynamic of buying engagement rings.

Many individuals and couples choose to marry later in life after they’ve had their personal, professional, and worldly development. As a result, these people are more sure of what they want in an engagement ring regarding style, originality, price, ethics, and how they make their purchase.

These expressions of individuality and broader consumer awareness have manifested in several trends like unusual center stones, settings, colors, shapes, and styles. More couples opt for gemstones or lab grown diamonds because they are often more socially responsible, unique, and affordable.

We’re Here To Help

Finding the perfect engagement ring comes with stress, questions, and a lot of second-guessing. At James Allen, we offer you 100% free advice and will assist you in understanding the best diamond quality for your budget and unique preferences. 

Contact our customer service team and chat with non-commissioned diamond and jewelry experts 24/7 regarding any questions you have about buying an engagement ring online and the process around it. 

Happy shopping! 

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

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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The-Best-Place-To-Buy-An-Engagement-Ring_cover_2

The Best Place To Buy An Engagement Ring 

So you’re ready to pop the big question but you’re not quite sure where to start looking for that special sparkler…let us help you discover the best place to buy an engagement ring!

The Best Place To Buy An Engagement Ring 

We’re going to try and give you a simple answer to that special question you’ve been asking yourself lately– where is the best place to buy an engagement ring??

If you’re looking to take the next step and begin your engagement ring shopping experience, we absolutely recommend starting online! Whether you’re looking for a classic solitaire engagement ring with no extra bits or bobs, or you’re looking for the perfect halo engagement ring set in your dream fancy shape diamond, we guarantee your preference is bound to be online, and in abundance!

It’s no surprise that online shopping has become a comfortable and convenient alternative to in-person shopping over the past few years. But does it take away anything from the ring shopping experience? 

Let’s walk through the pros and cons of buying your dream ring online, and hopefully, you’ll come to agree that the best place to buy an engagement ring is from the comfort of your own home. 

Engagement Ring Shopping 

Engagement ring shopping is as exciting as it is overwhelming. Not only does it take some research but it’s a huge investment, and one you surely want to get right from the get-go.

Many online jewelry realtors understand the stress and unique needs of diamond engagement ring buyers, and so these same realtors are motivated to make sure your buying experience is incredibly easy and that you have every tool you’d need to make the perfect choice! 

So what questions should you be asking yourself? 

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

Special Services & Technology 

What unique services will an online jewelry store offer you? You want to start by looking at their tech features. Are you able to do a free real-time diamond consultation and learn more about it and also have an up-close look at a particular diamond that has caught your eye? 

When searching for the center stone for your engagement ring, it’s important that you not only have access to the different types of diamonds available to you but also easy-to-understand information about important factors to consider when choosing a diamond for your unique budget and preference. 

Most online jewelry stores will have an education center filled with everything you need to know about choosing a diamond. You’ll likely also have access to expert and diamond jewelry consultants who are readily available to jump online with you to answer all your questions, help you pick out your diamond engagement ring, and allow you to view your diamond choices in 360° HD.

14K White Gold Embellished Gallery Pavé Diamond Halo Engagement Ring

Online Engagement Ring Customization

Next, can you customize your engagement ring yourself? The short answer is yes! The best place to customize your engagement ring is online because you have the ability to see your creation form in real-time. You have all the tools available to mix and match different settings, metal colors, diamond shapes, etc. 

Like our very own Ring Studio, online customization is taken to the next level. You are the main designer and creator, as opposed to telling someone in a store what you like and having them create it for you. You don’t need to settle for an engagement ring that doesn’t quite suit your or your partner’s style because you can design one that is the exact representation of what you want down to every minute detail. 

14K Rose Gold Bypass Marquise Array Diamond Engagement Ring

Virtual Engagement Ring Try-On

Worried about being able to try on your ring and get that perfect ring size? To order engagement rings online is a daunting experience- but not one that isn’t without surety. Believe it or not, you’ll be able to do a virtual try-on. And when we say you’ll be trying on rings all day long, we mean it! 

You can see what ring styles look good on you, which metals match best with your skin tone, and what size diamond or shape suits your finger best. 

14K White Gold Entangled Vines Engagement Ring

Online Ring Sizer

Next, you can determine your ring size in so many different ways using helpful tips and tricks. There’s even an app you can use to get an exact measurement. At James Allen, we offer free resizing, done in a timely manner- in case you have a special proposal planned! 

14K Yellow Gold Bow-Tie Channel Set Diamond Engagement Ring

Variety & Budget 

When buying an engagement ring online, you’ll find you have a much wider variety of diamond and gemstone center stones available to you. While some people prefer the traditional natural diamond, the perks of investing in lab created diamond alternatives are growing exponentially. 

Lab grown diamonds and earth created diamonds are optically and chemically identical. If you were to have both diamonds professionally inspected, you would find no differences. The only noticeable difference is the incredible price tag. A lab created diamond is by far the more budget-friendly option, allowing you to get the diamond you truly want, for less! 

We can’t stress this enough. In-store operations have gemstone and diamond engagement rings available for you to browse and try on, but online stores really do have so much more to offer you at a personal level. Especially if you’re looking for variety or to customize a specific ring. 

Fun fact: At JamesAllen.com we store hundreds of different ring settings and more than 300,000 natural and lab grown loose diamonds- in every fancy shape and color!

14K White Gold Woven Solitaire Engagement Ring

Shipping & Returns Policies

The best place to buy an engagement ring will certainly be one you can wholeheartedly trust to be fair and deliver on their promises. Most online jewelry stores have thorough shipping and return policies. It’s needed to ensure trust and long-lasting relationships with customers who have moved to purchase their jewelry online. 

Looking at our process and policies, every engagement ring from James Allen is hand-crafted, methodically examined, and checked by diamond and jewelry experts to ensure the quality of a piece before it’s shipped via secure delivery methods. Every order includes Free WorldWide Shipping, and Hassle-Free Returns with 100% Money Back Guarantee within 30 days. 

14K White Gold Tapered Baguette Diamond Engagement Ring

The Best Place To Buy An Engagement Ring FAQs

  1. Is it safe to buy an engagement ring online?

The answer is yes. If you’re set on buying your ring online, make sure to do the proper research: choose a trustworthy vendor, verify their certification, read the return policy, and pay attention to the shipping details. 

  1. Can I return an engagement ring that I purchased online?

Usually yes, but it’s your responsibility to read through the vendor’s return policy before making a purchase from them. 

  1. Where should you not buy an engagement ring?

Always make sure you’re working with a reputable jeweler. Don’t buy an engagement ring from any vendor that cannot prove their legitimacy or if you can tell whether their site deals and special offers are too good to be true. 

  1. Is it cheaper to buy an engagement ring online or in-store?

Engagement rings are said to be 30-40% cheaper online than they are in physical jewelry stores. Because of the way diamonds are sold and distributed, diamonds are less expensive for online vendors.

We’re Here To Help

Finding the perfect engagement ring comes with stress, questions, and a lot of second-guessing. At James Allen, we offer you 100% free advice and will assist you in understanding the best diamond quality for your budget and unique preferences. 

Contact our customer service team and chat with non-commissioned diamond and jewelry experts 24/7 regarding any questions you have about buying an engagement ring online and the process around it. 

Happy shopping! 

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

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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The Best Jewelry Gifts For Husband Appreciation Day

Show your husband that every day is Husband Appreciation Day with a gift that celebrates his unique style. James Allen has a brilliant array of accessories, ensuring you will find the perfect gift for your perfect husband.

Best Jewelry Gifts

At first this might sound like one of those random “holidays,” but Husband Appreciation Day is actually a great opportunity to spoil your spouse, and give the gift of sparkle to the man who makes you shine everyday.

Didn’t know this was a holiday? No need for panic-Googling, let James Allen ease your anxiety! Read on to find the gift your husband didn’t even know he wanted! We have options for every husband, in every budget.

Whether you want your husband dripping in diamonds, or you’re looking for a more classic look, we are here to help. Whatever his taste and lifestyle, we’ve got the perfect gift.

Isn’t Jewelry A Weird Gift For Husbands?

While funny beer mugs, monogrammed boxers, or survivalist knives might be more “traditional” gifts, more and more partners are choosing to get something sophisticated that reflects their husband’s unique style.

Get them the gift that not only expresses their personal taste, but that they can sport everyday. Allowing them to feel the spirit of Husband Appreciation Day everyday.

The best gift is the one they love but would never buy themselves, the one they moon over but never buy because they don’t need it. Below we showcase a variety of pieces from traditional to luxurious, from understated elegance to show stopping sparkle.

When selecting your gift, keep in mind that many of our options, particularly rings, can be engraved with a personal message. Show your love for your pookie bear (or insert your own nickname) with a personal inscription.

No matter what you choose, any gift filled with love, to show your appreciation, will make their heart shine.

Alternative Metal Wedding Rings

Whether you want to upgrade your husband’s wedding ring, buy an additional wedding ring, or gift him a unique fashion ring, we have what you need. After all, your husband should have a ring as amazing as he is.

Alternative metal rings for men are increasing in popularity for a reason. Allowing them to express their personal style and showcase their unique taste, non-traditional rings for men for engagements, weddings, and of course for fun, come in a variety of gorgeous patterns and materials.

This is the ring your husband wears everyday to show the world his love and commitment to you. Give him a ring as beautiful as your partnership. Love the rings above but need to see more? Check out more non-traditional wedding rings for men HERE.

Give Him The Classic Look

Perhaps your husband has a more traditional style. The classic partner sporting a classic look. If alternative rings aren’t his thing, we have a variety of traditional rings he will love.

Perfect for the man who prefers a simple, unadorned look. Classic wedding rings are the perfect way for your husband to be reminded of how much you love and appreciate him, every single day.

And don’t forget you can update your classic gift with a meaningful, personalized inscription on the inside of the ring, which James Allen will add for free! Whatever you decide, adding a personal sentiment to such a special gift allows you to take your appreciation of your husband to the next level.

See the inspo below and check out more options HERE.

The Gift Of Creative Carvings

Looking for something in between alternative and classic? Carved rings are your jam! Combining classic metal with alternative design, carved rings allow your husband to showcase his unique style.

Carved rings

Does he already have a wedding ring? No problem! Carved rings work great as fashion rings. Available in different colors and materials, carved rings make a stunning gift. Show him you appreciate his style as much as you appreciate him.

Diamonds Are ALSO Your Husband’s Best Friend

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend but husband’s are also getting in the game. From sporting stud earrings to blinged out rings, diamonds are a great way to show your husband he is more than just the apple of your eye, he is your diamond in the rough.

Give your husband a pair of classic diamond studs so he can shine bright:

Or give your hubs a blinged out ring to add to his sparkle:

Diamonds are always in style. Whether dressing up a suit or accessorizing a more casual look, diamond jewelry can make a bold and classic statement all at once.

Diamond jewelry is no longer just for rockstars and rappers, more and more men are hoping for this dazzling trend. Explore our collections of diamond jewelry and help your husband take on the look of icons.

Because He’s Famous To You

Male celebrities have been spotted more and more wearing unique wedding and fashion rings. While your husband may not be a celebrity, show him he is famous in your eyes with a gift of superstar style.

Give your husband the style of a black ring that will have him fighting off his own paparazzi.

Love the look? Grab a similar ring or two to mix and match!

Is your husband the rock star of your life? Is he cutting edge and not afraid to break fashion barriers? Then bold rings like these are the perfect choice!

Is your husband as famous for his forward fashion choices as much as for being an incredible partner? Does your husband bend the rules of style? Then these rings for him!

Which of these amazing pieces will you give to celebrate Husband Appreciation Day? Love what you see and want to see more? Go to JamesAllen.com and start shopping today!

And check out these articles for even more inspo and tips!

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

Sarah Chin

Sarah is a stickler for grammar and prefers to use the Oxford comma. She enjoys her career as a writer since being a professional snowboarder/powerlifter/pastry chef didn’t pan out.

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St. Patrick’s Day: Get Your Green Glitz On

St. Patrick’s Day: Get Your Green Glitz On

Tradition says that we wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, but it does not say that green can’t sparkle and shine! You do not have to be from the Emerald Isle in order to rock these fabulous pieces. From engaging emeralds to radiant earrings, celebrate with the utmost luxury and style.

Who Was St. Patrick?

There are many legends around this 4th-century saint: that he drove snakes out of Ireland and explained religious doctrine using a shamrock. This slave turned saint was first celebrated in Ireland with religious services.

However, immigrants to the United States transformed this holiday into a largely secular celebration. St. Patrick’s Day is now famous for its fun celebrations, marked by parades and the color green, where both Irish and non-Irish participate in this sparkling shamrock fest.

The Chicago River dyed green for St. Patrick's Day
green water coming out of a fountain for St. Patrick's Day

Going Green

The entirety of March is often dedicated to going green for St. Patrick’s Day. Events can be found all over the country, marked by this signature color. 

Green is associated with St. Patrick’s Day for many reasons. Green is a color of nationalism on the Irish flag, it is the color of the shamrock, an Irish symbol, and many believed that wearing green made you invisible to leprechauns.

Wearing green would protect you from these mythical creatures who would pinch anyone NOT wearing the color.

Leprechaun asking are you wearing green?
Dancers for St. Patrick's Day in Boston

Celebrants have come to pinch anyone not wearing green, to remind them of their risk of being pinched by these supernatural beings of Irish folklore.

Green is also the color of spring and the shamrock, and for the last several decades, the Chicago River on St. Patrick’s Day.

Learn more about May’s birthstone and see celebrity-inspired ways to wear the gem here!

The Emerald Isle

Ireland is revered for its lavish green landscapes, earning it its famous nickname. The perfect green hue of emeralds matches the rolling hills of the Irish countryside; it is also quite symbolic. 

Green emeralds symbolize spring, rebirth, renewal, wisdom, and are even thought to have healing properties for eyes, ears, and skin. The gemstone is also thought to represent love, faithfulness, and eloquence.

Emeralds are also thought to improve wealth, intelligence, and creativity. Emerald engagement rings symbolize the love that will last forever. It is no wonder this sparkling lush gemstone is the choice of many for their engagement rings.

Check out some emerald engagement rings from James Allen or go here to design your own!

Round Split Halo Engagement Ring 

18K White Gold Round Split Band Diamond Halo Engagement Ring, 1.06 Carat Round Green Emerald

“May you have all the happiness and luck that life can hold—and at the end of your rainbows ay you find a pot of gold.”

-Old Irish Blessing

 Pavé Trio Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Pavé Trio Engagement Ring, 1.02 carat Emerald Natural Green Emerald

“Wishing you a pot o’ gold and all the joy your heart can hold.”

-Unknown

Bezel Set Engagement Ring

“We may have bad weather in Ireland, but the sun shines in the hearts of the people and that keeps us all warm.”

-Marianne Williamson

Cathedral Star Engagement Ring

14K Rose Gold Cathedral Star Engagement Ring, 1.40 carat Round Natural Green Emerald

“You gotta try your luck at least once a day, because you could be going around lucky all day and not even know it.”

-Jimmy Dean

Dazzle For St. Patrick’s Day

James Allen has many options to rock this glimmering green gemstone and sparkle with sophistication. Whether choosing a great pair of earrings, a beautiful bracelet, or a stunning necklace, you can avoid getting pinched with these perfectly green pieces that shine brighter than any pot of gold:

Alternating Oval Hoop Earrings

14K White Gold Alternating Oval Emerald And Round Diamond Hoop Earrings

“The only sure thing about luck is that it will change.”

-Wilson Mizner

Emerald Birthstone Necklace

14K Yellow Gold Emerald Birthstone Necklace

“May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow. And may trouble avoid you wherever you go.”

-Irish Blessing

Emerald Birthstone Earrings

14K Yellow Gold Emerald Birthstone Earrings

“Ireland is a land of poets and legends, of dreamers and rebels.”

-Nora Roberts

Infinity Emerald Birthstone Ring

14K Yellow Gold Infinity Emerald Birthstone Ring

“The best luck of all is the luck you make for yourself.”

-Douglas MacArthur

May Birthstone Gifts

Emeralds might be May’s birthstone, but you’ll want to wear this charming gem no matter when you were born. Check out these pieces from James Allen and add color to your jewelry collection. Receiving pieces with this gemstone will truly have you feeling the luck of the Irish.

Oval Halo Earrings

18K White Gold Oval Halo Emerald And Diamond Earrings (6.0x4.0mm)

“The amount of good luck coming your way depends on your willingness to act.”

-Barbara Sher

Alternating Arrow Milgrain Bezel Ring

14K Yellow Gold Alternating Arrow Shape Milgrain Bezel Emerald And Diamond Ring

“Love is never defeated, and I could add, the history of Ireland proves it.”

-Pope John Paul II

Marquise Emerald Pendant

14K White Gold Marquise Emerald And Diamond Pendant

“Luck is believing you’re lucky.”

-Tennessee Williams

Halo Emerald Earrings

18K White Gold Oval Halo Emerald And Diamond Earrings (6.0x4.0mm)

“A good friend is like a four-leaf clover, hard to find and lucky to have.”

-Irish Proverb

Check out our other gemstone and birthstone guides:

February Amethysts * March Aquamarines * April Diamonds * May Emeralds * June Pearls * July Rubies * August Peridots * September Sapphires * November Citrines * December Blue Topaz

Check out celebrity engagement rings and looks:

Sofia VergaraHailey Bieber * 2020 Oscars * Royal Engagements * Pippa Middleton * Miranda Kerr * Gwen Stefani, Demi Lovato, & More!

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

Sarah Chin

Sarah is a stickler for grammar and prefers to use the Oxford comma. She enjoys her career as a writer since being a professional snowboarder/powerlifter/pastry chef didn’t pan out.

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Inspired By Nature: Celebrate Earth Day In Style

Earth Day is more important with each passing year. A time to stop and appreciate our planet and all its beauty. All the colors of the rainbow, all shades and textures can be found in every corner of the planet. Want to don jewels of all the hues of mother earth? Read on to see how!

Diamond engagement ring

Earthly Greens

The color green symbolizes nature and serenity. It is also said to bring good luck! Coming in a variety of shades, green can be as rich as freshly cut grass, as subtle as green tea, and as dark as a mighty evergreen tree.

You have multiple options if you want to dazzle in green. First gemstones, look no further than May’s birthstone, the Emerald. Harnessing more than just the luck of the Irish, sporting emeralds will give you a downright royal look!

However, May’s birthstone is not alone in rocking the lucky green! Fancy colored diamonds also come in this luscious color. Fancy green colored diamonds, which are thought to represent prosperity and abundance, are not only another great way to sport this look, but fancy green colored diamonds make beautiful, stylish, and unique engagement rings.

See options for emeralds and fancy green diamonds below!

Grande Falling Edge Halo Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Grande Falling Edge Halo Engagement Ring

Bringing to mind images of grassy knolls, tall trees, and commanding plants, green is a color that reminds us of the serenity and power of the earth. Such a dynamic color, you can also adorn yourself in green by wearing the gemstone peridot.

Practically screaming the freshness of a summer’s day, peridot gemstone jewelry is the perfect birthstone for August. Grab some peridot pieces today and always have that summer feeling.

Ocean Blues

Producing images of the sky above and the sea below, blue represents loyalty, wisdom, and sincerity. The color also brings to mind ideas such as freedom and intuition. Like water, which covers over 70% of the Earth’s surface, with ocean’s holding almost 100% of the Earth’s water, blue has a myriad of shades.

Some of blue’s many shades can be found in fancy blue colored diamonds, as well as the gemstones aquamarine, blue sapphires, blue topaz, and tanzanite. Its many shades allow it to create varied looks; from incredibly luxurious to sparkling fun, and everything in between.

The flexibility of blue’s multiple shades also allows it to pair well with yellow, white, and rose gold. Whatever shade, whatever metal, whatever stone, James Allen has a blue approved by mother earth, ready to add to your collection.

Sun Rays

When you think yellow you think sunshine, happiness, and warmth. Symbolizing youth, energy, and optimism, yellow can be found in the gemstone citrine, a fancy yellow colored diamond, and of course, yellow gold. 

The sun provides solar energy and the light and heat that makes life possible. Showcasing the brightness of the sun, and the yellow of a sunflower, these citrine and yellow sapphire gemstone pieces, yellow pearls, and yellow gold fine jewelry are giving us life!

Fancy yellow colored diamonds are all the rage. It is no wonder more and more celebrities are being spotted sporting fancy yellow colored diamonds. With their timeless, gorgeous, and unique style, fancy yellow colored diamonds are a perfect choice to create a jaw dropping engagement ring.

Whichever your shade of yellow, James Allen has the piece for you to start shining like the sun!

Textures Of Nature

Planet earth is an amazing marvel, featuring every texture you could ever imagine. Tree bark, mud, mountains, and stone; the earth’s textures are something to be celebrated everyday. See how bamboo brings the feeling of tranquility and nature to these engagement and wedding rings.

Playing with texture is a great way to bring depth to your look, but textures are not limited to textiles! Inspired by the different textures of nature, James Allen has a plethora of choices for rich textures when it comes to rings, especially engagement and wedding rings.

The style of these rings allows them to work fabulously as fashion rings too!

And since more and more men are complimenting their looks with jewelry, options are more important here than ever! Through alternative metals and styled carvings, these rings bring the feeling of nature simply by slipping them on your finger.

In particular, alternative and carved rings for men showcase textures and patterns found throughout nature. Checkout some options below! Unsure if a textured look is right for you? See our pros and cons chart below to help you decide!

Textured & Alternative Rings

Pros

  • Unique, Non-Traditional Look
  • More Affordable
  • More Scratch-Resistant
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons

  • Problematic To Resize
  • Heavier Than Traditional Gold Rings
  • Can Be Problematic Around Water
  • More Susceptible To Cracking

Pollinated Perfection

One of the most beautiful and fascinating things in nature is pollination. This essential part of plant reproduction sees bees and other insects fertilizing flowers. This captivating process is crucial as it leads to the creation of fruit and other foods humans and animals eat, as well as numerous products we use.

In short, the earth would not survive without pollination. It also allows very cute insects to create very beautiful flowers 🌺 and gorgeous fine jewelry. These pieces will remind you of insects, flowers, and other critters, but without allergies!

Not into the insect look? Check out these adorable pieces that will give you a constant reminder about your furry best friend and other adorable animals.

Earthly Style

Our planet is filled with natural inspiration and Earth Day is a good reminder that it is our job to protect it. The textures, colors, and creatures are fascinating works of mother nature and beautiful influences on style.

The calming colors and rich compositions, combined with the meaningful symbolism makes all the workings of earth the ultimate style guide. 

So rock those nature-inspired styles and tag @JamesAllenRings to show off your earthly inspo!

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

Sarah Chin

Sarah is a stickler for grammar and prefers to use the Oxford comma. She enjoys her career as a writer since being a professional snowboarder/powerlifter/pastry chef didn’t pan out.

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The Super Sparkles Of LVI

Super Bowl rings are known for their opulent use of diamonds and gemstones. The rings feature the winning team’s name, the year, and the Super Bowl number. This year’s game featured the Cincinnati Bengals meeting the Los Angeles Rams. The Bengals have not won a Super Bowl in years and the Rams have never won one in their new hometown (they won once in 2000 when they were the St. Louis Rams)….both teams were looking to make history and rock that championship bling.

The Super Sparkles Of LVI 

All That Glitters…

Upsetting a division champion, breaking a multi-game losing streak, the Bengals and Rams were an unlikely pairing for Super Bowl LVI. Leaving us only our imaginations to guess how much and what bling will be used for the championship ring.

The NFL contributes between $5,000 to $7,000 per ring, but the average ring costs six to ten times that amount. The winning team covers the remaining costs and it is yet unknown how much the winners will spend, and thus, how many diamonds and gemstones will be used.

All Super Bowl rings have diamonds and gems, but which gems are anyone’s guess. Some teams stick to diamonds only, while most have gemstones reflecting their team’s colors. The blue and yellow of the Rams, and the orange, black, and white of the Bengals are reflected in blue sapphires, yellow citrine, and of course diamonds.

Want to rock the colors of the Rams? Check out the pieces below:

Prefer to rock the colors of the Bengals? Go for these pieces!

Looking for more options! Check these out:

This Bling Is Brought To You By…..

The Super Bowl is a contest to see who is the best of the best! A dream of then-Green Bay Packers Head Coach Vince Lombardi, the big game is a contest between the division champions of the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC).

Since its inception, the majority of Super Bowl rings have been designed by Jostens, but Tiffany & Co. (who also designs the Super Bowl’s Vince Lombardi trophy), as well as Balfour have also gotten in on the game. Check out this piece inspired by the infamous Lombardi trophy:

Gold Bar Pendant Necklace

14K White Gold Bar Pendant Necklace

What this year’s Championship ring will look like is still unknown. Ring design can only start now that there is a champion. Though we know from past rings that they will certainly be blindingly bling-tastic, filled with diamonds and gemstones. See the spectacular sparkles of past rings here.

Whereas merchandise was printed for both teams, with the losing team’s merch finding itself in donation bins, the ring is a different matter. Superstition abounds and only now that there is a winner will design get input from the winning team. 

Design and production will take about three months, after which the rings are presented in a private ceremony. Platinum is sometimes used, but gold is normally the metal of choice for this championship glitz. The number of diamonds and gemstones used is determined in the design, but it is safe to say the shine is so bright, you might need shades when looking at it.

Everyone Wants To Be Champion

All the work, the training, the games, injuries, and recovery, are all part of the emotional rollercoaster that is football. The journey to finally receiving a Super Bowl ring is a long and winding road and anything less than victory, can simply feel like heartbreak.

Owning a genuine Super Bowl ring is highly sought after, and not just by the champions. For example, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft gifted one of his Super Bowl rings, either accidentally or purposefully, depending on whose story you believe, to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But the ring and the game are not the only stars of the Super Bowl. The halftime show is just as much a part of the experience. This year’s show featured artists Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dog, Eminem, Dr. Dre, and Kendrick Lamar.

Blige, Dre, Snoop, Eminem, and Lamar brought their powerhouse vocals, smooth rhymes, and commanding performances, marked by their unique styles.

Mary is frequently seen sporting classic gold hoops.  Get your own pair and feel as powerful as this music icon:

Intertwined Oval Hoop Earrings

14K Yellow Gold Intertwined Oval Hoop Earrings

Snoop can be seen sporting all sorts of pieces, fitting his eccentric personality. Get your own version of Snoop’s ice here:

Gold Mini Elephant Necklace

14K Yellow Gold Mini Elephant Necklace

Eminem keeps his shine classic and can often be seen wearing a gold chain. Grab your own version here:

Paper Clip Chain Necklace

14K Yellow Gold 3.9mm Paper Clip Chain Necklace

Super Proposals

Receiving the ring that marks the ultimate achievement in football is a moment that cannot be matched. Yet a few athletes, and even fans, have tried. Quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes, took this incredible moment of professional performance and added a moment of personal bliss. The day he got his Super Bowl ring, he also gave a precious ring. 

Following the ceremony where the Chiefs received their rings, Mahomes surprised his long-time girlfriend with a ring of her own, proposing in an opulent surprise ceremony. She of course said yes!

Petite Pavé Cathedral Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Petite Pavé Cathedral Engagement Ring

Also entering the romantic Super Bowl proposal arena was linebacker for the New York Giants Greg Jones.  After beating the Patriots, Jones proposed to his college sweetheart, but Jones couldn’t wait for the ring ceremony.

During the joyful chaos of the on field celebrations, he got down on one knee and proposed, bringing his longtime girlfriend Many Piechowski to tears. Check out this ring that will bring your partner to (happy) tears too!

Grande Falling Edge Halo Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Grande Falling Edge Halo Engagement Ring

While you may not be able to play in the Super Bowl, you can up the ante by popping the question with a ring worthy of a Super Bowl-size proposal. Check out these options!

While most people are not NFL Champions, you can at least sparkle like one! Whether sporting a bling-tastic ring or fine jewelry with gemstones dedicated to your favorite team, James Allen is here to help give you that Super Bowl sparkle.

Check out celebrity and athlete engagement rings and looks here:

Sofia VergaraHailey Bieber * 2020 Oscars * Royal Engagements * Pippa Middleton * Miranda Kerr * NBA Inspired * MLB Inspired * Gwen Stefani, Demi Lovato, & More!

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

Sarah Chin

Sarah is a stickler for grammar and prefers to use the Oxford comma. She enjoys her career as a writer since being a professional snowboarder/powerlifter/pastry chef didn’t pan out.

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The Best Engagement Ring For Each Diamond Shape

Have your eye set on a particular diamond shape and you are looking for the best mounting to make it shine? Read on for the best engagement ring setting for any diamond shape.

Engagement rings with diamonds

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.

You can choose one of two ways to design your custom engagement ring at James Allen: 1) you can start with a setting and then choose a diamond to match, or 2) you can start with a diamond and then choose a complementary setting. 

If you’re the latter, this is your how-to guide. Each diamond shape has its own unique qualities and it’s crucial to know how to best show them off. 

Deciding Your Diamond Shape

If you’re looking for an elongated shaped diamond for your favorite engagement ring setting, it’s sure to provide two elegant optical illusions.

Because these shapes look larger than they really are, they are quite easy on your wallet. You can definitely spend less and still get a sizable diamond to flaunt. In fact, a 1-carat oval diamond has 10% more facets than a 1-carat round brilliant diamond. And the more facets your diamond boasts, the more it glitters.

  1. These diamonds look larger than their carat weight.
  2. They seem to lengthen the wearer’s finger.

How should you complement the length of a marquise, pear, or oval shape in your ring setting? Tapering.

Ring shanks that widen and taper into the diamond, whether via split bands or side stones, provide an elegant transition that also emphasizes the stone’s breadth. 

Marquise Cut

The pointiest diamond shape of them all isn’t for the faint-hearted. This boat-shaped diamond is bold and growing in popularity as a must-have for 2022. Marquise cut diamonds are known for their historical heritage and go back centuries — once being modeled by royalty.

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

Our recommendation: Marquise cut diamonds shine their brightest when centered in a bypass shank pavé setting.

Bypass Pavé Kite-Set Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Bypass Pavé Kite-Set Engagement Ring

“if the value of the ring was measured in beauty alone it was worth every penny” -Adam S.

Pear Cut

Go asymmetrical! This shape combines the best of two worlds: round brilliant and marquise. The curve of a round diamond gradually leads into the pointed elegance of a marquise. A pear cut diamond can offer more finger coverage and give the added illusion of a larger diamond than a round cut diamond with the same carat weight.

Our recommendation: Pear cut diamonds are best set in a north-south orientation and receive that “wow” factor when complemented by side-stone ring settings.

Laurel Leaves Engagement Ring

14K Rose Gold Laurel Leaves Diamond Engagement Ring

“I am really happy with how my ring turned out. This band is dainty and classic looking. It pairs perfectly with my pear diamond.” -Elvia D.

Oval Cut

Oval cut diamonds are a popular shape with many advantages. 

  1. They have no sharp corners, meaning they’re less prone to catching on clothes. 
  2. They have all the beauty of the classic round diamond with the perks of a lengthened shape.
  3. Each diamond has a unique length-to-width ratio, meaning you can find a unique shape that suits your style.

Ovals that are longer are considered more elegant, while wider shapes display less of a bow-tie effect. Generally, the appearance of a bow-tie shadow in an elongated shape is considered less desirable, but it’s really up to the personal taste of the wearer. Finally, this diamond has no sharp corners, making it a better investment if you’re afraid of chipping.

Our recommendation: 2022 has deemed oval cut diamond solitaire engagement rings a fan favorite. Hop on this growing trend and slip on a classic in yellow or rose gold.

Classic Split Shank Solitaire Engagement Ring

14K Yellow Gold Classic Split Shank Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring

“This ring is comfortable, the band is thin and petite just how I wanted it. The diamond is SOOOOO SHINEY!!!! Of course the pictures cannot do it justice. Pure perfection here.” – Kylee B.

Square Shaped Diamonds For Engagement Rings

Squarish shapes are some of the oldest diamond shapes, and they still hold that classic charm. The following four shapes benefit from angular settings that mirror their straight edges.

Lines, squarish side stones, and edged bands all enhance their angular facets.

Princess Cut

Princess cut diamonds, like round cuts, typically contain 58 facets that function to maximize light dispersion for optimal fire and brilliance. All of these facets pack a massive amount of light into a neat little square.

Our recommendation: Princess cut diamonds are for the bold and royalty needs a strong entourage— so the only setting worthy of this firey brilliance is a side-stone setting with stunning diamond accents.

Blossom Tree Engagement Ring

14K Rose Gold Blossom Tree Diamond Engagement Ring

“The rose gold blossom band is wonderful and with the diamond they all glitter and sparkle together so much, that it can’t help but draw everyone’s attention!” -Stephen L.

Emerald Cut

An emerald cut diamond’s limited facets tend to reveal inclusions, making it the perfect cut for flaunting a diamond’s clarity. Aim for an emerald cut stone with minimal inclusions. Emerald cut diamonds also reveal color more easily than other shapes do, so choose a high color grade if you’re setting your diamond in white metal.

However, setting a “warmer” diamond in yellow or rose gold will make the diamond appear more colorless; you can opt for a lower color grade and invest your money in clarity.

Even though an emerald cut diamond is squared, it’s also elongated. This means that its length creates the optical illusion of elegantly “lengthening” the wearer’s fingers.

Our recommendation: Emerald cut diamonds make a statement on their own and so we say keep it simple with a small twist. Set your emerald diamond at an east-west orientation in a timeless solitaire setting.

East-West Knife Edge Engagement Ring  

14K Yellow Gold East-West Knife Edge Cathedral Solitaire Engagement Ring

“Would highly recommend this unique east-west setting. I love it!” -Julia W.

Radiant Cut

Made up of a staggering 70 facets on their pavilion and crown, radiant cut diamonds can disperse more light than other square and rectangular-shaped stones. Practically, this translates into way more brilliance and fire than is found in traditional step cut diamonds.

Radiant diamonds tolerate a good amount of inclusions; in fact, when it comes to clarity they’re pretty much the opposite of emerald cut diamonds. If you’re thinking about purchasing a radiant diamond, save money on clarity and invest in the most colorless diamond you can.

Our recommendation: Radiant cut diamonds have a softer side than most square-shaped diamonds. You can make sure your diamond is the center of attention by having it set in an unforgettable channel setting.

Bow-Tie Channel Set Engagement Ring

“It was one thing to be impressed enough on the online shop with how the ring would look, but when it arrived and I saw it with my own eyes I was lost for words!” -Baxter W.

Asscher Cut

The Asscher cut is the even-sided cousin of the emerald cut. It’s all the beauty of an oblong emerald cut, concentrated into a squared shape. The many, close-set concentric facets give off a “hall of mirrors” effect which is undeniably eye-catching.

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. 

Our recommendation: Asscher cut diamonds are the embodiment of art deco making their ideal ring setting a vintage design or a channel setting for the minimalist wearer.

Thin Channel Set Engagement Ring

14K Yellow Gold Thin Channel Set Round Shaped Diamond Engagement Ring

“I don’t know what I can say. The product in my hand is way better-looking than the model picture.” -Mattias R.

Round Shaped Diamonds For Engagement Rings

Rounded diamonds are some of the most agreeable shapes in that they suit nearly every setting. Their soft edges work well in a range of styles, but they’re the best set off in settings that hug their curves. Go for halos and other settings that surround your main diamond with accent stones.

Cushion Cut

A squarish shape with rounded corners, the cushion cut diamond has been beloved for over a century! It’s a descendent of one of the first widely popular cuts from the 18th century, the old mine cut.

However, cushion cut diamonds contain more delicate facets and a lower crown. This shape is experiencing a resurgence in popularity as couples throwback to the classics.

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.

Our recommendation: Cushion cut diamonds look exceptional in halo settings which will, without doubt, create an enchanting display of glittering brilliance.

Cushion Outline Pavé Engagement Ring

18K White Gold Cushion Outline Pavé Engagement Ring

“The cushion frame, the diamonds on the top and around its edge, really gives it originality and intriguing appeal. It showcased my diamond’s brilliance while adding a lot of pop to my fiancé’s finger.” -Ryan L.

Heart Cut

This romantic shape isn’t for the faint of heart. Heart shaped diamonds put a modern twist on the classic round brilliant cut. With a round diamond’s beloved facet pattern, and a cheeky heart shape, these stones are made for ring shoppers who have no problem progressing tradition.

Our recommendation: There’s no denying that a heart cut diamond makes a statement no matter the chosen ring setting. However, a halo setting is the only way to truly amplify this unique diamond shape.

Shared Prong Marquise Halo Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Shared Prong Marquise Halo Diamond Engagement Ring

“Amazing shopping experience and a beautiful selection. My fiancé loves her ring!” – Joseph L.

Round Cut

Boasting 58 glittering facets and in a perfectly symmetrical cut, the round brilliant diamond is, by far, the best-selling diamond shape on the market. After all, how do you improve on perfection? Its peerless charm suits every ring setting.

There’s a reason it’s the most popular center stone for engagement ring buyers. You will never go wrong with a timeless round cut diamond in any ring setting you choose because it shines just as bright in a simple solitaire setting as it would be surrounded by side stones or adorned in a pavé halo.

Our recommendation: If you choose to go with a round center stone, you’ll give yourself the best opportunity to pick any ring setting that truly speaks to your unique personality and style.

Pavé Rope Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Pavé Rope Engagement Ring

“Simple elegance. My now fiancée wanted something that was not just a ring, but that would not overtake her finger!” -Adolfo L.

Need a hand to find the perfect diamond shape to go with your ideal ring setting? Inspect the diamond of your choice in 360° HD and 40x zoom with the guidance of a professional gemologist!

Our Real-Time Diamond Inspection is a game-changer for online ring shoppers.

Make The Most Of Your Diamond Shape:

  1. Your GIA Certification, Explained
  2. How To Fully Customize Your Ring 
  3. Earth-Created vs. Lab-Created Diamonds: A Guide
  4. Why Carat Weight Matters Less Than You Think

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

Sarah Chin

Sarah is a stickler for grammar and prefers to use the Oxford comma. She enjoys her career as a writer since being a professional snowboarder/powerlifter/pastry chef didn’t pan out.

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7 Valentine’s Day Proposal Ideas You’ll Love

Thinking about popping the question on Valentine’s Day? Keep reading to find out what V-Day proposal trends will sweep your significant other off their feet. 

A man proposing to a woman while holding a red James Allen ring box

Love is in the air, and it’s time to take advantage of cupid’s magic. At James Allen, we know every day is a special day with your someone special, but there’s only one day dedicated to pure romance and sweetness.

If you’re set on proposing on Valentine’s Day, we’re here to offer you some adorable proposal ideas and give you a look at some of our customers’ yes moments! Let their bright smiles and glowing rings inspire you to plan an unforgettable moment for you and your love. 

Wine ‘Em And Dine ‘Em

This may be a tad simple, but for many people, being present with your partner with some added yummies is all you need. 

Think before you pop the question: is your partner the type of person who would love being proposed to in a crowded restaurant, or is an intimate picnic/ candlelit homemade dinner the better way to go? If you’re both foodies, we suggest either booking a spot at their dream restaurant or cooking their fave dish at home.

Pavé Halo And Shank Diamond Engagement Ring

A happy couple embracing in the snow while she shows off her diamond engagement ring
14K White Gold Pavé Halo And Shank Diamond Engagement Ring (Pear Center)

It’s All About The View 

We call this the double jaw-dropper: a proposal plus a breathtaking view. A Valentine’s Day proposal may call for some extra effort. Let’s start with the most extreme to a simple yet sentimental backdrop.

If you and your partner are fond of traveling, met abroad, or have a favorite destination, we suggest you start making your travel plans now and get that perfect spot for your V-Day proposal. 

You could also keep it a little more low-key. Take your someone special to your favorite local hangout, the place you first met, or skip back in time to a key moment in your relationship, like your first kiss. 

No matter where you propose on Valentine’s Day, we’re almost certain that no view will be as stunning as the twinkle in your partner’s eye when they say yes. Your chosen picturesque setting will be a bonus for your Insta-worthy engagement shots. 

Cathedral Pavé Crown Diamond Engagement Ring

A man proposing to his girlfriend near a lake, forest and mountains
14K Rose Gold Cathedral Pavé Crown Diamond Engagement Ring

The Cliché That Works

There’s no Valentine’s Day without a box of chocolates, and we don’t think there’s anything wrong with embracing a few of cupid’s tasty clichés. Assuming your partner has a sweet tooth, a hidden engagement ring inside a heart-shaped box of chocolates could be your ticket to a cute chocolate-stained tooth YES! 

If you want to make it more personal, you could pick out their favorite types of chocolates and create a customized chocolate box. 

Now, there are a few ways you could go about the actual proposal. Firstly, you could gift them the box, and as they open it, you’ll have time to drop down to one knee. Alternatively, keep the ring at your side and have them open the box with the words “will you marry me?” written on the inside of the top lid. 

It’s sweet, it’s simple, and you’ll have a delicious snack to celebrate in between happy dances, fiancé selfies, and joyful phone calls to friends and family. 

 Cushion Outline Pavé Engagement Ring

A blurred photo of a couple kissing with her hand and diamond engagement ring in focus
14K White Gold Cushion Outline Pavé Engagement Ring

A Surprise Party

Good at keeping secrets? If yes, maybe a surprise party is the perfect way to propose on Valentine’s Day. 

It’s also the perfect way to kill two birds with one stone- a proposal party morphing into an engagement party. You’re also able to celebrate with all your loved ones and what could be more special than that? 

Take your time to plan it perfectly, the food, music, location, and how you’re going to propose. You could get someone to create a video of you and your partner as a pre-proposal intro. If you’re not shy, you could even serenade them or get your family and friends involved in a game that will lead to the big question. 

 Pavé Rope Engagement Ring

Couple facing away from the camera, her hands are wrapped around his head, her engagement ring on full display
14K White Gold Pavé Rope Engagement Ring

A Scavenger Hunt 

Set yourself up for the perfect proposal with a meaningful scavenger hunt. This way, you can hit all those special places that mean a lot to you and your love. It’s also super fun!

You will need to set this up perfectly, so make sure you plan your scavenger hunt well, including who you need to be involved in it. 

We suggest you keep your partner on their toes without making the hunt impossible to figure out. Each clue should lead them to a different location (part of your house), and you could be waiting at another place (or room) ready to pop the question. 

Want to keep it interesting? Have your partner do it with some friends or family members if you want the proposal to be a complete surprise. 

Pavé Knife Edge Lotus Basket Engagement Ring

A happy couple smiling at each other while the woman displays her diamond engagement ring in front of her
18K White Gold Pave Knife Edge Lotus Basket Engagement Ring

Show Your Love Story 

We’ve seen this done in the sweetest ways in our favorite family sitcoms and films, and this method is foolproof. Take your partner down storybook lane and show them all the places, moments, and memories that have meant the most to you throughout your relationship. 

This can be something that you do as a Valentine’s Day getaway, a small road trip around your town, or even in the comfort of your own home. Each particular spot can add to the buildup of your big questions and will only make that final moment all the more precious. 

Your proposal doesn’t have to be laced with sentimental Easter eggs, but we’d be lying if we said it wasn’t setting you up for the epitome of romantic proposals. You could even end the entire story off with all your family members and close friends. 

Need inspo- grab your tissues and check out episode 19, season 7 of The Office (US), where Michael Scott proposes to his girlfriend Holly using the storybook lane method.

Marquise Side Stone Diamond Engagement Ring

Couple with their hands touching and her diamond engagement ring on display
18K White Gold Shared Prong Marquise Side Stone Diamond Engagement Ring

With A Book Or Homemade Movie 

Are you and your partner creatives at heart? You could propose using that creativity in the cutest way.

Google is filled with customizable love books, and any simple editing app can help you design a homemade love story using your best moments as a couple. You could even rewrite their favorite love story using the two of you as main characters. 

Nothing says I love you more than your words and reminiscing over your memories together. So take the time to create your happily ever after chapter one, and leave your big question at the end of your story to start your chapter two with a bang and some new sparkle. 

Petite Pavé Crown Diamond Engagement Ring

A couple embracing after their proposal in a sunny garden
14K White Gold Petite Pavé Crown Diamond Engagement Ring

Need more Valentine’s Day inspiration?

Check out these Valentine’s Day-inspired posts and get in touch with our 24/7 customer service if you have any questions about your perfect sparkler! Looking for inspo? Follow us on Instagram at @JamesAllenRings and see how other happy customers have got their proposals right!

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

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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Simulant Diamonds vs. Lab Created 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.

Pair of tweezers and various fancy shaped diamonds

Note: At James Allen, we sell only U.S. Federal Trade Commission-certified true diamonds, which include 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 a 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. 

Real Diamonds

Lab Created Diamonds

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 was 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.

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. 

How to distinguish between a real diamond and a simulant diamond:

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 of 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.

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 is 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.

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 a 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.

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.

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 look amazing in any carat weight.

Moissanite:

Moissanite’s intense rainbow effect increases as the stone get 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.

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 do, 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 increase 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, comparable cubic zirconia will cost only a few dozen dollars.

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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West Side Story Lookalike Engagement Rings

Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story remake is coming out in December 2021 and we are snapping with excitement! Although the 1961 original was historic, it’s undoubtedly time for an update. With critics raving about this sublime version, it’s time to weigh in with matching sparkle.

Marie from Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story

Classics persist through the ages and are reborn through the ages. West Side Story most definitely proves this rule, with the Broadway run re-envisioned in the 1961 movie, and now the 2021 cinematic remake. West Side Story itself is a modern reimagining of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. 

In West Side Story, love, tragedy, anger, class tension, and disenfranchised rage are put on display in a rumbling, technicolor flurry. A powerful production deserves worthy statement pieces. At James Allen, we were inspired by the gorgeous costumes, iconic soundtrack, and ageless story to hand-pick the perfect engagement rings for Broadway fans.

Read on for West Side Story-inspired lookalike engagement rings!

Maria’s Dress | Ruby and Diamond Sunburst Halo Engagement Ring

Perhaps the most iconic costume in West Side Story is the dress Maria wears to the neighborhood dance: a simple white dress accented with a bold red ribbon. We’ve got the perfect complement to her outfit: this white gold ring with a ruby center stone. An engagement ring is a perfect accessory for this outfit because 1) it’s at the dance that Tony and Maria have their first encounter, and 2) Maria’s outfit is made by Anita, her best friend, a talented wedding dress seamstress.

Maria wearing a white dress and red belt
18K White Gold Oval Halo Ruby And Diamond Ring (7.0x5.0mm)

2021 Anita | Bird of Paradise Engagement Ring

In Spielberg’s version, Anita struts through the neighborhood dance in a gorgeous bright yellow dress with a red ruffled petticoat. There’s no better ring to match her twirling antics than this yellow gold bird of paradise engagement ring set with a beautiful ruby center stone. Round and marquise cut diamond dot its unique asymmetrical halo.

Anita dancing in a bright yellow and red dress
14K Yellow Gold Bird Of Paradise Engagement Ring

1961 Anita | Amethyst and Diamond Engagement Ring

In the 1961 movie, Anita, played by Rita Moreno, is instantly recognizable in her purple mermaid dress. She leads the pack in every dance, swirling her skirts in an unforgettable purple vision. This 1.8-carat emerald-cut amethyst will, like Anita, mesmerize a crowd. 

Anita in the 1961 movie, dances in her purple mermaid dress
18K Yellow Gold Amethyst Diamond Halo Ring

Tony & Maria meeting | Intertwined Bypass Engagement Ring

Tony and Maria’s first meeting at the neighborhood dance is magical. Almost instantly, they lock eyes and are besotted with one another.

Maria and Tony under the bleachers dancing together
14K White Gold Intertwined Bypass Tension Setting Engagement Ring

The Challenge Dance | Double Halo and Shank Pavè Engagement Ring

The Challenge Dance in the gym starts out as a get-together dance. Glad Hand sets the kids up in two circles: “Boys go on the outside, girls on the inside…when the music stops, each boy dances with whichever girl is opposite.” What better to wear to a Challenge Dance than a blingy double-halo engagement ring that resembles the dual-circled dance floor? 

A group of dancers in a hall
14K Rose Gold Diamond Split Shank Double Halo Pavé Engagement Ring

Puerto Rico in America | Red, White, and Blue Engagement Ring

Here you are free and you have pride! This patriotic ring’s red, white, and blue colors represent the national flags of both Puerto Rico and the United States. This white gold setting, rubies, and a stunning sapphire make this ring one that you’ll feel proud to wear throughout the country.

A wall covered in the American flag with graffiti reading, "this is our place", and "Puerto Rico"
14K White Gold Three Stone Pear Shaped Ruby Engagement Ring

Rita Moreno’s Valentina | Vintage Navette Engagement Ring

In Spielberg’s remake, Doc no longer runs the local drugstore; rather, his place has been taken by his widow, Valentina. And Valentina is played by Rita Morena, who won the best supporting actress Oscar for playing Anita in the original 1961 film! We’ve chosen an intricate vintage ring to honor this timeless Hollywood legend. A beaded navette pattern gives off an effortlessly French air, and a pavè halo adds even more sparkle.

Valentina from Spielberg's version sitting at a table
14K Rose Gold Milgrain Navette Halo Engagement Ring

Maria and Tony’s Balcony Scene | Bypass Solitaire Engagement Ring

Oh, the world is wild and bright with this dual-leveled bypass ring. The center diamond’s offset mounting resembles the couple’s late-night meeting on the balcony: with Tony professing his newfound love from the alleyway to Maria, who lovingly looks down upon him from her second-floor apartment and responds in kind. 

Maria and Tony staring at each other on a balcony
14K White Gold Ribbon Bypass Solitaire Engagement Ring

Sharks vs Jets | Half Bezel-Set Pavè Engagement Ring

This symmetrical half bezel-set ring brings to mind the confrontation between the Sharks and the Jets. The half-bezel setting is designed almost as if the side stones are pushing the pavè half-halo up and over the center diamond like a cresting wave.

West Side Story is all about simmering class tensions that can’t help but boil over when confronted with the love of a young couple, and this seemingly overflowing diamond engagement ring captures the story’s teeming emotions.

The Sharks vs. the Jets in a dance hall
14K White Gold Half Bezel Set Flowering Diamond Engagement Ring

Something’s Coming, Something Good | Petite Pavè Engagement Ring

Like Tony, we can’t help but burst with optimism at this petite pave ring. It’s one of our most popular styles, with over 1000 five-star reviews! Its band twinkles thanks to its French Cut pavè settings, which feature tiny v-shaped slots along its edges that expose each diamond to even more light. And more light = more sparkle. 

A group of men dancing in formation in the streets
14K Rose Gold Petite Pavé Engagement Ring (Flush Fit)

Anybodys | Two-Tone Solitaire Engagement Ring

A tomboyish outsider for most of the play, Anybodys tags along with the Jets until she’s officially welcomed into the gang after a post-rumble act of bravery. Anybodys is tough, persistent, and plucky, deserving of a unique engagement ring that can withstand Jet-worthy hijinks. 

This two-tone ring, with white gold on the outside and yellow gold within, suits the code-switching Anybody’s comfort across the neighborhood’s borders. Sure, she says “I ain’t never gonna get married. Too noisy.” But everyone deserves some sparkle, and diamond rings aren’t only for engagements.

Anybodys and a member of the Jets walking together
14K Gold Two-Tone 2.2mm Comfort-Fit Solitaire Engagement Ring

Get Your Own Star-Studded Engagement Ring

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  3. The Royal Wedding Ring Lookalikes
  4. The One With The Friends Reunion Jewelry

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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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Your GIA Certification, Explained

A GIA certification is an official document detailing the nitty-gritty of your unique diamond. Why’s it important? Read on to find out.

GIA Certification

First of all, what’s a GIA certification?

A GIA certification (so named because it’s issued by the Gemological Institute of America) is a type of diamond certification: a document that describes in detail all the unique characteristics of your diamond. An official GIA inspector analyzes your diamond thoroughly and records its physical attributes in the certificate. The 4 C’s (Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat Weight) are covered exhaustively. No two diamonds will have identical GIA certificates.

In short, you can think of a GIA certification as your diamond’s “birth certificate.” 

Martini Diamond Stud Earrings

14K Yellow Gold Three Prong Martini Round Brilliant Diamond Stud Earrings (1.00 CTW - H-I / SI1-SI2)

“What I’m most pleased with is how sparkly the diamonds are. I’m so glad I chose the 3 prong martini style, they don’t stick out or droop. They fit as flush to the ear as possible if that’s the look you’d prefer.” -Joyce J.

Four-Prong Diamond Stud Earrings

14K White Gold Four Prong Round Brilliant Lab Created Diamond Stud Earrings (1.50 CTW - F-G / VS2-SI1)

“I absolutely love my new earring studs! I was able to style them exactly how I wanted using the stones and metal I wanted. Couldn’t ask for a better experience.” -Matt T.

Is a GIA certification important? 

Well, yes and no. 

Yes: The GIA certification allows gemologists to identify, price, and appraise your diamond. By documenting its one-of-a-kind characteristics, a diamond certificate ensures that your stone is unmistakable.

No: You wear a diamond for the sparkle, not the certification. The GIA certification often comes in handy at the beginning of your diamond’s life – as you buy, appraise, and insure your diamond – then usually spends the rest of its days in a file cabinet.

To really understand the aspects of your diamond described in the GIA certification, you have to see them with your own eyes. With James Allen’s Diamond Display technology, you can view your diamond in 360° HD and up to 40x magnification. Then you’ll truly understand your diamond’s features.

Four-Prong Basket Solitaire Diamond Pendant

14K Yellow Gold Four Prong Basket Solitaire Diamond Pendant (Mounting)

“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,” literally and figuratively.” – Maggie L.

Mounted Pear Shape Diamond Solitaire Pendant

14K White Gold Pear Shape Diamond Solitaire Pendant (Mounting)

“The stone is so beautiful and sparkly. I love how it is set so it shows off the shape of the pear. The workmanship is great and it was shipped quickly. I am so happy with my Diamond pendant” -Lenora L.

Your GIA Certification

The good news is that every James Allen diamond comes with an official certification. We provide reports from the industry’s leading labs including the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Your diamond may come with a diamond certification from the GIA, the American Gem Society (AGS), or the International Gemological Institute (IGI). These labs adhere to the highest grading standards, and only issue diamond certifications certified by professional gemologists.

To get your diamond’s certificate, simply ask our customer service team! Your grading report is complementary with your diamond.

Beaded Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Bead Accent Pavé Trio Diamond Engagement Ring

“I am very happy with this ring setting. It feels very dainty and sort of vintage. I love the small details of this setting that make this ring feel unique, like the milgrain beading around the center stone.” -Noel B.

Pavé Halo Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Pavé Halo And Shank Diamond Engagement Ring (Pear Center)

“I got my ring several months ago and I still get excited every day when I see it. The ring is gorgeous and sparkly and exactly how I hoped it would look when I bought my stone!” Katrina H.

Earth Created Vs. Lab Created Diamonds?

Lab created diamonds and earth-created diamonds both come with diamond certifications. That’s because lab created diamonds and earth created diamonds are, well, diamonds. And since both grow organically (one underground, one in a lab) they both form their own unique, gradable characteristics. In fact, even professional gemologists can’t reliably tell the difference between earth-created and lab-created diamonds.

Four Prong Tennis Bracelet

14K White Gold Four Prong Lab Created Diamond Tennis Bracelet (2.00 CTW - F-G / VS2-SI1)

“I bought this bracelet as a present to myself. I extensively researched the difference between lab grown and earth diamonds and since there is no physical difference and I wanted the bigger diamonds I chose lab grown.” -Katrina D.

Bezel-Set Tennis Bracelet

14K Rose Gold Bezel Diamond Tennis Bracelet (3 CTW - H-I / SI1-SI2)

“I have always been in search of a nice diamond bezel bracelet: something that sparkles and doesn’t get caught in your clothes. This bracelet just exceeds my expectations! The diamonds sparkle, the bracelet is smooth, and overall the design is very nice! I NEVER take it off!” – Beth L.

Still Have Questions?

At James Allen.com, our customer service agents are available to you 24/7. Feel free to contact us, and one of our non-commissioned diamond and jewelry experts will help you find the diamond of your dreams. 

Still diamond curious? Read on!

  1. Diamonds: The April Birthstone
  2. How To Take Care Of Your Diamond Jewelry
  3. Earth-Created Vs. Lab-Created Diamonds
  4. Why Carat Weight Doesn’t Really Matter

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.

More Posts

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How To Wear Stackable Rings

When is an engagement ring more than an engagement ring? When it’s part of a stackable wedding set! A wedding set can contain more than an engagement ring and a wedding ring – and we’ll show you how to create your custom wedding stack with stackable wedding rings!

Stackable rings

Here’s how to stack the deck in your favor: start with your engagement ring. Have a good look at its characteristics and choose a matching wedding ring. In many cases, this is where the complementary calculations stop. However, most people, over the course of their married lives, mark special occasions with meaningful rings. And these subsequent, stackable rings can become part of an incredible ring stack that will be all yours.

Engagement ring + wedding ring + …? 

Which stackable wedding rings will make their way into your stack? You’ve got options. 

Anniversary rings

What’s the most obvious continuation to a wedding stack? An anniversary stack! An anniversary ring can look however you’d like, but traditionally each diamond on an anniversary ring represents a year of married life. Have a look at our full anniversary ring gallery and see which setting you love best. 

Graduation rings

Do you know what complements a shiny new diploma? A shiny new ring! It’s actually becoming quite popular to celebrate a graduation with an engagement-style ring: a metal band with a stunning center stone.

Marking the birth of a baby

You’ve brought an actual life into the world. Wow. You’re kind of a hero. New mothers deserve new sparkle, that’s what we always say. Choose your baby’s birthstone or a diamond representing the baby’s order: 1 diamond for your first child, 2 for your second, etc.

Birthday rings

30? 50? 77? Which birthday is particularly significant for you? Mark the occasion with a ring in your birthstone or your favorite metal!

Memorial rings

Keep the memory of a loved one present and close to your heart with a meaningful ring. It could be their birthstone or a particular pattern that reminds you of them. 

Accomplishment rings

You’ve gotten a raise, you’ve beaten an illness, you’ve achieved a long-held personal goal. Celebrate yourself, or recognize a loved one who’s done something incredible that doesn’t deserve to go overlooked.

How do I stack my wedding set?

There are quite a few ways to wear a wedding set, and the same goes for the rings you stack onto it. 

  • If you wear your wedding and engagement ring together, you can place your subsequent rings on either side of your stack.
  • If you wear your wedding and engagement rings on opposite hands, then you can add rings to either hand according to whatever looks best.

Of course, you can also add rings to fingers that aren’t sporting your two stunners, but then it wouldn’t be a ring stack, would it?

Open Ring Stacks

If you’ve got a ring with an elongated center stone like marquise, oval, or pear, then open stackable wedding rings are quite a fitting option. The end of your engagement ring stone will nestle smoothly into the gap of your open ring. 

Split-Shank Marquise Diamond Engagement Ring


Single- and Double-Banded Rings

This is the blingy choice! Choose the single band as your wedding ring, and save the double for your next special occasion – or vice versa. No matter what, your wedding stack is going to pop.

Channel-Set Cushion-Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

Curved Wedding Rings

Curved stackable wedding rings look amazing with uniquely-shaped engagement rings. And you can keep adding curved wedding rings, either identical or in variations, to your stack throughout the years. 

The Delicate Stack

Keep your stack simple and elegant with minimalist rings! This ensemble complemen