Your 10 Most Common Questions About Engagement Rings Answered (Part One)
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Your 10 Most Common Questions About Engagement Rings Answered (Part One)

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Has the time finally arrived for you to fall down on one knee and ask your sweet, special lady those four magic words?

Maybe you’re already dreaming up every last detail to her perfect engagement ring? Or are you just genuinely curious to know more information about engagement rings? No matter what position you identify with, Abby Sparks Jewelry knows that when it comes to engagement rings, it’s a complex subject.

Custom engagement ring made with 14k rose gold, 1.31 carat diamond center stone, and pink and yellow diamond accents custom made and designed by Abby Sparks Jewelry, The Mary.

(No one every said beauty was simple: there’s a lot that goes into an engagement ring. We’ll answer any question you may have. Above: The Mary, a rose gold engagement ring with a round 1.31 carat diamond center stone with pink and yellow gem accents.)


You’ve got a lot of questions swirling around this big decision. Have no fear: you aren’t alone!  Nearly everyone who has decided to embark on the quest of finding an engagement ring has asked the same sort of questions. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place searching for answers! So let’s get it all out in the open, shall we?

Here are your top ten most common questions about engagement rings, as answered by Abby Sparks Jewelry:


1. What are the Four C’s?

You always hear jewelry advertisements touting the Four C’s of their diamonds. Just what the heck are they talking about? Well, wonder no more: we’ll clue you in.

The Four C’s stands for carat, clarity, color, and cut.

Together, this clever little alliteration makes up a team of qualities that determines the value of a diamond. But the meaning of each C delves even deeper, which is a topic we covered back in our post on The Complete Guide to Diamonds for Your Engagement Ring. We’ll give you a refresher course and educate you on what each of the Four C’s entail. Let’s get into the breakdown.

Mountain inspired custom engagement ring made with 14k rose gold and 1.01 carat diamond center stone custom made and designed by Abby Sparks Jewelry, The Jessica.

(The Jessica engagement ring, courtesy of Abby Sparks Jewelry. Features a 1.01 carat diamond with a diamond halo setting on a rose gold band.)


No, nothing to do with the orange vegetable; this kind of carat is the measurement of how much a diamond weighs. The higher the carat number, the more the diamond weighs, and the bigger it will look, generally speaking. As the carat size increases, inevitably so does the price tag. The standard minimum carat size for an engagement ring is about 1 carats, like what is bestowed on our Jessica custom engagement ring, pictured above. But remember, bigger does not necessarily mean better! The suitable carat for your engagement ring depends upon your style, budget, and preferences.



Diamonds are available in every hue imaginable, but the traditional diamond we think of is colorless. A diamond that is nearly absent of color, or what is referred to as a white diamond, is the purest form of the gem and allows light to easily pass through and disperse as a rainbow. The Geological Institute of America (GIA) grades white diamonds on a scale from D through Z, or from colorless to light color. The less color a white diamond bears will equate to a higher value due to the intensity at which it sparkles.  All colored diamonds are ranked on a separate scale. The color of a diamond never changes, and while the most sought after is a  D ranked colorless diamond, many people do prefer diamonds with a slight tint of color.



Did you know diamonds are like people? There’s no such thing as perfection! Inside almost every diamond, some kind of blemish or inclusion can be found, even in the most minute amount. Held up to 10x magnification, diamonds are inspected for internal and external flaws. Though microscopic, such slight scratches offer a diamond character and ensure there is none other quite like it. While small marks are natural, too many can cause a diamond to look a bit bleak. Aim for as crystal clear to make the most of your diamond’s brilliance.



Cut is crucial when it comes to diamonds, describing both the shape and reflective qualities of a diamond that influence its fiery luminosity. The higher the cut grade, the more a diamond will shimmer. When cut proportionally, light should enter through the top of the diamond, angle into the core (or pavilion) and reflect out the opposite side. The most excellent of diamond cuts on engagement rings will project the most symmetry of reflected light. From princess to oval to cushion cut engagement rings, each diamond refracts a mesmerizing light that boasts the sharp precision of its shape. And speaking of cuts, that segues well into our next point of contention…


2. What Are the Different Diamond Cuts?

Abby Sparks Jewelry can get you shaped up in any kind cut of diamond that speaks to your heart’s content. There’s a myriad to decide amongst, all depending on what catches your eye.


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A true classic: round cut diamonds are the standard choice for 360 degrees of balanced radiance.

Rose cuts are also circular in their contour, but are flat on their base and domed at the crown. Its facets resemble that of a rose bud, hence the title.

Emerald cuts stand out by their extra long, rectangular shape.

Tapered to one end, pear cut diamond engagement rings present modernity in its symmetry and curves.

Similar to an emerald cut, an asscher cut diamond embodies four sides but is shorter like a square.

Also known as pillow cuts, cushion cut diamond engagement rings combine a square shape with rounded corners for utmost luxury.

Oval cut diamonds are the rounded answer to the marquise, and the elongated version of a round cut.

Also represented in a square shape are radiant cuts, but as the name suggests, it is shaped deeper to emit an even more powerful gleam.

Marquee cut diamonds are becoming increasingly popular in the market, calling back to a vintage era by way of its pointed apex.

The kaleidoscope of the mine cut diamond is unique by recognition of its broad facets that enclose a deep pavilion.

In comparison to standard cuts of diamonds, the trillion cut is usually of larger dimension and takes the mold of a triangular shape, with an emphasis of three sharp points on each end.

A baguette cut diamond ring is long and slender, marked by clean lines. Though they are formally used for accent stone shapes, that does not mean they have to stay away from the spotlight, and can certainly be the center stone for an engagement ring.

The princess cut diamond is sweet and sophisticated, and with four corners is versatile to fit any ring.

We’ve done it all: an immaculate pear cut diamond on The Erika seen at left. A glorious princess cut diamond of The Wendi engagement ring, middle. And of course, no one could ever forget the tried-and-true glory of a round shaped diamond at right, courtesy of The Sherri engagement ring.

Custom engagement ring made with 18k white gold, 1.0 carat pear cut diamond, and 1.65 ctw diamond accents made and designed by Abby Sparks Jewelry, The Erika.Custom engagement ring made with palladium and 0.75 carat princess cut diamond custom made and designed by Abby Sparks Jewelry, The Wendi.
Custom engagement ring made with white gold, filigree band, 1.06 carat diamond, and 0.75 ctw melee diamonds custom made and designed by Abby Sparks Jewelry, The Sherri.

(Top: a 1 carat pear cut diamond on the white gold Erika engagement ring. Middle: The Wendi, which features a princess cut diamond traced by a halo setting on a palladium band. Bottom: The white gold Sherri custom engagement ring, with a round cut diamond of 1.06 carats.)

There’s a shape for anybody and everybody. Which one sparks your fancy?


3. If I Don’t Want a Diamond, What are Some Alternative Engagement Ring Stones?

There are no limits to what you can make of your ring, especially when it comes to the custom engagement rings like Abby Sparks Jewelry designs. We get it: diamonds can be somewhat too expected. You’re a sharpshooter who likes to think outside of the jewelry box. For the individualist, we recommend giving the colored gemstone avenue a whirl.


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Rubies, aquamarines, emeralds, sapphires, amethysts, opals, morganites… There’s a color chart for precious gems that is seemingly endless! Your favorite color or birthstone can spice things up with vivid iridescence on your engagement ring.

By the process of stone sourcing in our custom engagement ring design process, Abby Sparks Jewelry can integrate virtually any gemstone onto an engagement ring. Need proof? The Alanna features a captivatingly feminine morganite stone that glows a unique and rosy aura. Let this precious gem custom engagement ring stir up inspiration for a diamond alternative of your own!

Right angle profile view and details of the The Alanna, an engagement ring made of 14k rose gold and 5 carat cushion cut morganite custom made by Abby Sparks Jewelry.

(Be enchanted by The Alanna, our 5 carat morganite gem engagement ring.)


Could it be that stones all together just aren’t your thing? You can select a simple yet equally powerful statement by going with a full metal band, characterized with an engraving or cut full of symbols of your love story.

Let’s say you just watched Blood Diamonds and Leonardo DiCaprio has you convinced to go conflict free. If ethical and eco-friendly diamonds and gemstones are a high priority to you, Abby Sparks Jewelry goes above and beyond to ensure that we source you conflict-free sparklers from ethical sources for your engagement ring. Another safe route to journey is in the way of lab-grown diamonds. These diamonds are man made in a safe and controlled environment, yet still produce a diamond as beautiful as one from the mines. Read more about it on our blog about Lab-Grown Diamond Alternatives. Don’t want the look of a diamond? We can also source you lab-created gemstones in every shade under the sun.

There surely is more than one way you can do an engagement ring!


4. What are the Different Types of Engagement Ring Metals?

precious metals reference guide

The metal is the foundation, the very basis that encircles your finger that showcases every admirable asset of the engagement ring. Selecting the proper metal that compliments the factors of your tastes and lifestyle is mandatory. The top colored metals for engagement rings include platinum,  palladium, yellow gold, rose gold, and white gold. Come, pick out your fave!

Ethical custom engagement ring made with platinum, 1.42 carat lab-grown moissanite, and 0.20 ctw diamond melee custom made and designed by Abby Sparks Jewelry, The Sara.

(Platinum, Abby Sparks style: by way of the Sara custom engagement ring. Features 1.42 moissanite stone in a bezel setting.)


The top of its class, platinum engagement rings are king. Oozing with glam and luxury, it’s the most durable of metals to stand the test of time. The cool luster: timeless. Doesn’t our Sara platinum custom engagement ring embody opulence? We think so too.

Custom engagement ring made with palladium, 0.5 carat center diamond, and 0.5 ctw accent diamond halo custom made and designed by Abby Sparks Jewelry, The Tonya.

(A ring as unique as the palladium metal it comes in. The Tonya, which boasts a 0.5 carat diamond center accented by a diamond halo.)


Nearly identical in appearance to platinum, palladium is rare and contends with an equivalent of smooth, silvery characteristics. Palladium is lighter in its weight, hypo-allergenic, and while of a high quality caliber, it is priced lower than most other metals: an all around great choice for those on a tight budget. Abby Sparks Jewelry has done a range of rings in palladium! We fawn over palladium, like seen above in our favorite palladium ring we’ve constructed, The Tonya.

(The Linda: shining so bright in yellow gold, paired with a 1.3 carat diamond center stone.)


Yellow gold is beloved for a reason, and when we see it on a custom engagement ring like our own The Linda, we see why. The gold is sunny and eye catching. Yellow gold is the purest of the gold family, and is alloyed to copper, nickel, or zinc to ensure it more durable. Donned in yellow gold, you’ll feel like the epitome of royalty.

(Welcome The Amber: a vibrant rose gold engagement ring with a specialized design, seizing .90 carat diamond center.)


Wondrous, graceful, and charming, rose gold is like a Disney princess movie transformed into an engagement ring: there’s something so fantastical about it that sweeps you up in a daze.  One of our favorite creations is Abby Sparks’s The Amber rose gold engagement ring. The magical rose gold color only begins the checklist of what makes this piece stand out as incredible.


Vintage inspired custom engagement ring made with 14k white gold, 0.5 carat princess cut diamond, and 0.2 ctw diamond accents custom made and designed by Abby Sparks Jewelry, The Korey.

(Classic in white gold, The Korey custom engagement ring boasts a vintage sentiment through its design that best boasts a 0.5 princess cut diamond.)


As The Korey custom engagement ring reveals, a white gold engagement band is a color  you can’t go wrong with. It’s beautiful, timeless, and lends itself as the ideal stage to nearly any color of stone. As compared to the similarly colored platinum, white gold is more lightweight and affordable; essential factors worth noting.


5. What Settings Exist for an Engagement Ring?

The details in the construction of your ring cannot be overlooked; after all, setting is what holds the center stone and accent stones in place. By an architectural blueprint, a sense of tenacity exists by how the precious gem is held in the grasp of a setting. The setting has to take all aspects into consideration, asserting it is built in a way that is aesthetically pleasing and structurally competent.

Custom simple engagement ring made with 14k white gold and 2.5 carat conflict free diamonds solitaire custom made and designed by Abby Sparks Jewelry, The Jennifer.

(The Jennifer solitaire diamond engagement ring. A prong setting grasps onto a single 2.5 carat diamond in a mine cut.)


The styled settings that are out there for engagement rings borderline an infinite number. How a ring can be conceptualized is limitless: solitaire diamonds (one featured center stone, such as on The Jennifer, above), multiple stone sets, halo accents, braided bands, pave settings name a few terms that encompass the the multitude of ring settings.

The two most basic methods of setting stones is by the form of prongs and bezels.

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A prong is the standard choice for solitaire diamonds. A metal claw grips on tight to a diamond, either in a setting of four or six different prongs. The higher number of prongs insists the diamond is more secure, but the lower number of four shows off more of the diamond’s real estate.

A bezel cups the diamond inside its metal frame, adding a contemporary and chic twist to an engagement ring. The diamond is better protected against wear and tear than say in a prong setting: fit for that someone such as a nurse, teacher, or anyone who has a hands on type of profession.

Any of this sounding familiar? It could be that you’ve read the extensive explanation on our Jewelry 101: Settings engagement ring settings blog post we published a few months back. Go ahead and skim it over to be educated further on all of the different types engagement ring settings!

We touched upon five of the ten most commonly asked questions about engagement rings. The basic components of Four C’s, diamond shapes, stone center alternatives, types of metals, and setting options all aid in crafting your mind’s idea of the perfect engagement ring, representing who you are in your totality. But the questions don’t halt at the ring’s basic visual state. Come back next week where we cross over into greater inquisitive territories. The rest of the complete list will unveil more popular question that surround the topic of engagement rings, including how much one should spend, all the way to what to do if you’re faced with the possibility that –  *gulp* – she says no. If you’ve been pondering it, we’re here to guide through every uncertainty. Stay tuned for what’s to come in part two of your 10 most common questions about engagement rings – answered!

If you’ve already gathered enough information and are chomping at the bit to get going on designing your own custom engagement ring, then get a consultation booked with us ASAP! Create your own one-of-a-kind engagement ring at our showroom in the Lower Highlands located in Denver, Colorado. Call 303.957.6502 or contact us online in order to get scheduled. We can’t wait to see you!



book an appointment to work with Abby Sparks Jewelry, custom jewelry designer in Denver, CO

About Abby Sparks

Abby Sparks is the founder and CEO of Abby Sparks Jewelry.