Ring Education


Ring Education: How To Shop For A Ring

Selecting your dream engagement ring is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and significant things you'll ever do. The choices can seem endless and the process may seem tiring, but don't be tempted to settle on a ring that's "on sale for a limited time" or because it's the "last one." Be sure to spend time getting to know what to look for when viewing and trying on engagement ring settings. After all, this is the only purchase you'll ever make that will be worn everyday for the rest of your life, so take a few minutes and read key points below that will help you be an informed engagement ring shopper.


When you are searching for your dream ring, it is key to pay attention to the diamonds that are set in it. To get the maximum beauty and brilliance, you want the side diamonds to all match for clarity, color and cut, so you cannot visibly see a difference. This will get your ring noticed from across the room!


You want to be proud to show off your new ring, and the way your diamonds are channel set will help you do just that! If the diamonds are set unevenly or with gaps, the diamonds will fall out or rub together and chip each other. When choosing a ring with channel-set diamonds, look at the ring under a 10 power Gemscope, so you can see the precision in the setting, to know you are getting a ring you will be thrilled to show off.


It is vital to have a ring that does not have a porosity problem because that ring will break down over time and will not last a lifetime. Porosity is little surface holes that get worse as you go further into the metal and is a result of poor casting, over "cooking", undercooking and improperly mixed metal alloys. Porosity makes a ring brittle and is non-repairable. It is usually the result of mass producing rings with little quality control. You do not want rough spots in the metal either. You want a smooth, lustrous, high polished finish to the metal. Viewing your ring under a 10 power Gemscope will allow you to know whether the ring you love has a porosity issue or not.


When deciding on the perfect ring for you, it is imperative to notice the thickness of the ring shank. When less metal is used to make the ring, it keeps the cost lower at first, but you will end up spending more money on the ring in the future because over time, the ring will either crack or fall apart. You don't want a shank that is thin and hollowed out, you want a solid shank so it will last a lifetime.

Stamp On Shank

When selecting a piece of jewelry, it is important to see that it has both a quality mark as well as a trademark. A quality mark is a stamp on a piece of jewelry that identifies the type and content of the metal, so you know exactly what you are purchasing. A trademark is a symbol registered with the government, which indicates the jewelry manufacturer responsible for creating and standing behind the piece. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires that all jewelry stamped with a quality mark also be stamped with a manufacturer's trademark.

Other Jewelers up close...

Mismatched Side Diamonds

Often the side diamonds in other rings have only limited brilliance and vary in size, color, and clarity.

Irregular Channels

The channel settings from many jewelers are uneven and sometimes very thin, and the diamonds are set unevenly or with gaps.

Imperfect Finish

Mass-produced rings often show rough casting spots and little bubbles in the metal called porosity. This type of rings will not last a lifetime.

Lightweight Shank

Other rings are often much lighter in weight and wear out quickly because the metal of the shank is thin, to cut production costs.

Ring Education: Ring Types

"If you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it." Sounds so simple, right? Sure, simple for Beyonce, who now sports an 18-carat rock. Robbins Brothers knows that finding the perfect engagement ring isn't easy. A great place to begin your search is determining your ring type.

Classic Solitaire

A single diamond set in a traditional, plain mounting, usually with four or six prongs. This is a traditional engagement ring, and can be personalized with diamond bands, or a ring guard or wrap (which literally guard or wrap the main ring, and also "frame" the larger diamond to make it more prominent).

Side Stones

This ring offers a great opportunity to express your creativity and uniqueness. It has a larger diamond, or center stone, with smaller diamonds on each side. You can choose to add a wedding ring or decide that it looks great on its own.

Halo Design

The halo is a circle of micropave diamonds that surrounds the center diamond or other gemstone, visually expanding the appearance of the center by as much as a half-carat or more. Diamond shapes such as the round, cushion, asscher, princess and oval may be accented with a halo of round micropave diamonds.

Wedding Set

This is a traditional engagement ring that fits together with a wedding ring, matching the style of the engagement ring. The band is presented at the wedding ceremony, but is purchased with the engagement ring to ensure a perfect match.


The three stone ring represents yesterday, today, and forever - which is symbolic for any couple in love, wishing to capture the significance of the time they have and will spend together.

Promise Ring

The idea of the promise ring originated centuries ago as lovers promised each other they'd get engaged to wed one day. This romantic tradition lives on at Robbins Brothers in the form of these beautiful promise rings that symbolize loyalty and commitment before the engagement, during a relationship or as a vow to a loved one.

Ring Education: Ring Settings

Are you looking for a classic setting or one that’s innovative and new? Traditional, or trendy and cutting edge? The setting for your engagement ring will reflect your personal taste and style, so it’s important that you get it exactly right for you.  At Alexis Diamond House, we have the widest array of settings you’ll find anywhere. With a selection like ours, you’ll match your unique style perfectly, creating a ring that is a stunning reflection of you. This is your time to shine; cherish it.

Jump To: Prong Setting | Channel Setting | Bar Setting | Bezel Setting | Gypsy Setting | Tension Setting | Illusion Setting | Cluster Setting

Prong Setting: This is the most popular setting for side and center diamonds in jewelry for a variety of reasons. Because it consists of four or six claws that cradle the diamond, it allows the maximum amount of light to enter a stone from all angles. This makes the diamond appear larger and more brilliant. And it can hold large diamonds more securely. Back to Top

Channel Setting: This setting is most frequently used for wedding and anniversary bands. A Channel setting will set the stones right next to each other with no metal separating them. The outer ridge of metals is then worked over the edges of the stones. This protects the girdle area of the diamonds better than a bead or prong setting and provides a smooth exterior surface. Back to Top

Bar Setting: Similar to the Channel setting, this type of setting is also most commonly used in anniversary and wedding bands, but can also be seen in bracelets and necklaces. It is a band of diamonds that holds each stone in by a long thin bar, shared between two stones. The Bar setting combines a contemporary and classic look. Back to Top

Bezel Setting: With a Bezel setting, a rim holds the stone and surrounds the gem. Bezels can have straight edges, scalloped edges, or can be molded into any shape to accommodate the stone. The backs can be opened or closed and they are used to set earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings. Warmer-colored diamonds look stunning when bezel set in yellow gold. Back to Top

Gypsy Setting: You may know the Gypsy setting from men's jewelry you've seen. The band is one continuous piece that gets thicker at the top. The band is shaped like a dome and the stone is inserted in the middle. There are no prongs; therefore the look is smooth and clean. Back to Top

Tension Setting: A tension-set diamond is held in place by the pressure of the band's metal, which is designed to "squeeze" the stone. The result is a highly contemporary, fashionable look and can be used to set necklaces, earring and rings. Back to Top

Illusion Setting: This setting is more intricate than others in that it surrounds the stone to make it appear larger. The metal that surrounds the stone usually has an interesting design. An Illusion setting is smaller stones, usually princess cuts, set next to each other and held from below to give the illusion of one larger diamond. Back to Top

Cluster Setting: This setting surrounds a larger center stone with several smaller stones. It is designed to create a beautiful piece of diamond jewelry from many smaller stones. Back to Top

Education: Ring Styles

You want your engagement ring to reflect your style—but what is your style, exactly? How do you put it into words? How can you define it? Challenging, right? Let us try to help; but remember, it will require a little bit of soul-searching. So let’s get started. Which of the three major style categories sounds the most like you: Vintage, Modern or Classic?

Vintage Ring Styles

Engagement Ring Details:
Vintage styles are the ultimate in romance, featuring milgrain, engraved, or embossed designs; think pave, micro pave, filigree, diamond bezels (haloes), flowers and sensual curves, feminine touches and embellishments.

Personality Characteristics:
Are you, poetic, sentimental, a real “girly girl?” Do you imagine getting married in a dreamy, romantic setting. . . like a castle or a field full of flowers in full bloom? Do you love old movies, romance novels, shopping for antiques, and surrounding yourself with beauty? If so, vintage may just be for you.

Your Clothing Style:
You love ruffles and lace, ribbons and bows, feminine frills and softly flowing fabrics like chiffon, antique velvet, or delicate floral patterns. Your favorite stores are vintage shops, and your preferred designers are Jessica McClintock Nanette Lepore, and Claire Pettibone.


Classic Ring Styles

Engagement Ring Details:
Classic ring styles include a channel-set, three stone style, prong set, or a solitaire with a slim shank, a knife edge, or a wider band drawing the eye toward the diamond in the center of the ring.

Personality Characteristics:
You are sophisticated, understated, traditional. You know exactly what is right for you and never worry about trends. You love museums, the symphony, quiet evenings with family and friends. Your dream wedding would be at your family’s home or estate or your country club.

Your Clothing Style:
You look put together and polished in a tailored suit or a classic blazer and a white cotton blouse, a little black dress with a single strand of pearls. You choose flannel, tweeds, glen plaid, and timeless traditional styles that are always correct and never seem to go out of style. You shop at Nordstrom’s career department, J. Crew, Gap, and Brooks Brothers.


Modern Ring Styles

Engagement Ring Details:
Channel set diamonds with bold mountings, open shanks and settings with wide, bold, geometric architectural lines come together in a ring that is truly today, creatively blending different styles into abstract, streamlined textures, using gemstones to add unique shapes and colors.

Personality Characteristics:
You are bold and adventurous, minimalist, unconventional, experimental, a leader, and a trendsetter. You’re always where the action is, favoring the latest hip and trendy spots—places where you’ll be noticed. Your ideal wedding would be in a museum, the hottest art gallery in town, or somewhere entirely novel and unexpected.

Your Clothing Style:
You choose unique textures, angular or geometric, edgy or experimental styles, bold colors and patterns. Your favorite stores are Jil Sander, Fred Segal, H&M, Top Shop, Bloomingdale’s, and Neiman Marcus.


Ring Sizing: Figure Out Your Correct Ring Size

Never guess the size—even if you plan to give her the ring as a surprise. If you are planning to pop the question, do your homework before buying the ring. Chances are you’ll want to take a few “just browsing” visits anyway, to help you figure out the style she likes. Have a sales associate determine the size of her ring finger with a sizing ring.
To get the most accurate sizing, keep these tips in mind:

  • Fingers are weather-sensitive: they swell when it’s hot and are slimmer when the weather is cold or the environment is air conditioned.
  • Size the finger she’ll be wearing the ring on—the left ring finger for a wedding or engagement ring. The right and left ring fingers may be different sizes.
  • If you’re not completely sure about the proper ring size, visit a jeweler and have them measure your finger with a finger-sizing ring. If you’re planning the ring as a surprise and haven’t been able to get an accurate measurement, order the ring as close as possible to the actual ring size and then have the jeweler size it to fit after you propose. (Hint: you might use a costume ring she wears on the ring finger as a guide.)
  • Never order an eternity ring (complete circle of diamonds), because it cannot be sized later on. You must order it in the precise ring size.

Determining a Budget for a Ring

Deciding how much to spend on an engagement ring is a personal. There is no single formula that works for everyone. You may have heard that two months’ salary is appropriate, but everyone’s situation is different. You should make a budget decision that works for you, considering your present circumstances and future prospects. You will need to budget for both the setting and the diamond. Financing the ring, with monthly payments that you can afford, may be your best option.

When determining your budget, there is no one-size-fits-all formula, but it helps to have an idea of what you can handle before you go shopping for an engagement ring.

The 4 C’s of Diamond Quality: Only Part of the Story


Cut - A well-cut diamond will direct more light through the crown. A diamond with a depth that's too shallow or too deep will allow light to escape through the sides or the bottom of the stone.

Color - Diamond color ranges from colorless to a light yellow. It's hard to detect differences between color grades unless you compare diamonds side by side. Colorless diamonds are rare and consequently are the most expensive. The more yellow in the stone, the less you should expect to pay.

Clarity - A diamond’s clarity depends on tiny markings or inclusions within the stone. The grading scale, used to determine a diamond’s value, is based on rarity. Flawless diamonds with no inclusions are extremely rare and therefore extremely expensive, followed by those with one or two very, very small inclusions (VVS1 and VVS2). Diamonds with three inclusions (I3) are not terribly rare and therefore are the least expensive.

Carat Weight - Although people often think they want the largest diamond they can afford based on carat weight, this is only one factor that goes into determining a diamond’s value. The educated diamond consumer knows that clarity, cut, and color are equally important as carat weight. Bigger is not always better.

A carat represents is divided into 100 points; a half carat is 50 points.


What is a diamond certificate?

The diamond certificate tells you all of the measurable facts that go into determining the quality and value of a diamond. It has information on the 4C’s: cut, color, clarity, and carat. A full certificate lists any flaws a diamond may have. When shopping for a diamond, use the certificate as a starting point to judge the diamond. Keep in mind that the certificate can’t really tell you how beautiful the stone appears, but can only list the quantifiable features—the cold, hard facts. Beauty resides in the eye, not a fact sheet, so choose a diamond that you find to be beautiful.

How do I know I’m not getting a conflict diamond?

Conflict diamonds or “blood diamonds” are diamonds mined in areas controlled by forces at war or involved in armed conflict. Proceeds from their sale are used to fund the often brutal fighting against a legitimate government, in contravention of several United Nations Security Council resolutions.

The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) was established in 2009 by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 55/56 to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the mainstream rough diamond market "to ensure that diamond purchases were not financing and that diamonds on the world market originate only in conflict-free government controlled areas. Countries that are parties to the Kimberley Process do not produce conflict diamonds, and they trade diamonds only with each other. Member countries are required to attach Kimberley Process certificates to diamonds they export.

What are lab created diamonds?

Diamonds created in a lab have all the same chemical, optical, and physical properties as natural diamonds mined from the earth. They are in no way less than true diamonds. A good gemologist, with the right equipment, can often distinguish a natural diamond from a high quality synthetic one though it’s becoming more difficult as g technology improves.

Lab-created diamonds are every bit as beautiful and durable as mined diamonds, but are less expensive and may not have the same value as an investment when compared to mined diamonds. These are things you should discuss with a jeweler you trust. Environmentally-friendly and 100 percent conflict free, lab diamonds are an excellent choice for those who care passionately about human rights and the earth

Diamond Shapes and Cuts

Two elements go into a diamond’s cut: its shape or outline, and its proportions.

Shape: The shape of a diamond is its outline, for example, round, square, heart-shaped, etc.

Proportions: Cut also refers to the diamond's proportions. When a diamond is cut too deep, light comes in through the top and escapes through the bottom, creating the appearance of a dark center and decreasing its value. When the diamond is cut too shallow, the sides are open, allowing light coming in through the top to escape through the bottom, giving the appearance of a dark circle with a white ring surrounding it. This is referred to as a "fish eye," also undesirable in a stone.

A diamond that is cut properly allows the light to enter through the top and bounce from facet to facet and back out, creating a sparkle that dazzles.

Jump To: Round Shape | Princess Shape | Emerald Shape | Cushion Shape | Radiant Shape | Asscher Shape | Pear Shape | Oval Shape | Heart Shape | Marquise Shape


An expertly cut Round brilliant diamond is a classic shape and maximizes light return relative to most other shapes, creating a dazzling and luminous effect that you’ll wear with pride. If sparkle is what you’re looking for, you can’t go wrong selecting a Round Cut diamond.

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The Princess Cut melds the lively sparkle of a round diamond and the contemporary shape of an emerald or square cut in a brilliant, contemporary, and eye-catching alternative to the round Brilliant Cut.

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An elegant Emerald Cut diamond features a rectangular shape with cut corners which is also known as a step cut, with broad, flat planes resembling stair steps.

While step cut stones are generally not as bright or fiery as brilliant cut stones, they call attention to the diamond's clarity and transparency and luster. Like gazing into a clear pool of crystalline water, the Emerald Cut diamond draws you in, transfixing you with its beauty.

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The Cushion Cut combines features of the round and oval, creating is an elegantly shaped diamond with rounded corners and larger facets for extreme brilliance that has recently gained popularity because of the heightened demand for vintage-styled jewelry. Combining the cut characteristics of both the round and the oval, the Cushion Cut's rounded corners and larger facets increase this special diamond's brilliance. This is a popular cut for those who love vintage jewelry.

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Reminiscent of the elegant Emerald Cut, the square or rectangular Radiant Cut has a facet pattern designed to allow a dramatically brilliant return of light, creating the radiance for which it has been named.

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The vintage cut Asscher diamond is named after Joseph Asscher who was the first to use the cut in 1902. The 74 facet arrangement of the Asscher is similar to the Emerald Cut, but it is square instead of elongated. The Asscher, a favorite in the early part of the last century, has experienced a surge in popularity as a number of high profile celebrities have chosen this cut, reminiscent of times gone by.

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The Pear Cut or Teardrop diamond has characteristics of both the Round Brilliant and the Marquise to create an exquisite cut of diamond. Fiery and elegant, the pear shaped diamond is a flashy cut with plenty of sparkle. A pear diamond needs a specialized setting with an additional prong to protect the point of the diamond.

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An Oval Cut is an elliptical shaped brilliant cut that creates the impression of being larger than a round stone of the same carat weight. A well proportioned Oval cut diamond elongates the finger, and displays brilliance between that of a Round and a Marquise. It is exceptionally eye-catching and perfect if you are looking for a stone that is anything but ordinary.

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What could be more romantic than a diamond shaped like a heart, symbolizing your eternal love? The Heart-Shaped Cut features two soft shoulders sloping gently downward to join together at a point below, the point where two come together as one. When you are looking for a stone that’s both romantic and out of the ordinary, the heart shaped diamond is a beautiful and meaningful choice.

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The Marquise or Navette Cut diamond is the shape of a beautiful woman’s smile, specifically, the smile of the Marquise de Pompadour, mistress of the Sun King, Louis the XIV. The cut was designed at the French king’s request, and remains a favorite today. The step-cut Marquise is bright, clear, and sparkling, designed to maximize brilliance.

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Anatomy of a Diamond

The journey from the earth to become a rough and finally a polished diamond sparkling on your finger is a long one with many decisions to be made along the way. When a diamond comes from the earth, there are various possibilities as to the shape, size, and style of the ultimate product. Every cut, every, detail, and every proportion is a part of the artistry that goes into creating the diamond you’ll be wearing for the rest of your life. When making this important selection, you’ll need to understand the terminology that describes the physical parts of the diamond and how they affect its beauty and value.

Parts of a Diamond

The diamond’s girdle

Your mother or grandmother may have worn a “girdle” years ago—a garment designed to hold in the widest part of woman's body. Likewise, the widest part of a diamond’s perimeter is called the diamond’s girdle. This is the part of the diamond where the setting will hold it securely in the ring.

The diamond’s crown

You have learned that the girdle is the widest part of the diamond; the part directly above the girdle is the crown. The top of the crown is the diamond’s largest facet, the flat area known as the table.

The diamond’s table

The table, the diamond’s largest facet, is where light shines into and back out of the stone; this is where your diamond’s brilliance begins. It is sometime referred to as “the face of the diamond.”

The diamond’s pavilion

The pavilion of a diamond is the area below the girdle. This is "V" shape that you often find at the base of the diamond. The pavilion is the area of the stone that reflects light back up through the crown, contributing to its brilliance.

The culet of a diamond

The culet is a facet cut all the way at the bottom of many diamonds to help protect against splitting or cleaving. Cutting a culet parallel to the diamond’s table adds to the refraction and increases its brilliance.


How to Examine a Diamond

When selecting a diamond, look at the stone the same way a professional diamond buyer does. The diamond should be loose and you will need to have the right lighting conditions and the right tools. When you've selected a diamond you like, have the associate weigh it in front of you so you’ll know the exact carat weight. A difference of a point or two can make a difference in the value. To help you understand how to judge a diamond’s quality, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions about how to examine a diamond for you here.

Is there a difference between examining a diamond mounted or unmounted?

You should examine the diamond loose—not mounted in a setting. When you look at a mounted diamond, as much as 25 percent of the stone is hidden from view. You need to have a microscopic view of the entire diamond in the best lighting conditions to make an accurate assessment.

Don't focus only on the top of the diamond; rather, examine the diamond one layer at a time, looking deeply into its interior so you can identify all the characteristics that make the diamond unique.

Should I ask to have the diamond leaned before I view it?

When viewing diamonds, they should already be clean. A professional jewelry sales associate will generally show you the diamond after having cleaned it. Nevertheless, it's a good idea to ask the salesperson to clean the diamond for you so you are assured of getting the best possible view.

Should I use my hands or tweezers when I examine a diamond?

You should always use diamond tweezers when examining a diamond. It you touch it with your hands, you could transfer the oil on your skill to the stone, which could affect its appearance. Any jewelry store should have tweezers available for you to use.

Does the lighting matter when I view a diamond?

Yes. Lighting makes a difference. You’ll be wearing the diamond in different types of lighting, so when making a selection, you should look at it in different lighting conditions; you should also view it in a color-grading tray. First, use is a laboratory light that blocks out all color other than the actual color of your diamond. Then view the diamond under natural conditions, in sunlight and regular indoor lighting that will show how the diamond will appear in situations in which you’ll wear it for the rest of your life. Some stores display diamonds under LED lights, which shine colored light into the diamond. While it makes a beautiful display, it will not show you what the diamond will look like in normal lighting conditions. Use varying light sources to your advantage, to see what you are actually buying.

Do I need to view a diamond using a microscope?

Yes, you should always examine your diamond using 10x magnification, ideally with a Gemscope. If a Gemscope is not available, you should at least use a ten power loop, which a hand-held magnifying device. The main problem with using a loop is that it doesn't have its own light source. An excellent tool in the hands of a professional gemologist, a loop can be unsteady and hard to use when you’re not accustomed to handling it.

Any reputable jeweler will have a ten power stereo binocular microscope for you to use. The microscope provides a stable light source and allows you to examine the diamond with both eyes at once, so you have a true three-dimensional view that shows the depth of the stone and will be able to observe all the characteristics that contribute to its value and beauty.

Why specifically 10x magnification?

Ten times magnification is the industry standard for use with the Clarity Rating Scale, recognized throughout the diamond industry. All diamonds are rated under 10x magnification for consistency in grading. For example, if a diamond is graded as flawless, it means that under 10x magnification there are no visible markings. A diamond is a natural substance, so if you were to increase the magnification up to 20x or 30x, you would eventually be able to see markings, even in a diamond rated as “flawless” on the Clarity Rating Scale.

What should I look for when viewing a diamond under magnification?

The first and most important thing you need to look for is the diamond’s clarity—what inclusions are in the diamond. While large inclusions have a negative effect on the value of a diamond, very small ones that are too small to be seen with the naked eye serve a purpose when it comes to identifying your diamond. Every diamond is unique, and no two diamonds have exactly the same inclusions in the same part of the stone.

You should also check for abrasions on the surface. Any nick, cavity, or crack could affect the structural integrity of the diamond and mar its beauty and brilliance. Magnification ensures that you get exactly what the salesperson has told you you're getting, and that the inclusions are small enough that they won’t affect the diamond’s beauty and brilliance.

Caring for Your Diamond

A diamond is the hardest material found on earth; however, that doesn’t mean it is immune to all damage! Harsh household chemicals like chlorine bleach can cause pitting and discoloration, and can permanently damage your ring's setting. 
The diamond itself can become dull if you get makeup, oils, or hairspray on it.  Once a diamond is cut, however, all you need to do to get its original brilliance back is take it to your jeweler for a good cleaning.  One reason diamonds are so valuable is diamonds is that they never really lose their beauty and brilliance.
The metal on the ring can be cleaned and polished to restore its brand-new appearance.
To save yourself frequent trips to your jeweler, take these steps to keep your ring shining:

  • Dry your ring after showering or washing your hands with a soft, lint-free cloth.
  • Before using hand lotion, sunscreen, or makeup, take your ring off.
  • Remove your ring before gardening, painting, working with your hands, or playing sports.
  • Take your ring to your jeweler at least once a year to be thoroughly cleaned and polished and inspected for loosening of stones in its setting.

Ring Education: Ring Metals

Now that you’ve learned about diamonds and settings, have considered your budget and your style, it’s time to consider the metal that will work the best for you. As with the decision on your stone and setting, your choice of metal will depend partially on your budget, but also on the way it feels on your hand, the metal’s strength and durability, the amount of maintenance required, and whether you have problems with allergies to a particular metal.


Platinum has always been a favorite among brides and brides-to be. Its pure white color won't change, and it doesn’t corrode. Platinum has a density that makes it extremely durable and resistant to wear, making a very secure setting for your diamonds. With hypoallergenic platinum, you’ll never have an allergic reaction, even if you tend to have metal sensitivities. You can never go wrong choosing platinum for your engagement and wedding rings; it truly has no downside and is always a perfect choice.


Palladium is another hypoallergenic metal that does not tarnish and is therefore low maintenance. A first cousin to platinum, palladium is less dense and feels light on your finger. It has a white luster that does not require rhodium plating and will never tarnish, and is an elegant choice that might be exactly what you are looking for.


With its natural, lustrous beauty and extreme malleability, gold has been the favorite of jewelers and jewelry lovers throughout history. Gold is hypoallergenic and doesn’t tarnish, and polishes to a high, mirror-like shine. It is durable and maintains its shape well when combined with alloys. A beautiful and traditional choice of metal for your rings, choose 14k or 18k for the best strength and durability, as pure 24k gold is soft and subject to wear. Select white or yellow gold according to your taste and style; the color depends on the alloys added to harden the metal.

White gold is somewhat harder than yellow and less subject to wear. To enhance its whiteness, white gold jewelry is plated with rhodium, a very white, hard, reflective, and tarnish free metal that provides a protective coating for a white gold ring.

18K gold, traditionally used in high-end jewelry for its rich yellow color, is purer and softer than 14k. It is more expensive because it has higher gold content.

Rose Gold

Rose gold in 14 or 18k gets it subtle, delicate color by mixing the gold with a copper alloy. The rose color may intensify with time. The 14K rose gold contains as much pure gold as 14K white gold; it is merely the mix of the alloys that has been changed to create the rose colored look to the engagement ring.

Sterling Silver

Silver is one of the most abundant of all the precious metals and is commonly used for earrings, bracelets, watches, and rings. Pure silver soft so is usually combined with an alloy, typically copper to give it added strength. Sterling silver is 92.5 percent pure silver and 7.5 percent some other material—typically copper. The numbers 925 or .925. are stamped onto sterling silver to identify its degree of purity. Silver can tarnish and requires regular polishing.



Titanium is an extremely strong, lightweight, naturally occurring metal with a grayish luster. Its light weight makes it comfortable to wear, and its great strength ensures that your ring will last a lifetime. Titanium is stronger than both gold and platinum and is triple the strength of steel! Alloys are combined with the natural titanium to prevent brittleness.


Tungsten Carbide

Tungsten is a tough, rugged metal, and perfect for a modern, active lifestyle. Tungsten is a glossy dark gray metal in its natural form. It is often combined with alloys to form the harder tungsten carbide and is available in white and black in addition to the classic gray. Tungsten carbide jewelry retains its polish longer than any other metal, so it will keep its glossy appearance.


Cobalt is a, natural, and hypoallergenic metal with a contemporary look. It is the whitest material available in modern jewelry and has an appearance very much like platinum. It doesn’t tarnish, nor does it require rhodium plating. Cobalt is not as dense as many other materials, allowing for greater height and shape in ring designs. Because it is so hard and scratch resistant, cobalt is highly durable and retains its polish and luster indefinitely.

Ring Sizing: Figure Out Your Correct Ring Size


Never guess the size—even if you plan to give her the ring as a surprise. If you are planning to pop the question, do your homework before buying the ring. Chances are you’ll want to take a few “just browsing” visits anyway, to help you figure out the style she likes. Have a sales associate determine the size of her ring finger with a sizing ring.

To get the most accurate sizing, keep these tips in mind:

  • Fingers are weather-sensitive: they swell when it’s hot and are slimmer when the weather is cold or the environment is air conditioned.
  • Size the finger she’ll be wearing the ring on—the left ring finger for a wedding or engagement ring. The right and left ring fingers may be different sizes.
  • If you’re not completely sure about the proper ring size, visit a jeweler and have them measure your finger with a finger-sizing ring. If you’re planning the ring as a surprise and haven’t been able to get an accurate measurement, order the ring as close as possible to the actual ring size and then have the jeweler size it to fit after you propose. (Hint: you might use a costume ring she wears on the ring finger as a guide.)
  • Never order an eternity ring (complete circle of diamonds), because it cannot be sized later on. You must order it in the precise ring size.

Sizes Considerations

What width should I choose for my wedding band?
The width of a wedding band is measured in millimeters. For women, the most popular widths fall in the range between two and four millimeters. For men’s wedding bands, the preferred widths range from six to eight millimeters. But the width of your wedding band is a matter of personal preference and style. Wedding bands range in size from two millimeters to as wide as 10 or 12 millimeters. There is no “correct” choice as long as the ring suits your taste. Whether it’s slim and elegant or broad and bold, it’s the right width if it’s made well and if it looks and feels good to you.

How does temperature affect the way my wedding band fits?
In warmer temperatures your fingers may swell, so the ring may feel a bit tighter. In cooler temperatures, your finger may contract slightly, causing the ring to feel a little looser. Because temperature can affect the way that your wedding band fits, always keep the climate and season in mind the when sizing your wedding ring.

Types of Wedding Bands

Your wedding band will be with you for life. Unlike clothing fashions, which are constantly changing, your ring should fit your taste and style for many years to come. Read here about the types of wedding bands and their variations in shape, comfort, and style.

Comfort Fit Wedding Rings

A “comfort fit” ring is one with a rounded interior and oval cross-section. Because of the rounded interior, less metal comes into contact with the finger, which makes the ring extremely comfortable to wear.

Flat Band Wedding Rings

A “flat band” wedding ring is flat on top and does not have an oval shape. Rather, it is a simple design with flat inner and outer surfaces. This style of ring is easy to produce, because it is simply stamped from pipe and then polished to a high-polished finish. Flat band rings are sometimes called pipe rings for this reason. The edges can be softened by polishing on the jeweler's bench to create a perfect match with the band of the engagement ring.

Half-round” Wedding Bands

The elegant and traditional “half-round” wedding ring is a classic style that features a rounded top section. The bottom section of the ring can be flat or a comfort fit.

Diamond Wedding Rings

Diamond wedding rings comprise prong set or channel set diamonds which may encircle the entire ring—as in a diamond eternity ring—or may be set into the top section of the ring.

Fancy Wedding Rings

A fancy wedding ring is one that features unique design elements, which might include hand engraved patterns, diamond cuts, inlays, contrasting colored metals, hammered details, or woven patterns, sometimes using a diamond or another gemstone as an accent.

Plain Wedding Rings

A plain wedding ring in a classically elegant band of platinum or yellow gold is a traditional symbol for the bride and groom. White gold and other metals are becoming popular alternative choices. Sometimes a bride who chooses a diamond engagement ring and matching diamond wedding band will also have a plain platinum or gold ring for the ceremony and to wear for sports, work, or daily activities where a diamond band would be excessive.

Ring Wraps and Guards

A ring wrap or guard complements your diamond engagement ring by surrounding your simple solitaire with a frame of pave diamonds, sapphires or other color gemstones. The diamond solitaire rests in the center of the wrap or guard, creating a magnificent, unique ring combo.

Color Gemstone Rings

Marilyn taught us that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but some modern women like to liven up the look up with some color and favor the appearance of colored gemstones in a wedding ring. Many women will choose to accent the diamond with their birthstone, the birthstones of both bride and groom, or other favorite gem, even using multiple colors for a lively effect. An eternity band with both diamonds and color gemstones is a way to commemorate an anniversary or the birth of a baby. Color gemstone rings can also be set in slim bands of platinum or gold and stacked together with your diamond engagement ring.

Other Considerations When Choosing a Wedding Ring

Should Your Ring and Your Husband’s Match?

Yes, absolutely. Many couples prefer that the two rings are a matching pair to symbolize the match between the two partners. Designers frequently create matching wedding bands for the bride and groom, but if you don’t purchase the rings together as a set you can simply select two plain bands of the same metal, or you can select a ring you like and have the second one made to match it.

What are the Most Important Considerations When Choosing a Wedding Band?

 The most important things to consider are comfort and how well it matches or coordinates with your engagement ring. Go to a jeweler that you trust for both your engagement ring and your wedding rings. A professional jeweler will have many options to choose from, and you’ll be able to try on and compare many different options until you find the perfect rings for your taste, style, and budget. Ultimately what really matters is that you are happy with your choice, your wedding and engagement rings fit perfectly, and look gorgeous on your finger.

Letting Him Know You're Ready to Get Engaged

You’ve been together long enough that you both know it’s the real deal. You've discussed where you'll live, the number of kids you’ll have (or not), the bungalow with the white picket fence or the two-story colonial. But no ring on that pretty finger yet? Maybe he just needs a little nudge.
So how do you drop the hint that it’s time to make it official? In today’s equal world, there’s no reason you need to wait for him to take the initiative. Really . . .it’s fine to be as direct or as subtle as you feel comfortable with. There’s nothing wrong with coming right out and asking him he’s ready to get engaged.
 But if you prefer a less direct approach, try printing out photos of engagement rings in styles you love and ask him for his opinion. Or take him to a restaurant that happens to be near your favorite jewelry store and take him inside to look around and see how he reacts.
But really, why play games? Why not just tell him how much you'd like to be married to him?


Marriage Proposal Ideas

Okay guys, this is for you! Of course you want to get the engagement ring exactly right, but you also want to propose in a way that she’ll never forget. That will depend a lot on who you are and what in life is meaningful to you. Make it extraordinary!

Was your first date was at the aquarium? Pop the question in front of the dolphin pool. Love theme parks? Then set up a banner on the ground with "Will You Marry Me?" that she'll see as the Kumba reaches its peak. Is she a quiet romantic who will feel more comfortable keeping it private? Surprise her with the ring under the stars at a moonlight picnic or on the beach at sunset. Hide it at the bottom of a glass of wine or in her favorite dessert, but watch that she doesn’t swallow it! Make it special. Put your imagination to work and make it a story she’ll be telling your grandkids.

Twenty Unforgettable Ways to Propose

There are basically three comfortable approaches for you to choose from: Traditional, Non-Traditional, and Special Event. Some sound a little challenging, but none are all that hard to pull off.

If you need us to help with advice or logistics, let us know!


  1. You can never go wrong with a trip to Paris. A bit too far? How about San Francisco or Las Vegas and propose to her at the top of a landmark skyscraper with the twinkling lights of the city below. Okay, how about Miami? (See the next suggestion below).
  2. Take her for a barefoot walk on the beach. Draw a heart in the sand with a piece of driftwood and write, "Will you marry me?"right in the middle. If possible, you can write it ahead of time and fill the heart with rose petals and candles. Just makes sure the tide is going out and not coming in and no little kids are playing in the area!
  3. Invite her to a decadent breakfast at your area’s most expensive restaurant. Explain that you just couldn’t wait until evening and propose right then and there.
  4. Take her to the place where you met or where you went on your first date. Have a bottle of champagne hidden discreetly in your backpack. Don’t forget the corkscrew.
  5. Accumulate a large supply of fresh rose petals. Sneak into her house or office and arrange the petals on the bed or the floor to read, "Marry me."
  6. If you can sing or play an instrument without inciting dogs to howl, create a musical proposal. Compose a romantic ballad or write your own words to a folk tune or popular song, or pop the question with some pop music. If you're good with words but can't carry a tune in a bucket, hire a singer or even a whole band to perform your proposal. If you can sing but are simply not a writer or poet, go to your favorite karaoke bar and sing your favorite love song. At the end of the song, have her join you up front and propose right there in front of everyone!
  7. Without ripping the packaging, open a box of Cracker Jacks. Steam open the packet with the prize inside. Put the real engagement ring inside, and carefully glue the packet and box shut. Plan a cozy evening watching your favorite romantic movie and casually pass her the box of Cracker Jacks. Watch her opening the prize!
  8. Locate a car service that has classic cars and hire a luxurious one, for example a vintage Rolls Royce. Take a drive around a beautiful and romantic area for a while and then ask the driver to stop at a place that you both love or that has a special meaning for you. Bring the champagne, just for the two of you.
  9. Hire a friend to take photos of the two of you. Then, get down on one knee and propose as your friend snaps a picture. You'll have the memory of the day preserved forever.
  10. Plan to propose around a holiday like Christmas, Easter, or the Fourth of July to use the holiday spirit to enhance the sentiment of your proposal. Slip the box in her stocking or under the tree. Or decorate the tree with lots of lights and garlands but only one ornament: a ring box tied up with holiday ribbons. On Easter, hide plastic eggs in the backyard. Put the ring inside one. On the Fourth of July, take to see the fireworks and propose during the finale.


  1. Hire a magician to perform his tricks with rabbits, doves, scarves, and the works. As the last trick, have him magically pull her engagement ring from behind her ear. Talk about making it a magic moment!
  2. Do you both golf? If so, have a ball imprinted with "marry me." Hand her the ball to set onto the tee. Have her "inspect" it first. Have the ring ready in a golf ball-shaped ring box and open the box as you fall to one knee.
  3. Flying together? Let the flight attendants know about your plan ahead of time and get them to agree to help. Tell her you’re going up front to get some water and ask the attendant to make this announcement: "Hello everyone. We hope you’re enjoying your flight today. We have a very special guest on board today, (your girlfriend's name) sitting in row X, seat Y, if she would please report to the front of the cabin. Now get on the microphone, and tell her how much you love her. Fall on one knee and propose 30,000 feet in the air! Have the crew pass around champagne to all the passengers (on you).
  4. Do you attend a worship service together? If you do, clue the minster, priest, or rabbi in, and when the service ends, walk with her up to the altar. Tell her you want to stand right at this spot with her when you become husband and wife. Then get on one knee and ask her to agree to marry you.
  5. Do you like hiking, skiing, or snowboarding. If you do, propose on a mountaintop.


  1. If she wakes up each morning to the clock radio, buy an ad on her regular station right after the time she sets the alarm for so she’ll hears your proposal first thing when she wakes up. Knock on the door at that precise moment, or if you’re living together, have the diamond hidden under the mattress.
  2. Place an ad in on a billboard asking her to marry you. Make plans for a great meal that requires you to drive past it and have the ring ready as soon as you exit the car.
  3. Rent ad space for your proposal at a theater and invite her for a night out at the movies. Get there early and buy popcorn before they run the ads. After your proposal has run, present her with a ring.
  4. Arrange to have your proposal broadcast over the public address system or displayed on the large screen at a sporting event or concert. Or, you could arrange with the team or performer's PR department to allow you to propose during an intermission or at halftime.
  5. Arrange for a high school marching band to play "your" song in front of her house. Kneel down and give her the ring as soon as she opens the door.



Glossary Definition and Terms

The K stands for Karat, the system used to describe the pure gold content in metal. 14k gold contains 14 parts gold and 10 parts of additional metals, or alloys, making it 58.3% pure gold.
The K stands for Karat, the system used to describe the pure gold content in metal. 18k gold contains 18 parts gold and 6 parts of additional metals, or alloys, making it 75% pure gold.
18k white gold is an industry standard however Scott Kay uses a white gold mixture of 80% pure gold alloyed with up to 16% palladium.
4 C's
Various characteristics of diamonds are graded and categorized by the diamond industry. The most important, and easiest to identify are the Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat weight.
Accent Diamonds
Any size diamond that accompanies a larger center stone in a ring setting.
American International Gemologist, a globally recognized gemological laboratory for grading and appraising jewelry.
A mixture of two or more metals used to increase the strength, durability and workability of the metal.
Anniversary Ring
A ring that is given to commemorate and/or celebrate a past event, like a wedding day.
A valuation of property or goods by an expert in their given field. An appraisal is required by some insurance companies to add jewelry to a policy and should be done by an unbiased source. Because we have sold the item and are therefore biased, we offer a "Statement of Replacement Value" that is accepted by many insurance companies. We do not do appraisals purchased elsewhere as we do not have a professional on staff to do this type of work.
Argentium Silver
935 silver or 92.5% silver alloyed with 7.5% copper and metalloid germanium. A Low maintenance metal with no plating necessary. Argentium Silver is brighter than traditional sterling silver because of the metalloid germanium which helps to resist tarnish; harder than sterling silver.
Asscher Cut
A diamond or gemstone cut named for Joseph Asscher. This square cut diamond with 72 facets was developed in 1902. An Asscher has step facets and cut corners making the gemstone resemble an octagon.
A gemstone, often a diamond, cut in a narrow rectangular shape. Small diamonds cut this way are often used as accents. A tapered baguette has one short end narrower than the opposite end, forming a trapezoid.
Bar Setting
A diamond (or gemstone) set between two parallel bars where the sides of the gems are left open.
A plain ring usually cast in gold, silver, platinum, or palladium. Band usually refers to a ring that is the same width all the way around.
Bead Setting
A technique used to set stones into metal. Beads of metal are formed around the stone offering security while being pleasing to the eye.
A ring of metal holding a stone in a setting. A bezel usually completely surrounds the stone but can also be partially surrounding the stone, this is called a half bezel
Bezel Setting
A method of setting gemstones in which the stone is held in the mounting by a narrow band of metal surrounding the girdle (outside perimeter) of the stone.
Birthstones have their roots in ancient astrology, and there have been many birthstone lists used over the years. The most common one today is based on a list first publicized by the U.S. jewelry industry in the 1950s. This list assign birthstones as follows: January - Garnet, February - Amethyst, March - Aquamarine, April - Diamond, May - Emerald, June - Pearl, July - Ruby, August - Peridot, September - Sapphire, October - Opal, November - Citrine, December - Blue Topaz.
Black Diamonds
A highly included diamond generally used in the industry for drilling and polishing, recently these stones have been enhanced to increase their black appearance and then faceted to be used in jewelry.
The white light that bounces off the surface of a diamond.
Bridal Set
A matching set of rings that include and engagement ring and a wedding band.
Brilliant Cut
By far the most common and popular diamond shape. The Brilliant Cut is a round shaped diamond that has 58 facets which provide the maximum amount of brilliance.
Brillianteering is the final stages of the diamond cutting process. This is when the star facets along with the upper and lower half facets are polished on the diamond.
The reflections of white light seen when a diamond is viewed from the top; also referred to as brilliance.
Abbreviated "ct." and spelled with a "c" is a measure of weight used for gemstones. One carat is equal to 1/5 of a gram (200 milligrams). Stones are measured to the nearest hundredth of a carat. A hundredth of a carat is also called a point. Thus a .10 carat stone can be called either 10 points, or 1/10 of a carat.
To form liquid metal into a particular shape by pouring into a mold.
A way of creating a ring (a manufacturing process) where the hot, liquid metal is poured into a mold of the desired shape and design.
Center Stone
The centerpiece of a ring. Typically set up higher than other surrounding stones. Although usually a diamond, this can be any precious gemstone.
A grading report describing the quality and details of a stone. The diamond is scrutinized under a microscope and other equipment to analyze its dimensions, clarity, cut, color, finish, symmetry and other characteristics.
Certificate Number
The number listed on a certificate from reputable laboratories to distinguish it from other diamonds in a database used to catalogue each diamonds characteristics.
Channel Set
A gem setting technique in which a number of round, square or rectangular stones are set side by side with no metal separating them in a grooved channel. The outer ridge of metal is then worked over the edges of the stones. This protects the girdle area of the diamonds better than a bead or prong settiing and provides a smooth exterior surface.
Clarity refers to the inclusions in a stone and the overall effect those inclusions have on the appearance of the stone. Clarity is also determined by external characteristics, i.e. naturals, chips, scratches, etc.
The Classic Collection at Robbins Brothers features engagement rings that are destined to become treasured heirlooms. These rings include prong set and channel set diamonds as well as three stone styles.
A group of tiny pinpoints found inside a diamond. When view under a 10X gemscope, it may be very difficult to see each individual crystal. A cloud is rarely a serious inclusion.
Cluster Setting
Closely set gemstones arranged to give the illusion of a single, larger gemstone.
Cobalt is a white metal that is four times harder than platinum, scratch resistant, hypoallergenic, and 100% solid giving it a high resistance to shock and pressure. Robbins Brothers carries the trademarked medical grade BioBlu 27 formula cobalt from Scott Kay.
Cocktail Ring
A large over sized ring, set with precious or semi-precious stones. Typically worn on the right hand.
References the visible appearance of color in a stone and in the case of a diamond may also reference the absence of color as in the color grades D- F "colorless."
Conflict Diamonds
Diamonds that originate and are mined from areas controlled by forces at war, or otherwise in armed conflict with the region's existing officially recognized government. The diamonds produced from these areas are used to illegally and often brutally, fund military actions in opposition to those governments, or in contravention of the decisions of the United Nations Security Council. Conflict diamonds are sometimes referred to as "Blood Diamonds."
Comfort Fit
A ring design that features a rounded inside edge for more comfortable constant wear. Comfort fit bands usually require more metal and are thicker, heavier and more durable than a classic fit ring.
Contour Band
A wedding band that fits next to an engagment ring and has a slight bend or unique shape for a closer fit.
The upper part or "top half" of a faceted gemstone.
Crown Angle
The average angle of the bezel facets relative to the diamond's table.
Cubic Zirconia
Cubic Zirconia are manmade gems which appear very much like diamonds, yet do not have the same intrinsic properties such as light return (sparkle) or hardness (much softer). "CZ's" as they are often called, are mass produced and much less expensive than natural diamonds
A flat facet on the bottom (point) of a gemstone.
Cushion Cut
A square or rectangular cut with rounded corners.
Refers to the proportions and finish of a polished diamond.
It is important to consider the depth of a diamond. The proportions of the depth ratio compared to the table ratio is the primary source for identifying how the light is returned to the viewer once it enters a diamond.
A natural occurring mineral composed of 99.95% carbon. The 0.05% of trace mineral elements can alter the diamond color from colorless to fancy color. The most common diamond color is yellow, followed by brown. Red is the rarest of the fancy colored diamonds. Diamonds can be found in as many colors as in the rainbow, with varying degrees of intensity. Diamond is the hardest substance on the Mohs hardness scale. It is only one of a few gemstones in the world to exhibit dispersion.
Diamond Cloth
A specialized cloth used for cleaning gemstones, removing oils and soft enough to avoid scratching the surface.
Diamond Dossier
A GIA report or certificate for a diamond that weighs less than 1 carat. Diamonds with a dossier have a laser inscription, but no plot.
Diamond Melee
Small diamonds that are full cuts containing all 58 facets They are typically used as accent diamonds. The word melee refers to any small diamond under .17cts. These are not to be confused with "diamond chips" which are not fully faceted diamonds (contain far less than 58 facets).
Diamond Paper
A specialized paper used to enclose a diamond when stored to protect the stone from outside elements.
Diamond Tester
A device used to determine a genuine diamond from a synthetic. Most diamond testers use Thermal Conductivity (heat and temperature).
Diamond Tweezers
A specialized tweezers designed to handle a diamond without damaging the sensitive points and facets of the stone.
An expert in the field of diamonds that has completed a course from the Diamond Council of America.
The length, width and depth of a gemstone. Because the actual millimeter size of a diamond from the top can vary base on how it is cut, this measurement represents the size of the gemstone more accurately.
Colored light that reflects from within the diamond--rainbow colors often referred to as "fire."
European Gemological Laboratory is a diamond grading laboratory with labs through the world. ELG USA has 4 labs in North America. Diamonds graded by EGL USA will have a US or CA at the beginning of the certificate number.
Jewelry can be mechanically plated with gold in a variety of ways, including electroplated. Eventually, the gold plating wears away, but it depends on how often the item is worn and how thick the plating is.
Emerald Cut
A popular diamond shape, based on a form of step cutting. An emerald cut diamond is rectangular with facets on the sides, ends and across the corners. Emerald Cuts allow for a clear view into the diamond due to the large open table. Although an Emerald Cut appears to have fewer facets, it actually typically has 58 facets, or the same number as a round brilliant.
Engagement Ring
A ring used to signify a promise to wed. Engagement Rings usually have one larger center gem stone either alone (solitaire) or with other smaller diamonds down the band. Diamonds are the most popular choice of gemstone because of their value and traditional symbolism of lasting love but Sapphires and Rubies have seen an increase in popularity.
To decorate or embellishing metal or other material with patterns using a stamping tool or drill. This was a popular technique in mid-Victorian jewelry and is still popular today. Stamped pieces can be designed to imitate hand engraving although, under magnification, the design is much more sharp in a hand engraved piece, with subtle irregularities. Engraving can also refer to inscribing, on the inside of the shank, a dedication or monogram to identify a piece.
Eternity Band/ Ring
A style of ring where gemstones, usually diamonds, are set along the entire circumference of the band.
European Cut
The style of diamond cutting popular from approximately 1890 to the 1930s. Unlike the old mine cut preceding it, the European cut has a round girdle (perimeter) made possible by the introduction of the power bruiting machine (Bruiting is the term for shaping the girdle of a diamond, the first step in the cutting process). The European cut can be distinguished by the size of the table (the top, flat facet) in relation to the diameter of the stone. In a European cut, the table is smaller in relation to the diameter of the stone. Also, the culet (the bottom facet, is often large, often appearing to create a hole at the bottom of the diamond, when viewed from the top, since the large culet lets light escape instead of reflecting back to the viewer.
Extra Facets
A diamond that has one or more facets in addition to the normal number of facets for a specific cutting style.
Eye Clean
A diamond that has no visible inclusions to the unaided eye.
Any one of the flat surfaces cut into a gem also refers to the act of cutting flat surfaces onto a stone.
A faceted stone has small, flat-cut surfaces that make a sparkling effect on transparent stones, although translucent and even sometimes opaque stones are faceted. Traditionally, diamonds, rubies and sapphires are faceted to show off their brilliance.
Fancy Color
Diamonds come in every color of the rainbow - and then some. Diamonds that range outside the normal market range are classified as fancy color. Normal market range (D - Z) includes the category of white diamonds which range from colorless to light yellow, light brown or light grey.
Fancy Shape / Cut
A shape (in terms of the diamond) that is not round.
A tiny fracture inside a diamond that resembles a feather.
Ornamental work of fine wire formed into delicate tracery. The wire is typically made from gold, silver of platinum.
All types of fasteners, and construction components used in jewelry making.
The texture or polish on any piece of jewelry. Some types of finish are brush, high polish, satin, matte and sandblast.
The flashes of color that appear as white light is separated into rainbow colors creating a prism effect. Technically known as dispersion.
A diamond which has no inclusions, both internally and on the surface. Flawless is the highest level of diamond clarity and extremely rare.
The visible light emitted from a diamond when exposed to long wave or short wave ultraviolet light. Only 30% of diamonds exhibit fluorescence. Lab reports will note the intensity/strength of the light emitted. Depending on what you have heard or read, you may be under the misconception that fluorescence in a diamond is a bad thing and impairs the beauty of the stone. The truth is, that for those diamonds that exhibit fluorescence, less than 3% negatively impact the appearance of the diamonds in natural lighting conditions. In fact, in certain color ranges fluorescence will actually help the diamond appear whiter face up. A bit of information that can help stretch your budget without sacrificing quality.
Four C's
Various characteristics of diamonds are graded and categorized by the diamond industry. The most important, and easiest to identify are the Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat weight.
A way of enhancing a diamond to make a lower quality diamond appear better than it is. The process fills any surface reaching cracks and or inclusions with silica. Fracture filling a diamonds is temporary and will compromise the integrity and durability of the diamond. A trained professional can see this enhancement under a gemscope.
Freshwater Pearl
A pearl produced by a freshwater mussel.
Gemological Microscope
A specialized stereoscopic microscope (viewed using both eyes) used to view gems under high powered magnification.
A person who has been trained and accredited in diamonds and colored stones.
A specialized stereoscopic microscope (viewed using both eyes) used to view gems under high powered magnification.
A precious or semiprecious stone, especially one cut, polished, and used in a piece of jewelry.
Gemological Institute of America was established in 1931, the Gemological Institute of America is the world's foremost authority on diamonds, colored stones, and pearls. GIA is a leader in Diamond grading and education. An individual who completes the entire GIA gemological course work is a graduate gemologist (G.G.)
The area of a gemstone, where the top and bottom of the gemstone meet, that helps to define its shape or outline, as well as separates the crown from the pavilion.
A naturally occurring, soft, yellow metal. It is most malleable of all precious metals used in jewelry. Commonly alloyed with other metals to increase the durability and in some cases alter the color. Most commonly alloyed with nickel, silver, copper and palladium. The karat number refers to the parts of pure gold versus parts of alloy with 24 parts being pure. So a 14K alloy is 14/24 parts pure gold, or about 58% gold.
The level of rarity in which a diamond is classified.
To vary in gradual increments. For example, diamonds that start small towards the finger and get larger as go up the band towards the center stone.
A set of rings worn on the sides of an engagement ring, usually a solitaire. The two bands are typically connected at the bottom of the rings with one or two small bars allowing for a gap between the two bands to place an engagment ring into.
Gypsy Setting
A setting style where the stone is sunk into the metal leaving the top of the stone nearly level with the top of the ring surface.
A ring of diamonds surrounding a center stone. This setting gets its name from the fact that it allows the center stone to appear larger and gives the center diamond a heavenly halo effect.
Hammered Finish
The texture of this finish is a dimpled look. It looks like a hammer was used to pound each dimple on the surface of the ring, thus the name of this finish. This finish can be left with a high polish to reflect light in different directions or can be combined with sanblasting or matting for a unique, non-shiny look.
The ability of a material to resist scratching. Hardness is categorized on the Mohs scale, it runs from 1 to 10 using a series of reference minerals, and a position on the scale depends on the ability to scratch minerals rated lower on the scale.
Generally refers to the prongs of an engagement ring used to securely hold the center diamond. Can be used to refer to smaller baskets used to hold diamonds.
Hearts and Arrows
This term is used to describe the visual effect achieved in a round diamond when viewed under a special magnification tool. The perfectly aligned facets of a diamond will reveal hearts patterns from the bottom and arrows from the top. Most round diamonds will give this effect, but the higher the polish and symmetry, the more uniform the hearts and arrows will be.
Heart Shaped Diamond
A specialty cut of diamond that is shaped like a heart. This is a popular cut because the shape of a heart is traditionally associated with love.
High Polish
The way the metal is polished to provide a mirror like finish.
Ideal Cut
A diamond cut to optimal proportions, with optimal polish and symmetry, and the most weight loss to produce maximum luster, brilliance, dispersion, and scintillation. Diamonds cut to this standard are the most valuable, with only 1% of round diamonds on the market cut to this standard. This term can be misused as every jeweler can call their best diamond ideal.
International Gemological Institute. A world wide laboratory for diamond and gem certification.
The naturally occurring, unique identifying characteristics that can be found inside a diamond, like a human birthmark. They are irregularities or small bits of foreign matter or crystals that were trapped in a diamond while it was being formed. Taken as a whole, inclusions are used in combination with other factors to determine a diamond's clarity grade.
Indented Natural
A tiny indented edge of the original rough diamond crystal that has been left unpolished on the surface of the diamond.
Internally Flawless
A clarity grade which describes a diamond without internal imperfections or flaws but with minor surface blemishes such as scratches, small naturals, etc., which under a strict interpretation of the FTC rulings would preclude its being called flawless.
Invisible Setting
A setting technique by which stones, usually diamonds, are attached from the back so they appear to have no mounting. The stones have tiny grooves cut into their base where the metal is attached. This process is used in side stones and in multi-stone centers.
a heavy metallic element of the platinum group; used primarily as an alloy with other metals. Iridium is often alloyed with platinum to improve workability.
A process by which an item is exposed to radiation. This process is used to lighten or enhance the color of gemstones and diamonds
An individual or company that makes or sells jewelry and has an understanding and knowledge of jewelry. Also refers to a person that is trained to do repairs and design of jewelry
Ornaments worn by people on the body. Forms of jewelry include: necklace, bracelet, anklet, earring, locket, pendant, charm bracelet, ring and chain.
Karat is a measure of the purity of gold. 24 karat gold is pure gold. 14 Karat gold is 14 parts gold and 10 parts other metals. Note- Karat is not the same as "carat".
Kimberly Process
The Kimberley Process (Kimberley Process or KP) is an international governmental certification program that was set up to prevent the trade in diamonds that fund conflict. Launched in January 2003, the program requires governments to certify that shipments of rough diamonds are conflict-free. Robbins Brothers follows the Kimberly Process and requires all of our vendors to sign a contract that they do as well.
A tiny crystal of diamond or other mineral that goes against the grain of the diamond, and protrudes slightly through the surface of the diamond facet.
Lab Created
Gemstones created in a lab, also known as synthetic stones, with exact chemical properties as the natural gems.
Lab Created Diamond
Lab-created diamonds have the same physical, chemical and optical properties as a mined diamond and emerge as rough diamonds. Both have the same hardness, specific gravity, refractive index and dispersion factor; are polished using the same equipment and techniques; and have the same brilliance, sparkle, fire and cintillation. Both are, in fact, diamond. Lab created diamonds are also called symthetic or man-made, although these terms can lead consumers to think the stones are simulants (fake).
Laser Drilling
To laser drill a diamond, a beam of high energy light is used to bore a small tunnel from the surface of the diamond to the targeted inclusion. Then, strong acid is forced down the tunnel to bleach out or burn away the inclusion. The tell-tale signs of laser drilling can be easily detected with proper training. The drilling process leaves a small tunnel from the surface of the diamond to the site of the former inclusion. Some drill holes are later filled. Robbins Brothers does not carry Laser drilled diamonds.
Laser Inscription
The process of engraving in a ring or a stone using a laser. Diamond engraving is usually done on the girdle and consists of the certifying company and the certificate number. Laser engraving on a ring usually is required on hard metals like Tungsten, Cobalt and Titanium.
A method of payment where a person can put down a deposit (20% of the total purchase price with Robbins Brothers) for their merchandise and then make payments over a period of time (90 days with Robbins Brothers) to pay off the balance before taking the merchandise home.
The areas in a diamond where light escapes and does not return to your eye.
Lifetime Diamond Warranty
We will replace any diamond, ruby, and sapphire which in normal use chips, cracks or separates from its mounting and is lost with a diamond, ruby or sapphire of comparable quality to your original gemstone for the purchaser's lifetime. This warranty is valid, provided the diamond, ruby, and sapphire mounting have been cleaned and checked once a year; and that such inspection has been verified in writing in the space provided in the Lifetime Diamond & Gemstone Warranty Booklet by an authorized representative of Robbins Brothers.
Light Performance
A general term used in the jewelry industry in an attempt to measure and quantify the type and amount of light return.
Light Return
The amount of light that is reflected and refracted through a diamond to return to the eye of the viewer.
A small, hand held, magnifying glass used by jewelers. A loupe allows for a jeweler to see many surface blemishes as well as some internal inclusions. A gemscope though is used by laboratories for grading and certification of a diamond.
A stone cut in a boat shape, pointed at both ends, with rounded sides. Note that the correct pronunciation is "Mar-KEYS", not "Mar-KEY" which is commonly heard.
Matte Finish
A technique for finishing the surface of a metal so that it does not give off any luster. A matte finish is opposite of a high polish finish. Many rings will combine the two finishes for a unique look.
The term used to describe diamonds that weigh .17ct and below.
The precise setting of very small diamonds using a microscope in which the stones are set low and very closely spaced, so that the surface appears to be paved with gemstones.
A raised, beaded edge on a ring done with a special engraver's tool; creating a tiny row/line of beads.
Mine Cut
A style of diamond cutting most popular before 1890. It features a cushion shaped outline, rather than the round outline of the modern cut and old European cuts, and has a different facet arrangement.
A naturally occurring, inorganic substance, with a chemical composition and usually an orderly arrangement of atoms.
The Modern Collection at Robbins Brothers features engagement rings with channel set diamonds, open shanks and bold mountings.
Mohs' Hardness Scale
A relative scale of hardness used in classifying minerals. It runs from 1 to 10 using a series of reference minerals, and a position on the scale depends on the ability to scratch minerals rated lower. Talc is 0 and diamond is 10
The metal frame or housing in which diamonds are set. Semi-mountings are sometimes referred to simply as mountings although, technically, a mounting does not have side gemstones and a semi-mounting does.
A tiny edge of the original rough diamond crystal that is left unpolished on the surface of the diamond.
A very fine, elongated inclusion within a diamond or gemstone.
Oval Cut
A cut that is oblong and faceted with round edges to create an oval shape.
A naturally occurring grey/white metal that is in the Platinum metals group. It is hypoallergenic and less expensive than Platinum. It never changes color or tarnishes. This seemingly new metal actually was used in the 1940's to create jewelry as a replacement for platinum which was only to be used for war purposes.
As a general term, patina refers to the change in an object's surface resulting from natural aging and the accumulation of fine scratches. Platinum patina is highly prized due to the time that it takes to build up. It is a result of years of fine scratches.
(pah-VAY) Very tightly set stones, as in a pavement; a gem setting technique in which the stones are set low and very closely spaced, so that the surface appears to be paved with gemstones. Most commonly seen with diamonds, but may be used with any stone.
The lower part of a faceted gemstone found below the girdle. Sometimes referred to as the "base."
Pear Cut
A cut that resembles a pear or teardrop-rounded on one end and pointed on the other.
A natural gemstone formed when a oyster is irritated by a substance that gets into its shell. If the irritation is a naturally occurring grain of sand, it is an Oriental pearl. If it is produced by purposefully inserting a bead, a cultured pearl is formed. A pearl that forms attached to the shell is a blister pearl, while a pearl that is irregularly shaped rather than round is referred to as baroque.
Peg Setting
Any setting with a small pin on the bottom that then fits through a hole that has been drilled or cast in a ring securing the setting.
A piece of jewelry suspended from a chain or necklace.
Professional Gem Sciences is a full service gemological laboratory.
Small crystals inside a diamond or gemstone that look like small specks under 10X magnification. A cluster of pinpoints is called a cloud.
A naturally occurring grey/white metal that is usually 95% pure and hypoallergenic. It is 30 more times rare than gold and never changes color. In order for an item to be stamped with only PLAT, PT, or Platinum the item must be 95% platinum. If preceded by a number, an item is considered platinum if 85% or greater content of platinum, i.e. 850PT, 900PT.
A plot is a Top-Down view or diagram of your Diamond with the Inclusions (both visible and microscopic) drawn on it. This is like the diamonds fingerprint. Every diamond Plot or fingerprint is unique and can be used to identify your diamond.
A unit of weight for diamonds equal to one-hundredth of a carat or .002 grams.
Polish has two different definitions in the jewelry industry. Polish is the act of making something smooth and glossy. The first definition refers to metal. You can polish the metal of a ring to remove scratches and create a high luster. This is done by applying the metal to a soft cloth wheel that is spinning at high speeds. The friction will polish the metal to a glossy finish. The second definition refers to the finish of a diamond's, or gem's, facets. Unlike metals, Diamonds are the hardest substance know to man. This means that the only thing that is hard enough to polish each facet smooth is diamond dust. Because they are so hard, Diamonds can take and keep a polish quality that far surpasses all other gems.
This is the act of making something smooth and glossy. Also see Polish.
The tiny air bubbles in Swiss Cheese are pleasant, but similar holes in metal are a huge issue. Pockets of air form during the process of creating a ring which can affect the durability and integrity of a ring if the ring is not properly cast. Porosity in cast jewelry weakens the basic structure of the piece, causing ring to be brittle, shanks to break, prongs to break off and galleries to crack. All Robbins Brothers rings are quality controlled three or more times looking for porosity.
Princess Cut
A square cut. This is also referred to as a square modified brilliant cut.
Pre-owned items are items that have been previously worn but restored to their original beauty. We inspect each piece to make sure it passes all the Robbins Brothers standards of high quality. These items are only available online and not in-store. Robbins Brothers Pre-owned rings come with all benefits of buying new at a phenomenal value
Pre-Set Solitaire
A solitaire mounting that has a pre-selected diamond set into the head. Also see Solitaire.
Promise Ring
A promise ring can mean many different things. The bottom line though is it is meant to represent any promise that someone makes to another person. The most common uses for a promise ring are; a promise to be engaged in the future, a promise to be faithful and exclusive or a promise to abstain from sex until marriage.
Prong Setting
Stones set with individual prongs holding them in place.
The term referring to the metal holding a diamond.
A family of colored gemstones widely used in jewelry. Quartz is available in many different forms including Amethyst, Citrine, Onyx, Rose Quartz and Smokey Quartz.
Radiant Cut
A square or rectangle shaped diamond with clipped-off corners like the emerald cut. A Radiant Cut has 70 facets. The radiant was first introduced in 1976.
A metal that is part of the platinum family. Silver, gold, and even base metals were often Rhodium plated during the 30's and 40's to give them the white, shiny look associated with platinum. Today, White Gold is Rhodium Plated to give it a pure white look. Although in the platinum family of metals, it is not the same as platinum. While both metals are solid precious metals - Rhodium is extremely rare and extremely costly making its use limited to plating.
A thin plating of rhodium, which is one of the members of the platinum family, applied over either Sterling Silver, White Gold or other alloy to give a bright, shiny, long lasting silver-colored finish to a piece.
Rose Gold
Gold in its pure form is yellow. Alloys are added to give to gold strength as well as to change its color. Rose Gold has a pinkish color to it and this is accomplished by adding Copper as an alloy to the gold.
Round Diamond
This cut is technically referred to as a brilliant cut. This cut is round and has 57 facets, or 58 facets if it has a culet. This is the most popular and classic of diamond shapes.
A precious gem of the corundum family that is red in color. All other gems in the corundum family that are not red are called sapphires. Ruby is the birthstone for July and is very popular in bridal jewelry due to its hardness and durability.
A member of the platinum group metals. This metal is most often used as the alloy in platinum jewelry
A gemstone of the corundum family, although blue is the color most commonly associated with sapphires, they come in a range of colors from white to orange to green to pink. In fact, if a corundum gemstone is red, it is referred to as a ruby, but any other color, including the light pinkish "rubies" in inexpensive jewelry are properly referred to as sapphires. Sapphires are below diamonds on the Mohs scale at a 9 with diamond a 10 (relative scale of 1-10) and because of their hardness are often used in engagement rings.
A momentary flash of light as the diamond, eye or the light source moves. Sometimes referred to as "sparkle."
The term used to describe an engagement ring when the center stone has not been added yet. Semi-mountings do include the side diamonds.
Shadow Band
a popular style of wedding bands which offers a thin metal band (sometimes having diamonds) following the shape, contours and outline of one side of the engagement ring.
The term used to describe the part of a ring that encircles the finger.
The outline or silhouette of a stone. Common diamond shapes include round, princess cut (square), oval, marquise, pear, emerald and heart.
SI (Clarity)
SI refers to the clarity grading category of "Slight Inclusions". At this clarity grade, inclusions are relatively easy to see under a 10x magnification and may be visible from the bottom of the diamond. SI is divided into 2 categories; SI1 and SI2, with SI1 being higher on the scale and more rare.
Side Stone
A diamond or gemstone that is set alongside a center stone. A sidestone can aslo surround the center stones as in the case of a halo.
Simulant (imitiation)
A stone that imitates the look of a gemstone. It may have similar optical or physical characteristics of the gemstone it is trying to simulate but does not have the same chemical properties. The most common diamonds simulants are cubic zirconia (CZ) and Moissanite.
Abbreviation for Stock-keeping unit. An SKU is the unique identifying number that Robbins Brothers assigns each ring in our inventory.
The style of engagement ring which is one single diamond set in a simple band without any other side stones. This is probably the most recognized version of the engagement ring in the US. Solitaire can also refer to a pendant with a single stone or to an earring (or pair of earrings) consisting of a single stone.
The most common term referring to the diamonds fire and scintillation.
Stainless Steel
A steel alloy with a minimum of 11% chromium content by mass. Stainless steel is durable, hypoallergenic, does not tarnish and is easy to clean.
Sterling Silver
A metal that consist of 92.5% silver and 7.5% alloy, usually copper.
A simple and classic earring made from one single diamond, gemstone or ball attached to a straight post. A stud will have no dangling parts.
Surface Blemishes
Naturally occurring, unique, identifying characteristics that can be found on the surface of a diamonds. Considered as a factor of clarity grade in a diamond.
Symmetry is how the facets of a diamond align with each other. If there are differences in symmetry, the result will be loss of light and therefore, sparkle. Symmetry can be negatively affected by off-center tables, unequal facets, and the thickness and inconsistency of the girdle.
A stone that has the same chemical composition, physical properties, optical properties and crystal structure as its natural counterpart. A synthetic stone is created in a controlled laboratory environment.
Synthetic Diamond
A stone that has the same chemical composition, physical properties, optical properties and crystal structure as its natural counterpart. Synthetic diamonds have been on the market since the mid 1980's and are difficult to detect. Synthetic diamonds are made by a High Pressure, High Temperature (HPHT) process or by Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) process. While this term is often used, it can lead consumers to think the stones are fake, artificial or simulants such as cubic zirconia, which is inaccurate.
Table Facet
The largest facet on a gemstone. Located on the crown, it is the large flat surface that light is allowed into the stone through.
Tennis Bracelet
A bracelet containing many small gems, usually diamonds, linked together in a narrow chain. The name tennis bracelet was first used when the great tennis player Chris Evert dropped a diamond bracelet during a tennis match in the summer of 1987 (at the US Open Tennis Tournament). She had to stop the match until she found her bracelet.
Tension Set
A diamond that is held in place by pressure giving the diamond the look of floating in space.
Three Stone
A ring consisting of a center gemstone flanked by a smaller gemstone on each side. These rings can also be combined with other setting styles like channel or pave settings for a unique look. These rings celebrate your past, present and future together. You can also find pendants and earrings in this style.
Tiffany Setting
The high pronged setting most common today for engagement rings such as a diamond solitaire; this setting was introduced by Tiffany & Co. in 1886.
A strong and light weight metal used in jewelry such as rings and watches. Titanium is 10 times lighter than steel yet is 10 times stronger.
The ability of a material to resist breaking.
An action performed on a gemstone to improve/enhance its color, clarity, or both. Some treatments are not permanent. The most common treatment for a diamond are: irradiation (to change color), fracture filling (to improve clarity) and laser drilling (to improve clarity).
Tungsten Carbide
A hypoallergenic and the most scratch resistant of metals. Mohs hardness for our bands is 8.5. Robbins Brothers carries a tungsten carbide that is an 85% pure tungsten carbide formula which creates the highest strength of the metal. Many items sold as tungsten can be alloyed with other metals such as cobalt.
Twinning Wisp
A visible inclusion or line within the diamond that may look like a ripple. This is usually caused by an irregularity in the crystal structure.
A piece of jewelry consisitng of two different metal types or finishes. Most common with white and yellow metal combinations, you will also find rings combining two different white metals.
Ultrasonic Cleaner
A machine that cleans jewelry using high frequency vibrations. Most ultrasonic cleaners also heat up the solution that is used to clean the jewelry. Many gemstones should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner such as pearls, coral, onyx, emerald, tanzanite or turquoise.
Unaided Eye
Industry term used to describe viewing or looking at a stone without the use of magnification.
VS (Clarity)
VS refers to the clarity grading category of "Very Slight" inclusions. At this clarity grade, inclusions are relatively difficult to see under a 10x magnification. VS is divided into 2 categories; VS1 and VS2, with VS1 being higher on the scale and more rare.
VVS (Clarity)
VVS refers to the clarity grading category of "Very Very Slight" inclusions. At this clarity grade, inclusions are extremely difficult to see under a 10x magnification. VVS is divided into 2 categories; VVS1 and VVS2, with VVS1 being higher on the scale and more rare.
The Vintage Collection at Robbins Brothers includes styles with micropave diamonds, halo settings, milgrain details and stately side diamonds all with an antique feel.
White Gold
Yellow gold mixed with a whitening alloy to appear white. Because it is not a naturally occurring white metal, over time it will appear to "tarnish" yellow as its natural color comes through and the rhodium plating, added to give the metal a white finish, wears off. A jeweler can fix this by rhodium plating the piece of jewelry to restore its uniform white color.
Wedding Ring
A ring that is exchanged at the wedding ceremony. It is uniform in its width all the way around.
Also called solitaire enhancers, a wrap is a ring that is designed to go along side a solitaire engagment ring. Part of the wrap is designed to go over the solitaire band and "wrap" around the diamond creating a completed and enhanced look.
A common abbreviation for "Hugs and Kisses". Frequently used as an engraving on the inside of the ring combined with the couple's wedding date.
Yellow Gold
Gold in its pure form is yellow. Gold is relatively pure when mined but is alloyed with other metals to increase it durability and strength in fine jewelry as well as to change its color. Yellow gold is alloyed to maintain its original natural color.
Naturally occurring mineral available in clear, yellow, orange, brown and reddish brown colors. This mineral is often confused with the man made diamond stimulant Cubic Zirconia, but they are completely different materials.