Want To Create A Family Heirloom Engagement Ring? What Should You Keep In Mind?

Whether picking out your own engagement ring or selecting one for your soon-to-be betrothed, you may be browsing with an eye for the future. In an era where it seems as though just about everything is disposable, the ability to pass down an engagement ring or wedding set to your children, grandchildren, or even great-grandchildren can be both special and rare. However, not all diamonds (or settings) are built to stand the test of time, and you don't want to invest money and effort into the perfect engagement ring only to find it in need of costly repairs after just a few years. What factors will you want to keep in mind when selecting an heirloom engagement ring? Read on to learn more about choosing a diamond that truly will last forever.

Keep an eye on smaller, higher-quality stones

Unless you have an unlimited budget, you'll likely need to prioritize just one or two of the common selection criteria for diamonds and other precious stones: number of carats, clarity, color, and cut. An extra-large diamond that is of the highest clarity and completely colorless will be at the higher end of the price range due to its high quality, while a smaller diamond that may be slightly irregular or have a bluish or yellowish hue can be much less expensive. 

However, there are a few tricks you can use to maximize the quality of diamond you can obtain for your budget. One is by choosing a diamond with ultra-high clarity with a cut designed to maximize its shine and sparkle. The more light a diamond reflects, the larger it can appear, so a relatively small diamond that reflects a great deal of light may give the appearance of a much larger stone at a fraction of the cost. You'll want to spend some time browsing a variety of cuts and clarity ratings to get an idea of the stones that provide the greatest amount of sparkle.

Consider a multi-piece (or multi-stone) set

A simple, streamlined ring that consists of just a single diamond can be stunning -- but trying to pass down such a ring to more than one child can be a challenge, and you may wind up with an entire generation's worth of hurt feelings by choosing only one person upon whom to bestow the family wedding ring. Unless you and your betrothed are fine with starting a tradition that will pass the ring down to the eldest (or youngest) child or grandchild without taking into account who else may want it, you may want to keep ease of division in mind. 

Choosing a set with multiple, durable stones (that can be re-set into different settings for future generations) or a wedding set made up of several pieces that can be easily divided among more than one family member can avoid hurt feelings while minimizing the risk that a sole family heirloom will be lost in divorce or theft.

Choose a well-suited setting

Having the perfect diamond placed in a clunky or cheap-looking setting can ruin the aesthetic of your heirloom ring and also place your diamond at risk of loss if a prong breaks or becomes bent. Selecting the highest-quality setting you're able to comfortably afford will not only improve the value of your ring, but also its security. 

When choosing a setting, you'll want to pick one that showcases your diamond's best qualities -- whether size, clarity, or sparkle. You'll also want to keep ease of cleaning and use in mind -- if this is a ring that will be worn on a daily basis, selecting a setting that forces the diamond to stick out can cause it to become snagged or damaged as it strikes other objects. 

To get started on your search, check out companies like Rocky Mountain Gold & Silver Exchange.