The main factor that governs the weight or gauge of precious-metal stock we need to use for your ring is the size of diamond or gemstone we mount on your ring.
Generally, our 4-band, medium-weight, puzzle engagement ring will hold a stone up to approximately 0.72CT, or seven-tenths of a carat. When you opt for a larger stone, we must make your ring sturdy enough to hold the stone securely and to ensure that if your, for example, marquise diamond gets caught on something, it will not destroy your ring as a result of your ring being too light weight.
Each weight, or gauge, of stock precious metal, in combination with the weave you select, will offer a different look. Even when we go to replicate a ring shown on our website or on our “Select your style and weave” page, it will not be identical to the one shown in our image. Your ring is hand-woven, and it is a one-off, original, wearable, work of art. If you look at enough images of these gorgeous rings, you will also become aware that each one is slightly, quirkily, asymmetrical, because of its hand-woven nature.
The marquise diamond ring above bears an approximately 0.46CT marquise diamond. Weight: medium with a standard weave, which will hold a marquise diamond up to 0.72CT.
A lot of people fall in love with this set, and, if you do, it’s important to consider the size limitation of the diamond or colored gemstone this set will hold. For a gemstone or diamond heavier than 0.72CT, we must make your ring a little heavier, like the one shown below.
The rare 0.87CT blue-green marquise emerald, above, is too large for a medium weight ring, so we wove this ring with just-over-medium-weight 14K white gold. It makes for a bigger ring, especially with the open weave, as shown here, and it is properly sized for the dimensions and weight of the gemstone.
The puzzle ring above is made with a 1CT diamond and the same slightly heavier gold stock as shown with the marquise emerald ring, only in this case in three colors – 14K rose, 14K yellow and 950 palladium. This is a standard weave puzzle ring with a made-to-order claddagh band.
Laura on her wedding day in Italy, wearing her Juliet, princess-cut, 1CT diamond puzzle ring, with heavy, 18K yellow gold puzzle bands and a 14K white gold setting. We make almost every puzzle engagement ring in 14K gold, rather than 18K, because it is so much stronger. But with the heavier bands comes strength that compensates for the higher concentration of gold (18K gold being 75% gold and 25% other metal alloys). Still, we stick to 14K for the setting, because we want the strength of 14K in the part that holds the diamond. Laura’s ring is about a size 4.75, so her ring illustrates that our heaviest weight women’s puzzle ring looks gorgeous even in a small finger size.
On another note . . .
We are just about to redo Laura’s setting with our new Celtic triskele diamond setting, shown in a CAD rendering below.
The question of white gold color is one that comes up over and over again, since some of the rings at www.crystalrealm.com are historic reproductions, and some are not. Here’s important info on all of Crystal Realm’s white gold jewelry:
Ring Style in White gold
Traditional poesy rings
These are Renaissance reproduction rings, which are not rhodium plated. 14K white gold poesy rings have a slightly creamish cast to them; 18K white gold poesy rings are a tad creamier.
You’ll see the naturally creamy color more under artificial light. I’ve had clients take delivery of these rings and call me to report they received yellow gold. All it takes it looking at the ring in a more natural light, near a window, skylight, or outdoors, and it’s easy to tell it is white gold.
In 14K white gold, these rings are the best match for our puzzle engagment rings, since both are not plated with rhodium, and the underlying 14K white gold alloy of one ring is very close to, if not identical, to that of the other style.
Custom poesy rings
If you want a white gold poesy ring or custom design of any ring to go with a puzzle engagement ring, I recommend palladium, rather than white gold, to ensure the rings match. If you really want white gold, then the rings should be rhodium plated, so the finish color matches.
If you intend to wear a custom ring by itself or with a commercially available engagement ring, then, by all means, select 14K or 18K white gold.
Puzzle engagement or puzzle wedding rings
For strength, we use only 14K gold in any color for puzzle rings. All colored metal puzzle rings have a 14K white gold stone setting, unless you request 14K yellow gold.
Irish Celtic Wedding bands
By default, yes. Upon request, no.
The Irish Celtic wedding rings we carry have an unusually heavy rhodium finish, so it is very durable and long-wearing, and normally they don’t need to be re-plated for a very long time. The length of time will depend upon your wear pattern.
If you want your Celtic wedding band to go with a puzzle engagement ring, then I recommend you select palladium or platinum. Palladium is a platinum family metal that ensures that both your puzzle ring and Celtic wedding band will match in white color.
Color of 14K or 18K white gold rings: Usually when you see a 14K or 18K white gold ring in a jewelry store, that ring will be rhodium plated, so it will be bright white! You won’t see the difference between them, as rhodium will make them the same color. Rhodium is a platinum-family metal that is widely used in the modern jewelry industry but that is not used on any white gold poesy or puzzle rings on our site. One reason is that our rings tend to be historical reproduction, and rhodium was not used in antiquity. A reason we are not, in general, big fans of rhodium plating is that it has to be redone 1-3 times per year. You can have a simple band replated by a local jeweler; it tends to run about $45.00 to $50.00 each time. If you really want that bright-white look, then you can maintain it with replating.
The 14K WG of poesy rings has a slightly warmish cast to it, by comparison, and the 18K white gold is a creamier color. It looks like white gold (although not the bright, dead white of plated rings) in natural light, but it looks warmer and creamier under most types of inside lighting. It’s absolutely my favorite white gold! It’s totally gorgeous, in my view!
Part of the problem of trying to see small differences in colors online is that every computer monitor tends to have the color calibrated a little differently. So what might look beautiful on one monitor could look dingy on another.
The difference in color between a 14KWG and an 18KWG poesy ring is not that great. The difference between a rhodium-plated 18K white gold ring and a non-rhodium-plated WG ring is very pronounced. So you might want to compare the ring under the link above to this one:
2. These rings are not engraved on the inside – the lettering is actually cast in when the ring is made, so we can’t offer it blank on the inside. There is a small space on the inside where you could likely have initials engraved – it’s about 3/8” wide.
For heavy-weight, four-band puzzle rings, with or without a diamond, there are two main styles. If you wish, you can each have your four-band puzzle rings woven to match.
When you first order, I will send you each your style and weight of ring in sterling silver, so you can try them on to assess fit, weight, style, and everything, so you can make sure you love the rings, before we commit to them in precious metal. We can do that before you order, if you wish, and in that case, you’ll pay for the sterling silver, and then we’ll apply that amount to your rings in precious metal, if your rings are valued at over $1,000 each. If your final rings are under $1,000, then we apply half the value of your sterling ring to the final ring price.
The two puzzle rings immediately below show the open weave style in men’s heavy-weight stock. The puzzle ring in two colors is 7/8″ wide at top-center. The puzzle engagement ring has roughly the same width at top center, but the addition of the 1CT diamond brings the total ring width to 10mm to 11mm.
1CT Marquise Diamond on women’s heavy-weight, open weave, puzzle ring with optional comfort-fit band which is contoured to reflect the curved shape of the puzzle ring edge.
Our hand-woven, tighter weave, Cambridge style, four-band puzzle rings. The puzzle rings shown just below are in the Cambridge style. In this style, we stretch each band across the front to make an interesting alternative look. Another consequence of the stretching is that these rings are more uniform in width across the front of the ring, so you have the sense of a “band,” which many people like.
The engagement ring with the ruby shows the medium-heavy weight, just the same as the smaller ring to the right in the white gold, shown immediately below.
Selecting a Diamond or a Colored Gemstone Would you prefer to select a diamond or a colored gemstone such as a: sapphire, ruby, aquamarine, blue topaz, tanzanite, green tourmaline, or another stone?
We will work closely with you by email or telephone in selecting your stone. We will give you honest information. We will send a diamond to you for your inspection before mounting it in your ring, if you wish. You will simply pay for the round-trip shipping.
Since Crystal Realm is a relatively small business with low overhead, we can save you money on a diamond. We are a little “hungrier” and more motivated than many other diamond businesses, so we will always give you the best deal we possibly can. In addition, we purchase our diamonds from one of the top diamond houses in the world, so we can assure you of exceptional quality from a company committed to conflict-free diamonds.
In addition, it’s important for you to know that we don’t buy quantities of diamonds in “lots.” We purchase diamonds and colored gemstones one at a time for each order. So when you order from us, you know that we’ll select your gemstone especially for your ring, choosing the very best and brightest diamond or gemstone that we can possibly find for you. We bring almost 50 years of combined experience with diamonds and precious gems to the task of finding the perfect stone for your ring! When we take delivery of your diamond or colored gemstone, it first has to pass our personal inspection, before we will consider setting it on your ring. Then when we ship your ring to you, you have to be delighted! If your heart is not lifted when you open the package and see the ring, then you need to call me immediately to let me know. Don’t wait to see if it “grows on you.” It won’t. If you’re not thrilled, then we need to address the issue immediately and procure and set another stone in your ring.
There are two routes to go when selecting a diamond for your puzzle engagement ring. Although we will save you money with either method, the first and most popular method, is known as Diamond Buying Made Easy, Crystal Realm Style. This guarantees you a diamond of excellent quality with brilliant sparkle and beauty on her hand.
The second method is a higher budget method for diamonds in the VS2 to VVS1 clarity range, at the very end of this post.
Whether you are purchasing a diamond engagement ring, an anniversary gift or a special reward of diamond jewelry, you deserve the best. Red Box Diamonds® offer you more than you imagined possible. Every purchase of a Red Box Diamond® (a diamond of 0.375CT or above) is a brilliant choice.
2. A Guarantee Above All Others Each Red Box Diamond® is a unique gift of nature, meant to be cherished for a lifetime. It is our responsibility and our desire that you be perfectly satisfied with your diamond purchase. If you are not satisfied, for any reason, return your diamond to your jeweler (that would be Crystal Realm) within their specified return policy guidelines*, and your diamond will be replaced, no questions asked.
Mandira’s note: Tom, with whom I co-founded Crystal Realm, and I have always joked that we love our products so much that we’re always happy to buy them back! The truth is that on custom jewelry over $1,000.00, we are not able to give refunds, though, because we cannot sell your custom ring to someone else. The pledge that we make to you, though, is that we will work with you until you are absolutely thrilled with the diamond engagement ring we provide you. If you’re not ecstatic about the diamond you receive from us in your puzzle ring, please let me know within a couple of days, so that we may switch it out for a new one right away. Our pledge also means that if for any reason you aren’t thrilled with the weave of your ring, or any other aspect of it, we’ll go as far as make an entirely new ring for your diamond or colored gemstone.
3. Accurate Grading Each Red Box Diamond® comes with a grading report from an independent lab or a comprehensive report from Stuller. We guarantee our reports provide accurate grading information. If you feel your Red Box Diamond® with a Stuller report is not accurate, we will exchange or refund your purchase within 30 days from the date of purchase (via Crystal Realm). At any time in the future, should the diamond purchased be graded by any of the following independent gemological laboratories (GIA, AGS, HRD, IGI or EGL) and the grade of the stone disputed, we will exchange your diamond or adjust the price of the Red Box Diamond® in question.
4. Guaranteed Value When you are ready to upgrade your Red Box Diamond®, we can help by offering a phenomenal Trade-Up Program. You can have confidence that the diamond you are purchasing will hold its value over time. When you are ready, you can trade in your Red Box Diamond® for a stone of greater value and receive a credit toward your new purchase of a Red Box Diamond®*. Ask Mandira at Crystal Realm for details.
*Diamonds must be in their original condition to qualify for the Trade-Up Program.
5. Free Loss Protection for One Year To help ensure your purchase is properly protected, all Red Box Diamonds® come with free loss protection for one full year.* This provides you with worldwide coverage against theft, loss, or mysterious disappearance. Free coverage of the Red Box Diamond® begins on the postmarked date of the registration form. There is no deductible. *This applies to diamonds residing in the United States.
In the event of a loss, simply contact Mandira at Crystal Realm for a replacement. This helps to guarantee that you will receive the same quality merchandise as you originally purchased.
6. Secure Identification You can have peace of mind that the diamond you purchased is unique. Each Red Box Diamond® comes with the added security of a unique identifier. A laser-engraved number, matching the grading report, is etched on the girdle of the stone. This number allows for proof positive identification.
Plus Custom Diamond Engraving upon Request Custom engraving is available. You can inscribe a secret message of love on your diamond for a nominal fee. Ask Mandira for details.
*Red Box Diamond® benefits apply to most diamonds weighing 3/8 carat (0.375CT) and larger. We do reserve the right to modify or discontinue benefits at any time. Program benefits are not combinable with other offers.
Guinevere Royal Diamond Engagement Ring with Sapphire Accents
Diamond Buying Made Easy, the Crystal Realm Way
Now you know about the multiple guarantees we provide you, courtesy of our diamond vendor. Now let me spell out how we simplify the diamond search process for you.
Our concern is always in finding you the biggest diamond, with the prettiest cut and shape, the most sparkle, and with no flaws visible to the unaided eye, that will look beautiful on her hand in the price range that you prefer.
Your diamond will be in the top range of color D-E-F, will be cut for maximum sparkle, will be the carat weight of your choice, and will have no inclusions visible to the eye. We found that starting in 2010, there have been specific circumstances in which we offered or acquired for a client a diamond in the near-colorless G (top of the near-colorless G-H-I-J range). We’ve only done this a few times so far, and in each case, it was because we found a G color diamond with other outstanding attributes.
The easiest way for us to secure a diamond for your puzzle ring is if you decide how much you want to spend, and we’ll get you the best possible diamond for your price, subject to your approval. However, we also offer you a list of the seven most popular diamond size ranges with prices for each, to help you in your decision making. In fact, 75% of our clients prefer to select from the most popular sizes:
Seven Most Popular Diamond Size Ranges for Crystal Realm Puzzle Engagement Rings
.375 – .41CT (this is the approximately 3/8CT range)
.43 – .46CT
.47 – .52CT (1/2CT range)
.57 – .62CT (6/10CT range)
.67 – .72CT (7/10CT range) – This is the largest size of diamond or colored gemstone we can mount on a four- band, medium-weight puzzle ring. Above this weight, we need to go to a heavier weight of precious metal stock.
.95 – 1.05CT (1CT range) – We quote rings over .72CT individually, based on weight of ring planned and your grading preferences
For diamonds of .375Ct to .72CT, you will receive a certified gemstone analysis of your diamond, along with free insurance against loss of the stone for one year, and complete Red Box Diamond® packaging. Diamonds in the 1CT range or greater are accompanied by a GIA analysis (Gemological Institute of America).For diamonds smaller than .375CT, we do not provide certification of your diamond. This is because certifying diamonds is costly, so smaller diamonds do not tend to be certified. Still, we have a reputation for quality diamonds and for delivering legitimate diamonds of great beauty in the smaller sizes.
Marquise Diamond Puzzle Ring with Irish Claddagh Band
The Four-C’s of Diamond Buying Made easy.
If you wish us to select a diamond for you, based on our judgement, as almost all of our customers do, then here is the diamond quality we guarantee you. 1. Cut – Guaranteed sparkle and stunning beauty on her hand. Since cut governs sparkle, your diamond will have a good to excellent cut. If we don’t have a diamond in stock suitable for your ring, we order one immediately. If the first diamond we get in doesn’t meet our standards for cut and sparkle, we send it back and get another. We will only mount a diamond on your ring if it meets our exacting standards.
2. Clarity – We typically look for a diamond of approximately SI1 to SI2 (nearly clear) clarity – it will have only minor inclusions visible under a microscope, but none visible to the eye. Generally, we won’t use your money to purchase higher clarity that can only be seen under a microscope. You, of course, can specify that you want higher clarity, if you want the satisfaction of acquiring a higher clarity of diamond, and you are willing to pay more to achieve this.
3. Color – Colorless in the very top range: D – E – F. The color range for diamonds goes from D (colorless) to V (colored). Every diamond that we put in a white gold or platinum ring is colorless and the same is true for 95% of our yellow gold rings.
Occasionally upon finding a diamond in G or H (near-colorless) that has other very strong attributes, such as a beautiful cut, we will offer it as one of your choices. In addition, upon client request, we have upon occasion provided diamonds with I or J color (the lower end of the “near-colorless” range), because it is one way to bring the price of a very large diamond down. I’d like to stress that we can and will will do our very best to provide you with a diamond matching any specs you request.
4. Carat – We will provide you with the biggest and best gemstone we can find for you within an agreed upon price range. Sometimes the best stone will be toward the lower end of the range. For example, if your selected range is 0.375CT to 0.41CT, it may be that the very best diamond we can find for you is 0.375CT, so that is the one we’ll select. However, if there is some challenge in selecting your diamond, we will seek to include you in the selection process, much as I did in the post from Jan. 13, 2010, entitled Finding a Marquise Diamond in the 6/10CT Range. (See Random Posts, top right)
We Will Save You Money on a Genuine, Quality Diamond These days, you can purchase a flawless imitation diamond for very little money, so if you want a real diamond, with real value, you are most likely going to purchase a diamond with some internal flaw or flaws. The point is, at what level can these flaws be seen? You will proudly show your wedding set to your friends and loved ones, who are not going to look at it under a microscope. They will admire it based on the four criteria mentioned above. When we provide your diamond, it will be gorgeous – that’s our bottom line – and there will be no visible inclusions whatsoever. You can count on that.
Selecting aDiamond in the VS, VVS, or IF Clarity Ranges If you wish to have us select a diamond for you based on carat weight, a clarity level of from VS2 up to VVS1 or even IF (internally flawless), with D to F color and a very good to excellent cut, then please call Mandira toll-free at 1-866-573-7381 to discuss your diamond requirements. In this case, your diamond of 0.375CT or greater will be a Stuller Red Box Diamond with certification and will be subject to all of the guarantees of the Stuller Red Box Diamond, explained above in this post.
No matter what size or grade of diamond is in your puzzle engagement ring, the ring will be delivered to you in a high quality ring box.
The diamonds and gemstones we wear on our hands grow dull as they pick up finger oil along with bits of dust and sloughed-off skin cells that adhere to the oil. Not to mention, lotion, ladies, if we put it on without taking our ring off, first. And since we ship our Celtic-inspired diamond and colored gemstone puzzle engagement rings all over the world, so we can’t just say, “Drop by our shop whenever you want your gemstone cleaned.”
We do offer a free annual cleaning and polish for your ring (you pay only the shipping), but honestly, you can keep your puzzle ring jewel(s) sparkling all by yourself, in the comfort of your own home, with no special jewelry cleaners or equipment beyond what you can find at local stores.
This article will explain how to keep your Crystal Realm 14K gold (in any color), palladium, or platinum puzzle engagement ring clean and sparkly. It is safe for all the diamonds or colored stones we mount in rings, unless I tell you personally that your particular gemstone needs special care. This is not intended to be a general jewelry cleaning lesson. Different metals and different stones require different cleaning solutions.
The methods and cleaning solutions I suggest here are proven to be safe for our puzzle engagement rings, and I cannot vouch for instructions given on other websites, which sometimes, by the way, offer conflicting instructions.
First, here is a list of what to avoid when cleaning your ring, as they may damage your ring and/or jewel(s) over time:
Toothpaste (is abrasive)
Baking soda (is very abrasive)
Any kind of harsh chemical (can damage some stones)
I include ammonia in the list of what to avoid. It is in most commercial jewelry cleaners, but I don’t use it, have never used it on jewelry, and I can assure you that you really do not have to resort to such a harsh product to clean your puzzle ring. My avoidance of ammonia-based cleaners is long entrenched – Austrian crystal jewelry and suncatchers can be pitted by long-term use of ammonia, so for the 34+ year history of our business, which was launched as a crystal provider, we have never used ammonia-based cleaners, and I’ve not missed them or their strong, unpleasant odor.
How to clean your Celtic Puzzle Engagement Ring with diamond(s) or colored gemstone(s)
Don rubber gloves. Clean your sink, rinse it, and put a stopper in it. This is so you won’t drop your ring down the drain if you handle it near or in the sink.
Fill a dessert-sized bowl with the hottest tap water into which you can safely and comfortably put your rubber-glove protected fingers. (Do not use hot water for emeralds or opals – use lukewarm water for these stones.) Pour or spray a tablespoon or two of simple household cleaner into the hot water and stir. The one I use is “Cedar & Sage” from Trader Joe’s. Seventh Generation makes an all-purpose cleaner they describe this way:
Non-toxic & biodegradable
Does not create harsh fumes
Not tested on animals (This may not be one of your personal criteria for cleaning your jewelry, but it is more likely that a company that does not test products on animals will produce the type of non-toxic cleaner I recommend)
You want a cleaner that is not “soapy” and does not contain harsh chemicals. If you cannot find a cleaner fitting both criteria, opt for a soapy one over a chemical one. If you need to use a soapy cleaner, I recommend Woolite, Dr. Bronner’s, Ivory Liquid, or Dawn Liquid.
Slip off your puzzle ring and hold it by the very back of the ring. Dip the front (i.e., the top or the part with gemstones) in the cleaning solution, and swish it back and forth a dozen times. You may then leave your ring to soak in the solution for up to fifteen minutes, if you wish. If you think you need to use a brush to clean your ring, use a small soft art paintbrush, rather than a brush with stiff bristles. (Again, do not use hot water for emeralds or opals – use lukewarm water for these gems.)
Now it’s time to rinse your ring. This is where the stopper in your sink comes in – be sure it is in place before you bring your ring to the sink. Rinse the ring well under running warm water. Place it in on a soft dry cloth. Blow it with a hair drier to dry it quickly or pat dry with part of the cloth. If you have soft water, you can likely leave it to air-dry, but if your water is hard, and you leave it to air dry, minerals will cake your ring, which will introduce an entirely different kind of cleaning problem. Another quick way to dry your ring: Compressed air (you can buy a can at an auto parts store).
As for the cloth? Any absorbent cloth will do – just stay away from bath towels or other linty fabrics – and if you want the very best, order the “Purple Rags in a Bag” from the Fly Lady. No, I don’t get a commission, but these are lint-free micro-fiber cloths that are so worth the money (About $13.95 for three, and, as a side benefit, you’ll never use window cleaner again on your glass).
Once it’s dry, you can buff the metal bands of your ring with said cloth, to bring up the shine. Or, order a treated polishing cloth to buff up the metal beautifully.
Alternate Quick Cleaning
An alternate way to clean your puzzle engagement ring, and the one I usually use myself: If you have an espresso maker with a steam setting, and you can protect your fingers from the heat with a wooden ring clamp, shown below, hold the ring at the back and place the jewel(s) into the steam spray. Move the ring all around, so the steam gets the diamond clean from the top, the sides, underneath, all directions. Then use compressed air to dry it. The result? Super quick, super sparkle!!
Please note: Do not use steam or hot water on emeralds. Emeralds are brittle and can break with heat. Heat also dries the oil in emerals.
If you have any questions about cleaning your Crystal Realm Celtic Puzzle Engagement Ring, be sure to contact me.
Wooden ring clamp for steam-cleaning your diamond or gemstone puzzle ring.
Success! Crystal Realm’s client, Frank, selected Diamond #2, from my last post. It will be mounted on a custom, hand-woven, 14K white gold, open weave puzzle ring in size 5.5. This ring is pictured at the right.
If you have found this page for the first time, welcome!
My goal is to educate you about your jewelry choices, whether or not you ever choose to do business Crystal Realm. Much of what I’ll share on this page is information aimed at helping you to be more in control of your jewelry acquisition, whether from us, from your local jeweler or another online business. It will help you, whether you choose to order custom jewelry or pieces you find ready made.
My method of education will be to create transparency in the process of selecting options for custom, Celtic-Inspired, hand-woven puzzle engagement rings and custom wedding rings. To do this, I will post actual communications that I have with Crystal Realm clients, so that you can learn about selecting your own custom jewelry options.
I’ll post more info on selecting diamonds, puzzle engagement ring options, custom poesy rings and other custom wedding bands. So far, most Crystal Realm clients contact me by phone or email first, but if you wish to contact me through a posting on this blog, please feel free.
I will not accept posts that seek to advertise your business, nor will we accept any posts that are irrelevant to our purpose of educating you on diamonds, colored gemstones, precious metals, custom jewelry and the like.
Surprising Coincidence By the way, my client, Frank, who just ordered the ring at right, sent me this information in one of his first emails to me:
It’s funny I work for DV Brothers in the accounting department, and we make buffs and buffing compound for Stuller, which set my mind at ease a little about ordering a diamond on the Internet because I know Stuller has been around a long time and has a good reputation for quality.
Thanks for your vote of confidence, Frank. You will be thrilled with this ring, I promise, and, as always, if there is any aspect of it that is not to your expectations, we’ll remedy it quickly, no questions asked! (Except those required to get it right, LOL!)
And if you are new to this page, and you love the look of the marquise diamond puzzle ring pictured, you might want to check out more Crystal Realm Celtic inspired puzzle engagement rings and bridal sets.
As you may recall, the four characteristics of diamond grading are Color, Cut, Clarity, and Carat. This system of grading scales, called the Four C’s, was developed by the American Gemological Association in the 1940’s. Typically, the scale is meant to stand on its own, with the diamonds graded most highly on these characteristics being the best available (and coincidentally, the most costly).
I don’t think that it’s necessary to have the deepest pockets to get a diamond that will look absolutely stunning on her hand. So I like to think about nuances that we don’t usually hear about, and I’m happy to share my thoughts with you. The truth is that there is another way to look at diamonds that frees you up to get the diamond that is “perfect” for you, without your having to break the bank for “perfection” across the scales.
Four band puzzle ring with half carat round brilliant diamond and accent sapphire in four colors of 14k gold: rose, white, yellow, and green.
Four C’s Of the Four C’s, the ones with the most impact on how the diamond looks on her hand are color and cut. These are what govern the beauty and sparkle. I usually stick to the top colorless range of D-E-F color, but I also usually search on “G,” the top of the near-colorless range, because I may choose this for you, or suggest it to you as an option, if this diamond has other outstanding attributes. In addition, for very large diamonds in the one carat or higher range, considering G or even H color can make these large diamonds more affordable while not making an appreciable difference to how the diamond looks on the hand. The subtle nuances can usually only be detected by a trained gemologist with the right equipment. So while you and I may see difference between D-E-F and K-L or M-N-O color with the unaided eye, we won’t really see the difference in color between a D-E-F stone and a G or H stone.
Clarity As for clarity, once you obtain a clarity level of SI1 or SI2 (or even SI3), with no inclusions visible to the unaided eye, clarity beyond that is pretty much quality you can only see under a microscope. I can get you a diamond with any specs you want, but I’m usually asked to provide a stunning diamond at a reasonable price on a unique, hand-made puzzle ring. So my goal is to save you money, without compromising how the diamond will look on her hand. So while it is commonly believed that the higher the clarity, the better the diamond, we have seen diamonds with very high color and clarity that are not necessarily beautiful. So our bottom-line criteria is beauty and sparkle on the hand.
Speaking of Sparkle Do you think it odd that one of the most important criteria for a beautiful diamond is sparkle, yet no diamond is graded for sparkle? It is rather odd, but it makes sense when you think about it. Who would purchase a diamond with a “sparkle grade” of low? No one, so no grading report will ever mention sparkle. Cut is supposed to govern sparkle, quite frankly, so we generally look for “very good” or “excellent” cut and finish characteristics, but we have set some diamonds with a “good” cut grade that had fantastic sparkle. This is why we hand-select every single diamond that we set, and each diamond must pass our inspection for beauty and sparkle. Those are the most important characteristics of any diamond.
Proportions One additional characteristic that makes a significant difference to how a marquise diamond looks on the hand is the proportion of length to width. What is generally considered the “ideal” ratio is 2:1 length to width, which is defined as a proportion of 2. However, any proportion from 1.85 to 2.15 is said by the diamond industry to be very pleasing. Still, no matter what guidelines are given to help you with your choice, sometimes, there are very good reasons to select a diamond outside of the suggested range.
Why get a diamond with different proportions? An excellent reason can be that an extra-long marquise has the visual impact of a higher carat weight diamond. A marquise diamond with an unusually long length, relative to the width, may be a bit shallower than is typical, so length accounts for a larger proportion of the gem. A marquise diamond that looks like a significantly higher carat weight is more valuable than one that looks to be its actual size.
So when I find one like this in a G color, the lower price of the color offsets the higher value of the longer diamond, and it makes for a very attractive option. “G” color is the top of the near-colorless range, so it is still highly desirable. Most of us could never see the difference between a diamond with “F” color and one with “G.”
Frank, I’m really glad that you are familiar with our diamond supplier, since your company makes products for this vendor. Our diamond supplier gives truthful information about their diamonds, but their pictures, with all due respect, are definitely not up to scratch. The diamonds themselves look many times better than their images, and they consistently sparkle LIKE CRAZY, so I look for certain things in the images that give clues to a diamond’s true beauty. I will try to share some of those observations with you, now.
Marquise diamond puzzle engagement ring with 2mm shadow band all in 14k yellow gold with 14k white gold setting. This is an approximately half carat diamond with a length more similar to a typical 3/4CT diamond. It is an extremely rare stone.
I’ve posted below some of the available diamonds in the range you’re interested in, and I’ll talk about the various characteristics of each one. I don’t think they are all contenders for the ring you want, but several of them are.
Five Diamond Choices
Today we’re looking for a marquise diamond in the 0.57CT to 0.63CT range. This diamond will be placed in a medium, four-band puzzle ring in 14K white gold.
The only problem is that the rare 6/10 CT range that we seek usually offers very few diamonds from which to choose. That’s because diamonds are usually cut in the 1/3CT, 1/2CT, 3/4CT, and 1CT range, with precious few diamonds in the in-between sizes, especially the larger you seek.
I happen to be very committed to offering the 6/10ths CT range, because it is one of my favorite sizes in almost any shape of diamond. It is prominent, but not gaudy. It looks bigger than a 1/2CT, and yet it is only priced at about 1/3 more than a 1/2CT.
Diamond prices go up exponentially, and even to find a diamond around 0.70CT, the biggest we usually put on the four-band medium puzzle ring, the purse strings need to be quite a bit looser than they need to be for a 6/10CT range diamond. Today, I found five diamonds ranging from 0.56CT to 0.58CT. The very next diamond up the size scale was 0.70CT. So let’s look at what is available today.
The important thing to know is that these are not great images. They are wholesale pictures, and they are meant to show the shape and relative proportions of each diamond. When we select your diamond and it arrives, it has to pass our inspection, first. We are super picky about the stones we puts in our rings – call it pride of craftsmanship – we won’t put just any diamond in your ring.
Diamond # 1
Diamond # 1
This diamond is 1/100CT smaller than the range we’re looking for today, which is .57CT to .63CT. It’s a .56CT. It has excellent color and clarity. With a size of 7.88mm x 4.26mm, it’s proportion is 1.85.
This diamond has a length more typical of diamonds in the .46 – .52CT range. It has four inclusions, and one is a cavity on the pavillion. Cavities are natural; they are good to know about, because some unscrupulous diamond sellers fill cavities with epoxy. But my thought is, why get a diamond with a cavity when you don’t have to? Other thoughts about this one: even though it is probably just the image, I tend to steer clear of diamonds with images dominated by brown and beige tones.
Diamond # 2
I’m confident this diamond will be a beauty. The dimensions are 8.81mm x 4.26mm, which gives it a proportion of 2.06, just about right on the dot of 2. With D color, it doesn’t get any better or more colorless. It has a very good cut, with SI1 clarity.
The only down side? Still 1/100CT smaller than we want, although I would like to point out that we cannot see a difference of two to three points in diamond size when we just look at two diamonds with no real means of measuring them.
Dropping the size by a couple of tenths of a carat can sometimes save a few $$, although not in this case. This diamond looks exceptional to me, so it’s a true contender for this puzzle ring.
This diamond, by the way, has a single inclusion, which is a crystal in the table. A crystal in a diamond is actually a diamond within a diamond. How cool is that? It’s not visible unless you have a trained eye and a microscope, but still, it is pretty awesome that this diamond has only a single inclusion, and it’s another diamond, no less!
Diamond # 3
This diamond is a contender, as well, though it doesn’t appeal to me as much as # 2, above. At 0.57CT, the dimensions of 8.41mm x 4.28mm give us a proportion rating of 1.96, also very close to the magic 2.
What about the slight blackness across the center? That is called bow-tie, and traditionally, we look for minimal bow-tie like this in a marquise diamond. But in the last two years, we’ve experimented more with diamonds showing more prevalent bow-tie in an image, and we find it does not affect the way the diamond looks in person.
So what exactly is bow-tie? It is an artifact of cut that appears in many pictures of marquise diamonds. It’s essentially an illusion that does not appear when examining a diamond in person, unless the amount of bow-tie is extraordinary.
This diamond has almost nothing in the way of inclusions, only feathers on upper girdle and pavilion.
Diamond # 4
This diamond is the rare one with G color that I like to consider. At 0.58CT, and with a length of 9.52mm (4.03mm width), the proportion rating is 2.36. It has a length more typical of a 1CT diamond. It’s going to look much bigger than the 0.58CT it is on the hand. It has SI1 clarity, a good cut, and it’s closer to the 0.60CT mark.
Inclusions in this diamond include a twinning wisp in table and crown, a feather on upper girdle and pavilion. The reason I tell you this, is that these are insignificant inclusions.
With SI1 clarity, you can’t see any inclusions with the unaided eye, anyway, but it’s still important to make sure that there are no fracture lines, or other structural problems with the stone. I’m always happy when a diamond has few, insignificant inclusions.
Diamond # 5
This diamond jumps out as a beauty to me. It’s that rare diamond that doesn’t come with specs significantly higher than the diamonds shown above. But I’m sure you can see that this one seems to have a lot going for it.
With D color, it is perfectly colorless. It’s 0.58CT, very close to the magic 0.60CT mark. The proportion rating is 1.9. It has few inclusions: Feather in bezel and upper girdle, indented natural in upper girdle, none of which you’ll see without a trained eye and a microscope.
Even clarity of VVS1 and an excellent cut cannot guarantee that a diamond will look gorgeous on the hand. The image of this diamond with “only” a good cut, suggests it will be spectacular.
True, it looks fantastic, and besides it’s beautiful proportions, top color, and structural integrity, the biggest difference between this diamond and the previous four? This one costs 40% more than the others. It’s a lovely diamond, to be sure, but is it worth the price to you? The retail price on this ring is 28% higher than our target price for a 0.60CT puzzle ring.
My recommendation? Go with any of these diamonds from #2 to #5. Trust your instincts and select the one that appeals to you most, with a price tag you’re comfortable with. Frank, you don’t have to choose one of these – we can wait for others to become available, but I’m quite pleased with the selection today. I hope you are, too!
Greetings, P, (who asked about ordering a diamond puzzle ring, sight unseen, in a private email to me)
Thanks for getting in touch. To answer your smaller questions first, delivery of an engagement puzzle ring tends to depend partly upon when you need it, but we are 4 weeks out at present (2018 update, we promise the puzzle ring in 16 to 21 days). The sizer is $3.99 with free shipping, if you want it ahead of time. If you order the ring first, I’ll send out the sizer for free.
As for your question about what happens if you don’t like the puzzle ring when you get it, I have two simple and seemingly contradictory answers, but, below, you’ll see what we offer you ahead of time, to ensure that you are thrilled with the puzzle ring you get.
So here are the two answers: You have to be absolutely delighted with the ring, or I will work with you until you are or you have your money back. That is stated on our website in writing. At the same time, our site also states that we do not give refunds on custom items over $1,000.00, which each puzzle ring over that price is.
Obviously, that’s crazy, so how can I expect you to take our refund policy seriously?
Guinevere Royale four band puzzle ring with center princess cut diamond and two round, five-point accent diamonds.
The answer is that I prefer to ensure before you order the puzzle ring that you are a) certain about what you are ordering, and b) that there are no surprises and no disappointment along the way. Each and every ring is made specifically to order, so we would not be able to sell it to someone else, so therefore, we don’t, in fact, take custom rings back. So how do we make sure that you are not stuck with a ring you’re not happy with?
We have developed a number of ways to ensure your comfort level, before you commit to ordering an engagement puzzle ring. Following are five choices, though not a single person has asked for even three of them (though there will be a first time). Generally, what steps to take is a matter of individual preference. In fact, most of our clients only choose step 1 and step 5, but lots of folks order the trial sterling silver ring, and other clients have chosen to have a sample ring in the desired style sent out with an inexpensive stone in it, to really get a sense of the ring. We will work with whatever your preferences are!
Platinum four band puzzle ring with one half carat marquise tsavorite garnet.
1. Order a sizer gauge or take advantage of our free resize for $3.99 with no need to return it. We send it out with free shipping. Using this sizer gauge makes for a more reliable fit, because it has pop-out rings, so she can wear one for a couple of days. On the other hand, if the puzzle ring is a surprise, just do the best you can in selecting a size, because we do offer a free resize for each puzzle ring (you just pay the round-trip shipping).
2. Order a trial sterling silver sample puzzle ring. Then we’ll apply the $60.00 cost to the engagement ring. This is an actual hand-woven, four-band, medium weight, puzzle ring that allows you to evaluate quality, to learn how to put the puzzle ring together, before the diamond puzzle ring arrives. If you do order the engagement puzzle ring, we apply the $60.00 cost of the trial puzzle ring to your engagement puzzle ring order, and you get to keep the silver puzzle ring.
3. Order a trial gemstone puzzle ring, by phone, in the style you want with an inexpensive stone; we authorize your card, but you only pay shipping. As soon as we get the ring back from you, I capture only the shipping charges (round-trip), and the rest of the authorization falls off your card. This only works with credit cards, not with debit cards.
4. Inspect the diamond before it’s placed in the ring. Again, you pay only for shipping, although we authorize the value on your card. We usually prefer to send out the diamond in the puzzle ring, because you and she can get a true idea of how the diamond will look on her hand. And since, once you get the ring, you must be delighted with it or we will replace the diamond or adjust anything else about the ring, it’s fairly low risk to you to have us send out the finished ring.
5. Evaluate the ring when you get it and ask for any changes you need. Pretty much covered this in number 4, above.
Guinevere puzzle ring with 4mm rhodolite garnet in 14K yellow gold with Celtic shadow wedding band
I’ll be happy to work with you however you wish. Thank you again for your email today. I look forward to assisting you in getting the perfect engagement puzzle ring.