When selecting the vintage engagement ring and wedding bands for yourself and your fiancée, it is important to know a little something about jewelry terminology.
The diamond sits on a plate of platinum or gold and is surrounded by a wall of metal that is perpendicular to the plate.
Prong setting is different from bezel setting in that equal parts of the bezel are removed leaving prongs to cover the edge of the diamond. The Tiffany solitaire setting is prong set.
Bead setting is different from prong setting in that small beads of platinum or gold are pushed over the edge to secure the diamond. Pave setting is bead setting over an expanded area of diamonds.
This is a procedure where diamonds are set side by side along a groove and are secured by hammering the sides of the channel wall over the edge of the diamonds.
Diamonds are set in such a way that no metal is showing. No prongs, beads, channels or bezels are used. Grooves in the diamond girdle are set into a metal framework below the surface giving the illusion of diamonds suspended without any metal around the diamond.
Parts of the Engagement Ring
The head of the ring is the top of the ring, the prongs and setting that hold the diamond.
The shoulder is the top part of the band of the ring next to the head.
The shank is the lower part of the band of the ring.
Types of Metal
Platinum is a metal that comes out of the ground pure and white. It is soft but tough and pliable. It is resistant to knocks and will last for generations.
Gold is mixed with other metals (alloys) to make it strong enough for jewelry. For instance, 14 karat gold is 14 part gold and 10 part alloys. White gold is yellow gold mixed with certain alloys such as zinc or nickel to make it white. It must be rhodium plated (a type of platinum plating) to cover any hint of yellow. Pure gold is 24 karat and is too soft for jewelry.
Ring resizing is done when a ring becomes too large or too tight. A ring is too large when it keeps falling off. It is too tight after weight gain, during pregnancy or after eating too much salt. When the ring is consistently too tight, it should be resized to make it more comfortable. Ring resizing does not hurt the ring.
Retipping is a procedure where prongs have been broken and need to be replaced or retipped with the original metal for the safety of the diamond.
An engagement ring is the first ring given to the woman at the time of the proposal. It is typically a diamond engagement ring but the stone could be a colored gemstone as well.
A wedding band is a band that is given at the time of the wedding. It can be made of platinum, gold or other durable metal.
An eternity band is a wedding band that contains diamonds or colored gemstones that go all the way around the ring.
An anniversary band is a band with diamonds or gemstones that are contained on the top of the ring going half-way around. It can be used as a wedding band or can be given as a gift for an anniversary.
Carat has to do with the weight of the diamond. One hundred points equal one carat. For instance, a three quarter carat diamond is written .75ct.
Karat has to do with the measure of the purity of gold, fourteen karat (14kt) or eighteen karat (18kt).