The Answers to Your Most Common Engagement Ring Questions: A Buying Guide

Man on one knee proposing

Getting engaged is one of the most exciting moments in a person’s life. While this brings a lot of excitement for the happy couple, the engagement ring is the star of the show that everyone asks to see.

Instead of leaving you feeling pressured, Citrus Studio is dedicated to providing a fun and unique shopping experience. In addition to our beautiful pre-made designs, we specialize in custom jewelry and custom engagement rings. We can create the perfect ring for you that is made just how you want it to be. Our staff of JA jewelers are expert artisans that will take your engagement ring ideas and make them come to life.

Ask a Jeweler - Answers to Common Questions

We understand that you have a lot of questions and concerns when shopping for an engagement ring. This is why we recently decided to ask a jeweler to answer the most common jewelry questions we hear when people are starting the process of picking out an engagement ring

After reading our Q&A, you will have more knowledge about the different options available for your engagement ring.

sliding engagement ring on finger

Custom Engagement Ring Cost

Q:  Is there a difference in cost between custom rings and pre-manufactured rings?

A: Not much, but it depends! The advantage of a custom ring is that it gives you the opportunity to make a ring to your exact specifications. You get to choose the design, the size of your diamonds, color, clarity, etc. Ultimately, the customer gets to choose the price range by working with all the options available.

Types Of Gold For Engagement Rings

Q:  What is the difference between white gold and yellow gold?

A:  There is nickel in the alloy with white gold, and white gold is also plated with rhodium (which is a sister metal to platinum). White gold tends to be stronger because of the nickel. Yellow gold, however, is the true color of gold. The gold color you choose is ultimately up to personal preference.

Q:  What is the difference between a white gold and a platinum crown?

A:  Most crowns are white gold, but can be changed to platinum. Platinum is stronger and endures longer, but is actually more “bendable” than white gold. White gold won’t last as long but is less bendable. It is a good rule of thumb to do the crown in the same metal the ring is in.

Q: Could I be allergic to white gold? 

A:Yes, it is possible. White gold’s major alloy is nickel. A small percentage of people are allergic to nickel and/or could develop an allergy to nickel, usually during situations like pregnancy. If one is allergic or develops an allergic reaction, a platinum ring can be a good alternative.  

It is possible to feel like you’re having a reaction to the ring itself, but there are other factors that can be at play. Your ring could be too tight and need to be resized, or there could be dirt and chemicals stuck underneath or in the grooves. Sometimes the ring just needs a thorough cleaning to take care of the chemical reaction. 

Q:  What metals are used in the alloy with gold?

A:  Silver, nickel, palladium, and copper can all be used to make 18k, 14k and 10k gold rings. By adding different measurements of alloy, you can have different colors of gold like white gold or rose gold.

Q:  What is Rhodium plating?

A: Rhodium plating is electroplating this metal on a gold ring. It makes the ring look extra white and beautiful. Similar to a wax finish on a car, the finish is nice but it is not required and will wear over time. 

Rhodium is a sister metal to platinum, hence why this process is sometimes called “platinum-dipped.”

Engagement Ring Settings

Q:  Which are better: prongs or bezel sets? 

A:  Over the long run, bezels tend to be more durable. The prong setting holds the stone up and allows more light to enter the stone. (Prongs will probably need to be re-tipped approx. every 10-15 years, bezels around 20-30 years.) The majority of gems are held by prongs.

Q:  Can you set the diamond lower?

A:  In most rings yes. There are low base and high base prong settings. Of course, when the diamond isn’t mounted, the crown appears higher than it will be when the diamond is set. You still must take into consideration the depth of the stone to determine how low it will be in a ring.

Engagement Ring Sizing

Q:  How do you size a ring?

A:  The bottom (shank) of the ring is cut, and metal is either removed or added to make the difference of size, then metal is soldered or lasered. The goal is to leave the ring without any sign of having been worked on. The ring will be cleaned and checked, and gems will be tightened if needed.

Plan Bands can be stretched within a size up or down. If more is needed, check with the shop because many can go a little more, if needed. 

Q:  How long does it take to set a stone or size my ring ?

A:  It takes about a week or two. Is there a date you are hoping for? Let us know. We can alway express any job when needed. 

Q:  How do you know that the ring fits well? 

A:  A general rule of thumb is to have the ring go on easy and come off with a little bit of a pull. If it slides off easily, that is not good. When it is on, see if the rings flops around or only turns when you rotate the ring, which is best. Of course, if it is too tight, you will know. 

Keep in mind the real ring does not usually fit just like a sizer, so you just do what fits best. Keep in mind, our hands do change about a half a size a day due to time of day and whether our hands are hot or cold. 

Also, the wider the ring, the more you may need to compensate. For example, if the ring is 10 mm wide, you may need to plan on a half size bigger than a typical ring sizer tells you. The customer knows how they want it to fit, just help them pick the right fit.

Engagement Ring Maintenance- Caring For Your Ring

Q:  Can you clean my ring like new? 

A:  Yes, we can do a Goldsmith Cleaning. This is where a skilled craftsman will go over your ring, fill in scratches with a laser, round out, tighten all stones, and polish back to a factory finish. 

Q:  How do you know when a prong is bad and needs to be retipped? 

A:  Over time the metal that holds the diamonds wears down by day-to-day wear. Originally, each diamond has metal tips that are rounded. Over time, they become worn and flat, sometimes even breaking off.

When a customer complains of snagging, this is usually because the prongs need to be straightened or retipped. If they are worn, the process of retipping is done by melting new metal on each prong, extending the jewelry life and keeping the gems secure. 

Q:  How do I check for loose stones? 

A:  Using something pointy like the end of a tweezer, touch it lightly to the side of the gem to test if you see any movement.  Sometimes light will play with your eyes to make you think it moves, but with a little practice, you will be able to distinguish the difference. 

Q:  What is a ring reshank?

A:  When a ring is worn for years, the bottom part of the ring (shank) can be worn thin and bendable. The shank can be replaced with a new strong new bottom half of the ring, making it ready for years of good wear. The process is done by cutting off the old and adding a new thick bottom to the ring. It is then shaped to blend into the ring giving it new strength.

Woman wearing engagement ring with man holding hand

Find The Perfect Engagement Ring

The answers to the jewelry questions above are a good starting point to guide you on your engagement ring purchasing journey. Start by browsing rings to see what styles you like. If you don’t find anything appealing, consider designing your own custom ring! We have JA-certified jewelers on staff that make the process seamless, and are happy to answer any of your questions or concerns.

Contact Us To Design A Custom Ring