Proposals should always start with the right words and end with the perfect ring. The ideal engagement ring reflects the character and style of your bride to be. Still, at the same time, it should be practical, durable and suitable for all day-to-day activities.
If your bride-to-be is an active lady and enjoys all kinds of hands-on work, from house chores and gardening to extreme rock climbing, you might want to go for a more functional and durable ring.
Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to give up on the breath-taking bling and sparkle. Your significant other can still enjoy her hobbies and maintain her active lifestyle while wearing a stylish and unique engagement ring, as long as the ring is sturdy enough to withstand her daily activities.
Engagement Rings and Active Lifestyle – What Are the Potential Problems?
Although engagement rings are made to last, they’re not indestructible. Naturally, as a future bride, you want to keep your ring close to you at all times and be reminded of that perfect moment whenever you catch a glimpse of dazzle with a corner of your eye. However, an active lifestyle poses certain challenges, and if you’re not careful, you might damage your ring.
While a diamond’s surface is extremely hard, the carbon lattice structure beneath can be quite vulnerable, and the weakest points of a diamond are its edges. If you unintentionally hit it in the wrong place against a hard surface, the diamond can end up chipped, split, or even shattered.
Another potential threat to your diamond’s appearance and sparkle is dirt. While exercising, biking to work, dancing, or gardening, the natural oils and sweat from our skin create a film of dirt that settles over time into every nook and crevice of the ring. If not cleaned regularly and properly, this dirt will not just dull the sparkle of the diamond, but can eventually generate enough pressure to crack the diamond, split it, or even make it pop out of its cradle.
But don’t worry! There’s a solution!
If you don’t want to constantly take your ring off whenever you plan to get your hands busy and risk misplacing it, the best course of action would be choosing an engagement ring specifically designed for active lifestyles.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the essential features of a perfect engagement ring that will follow your partner’s busy and active day-to-day life.
Choosing the Best Engagement Ring for an Active Lifestyle
When choosing an engagement ring for your active bride-to-be, there are several facets to consider. From the ring’s height and shape to the diamond’s setting and cut, each feature determines the ring’s overall style as well as its durability and functionality.
Feature #1. Overall Height:
High setting vs low setting engagement rings. See more here.
The overall dimensions of the ring are just as important as its look and style. If your bride to be is an active woman and works in demanding fields such as being a policewoman, a nurse, or a painter, she may find an extremely high ring unpractical and uncomfortable. If it rises too much above the finger, the ring will often tilt and move, causing bruising and scratches to her skin and damage to the ring itself.
To avoid this problem, opt for a ring with a lower stone setting and a smooth and even-feeling band, rather than cathedral settings that rise high above the finger. The flusher the mount is, the less likely it will rub against the skin and bump against other surfaces.
Feature #2. Stone Setting:
As we already mentioned, the exposed edges of a diamond are its most vulnerable parts. Therefore, try to find rings with a stone containment or cradle that acts as a fence to the diamond and protects it from all sides. The most suitable stone settings for active lifestyle rings are bezels, channels, and halo.
- Bezels: Essentially, a bezel setting shields the entire diamond’s girdle by creating a continuous metal halo around it and slightly curving up at the top. Bezel containment is usually an extended part of the ring band, making a secure and safe cradle for the stone by keeping it underneath the metal. The half-bezel setting is encasing the stone on the sides. This ring is a perfect example of a bezel setting.
- Channels: In channel-set engagement rings, like this one, smaller diamonds are flush with the ring band, giving it a glossy and elegant sheen. These are less likely to catch on clothes, bump into doorknobs and other hard surfaces, as they don’t have a center stone that rises above the band. Therefore, these are much more durable and sturdier than bezels. However, channel settings are typically used together with a solitaire setting or as wedding rings.
- Halo: Halo settings, like this diamond ring, are durable, as they provide an additional buffer to protect the center stone. However, note that the halo stones can be vulnerable and are prone to getting damaged if knocked about too much.
- Prongs: Finally, we have prong setting, also called a claw setting. Typically, these rings have stone cradles made of four, six, eight or more claws or arms (prongs) extending slightly over the diamond’s edge. This allows more light to reflect against the stone, giving it that much-desired sparkle, but out of the three settings, the prong-setting is the least secure option for active wear.
Feature #3. Precious Metals:
The majority of modern engagement rings are made of either platinum, gold, or palladium. Each of these has different properties regarding hardness or scratch-resistance, strength or bend-resistance, and toughness or breaking-resistance.
- Gold: There are yellow-toned gold, rose gold, and white gold that are alloyed with other metals and usually come in different karat purities, such as 12k, 14k, 18k, 20k, and 24k, where 24k is 100% gold, and 12k is 50% gold. Yellow gold is alloyed with copper, white gold contains more zinc, nickel, and palladium, while rose gold has silver and copper alloys.
Interestingly, out of these five purity levels, the 12k, which is the lowest purity level, is the most durable. This is because the other metals in the alloy strengthen the gold and create a stronger metal. However, most engagement rings have either 14k or 18k gold, both of which are durable options, with 14k being the more durable of the two.
- Platinum: Although platinum scratches more easily, it’s far stronger than gold and also much more expensive. It’s mixed with metal alloys such as rhodium, copper, and iridium. Apart from this, there’s almost no difference in appearance between white gold and platinum. However, over time, platinum does take on a patina and will need to be repolished if you want it to be lustrous and reflective.
- Palladium: This is generally a more affordable alternative to platinum (although in recent years the price of palladium has sometimes exceeded the price of platinum). Even though it’s not as strong and is less dense than platinum, palladium is naturally shiny and bright and highly resistant to tarnish caused by active wear. As such, palladium is an excellent choice for busy ladies who like to work with their hands.
Feature #4. Diamond Shape:
Choose diamonds with curves rather than points. Source.
Since sharp corners and points of a stone are most likely to get chipped or caught on clothing threads, the best solution would be to avoid pear, heart, and marquise-shaped diamonds. Instead, choose softer shaped diamonds, like oval and round. With their gentle and smooth curves, these diamonds are not as fragile and are less prone to chipping and cracking if hit in the wrong way. If you must have angular diamonds, ensure that they’ve been carefully protected in an appropriate setting.
Feature #5. Center Stone Material:
Certainly, diamonds are the way to go for an engagement ring that’s meant to meet an active lifestyle’s demands. On the Moh’s scale, diamond is unquestionably the hardest natural material at with a supreme ranking of 10, most commonly used in engagement and wedding rings.
The second toughest natural material on the Moh’s scale, with a ranking of 9, is corundum. Rubies and sapphires are both made out of this mineral and are great options. These two options have the same level of hardness and only differ in color.
If diamonds are not within your budget, you can’t go wrong with beautiful yet more affordable blue sapphire or deep-red ruby. But keep in mind that even though corundum is the second hardest natural material, it’s up to four times less durable than a diamond.
Moissanite engagement ring. See it here.
You can also consider lab-created diamonds, like these stunning stones, which look exactly (or sometimes even better than) natural diamonds. Another excellent option is moissanite, which is a stone in its own right but only exists in lab-created form due to its extreme rarity in nature.
To Wrap Up
Engagement rings for brides-to-be who live their lives to the fullest should be durable enough to withstand any situation in their busy day-to-day. Our recommendation for all future spouses would be to:
- Opt for a low setting that won’t catch on objects and dig into skin.
- Choose engagement rings made of tough metals, such as gold or platinum.
- Go for protective settings, like bezel and halo that will protect the stone from nicking and chipping.
All things considered, the overall style, shape, and size of the engagement ring should always match the wearer’s style and character.