October, 30 2017

Once you have found the partner of your dreams, it may be the perfect time to start thinking about the ring of your dreams to celebrate your relationship. There are many factors to consider. Finding the perfect ring will keep you ‘engaged’ for many years to come. But, where do you start?

Here are Seven Key Steps to Finding the Perfect Engagement Ring from Colorado designer and jewelry icon John Atencio:

STEP 1: Research Online

The surprise factor aside, it is a good idea for couples to explore and shop together to select their engagement rings and wedding bands. One of the best places to start your search, though, is online. Browse Pinterest to narrow down style preferences and review choices. Be sure to factor in your lifestyle when considering a ring style. Couples in Colorado lead very active lifestyles, so it is important that your ring is well-crafted and designed to withstand all that you will be putting it through in the years to come.  Explore the web to help you gain an understanding of all precious stone options and metal alternatives.

STEP 2: Understand the 4 C’s

Take a minute to understand the 4 C’s. Certainly one of our well-trained sales consultant can share their expertise to help you fully understand Color, Cut, Clarity and Carat weight. But purchasing diamond and gold jewelry is an investment, so the more you know, the better you will be. Also, consider choosing your diamond in person. Nothing replaces seeing and selecting your diamond first-hand and in person.

Step 3: Choose your Shape

If you are choosing a diamond, consider the shape. Shapes are all over the map. The most popular are round diamonds, faceted specifically to maximize brilliance. But, Fancy shapes such as princess, cushion, emerald, marquise, pear, oval and radiant are becoming more and more popular. Narrow down the selection by focusing on what is most important to you.

If brilliance and sparkle is your first choice, then round or princess cut may be your best bet. Recognize that sometimes the ring has the illusion of a square: a round center stone surrounded by a ‘halo’ of smaller diamonds in a square shape. The halo can make the overall ring look like more of a sparkler than one with a single stone. (Side stones have a similar effect.) And, if you are looking for the appearance of a larger stone and something more unique, perhaps an oval or marquise is the way to go.


Step 4: Consider your Gemstone Options and the Source

Through a bit more exploration, determine if you are interested in a white diamond, colored diamond or perhaps a colored gemstone for your engagement ring. Many couples that I have worked with like to create a very personal statement – and the stone choice, in addition to shape, is a consideration. Your choices are infinite. Consider an ethically sourced mined diamond – or an above ground lab created diamond.

Step 5: Select Your Metal

From 18K white gold to platinum, yellow and rose gold, there are a range of metal options from which to choose. Some metal choices require a bit more maintenance, while others provide more of a vintage look. Since gold is more yellow in color, white gold is rhodium plated to create the white appearance. The good news with white gold, is that it can be re-plated with rhodium to restore the appearance to make it ‘just like new’.

Step 6: Establish You Budget

Shop with a budget in mind. There are many factors that go into the cost of an engagement ring, including the cost of the 18K ring design, the size of the mounting and, of course, the diamond choice. Think about your total budget – and work back from there. My designs can accommodate all budget levels – from our Luminaire Collection to my bridal collection - all the way to a custom piece or a one-of-a-kind design from the Signature Legacy collection.

Step 7: Get a Grading Report and an Appraisal

Wherever you purchase a diamond, make sure it has a grading report from a respected laboratory such as the Gemological Institute of America or American Gem Society Laboratories. This certificate should include an analysis of the four C’s: carat, color, cut and clarity. Lab created diamonds are verified through GIA and come with a warranty with the purchase. Also, be sure your stone is responsibly sourced, ethically mined and conflict free. Also, ask your retailer for an appraisal at the time of purchase for use when insuring your ring through Jewelers Mutual or another insurer.

For more information on John Atencio Engagement Ring Designs, visit
or stop by one of the seven boutique locations in Colorado