Five Most Popular Styles of Engagement Rings

It’s not just a ring; it’s a work of art. It’s a story. It’s a symbol for your commitment to one another. The engagement ring is only the start of what is coming, so you may as well make it special. Some people know exactly what they want out of their engagement ring, and we work with them to create something spectacular and unique. Others need a fair amount of help picking something that will work for them and their partner.

To give you a hand, we’re breaking down the attributes of the five most common engagement rings that are currently on the market and in our design queue. Who knows, maybe you’ll get inspired? Let’s take a look.

The Solitaire

Solitaire style ring

Simple but elegant, the Solitaire is ideal for those who like to keep it minimal, modest, but chic. A solitaire engagement ring is a single diamond (or other stone) at the center with a simple band of gold or silver. The minimal design lets the stone take center stage and be the focus of the ring. Depending on how the stone is set, a solitaire can make the stone look larger - which is never a bad thing. 

However, the way the stone is set in a solitaire ring may leave it more vulnerable to losing the stone. Every quality jeweller does their best to ensure the stone is secure, but it’s always a good idea to get your ring insured against unfortunate damage or losses. 

The Three Stone

Three stone style ring

With a three-stone engagement ring, there are three stones with the center stone being the feature gemstone. Commonly, this is three diamonds and the two smaller diamonds are cut to match and accentuate the features of the center stone. 

We love designing this style of ring as the three stones often represent the past, present, and future of a couple’s relationship. Plus, the variety of stones, settings, and bands give us lots of ways to design something custom and special for you. 

The Split-Band Ring

Splitband style ring

For those after a contemporary and fashionable look, the split band might be the way to go. You’ll notice how the band looks like it is separating around the center stone. Some couples select either a solitaire or a three-stone setting to make this style of ring uniquely their own.

The Halo

Halo style ring

For your angel, the Halo style places a feature stone at the center and is surrounded by smaller gems - as though it had its own “halo.” This is ideal for those who want the appearance of a larger stone and want to draw a little more attention to the ring on their finger. 

However, like with the solitaire setting, the halo stones may fall out or become loose over time. Don’t hesitate to come in for an adjustment from time to time. 

The Vintage

Vintage style ring

Whatever isn’t common or contemporary may be considered “vintage.” This style is an exceptionally good pick for those with a unique style or who want to create something elegant and eye-catching. We’ve seen some people bring in antique bands or heirlooms to be adjusted, updated, or have new stones set in the bands.

Others will find images of styles they love from the years and we do our best to custom design old elements - such as filigree, milgrain, or beading. With so many features and styles to work with, the sky is the limit!

No matter what your preference is, we’re more than happy to work with you to find a style and create and engagement ring that is as unique as your relationship. We take appointments for in-store consultations and can even meet you online over a video call.

Take a look at what we’ve created for others and book some time with us today! 

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The Premier Gems Engagement Ring Guide

Here’s the positive side, you’ve already done the hard part. After thinking long and hard about what you want out of life and who you want to share it with, it’s time to pop the big question. The Marriage Proposal. “Would you do me the honor of…”

With every proposal comes the ring. And while the modern marriage proposal can come from anyone, we notice the person buying the ring usually needs a lot of help deciding what kind of engagement ring to buy for their partner. This is especially so when the partner isn’t present in the process, and the ring and proposal are truly a surprise. 

Lucky for you, the staff at Premier Gems is well-versed in the art of shopping for engagement rings. Whether you’re looking for a custom design or picking from a pre-crafted option, here are a few things you want to consider:

Stone Quality

While the diamond is the classic choice for an engagement ring, we noticed modern couples are considering a rainbow of gemstones for their wedding and engagement bands. No matter what stone you want to set in the finished product, we work with you to show you how the 4 C’s of a stone’s quality (cut, color, clarity, and carat) impacts both the price and the appearance. There is no right or wrong “C,” but we can show you how each of these variables can give you a unique, one-of-a-kind stone.

Your Budget

You will either love or hate the following: you no longer have to spend two months' salary on the “perfect engagement ring.” Believe it or not, this idea of a “two-months salary” was created by a marketing agency that wanted to sell larger diamonds to first-time buyers. Believe it or not, your love and commitment to your partner is in no way connected to how much you earn in two months.

Even if you are one of the “money is no object!” kind of people, you should have a budget in mind. It should be a clear, solid number that won’t leave you eating beans for the next year. Having a budget helps your jeweller narrow down the kind of stones, metals, and designs used in your ring. The budget helps us as much, if not more than, it helps you.

What Your Partner Wants

You either have the kind of partner who has dreamt of exactly what their engagement ring will look like since they were a child, or you will have a partner who is fine wearing “just any old thing.” Whatever the case, it’s important to know what your partner prefers in their jewellery. Do a bit of snooping and see what they keep in their collection or what they wear on a casual day. If they don’t wear jewellery that often, we can often find clues in their everyday wardrobe or even what kind of case they have for their iPhone. 

Modest, extravagant, unique, or modern, we can definitely find the perfect match for your partner.

Whether you have a custom ring created or purchase a pre-designed setting, there are two things that need to go on your to-do list.

  1. Get It Insured. You have no idea how many people neglect to do this. Insuring your ring against loss or damage will go a long way to preventing a headache down the line. The ring is an investment, and you should treat it as such. Value assessments are often a part of the insurance process and the assessment can also be used down the line if you ever need to sell the ring (not saying you would, but these things do happen).
  1. Resizing. All day long we size customers for rings, so it’s a little baffling to learn that some people have no idea what their ring size is. Maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised that their partner’s ring size is also a mystery. If you’re able to find it, great. If not, we can do an average size ring and set an appointment with you to get it resized later.

Getting engaged should be exciting, which is why we do whatever we can to prepare you for the event. We know your partner is as eager to say yes as you are to ask them, and having a beautiful ring from Premier Gems will only make it easier on them.

Need to know more about the ring buying process? Get in touch with us today and see what Premier Gems can do to make your proposal special. 

Helping You Chose The Perfect Diamond Cut

It’s the first thing they notice and the one thing we get asked about the most: the center stone of your custom ring. It should catch the light, glitter, and amaze everyone - even you. Diamonds are by far the most popular and universal stone for a custom engagement or wedding band, and how it looks on your finger all comes down to the cut we put into the gem.

Out of the four Cs used to determine diamond quality - cut, color, clarity, and carat - the cut is the most important when determining the quality of natural diamonds. It is also the simplest one to understand. Unlike the other Cs, the cut of a diamond isn’t measured in numbers or assigned special letter codes that mean nothing to the average consumer. Simply, a diamond’s cut can range anywhere from excellent to poor. It really doesn’t get much simpler.

How do we decide where a diamond falls on that scale? Maybe you have seen the jewelry commercials with a gemologist looking at a diamond through a magnifying glass and nodding approvingly. As a certified gemologist, I can say the process is a little more complicated. Determining the quality of a diamond’s cut means looking at the variables of seven scores.

The seven scores used to grade a diamond cut: 

  1. Carat weight
  2. Durability 
  3. Polish 
  4. Symmetry 
  5. Brightness
  6. Scintillation (the sparkle factor) 
  7. Fire (how much of the rainbow you see when light hits a diamond). 

There’s also a secret, eighth score that most jewelers won’t tell you about - but we’ll get to that in a minute.

The size and shape of a diamond affect how much light passes through it and what that light will do once it gets there. A diamond that is cut too deep or lacking symmetry will trap the light inside rather than refract it into beautiful sparkles.

It takes all seven of these characteristics working together in harmony to get a highly-graded diamond. Each stone contains a magical ratio of little measurements, angles, weights, and shapes that create each diamond’s unique personality. So naturally, you should want the best possible numbers for your perfect custom diamond jewelry, right?

Here’s the hitch - there is no perfect ratio. There is no secret formula that can calculate the perfect clarity, the perfect shine, or the perfect sparkle in your diamond. Every diamond is unique, which is why they are such a popular choice for wedding bands. This is why so much of our custom designed jewellery is set with diamonds - the band, the cut, and the stone are all as unique as what it commemorates.

That “secret” eighth score? How the diamond looks to you: the customer, the person who is wearing it. This is the score that makes your custom jewelry invaluable. Creating an artisan-crafted piece that embodies everything that you find beautiful will always be more important than any “perfect” ratio of weights and measurements.

Why We’re Offering In-Home Appraisals to Calgary Residents

Each piece of jewelry carries a unique story, which comes with immense value.

What are you doing to protect that value? We know our customers invest a considerable amount of time and money into crafting and creating unique, custom pieces. The same goes for anyone who has acquired a gemstone or heirloom that is essential to their family's history. 

We also know that there is a lot of anxiety that comes with getting an assessment of your jewellery by a certified gemologist. This is why Premier Gems is bringing our specialty to you with our in-home jewellery assessments.  

Our expertise, your jewellery, in a place you feel safest: your own home.

Here are three reasons why we're proud to bring in-home jewelry appraisals to the Calgary area.

Low Cost, High Reward

On one hand - there is nothing higher than the cost of losing your jewelry in the event of a disaster. On the other hand, you never know how much value you could have sitting in your vanity. Most jewellery and gemstone owners are cautious about wearing their diamonds and gold pieces out in public, fearing something might happen to them. To bring a collection in for assessment can be risky and expensive.

Many appraisal services charge on a rate-per-peice, and then add more depending on the type of evaluation you're after. 

Our in-home jewellery valuation and appraisal services start at $500 and we come to you. We work around your schedule so you can save time and risk less. 

Confirm Jewelry Value & Ownership

While potential disputes and insurance claims are among the many reasons for validating your jewelry's financial value, but we know your motivations may extend beyond time and money. Getting jewellery appraisals:

You're not just determining financial value but also confirming the sentiment behind your cherished jewellery - something we know they'll love.

Getting Adequate Jewellery Insurance Coverage

We know your jewellery is worth the world to you, but the insurance companies need to put a number to what they will cover. The market value of your collection will determine how much you get back in the event of theft or damage and how much premium you could end up paying.

You don't want to overpay for coverage you don't need, but we know you still want to be whole in the worst-case scenario.

Standard homeowner's policies never seem to provide enough coverage and you may need to buy additional insurance to secure your collection. Our assessments ensure you're getting enough coverage for all of your insurance purposes and tax reporting needs.

Book Your In-Home Jewellery Appraisal Today

Our owner and GIA-certified gemologist, Jeff Nechka, is currently taking appointments for in-home appraisals and valuations. Get peace of mind where you feel safest with the jeweller Calgary trusts the most. 

Are you ready to design your own custom jewellery?

"I don't think I could get away with wearing something like that," a customer in the shop recently told us. She was looking at one of our items on display - a custom diamond engagement ring going out to a client the next day. The ring was somewhat extravagant; the client had wanted something that would really knock his soon-to-be fiance's socks off. 

And maybe she was right - maybe she couldn't get away with wearing this ring. But she could certainly get away with wearing something like that. This happens quite often with our customers - they come in expecting to find one thing, but then we design something custom for them that they might never have imagined.

With so many retailers creating and selling jewellery worldwide, it's easy to forget that there is a bit of fashionability to it. Sometimes it follows trends, but your jewellery should always fit your personality. 

A Place For Commercial Designs

Advertising, Trends, and "something for everyone."

We all grow up seeing hundreds of commercials from retail jewellers - the ones who have kiosks in the malls and slogans about how "love is equivalent to a two month's salary." Their business is built on mass market designs that are manufactured cheaply and quickly. This is how many get their first diamond pendant or gemstone earrings. 

Any fashionable trend is a gateway for anyone and everyone to try things out for the first time. We know people who never bother with diamonds or gold after their grandparents get them something as a graduation gift - and that's OK!

Many of our clients are the kind who noticed the rings and necklaces they were wearing were too similar to what everyone else was wearing.

Where Maturity Meets Experience

The story you are told versus the story you tell.

Custom jewellery tells a story. Look at items kept in museums. These relics were commissioned by royals and the elite from all over the world to tell a specific story. From how the stones were acquired to the designers hired to craft the pieces, the story of a custom piece of jewellery resonates well into the future.

Eventually, you discover the story you want to tell. You discover what makes you unique and you want a piece of jewellery as unique as you are. Everyone's story is different, and so should your jewellery.

Preparing Your Custom Jewellery Design

Finding Inspiration

How do you start creating a custom piece of jewellery? The gemstone specialists and design team at Premier gems are always on hand to share ideas and let you explore samples from our collection for inspiration and design ideas. Feel free to stop in at any time.

Not in the area? Take an evening to relax with your favorite beverage and start collecting images of pieces from custom ring makers to see what strikes you. Look at what your favorite celebrities wore at the last award show or what might be on display at a national jewellery gallery. Of course, putting in search terms into Pinterest yields creative, custom pieces from jewellers of all kinds.

Your inspiration doesn't just need to come from stones, rings, and custom items that other people wear. We've created custom rings from people's favorite stories, from their family photo albums, and even dreams they've had.

You never know where inspiration strikes, but when it's time to create a custom piece of jewellery, you will know. The voice is hard to ignore! And when that happens, give us a call and schedule a consultation either in-store or online.

The Loving Intention

Love isn’t just for February.

It isn’t just for roses and champagne. It’s not just for sunset walks on the beach or the swell of music that comes up when the two lead characters are about to go on to their happily ever after. 

While they may be quick to say that Romeo and Juliet was the “most iconic love story of our time,” remember that it ended in tragedy. 

Love is the ride to the airport. Love is feeding the dog when its owner is running late. Love is sitting with you in the doctor’s office when you get bad news. Love is when dad takes the kids to the movies so mom can get a nap in. 

Love can look like a lot of things. What you share with someone may never resemble what you share with someone else. Everyone has heard of the five love languages - the ways you both express and accept love. We think everyone speaks all five languages. 

Words of affirmation, sharing quality time, physical touch, acts of service, and giving/ receiving gifts - at the core of all of these languages? Intention. 

We see the same commercials you do, especially the ones for the mass market jewellers who showcase the “most popular designs of the season.” For one low price, you could get her something that everyone else might be wearing.

Is this your intention? Is this what they mean by “your intentions were good, but…”? 

Or when the father of the bride asks “what are your intentions with my daughter?” 

Love is a lot of things, but overall, love is intentional. When it comes to the jewellery we craft, create, and sell at Premier Gems there is pure intention in everything we do and with everyone we work with. 

We focus deeply on the customers who come through our door who want to design the perfect custom piece because we know they are creating something intentional for their significant other. Our gemologist picks every gemstone with intention, with an eye for cuts and clarity, because it needs to support your intentions. Our designer sharpens her tools and creates everything with intention because it shows. 

Is it more work? Probably.

Is it more work than it’s worth? Definitely not. We know that every piece we create that goes home with a customer is going to serve the intention of the person who imagined it. The intention you give to this moment might be the investment that gives you returns over a lifetime.

Give us a call today to see what we can create for you.

How To Make an Eternally Timeless Ring

Hope springs eternal in every human breast. And while that feeling may be deep inside each of us, the rings we wear on our fingers remind us every day - here is something to hope for.

This ring, spurred by hope, starts with a sense of curiosity. We at Premier Gems love the curious - those who are just coming in to “look around” or customers who have detailed questions about the stones, the cuts, the designs, or even just how our day is going.

Hope springs eternal, but curiosity drives us to create something to have hope in.

A Look Into Our Process

Every ring we craft starts with a conversation. Sometimes it is a conversation of casual curiosity, and other times it is more direct and ambitious. We listen to everything you have to say, everything you want to capture, and what you love most about the idea of having your own custom piece of jewellery.

The most important tool we sharpen is our pencils.

A story is meant to be written down, shared, and told over and over again. Stories are how we express who we are and give a piece of our hearts and minds to others. With a pencil in hand, we start to sketch out your ideas onto the page - how the stone will look when it’s cut, the tone of the setting, and the style of the band. Rough ideas are drawn freely to capture the essence of your imagination. 

Then we get technical.

With notes and sketches in hand, we wish you well on your journey and get to work. We employ high-tech programs and tools to expand on your creative vision to create something highly detailed and truly remarkable. Over the coming weeks, we will send digital renderings of your ring. From these renders, we print out a wax 3-D model of your ring so you can wear the band, feel it on your hand, and see the size and scale.

Casting Something Lasting

At this point in the process, we know each other well. We’ve talked extensively and shared stories from our lives. We send you photos of your ring as it becomes a reality and allow your feedback to guide us every step of the way. Once we are certain the design is perfect, we cast the ring in your selected precious metals, hone the edges, assemble the pieces and polish everything to perfection.

The Final Reveal

We’ve heard it before, and we will hear it again: the ring is always more amazing than anything you could have imagined. Your ring gets the final polish and the last fitting so it leaves our store as nothing short of perfect. We can’t wait to hear about the stories the ring will commemorate or inspire - the engagements, the weddings, the anniversaries, the special occasions. Your curiosity leads to inspiration. 

And your inspiration is what springs hope eternal. 

The Most Valuable Gemstone In The World?

You’d be surprised. 

Something we’re asked a lot: what’s the most valuable stone you have?

Our answer is always: that depends. More often than not, our customers come to us with a good idea of what stones they like or want featured in their custom-made jewellery. Our goal is always to give you something that will be lovingly worn daily. 

Still, it begs the question: what gemstone is the most valuable? 

First off: it’s probably not a diamond. At least, not the diamonds you’re thinking of. On the official appraisal market, the value of a stone is determined by the four C’s - Color, Cut, Carat, and Clarity. Most of these variables are, well, variable and objective. It can take years of training to determine what makes for an idea cut or clarity. Even then, it may come down to preference.

Still, all in, most diamonds on the market today average somewhere around 5,100 CAD. And while that falls within most diamond marketer’s idea of a “two month’s salary,” it is nowhere near the value of something like a: 


Discovered as recently as the 1960s, this stone might be the rarest in the world - which certainly adds to its value. On record, only about 10 of these stones exist, and only one of them was large enough to cut into a gem. While the Musgravite is not available for consumer markets, the ones that have been sold have gone for upwards of $35,000 per carat. 

If you’re looking for something more available and a little more affordable, you might consider the beauty of the:


Discovered and mined almost exclusively in Northern Tanzania, this stone was also first discovered in the 60s. To the untrained eye, the blue versions of this stone can be mistaken for a sapphire. To maximize the color and clarity, we suggest using tanzanites that are five carats or greater - and this one goes for upwards of $1,500 a carat. We also suggest getting it soon, as the limited supply of this stone could be depleted before long. 

But if you want something truly valuable, we suggest:

Letting Us Guide You.

The price tag on a stone is only one factor in the overall value. From what you pick to who you select it for, all the way down to the occasion you want to remember, the value of a gemstone is just as much about the story behind the stone as the stone itself. Additionally, the setting of the stone, the materials of the ring, and the artisanship of the designer is all just as important. 

We believe you are just as much a part of the value of the gemstones as anything else, and we stand behind this idea with every custom piece of jewelry we make. Whether you have an event on the horizon or are just browsing for fun, we invite you to come in and take a look at what our designers and gemologist can come up with for you.

How We Preserve And Enhance What You Value The Most

What do you value most? 

It’s something we ask our customers all the time, especially when we start to develop their custom jewellery pieces. Knowing what you value helps us shape what we create for you.

Of course, when you work in the world of fine gemstones, rings, necklaces, and more, it’s easy to talk about “valuables.” On one side, we think about “value” in terms of how far your money can go - what kind of bang can you get for your buck? 

This is the difference between buying a five-pack of t-shirts for ten dollars versus spending more on garments that are built better and designed to last. In the sustainable fashion industry, they consider this the “cost per wear”- how low can you get your costs while still having great-looking clothing?

If a twenty-dollar garment is only worn ten times before it shows wear and tear, but a hundred-dollar item can be world hundreds of times over - one may be less expensive, but the other is far more valuable. 

What do we consider the most valuable? Things that get better with time and age. The raw materials we work with - the precious metals and gemstones - come to us with a long, storied history behind them which makes them so valuable. As we craft these materials into your dream ring or custom jewellery, it becomes even more valuable because it is unique to you and the story you bring to the table.

In terms of “cost per wear” - next to nothing! While we always make sure to work within our customer’s budgets, the items we create for them will be worn every day for years, for decades, and then for even longer as they are passed on to the next generation. 

Value is rarely about what something costs. At Premier Gems, we capture the value of your story and your experiences and couple them into a one-of-a-kind piece that will only serve to enhance your legacy for years to come.

In other words: we show you ways to increase the value of what you cherish the most. From loved ones and special dates on the calendar to landmark moments and memories you will never forget. If it means the world to you today, we’ll make sure its value lasts forever. 

We would love to hear all about it - feel free to stop by and talk with us or book an appointment online to learn more.

What Is Most Valuable To Us?

Ask just about any gemologist what the most valuable and exciting diamond in the world is; they’re likely to bring up the Dresden Green Diamond.

41 carats. For reference, most engagement rings may feature a stone that is just one carat. Couple the astonishing size with the fact that the stone has a natural green hue and is likely internally flawless - which is the very definition of a perfect diamond.

And those are just the quantifiable facts of the Dresden Green. To go further is to understand why this stone is so astonishing. What makes the Dresden Green so fascinating is the same thing that makes what we do at Premier Gems so great: it’s all in the story's legacy.

In modern times, it has become a practice for larger, rarer, and more valuable stones to go through some type of certification process. Official clearing houses will catalog a stone, grade it, and create a set of paperwork for it. It is easier to insure against loss or theft when a stone has official documentation. While the Green Dresden certainly has its papers in order, its history is still something of a mystery. 

While they may call it the “Green Dresden” because it has been on display for the last 200 years - in Dresden, Germany - gemologists have traced the possible origins of this diamond to a mine in India. A great deal of forensic anthropology went into discovering its Indian origins, but the first official report of the stone showed up when the King of Poland purchased it in 1742 from a Dutch merchant. 

In 1768, a jeweler from Prague fashioned the Dresden Green diamond into a hat ornament alongside two other large diamonds and 411 smaller diamonds. Throughout the years, the stone has spent time in one vault or another, moving from one castle to the next as wars started and stopped and regimes rose and fell. Through it all, the diamond would always make its way back to the Green Vault in the Dresden Castle - where it is on display today.

However, a fascinating twist to the story: the Dresden Green was nearly stolen during a 2019 heist of the Green Vault. Thieves made off with three diamond sets - valued somewhere around 1.4 billion Canadian dollars - but at the time, the famous diamond was safely on loan Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. 

It’s not just a pretty, expensive stone; the Dresden Green Diamond is an invaluable part of human history. Its mere presence serves as a benchmark for what was happening, when, and what we considered valuable. Imagine if it was one of the diamond sets that had vanished in the 2019 heist? It would be too noticeable to try to sell on any legal market - it is too valuable to our collective history.

These are the same ideals that we infuse into everything we make at Premier Gems. When we set out to make a custom piece for our clients, we start with designs and stones that speak to you, the history you have experienced, and the memory you wish you create. Because you’re not just celebrating an engagement, anniversary, or wedding, but rather the emotion of the moment and the legacy you want to pass on to your family down the line.