Getting engaged is a wonderful moment, but for some people with especially active or hands-on lives, the engagement ring can become something of a handicap to their work. The hobbies, professions and jobs of those affected can range enormously from the creative: dancers, artists, painters and sculptors, to the medical: nurses, doctors, carers, paramedics – and in fact all emergency workers, to sportsmen and women, to gardeners, hairdressers and spa workers – all of these people work with their hands and cannot risk having an expensive diamond engagement ring scratching people, snagging on clothing or preventing the easy use of gloves and other protective equipment.
So what are their options? Of course, they could leave their engagement rings off altogether, locking them up at the beginning of their shift and retrieving them at the end (and some places where jewelry of any sort is banned, insist on this as standard) – but this is no fun! There is a certain cachet in being able to flash your diamond ring at every opportunity, and you cannot do this if it is locked away! Or they could be worn on a chain around the neck – but again, this is not ideal. It is a ring, not a pendant, and most people want to see it that way! Another way is to take the active lifestyle into account from the beginning and design the ring in such as way that it will not interfere with the wearer’s work.
Mounts to Avoid
Many diamond engagement rings rely on exposing the diamond to as much light as possible, and there are two traditional mounts for this: claw mounts and cathedral mounts. Sadly, both of these raise the ring and create sharp edges which can snag and catch more than just the light.
Claw mounts are also known as prongs and they are little arms that reach up from the band to clasp the stone and hold it in place. There are usually four prongs, but sometimes engagement rings – especially those with larger stones – can use six, which is more secure. Prongs catch readily on clothing and other people, and once one or two prongs are bent or weakened, your stone is at great risk of being lost – and anyone who has been through the process of choosing a diamond will shudder at the mere thought!
Cathedral mounts are more secure than claw mounts, but they are raised even higher than a traditional mount, and are terrible for catching on clothing and other people, leaving scrape marks or damage behind.
Mounts to Choose
Flush mount diamonds are great as they are smooth and seamless, lying close to the skin, and yet are still generously proportioned enough to hold a good-sized diamond.
Bezel mounts are perhaps the most secure. The ring is made in such a way that the stone is entirely enclosed by the metal, holding it in place and leaving no rough edges.
Finally, consider your choice of metal, especially if your active lifestyle involves a lot of strenuous hand activity. Platinum is perhaps the best metal for a diamond engagement ring, being strong and durable – able to cope with any conditions that a busy, active person can throw at it!