The four Cs, picking a diamond cut and form as well as metal features are among some of the aspects to consider.
By keeping in mind these 12 pointers to buy an engagement ring you’ll be well on your way to confidently finding that special jewel for the love of your life.
1. Remember the 4 Cs
By remembering the four Cs: color, cut, clarity and carat weight—you’ve already taken the first step towards your jewelry purchase.
The four Cs have been determined by GIA in line with the international standard for assessing diamonds’ quality.
With this you can compare diamonds.
Simply put, the four Cs comprise:
Diamonds with a D to Z color grade are rated with an absence of color.
The less color a diamond contains, the rarer it is.
A diamond’s cut quality defines its ability to release its light.
This signifies a lack of spots and inclusions.
4. Carat Weight
A diamond’s appearing size is concluded by its diamond carat weight.
After you have a clear knowledge of the four Cs, you should know which aspect means the most to you.
By personally ranking the four Cs you’ll know which diamond to forget in your search for your sweetheart and which ones to focus on more.
It’s a worthwhile exercise to know the worldwide ‘language’ of the four Cs to designate a diamond’s quality.
Knowing this ‘diamond speak’ empowers you to go out assuredly and find the engagement ring you’re looking for.
2. Differentiate Between Diamond Forms, Cutting Styles and Cut Quality
First off it’s essential to know how to differentiate between diamond forms, cutting styles and cut quality.
Form refers to the outline of a diamond as it’s seen face up.
Round is the most common diamond form.
Fancier diamond forms consist of the heart, marquise, oval, pear, rectangle and square.
A diamond’s cutting style is determined by how its facets are set.
The standard brilliant cutting style with a particular arrangement of 57 or 58 facets is the most popular round diamond facet arrangement.
The emerald cut is another cutting style of a square or rectangular form distinguished by four longer faces —known as step cuts—along the sides and beveled corners.
A radiant cut diamond is cut in the brilliant style but also formed as a square or rectangle.
The way a diamond’s facets relate with light is its cut quality.
Diamonds cut in the same form and style can exist in different table sizes, girdle thickness, polish & symmetry.
All of these variances affect a diamond’s face up appearance and thus influences its cut quality.
3. Decide on the ring’s Metal
The entire appearance of your engagement ring is influenced by the type of metal you opt for.
If you’re after a smooth, contemporary finish, white gold and platinum continue to be a favored option.
These also highlight a diamond’s lack of color, so make for excellent possibilities of diamonds graded in the colorless D through near colorless J GIA color scale.
A diamond such as this set in yellow prongs would result in a more yellowed look.
White metal prongs or bezels are frequently fused into yellow gold bands to create contrast with the diamond.
If gold’s your preference, remember this.
The warm, calming appearance of rose gold is becoming more popular again.
Back in the Retro era from 1935 to the 1950s this was a fashionable engagement ring selection.
It’s vital to note the following regarding metals:
Sophisticated, exceptionally hard -wearing and tough against corrosion, platinum is a gray white metal.
In its pure state it’s soft, so it’s usually blended with other metals.
The most favored alloys in the US include cobalt, iridium and ruthenium.
The US Federal Trade Commission has stated that only jewels comprised of 950 platinum (95% platinum and 5% alloys) can be labeled “Platinum”.
Jewel settings containing 90% or 85% platinum (“traditional platinum”) should be specifically labeled, for example, 850Plat or 850Pt.
Jewel settings comprised of 50% to 80% platinum also need to include each alloy’s percentage, for example, 800Pt 200Ir for platinum blended with iridium).
While platinum tends to be pricier than gold, its advantages include its sturdiness and hypoallergenic properties.
Incorporated in jewels for thousands of years, gold is attractive in color, rarity and luster—how a material’s surface looks when in reflected light.
Similar to platinum, pure gold is soft so it’s often blended with other metals.
Karat relates to the gold’s quality, based on 24 parts.
Gold containing 75% purity—18K gold—is made up of 18 parts gold with six parts of a blended metal.
14K gold is the favored karatage in the US —comprised of 14 parts gold and 10 parts of another metal.
Rose gold is typically a blend of gold, copper and silver.
Jewelry making companies keep their precious metal blends a secret.
Rose gold matches any skin tone and is generally tougher than yellow gold.
A blend of pure gold and white metals such as palladium or silver results in white gold.
This is a stunning and solid engagement ring option.
While white gold is normally rhodium plated resulting in a shinier appearance that prevents scratches, it can wear out and need to be replated over time.
Jewels are often made of sterling silver.
Engagement rings designers avoid this metal as it’s prone to tarnishing and isn’t the toughest material.
It’s soft, and is typically a blend of 925 parts (92.5%) silver & 75 parts (7.5%) copper or another metal such as nickel or zinc.
4. Pick your Setting
An engagement ring’s diamond is fixed in place by its setting.
The setting both accentuates a diamond’s aesthetics plus keeps it safe from harm.
Various settings provide varying levels of protection.
Let’s take a look at three popular setting types:
Four to six prongs—thin metal supports—are what secures a diamond.
A ring is known as a “solitaire” if prongs hold a single diamond in place.
The cathedral setting is a variation to the prong setting.
Its slopes extend into the ring from each prong which offers additional protection to the stone.
A narrow metal strip is pressed or pounded around the stone in this engagement band setting style to secure it tightly.
The center gem is offered exceptional protection in a bevel setting.
Extremely small diamonds surround the midpoint gem in a hallo setting.
With a halo setting an engagement ring can appear to glisten more and the midpoint gem looks bigger.
4. Select your Side Stones
If you’re looking for a way to enhance the appearance of an engagement ring, side stones are your answer.
With an added element of sophistication, the result is a stylish jewel.
Favored side stone options are the channel or pavé set diamonds along the bottom of the ring.
Alternative selections include baguettes surrounding a center stone or colored stones in various formations.
For diamond side stones that match the midpoint gem, pick ones that grade near the midpoint stone in terms of clarity, color and cut—especially for a round brilliant.
5. View a Stone in Varying Lighting Situations
A diamond appears rather different under varying lighting situations.
Candlelight, daylight, fluorescent lighting and spot lighting all cause a diamond’s facets to function as small mirrors, reflecting its environment.
Movement results in the diamond’s facets reflecting light onto each other, and flashes of color & light are emitted.
Make certain you view your diamond engagement ring under the following four lighting situations to see how it reacts:
A situation where spot lighting doesn’t dominate.
Diffused lighting: look for fluorescent lights that bounce light of a white ceiling.
A mixed lighting situation: combine spot and diffused lighting.
Natural daylight: view your diamond directly under the sun or under the mottled shade of a tree.
This divides your diamond’s light into thousands of shards.
It’s also important to know where your fiancée is most likely to wear her engagement ring.
This will help you to pick a ring that functions the best in a particular environment.
6. Optimize on Shine and Size
A cut determines a diamond’s sparkle in terms of diamonds of similar clarity and color.
Selecting a stone with a GIA cut grade of “Excellent” or “Very Good” will ensure a round brilliant diamond shines.
As a rule of thumb, the more diamonds an engagement ring contains, the glitterier it’ll be.
Side stones will therefore enhance a diamond.
Your diamond engagement ring will look bigger in these two ways:
Set the diamond in a fluted white metal head.
This illusion setting results in the diamond appearing to be as large as the complete head.
Use a cluster setting. The technique of placing several tiny stones of similar size next to each other maximizes shine and creates the illusion of a single diamond far bigger in size than the melee diamonds used to construct it.
8. Select a Ring Based on Her Flair
As an engagement ring’s worn daily, it should be done so with pride.
Set aside your own preferences and style & rather focus on what your bride-to-be loves.
You’ll get your answer quickly if you ask her directly.
If you’d prefer to keep your engagement ring shopping a secret, you can find out in other ways:
Make a note: Look at the kinds of jewels your loved one wears regularly.
What color metal does she favor?
Consult with her best friend.
Perhaps there’s a hidden Pinterest board full of your darling’s dream engagement rings or jewels.
There’s a good chance her best friend will have seen this.
Plan a jewelry shopping couple date: Look carefully at what your sweetheart likes.
If your bride to be favors a classic style, she will have a polished appearance and tend to be surrounded by timeless, traditionally elegant things.
Options complementing this flair could include an engagement band of a single rectangular shaped diamond, or a round diamond faceted in the brilliant style.
The epitome of elegance is the cut cornered rectangular step cut.
Should your loved one lean towards a classic look, a 1.37ct round brilliant in a six prong setting is a superb selection.
For a hopeless romantic, a heart shaped stone could captivate your sweetheart’s attention.
Edwardian style engagement rings have bows and ribbons that are equally inspiring & beautiful.
A heart shaped engagement ring’s bound to touch the heart of your dreamy bride to be.
Edwardian era engagement rings with their offering of bows and ribbons connect with a romantic’s spirit.
For the more contemporary preference, your loved one will opt for modern fashion and making bold declarations.
In a rose gold and platinum setting this matching diamond engagement ring & band set would captivate a contemporary bride.
For an artistic, creative woman, consider Art Deco style or Art Nouveau inspired engagement rings.
You can even have a ring custom made by a contemporary designer for a one of a kind jewel.
Art Deco jewels use geometric shapes, so a fancy cut diamond encircled with rubies makes an imaginative combination for an artistic bride.
9. Determine Her Band Size
It is possible to determine your loved one’s band size without them knowing it:
Once she’s not in the room, find one of her bands.
Trace the inner circle on a slip of paper or press it into a soap bar to make an impression.
Instead, try it on one of your fingers and mark a line where it stops.
These measurements can assist a jeweler in guessing her band size, but there are alternative ways to figure this out if your sweetheart doesn’t normally wear bands.
10. Set Your Budget
How much to spend on engagement ring?
The only rule is for you to spend as much as you deem suitable.
There are various diamond engagement ring myths which we’ve exposed before, and we’ll do it again now.
The myth that a gentleman spends three months’ salary on an engagement ring isn’t relevant today as it goes as far back as the 1950s.
Do yourself a favor—by knowing the four Cs browse & shop until you’ve found an engagement ring in line with your budget.
After all, you don’t need to spend a fortune to show how much love the band symbolizes.
11. Select a Jeweler
You need to have faith in a jeweler as an engagement ring’s a pricey acquisition.
Search for a jeweler whose credentials come from a recognized school such as GIA.
You can find retailers selling GIA assessed stones or with GIA trained staff using the GIA Retailer Look Up.
As this is one of the most crucial procurement of your life, select a jeweler you can depend on when purchasing your engagement band.
12. Make Sure You Receive a Diamond Grading Report
You must ensure you receive a diamond grading report when purchasing an engagement ring.
Such a report will provide the diamond’s precise quality features.
Having this report puts you at ease when making the decision to purchase.
It’ll also show you if the diamond’s color or clarity has been treated to enhance and features.
Through GIA you can have a variety of diamond grading reports.
Rest assured that a GIA Diamond Grading Report is the guarantee you need when buying a graded engagement ring.
Extra pointer: Insure your engagement ring.
After finding the engagement ring that’ll steal the heart of your loved one, be sure to insure it.
In the event that the ring is lost or stolen, this’ll ensure you are fairly reimbursed for it.
Most insurers need a diamond grading report before issuing an insurance policy which is why you should insist on one with your engagement ring purchase.