Is it finally time to start looking for an engagement ring? Buying an engagement ring and planning a proposal is a crazy exciting time, and it’s easy to get caught up in the romance, but remember, an engagement ring is usually a significant investment, so make sure you do it right.
Whether you’ll be looking for rings together or on your own, this comprehensive guide will assist you in finding the perfect engagement ring for your other half.
1. Determine the Shape You Desire
If you know what your partner wants in terms of diamond shape, it will greatly help you focus your engagement ring search. Each shape (also known as a cut) has a different price per carat. Round cuts are the most expensive, while pear and marquise cuts are less expensive. If the size is important to you, you can get more carats at a lower price if you choose a shape other than the classic round cut. Before you go shopping for an engagement ring, educate yourself on ring cuts and have one (or two) favorites in mind.
2. Decide on a Metal for the Band
Traditionally, engagement rings (and wedding bands) are made of yellow gold, white gold, silver, or platinum, but rose gold has emerged as a fresh, modern alternative in recent years. While platinum appears to be very similar to silver, it is significantly more expensive due to its higher density (and is also rarer). Some metals scratch more easily than others, so keep your lifestyle in mind—along with your budget, of course—before deciding how important metals are in the final decision. You should also consider whether or not you want stones set in the band(s).
3. Decide on a Carat Size
The age-old question of quality versus quantity also applies to engagement rings 粉紅鑽石. Some people prefer a larger stone to a whiter stone, while others want the clearest diamond possible, regardless of carat count. Regardless of how much people say size isn’t important, it’s always the starting point, because color and clarity can always be tweaked to find something within your budget.
However, keep an open mind. Your other partner may believe they know what they want in terms of size or shape, but after trying on rings, they may discover they want something completely different—always it’s different once you start seeing things on your finger in real life. If you choose a less common carat size, you can save a lot of money. When diamonds weigh the most desired weights, such as half and whole carat weights, their prices skyrocket (.50, 1, 1.5, etc.).
4. Obtain Accurate Measurement
This may seem obvious, but make sure you both measure your ring fingers correctly. You don’t want a ring that restricts your circulation or, worse, is so loose that it could fall off. It should be snug but not uncomfortable. If you’re not shopping for engagement rings together, you can go to a jewelry store on your own and then casually mention your size the next time the topic comes up.
5. Think about how your engagement ring will compliment your wedding band.
While it’s easy to get caught up in the hunt for the perfect diamond, the engagement or wedding ring is only one-half of the equation (or less than half, if you’re going the rink stack route). Your wedding band—the actual symbol of your marriage—is the frequently overlooked other half. Consider the style of the wedding band that would complement your ring 對戒. Some engagement rings do not allow a band to fit flush against them, so before committing to an engagement ring style, consider the full package of prong versus pavé and channel-set stones.
6. Always Purchase Certified
Purchasing an engagement ring is one of the most expensive purchases you will make in your life, so take your time and shop wisely. When you do find the ring of your dreams, make sure it is certified by an accredited laboratory such as the American Gem Society or the Gemological Institute of America. Diamonds certified by other labs may have inflated grades, giving the customer the impression of a great deal when, in reality, they have received a lower quality diamond, warns expert Ira Weissman, creator of The Diamond Pro. According to Weissman, this is the most common deception used by jewelry stores.
7. Confirm that the certificate matches the diamond.
According to Duke, most diamonds have laser inscriptions on the girdle, which can be checked with a jeweler’s loupe. Many have inclusions, so examine the diamond and see if you can match the flaws to the map on the certificate.
8. Consider the cut’s quality and clarity.
Weissman recommends purchasing the lowest color diamond that will still appear colorless to the naked eye to save money. For round diamonds set in white gold, this is usually an I or J color. In yellow gold, you could even go down to a K color. The price difference between a J and a D color is enormous. The same can be said for clarity. Choose the lowest clarity diamond that is still clean to the naked eye because, assuming all other factors are equal, it will appear identical to a flawless diamond. The price difference between an SI1 or SI2 clarity diamond and a flawless diamond is enormous.
On the other hand, private jeweler Dan Moran, founder of Concierge Diamonds, advises clients to never compromise on the quality of the diamond’s cut. Why is this so? The diamond’s cut is what gives it that gorgeous sparkle we adore. “If you perfectly cut a mediocre rough diamond, it will look absolutely stunning. If you cut a top-of-the-line rough diamond incorrectly, it will look like absolute garbage.”