If you’re thinking of settling down, then congratulations are in order!
However, before you plan a wedding, you must first propose and successfully put a diamond engagement ring around her finger. But unless you’re a professional jeweler or a ring enthusiast, you probably don’t have any clue on how to get one.
Fortunately for you, this guide to buying an engagement ring can help you with every step of the way.
Learn the 4 Cs
When looking for a diamond ring, you need to know the 4 Cs. These are:
- Color – The lack of color of the stone is rated from D to Z. The less color it has, the rarer it is.
- Clarity – This refers to the lack of blemishes or inclusions on the diamonds.
- Cut – This refers to the way the stone unleashes light to the naked eye. For rings with similar color and clarity, this will determine whether the gem will sparkle more.
- Carat Weight – This is the size of the diamond.
After learning the 4 Cs, the next step you should take is to determine which aspect is more important. Is it the carat weight, or the cut diamond, perhaps?
Knowing these will help you choose the best ring available.
Know the Differences in Shape, Cutting Style, and Cut Quality
The 4 Cs are not the only things you have to consider when you buy an engagement ring. You should also know the diamond’s shape, cutting style, and cut quality.
Shape refers to the diamond’s outline when viewed from above. The most popular is round, but there are other good examples such as marquise, heart, rectangle, oval, pear, and square.
Cutting style, on the other hand, pertains to the arrangement of the diamond facets. The usual arrangement is 57 to 58 facets.
A famous option is the emerald cut, which has a square or rectangular form and four long side facets or step cuts.
Cut quality is the way the diamond facets take the light. This is determined by the variations in symmetry, polish, girdle thickness, and table size of the jewelry.
The Metal Matters
Similar to the stone, the metal you choose will affect the total look of the engagement ring.
This gray-white alloy works best with a near-colorless stone (D to J).
Although you will have to spend on an engagement ring made with platinum, it’s worth every penny as it is durable and corrosion-resistant.
This alloy is made with a white ore made of nickel, palladium, or silver.
It’s cheaper than platinum, but it may have to be replated every so often. It also goes well with near-colorless diamonds.
The fineness of this alloy is measured by its carat.
18 carat has 75%, while 14 carat — the most common in the United States — has 58.3%.
This alloy is made with copper and silver, which makes it more durable than yellow gold. This type of band is also said to suit more skin tones.
Commonly found in everyday jewelry and not much in engagement rings, silver is a good option for those on a tight budget.
While it is very durable, this wedding band tarnishes over time.
Make Sure of the Setting
When choosing an engagement ring from a jeweler, you should also consider the setting.
This is what keeps the diamond in place. It also highlights the stone while protecting it from damaging forces.
This has four to six prongs that support or hold the diamond.
A famous example is a solitaire, which secures one stone. Another is the cathedral, which has prongs that extend to the wedding band.
This comes with a pushed or hammered thin strip that holds down the diamond. Many buyers love to purchase a bezel-set ring as it can readily protect the center diamond from much damage.
This is the perfect jewelry for those who want the center diamond to appear larger. Here, jewelers make use of smaller diamonds to surround the central stone.
Get Some Side Stones
Once you find the right engagement ring, you might as well spend a few more on a couple of side stones. They can make your ring appear more elegant and sophisticated, which is something that your fiancé will surely love.
The most common arrangements are:
- Channel/pave set diamonds by the ring shank
- Diamond baguettes right at the sides of the center diamond
- Colored gems in the configuration you want
Check the Ring Under Various Lighting Conditions
Due to the diamond’s facets that work like mirrors, the gem may look different according to various light conditions.
So, before you buy the ring you like, check it in a place where there is:
- Not too overwhelming spot lighting
- Diffused lighting and mixed lighting
- Natural daylight
Find the Right Engagement Ring Size
It doesn’t matter if you have picked the best from the many engagement rings out there. It could be well within your budget and have everything you need, but it’s practically useless if the size is wrong.
If you don’t want to spoil the surprise by asking her size, get any of the rings she owns and trace them on paper. You can also slide the ring down your finger to see where it stops.
There you have it — the seven things to keep in mind when ring shopping. As long as you follow this guide to buying an engagement ring, you will be able to choose the best one for your love!