The Do’s and Don’ts of Engagement Ring Shopping

In this post we have put together some important do’s and dont’s of engagement ring shopping to help you in your quest for the perfect ring. First and foremost you have to decide your budget. How much can you spend on the ring without going into dept. This is so you can find out exactly what you can afford within your budget – for instance the metal used and the diamond characteristics.

Educate Yourself With Diamonds

Like any expensive purchase before you buy a diamond engagement ring, its important that you educate yourself on diamonds, metals and places to shop.

What you Need to Know About Diamonds

The four Cs of a diamond determine its value and quality – Cut, Clarity, Carat Weight and Colour. It’s important not to confuse diamond cut with diamond shape; they are two completely different things. The cut of the diamond refers to its internal angles that determines the amount of light reflection which is where the sparkle comes from. A diamond is graded with five cut grades – poor, fair, good, very good and excellent. We always recommend opting for a diamond with a good or excellent cut so it has more brilliance. Basically when a diamond is well cut light travels to the pavilion, reflects from one side to the other and then reflects back through the top of the diamond. Examples of Different Cut Diamonds

diamond cut diagram

Diamond Cut Examples

Diamond clarity refers to the presence of external blemishes or internal inclusions the stone may have. Most inclusions will only be seen through magnification and to the naked eye will appear completely clean. Flaws happen as a result of the incredible amount of pressure it takes for a diamond to be formed deep under the earth’s surface. This chart shows the different clarity grades a diamond has that can only be seen through magnification the red marks are the inclusions

diamond clarity diagram

Diamond Clarity Grades

A diamonds weight is measured in carats with one carat equal to 0.20 grams. Unless you have a big budget, most diamonds for engagement rings are under a carat. How it workes is that a one carat diamond is divided into 100 points making 0.01 equal to one point. So a 0.50 carat diamond is basically a half carat diamond and a 0.75 diamond is three quarters of a carat. To get a better understanding of different diamond carat weight sizes pop along to your local jeweller and ask to see different diamond carat weights. My favourite affordable diamond carat weights is between 0.60cts to 0.80cts. When referring to diamond colour for a white diamond its all about the lack of colour it actually has. The highest, whitest diamond colour grade is D and can go all the way through the alphabet until the diamond has a visible yellow tint. We always say that diamond colours between D and G have very little difference in colour but can affect price. The Diamond Colour grades we recommend –

diamond colour diagram

White Diamond Colour Grades

Style of The Ring Setting

By style we mean the setting and ring mount the diamonds is held in. There are four main style of setting for engagement rings – Solitaire – Just one diamond Three Stone – Three diamonds either all the same size or the centre slightly bigger Halo Setting – A vintage look with small diamonds set around the shape of the centre stone. Shoulder Stones – Any of the above styles with small diamonds set on the shoulders.

Establishing A Decent Jeweller

After you have decided your budget and done your research the next step is to find the right jeweller to buy the ring from. Here are some tips to help you decide;

  • A high street jeweller will have more overheads, so buying online is a cheaper option.
  • Choose a jeweller that allows you to select the diamonds and setting you want for the ring.
  • Make sure the jeweller knows what they are talking about.
  • Only buy from jewellers who sell diamonds with certificates from a reputable diamond grading laboratory. We only recommend GIA certificated diamonds.

So Know you know a few do’s and don’ts, you can hopefully get started with buying a diamond and engagement ring setting she will say yes to.

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