Choose a quality diamond ring
Meet diamonds. Diamonds tend to be the traditional engagement ring option because they are durable and match everything. Just opt for something else if you know that your girlfriend likes a lot, much more another stone or if she has expressed her intense dislike for diamonds. When choosing a diamond, be aware of the following 4 important elements:
- The cut
- The carats
- The color
- The clarity
Choose the cut, or shape, suitable for the diamond. There are different ways to cut a diamond and the type of cut impacts the flash. The cut that produces the most flash is the “round” (or “bright”) cut. The oval shape is best seen with larger stones and because it looks larger than the round cut. A good quality cut is more important than weight or an extremely high clarity or color rating since a diamond, like a road reflector, reflects light in the direction from which it came and breaks it down a bit in the process.
- It is also important to base your selection of diamonds on objective data, such as images of ASET or Ideal scope that you can acquire from a jeweler. This is particularly important if you are buying an online diamond engagement ring.
Use the “carats” to determine the overall weight or size. The carats refer to the unit of measurement of the diamond and the weight instead of the size. The carats are divided into 100 points, which are essentially a measure of the percentage of a carat that makes up a diamond. For example, if a diamond has 75 points, it is 75% or 0.75 of a carat. Higher carat grades generally mean larger and more expensive diamonds.
Consider if you want a transparent or colored diamond. The color of the diamonds varies considerably and most people prefer a white diamond for an engagement ring. Colors are graded from D (colorless and rare) and most good quality diamonds will have a rating of F or H. However, all grades from D to I are almost identical when set.
- In general, stay away from any diamond that is of a color rating less than H since they are notoriously yellow.
Pay attention to the clarity of the diamond. Because diamonds are formed naturally, there are imperfections in almost everyone. These are known as “inclusions” and come from minute impurities that were present when the diamond was formed millions of years ago. The fewer imperfections there are, the greater the clarity and the more diamond light will be reflected, causing it to “flash”. Naturally, greater clarity increases its value. The perfect diamonds without any internal defect or mark on the surface are very difficult to find since they are extremely rare.
- The scale used to qualify clarity ranges from F1 for a perfect diamond to VVS1 and VVS2 for tiny inclusions, VS1 and VS2 for very light inclusions, SI1 and SI2 for light inclusions and I1, I2 and I3 for imperfect diamonds.
- Diamonds are magnified 10 times to judge their clarity, so very slight imperfections are difficult to see with the naked eye. This means that there is a range of diamonds available even for the most modest budgets. However, if you can see a mark without magnification, you should think carefully before buying.
Do not forget the practicality of the ring. If your girlfriend is very fond of the outdoors, consider a ring that can deal with the wear and tear of constant activities. The higher the position of the gemstone in the ring, the easier it will get stuck in clothes, equipment, hair, etc., and it will be more likely to hit. Find a gemstone with a lower setting for an active woman and a higher setting for a fashion follower or a glamorous woman.
Buy the Ring
Set your budget in advance. There is a tradition that holds that a man must spend two wages on an engagement ring but this is a ridiculous and unfounded rule. You must buy the best ring you can afford without getting into debt by setting a budget in advance and working from there. Some ways to save money without sacrificing quality include:
- Keep just below common carats sizes, like 1 or 2 carats. A 1.9 carat diamond is not notoriously different but can save you almost 20%.
- Aim for a wider cut, which can make a smaller diamond look bigger.
- Take a look at diamonds and old rings instead of buying a new piece. They have flavor and originality and can be much cheaper.
Choose a good jeweler considering also online sources. Find a store that makes you feel comfortable and where the staff is pleasant and helpful. If you can, verify that the jeweler is registered in a society, association or organization that regulates certifies, etc., to jewelers, such as the National Association of Goldsmiths in the United Kingdom. Also, do not fear online jewelers. You can save up to 100% compared to a chain of jewelry stores.
- Ask for recommendations to your married friends or your family from a good and trustworthy jeweler.
- An online jeweler can be a good option if you are willing to accept a lower “orientation” for a better price. Be sure to check that the jeweler has a solid reputation online before buying by searching for “[Name of jeweler] + reviews” on Google.
Ask for a certificate of authenticity and a guarantee together with the ring. It is very useful to obtain a certificate along with a diamond to find out exactly where it originated. They are usually only available with the purchase of larger or 1 carat diamonds. For smaller diamonds, a certificate adds a considerable amount to the cost, so you could end up paying an additional $ 700 to get one.
- For more expensive rings, a certificate is almost a necessity to ensure that your valuable new diamond retains its value.
Secure the ring. It is likely that the ring is the most expensive jewel you have ever bought and the most expensive jewel your fiance has ever used. To avoid having to run out of it during your appraisal and while the insurance company evaluates you when you are just getting used to it, do it before you ask for a marriage. Make sure you check that the insurance covers your loss or ask for insurance at the jewelry store if there is one.
- Keep in mind that most of the traditions that have to do with diamond engagement rings were created by De Beers, a former diamond monopoly holder, in order to increase sales. This includes the “two-pay rule” but is not limited to it.
- Make sure the ring is insured or that its cost does not cause serious problems if you have to replace it from your pocket. Consider the periodic cost of insurance when buying a ring that costs thousands of dollars. Consider a separate policy for the ring if the loss of the ring would cause a disproportionate increase in the overall cost of a policy for the home that covers it.
- Do not let yourself be convinced that white gold or palladium is similar to platinum.
- Make sure the ring has a guarantee.
- Beware of jewelry markets, pawn shops or jewelry centers in the city center where quality is often bad and there are many scoundrels. (However, many of these businesses are perfectly legitimate). Investigate before buying.