How to Choose an Engagement Ring
For most people purchasing an engagement ring is a once in a lifetime investment. If you do not know how to go about this monumental task remember you are not alone. It is a daunting experience finding the perfect ring for the most important person in your life. You might wonder how so many pieces of jewelry get marked down 50 to 70 percent. Most people come to the conclusion that there is something wrong with the stone or that the quality of the entire ring is bad to warrant such a low price. You can stop trying to figure out why it is so cheap, because it isn’t. I spent many years selling fine jewelry in some of the biggest retail companies in America. The first thing I learned was, do not say “cheap” because that give the impression of the previously mentioned low quality. The correct word to use is inexpensive. Jewelry regularly has a mark up of 300% which is why a huge sale appears so good. The first thing to remember is don’t ever buy something that is at full price. A bit of searching on the net will give you approximate values of the time. If it is truly a one of a kind piece you had made to order the price is between you and the jeweler to set but even then you should find the cost of similar size and quality stones to come to a dignified amount. The cost of the metal used will also change the overall price. With all the choices available to you on the internet today there should be no problem getting a deal. I don’t think that anyone will want you to take your business elsewhere because they insisted on not budging on the price.
It is wise to shop from a store with a good reputation. If you are buying the ring on-line be sure that there is a return warranty so you are not stuck with a product that does not meet the description given. The stores reputation is not always the way to go about buying an engagement ring. Sometimes exceptional jewelry is sold by the owner in need of quick cash. Again, be sure to have a guaranteed return policy. You should also get a diamond certificate to assure the quality of the ring is what you ordered.
. . . . Before you start shopping you need to figure out a few things. Of course you can always just pick out the first thing that catches your eye but here are a few pointers to keep in mind.
Shape or Cut of the center stone / diamond
The shape of the stone will not affect the price. Not until you are looking at size and quality will the shape play a part in the overall ring. When looking at the ring on her finger the shape will be the first thing most people notice. It is best to find out what your Fiancée prefers when it comes to shape since she will be wearing it. I am certain that she will be happy no matter what you choose but it is good to have an idea what she likes. I’m sure she will have mentioned it once or twice out of the blue depending on how long you are together.
It is not hard to figure out her preference without actually coming out and asking her. When you see someone else wearing a ring make a remark about the shape. Don’t be obvious, wait for an occasion where someone is showing off their ring. Make a remark about the ring and 10 out of 10 times she will give her opinion.
These are the basic shapes that you have to choose from.
Read on to find out your best choice concerning the four C’s of the diamond.
Experts say cut is the most important buying criteria, because it determines the diamond’s sparkle and brilliance, and I recommend buying the best possible cut that you can afford.
If you’re on a budget, you don’t need to buy a diamond that’s on the highest end of the color scale. I suggest the ‘I’ on the color scale. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the American Gem Society (AGS), and the International Gemological Institute (IGI) grade a diamond’s color on a scale of D (colorless, and most desirable) to Z (least desirable, with a visible yellow tint).
Keep in mind that some diamond cuts, such as the popular round cut, mask inclusions and flaws very well. So if you’re on a budget, you don’t necessarily need to buy an internally flawless diamond. A lower-clarity stone that looks clear to the naked eye is probably sufficient.
It is nearly impossible to see the difference of diamonds on the very high-end of the clarity scale ( like VVS1), and those lower on the scale which contain very slight or slight inclusions (VS1 or SI1). In the case of many SI1 diamonds, for example, the flaws are only visible under 10X magnification, although the price difference between a VVS1 and an SI1 diamond is considerable.
Carat is the size / weight of the stone. The bigger the carat size the more expensive the ring. If you want a good clarity stone you might have to get a smaller carat. In this case it is nice to buy a six prong setting. Not only will it help avoid the accidental loss of the stone, it will make the stone look larger. The ring below is an example of a six prong setting.