If you are reading this article, chances are you are planning to propose to the one you love. Whether you two have been dating for 10 years or you have just met, the proposal is going to be a special moment, and finding the perfect engagement ring is key. If you want a ring that will fit her lifestyle, reflect her personality, and not break the bank, then look no further!In this article, our trained gemologists at Bishops Jewelry Gallery will show you the “need-to-knows” for purchasing the perfect engagement ring. Let’s be honest: Buying an engagement ring is not always an easy task. So we’ve broken the process into four easy-to-understand steps.
This first step may sting a little, but it is one of the most important, and that’s budget. According to alux.com, the most expensive engagement ring in the world was sold in 2013 for 9.49 million dollars. Yikes! Now, most of you aren’t going to spend nearly that much, so the best rule of thumb is to budget 4-6 weeks of your paycheck. Remember this is just a guide, here at Bishops Jewelry we work with everyone no matter the budget or idea. Plan to spend more if you are seeking perfection. Most jewelry stores, including Bishops Jewelry, offer financing.
Setting, Wearability, Lifestyle
This is a big one! Every customer who walks into my store looking for an engagement ring will always be asked these questions: What’s your partner’s lifestyle? Does it require a ring that’s nearly indestructible, that could be slammed into a rock when mountain-climbing? Or would a delicate ring be more appropriate?
So your partner’s lifestyle, including her job’s requirements, should help determine the ring you purchase. A beautiful platinum ring that is designed with smooth edges, that allows the diamond to sit low, and that possibly has metal around the diamond would fit someone who is active and rough on her jewelry. A gorgeous 18krose gold ring with a higher setting for the diamond and a fancy design, even with parts more likely to catch on something, would be perfect for someone else.
A common misconception about diamonds is that shape and cut are the same: They are not. Shape refers to the stone’s appearance, whereas cut refers to the stone’s ability to reflect light. There are numerous amounts of shapes and cuts available for stones, as the industry matures, cutters are becoming more and more creative in their work. The most common shapes for diamonds are round, cushion, princess, asscher, emerald, radiant, heart-shaped, pear-shaped, oval, and marquise. If you are unsure of which shape to go with, stick with round.
Before you go diamond shopping it is important that you are familiar with the 4cs. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) created the first and now globally accepted standard for describing diamonds. The Cs stand for cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. The 4Cs offer two very important things: a way that diamond quality can be assessed universally and a way for consumers to know exactly what they are about to purchase.
Diamonds are meant to shine, but they all shine differently. Cut is a diamond’s most important characteristic of the 4Cs because the best-cut diamonds have the most sparkle. When a diamond is cut perfectly, all the light that goes into the diamond comes right back out the top of it -- that’s why you see all the sparkle! If the diamond cut is too shallow, light leaks out the bottom; if the cut is too deep, light will escape on the sides. At Bishops Jewelry Gallery, we recommend choosing the highest grade of cut within your budget.
After cut, color generally is considered the second most important characteristic in a diamond. The industry bases a diamond’s color off a D-Z color scale. The scale begins with the letter D, representing colorless, and continues with increasing presence of color to the letter Z. Typically, the presence of color in a diamond tends to be yellow, but natural diamonds do come in other colors such as blue and pink.
Not all diamonds are perfect. I mean, they’re a rock that comes from the earth, and nature isn’t always friendly. Clarity refers to a diamond’s imperfections, internally and externally. Simply put, the fewer inclusions and blemishes a diamond has, the more valuable the diamond is. These inclusions and blemishes are graded on a scale from internally flawless to included.
The weight of a diamond is measured in carats -- the more carats a diamond weighs, the more expensive a diamond is. One carat is divided into 100 points, so that a diamond of 50 points weighs .50 carats. It’s also important to understand that two diamonds that weigh the same can differ greatly in value due to their cut, color, and clarity.
As you are shopping for a diamond, I’m sure you’ll find that it can be a
very time-consuming process. It does help to take the time to educate
yourself -- because when you make a purchase, you want to make sure
you do it once and you do it right. In the end, it will be well worth the time
and the effort you spent to find the perfect ring for the one you are going
to spend the rest of your life with.
Finally, if you need advice on choosing a diamond engagement ring or
require an opinion on a pending purchase, please feel free to call or
email us at Bishops Jewelry Gallery.