Quick and Easy Buying Guide
Carat weight: 1 carat = 200 milligrams = 6.5 mm diameter. Doubling weight doesn't double diameter.
Diamond clarity: FL/IF/VVS/VS = super expensive, near perfect. SI = best value if you can check a photo for obvious inclusions (defects).
Color: D-G = colorless, expensive, only if you have money to burn. H-J = best value. Can go lower in gold metal settings than white metal.
Cut: Better cut ratings let more light into a diamond, making it sparkle more. Very important property, don't skimp here.
Set a budget and minimum cut (Premium). Go J color for gold and I/H for white metals. Go searching for SI1/SI2 clarity diamonds at James Allen. Pick a diamond with small/no inclusions. Choose a ring setting and buy it risk-free (60-day returns).
Welcome to the Diamond Engagement Ring Guru
This webpage is a complete guide to buying a diamond engagement ring. It provides information on diamond shape, cut, clarity, carat size, certification, ring metal, ring design and lots more...the guide below will get you started or help you if you're already well along in the process.
This is a short and sweet but complete set of tips helping you get the best possible diamond ring that you can. While I recommend you read some of the other guides on this website, this guide will give you a simple and easy set of steps to follow.
Spend a little time browsing through jewellery catalogues, brochures, and online jewellery sites such as James Allen or Blue Nile. This can be done by yourself or with your partner.
Sit down with your lady and decide on the following things so you can narrow your search:
- Ring metal - yellow gold, white gold, platinum, or silver. Main things to consider are colors that go with her skin and any possible allergies.
- Ring style - a solitaire ring (single diamond), a three stone ring (three main diamonds), and whether the ring will have channeling or banding (small diamonds inset into the band on either side of the main diamond(s). Whether to get a delicate, thin band, or thick, chunky band.
- Diamond shape - round, princess cut (square) or oval shaped.
Decide on a budet and STICK TO IT. You should only do this once you've had enough of a look online and in brochures to realize how much various options cost. For example, at current prices, a one carat diamond solitaire ring costs anywhere from $3499 to $10000 and more. This way, you can set yourself a firm budget and have an idea of what you will and won't be able to get within that budget.
The jewellery industry has perpetuated the idea that you spend 3 months salary on a ring - ignore this and choose a number that is consistent with what you spend on other big purchases in your life, and that you would be comfortable with. Nothing is worse than buying something and then feeling guilty and stressed about the repayments you have to make. Read this article on how much to spend.
Swear again to yourself that you'll stick to your budget!
Get your lady to get her engagement ring finger sized again. Don't do this when it's cold as her finger will expand when it gets warmer.
Go searching in stores and online. Whenever you look at a ring in a store, make sure you write down the details about the ring and diamond - the ring metal type, ring design, diamond size, color, clarity and shape being the most important to note. Whenver you find a ring in a store that you like, try creating a custom ring that closely matches it on an online site such as James Allen.
For a budget ring, consider a diamond color between H and J, and a clarity rating between VS2 and SI2. Because they are the only online retailers with extensive photos of their diamonds, James Allen is a good place to focus your searching.
If you're confident, make the final choice of ring yourself. Or you could run it by your beloved as well to be safe. If you've decided to buy online, make sure you've got enough money on your credit card and place the order. Keep an eye out on the package using a tracking service, and make sure it's insured. Follow up with customs in your country if you have to pay taxes and duty to clear it from customs.
If you've decided to buy from a store, and have already shown significant interest, they've probably offered you a discounted price already, somewhere between 10 and 30% off. Offer them a lower price and be prepared to walk away. It never hurts to try and you might save a few hundred dollars extra which will be useful on the honeymoon!
Propose! Good luck!