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What to know before buying an engagement ring? Don’t worry if you’re clueless as it’s not exactly part of the regular shopping you do on weekends and holiday sales.
Engagement rings mark a milestone that warrants a careful and thoughtful decision. When you feel a mix of joy and jitters because of its significance, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of choices.
Let’s take the guesswork out of the equation by walking you through ten of the most important things to know before buying a diamond ring.
1. The 4 Cs of Your Diamond
The most important part of your decision is the quality of the diamond centerpiece you’ll be getting. In this section, we’ll discuss what to know about diamonds before buying a ring so you get the perfect stone.
The four Cs of a diamond were established by the Gemological Institute Of America (GIA). It covers the carat, cut, color, and clarity of your diamond.
- Carat – Carat refers to the unit of weight of the diamond equivalent to 0.2 grams. It refers to how heavy the diamond is, not its size.
- Cut – The cut is about its shape and facets. Diamonds are graded from “excellent” to “poor” based on the proportion, polish, and evenness of the pattern. It plays a key role in a diamond’s brilliance.
- Color – Color refers to how colorless or nearly colorless a diamond is. The less visible the tinges of yellow, brown, or gray, the higher the color grade. A “D grade” means colorless while a “Z” indicates it has more color.
- Clarity – Clarity reveals the internal and external flaws under 10x magnification. High-grade clarity ranges from “Flawless” or “FL” to “Inclusions 3” or “I3”.
Often used interchangeably with cut, the shape of a diamond is based on how it is cut. There are a variety of diamond shapes you can choose from like round, oval, emerald, radiant, princess, cushion, radiant, and pear. Among them, the round shape is the most popular, most brilliant, and most expensive.
The cut and facets are the reason for the round diamond’s intense sparkle and hence, its cult following. This doesn’t mean that other shapes are aesthetically inferior since the shape one chooses is a matter of personal taste.
The round cut is the most coveted and most expensive diamond. Its high market demand and the amount of raw diamond wasted during processing contribute to its higher price tag.
The round diamond is the most brilliant because it is strategically cut to maximize light performance or how a diamond refracts and reflects light.
Its brilliance is a result of how much white light it reflects. Its fire refers to how it bends the light spectrum to emit rainbow-like colors while the scintillation is a combination of both. All these contribute to the overall quality of its sparkle.
Common choices include white gold, platinum, yellow gold, and rose gold.
Pro tip: A white metal like white gold and platinum amplifies the brilliance of the diamond engagement ring. The white sheen acts like a mirror, reflecting light from the diamond.
The setting or how the diamond is placed on the ring has a lot to do with the engagement ring’s overall appeal. The most popular center stone settings are prong, bezel, and tension.
- Prong Setting – Prong settings like Tiffany and solitaire feature claws that hold the stone in place.
Pros: Timeless design, enhanced light response
Cons: Prongs can snag on clothes and other fabrics, is harder to clean, and can come loose if not properly crafted.
- Bezel Setting – A bezel setting fully encases the stone with the metal around it.
Pros: Holds the diamond securely, doesn’t snag on clothes
Cons: Less light reflection, partially hides the stone
- Tension Setting – A tension setting holds the diamond by compressing it with the metal part.
Pros: Low maintenance, intriguing, and unique
Cons: More expensive, can loosen, and hard to resize
Other settings like halo, pave, and channel are used for smaller side stones as part of the design of the ring.
Some engagement ring designs can be easily resized, slightly resized, or cannot be resized at all. Ask the jeweler if the engagement ring you’re eyeing is resizable should the wearer lose or gain weight in the future.
8. Warranty and Insurance
Diamond engagement rings should come with a warranty or free extended maintenance period as well as insurance to cover risks like theft, loss, and damage. Check with your seller for peace of mind.
9. Store’s Reputation
Check the jewelry store’s background, clientele, and customer reviews. Make sure to only buy from credible jewelers and retailers. You want your diamond to be authentic, legitimately sourced, and not obtained as conflict diamonds which are known for labor abuse and warfare.
10. Customer Service
Before buying, check if the jewelry store offers custom diamonds rings design services, jewelry maintenance services, delivery services, and other convenient perks.
You now have all the information you need to find and buy the perfect engagement ring for your significant other!
Why Buy From Othergems?
Othergems is a reputable jewelry expert and retailer for engagement rings, wedding bands, and other diamond jewelry pieces. We have been in business for the past 30 years. All our diamonds are responsibly sourced and assessed by our in-house diamond expert.
We can also provide custom designs based on your preferred diamond cut, carat, color, and clarity. You may also choose from the designs on our website.
Contact us and allow us to assist you with your purchase.