Buying a diamond engagement ring can seem like a daunting task. Not only will you have to say farewell to a sizeable amount of money, you also face the challenge of choosing the right ring to symbolise your relationship and commitment to your partner. For something so small, an engagement ring can cause a lot of unnecessary stress and worry. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that difficult. Simply by following a few simple tips, you can walk out of your jewellers with the right ring for you – without agonizing in the process.
Firstly, familiarize yourself with what it is you are thinking of buying. A diamond is not only the world’s hardest natural substance; some diamonds can even be up to three billion years old. Their rarity, hardness and sparkle are what you are paying for, and it’s worth thinking carefully about the quality of the diamond you’ll invest in.
The Basic Cs
The best way to go is to think about the ‘Four Cs’; cut, colour, clarity and carat. Colour is the simplest to identify. The closer a diamond gets to colourless, the more valuable it becomes. Of course, an absolutely colourless diamond will be extremely expensive, and out of the average price range. But make sure to factor in colour into your consideration, and try to find the most brilliant diamond within your budget. Don’t make the mistake of confusing colour for clarity however. Almost every diamond includes tiny clouds that are usually invisible to the naked eye. Don’t get too worried about this – you can always ask your jeweller to tell you what “flaws” the diamonds you consider contain, but remember that these can be considered unique as well.
Most people are concerned predominantly with carat, which measure the size and weight of the diamond – and thus dictates the price. The average engagement ring is typically anywhere from half a carat to a whole carat. Some are bigger, and more expensive, and some are smaller and less expensive. Don’t let averages dictate your purchase nor make the mistake of thinking the size of a diamond represents the size of your love. Whether big or small, every diamond is unique, and only one will be the diamond you can and choose to give your partner. Just be sure to get a sense of how much you should be paying for the carat size you can afford. Finally, the cut is essentially the human aspect of the diamond, and depends on you and your partner’s personal tastes. Be aware, the diamonds have all been unnaturally cut, which means you may have to be wary of mistakes. Cut also means shape. Just like a wedding dress, engagement diamonds come in all shapes and sizes, all with their own names; from the simple round cut, through to the princess, emerald and heart shapes. This is an important buy, and one you’ll make only once. It’s worth taking the time to consider each and every shape and ask your jeweller to show you examples of each. That way, you can narrow down your options by discovering the shapes you like, and discarding those you don’t.
Remember to talk to your jeweller as you think your decision through. Your engagement is unique, and every jeweller is equipped to help in the process of matching every individual to the best diamond for them. Talk to your jeweller, tell them what you are thinking and consider their advice – they’ve seen plenty of people buying diamonds and they know how stressful it can be! For the more cautious customer, most jewellers over the option of having your diamond certified, for a fee, to ensure that you get the diamond you have paid for.
The Personal Touch
Don’t get carried away when buying a diamond. Of course, it’s your money that you are spending, and you should spend however much you can afford to spend. But never lose sight of the fact that the diamond you are looking at is not for you, but for your partner. It is about the type of ring they would want to receive, even more than the type of ring you want to give them. If you find yourself struggling to think what kind of ring your partner might like, or worried about whether or not the ring you’ve already chosen is their taste, the best thing to do is to think about the kind of jewellery they already own. Do they tend to prefer modest, simple pieces of jewellery? Or do they opt for the more noticeable, statement pieces? Has your partner ever expressed any distaste for modern jewellery or more traditional jewellery? Does your partner opt more for gold pieces, or other metals?
It never hurts to ask and involve them in the process, and doing so could save you a lot of unnecessary worry. If you’re after a complete surprise and don’t trust yourself to give the game away, consider asking friends and family who may have a clearer idea of the kind of ring your partner would like best. At the end of the day though, the choice is yours. Don’t get overwhelmed in the process, and take your time with it. Whatever you choose in the end will be product of a lot of thought, time and care.