An exciting part of getting married, is sharing your proposal story and wedding plans with all of your closest friends and family. As soon as the word is out that you are engaged, people are going to want to see that ring of yours!! Guys, if you have met your match and are planning on popping the question please take a few minutes to learn the basics about diamonds. This is going to help you be a more educated customer when you are in a jewelry store, and it may help ensure that you do not make a bad investment.
Tons of couples plan their weddings together every step of the way, starting with the engagement ring! Every couple is different, and you may choose leave everything as a surprise, discuss styles & brands but keep the ring itself a surprise, go ring shopping together but the groom makes the final decision, or you may purchase the ring together. Whatever the case, it is still a good idea to understand what it is that you are paying for when it comes to color and clarity of the stone(s).
First of all, lets look over some of the various styles/cuts of diamonds because they are each very different. We will also show different ring settings, to show each cut of diamond with accents and enhancer bands. Some people are drawn to certain diamond shapes more than others, and some would prefer a solitaire setting vs. a three stone setting.
If you see the shape that you like, lets move on to the color and clarity charts. These charts serve as a grading system for diamonds, which helps the consumer be more confident that they are buying quality merchandise.
The first chart is a Color Grading Chart which shows the range of colors of natural diamonds. Diamonds that are in the D-F range are colorless stones, G-J are near colorless and so on. You may not be able to see the difference of color until you start looking at stones from K - R, and stones in the range of S - Z will have a more noticeably yellow tint.
The Clarity Chart grades a diamond by the amount of imperfections in the stone, both visible by an eye-glass or the naked eye. Diamonds that are in the FL-IF range are going to be more expensive because they have little to no visible imperfections in the stone. On the opposite end of the spectrum are stones that fall into the I1-I3 range which will have imperfections visible to the naked eye.
There are a lot of online resources for diamonds, each claiming to have the best price on diamonds. Beware, because many of the photos they use online are not actual pictures of the diamond that you are interested in purchasing. So make sure no matter where you are planning on shopping for your diamond jewelry, that you ask for the certificate for the stone. If you are buying it private party (online, classified ads, or a pawn shop) ask to have the diamond appraised.
If you have found the diamond that you know she will love, the next step is to choose which setting you like. Solitaires are very popular engagement rings, but there are a lot of other beautiful settings to take your time. Below are examples of round diamonds, in various settings. First we have a round diamond solitaire, second is a round cut diamond with smaller pave-set diamonds on the side, third is a three-stone round cut diamond ring, and last is an enhancer band, that can be added to a solitaire to create a three-stone look. Remember the options are endless!
These next rings are from some of the top bridal jewelers, 1. Tacori Emerald Cut Engagement Ring, 2. Ritani Asscher Cut Engagement ring with pave cut diamonds, 3. Verragio Venetian Collection brilliant round cut diamond ring with halo, and pave split-shank band.
Blue Nile has a great website with a design tool, which allows you to build your own ring! Choose the cut, color & clarity of the diamond in your desired price range, and then choose from different settings to complete your ring. This is a great tool, because it allows you to narrow down what you like, without having to walk into a jewelry store with the pressure to buy. Check out Blue Nile's website here.
We would like to also point out that you don't have to stick with traditional diamond engagement rings, there are gorgeous canary diamonds, pink diamonds, sapphires and other natural gems. Celebrities like Heidi Klum, Paris Hilton and Jennifer Lopez have been spotted wearing canary diamond rings, Mariah Carey, Tara Reid and many other celebrities have flashed some of their pink diamond engagement rings. Kate Middleton's engagement ring is an 18 carat blue sapphire and diamond ring, which was the same ring that Prince Williams Father gave to the late Princess Diana.
We hope this is a helpful tool for you to use when preparing to purchase an engagement ring, or any piece of jewelry in the future. For local jewelers, click here to be directed to our directory. If you still have questions, just Ask The 530 Bride!