HOW TO BUY AN ENGAGEMENT RING
The perfect wedding proposal will require tremendous effort and preparation. Everyone wants to buy the perfect engagement ring that will bring a sparkle to their eyes and make them say yes over and over again. However for most people, the process is never an easy one – especially for people who has little experience with and knowledge of diamonds and jewellery.
There’s no need to worry though, as this guide with help overcome the challenges most people face by providing you with all the necessary information you will need in order to find and buy the perfect engagement ring for your special partner.
Set a Budget
The first step in buying an engagement ring is establishing your budget or price range. Informing your jeweller how much you’re willing to spend on an engagement ring will help them search and select the best valued diamonds on the market that match your price range. Having 5-10% flexibility can sometimes gain you much better value for money.
There are certain misconceptions about how much a man should spend on an engagement ring, one of which is that a decent ring should cost you at least two to three months of your salary. This is simply not true, I advise only spending what you can afford.
Many proposals get delayed because the man can’t afford to buy an expensive ring. The price tag attached to an engagement ring should not be important; it is the love and care you hold for the partner you want to marry. You wouldn’t want to go broke or worse be in debt because of a ring – and your future partner wouldn’t want that, too. Besides, you can always buy a better and more expensive ring for her in the future as an anniversary gift.
Determine Her Ring Size
One of the most memorable part of a wedding proposal is when you get down on your knees and slip the engagement ring on your fiancé’s finger. In many instances, this can be an awkward moment if the ring is either too large or too small for his fiancé. To ensure that you don’t ruin the moment, make an effort to know your girlfriend’s ring size.
There are different ways to find out your girlfriend’s ring size without dropping her a hint.
For one, you can get one of her rings from her jewellery box and bring it to the jeweller. Sizing a ring shouldn’t take long, and you’ll be able to put it back in place before she notices that it’s missing.
Second, you can conspire with one of her female friends or sister (or any female family member) and ask them to borrow a ring from your girlfriend. Come up with a convincing reason (i.e. ‘I’m attending a party and need your ring to complete my attire) so your girlfriend doesn’t get suspicious.
Make sure that the ring you or your accomplice ‘swipes’ is something that she still wears– it would be pointless to get your hand on a ring she wore during her high school or college days as it may no longer fit.
Know Her Style
It is your investment, however a special ring that they will wear for the rest of their life. Make sure that you choose a style that your partner will truly love. One way that you can do this is by making sure that the ring you buy for her complements her sense of style.
It sometimes happens that despite the years a man and a woman has spent together, the man still has a very vague knowledge about the woman’s jewellery styles. If you find yourself in such a predicament, you can take photos of the items in her jewellery box to show your jeweller. As you do, ask yourself the following questions:
· Does she have more gold than silver in her jewellery box or vice versa? This should give you an idea of her preferences with regards to precious metals.
· Is her jewellery collection leaning towards more simple yet elegant styles, or are they more complex sparkling pieces?
If your girlfriend’s jewellery box doesn’t give you enough information, you can always ask a close friend or family member for some help. Aside from having a good understanding of your girlfriend’s fashion sense, they may also have an idea about the style of the engagement ring that your girlfriend would like.
If you’re done with all these, then you’re pretty much ready to visit a jewellery store.
Finding the Perfect Engagement Ring
For most people, entering a jewellery store and buying a ring can be daunting. It can be confusing having to decipher terms like ‘carat’ and ‘setting’ and others, which is why you’ll want to do a little research and read up on diamonds and engagement rings first. To make it easier for you, here is a quick yet comprehensive guide about what you should be considering in a diamond engagement ring.
The mount or the ring’s metal frame is usually made from different precious metals. However, the most common of them would be gold and platinum, and each of these has their own pros and cons.
Gold rings are the more traditional option however can come in other colours rose gold and white gold. They are a little easier to polish and clean, and due diligence will keep them shiny and looking like new all the time. The main issue with gold though is that it is a soft metal and will easily wear out. A great benefit of Gold is has flexibility and is less likely to dent.
Platinum on the other hand, is the more modern choice and is perfect for people who prefer white metal jewellery. It is a very durable metal and will not wear away however can dent easily. The main benifit is that it less likely that you will need to have it re-shanked like gold, another great benefit is Platinum is naturally a white metal so as it wears it will keep its white appearance.
The Diamond Quality
When purchasing a GIA diamond, quality is gauged according to the ‘Four Cs’ – Cut, Colour, Clarity, and Carat.
· Cut – ‘Cut’ does not refer to the shape of the diamond. Instead, it refers to the angles and proportions of the diamond. The cut is considered the most important as it affects the light interaction with the stone and creates the brilliance and sparkle the diamond emits. A diamond which is cut too deep or too shallow will loss light refraction and lack sparkle
· Colour – Unknown to many, diamonds come in different colours and are judged in a scale of D to Z. White stones are grading according to there lack of colour D grade diamonds are completely colourless, while Z grade refers to light yellow diamonds. The less colour in the stone the more expensive, unless you are purchasing a coloured diamond. Most people will be able to detect colour at H/I colour. I would personally advise an H + colour.
· Clarity– This refers to the imperfections of the diamond, most diamonds have imperfections, which are called ‘inclusions.’ These inclusions refer to the minerals in the diamond as well the fractures in the stone. The fewer the inclusions, the more expensive the diamond becomes. Clarity is graded on its own scale –‘FL’ (flawless) ‘VVS’ (very, very slightly included), ‘VS’ (very slightly included), ‘SI’ (slightly included) to ‘I’ (included). Si1 diamond is the borderline diamond to the naked eye; the top 10-20 % are 100% eye where the others are not. I would personally advise SI1 +
· Carat– Carat refers to the weight of the diamond, there are 100 points in 1 Ct. The heavier the diamond, the more expensive it will be. Increasing the diamond weight does not necessary mean that the diamond will appear larger. It is possible to purchase a 95pt diamond that appears the same size as a 1Ct diamond. I personally advise sourcing stones on the spread visual appearance of the stone rather than diamond weight alone.
The Diamond Shape
The diamond’s shape will be a matter of taste; there is no right or wrong answer. You will need to know your partners style. There are 9 main shapes however there are variations of each.
Round Brilliant Cut Diamond, Princess Cut Diamond, Pear shape Diamond, Oval cut Diamond, Heart shape Diamond, Cushion Cut Diamond, Marquise Shape Diamond, Asscher Cut Diamond, Emerald Cut Diamond, Radiant Cut Diamond