It is no longer necessary to buy what is presented to you. Many online retailers allow you to choose a diamond of your ideal specifications, to be made into your perfect ring. Due to the lower overheads many online retailers have, they can often afford to produce these somewhat expensive engagement rings at much lower prices than are available on the high street.
The two most important parts of the ring are the setting and the diamond. The setting will enhance the stone while keeping it secure, and the stone will bring value to the ring. I may give a lot of information about these two factors, but once you start looking at rings all of it will come naturally to you.
The setting is the ring itself. It’s the part that wraps around your finger and keeps the stone secure. These can come in a variety of styles and metals. You can get a large wrap, a tiny band, something with a little flair, a tension setting… it’s almost endless. Go ahead and do a search on the internet for engagement ring settings and you’ll come across a variety of styles to suit almost anyone. Remember to be practical though. A solitaire setting may be what she is looking for, but if she has a very hands on job that can cause the ring to get beat up or snagged, it’s not the most practical as it is a setting that sticks out a bit from the hand. Something more flush with the finger would suit this type of woman better with less chances of getting the ring caught on anything and possibly losing the stone. Consider her activities and job when choosing a setting- the setting is what’s protecting the stone.
There are a variety of metals to choose from when selecting a setting. The most popular are yellow or white gold, but it doesn’t have to stop there. You can choose from sterling silver, stainless steel, tungsten, titanium or platinum. Each have their own properties that can make them suitable for different ring designs. If selecting gold, remember 14K may have more worth, but 10K is a bit more durable. Yellow gold can sometimes give a diamond a yellowish tint, and you’ll see rings where the band is yellow, but the setting of the ring is in white gold. This is to diminish the yellow tint that the stone would otherwise pick up. But rings can still be found completely in yellow or white gold. Again, this is something you’ll have to consider by looking at what she usually wears or looks for in jewelry.
I have already mentioned the 4 C’s already, but this is where I’ll explain them. These will help you ensure that you’re getting a quality diamond regardless of what size and shape you’re looking for. The 4 C’s are clarity, cut, color, and carat. Clarity and color are rated on scales using letters and numbers that you will see on the certificate and on the tag. Cut and color are other factors to look at before you put your money down on a diamond. All these factors are important to determining the value of a diamond.
It is a common mistake to believe that cut refers to the shape of the diamond. What it actually refers to the way that the facets are cut in the diamond. Now, each shape has a “perfect” way that the facets should be cut . What facets do are reflect the light that enters the ring and back out to what the eye sees. The way the angles are cut are a big factor in determining the clarity of the diamond, because it can reflect lots of light and give the diamond it’s ’sparkliness” which is a good cut, or it can be cut too shallow and the diamond can appear to be dead, with no fire or brilliance. If you look for a diamond with a lot of sparkle, it can help you ensure you’re getting a stone with a good clarity rating.
Most diamonds are going to have blemishes or inclusions (or both) that effect it’s clarity. It’s going to be hard to find a perfect diamond at a cheap price, but there are ways to come across and fantastic stone with little or no inclusions visible to the naked eye. A good cut will usually hide some of the inclusions and enhance the clarity of the stone. But you will find stones that are riddled with so many inclusions and blemishes that it appears to be cloudy. If you look for a good cut with lots of sparkles, more than likely you’ll come across a decent clarity rating.
The ratings are: flawless, internally flawless, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, SI2, I1, I2, I3. Those are the highest ratings to the lowest, with flawless being the best (and probably most expensive) diamond and I3 being the worst with lots of inclusions and blemishes. Most places will carry SI1, SI2, I1, I2, and I3 rated stones. These usually have small inclusions that be seen with the naked eye, but in some cases will not interfere with the brilliance or fire (unless it’s an I2 or I3). The VVS1 to the VS2 will have hardly any inclusions that will be visible to the naked eye or you’ll have to use the jeweler’s magnifying glass to see them. These are the higher priced of the bunch. If you stay within the SI range of diamonds, you’ll still get a beautiful stone but for a price that won’t give you a small panic attack.
The color of a diamond is also rated on a lettered scale. But I’m going to spare you and not overload you with more letters to memorize. The color is best checked out of the setting on a plain background. You’re aiming for colorless to near colorless diamond. It’s going to be a clear or blu-ish white. You’ll have to pay a lot of money for a colorless diamond, but near colorless or faint yellow won’t empty your wallet and will still reflect light to give the stone it’s desired sparkle. Just look for a very light yellow to an obvious light yellow tint or even downright cloudy- these are of lower quality and will not reflect much light. There are diamonds of different colors from a canary yellow, reds, blues, champagne, and black. These all have different scales for rating, don’t let a jeweler tell you a white diamond is actually one of these though- these diamonds generally have a far higher price tag.
Carat is the weight of the stone. You can go as tiny as 1/10th of a carat to as big as you’d like. 1 carat is .2 grams (or 200 milligrams). As the weight rises, so will the value and price of the ring. Some people will say that the size does matter, but always, always, always go for quality, not quantity. This is important. You can get a 2 Carat ring, but if it’s cloudy, appears dead, and poorly cut it’s not going to be a very valuable ring. But a tiny stone with a nearly perfect cut, lots of brilliance and shine, and almost no color will get more value and be far more impressive than the big, ugly diamond. Carat is only one factor, and usually the most focused on factor that has led to many poor diamond choices. If Carat weight is important to you, then pick the perfect size and place the other 3 factors around it. If the place you’re at doesn’t have a diamond that fits into the standards you’re looking for, than move to the next place. Don’t compromise because the stone is big, make sure you’re getting a very good stone that can last a lifetime and fulfill her sparkly fantasies.