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Things To Look For When Buying A Diamond Engagement Ring

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Planning to buy a diamond engagement ring? Here are 9 things that you should know before you even consider heading into a store or starting your search. 

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#1 R.I.N.G.S. Approach

R - Recon - Make sure to do recon on what your girlfriend loves. Her style. What shape does she like and if you don't know, which shape most represents her? The gold tons she wears. Is she a minimalist, is her style ornate, does she like bigger is better or is less more? Women love surprises but when it comes to the engagement ring it has to be something that is their style since she will be wearing it her entire life.

I - Important to know WHICH of the 5 C's (Color, cut, clarity, carat weight, certification)  is most important to you and your future wife. The most noticeable C's are carat weight and color, so don't overspend on clarity (VVS2/VS1) when you can find an eye clean SI1 or Si2 and put that money toward the size of your diamond.

Certification will impact the price of your stone as well since GIA certified stones are the most accurately graded and reputable but command the highest price, as opposed to EGL or AGS. I always recommend GIA stones, but sometimes you can find a beautiful EGL stone at a lower price.

N - Need top notch resources. With so many options out there, it is hard to know if you are getting ripped off or getting a great deal. Buying online, buying retail, using your friend's jeweler - which will give you the most beautiful ring at a fair price? Buying online is not recommended since those diamonds tend to be lower quality (hence the price) and it isdifficult to compare and choose a stone that has the character you are looking for. Paying retail is not recommended when you can get the exact same GIA certified diamonds and setting craftsmanship with ivy league bench jewelers.

G - Give the ring your special touch. Some unique ways to make her ring more sentimental:

  1. Do a diamond inscription with a phrase or initials that are meaningful to you both.
  2. Add in both of your gemstones on the inner shank of the ring.
  3. Engraving on the engagement band the day you two first met.

This ring will likely be more her style, but you can give it your special touch with one of these sentimental options.

S - Set the ring right. Setting is AS important as the quality of the diamond. Too much metal,  significant gaps (especially on a halo setting), improper diamond angles, oversized halo stones, mismatched side diamonds, or unsightly prongs can make or break the overall beauty and aesthetic of an engagement ring. Never buy a pre-made setting - always have your setting custom made for the stone. This is not only for beauty but for the security and integrity of the ring.

Make sure you are getting your ring set by an ivy league bench jeweler so you both feel pride every time she looks at her breathtaking ring.

Contributors: Michelle Rielly from Miss Diamond Ring

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#3 Set a clear budget

You may have heard how much percent of your salary is supposed to be spent on a diamond ring, but no married couple should start off in debt because of the ring! There are diamond rings at different price points, so set a fair budget and decide what will work best for you.

Contributors: Cory Sarrett from Marion Cage

#5 Carbon Inclusions

When buying a diamond engagement ring be very wary of any diamonds that have carbon inclusions. These black appearing carbon flaws within the diamond are sometimes visible to the naked eye but sometimes require a loupe. Regardless their presence will greatly affect the value down the road if you want to upgrade or sell the ring. Since most of the value is usually in your center diamond the presence of carbon makes the diamond very hard to move on the wholesale market and thus you will receive very low offers for the stone.

Contributors: Paola Brewer from Posh Pawn

#6 Does the stone come with a GIA certificate?

This isn't necessarily something you need if the stone is under 1 carat, but for anything above I would recommend a certificate to accompany the stone so you know you are getting exactly what the seller reports it to be.  There are other companies that provide diamond certificates, but GIA is the most respected.

Contributors: Reyne Haines from ReyneHaines                                                       

#7 Carat

When buying a diamond, every time you move up a carat, the cost increases substantially.  For example:  If you want a 1 carat diamond solitaire, buy a .90 carat instead.  To the naked eye, they will look the same in size, yet you will have saved a good bit of money which you could use on the wedding band or your honeymoon!

Contributors: Reyne Haines from ReyneHaines        

#8 Color

Colored diamonds aren't always more expensive, and can make a truly unique, one of a kind engagement ring. Champagne/cognac diamonds and black diamonds can be quite affordable - fancy yellow/canary are a bit more expensive but stand out!

Contributors: Reyne Haines from ReyneHaines      

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Written by Ben Skute

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