Engagement Ring Shopping Guide

With the many choices available, jewellery shopping can be overwhelming, especially if it’s for an occasion as special as a marriage proposal. But, if you keep your eyes on the essentials of high quality jewellery, then you’ll find engagement ring shopping as a rewarding experience. 

So, what should one look for in order to buy the perfect engagement ring?

1. Quality

Foremost in your list of priorities is finding top quality centre stones, whether it’s a diamond or a fancy precious gemstone. Unlike ring settings which can be altered in the future, centre stones carry a more sentimental value, especially when it comes to engagement and wedding rings. As heirloom jewellery can be passed on to your children and grandchildren, the ring settings can be changed to better suit the wearers but the same centre stone is passed on to future generations of your family. 

The quality of a finished diamond is assessed using four important factors, namely clarity, colour, cut, and carat weight. The same are used to determine the quality of gemstones since no universally accepted grading system exists for gems. The value of a finished diamond and gemstone is based on and influenced by the unique combinations of these characteristics. 

silver ring with solitaire diamond

Image Source: Unsplash

Hence, when shopping for an engagement ring, make sure you are smart about it. Familiarise yourself with the 4Cs of diamond (or gemstone) quality so that you know which factors to prioritise and which characteristics you can be flexible with. 

For example, Diamonds.co.nz has fancy colour diamonds to fit any woman’s taste. In case you have to limit your choices, you can opt for a diamond with a low colour grade that still looks colourless to the naked eye, like an I to K colour grade for yellow gold. There is a significant difference in the price of a D colour and a J colour diamond, but both will look just as amazing once set in a ring.

2. Value

A precious stone’s value is often affected by the rarity of one or more of the 4Cs. In essence, the value of a precious stone is highly related to its rarity. Let’s take colour, for example. Colourless diamonds are very rare as most diamonds contain tints of yellow or brown, which means that the colourless diamonds have higher ratings on the colour grading scale compared to one that may appear slightly yellow. In turn, the colourless diamonds are more valuable than slight tinted gems. 

silver-colored solitaire ring

Image Source: Unsplash

The same relationship between value and rarity exists for the other factors of clarity, cut, and carat weight. A pro tip when looking to get the best value for diamond carats is to buy one that is slightly shy of the weight you want. If, for example, you want a 1-carat diamond, then what you should do is shop for a 0.90- to 0.99-ct. The price will drop significantly, but it will still look as large and you won’t have to sacrifice its sparkle. So, visually, it’s the same stone, but financially, you’ve already saved a lot.

Plus, to ensure that you are getting both value and quality, especially for diamonds that are one carat or larger, ask for a diamond-grading report issued by an independent gemological association.

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3. Your Significant Other 

On top of everything, make sure you consider your future fiancée when you buy her an engagement ring. And it’s not just because you need to know her ring size. The ring setting, the metal used for the band, and other ring details you will decide on will be greatly influenced by your significant other – her personality, her lifestyle, your love story. 

The above tips should guide you in getting your beloved that perfect engagement ring.

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© Sayeri Bhattacharya
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