Diamond Engagement Ring Shopping Guide
If anything, you’d consider engagement ring shopping as the best shopping ever done. An engagement ring is a symbol of love, togetherness of the couple. It speaks the sentiments of the couple for each other. And most important, it’s one of the jewelry pieces that women love wearing the most, and flaunting it to their friends and family.
So be aware of what to buy and what not to. There are jewelers waiting to trick you. Just be careful and follow the best advices and instructions mentioned throughout this short handbook. You can take a print and carry it along when you go shopping. What better if you’ve an iPad or a Kindle device with you?
Let’s begin with discussing the first things first in the first chapter. Then move on to the in-depth details of what you’re here to read about. Off we go!
Diamond Engagement Ring shopping – First Things First
Budget - Ring Size - Her Style
Decide on Your Budget
Wondering why we’re talking about the budget in the very first chapter? Because, it’s important and the first step towards successful engagement ring shopping! And everything else that we’re to discuss ahead to some extent depends on the budget.
Earlier there was rule that dictated men to spend their two month’s salary on buying the engagement ring. Alas! It’s not there anymore. But still, men desire to gift their ladies the rings that do not come cheap and are worth thousands of dollars.
However, such spending is not recommended if you’re low on budget. After all, what matters at the end is your love for the lady and vice-versa. So, you’ve the option of cheap diamond engagement ring shopping available to you. Don’t hesitate to reveal the cost because it’s nothing to be afraid of.
In short, the first thing you’re supposed to decide is your budget. Well and good if you can afford an expense ring. But if you can’t, it’s not a reason enough to put off the engagement, is it? There’s this option of purchasing a diamond ring whose diamond can be upgraded anytime later. Check with the jeweler about this option when you are making a purchase.
Calculate the budget precisely. Take a note of other engagement expenses as well. Based on that, buy a beautiful ring that fits the ring finger of your lady and shows your love for her.
Find Out Ring Size
The next vital thing is the ring size. Men often buy rings without knowing size that fits well on their fiancée’s finger. As a result, it either ends up being big or small or in rare cases a perfect fit.
Imagine proposing your girlfriend with a ring and releasing that it is not a perfect fit for her. It would dampen the excitement and spirit of the moment. Therefore, take care of this factor before spending your hard earned money.
How You Can Find Out the Ring Size?
If you’re not planning a surprise, directly ask her about the ring size or ask her to accompany for the shopping. But if it’s a surprise, then you’ll need her friend’s or family’s assistance. Here’s how they can help you out.
- Take a piece of paper and wrap it around her ring finger.
- Mark the meeting point of the paper with a pencil/pen and then cut it accordingly.
Ask her friend or family to do this when she is asleep. Or instead, they can simply provide you any other ring of hers which is a perfect fit.
Apart from that, there’s another thing that needs attention when you’re shopping online. Sizes differ from country to country – America and Canada has a different size chart, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and similarly UK, Europe and Australia. Thus, consider the country where you’re buying from.
Know Her Style
Before we move onto something else, one other thing of great importance needs to be discussed i.e. to know her style and preference. Bringing jewelry piece that she loves to wear would add to the happiness and delight.
It would apparently make a big difference if the ring band, the diamond, the design, and everything else are of her preferred style. Talk to your ladylove without giving her a hint of what you’re planning. Know her style, preference, what she loves, and what she doesn’t so to avoid gaffe.
Market Research for Engagement Ring Shopping
The Pricing – The Design – The Ring Band Options
Diamond and its 4Cs – Online Shopping Dos and Don’ts
Difference between Readymade and Custom-made Rings
Shopping for engagement rings requires market research to a good extent. But, not many know what factors to cover in their research. For that reason, some important aspects of covered ahead in this report. Have a careful read.
Research the Pricing
Engagement ring prices are ever varying. Every other store you visit, the pricing is different. It’s not because the stores have a high profit margin, but because of the quality of jewelry they sell. Therefore, while shopping around for the blissful occasion called engagement, it’s always advisable to check the pricing.
Generally, an engagement ring price is summed up based on the following – the metal used for the band, the diamond pricing, the design, the guarantee, and of course the store you buy from. So, compare and contrast the prices of the same type of engagement jewelry at multiple store and purchase from the best store.
While you’re out researching the diamond jewelry pricing, also check the pricing for cheap engagement rings. You may find some good options to go with.
How much Does Diamond Engagement Rings Cost?
On an average a diamond engagement ring shopping would cost anywhere between $300 and $5000 or more. It depends on the budget, the ring size, and the style (as discussed in the first chapter), and other such factors.
Find the Best Design
Diamond jewelry market is flooded with many ring designs. You’ll find a new design in every other store. But the most common ones are listed below. They’re good and also can be considered for the blissful event.
Solitaire Engagement Rings
Ethnic Engagement Rings
Contemporary Engagement Rings
Figure Out the Ring Band Options
Finalizing the engagement ring shopping requires you to decide on some significant things. The choice of the metal and its quality, the color in case of selecting between yellow gold or white gold, the space to embed diamonds, etc.
Once you’re aware of these things, you can shop for the engagement ring bands anytime. However, ensure that it matches other jewelry pieces that the lady wears. And it’s a perfect fit for her.
Considering the different engagement ring shopping options in the market, it is also wise to know about diamonds and their setting i.e. the 4Cs of diamonds.
Diamond and Its 4Cs
Image Credit: Yoursmoment.blogspot.com
Diamond selection remains a critical aspect of buying diamond jewelry. With so many diamond options emerging day by day, it’s always a tough decision to make. However, the 4Cs of diamonds come to the rescue. The 4Cs are namely – cut, clarity, color, and carat.
The 4Cs will definitely help you make a decision. So, here’s a brief on all the Cs one by one:
Cut: One of the 4Cs of diamonds, cut helps in determining the quality of the diamond. There are different types of diamond cuts and their grades. Research about the following to find out which is the best for you:
- Cushion Cut
- Emerald Cut
- Heart Cut
- Princess Cut
- Asscher Cut
- Marquise Cut
- Oval Cut
- Round Brilliant Cut
- Pear Cut
All these different cuts have their own significance. They contribute to the beauty of the diamond and also of the ring they’re embedded on.
Clarity: This C has more to do with the flawlessness of the diamonds. Clarity is determined the number of flaws and inclusions in it. By inclusions we mean, air bubbles, cracks, or anything else within the diamond.
To identify the clarity of gemstones, Gemological Institute of America has created a grading system. According to which, there are 6 grades to identify the clarity. Those six grades are as follows:
- Flawless (FL)
- Internally Flawless (IF)
- Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1) and (VVS2)
- Very Slightly Included (VS1) and (VS2)
- Slightly Included (SI1) and (SI2)
- Included (I1), (I2) and (I3)
Flawless diamonds are the most expensive ones. And you go down the list below Flawless, the diamond quality and pricing comes down as well.
Color: Colorless diamonds are of the highest quality. There is also a grading system to analyze the color of the diamond. Based on that, following grades are given to the gemstones:
Colorless: As per the grading system, D, E, and F are considered as the colorless diamonds.
Near Color: They are denoted with G, H, I, and J. Diamonds with these grades are slightly low-end compared to colorless.
Faint Yellow: K, L, and M determine that the diamonds are in faint yellow color. They are also a good choice for the engagement rings.
Very Light Yellow: Then comes “Very Light Yellow,” denoted by the letters N, O, P, Q, and R.
Light Yellow: S to Z letters are used to determine the “light yellow” color of the diamond.
The colorless the diamond, the more value it holds. Depending upon the budget, you can make a decision as to what color you’d want to buy.
Carat Weight: Don’t mistake carat (mass) of gemstones and pearls as carat (purity) of gold. They two are different things altogether. Carat is to measure the weight of the gemstones and is abbreviated as CD.
Acquire knowledge on this 4th C i.e. Carat before you finalize anything for your diamond engagement ring shopping. When you visit stores, you can take a look at all type of diamonds and figure out the difference between them.
Online Jewelry Shopping Dos and Don’ts
Shopping from online stores require extra care from the buyer’s side. Internet is flooded with both genuine and fake diamond jewelry sites. One has to be cautious while choosing a online diamond jeweler.
There are some dos and don’ts of jewelry shopping on the web. They are stated below:
Dos of Engagement Ring Shopping
- Shop only from established and legitimate stores
- Use secure payment options such as PayPal
- Read customer reviews and testimonials about the company and its services.
- Know the final cost of purchase before order the jewelry. This means to see if the cost includes taxes, delivery charges, etc as well or not.
Don’ts of Engagement Ring Shopping
- Don’t enter your financial information with knowing the background of the company.
- Don’t buy if the physical address and contact details are not furnished on the website.
- Don’t buy unless you’ve read the return and cancellation policy of the company.
The list of do’s and don’ts is endless. We listed the key points for your assistance. Do refer these points when buying diamond engagement rings online.
Difference Between Readymade and Custom-made Rings
Readymade rings are those that are readily available with a fixed price tag on both online and offline stores. Whereas, custom made rings are, of course, made on order and the price vary based on the material when chooses.
You don’t have any alteration options for the engagement ring shopping, whereas you have a choice to have the ring of your choice.
Not finding a proper ring can be disappointing. But with custom rings you have the design of your choice and of course a perfect fit.
Buy Engagement Ring of your Choice
Choose a Ring Band – Select a Design
Consider 4Cs, Pick the Diamond of Your Choice – Buy the Ring
After ample research and analysis, it’s time for decision making. Here’s what all you’ve to decide:
Choose a Ring Band
Go back to your research papers (if you’ve written down the ring band options you discovered) and finalize a decision. This is the first decision that you’ve to make in order to end up with the perfect diamond engagement ring shopping.
Select a Design
We’ve listed a few designs for you in the second chapter. You can select either select one of them or look for other options. However, do make a quick decision and buy an engagement ring to surprise your ladylove.
Consider 4Cs, Pick the Diamond
Understand the 4Cs and pick a beautiful diamond for the ring (if you’re opting for a custom-made ring). Usually cut is the most important thing followed by the type of diamond. For example: You can pick princess-cut emerald or round-cut emerald or something that excites you and matches the style of your girlfriend.
Even for a readymade diamond engagement ring shopping, you’ll have to focus on the 4Cs and the type of diamond; because, it impacts the price to a great level.
Buy the Ring
Finally, after deciding on everything, buy the ring of your choice. Present it to your lady and capture her excitement on seeing it.
Alternative to Diamond Engagement Rings
Pendants – Earrings – Bracelets – Loose Diamonds
While diamond engagement rings continue to be the finest choice for engagements, there are other jewelry pieces that are not far behind. Market is slowly evolving as people demand for different jewelry items for the special days of their life- engagement, wedding, etc.
Pendants – Nevertheless, pendants are the next best choice for engagements. They are beautiful jewelry pieces that are worn along with a gold or platinum chain. Moreover, they are a perfect match for jewelry such as earrings, bracelets, wedding sets, etc. For choosing pendants, you’ve the following options:
Journey Pendants – Journey pendants represent the journey of love of the couple. It shows the distance travelled with your special someone.
Heart Pendants – Heart shape has been associated with love for long now. And heart pendants truly resemble the love and romance. They’re in demand always special for engagement, wedding, anniversary, valentine day, etc.
Solitaire Pendants – These pendants have a single diamond and simple settings. Jewelers offer the buyers of this pendant an option to buy the pendant without diamond as well. So that they embed the diamond of their choice.
Bracelets – Bracelets surely add beauty to the hand of the wearer. Like every jewelry piece signifies a meaning, bracelets signify the celebrations on special events. A good quality bracelet can make her feel cherished and loved on that day. You can buy either of the following:
Earrings – Diamond earrings is one trendy option which you can go for. It is a luxurious and a timeless jewelry piece that can a women wear throughout her life. For buying diamond earrings, you have two options.
Three Stone earrings have three diamonds embedded in them. While the two diamonds on each side are smaller in size, the one in the middle is bigger. However, the size and arrangement of diamonds differ for every design.
In stud earrings, only one diamond is embedded on each earring. The diamond can either be a princess cut, emerald cut, round cut, or any other cut as per the buyer’s choice.
Loose Diamonds – The line “diamonds are women’s best friend” has been heard and read time and again, because it’s very much. Rather than complicating on what jewelry to buy on engagement, you can also gift her with loose diamonds.
Gifting loose diamonds allows her to use them in whatever jewelry she wants to wear. She may either embed the diamonds in any of her favorite jewelry or keep them as it is as a symbol of love and affection.
Surprise Chapter – Tips to Plan a Surprise Engagement Party
Glad that your relationship came this long. Finally, you’re now all set to be engaged and also be married soon. Have you planned a surprise engagement? If no, then it’s time you plan something that’s surprising, unique, and of course safe at the same time.
Get a Surprise Idea – Ideas don’t come easy. A lot of people get inspired by others and follow the old methods of proposing their girlfriend. But if you’re planning a surprise, do brainstorming and come up with good ideas. Take assistance from your family and friends. Watch YouTube, read stories, and think of unique ways.
Plan Well – Whatever your idea of the surprise is, plan well before executing it. There’s this line which I read the other day, “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” This is exactly the same in case of surprise engagements. Ensure that everything is perfect.
Buy the ring of her choice. Your surprise should be pleasant. It shouldn’t be such that it scares the hell out of her. Instead, she should fall in love with you more than ever before after the surprise.
Select a Date, Location – Planning involves selection of date and location as well. Select the place that she loves to visit. And pick a date on which she is free and willing to accompany to the place of surprise.
Make a List of Invitees – Prepare a list of invitees for the engagement. Contact them and personally invite them for the occasion. However, ask them to keep it a secret and not to reveal the information your ladylove.
Execute the Idea – Finally, it’s time for executing the idea. Execute it perfectly. See to it that nothing goes wrong.
Capture the Moment, Make it Memorable – Capture the moment when you gift engagement ring to her on a camera. So that the memories remain intact even after years.
Thank you for reading this guide. Hope it helps you in your engagement ring shopping. You can leave your comments and suggestion in the comment box below.