How to Choose a Diamond Engagement Ring

Whether you go alone or together, engagement ring buying can be a shopping minefield. How big should you go? Is clarity or color more important? White gold or yellow? This may be the biggest jewelry purchase you have made to date, so it makes sense to call in expert help and build a relationship with a store you trust, because not all engagement rings are found on the first visit. It can take up to three months of shopping around to find the right one, so don't slip a ring onto that finger without reading our four top tips on how to buy a diamond engagement ring.

 

  1. Do your homework

Rows of glittering diamond rings can feel intimidating, but you can avoid overwhelm by preparing your visit. Around half of couples decide to choose the ring together, and your visit to the jeweler's will be much easier if you know what you're aiming for. Take your time and make an inspiration moodboard of the styles and designers you're drawn to so that consultants can show you jewels you will love. If you're going down the traditional route and buying a ring as a surprise for your fiancée, sound out her friends and family, and take along some of her existing jewelry so that we can get a feel for what she wears.

 

  1. Bear in Mind the Four Cs

Carat, cut, color and clarity are the four characteristics used to grade diamonds. Carat weight largely determines price, so you need to decide how important size is to you - a 0.99 carat diamond is likely to cost significantly less than a 1.01 carat diamond, even though there is little difference in size to the naked eye. Cut refers to how the rough stone has been shaped and faceted to reflect the light; round brilliant and princess-cut diamonds are a popular choice for their brilliance, although geometric shapes like cushion and Asscher cuts are gaining ground. Clarity and color are both judged by trained gemologists and while the hue of a stone and whether or not it has inclusions is a personal choice, many couples favor the eternally popular clear white diamond.

 

  1. Think about budget

Gone are the days when spending two months' salary was the rule of thumb, these days how much to invest in an engagement ring is a very personal decision. The average spend in the US for an engagement ring is currently $3,000 - 5,000; price will be determined by the stone itself - the four Cs dictate a diamond's base price - but design factors like the setting, style, choice of precious metal and any other stones used will also come into play, along with the designer or jewelry house. Be clear with the consultant about your budget from the outset so that they can meet your needs.

 

  1. Think about your lifestyle

Of equal importance to the aesthetics of the ring, is how it will be worn. If you play a lot of sport, a high mount or large stone might not be practical to wear every day, but if your lifestyle is more laid-back, you'll probably be safe going all-out on a 2-carat sparkler with a halo setting. Think about your style - yellow and rose gold might be trending but if the rest of your jewelry box is white gold or platinum they might not be the best choice for you. Don't forget also that taste can change over time, one reason that classic engagement rings are so popular is that they work with different styles. Many designers now offer ring jackets, wedding and eternity bands designed around their engagement rings, so that you can be sure that your forever stack will sit perfectly long into the future.

 

Our experts are happy to help demystify the world of engagement rings for you, contact us if you would like an in-person or virtual consultation.