The big decision of shopping for an engagement ring can be a lot to handle for a first-time shopper. You have specific information to consider before making a final purchase. If you’re not quite sure where to begin, or you need a checklist of the things you must know about diamond rings before shopping for one, we are here to help. Use this list to guide you through your engagement ring shopping.
1. Understand the Value of the 4 C’s
The first piece of information that you need to understand better is the 4 C’s of Diamonds. Here’s a quick breakdown of what they are and how these affect the price of a diamond ring.
- Carat – This is the measurement of the weight of a diamond. The heavier a diamond is, the more expensive it is.
- Cut – This is the way a diamond is shaped. The diamond shapes you can choose from are the Round, Princess, Cushion, Oval, and Pear Shape. The Round cut is often the most popular, and therefore the more expensive cut. The price of a diamond can go down if its shape is wrong.
- Clarity – This refers to the natural flaws of a diamond. The most expensive diamonds are Internally Flawless.
- Color – Diamonds are naturally different hues. A diamond that is colorless is the most expensive. The exception to this is a diamond that has a particularly rare color, such as a very expensive Pink Diamond.
It’s a good idea to get familiar with the 4 C’s of diamonds before you attempt to purchase a diamond ring. The more you know about the 4 C’s, the easier it will be for you to judge a diamond ring’s features and if these are worth the price it is selling for.
2. Know as Much About Diamond Certification as Possible
The one tool that will help you identify the value of a diamond is a diamond’s certification. These are documents that are provided by Gemological Laboratories that validate the specific characteristics of a diamond (its 4 C’s) and confirms its authenticity. Every diamond should come with diamond certification. Without this, you can not confirm if a diamond is real or if it is worth spending your money on.
Diamond Gemological Laboratories for Certification:
- GIA – Gemological Institute of America
- AGS – American Gem Society
- SGL – Solitaire Gem Labs
- DGC – Diamond Gemological Certification
- IGI – International Gemological Institute
- EGL – European Gemological Laboratories
- HRD – International Gemological Institute
- GCAL – Gem Certification & Assurance Lab
- HRD – Diamond High Council
- GSI – Gemological Science International
Any diamond you buy should be certified by any of these 10 gemological laboratories. If you happen to come across a diamond that doesn’t have certification, a vintage ring is a good example, you should request that the seller get this certified before you make your purchase.
What you need to know about diamond certification:
- Every laboratory has its own standard of measuring the 4 C’s of diamonds. For example, one diamond that’s certified by both GIA and AGS will have different descriptions identified by each lab. But it does not mean that any of the two certificates are wrong.
- GIA is the strictest out of all the gemological laboratories. They have the highest standard for diamonds, and therefore, GIA-certified diamonds are also the most expensive on the market.
- You should confirm the authenticity of a diamond certification by sending this to the gemological laboratory that it came from if you are not buying from a reputable seller.
You can confirm the 4 C’s of a diamond by the details written on its certificate. It’s the only way to guarantee that you are buying a real diamond that’s worth its selling price
3. Learn Your Partner’s Ring Size
First thing’s first, before you shop for an engagement ring, it’s best to find out your partner’s ring size is. The process of finding and buying a ring can be a lot on its own. You wouldn’t want to have to go through the process of returning the ring or even proposing, and the ring doesn’t fit her finger.
How to find out what your partner’s ring size is:
- Ask a family member or her best friend to help you find out.
- Get her friend to take her to a mall and try on jewelry for ‘fun’.
- Borrow one of her current rings from her jewelry box and measure this yourself.
If you really can’t find a way to confirm what her ring size is, make sure that you shop at a jewelry store that allows you to return a ring and exchange it for a new size, with no added expense.
4. Know What Your Partner Wants for an Engagement Ring
Another important factor to consider is exactly what type of engagement ring your partner wants. This is a piece of jewelry that she will wear and cherish forever. It’s really important that you buy something that she will absolutely fall in love with the moment she sees it.
Helpful tips to find out what ring design your partner wants:
1. Check the type of rings your partner wears
2. Check how your partner styles her clothes
3. Ask your partner’s closest friends for help
4. Browse your partner’s social media for clues
What you are aiming for is to find out what type of rings you think your partner would love to wear. If she wears minimal pieces of jewelry, and she dresses in a simple way, she will most likely want something that’s minimal for an engagement ring. On the other hand, if she enjoys wearing bring and bold colors, and statement jewelry pieces, she’ll most likely love a ring that makes a statement too.
5. Have a Specific Budget in Mind
The budget is another factor you should be sure about before you go shop for a diamond ring. Engagement rings can vary in price from $500 to $50,000. If you don’t have a budget in mind, you’ll easily get lost within the web of thousands of engagement rings on the internet.
For example, if you aim to spend under $8,000 for an engagement ring, you should focus your search on 2 Carat Engagement Rings.
6. Ask About a Warranty
You’ll be spending a lot of money on a diamond ring. It’s really important that you ask about the warranty provided by a seller. You’d want to guarantee that if something is wrong with your ring, or it gets damaged somehow, you can return it and have it repaired. In most cases, jewelry shops offer great lifetime warranties as they are confident in the quality of their jewelry.
Before committing to any diamond ring, you should first confirm that you have a warranty to fall back on if you ever do need one.
7. Plan to Have Your Ring Insured
With the value of your diamond ring, it’s also advisable to have your ring insured. Diamond jewelry is a magnet for criminal intentions. It is also such a small item that it is easy to lose. Having your ring insured is your own safety net to guarantee that you are covered in the situation that it is lost or stolen.
The good thing about getting your ring insured is that it is pretty straightforward to do. Just ask the jewelry shop to help you. Or, better yet, add this to your current insurance coverage. Jewelry insurance can easily be added to whichever existing insurance you already have.
8. See the Ring in Person
Before you make the big purchase, you would want to see the ring in person. You want to see that you are getting what’s advertised to you. You also want to make sure that it looks beautiful from your perspective. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. A ring may seem imperfect to an expert’s eye, but to you, it might look absolutely flawless.
Upon your final decisions on what ring to buy, it will often come down to one that’s perfect on paper but expensive, and one that has flaws but is affordable. If you see both rings in person, you might just be surprised that they look close to identical as the flaws are not actually visible to the naked eye. This is where you can choose to buy the more affordable choice, without worrying about how it looks in person.
What if I’m shopping online and can’t see the ring in person?
This is a good question. A lot of people shop for their engagement rings online but are not entirely sure of how this looks until they see it in person. You can go around this problem by asking the seller to take a video of the diamond moving around, under a bright light. If possible, request for different lighting conditions. This is because a photo can be deceiving, but a video can give you a better idea of what to expect the diamond to look like in person.
Conclusion: Take Your Time Doing the Research
Don’t rush your decision when you attempt to shop for an engagement ring. Take all of these factors about diamond rings before shopping for one. The more you know, and understand, about diamonds, the easier your choice will be. The goal is to do it right, and not stress yourself out too much with the decisions you have to make. This guide will help you get this done in a way that you will hopefully enjoy, so you should.