An engagement decision is a huge decision, and likely to be quite a costly one. So before you go ahead and purchase a ring and pop the question, it’s critical to determine that the ring you buy is of high quality, and worth the price you’re paying.
Here’s 5 things to check in order to find the perfect engagement ring.
1. Once you’ve decided on the carat (size or weight) of the diamond you want in your engagement ring, you’ll need to determine the ideal cut for the diamond. The cut of a diamond impacts its brilliance, shine, and glow. A badly cut diamond can look dull and without life. For an engagement ring – certainly a show piece – a round brilliant diamond cut is ideal, with a cut grade of very good, ideal, or super ideal. This type of cut is easy to assess and grade as it is formally assessed by independent diamond laboratories. For other diamond shapes, the cut is much more subjective.
2. Another main characteristic to decide is the color of your diamond. While diamonds exist in a range of colors, the most typical and traditional diamond for an engagement ring is a colorless or white diamond. When selecting a grade, you’d likely want to choose a center diamond within the F-H color range.
3. You’ll also want to determine the clarity of the diamond, which refers to the degree of visible inclusions in the diamond you choose. It’s important to know that some diamonds graded “SI2” or “SI1” do have visible inclusions. The “VS2” or “SI1” clarity grades are typically ideal for a diamond of an engagement ring. If clarity is of extreme importance to you, consider going as high as the “IF” or the “VVS” clarity grades.
4. After determining all the values of carat, cut, color, and clarity, there’s one more thing you’ll need to check to determine that you’re choosing the perfect diamond. Make sure you look at the stone in different lighting conditions. Jewelry stores typically use white spotlighting, which brings out a diamond’s brilliance so that it looks brighter and more dazzling. You’ll want to see however, how the diamond looks in more everyday conditions. See if you’re able to look at the diamond in the outdoors, or in more typical indoor lighting to get a sense of how it will actually look in day to day life.
5. Once you’ve selected the perfect diamond, you may think your work is all done – but don’t forget to consider the band on which the diamond is set. Traditionally, engagement rings have popularly been made from yellow gold or white gold. Rose gold has also become increasingly popular in recent years.
Whichever type of gold you decide to set your diamond in, make sure you test the quality of gold. Karat is the term used to state gold’s purity, which is based on 24 parts. Gold that is 75% pure—18K gold—is 18 parts gold and six parts of other metals to create an alloy. It’s important to note that a higher karat gold will have a more intense color, be heavier, and more costly. It will unfortunately also be softer and more liable to dents and scratches. Here’s a handy gold karat chart that shows what you should look for.
6. Once you’ve decided on the diamond and the band, there’s one last thing you need to check: that the ring will properly fit on your beloved’s finger! This can be a bit tricky, particularly as you don’t want to give away the surprise. It’s a bit trickier than simply “borrowing” one of her rings to recreate the fitting, as it’s very likely she does not wear a ring on the traditional ring finger. One way to do it is to measure the right finger with a piece of string while she’s asleep. If you’re still unsure, go for a slightly larger band that can be resized later