Purchasing an Engagement Ring is Tricky Business. Most Guys have very little Knowledge when it comes to Diamonds, Styles, Quality or Prices.
So I’m here to HELP!
I’ve put together 10 Tips that any Guy Shopping for “THE RING” should know. Things that can Help them Buy the Right Ring at the Right Price, and NOT get Ripped off!
So without further adieu, let’s Begin…
1) SI1 or Higher
I can’t stress enough how much I recommend Buying SI1 Clarity or Higher.
Any Diamond SI1 (or up) does have Small Inclusions in it, but these Flaws are MICROSCOPIC ONLY! (That’s Important!) It means that you CAN’T see them with the naked eye. You’ll have to use a 10x Microscope to see the Pin Points, Lines, Clouds, and Spots inside the Stone. (And I Highly Advise you to Microscope ANY and ALL Diamonds and Rings that you Purchase!)
Anything LOWER than SI1 (like SI2, I1, I2, and I3) WILL have Eye-Visible Flaws and some of these Flaws will be really BIG, really OBVIOUS, and even UGLY EYE SORES!
“Hey, there’s a Black Spot in my Diamond!“
Yeah… You DON’T want that! So stick with SI1 or Higher, and she won’t be seeing Spots before her eyes!
2) Fancy Cuts are CHEAPER!
You read that right… If you want a Diamond that Faces up BIGGER, but also Saves you MONEY, then Skip the “Round” Diamonds, and choose a Fancy Cut.
Fancy Cut Diamonds are every other Shape of Stone other than the Round: Princess, Radiant, Marquise, Oval, Cushion, Pear, Trilliant, Heart…
They are Generally 20% CHEAPER then the Exact Same Quality as a Round Brilliant Cut Diamond. It really can SAVE you Hundreds and THOUSANDS of Dollars!
See… Being Square is GOOD! :)
3) Keep it SIMPLE!
Most Women Prefer a Simple Ring. Something Sparkly and Cute that’s Not too Thick, Heavy, or Gaudy. A Pretty Little Ring that shows off a Diamond as a Masterpiece!
Simple is Better!
And one of the most Popular Engagement Ring Styles there is on the market, is the Tiffany Style Band that’s Plain, Thin, Smooth, and holds a Solitaire Stone Extremely Well (see Image of Rings above).
It’s usually the Cheapest Mounting you can Buy as well!
So if you don’t know her Style, or what she Likes, then pick a Solitaire Mounting, and she’ll be Happy as Pie.
And, while we’re talking about Mountings, do note what the Prongs look like. When you’re Buying a Diamond that has Square Edges, or Points, like the Princess Cut, Marquise Cut, and so forth, then Request V-Tipped Prongs versus Rounded Prongs.
V-Tips look GREAT, they give the Diamond that Nice Pointy Look, and they Help Protect the Vulnerable Edges and Tips.
V-Tips all the Way Baby! :)
4) Excellent Cut = Excellent Sparkle
The one reason why Diamonds are used as Engagement Rings is this: They are the Most Durable Natural Gemstone on the face of the Earth, AND… When Cut Properly, they will out Shine just about any Stone out there. And the Better the Cut, the MORE the Diamond will Sparkle! It’s as Easy as that!
Sparkle is GOOD!
You WANT the Stone to BLING like a Thousand Stars in the Sky. You WANT her eyes to Light up. You WANT it to Dance in the Moonlight…
And to achieve Excellent Sparkle, Fire and Life, then you NEED a Diamond that’s CUT to Excellent Proportions.
The Highest Rating a Diamond can get, is what they call “Triple Excellence“.
Triple Excellence means that the Diamond has “Excellent” Grades in these 3 areas: Cut, Polish, and Symmetry.
ALL 3, with Excellent Grades (As Graded by GIA) equals the Most Kick Ass Stone you can imagine. One that will Knock her Socks off!
Don’t Dismiss CUT… It’s CRUCIAL to Sparkly and Beauty!
5) 1.00 CTW
Most Women know what they want. And most want what they call “The Dream Carat Weight“, which is One Full Carat, 1.00 CT (or 100 Points).
But let’s face it, One Carat Diamonds are EXPENSIVE! (usually around $6,000 – $9,000)
You CAN still get her that One Carat Diamond Ring, AND SAVE SOME MONEY… IF you Break up the Carat Weight into Smaller Stones. So instead of Buying “One” Single Stone, buy 3, 8, 12, or however many Diamonds instead.
Buy her a Ring that has Multiple Diamonds that ADD up and TOTAL One Carat Instead!
She’ll still get her “One Carat“, and you can say “Hey Honey, it’s One Carat“, but it’s the Combined Weight. It WORKS! (Sneaky YOU!)
See the Example Below…
What a Big Difference in Price, eh?
6) GIA Certified
If your’e Buying a Single Solitaire Stone, then make sure it’s GIA Certified.
GIA IS the BEST in the Industry. They literally WROTE the 4C’s which everyone uses to Grade, Classify, and Price Diamonds with.
They are very Strict, and very Accurate in their Diamond Reports (Certificates). I trust them fully.
The only other Diamond Grading Company that I would Recommend is AGS. But really… I still think I’d stick with GIA any Day of the Week! :)
PLUS… If you’re Buying GIA, you should also check into Laser Inscriptions. Some Stones have them, others don’t. I like Inscriptions because the Certificate Number is Etched directly onto the Diamond Edge (the Girdle) itself, making it a Great Way to Identify your Stone, and keep it from being Switched!
That’s AWESOME! Not to mention Great Peace of Mind too!
7) Shop and Compare
You won’t know if you’re getting a Good Deal unless you Shop and Compare!
And when you Shop and Compare, there’s one thing you MUST do:
Compare Apples to Apples!
Compare Diamonds of the Same Carat Weight, Same Clarity, Same Color, Cut and Certification… That way you will KNOW if you’re truly getting a Great Deal, or if you’re being over-charged!
You can also use my Nifty Diamond Buying Checklist to make Comparing Easier!
Write everything down, that way you have all the Data Necessary to make an Educated and Informative Decision.
Plus, you won’t feel Inclined to Buy from the First Place you Shop… (that’s a NO-NO!.. Until you Check Everyone else out as well!)
Because I’ll tell you a little Secret…
Someone, Somewhere, Some Store… will also have it CHEAPER!
And often Shopping online can Save you EVEN MORE too!
Online Stores don’t have Overhead like Brick-and-Mortar Stores. Places like James Allen and Blue Nile both have a HUGE Inventory of Loose Diamonds, and they have Great Warranties, Styles, and PRICES! Not to Mention a Decent RETURN POLICY! (Which I wouldn’t Buy a Diamond that DIDN’T have one – And I Advise you do the Same!) Be sure to Check them out! You’ll see a Difference!
Now, one thing I DIDN’T Bring up in this List is this:
Diamond Color is NOT a Big Issue. As long as you get something White, or Near White (as in Pure White, or Near Colorless Categories – D, E, F, G, H, I or J), then the Diamond will look Great and Face up White.
But, keep in mind, that if the Diamond has Fluorescence, sometimes it can make a Diamond look “WHITE“, but it also can make the Stone Appear Foggy, Blurry, Cloudy, and Milky. Not Good! I usually Suggest people to SKIP any Diamond that has Fluorescence, this is listed on a GIA Diamond Report under “Fluorescence“… You Should look for it to say “NONE“. :)
8) White Gold
White Metals are what’s HOT right now. Your options are: White Gold, Platinum, Palladium, Titanium, Tungsten, Stainless Steel, and Sterling Silver.
But, out of all of these listed, I would Highly Recommend White Gold the MOST! That’s because White Gold is Easy to Work with, it has an Extremely High Luster, AND it’s usually Much Cheaper than Platinum.
Setting White Diamonds into a White Mounting tends to make the Diamonds POP and SPARKLE like Crazy. It’s such a Beautiful Combo!
9) Default Ring Size
Here’s something really IMPORTANT:
If you don’t know her “EXACT” Ring Size (and both hands are DIFFERENT Sizes), or if you’re unsure if she’ll Like the Mounting, or even say “YES“, then DON’T Get the Ring Sized!
Don’t Get the Ring Sized!
Because Most Jewelry Stores won’t RETURN the item if it’s been Sized, Custom Ordered, or Altered.
So if you Size it, and you need to Return it for any Reason, YOU CAN’T! OUCH!
Not to mention the fact that First Sizings are Generally FREE, and if it needs to be Resized later, it’ll COST you! (and that’s NOT Cheap!)
So keep the Ring the Default Size (which is usually a Size 6 or 7), and wait until she Likes it or Accepts it BEFORE you get it Sized.
For if you ALTER it, you KEEP it!
Which also means… If you get the Ring Engraved (R+T, 5-30-1996, Love Always…) then that’s also ALTERING or Personalizing the Ring and that’s grounds for NON-RETURNS as well.
So Save the Engraving for AFTER the Ring is Sized and you’ll be just FINE!
10) PAY CASH!
Often Paying CASH can Save you even MORE Money on your Diamond Ring Purchase. Many Stores, especially Independent Jewelers, will give you a Better Deal if you Pay with CASH… That’s Green Backs, Real Bills, NOT Credit Cards or Debit Cards or Checks! CASH CASH!
That way the Stores don’t have to Pay those High Credit Card Processing Fees, AND they get much needed CASH on hand… And who doesn’t LOVE that?
If you want to know if you can get a Better Deal Paying Cash… JUST ASK!
“Can I get a Better Deal if I Pay Cash?”
It doesn’t hurt to ask, you may even be Surprised!
So there you go…
Ten Great Tips that can Help you with your Engagement Ring Purchase.
Plus, it can also Save you Money!
Good Luck, and Happy Shopping! :)