Working with Diamonds, Engagement Rings, Jewelry Stores and the public long enough has given me great insights, experience and useful tips to pass on to consumers.
And trust me, you’re gonna love these!
This article has great tips and tricks that will make your next Diamond Buying Purchase a pleasant one.
Plus, some of these tips could even save you some money! :)
Enjoy! I present to you…
15 Great Diamond Ring Tips!
1) Study the 4C’s
If you don’t make the time or effort to understand Diamonds better, I fear your chances of getting ripped off, or ending up with a low quality, crappy Diamond are great.
You need to understand the hows and whys of what you’re buying.
Learn about the different Clarities of a Diamond. Learn what a good Clarity is, and what a bad one is.
Learn about the different types of Diamond Color.
Learn about the different Cuts. What makes a good Cut. How can you tell?
The 4C’s are pretty universal in all Jewelry Stores. Do your homework and study up (no better place than here).
The 4C’s will put you in a much better position to not only understand what makes a Diamond tick, but why one Diamond is priced much higher or lower than another Diamond of the exact same Carat Weight.
It really is an eye-opener!
You do get what you pay for. Don’t pay for CRAP!
Unless crap is what you like! :)
2) Buy Certified!
If you’re like most people you may just buy any ole ring outta the case. DON’T!!!
Buy Certified Diamonds ONLY!
Most people are leery about dealing with Jewelers in the first place, many people just don’t trust them. This is why Certification matters the most!
Certification does one thing really well, it removes the Jeweler’s Opinion!
Which means, the Diamond they are selling you has been graded by an outside certification company (not the Jeweler), that lists the exact quality of that Diamond.
You’re just not taking the Jeweler’s word for it. It’s backed up by a professional company that tells you exactly what you’re paying for.
This also makes it much easier to shop and compare.
You can see what all the 4C’s are. You can compare them to other Diamonds. You can compare them to other Jewelry Stores and see who’s giving you the better deal.
Do Keep in mind that all Diamond Certificates are not the same. Some companies are more lax in their gradings and their reports are very questionable.
Buy a Diamond with one of these Certificates and you’ll be buying in confidence… The Diamond you’re getting IS the one listed on the report!
Also keep in mind that just because you’re buying a Certified Diamond, this doesn’t mean you’re buying a good Diamond!
GIA and AGS will certify ANY Diamond that is sent to them. That’s what they get paid to do. So if a Jeweler sends them a low quality stone, guess what, they will grade that as a low quality stone.
So not only do you need to look at who certifies it, but of course, you also need to look at what the actual quality (the 4C’s) are as well.
3) Get a Larger Center Stone
You don’t get many chances in life to upgrade your Diamond. In fact, I’d say most women never do. Which means, the Diamond she gets as her Engagement Ring will probably be the same Diamond she wears her entire life.
So if there is any way possible to get her a little bit bigger center stone NOW, do so!
You never want to buy her a small Diamond and regret it forever.
Put your money into one Diamond if you can. And make it as large a stone as you can afford without sacrificing quality.
I mean, if you’re already gonna be making payments on the ring, what’s a few more?
Bigger Diamonds bring bigger smiles! Plus, they hold their value much better as well if you ever do decide to upgrade later on down the road.
Thinking about getting a 3/4 Carat? Buy her a 1.00 Carat instead!
It’s well worth the added price.
4) Go Simple!
If you don’t know what kind of mounting she’d like, don’t worry; go simple!
Have the Diamond set into a Classic Tiffany Style Ring and she’ll love you forever. You can’t beat a Classic, Elegant Ring. Take a look…
This type of mounting shows off a Diamond better than any other mounting. Plus, it doesn’t look gaudy!
It’s also the cheapest Engagement Ring there is! (unless you buy Platinum!)
Simple is Better!
It never goes out of style and if she does want a different mounting or wedding set, it can easily be swapped out later.
Plus, this ring allows you to put more of your money into the center Diamond, and you won’t ruin a surprise by asking her “What kind of Ring would you like?“
5) Don’t Hide the Diamond
Make the center Diamond the focal point. Don’t hide it down into the mounting, or half covered up with bezels or thick gaudy prongs.
Make the Diamond the show piece. That’s where all eyes should be looking.
So many times do I see people spend $8,000 on a large center Diamond, only to set it down low into a wide thick mounting that takes away from the stone.
You don’t want your Diamond to get lost in the mounting.
Set it up so all can See!
My preference is a standard 4 prong White Gold Head. It doesn’t cover up or detract from the beauty of the stone.
You spend this much on a Diamond, you should definitely make that the main attraction!
6) Stay away from Invisible Sets!
Invisible Set stones are very popular right now because you get a big look at half the price!
But be warned, the sad reality is the fact that these stones are just small Diamonds put together to look like a bigger stone (cheating), and they aren’t that secure!
If one of these stones gets bumped and comes out of the mounting, chances are good that more will follow.
And if you ever need to get them tightened or replaced, these Invisible Set mountings can’t be worked on in the store. They have to be sent back to the manufacturer for repairing or replacing (could be up to 6 weeks, if it can be done at all). I can’t tell you how many times this has happened and how many people get disappointed by it. It’s sad!
These rings look pretty, but I don’t trust them in the least. I advise sticking to a more traditional (One Diamond) piece. You’ll be happier in the long run.
7) No Fluorescence!
Some Diamonds glow in the dark under a UV light (called Fluorescence).
And some of these Diamonds will also look weird in natural light because of it (not all of them).
Sometimes Fluorescence will make a Diamond look foggy, hazy or cloudy. It can make a high quality stone look bad.
Take a look at Fluorescence and how a stone may look in both UV lighting and Natural Lighting. See the fogginess?
So I strongly advise you to stay away from Diamonds with any kind of Fluorescence, unless you can view that Diamond in different lighting atmospheres to make sure that the Fluorescence doesn’t affect the beauty or sparkle of the Diamond.
Because buying a cloudy Diamond is a bad choice!
8) Buy an Excellent Cut!
You can skimp on Clarity and Color and still get an Excellent looking Diamond, as long as you don’t skimp on Cut!
I advise buying a Diamond with a GIA Rating of “Excellent” in Cut (“Very Good” at the minimum).
That way, the light will bounce around inside your Diamond and come back out in a burst of Sparkle, Brilliance and Fire.
A brilliant Diamond can cover up Inclusions, Flaws and mask Color as well.
GIA lists the Cut Grade of the Diamond, right on the Diamond Report…
Look for “Excellent”, it’s the best there is!
9) White Gold is Better!
Let’s face it, White Gold is WAY cheaper than the other popular white metal: Platinum (by 4-5 times).
Platinum may be more durable than Gold, but White Gold actually has a brighter shine and a brighter whiter appearance. I LOVE WHITE GOLD!
Plus, White Gold (14k) does one more thing that’s just awesome; It doesn’t add any yellow color into the Diamond (like a Yellow Gold mounting does).
Whiter is brighter and really makes the Diamond “POP“!
10) No Sizing or Engraving!
Here’s a mistake that many men make, they buy an Engagement Ring with an intricate mounting, and then they proceed to get it sized and engraved so she’ll be able to put it on and wear it the day she gets it.
It all sounds great, but what happens if she doesn’t like the mounting? Or the shape of the stone?
Many stores won’t return or exchange a ring that’s been altered or personalized (Sized or Engraved).
She may be stuck with it!
And if they do take it back, they may charge you a 20% restocking, repairing, and repolishing fee. All because you wanted to have it sized and engraved beforehand.
This is why I always advise to wait to get these things done. Leave it in the default ring size. See if she likes the ring first, then get them done.
That’s the safest bet!
She may not be totally happy to wait for the ring to be sized, but at least it saves you from getting stuck with a mounting she doesn’t prefer.
11) View the Diamond
If you only listen to one piece of advice in this entire post, this is it: View the Diamond under 10x Magnification!
Viewing a Diamond under 10x magnification shows you exactly what’s inside the Diamond. It shows you Inclusions, Cracks, Chips, Trigons, Naturals, Black Spots, Extra Facets, Laser Drill Holes and the Inscription Numbers on the side of your stone. Take a peek…
Viewing your Diamond is a MUST!
View the loose Diamond (the only way you should buy a Certified Diamond) first from all angles, sides and even upside down. View it under a 10x microscope for best viewing. You can view it with a hand-held 10x Jewelers Loupe as well, but it’s much easier to use a scope.
View your stone. Match up the Inclusions you see against the Inclusions shown on your Diamond Plot (on a Full Diamond Report). Look around the Girdle until you see the Laser Inscription Numbers that match those on the actual Diamond Report. This helps to identify the stone!
It’s important that you see what you’re buying.
Compare different qualities of Diamond as well. Compare it with a stone one step higher and lower in Clarity just so you’ll get a much better feel of what you’re spending your money on.
It’s well worth the time and effort!
12) Don’t Finance it!
This is the biggest mistake anyone can do when buying a Diamond Ring… Financing it!
Finance Charges can run you 20% or more, so that really good deal you just got on your Diamond Ring is lost out the window.
Why Pay More?
Take advantage of a lower interest credit card if you can. Or even get a loan from a credit union.
Put the ring into layaway until you need it. Layaways are Interest FREE!
I strongly advise paying cash for it if you can. Paying Cash can usually get you an even better deal as well. Just tell them “How much for this ring if I pay Cash for it?” If anything, most stores will at least knock off another 3-4% (what they’d pay in credit card fees).
One other option that many stores offer is Interest Free Financing, like 12 months same as cash.
This sounds great and can be great, but only if you follow the strict guidelines: Pay on time!
If you skip just one single payment, or are late just one time, these Interest Free Programs go away and are replaced with high Interest Plans that go back to the very beginning of the contract: Day 1. OUCH!
Be Careful and Beware!
Make sure you don’t falter on any Interest Free payments, or your good Diamond Deal is doubling in cost.
13) Get a Return Policy!
Make sure that the place where you buy your Diamond from has a Return Policy!
Just in case!
You never know what the future may bring. You don’t know if she’ll say YES, you don’t know if you’ll still have employment next month… Things Change. Crap Happens! You may find a better deal in 2 weeks that could save you a Thousand bucks! You just never know.
Make sure the store has 100%, no questions asked, Return Policy!
You never want to regret your purchase, or be stuck with it.
Some stores have awesome sales and specials, but be cautious, a lot of these so called blue-light specials have a disclaimer that reads: All Sales Final!
Read up before you leap…
It may not be worth it!
14) Get it Inspected!
People put their Jewelry on, wear them, and forget them. They never think twice…
Until a prong breaks off, or they look down and see their beautiful Diamond is GONE!
Most of this can be avoided by taking your ring into the Jewelry Store at least 2-3 times a year!
Cleanings and Inspections are Necessary!
In fact, most chain stores demand that your do this to keep your Diamond Guarantee intact.
They know that a regular Inspection and Maintenance Routine is a key in preventive medicine.
Stores can usually catch Prongs that are Bent, Snagged, Lifted, or Cracked. They can spot Diamonds that are Loose, or Heads that are Tilted, or Shanks that are Worn and Brittle.
I highly recommend getting this done all the time! Think of how many times you nick your fingers and hands and don’t even realize it. Your rings take even more abuse!
Put the Inspections on a calendar, or set a reminder in your phone. Do it on Spring Forward and Fall Back. Have the store Inspect and Clean your ring (usually no charge) every time you’re in the mall.
This will save you a lot of headaches in the future, plus, it could also save your Diamond (which reminds me, make sure you get your Diamond Insured!).
Inspections are worth their weight in Gold. Don’t put them off!
15) Keep it Clean!
Nothing sucks more than a dirty Diamond. Dirty Diamonds look like Junk!
Sparkle and Brilliance are the Life of any Diamond. Without them a Diamond is nothing more than just another rock in the driveway.
Dirt, Dust, Debris and Oils not only keep a Diamond from shining, but they can actually erode and tarnish the metal as well.
You wouldn’t wear your clothes for 7 days straight now would you?
Rings attract all sorts of goodies: Fingerprints, Hairsprays, Lotions, Perfumes, Soaps, and who knows what else… They dull up your Diamond and stop the light from bouncing around.
No Sparkle = No Fun!
Plus, when a Diamond is dirty, the Inclusions inside the stone are much easier to see. Not cool!
There’s no excuse for a Dirty Diamond!
Clean it Today!
More Tips and Tricks
I hope you enjoyed these little Diamond Buying Tips and Tricks. Hopefully they will save you time, effort and maybe even some money.
If you know of more tips, feel free to leave them in the comments below.
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