Here is a simple, but awesome, list of Do’s and Don’ts to help you on your next Diamond Ring Buying Adventure.
This list can really help you out greatly if you’re in the market for an Engagement Ring, plus it can save you tons of money!
I call this list my “Quick Engagement Ring Tips“. There are 50 in all.
Some of them are meant to use before you buy the ring, some of them are during the buying process, and a few are for after you make the big purchase.
I’m sure you’ll enjoy them all!
1) Do your Homework First!
Really, before you step foot into any Jewelry Store you should read about the Diamond 4C’s first! They are important and they do determine how a Diamond is priced. A little knowledge goes a long way.
2) Don’t Spoil a Surprise!
Women want to be surprised with the Ring! As much as they want to pick out a ring they love, the also want the proposal to be a secret. That’s why I always say, just buy a Solitaire Diamond and put it in a simple Engagement Ring mounting. You can always have the mounting swapped out later, after she gets the “Proposal!!!“. :)
3) Do set yourself a limit or Budget!
Look at your budget first. Know how much you want to spend and stick to your guns. Many guys go in thinking they’ll spend a thousand or two and quickly leave $10,000 in debt. Look at your savings and job and set your sights on making a comfortable decision. Not one that will keep you up all night…
4) Don’t buy a Loose Diamond that’s NOT Certified!
Always Buy Certified! And by Certified I mean a Diamond that comes with an actual Diamond Report (Certificates is what most people call them). Without a Report, you’ll have no way of knowing what the real Diamond Quality is. And what you don’t know, could cost you!
5) Do Shop and Compare!
Spend a full week and go around to all the Jewelers you can find. Plus, check online for prices as well. Check out the same quality of Diamond everywhere (once you decide upon what quality you want) to see who gives you a better deal. (i.e. VS1, E, GIA Certified, Excellent Cut, No Fluorescence…) Things like that!
6) Don’t Buy from the first place you Shop at!
Often guys will run into a Jewelry Store and within 20 Minutes leave with a Diamond Engagement Ring tucked neatly into a bag. Don’t do this! Sure you may find some wonderful Rings and beautiful Diamonds, but you won’t know if you’re getting ripped off until you check out all the other stores first. Be patient. It could save you thousands of dollars!
7) Do Scope the Diamond BEFORE you Buy it!
If the store does not show you the Diamond under a 10x Microscope, Don’t buy it from them! You MUST Scope the Diamonds you buy to see what the quality is. Look at the paperwork (Diamond Reports). Compare them to other stones. Dive in and see what makes the stone tick. Find out why one Diamond sells for double the price of another. You owe it to yourself and your fiancee. It’s a big purchase, take the time to learn well.
8) Don’t think all Certificates are the same!
All Diamond Reports are NOT the same. There are thousands of different Grading Companies and each and every one of them will list things like: Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat Weight. BUT they are NOT the same! Only purchase Diamonds that come with Reports by either GIA (the Best), or AGS. These two companies are the top of the line and are the most strict in their gradings. They’ll tell you what the Diamond Quality really is. Everyone else may be accurate, or they could be way off. I’ve seen them all. Don’t make this crucial mistake going in. Buy Diamonds Certified by GIA or AGS! You’ll be happy you did. :)
9) Do buy a Laser Inscribed Stone!
Laser Inscribed Stones are Awesome! They have the Diamond Report Number etched directly onto the Diamond’s Girdle itself. You can view this Inscription and quickly identify that Diamond as the Diamond listed on the report. It’s also the quickest way to identify your stone and know that your Diamond was not switched!
10) Don’t think that all Certified Diamonds are good!
Just because a Diamond is Certified, doesn’t mean it’s good. Bad Quality Stones can be Certified as well. Only a Diamond with a Good Quality, like SI1 Clarity or higher, G-H Color or higher, with a Good or Very Good Cut or higher… should be considered a “Good” Diamond.
11) Do view the Diamond from all Sides!
Don’t just view the Diamond from the top view. Look at it on the side and bottom. Especially under a microscope. Often you’ll see things that weren’t apparent, like a chip on the side, a fracture on the Pavilion, or a Black Carbon Spot on the Bottom. Check it out from all sides and angles before you buy it.
12) Don’t dwell on Clarity so much!
Any Clarity SI1 or higher will look the same to the naked eye (without magnification). Because of this, Clarity isn’t that important unless you plan to carry around a microscope all day and look at it. SI1 or higher have microscopic Inclusions ONLY! That way, she won’t be looking at her ring and see black spots in her stone… that she’ll then see for the rest of her life!
13) Do get yourself a Better Color!
Pure White Stones Rock! They really do. Pure White Diamonds (D, E and F) are without any Color whatsoever. They are very bright and very white. I love them and would never buy any other Color. Put them side by side with an average Diamond Color of H or I to see the difference. :)
14) Don’t ignore Cut!
Cut will be the difference of a Diamond shining a little, or a Diamond sparkling like crazy. Cut makes the light enter a stone, bend around and come back out in a million sparkles of Brilliance and Fire. If a Diamond is Cut well, your Diamond will look a 1000 times better! Always opt for a better Cut!
15) Do look into Fancy Cuts!
Fancy Cuts generally are 20% cheaper in price than Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds. Sometimes even more. Fancy Cuts are all other Cuts of Diamond other than the Round Cut. Get a Square Princess Cut stone instead and save some bucks!
16) Don’t Buy Fluorescence if you don’t view the Diamond!
Fluorescence may or may not alter or affect the beauty of a Diamond. You have to view the Diamond in different lighting, inside and outside, to really see if it changes the way your Diamond distributes light and how it appears. Sometimes they look great. Other times it makes a stone look foggy or cloudy. You have to view it to judge it.
17) Do get V-Tips on your Pointed Diamonds!
If you buy a Fancy Diamond, like a Princess Cut, Marquise Cut, Pear Cut or Trilliant Cut… Make sure you get V-Tipped Prongs on the points instead of just a normal prong. V-Tips protect the points from chipping, and also give the Diamond a beautiful pointed edge that enhances the shape of the stone.
18) Don’t buy a Diamond with a Very Thin Girdle!
“Very Thin” Girldes Chip easily! Strive for a Diamond that has at least a Thin Girdle or a Medium Girdle instead. Very Thin Girdles, or No Girlde is not so wise! :(
19) Check both Independent and Corporate Jewelers!
All Jewelry Stores are not created equal. Some give you better Deals, Policies and Diamond Warranties. Some give you bigger Return Policies, Exchange or Trade-up Policies, and even better Service Plans that could save you tons of money in the long run. Take everything into consideration. It all affects the price of your stone.
20) Don’t buy a Diamond based upon Price!
Many guys will leap at the chance to buy a Certified Diamond of high quality, that comes with a low price tag. But don’t! Or, at least if you do, find out why that Diamond is priced so low. It’s low for a reason! Usually when a Diamond is priced lower than other Diamonds of the exact same Clarity and Color, it’s because the Cut is off, the Diamond has Fluorescence, or the Diamond is not Certified. It could also mean the Diamond is Chipped, or Grade Bumped (graded higher than it really is). Compare stones and quality. See WHY it’s cheaper! It’s usually not a good thing.
21) Do Ask Questions!
Always ask yourself “Why does this matter to me?“. If a salesperson is telling you about a Diamond with a Color of J, ask them why someone would want J as compared to an E Color. If the Diamond is already set in a mounting, ask them why it’s not loose. Ask them what happens if you chip your stone. Ask them how they work trade-ins. Ask them what happens if she doesn’t like the ring. If you don’t ask, you won’t know. I suggest writing down some questions in advance so you know you get them all answered. It could make or break a deal.
22) Don’t fall for Brand Name Hype!
Brand Names are expensive. All you pay for is the name. If you want a Diamond for the “Name”, have at it. Enjoy! But a Diamond is a Diamond no matter where you buy it. You can get the exact same Diamond down the street for thousands less, as long as you drop the Big Brand Name from the purchase. For example, buying a Diamond from Tiffany’s, doesn’t give you a better Diamond than buying one from Kay Jewelers. It only ups the price. Sure it sounds better, and their warranties may also sound better, but in the end, it’s the same Diamond that you could have bought elsewhere for less. In my opinion, Brand Names are NOT worth the price! Spend your money on Diamond Quality instead!
23) Do keep it Simple!
Simple is not only easy, it’s also cheaper! Go for a simple mounting that highlights the Diamond. Plus, going simple (I always advise a standard, Plain Engagement Ring Mounting), allows you to focus more on the center stone and worry about the setting later. That’s something she can have fun with! :)
24) Don’t Buy Invisible Set Stones!
Invisible Set Stones have a tendency to fall out. They are put together like a puzzle. They have special groves in the stone that snap into place with a wire frame. If one comes loose and falls out, chances are, more will soon follow. I suggest a Pave Set Mounting, or a Channel Set instead. Something more durable and still beautiful at the same time.
25) Do wait to get the Ring Sized!
Many Jewelers say, if you get the Ring Sized, you CAN’T return it! So wait until you give her the ring and see if she likes it before you take her in to get the ring fitted. That way, if she wants something different, or just says NO, you can return it or exchange it without an issue.
26) Don’t fall for “Blue-White Diamonds”!
The term “Blue-White Diamond” is an old misleading term that was supposed to describe a high quality, great colored Diamond. It’s old and should not be used today. If a Jeweler says this Diamond is a “Blue-White Diamond”, I would turn and walk away. Blue-White is NOT a term GIA uses in their Diamond Gradings or the 4C’s. Don’t buy into it!
27) Do listen to your Gut!
Your Gut knows more than you do. If something doesn’t feel right about a Diamond, a Jewelry Store, or a Salesperson, keep on shopping. Often our gut instincts are correct and you only find out the hard way. “I knew that price was too good to be true!”
28) Don’t go Broke!
Don’t spend every last dollar you have on a Ring. You have your whole life to upgrade and get a bigger and better Diamond. You don’t have to do it all in one day. If you can only afford a 33 Point Diamond, then do so. 33 Points is the average Diamond Carat Size anyway! :)
29) Do take Notes!
If you don’t take Notes, you’ll never remember if the Diamond at the mall was a better Cut, Color, Clarity, Carat Weight or Price. Write the info down. Plus, writing down all the important facts and details will help you shop and compare and Jewelers will take you more seriously. Plus, they will often give you a better deal since they see you are making a list and looking for the best offers.
30) Don’t get the Ring Engraved!
Wait until you see if she likes the ring before you have it personalized. Often, if the ring is engraved, the Jeweler will not take it back if you want to return it. Only get it personalized when she says she loves it and wants to get it sized. Then you can surprise her with the lovely lyric.
31) Do see if Paying Cash gives you a Better Deal!
You never know. It may, it may not. But the truth is, money talks. If you tell them you’ll pay cash, what’s the best deal they can do for you… Many times you’ll see that they can give you additional discounts… but only if you pay cash cash (not debit or credit cards!). It works. Try it!
32) Don’t buy Quantity over Quality!
Let’s face it: You can get a HUGE Diamond for a cheap price! It’s true! But I didn’t say you would like it. The Diamond Quality will be the sacrifice! You could get a 3.00 Carat Diamond that looks like crap. But the question is WHY? More people are happier with a smaller sized Diamond of better quality than just getting a huge Diamond that doesn’t sparkle. Quality over Quantity! You’ll see the difference.
33) Do be Aware and take Hints!
Pay attention when you’re shopping for Diamonds. If a Diamond Report says a single Diamond is G-H-I Color, then question it. Diamonds only have one Diamond Color, not three! If the salesperson says this Diamond appears bigger than other Diamonds of the same Carat Weight. Understand that this means the stone is Spread and loses light and sparkle. Listen to what they say and watch for what they don’t say.
If they hint around that Tension Set Diamonds aren’t so secure, listen to them. If they mention that Invisible Set Diamonds fall out often, it’s a good clue to pass them up. They know. They work there!
34) Don’t Rush into things!
There is no need to rush. Seriously! Take your time shopping. Having a Ring immediately won’t change things. All good things come to those who wait. One week or one month won’t really matter in the scheme of life. It’s better to find the perfect ring for the perfect girl, then it is to rush and buy a junky stone with a crack down the side. Shop wise!
35) Do buy from a Store that has a Full Return Policy!
If she doesn’t care for the Ring, Diamond Shape, Diamond Size, or she runs off with your best friend… make sure the store will take the ring back. Many stores have a one – three month return policy. But some stores, have NONE or a very short one if they do (one week). Find out! You certainly don’t want to get stuck with the ring if something were to happen… She says “NO”!
36) Don’t be Pressured into a sale!
Don’t be bullied into a sale. Many times stores will push a ring on you or push you into taking the ring and deciding later. Don’t do this! Only buy a ring if you’ve compared enough and decided that this is the best stone for the best price. If a store has a sale that is ending tonight, put a couple of bucks on the ring and hold it in layaway. Just don’t feel pressured to sign on the dotted line.
37) Do pay on time if you Finance!
If you Finance a Diamond Ring, make sure you pay your monthly payments on time. This is where they get you! Late Payments, or missing the initial payment, will often result in late fees and discontinuing any Interest Free Financing that may be available. You might have to pay High Interest Rates from day one! So if you Finance it, pay on time or you’ll be paying forever and making the price of that good deal, dwindle away to nothing.
38) Don’t Finance the Ring if you can help it!
Pay Cash if you can. Financing is a long road to overwhelming debt and interest charges. Save up. Buy the ring next year if you have to. Just finance as less as possible. Your bank account will thank you.
39) Do take advantage of Layaways!
Layaways are interest free and did I mention FREE? Put some money down on the ring (often 20%), and pay on it once a month until you need the ring. It keeps the ring secure until you finally give it to her (You won’t lose it in your truck or get it stolen out of your home). Plus, many times you can pay on it for a full year with no interest. You can’t beat that!
40) Don’t over think this!
You could drive yourself crazy trying to cross every T and dot every I. Don’t do it. Set yourself a limit. Decide which quality sounds right for you and COMPARE! Analyzing every detail and comparing every measurement and Inclusion will drive you crazy and still result in questions. Every Diamond will have strengths and weaknesses. Deciding if a 54% Table or a 55% Table is better or worse will only frustrate you. Keep it simple and focus on the major characteristics like Cut Grade, Color Grade, Clarity Grade and Carat Weight. You’ll go bonkers if you don’t.
41) Do get a Full Appraisal on the Ring!
Once you purchase the ring (Hopefully you bought one that was “Certified“), get it fully appraised. An Appraisal lists everything from the 4C’s, to Ring Weight, Karat Content, and the Replacement Value. This puts the exact quality and price into writing and makes it easy to refer back to later. “Did I buy VS1 or VVS1?”
42) Don’t think you have to spend $8,000!
Seriously! All women may want to brag about how much their ring is worth “My Diamond is $8,000“… But don’t let this get to you. Nothing says you have to spend that much for a Diamond Ring just because her girlfriend has one. You don’t need to show off! All you have to do is to make your girlfriend say “YES“. The price tag shouldn’t matter. She doesn’t need to know how much you spent and no one else does either. That’s your business!
43) Do get the Ring Insured!
Once you get your Ring Appraised, get your ring Insured! Have it covered in case of theft, fire, or damage. Talk to your agent and make sure the Diamond can be replaced if it chips or breaks. Make sure it’s covered if she accidentally leaves it on the sink at the Airport… Ask questions. It doesn’t hurt. And you never know when the ring will slip off at the lake and get eaten by a turtle. Really!
44) Don’t forget to view your Diamond upon picking it up!
When you drop your ring off for sizing, setting, polishing, cleaning or engraving… Scope your Diamond. Make sure it’s not chipped, broken or damaged. Scope it again when you pick the ring up from the Jeweler just to make sure that you got your Diamond back in the same condition you left it in. It’s your only way to be sure! Do it BEFORE you leave the store. It just makes sense.
45) Get your Jewelry Cleaned and Inspected 3 times a Year!
Have your ring looked at and cleaned and inspected multiple times a year. 3 at the least, but I would say, anytime you’re at the mall, or the local Jewelry Store, have them take a closer look at it. Preventive Medicine will catch if a stone is loose, or chipped, or a prong is bent back. Your rings take a lot of abuse and a closer look is just good advice!
46) Don’t ignore a Ring with snagging Prongs!
If your Prongs snag… get them fixed. A Prong that snags means the prong is either weak, bent, broken or lifted. Have the Jeweler fix the prong or rebuild the prong. If ignored, you could damage or lose your stone. And that’s not something you want to look down and see…
47) Do Scrub the bottom of your Diamond!
The bottom of a Diamond is where the Diamond gets the dirtiest. Dirt and Crud gets trapped to the bottom of the stone and makes the stone appear dark and dull and lifeless. Clean it and it will shine forever!
48) Don’t do laundry with your Rings on!
Bleach kills Gold! It weakens and pits your Mounting and Prongs. So if you’re doing laundry or cleaning with harsh chemicals, take off your rings or you may damage your Engagement Ring! Horrors!
49) Do take your Rings to a Jeweler if you bump them!
If you drop your ring, bump it, hit it, strike it, or bang it against a filing cabinet, I would advise taking it in to a Jeweler for a looksy. Have them inspect the prongs, Diamonds and mounting for any damage, cracks or breaks. All it takes is one good whack to break a stone or crack a prong.
50) Don’t touch the top of your Diamond!
If you touch the top of your Diamond, you won’t ever do any damage to the stone, but the oils of your fingers will stick to the stone and so will dirt, dust and debris. It will keep light from entering and exiting your Diamond. In other words, it will hinder light and life and make your beautiful Diamond look dull. Not cool! Keep your fingers from the stones, and clean your Diamonds often (once a week), and they’ll look bright and shiny like the day you bought them.
Tips and Tricks
These little tricks and tips should help you make a better decision the next time you’re looking for “The Ring“.
Oh, and 1 more thing…
Do Share this on Facebook, Tweet it or Pin it on Pinterest.
I wouldn’t be happy if you didn’t! :)
er, Don’t! ;)
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Author Richard Scott. Certified Diamontologist\Gemologist. 30 years of experience.
Let Richard help you choose the best diamond, the most dazzling engagement ring, and save as much money as possible. Read more about the author here. Check out his Amazon books here. Follow Richard on social media; Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest. Contact Richard here.
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