How to Buy a Diamond Engagement Ring
Whether you’re buying or receiving a diamond engagement ring, you want to know that you’re getting something authentic and durable. You (or your loved one) is paying a lot of money for this ring; it should be an investment rather than a disappointment! Knowing what you want in style as well as materials will help you find the right ring.
The first factor you need to consider is what type of metal you want the ring made out of. Since the ring will likely be worn every day for at least the rest of the initial recipient’s life, you should look for something made of solid gold or platinum. Sterling silver is acceptable, but it will tarnish and require more cleaning than gold or platinum. Gold comes in a variety of colors, from white gold to yellow gold to funky colors like pink. Choose at least 10 karat gold (about 40 percent pure gold) up to 18 karat. 24 karat (pure) gold is not a great option, since it will be very weak and soft. High quality platinum (.850, or 85 percent pure platinum, or higher) is also a good choice. Most rings will be marked on the inside band to tell buyers what kind of metal was used, how pure it is, and whether it’s solid or plated. When in doubt, you can typically Google these markings to find out what they mean.
The next factor is the actual diamond(s). The four factors to consider all start with C: cut, color, carat, and clarity. Do a little research, especially looking at pictures, on all of these aspects before making your decision. For example, yellow diamonds are typically considered inferior and often sell for great prices, while red diamonds are the rarest and most expensive. A modified brilliant cut diamond will sparkle and catch the light, whereas a step-cut diamond has a neat vintage look and shows off the diamond clarity (as well as usually costing significantly less). Even if you have an unlimited budget, a diamond that is too big (too high a carat) might be uncomfortable or look gaudy. Ideally, any diamond jewelry you buy will have a certificate of authenticity for the diamond. If that’s not possible (say, if you’re buying the engagement ring secondhand), the next best option is to pay for a jeweler to appraise your diamond ring.
All of these considerations tie into the style of a diamond ring, of course. At the end of the day, you should fall in love with the ring because of how it looks. As long as you make sure the basic quality factors are met, any style or color you want should be okay. Whether you want a huge solitaire diamond or something so understated no one but your beloved will know it’s an engagement ring, your possibilities are endless. Look at a lot of different styles and find a way to express your (or your fiancée’s) unique personality through the ring.