So the day has come when you're starting to think about your engagement, diamonds, rings, and your future life with your fiancé.
For most of us, getting engaged means buying a diamond ring. Yikes!
And buying anything of value for the first time is daunting because we aren't quite sure what we should be looking for. As the old saying goes we don't know what we don't know.
Scared? Yep, we were too the first time but since then we've researched the heck out of it, so don't worry, we'll guide you through the process and tell you exactly what you need to know, and what to look for.
Since it all starts with an engagement ring and that usually includes a diamond it makes sense to start there.....So here are the basic things that you need to consider when shopping for a diamond engagement ring:
There are Diamond Ratings which were developed by the Gem Institute of America in order to be able to classify and compare individual stones. The ratings are based on the 4Cs which are extremely important to understand since they determine the value and cost of the stone.
You also need to learn about Diamond Shapes. There are about 10 basic shapes that you are likely to encounter when looking at engagement diamonds.
Don't get confused between a diamond's cut and its shape. The cut is about how well it is cut from the rough stone while the shape just refers to its geometry (round, square, heart-shaped etc.)
Engagement and/or wedding ring settings are about the way the stone is mounted to the metal.
Settings are important and often thought of as just a design element when in fact they have a significant impact on how brilliant and fiery the diamond will appear to be and how well the stone is protected.
Those are the basics. You don't need to study and memorize this stuff but you should read it through at least once.
Armed with just this basic info, you will have some understanding of what to look for, and what to think about, when buying a diamond for an engagement ring. You'll also have a better chance of seeing any red flags if they happen to come your way.
Which brings us to the next thing you need to consider....
There's a lot of buzz about fake diamond rings and making sure that you're getting what you paid for. So check out our tips on how to help differentiate between fake diamond rings from the real McCoy. But remember fake diamonds are only fakes if someone (e.g. your fiancé or a jeweler) told you it was a diamond when it fact it wasn't—the stone itself is real, it's just not a real diamond..
Another concern these days, and an important one, is conflict diamonds (aka blood diamonds) versus non-conflict or conflict free diamonds. Basically, conflict diamonds are ones that are traded illegally and fund conflicts in war torn areas of the world, hence the name. Always ask for the origin of the stone that you're looking to buy especially if it seems like a really good deal.
Finally, lots of people ask us about buying loose diamonds because a quality engagement ring often comes in two parts, the diamond and the setting, and each is bought separately. And no one said they both have to be bought form the same place.
So let's get you started with diamond ratings.
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