Engagement Ring Guide
It goes without saying that buying an engagement ring is one of the biggest decisions in anyone’s life. The purpose of this engagement ring guide is to outline some of the basic factors involved in making this decision. The possibilities for the final design of an engagement ring are nearly endless, and the highly personal final decision is always up to the buyer, but there are certain facts of which every prospective engagement ring should be aware before beginning the search.
In order to minimize confusion and frustration, there are three basic decisions any buyer should make. These are: setting your budget, choosing a diamond or diamonds, and choosing a setting.
Setting a Budget
Deciding on your budget is always the first thing you should do before making such a significant purchase. For obvious reasons, it’s always a good idea to limit yourself to something within a price range that you know you can afford. Some diamond vendors will provide you with financing options that can make the purchase more manageable, but it’s important to avoid letting anyone talk you into buying something outside of your price range. Set a reasonable limit, and stick to it – this is the best way to ensure satisfaction in the long run.
Although an engagement ring will always be a significant investment, you might be surprised with what kind of quality you can get at a relatively affordable price. The key to getting the best value for your dollar is to make informed decisions as to the diamond and setting for your engagement ring.
Engagement Ring Guide For Choosing a Diamond
In most cases, the diamond will constitute the largest portion of the final price of an engagement ring. If you’ve shopped for diamonds before, you’ve probably seen the drastic differences in prices that diamonds can have. The main deciding factors in the price of a diamond are the “four C” grading categories:
- Cut: the overall quality with which the diamond has been cut and finished, which affects the sparkle and brilliance of the diamond
- Clarity: how clear the diamond is; diamonds can range from virtually transparent, to cloudy in appearance
- Color: the extent to which undesired coloration is visible in the diamond
- Carat weight: the actual mass of the diamond, weighed in carats
By learning about the four Cs and how they impact the value of a diamond, you can equip yourself to make an informed decision and thus ensure that you’re getting the best possible value when making a purchase.
Choosing a Setting
In the case of engagement rings, the setting is the band of the ring. Different settings will display diamonds in different ways. Some types of settings can be used for diamond solitaires, meaning that you only have to purchase a single diamond, while some call for multiple diamonds. Also, some settings are sold with “accent stones” (small diamonds or other gemstones) already in place.
If you’re having trouble choosing a diamond, it can actually sometimes be helpful to choose a setting first instead. This will help narrow down your choices with respect to diamonds, as some settings can only accommodate certain diamond shapes.