Choosing the right diamond ring has always been a major headache for all guys since somebody decided to put this sparkling object on a metal ring and suggest it to be a ‘must-have’ for all marriage proceedings. What has become a matter of fact is that this thing has become a symbol of eternal love. Hence, purchasing it has become inevitable for any individual moving on from singlehood to marriagehood. Since it is impossible to hide away from this fact (unless your personal goal is to be a long life bachelor!), it is important to understand some of the factors that should be considered before buying the ring.
Type of Ring
Basically, there are at least two different types of rings. One is the engagement ring, which is the one that is used for wedding proposals and the other which is the wedding ring, which has to be worn ‘at-all-times’ after the actual wedding proceedings. The major difference between them is basically the emphasis of the diamond in the design. For practical reasons, your engagement ring should be able to shine so brightly in the moonlight that your lady would never refuse your proposal. Hence, engagement rings are designed so that the diamond is clearly defined on the ring. Basic engagement ring designs include solitaire rings and three stone rings.
The wedding ring is to be worn most of the time through out the marriage and would be exposed frequently to wear and tear. Therefore, these rings have simpler designs and have diamonds embedded in the ring instead. By understanding the type of ring you want to buy, your efforts can now be focussed on that particular range. It is also important to note that the element of surprise should always be reserved for the engagement ring, hence making it the more difficult ring to get.
Know what she wants
Before getting to know what your lady might like, it is essential for you to get familiarized with the 4Cs of the diamond. The 4C’s stand for cut, clarity, carat, and color of the diamond. These four characteristics of the diamond are used to gauge the quality and hence the price of the diamond. The definitions of the 4Cs will also aid you in getting what you want as you would be using the terminologies that your jeweler would understand.
The next step is to understand her preferences! She will ultimately be the “certified gemologist” and will have a different set of qualities that she likes and wants to have on her diamond ring. Get to know her favourite part of the diamond and her preference so that you would not miss these qualities out! For example, she might prefer a bigger diamond than one with good clarity or a certain shape or color. But you would be in terrible danger if she wants the biggest colorless round shaped diamond in the shop!
The ring band is also an important aspect. Depending on its color and the material it is made of, it can help provide a good contrast or illusion. For example, in the case of a slightly yellow color diamond on a gold ring setting, nobody would be able to notice the yellow on the diamond! Of course, there is also the other quality of the ring band which should be considered, that is the durability or hardness.
What she prefers might not of the best diamond ring. This is because depending on the size of her hand and fingers, certain diamonds would look nice while others would look unsuitable for her. As a general guide, a ring with a diamond of less than 1.5carat on a hand with small and tiny fingers would be obvious and appealing while anything bigger than that would take away the elegance.
Know your dealer
No matter where you are buying your ring from, be it online ( I advocate this! ) or from a shop in your neighbourhood, a certain degree of self research should be done. Get to know about the jeweler next door and also look for credible addresses and telephone numbers for online shops. Check out forums on the best places to buy in your neighbourhood or to check on any complaints/feedback given on the online shops you are looking at. Make sure that you are comfortable and trust the place where you are buying from.
There are two things which you should not miss out on during your self-research, these are the shops’ return policies and the diamond certification bodies which they engage to grade their diamonds. Look out for at least a 30 days return period in their policies and that credible organizations such as AGS or GIA are grading their diamonds. In many instances, shops use their in-house gemologists to grade, hence their reports may not be of equal standards with the AGS or GIA which are the international standards.
For those proposing, plan for your proposal! Get the place booked! Prepare for contingency plans if it rains! Make sure that you have a plan B available if you cannot proceed with plan A. I have some proposal ideas too if you need some brain storming!
Last but not least, know her ring size! Steal her ring in her drawer if you need to! Get a string to measure the circumference and bring it straight to the shop for measurement. You might want to download the ring sizer to get a more accurate measurement.