Precious advice for those who will soon be choosing a diamond for their engagement ring.
We recognize that gleam in your eye! No, we’re not talking about the way you look at your SO (although that is adorable). If there’s one thing capable of making a person’s eyes light up like that, it’s diamonds. Those pretty little stones you know nothing about, but are determined to get a good deal on.
And where better to start than our men’s FAQ series? In this first installment, we look at choosing a diamond; from understanding the 4Cs to getting the most bling for your buck.
Choosing a Diamond: Foresee the 4Cs
It’s impossible to talk diamonds without mentioning the 4Cs: cut, color, carat, and clarity. Together, these all-important characteristics influence a diamond’s quality and value. They are your new best friends. Get to know them. Go have a beer with them. Whatever you have to do.
- Cut – This refers to both the diamond’s shape and how effectively it returns light to the viewer’s eye.
- Color – This is generally something you want to avoid in a diamond, unless it’s a fancy color diamond (more on that later).
- Carat – This is the unit of measurement by which diamonds are weighed and sold.
- Clarity – This refers to how clean a diamond is and whether it has visible imperfections.
When in doubt, start with a diamond cut. This is the one area you should never compromise on as it determines how sparkly the stone is.
“I want my ring to sparkle less.”
– No one, ever
If you have to compromise on anything, let it be diamond clarity. However, try to avoid going below a VS1 clarity grade; anything lower would be visible to the naked eye.
Choosing a Diamond: Appearances Can Be Gleaming
Let’s be real for a moment, shall we? No one buys a diamond engagement ring for their SO without wanting to impress their socks off. It’s the ultimate declaration of your love, so of course you’ll want to go all out and snag the biggest, most sparkly rock you can afford.
While celebs are known for flashing ridiculous amounts of sparkle, you don’t always need to pay top dollar to enjoy those megawatt flashes. If you’re on a budget, there are a number of ways to make even a modest diamond appear larger than it actually is. Sneaky, we know!
One way to get more bling for your buck is to opt for an undersized diamond. Now, that might sound counterintuitive – how can a smaller diamond appear the same size as a larger one to the naked eye? By choosing a diamond that’s just shy of the standard industry cutoff points, you could save yourself a pretty penny, without compromising on sparkle. Consider a 0.9 carat diamond and a 1 carat diamond with comparable specs. On the surface, both stones appear to be virtually the same size, but look closer at the price tags and you’ll see a considerable saving on the smaller stone. Similar carat weight, less cash. Booyah!
Another way to appear more sparkly is to choose a setting style that accentuates the center diamond. Halo engagement rings, for example, surround the center stone with an outer ring of smaller diamonds or gemstones. These peripheral stones reflect light off the center stone, giving it a greater presence on the hand. Halo engagement rings come in single and double halo varieties, depending on how far you want to glow… er… go.
For more sparkle-maximizing tips, read up on how to make your diamond engagement ring look bigger.
Choosing a Diamond: Appraise Where It’s Due
A diamond appraisal is necessary if you want to get your ring insured – which, btw, you totally should! It differs from the GIA or AGS diamond grading certificate that comes with your ring in that it provides a dollar estimate rather than the technical info.
At JamesAllen.com, we offer a complimentary insurance evaluation on any diamond engagement ring valued at $1,000 or higher. If you prefer, you’re welcome to get the diamond independently appraised as well.
Choosing a Diamond: Color Outside the Shines
If your head isn’t already spinning at 360° like our diamonds, we’re about to throw another curveball at you: fancy color diamonds. While colorless diamonds have traditionally been the objects of our affection, their colorful cousins are steadily gaining popularity. And because stones at the vivid ends of the color spectrum are quite rare, they’re more valuable too.
When choosing a diamond, pay close attention to your partner’s personal style. If they’re the free-spirited, artistic type, a diamond in their favorite color could make for an exceptionally meaningful gift. Read more about fancy color diamonds.
Choosing a Diamond: Own That Stone!
Remember – you can view all 200,000+ diamonds on JamesAllen.com in 360° HD at up to 40x SuperZoom.
Don’t miss the next installment in our men’s FAQ series: How to Keep the Ring a Secret.
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