Knowing how to buy a diamond is based on the 4Cs – Colour, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight. Picture: Supplied
Knowing how to buy a diamond is based on the 4Cs – Colour, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight. Picture: Supplied

How to choose the perfect engagement ring

By Partnered Content Time of article published Jul 8, 2020

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Are you and your soul-mate ready for the big “I do”?  Finding that perfect engagement ring is probably the single most important and exciting step to starting your journey together.  But with so many things to consider when it comes to  choosing an engagement ring, you may feel you need a bit of guidance. 

You might be wondering how to choose a diamond, or how to find your ring size. Perhaps you would like assistance on different diamond cuts, ring styles, the selection of ring settings, the perfect metal for rings, or selecting the wedding band which will complement the engagement ring perfectly.

1. Start with setting a budget

Some of the principal questions many ring shoppers ask are: “How much are engagement rings?” or “How much should I spend on an  engagement ring?”  You probably have heard about the commonly mentioned rule of thumb that sets your budget at two months’ salary.

Interestingly, this notion was generated by a really clever and effective ad campaign designed for a renowned diamond producer during the lean 1930s. 

Contrary to the present popular guideline, we believe that when it involves ring budgeting, it is not cast in stone.  Every couple is different, so rather than following strict rules or guidelines on your ring budget, we recommend taking a more personal approach.  Set a budget that you are comfortable with, whether it’s more or less than two months’ salary.

2. Choose a Diamond

Finding the proper ring starts with choosing the right diamond for you. So, once you’ve set your budget, it’s time to explore the diamond types that are within your price range.  Knowing how to buy a diamond is based on the 4Cs – Colour, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight.

The colour evaluation of a diamond, measured according to laboratory D-to-Z colour grading, is based on the absence of colour.  The letter D – the highest grade on the scale – represents colourless.  A diamond’s clarity is graded from FL (Flawless) – the rarest of the rare – to I (Included).

Carat is the standard unit of weight used for diamonds.  Since large diamonds are rare, they are more valuable than smaller diamonds of the same colour and clarity.

A diamond’s cut is one of the most important grading aspects as this is where technical expertise enters the picture.  The cutting process reveals the diamond’s exquisite hidden wonder beneath its rough exterior.  Skilled craftsmen have mastered the supreme artistry of unleashing a diamond’s light and revealing the magic that lies within.  Whether you prefer a mesmerizing  pear-shaped diamond cut or the classic round brilliant solitaire, you are guaranteed to find a diamond with design excellence when working with an experienced jeweller.

Which diamond will you fall in love with? With a wide variety of exceptional diamond shapes and cuts, you are bound to find a diamond that will suit your unique style and personality.

3. Select a Ring setting

One of the most important aspects of the anatomy of an engagement ring is its setting.  The setting is the way in which the diamond is secured in a silver, gold or platinum mount.  There are many styles of ring settings that, in harmony with personal preference work better with certain diamond shapes than others.

Deciding on a setting for a ring is simply as important as selecting a diamond or gemstone, because the setting won't only increase the allure of the ring, bringing the unique diamond or gemstone and style of the ring together but will secure the stone in situ.

When choosing a ring setting it’s a good idea to keep your lifestyle in mind.  The idea is select a band and setting which will seamlessly become part of your life.

If the bride-to-be has an active lifestyle or works with materials that can easily snag, the bezel or tube setting may be the perfect choice.  Perhaps you want the diamond to take centre stage.  Then consider the classic claw setting that reveals the entire profile of the diamond. Another highly sought-after ring style is famous  halo diamond ring setting – an excellent choice for bride-to-be who wants her diamond to look bigger.  Browsing for pictures is a wise decision when you intend to sit down with a custom jeweller.

4. Choose a precious metal

What is the best metal for rings?  Any ring guide wouldn’t be complete without guidance on this important aspect.  Gold and platinum are still the most sought-after metals for engagement and wedding rings.  Choosing one is normally determined by personal preference and your budget.  Platinum is a denser metal and works out a bit more expensive in the same volume of the same ring in gold.

The most obvious distinction between gold and platinum is colour.  Gold is naturally yellow and platinum is white.  White gold is composed of gold, palladium and silver alloys and finished off with rhodium plating, which gives it a white look similar to platinum, while rose gold is composed of gold and a copper alloy to get that beautiful pink/rose colour. If durability is important to you, platinum is still the preferred choice.

5. Find the correct ring size

Among the most important of all ring tips is to make sure the ring fits when you slip it onto her finger for the first time.

If you are planning a surprise proposal, think out of the box to get her ring size.  Employ the help of her friends, mother or sisters.  Secretly have one of her favourite rings measured or jokingly ask a jeweller to measure both your fingers for future reference. 

Get Expert Advice

As custom jewellers, we understand the importance of these special moments.  That’s why every masterpiece of your choosing is classic, timeless and sometimes contemporary.  Custom designs are crafted with attention to detail to celebrate the special moments in your life in style.

Sit down with a jeweller with the expertise and skill to guide you through this important occasion. Whether you are looking for the perfect diamond engagement ring or simply need advice on the engagement ring shopping- or design process, book an appointment at one of your favourite jewellers today.

Visit our website now for great specials and promotions -  www.yourdiamonds.co.za

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