What to Look For when Buying an Engagement Ring

November 28th, 20101:52 pm

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What to Look For when Buying an Engagement Ring

All jewelry stores sparkle with beautiful gems and jewels, but not all rings are created equal.  There are a handful of different cuts of rings to choose from, a lot of different stones, different quality of stones, and you can also choose a number of different metal settings too!

Before you place your foot into the door of any other jewelry store, familiarize yourself a bit with some information so you can better decide just what you’re looking for and feel confident that you have made the right choice.

A Stone’s Shape

Whether it is a diamond, an emerald, sapphire or any other gem that you are looking at, there are eight different shapes that you will find most rings in.  These include:

  • The Princess Cut: This cut has become increasingly popular over the years as it is regarded as being chique and classy.  The princess cut looks like a box or a square in shape.
  • Round or Brilliant Cut: This is perhaps the most traditional shape for all gems to be cut into.  This is a circular shaped cut.
  • Oval Cut: Though this is mostly reserved for gems other than diamonds, some women appreciate the elongated circular shape.
  • Pear Cut: This type of cut resembles a tear drop – pointed at one end, and then gradually extending down into a rounded bottom
  • Heart Cut: This cut is rather self explanatory.  The gem will appear to be in a heart shape.
  • Marquise Cut: The marquise cut is a gem that has points on both ends.
  • Emerald Cut: Though this previously was only used for emeralds, a lot of women now prefer the rectangular shape that an emerald cut offers for other gems, such as diamonds.
  • Trillion Cut:  These gems are triangular in shape

The Four C’s

You have probably already heard of the four “C’s”.  The four C’s involve the following:

  • Cut (as explained above)
  • Color
  • Clarity
  • Carat weight

These are the four things that will determine the cost of your diamond.

Cut: The cut of your diamond refers to the different placement and amount of small polished surfaces that are “cut” into your diamond. These “cuts” allow the gem to act as a prism and redirect light in different ways.

Color: Believe it or not, but diamonds are not just white in color.  You can find some that are pink, red, and even blue.  Colorless, the type we generally see, are the most valuable – and therefore the most expensive.  You want your diamond to be as colorless as possible, though this means that they are also the most expensive.  The most colorless diamond is coded as “D” on the color scale, and “Z” is the least colorless diamond.  “Z” grade diamonds tend to be yellowish.

Clarity:  Having the clearest diamond is of course best, but the budget may not provide for it.  Here are the different clarity scale ratings:

  • FL (flawless): No color, blemishes, or external chips
  • IF (Internally flawless): No flaws are visible under 10x magnification
  • VVS1 or VVS2 (very, very slightly included): At 10x magnification, these flaws are difficult to locate
  • VS1 or VS2 (very slightly included):  At 10x magnification, you will have moderate difficulty locating any flaws
  • SI1 or SI2 (slightly included): You can see flaws under 10x magnification
  • I1 to I3: You can see the flaws with your own two eyes

Carat Weight: This simply refers to the weight of the ring.  Though size does matter, it doesn’t matter nearly as much as the cut, the color, and the clarity of the ring.  So don’t become hung up on finding the biggest, least expensive ring in the shop.

Categories: Engagement Rings