What to know before buying an engagement ring

Posted by Skeie's Jewelers on

An engagement ring is considered to be one of the most important purchases of your life, and it can be an expensive one. Taking these factors into account, it is imperative to have some general knowledge when purchasing an engagement ring. 

Find the Pinterest board:

Many women utilize Pinterest to dream and plan about their perfect wedding. On average, Pinterest users save nearly 900 million pins related to weddings. By finding her Pinterest board, you will be able to gauge her style when it comes to an engagement ring. This will ensure she is receiving a ring that fits her style and will make you feel confident in your purchase. It will also help preserve the element of surprise when proposing to her. 
IF she does not have a Pinterest board, the next best option is to observe the jewelry she already wears and use your best judgement when purchasing the engagement ring. 

Understand Diamonds: 

When purchasing an engagement ring, it is critical to understand what makes a diamond valuable. Diamonds are priced based upon their cut, color, clarity and carat. 

Cut is important when looking to have the most sparkle possible out of the diamond. It is dependent how well the diamond facets interact with the light.  If you are interested in learning more about diamond cuts, please visit this page. 

Color, or lack thereof, is another important classification when determining the value of a diamond. Through the Gemological Institute of America’s D-Z grading scale, the color of the diamond is graded based upon the level of body color the diamond presents. The scale begins with D-F (colorless), and ends with S-Z (light). Skeie’s Jewelers only sells diamonds graded higher than a K color to ensure the best value and quality.

Clarity refers to the lack of blemishes or inclusions in a diamond. These inclusions can either be seen with the naked eye, but it is usually only seen under 10x magnification. There are six categories for the clarity of a diamond. 

Flawless (FL): No inclusions and no blemishes visible under 10x magnification

Internally Flawless (IF): No inclusions visible under 10x magnification              

Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2): Inclusions so slight they are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification                                    

Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2):  Inclusions are observed with effort under 10x magnification, but can be characterized as minor                               

Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2): Inclusions are noticeable under 10x magnification

Included (I1, I2, and I3) : Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification which may affect transparency and brilliance

Carat is the term used to describe the weight of a diamond. A metric carat is defined as 200 milligrams, which is then subdivided by 100 points. This is why a diamond that is .25ctw is usually described as ‘25 points.’

Understand metals: 

The second most important part of buying an engagement ring is the setting. This is where you will determine what type of metal you would like the ring to be made of. The most popular metals used are 14k or 18k yellow, white or rose gold, and platinum. 

14k and 18k yellow gold: 14k yellow gold tends to be a lighter, paler yellow, while 18k is a richer, warmer yellow. 14k gold is made with 58% gold and the rest is metal alloy. 18k yellow gold is 75% pure gold. 

14k and 18k white gold: 14k white gold tends to be more white in hue, as the yellow gold is mixed with more metals of the same color like copper, zinc, and palladium. 18k white gold tends to have a more gray and not as white color. Both are rhodium-plated, which helps it resist scratching and tarnishing. However, you will most likely need to have the ring re-rhodium plated to bring back the rich color. 

14k and 18k rose gold: Rose gold is created by mixing yellow gold with copper alloy. However, 14k rose gold tends to have a richer pink color, while 18k rose gold has a darker pink hue. 

Platinum: Platinum is considered the most precious of all jewelry metals as it is five times as rare and is naturally hypoallergenic. It is also one of the strongest metals and is a primary choice to hold a diamond due to its durability. 

Set a Budget: 

If you have a basic understanding of diamonds and precious metals when beginning an engagement ring search, you should be able to determine a budget. The budget will vary depending on the type of metal you choose for the setting, and the 4C’s of the diamond.
It is important to set a budget based upon what type of ring you are looking for. You can either raise or lower the price by the  diamond quality or switching from platinum to 14k gold, vice versa. 

Research your store: 

To ensure you are receiving the best service, quality and price, it is crucial to research the jewelry stores you plan on visiting. Some jewelry stores, such as chain stores, may have better prices than a competitor, but it should be alarming if the diamond is underpriced. There is no “great deal”; you get what you pay for when buying diamonds. The service may also not be as personal as it would be at a family-owned jewelry store. When looking for the best jewelry store to purchase from, analyze your priorities and see which store would best fit your needs. 

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