Ultimate Guide: How to Buy an Engagement Ring

Ultimate Guide:
How to Buy an Engagement Ring
Day’s Jewelers Ultimate Guide: How to Buy an Engagement Ring
You found the right person to spend the rest of your life with. Now it’s time to ask the
big question. Before you do there is one big important challenge to conquer…the ring!
We put this ultimate guide on how to buy a diamond engagement ring together with
some main points to think about before, during, and after purchasing.
A lot of people ask, how much do I spend? We know that everyone has their own
budget, so we ask “what you are comfortable with”. It doesn’t have to be two weeks
or two months’ salary; it’s what fits your financial situation. Always take into
consideration that there are many expenses that are going to come along, after the
engagement – the wedding.
Always look into options that make purchasing that perfect ring, a little easier for you.
For example, you may want to look into a layaway plan. Most layaway plans are
interest free and have no monthly fees. This is good for those who know they want to
ask someone to marry them a few months down the road. You can plan out your
minimum monthly payment and work it down to the day you are going to ask.
Financing is usually always an option too; whether it is an in-house credit account or a
major credit card. Most jewelers offer some sort of financing option. These will assess
interest fees.
To learn about Day’s Jewelers layaway and financing options click on the links below:
Trying to find the “right” ring is not an easy task, especially when you want to make
sure it fits that person’s style and personality.
First start with clues: Do they have a pinterest board? Do they leave magazines open
around the house to pages with rings on them? Do they talk about other friends rings
(what they do and don’t like)? Now’s the time to start really paying attention to all this!
There are many different styles of rings: modern or traditional, low or high set, diamond
or gemstone, white or yellow.
Usually the first place to start is the metal type. Is the jewelry they wear now white or
yellow in color? If it is white, there are three primary options – white gold, palladium, or
platinum. Metal is also going to play a role in whether they have allergies as well.
Make sure to know if they are allergic to any metals. Sometimes a person can only
wear hypoallergenic metals like palladium and platinum.
When you are shopping for the perfect engagement ring, you won’t find what you are
looking for. Or there are so many that you can’t decide. There are finished rings,
mountings and there are sets. Phew, a lot to think about!
Deciding on whether you want to buy a finished ring or mounting is sometimes a good
place to start. When you buy a finished ring, it means the diamond is included with the
mounting. However, sometimes the diamond isn’t what you want or the mounting is
just not “the one.” So, if that’s the case start looking at mountings and loose diamonds.
This allows you to literally put the perfect ring together for your special someone.
Whether you are purchasing a finished ring or a mounting and loose diamond to go in
it, we want to make sure you understand some of the important factors of purchasing
a diamond, and sometimes why people wonder “why does something so small, cost
so much.”
The 4C’s – these are the 101’s of diamond education.
One matter of preference is the shape that a diamond is cut into. Any shape other
than a classic round is called a "fancy cut". Some of the most common fancy cut
shapes are:
Fancy cut diamonds make an extremely strong statement and are a unique and
beautiful way to distinguish your personality and style.
The most complex factor affecting a diamond's price is its cut.
Today, diamond cutting is still done by human hands. When a
diamond cutter fashions a stone, he or she must make crucial and
often difficult decisions concerning its size, shape and number of
imperfections. After these decisions are made, it is the craftsmanship
and fine motor skills of the diamond cutter that determines how
much the stone will sparkle and how much attention the final
product will draw. The slightest mistake can ruin a diamond's
symmetry and in doing so, dramatically decline the beauty and
value of the stone. Even a flawless and colorless stone can become
dull if it is poorly cut.
When properly cut, a diamond will send almost all of the light that
comes into it back out of its top. If improperly cut, a significant
amount of the light will exit out of the bottom or side of the stone
In a correct cut, the diamond will return a white shaft of light from its top (called
"brilliance"), sparkle every time that it moves (called "scintillation") and reflect rainbows
throughout its many facets (called "fire" or "dispersion").
An appropriately cut diamond will have symmetrical facets (the windows and mirrors
of the stone); good proportions (not too deep or too shallow) and carefully finished
details (i.e. flawless polishing and permanent treatments).
These three elements of a diamond's light mix in unique and fascinating ways. It is
solely a matter of each individual's preference as to what the best mixture of these
elements is.
Diamonds naturally come in every color of the rainbow but the most common are
those with a slight yellowness. The more common diamond colors are ranked on a
scale from D (absolutely colorless) to Z (naturally yellow).
Some people will also refer to color in groupings (i.e. colorless, faint yellow) which
translate to the following letters:
The rarest and most expensive diamonds are either D (colorless) or a naturally intense
color such as blue, yellow, pink, or the most rare—red. However, not all colored
diamonds are natural; some are treated with harmless radiation to artificially enhance
their color. These diamonds are significantly less valuable than natural colored
diamonds because they are not as rare. A diamond's color should be determined
when it is "loose" or not part of a jewelry piece yet. This is because the color of the
jewelry can play visual tricks on the human eye, making a diamond appear more
yellow in a yellow gold setting or whiter in a platinum setting.
When Jewelers refer to a diamond's carat they are actually referring to the weight of
the stone, not the size. In jewelry, the size of a stone is measured in millimeters; since
diamonds can be cut shallow, deep or ideally, it is impossible to accurately convert a
diamond's carat weight into an exact mm size. However, a very rough conversion can
be made. Despite the ability to very roughly convert carat weight to size, the only
accurate way to know the true carat weight of your diamond is to weigh it. Thus, 1
carat has become universally
known as being a metric weight
of 0.02 grams. The weight of a
diamond has the most significant
impact on its price. Since the
larger a stone is, the rarer it is;
one 2 carat diamond will be
more expensive than the total
cost of two 1 carat diamonds of
the same quality. The carat of a
diamond is often very important
to people when shopping but it is a mistake to sacrifice too much quality for sheer size.
Clarity refers to the number of "inclusions" that are found inside of a diamond.
Inclusions are scratches, trace minerals, or other tiny characteristics or markings that
can detract from the way light bounces from mirror to mirror (known as "facets") within
a diamond.
It is extremely rare to find a diamond without inclusions. Inclusions are distinguishing
characteristics which represent the uniqueness of each diamond and are often called
the diamond's "fingerprint" because no two stones are exactly alike. If a diamond is
found without any inclusions it ranked "flawless," and can be quite costly.
The number of inclusions in a diamond is determined on a scale based on the visibility
and location of these flaws when the diamond is beneath 10x magnification. Two
common diamond grading houses are the Gemological Institute of America [GIA]
and the American Gem Society [AGS]. Each has its own unique way of ranking and
‘grading' a diamond's clarity.
The chart is displaying the rankings from Flawless to ‘Included'
and which AGS numbers correspond with which GIA letters so
you can most effectively compare "apples to apples" in your
quest for the perfect diamond.
Now you know diamonds! Ok, maybe not, but you are on
your way. Diamonds usually come with certifications. These
tell all about the 4C’s and usually will state where the
diamond is from. There are many certifications; GIA, GCAL,
EGL (are some of the top certifications).
Still interested in learning more? Read our blog “How to Buy a Diamond: The 4Cs and
the 5th”
Some additional things to know
You are going to find many rings along your journey to finding the ‘right one.’ Be sure
not to buy the first ring you see, the first one you fall in love with – maybe, but always
keep your options open, you never know what you might find!
Make sure wherever you buy your ring that they offer a guarantee and warranty for
your items. Typically jewelers have a 15-30 day, money back guarantee. This covers
the worst case scenario – they say no. To the smallest case – you need a new size.
Most bridal designers and jewelers have their own warranty against manufacturing
defects. Wear and tear is not usually covered under these warranties; this would be
under your insurance policy.
Some stores offer insurance as well. If they do not, be sure to check with your
homeowners or renters insurance policies, or call your personal agent and ask them to
give you an estimate of what it would cost to add your engagement ring to the policy.
You should do this for all your jewelry!
Online Jewelers
There is only one way to make certain that you buy the right ring at the
right price and that is to trust who you buy it from. We know that you want
to see, touch, and feel the jewelry you are buying. Sometimes, however,
the perfect ring is 2000 miles away. There are many online jewelers. When
shopping online, here are some guidelines to follow:
Trustworthy and Knowledgeable: It’s hard to tell when looking at a jewelry site to
know if the company “knows jewelry.” Find out by calling or emailing them, ask
questions. Be sure you are working with a real jeweler. Real jewelers have great
relationships with Bridal Designers; they also have many years of experience. .
Longevity of Company: Have they been around for more than a couple
decades, these are the jewelers that are in it for the long haul. You don’t want
to buy your ring from a fly by night operation. Make sure to do some research.
Where you buy your ring is probably where you will buy your wedding bands,
anniversary gifts, birthday presents.
Secure: Make sure they have a privacy policy. Check to see if their payment
process is secure. Call and ask them questions, be sure you are talking to and
working with a real person.
Day’s Jewelers has been around since 1914. Most of our staff have been trained by
the Diamond Council of America or certified by the Gemological Institute of America.
Our goal is to earn your trust and be your jeweler for life. Your diamond engagement
ring will probably be the most important purchase you’ll ever make sure you get it