Most men feel the pressure when choosing an engagement ring for the woman of their dreams. This is often due to the fact that the average man does not sit around and study diamond rings or learn what is important and what is not. It is a common misconception to just think about the size of the diamonds and color of the setting because you can end up with a not-so-pretty ring. As most men forget some of the important characteristics of a diamond ring, here is a bling bling buying 101 to help make your purchase.
The Five C’s
The five C’s are what most jewelers associate with when you are buying a diamond ring. They are as follows; color, cut, clarity, carat and cost. Each of these aspects of a diamond affects another. If the stone is larger in the same cut it will be more expensive but a stone might be smaller in a different cut and still be more expensive. Also you might have speckles of dirt in the diamond which decreases the clarity or the sparkle and makes it worth less.
Diamonds come in array of different colors from clear to blue or pink. There are even canary diamonds which are yellow but more expensive than the yellow tinted clear diamonds. Most popular by demand are the clear diamonds that have no tint of color in them.
This color scale is marked from D,E,F as colorless to further letters in alphabet as color increases. As you continue in the alphabet, the more color a diamond has and typically it will cost less. The only exceptions are when you have rare diamonds that are colorful like yellow, pink or blue.
The two most sparkling cuts of diamonds are the brilliant and the radiant. These diamonds sparkle more due to the amount of laser cuts they do when cutting the diamond. Each crossing set of cuts, also known as a facet, allows the light to sparkle off of it a little more creating a more beautiful diamond.
The brilliant diamond is round and the radiant diamond is rectangular with soft corners. These cuts are recommended because if you are on a budget and can only afford a smaller diamond, you will still get a lot of sparkle for your money.
The clarity of the diamond is determined on the amount of dirt spots or bubble looking spots in the stone. These marks are called inclusions and most are not visible to the naked eye. The more there are in the diamond and the larger they are, the less value is put on the diamond. This is one of the most important things to consider when looking at a diamond.
If there are multiple inclusions that are large, the diamond would be not as sparkling and that would decrease the value. Most people would get a large diamond if they could afford it, but a lot of larger diamonds have more inclusions than smaller ones. This make the larger diamonds with great clarity cost way out of your budget.
Carat is the measurement of size they use when evaluating diamonds. The carat is a weight measurement that equals about two-hundred milligrams. Diamonds are anywhere from 0.01 carat to 5 carats. The most common way to get a good sized diamond without paying too much is to get a .9 or .95 carat which is just under one carat. When shopping for a diamond you will see this difference and also see rings with total carat weight.
The total carat weight is the total of all the diamonds in any given ring. Make sure you look into that as the center stone may be smaller than anticipated due to side stones in the setting. If you want to be very careful, go to a diamond store that allows you to view each individual loose diamond prior to setting it for you. This allows you to verify the specs prior to purchasing.
Diamond rings can cost anywhere from one-hundred dollars to millions of dollars. Each of the four previous C’s come into hand when determining the cost of any diamond ring. The general rule of thumb is to spend three months pay on a diamond ring. I think that is a little steep and would stick to one month’s pay. You can always upgrade in the future or spend the money to put a down payment on your first home together or go on a vacation.
Make sure that you price rings out based on the color, cut, clarity and carat before making the purchase. Some stores have sales on diamonds which usually means they are overpriced to begin with. I would stay away from places like that. There are jewelry exchanges and places that do not have sales and guarantee their diamonds for a lifetime. These are the types of stores you want to look into.
As a final note of advice when choosing a diamond ring is the warranty and wear and tear policy of the store. It is more desirable to go with a company that will polish or re-dip it in white gold at no extra cost throughout the years as rings wear. Also if your diamond falls out, make sure they will replace it at equal color, cut, clarity and carat at no charge. This way you do not have to worry about that expense yourself. Just make sure you bring your ring in every six months so the warranty stays true!
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