The engagement ring has long been held as the little, perfect symbol of love and commitment between two people. As such, it’s selection is taken very seriously and is often researched more than many of the wedding purchases to come.
Nowadays, some couples prefer to research and select an engagement ring together since it will be worn for a lifetime. The actual proposal will still be a surprise, of course, but having picked out the perfect ring already will help make this event flow even more perfectly. 😉
While there are so many choices involved in choosing the perfect ring, perhaps the most common theme across engagement rings is the diamond. Many brides feel that they’d like to have at least some kind of diamond or diamonds on the ring – but please note that this is not a rule; it is absolutely fine to choose another type of stone to suit your own unique taste and/or budget. You’ll also want to consider the type of metal used for the band, as this will affect the overall price of the ring but likely to a lesser extent.
Note: Speaking of budget, you may have heard or come across the traditional thought that a budget of “two months salary” should be set aside for the cost of the engagement ring. Keep in mind that this is one of those rather old traditions, and that these days it often makes far more sense to discuss the topic of budget openly with your partner and reach a decision that makes the most sense to both of you.
When it comes to buying diamonds, a bit of knowledge about these precious stones will go a long way in making an informed decision and purchase. If you’ve already begun to research engagement rings you’ll have probably come across the standard for determining a diamond’s worth, commonly known as “The Four C’s”:
the four c’s of diamond purchases
In general, diamonds that are clearer are more expensive. Colorless diamonds are considered to be “perfect” and are therefore more expensive. There are, however, rare “colored” diamonds (pink diamonds, etc.) and these are significantly more costly than their clear counterparts.
The way that a jeweler carves the diamond has a direct effect on the diamond’s brilliance and ability to shine. A truly accurate cut will make the diamond really sparkle. There are different cuts, or shapes, to choose from: a “Brilliant” (or “Round”) Cut is the most common choice, but there are other options as well including Oval, Pear, Marquis, Emerald and Heart shaped cuts.
From diamond to diamond, there are certain flaws and imperfections in each stone – some of which may not even be visible to the naked eye. The more “flawless” the diamond, the more expensive it will be. There is a grading system for diamonds used by jewelers: ‘FL’ means Flawless, ‘VVS’ means Very Very Small Spots, ‘VS’ means Very Small Spots, etc. on down to ‘I3’ which means Obvious Imperfections. Normally, the naked eye can’t see imperfections down to a ‘VS2’ grade.
The number of carats of a diamond simply refers to its weight. The larger the diamond, the larger the price tag.