How to Shop a Diamond Ring for your Engagement

You know she’s the one. She makes you happy and supports your endeavours. In short, she’s everything you’re looking for in a woman. But what is holding you back from buying that diamond ring she deserves and pop the question up?

Perhaps you’re a practical shopper and you’re waiting for some discount deals. But why wait for a drop in the market sale when you can use other strategies like compromising on the four C’s of a diamond ring – carat, cut, clarity and colour?

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Four C’s: Cut, Carat, Colour and Clarity

According to experts, it’s the cut that is the most important when it comes to engagement rings. It’s the cut that brings out the brilliance and fire of a gem stone. A great cut therefore lends some flexibility on the other C’s, such as disguising the less desirable clarity and colour of the stone.

A well cut diamond appears flawless to the naked eye even if it is graded SI1, or seven levels below flawless. A flawless round diamond stone with a carat that range from 0.9 to 0.99 and with E colour would cost three times an otherwise similar SI1 diamond ring.

Contrasting Elements

You may also look at how contrasting elements can enhance the look of the ring, instead of going after its grade. Contrasts can help conceal certain imperfections, or enhance the brilliance of the stone. For instance, a yellow colour gold band can make the diamond stone look whiter. This means that you might be able to go as low as M, N or O-colour grade without getting the stone seem dingy. A round stone with VS1 clarity and a carat that range from 0.9 to 0.99 costs three times lower than a similar carat stone with highest grade.

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Ring Shapes: Fancy vs. Round

The shape of the stone is another factor that affects the cost of the ring. Jewellers put premium on round diamonds, because it is the most popular choice amongst shoppers in terms of the stone’s shape. You can save a significant amount of money when you go for fancier shapes. For a 1.03 carat diamond ring with a grade of I for colour and VS1 for clarity, oval and marquise gems with similar attributes cost half the price of a round diamond. Moreover, fancy shapes look bigger than round diamonds of the same weight because there’s more surface area.

Picking fancy shapes also have its disadvantages. For instance, princess-cut diamonds look smaller than diamond rings; ovals seem to have a sparkle-free surface particularly at the centre; and other fancy shapes may be susceptible to damages like chipping. And since jewellers go where the money is, shoppers may have to try looking harder for rings with fancy shapes.

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Consider Estate Markets

You could also find great deals in the estate market, because this is where people turn to when they need to clear out possessions, including jewelleries. You might find attractively priced diamond rings here with less trendy settings and older cuts but look just as good as new. Make sure that the ring is appraised or comes with a certificate to ensure that you are getting your money’s worth when you buy in this market.

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