Getting ready to pop the question, or just casually browsing? Be prepared when choosing the right diamond engagement ring! Here are our best tips and tricks to help you get ready to propose to your significant other.
Whether you’re the one doing the asking, helping someone pick out a ring, or solidifying the facts for your own future engagement… there’s nothing more important than being prepared! There’s a lot to know when choosing a diamond ring, so getting the facts straight will help you determine which diamond and setting best suits you and your partner.
Beyond the 4 C’s, there are a ton of other important factors that come into play. But don’t worry! We are here to help. Keep on scrolling for all the important tips you need to know (and research) before you even begin your search for the best diamond.
Must-Know Tips on Choosing a Diamond Engagement Ring
1. Find Out The Diamond Shape
Before you even look at buying a diamond, you NEED to know the shape they want! There are so many different shapes out there and someone who loves a pear might not love a round. An engagement ring is specific to each person, so be sure to know exactly what they’re looking for before going in blind. Check out their Pinterest board, ask friends or family or even ask them! If you’re the one getting engaged to, be sure to determine which shape you love best. Look on Instagram, check out Pinterest pins, browse some websites, or even go into store.
2. The Engagement Ring Setting Matters
Another key factor is the setting… there are so many available. Knowing this beforehand can help you narrow down exactly what you want to get. First off, do they want something simple without diamonds on the band? Or are they into the pave setting? Do they want yellow gold or white gold? Every website will have their own designated name for each setting style- complete with extensive details and specs. If you have any questions, we always recommend reaching out to the company. Also! Almost every company does custom made rings. If you don’t see something you like or a specific setting isn’t exactly what you’re significant other wanted, check to see if they customize their settings. Most companies will!
- Styles: from simple band to one with pave, visible or hidden halo, triple encrusted pave, two toned band & prongs, eternity band, bezel, french setting, cathedral, and lots more.
- Metal Types: yellow gold, white gold, platinum, rose gold, etc.
3. Lab Diamond or Mined Diamond?
There’s a lot to unpack here! Again, this can come down to a few different factors that will affect your choice. Number one would be preference. Everyone has a different preference and choice in the matter, whether you prefer a mined diamond, a lab diamond or another type of stone (which we won’t go into further detail in this post) will play a huge part in what you choose!
- Make a budget! This will determine a lot before you even start looking. A budget, especially if there is not preferences can play a huge part in picking a diamond. Lab diamonds are significantly cheaper in price than mined diamonds, but are identical in looks and specs.
- Check to see preferences! See if your significant other, or you, have a preference on the type of diamond chosen.
- Size matters. If your partner wants a larger diamond, but your price range is set, check out lab diamonds. They can save you a ton while also getting you a larger diamond while still hitting all of your most important C’s!
4. A Diamonds 4 C’s
Alright, you picked the shape, you know the setting, you’ve picked between lab and mined, so now it’s time to shop for a diamond! Here are the factors, also known as the 4 C’s, that come into play when choosing a diamond.
- The most well known of the 4 C’s. Carat is the overall weight of the diamond. Naturally, you’ll see bigger diamonds weigh more, but that’s obvious. Carat will almost always determine the size of the diamond. So a 2 carat diamond is larger than a 1 carat, and so on. The bigger the carat, the higher the price tag.
- However, don’t be fooled! Some diamonds can have a higher carat, but look smaller. And some diamonds can have a lower carat and look larger than their size… we will get to that reasoning later on.
- Remember, depending upon your SO’s finger size, carat size will look different on everyone. A 1 carat will look large on someone with a 3.75 ring size in comparison to someone with a size 6.
- Figure out what your SO likes, it can change the whole shopping process. Personally, my ring size is 4.75 and my diamond is 1.87 carats. It’s a big rock! I wouldn’t go any larger as this ring is already at my personal ring size max preference.
- Clarity determines how clear your diamond is/appears. The chart begins with Flawless to Included. Overall you need to determine what matters to you! A lot of the time, the blemishes and inclusions on a diamond aren’t visible to the human eye and would require a microscope to see them. Remember, the online report means nothing unless you see it in person. If an internal inclusion doesn’t matter to you and you can’t see it with your own eye, then snag it! Our pro tip is to view the diamond in person OR get your jeweller to send you various photos and videos of the diamond in different lighting. This way you can see what it looks like besides the 3D close up.
- Colour is how colourless you want the diamond. Colourless begins at DEF to light yellow/brown at S to Z. The colour of your diamond would depend upon a number of things. DEF would be colourless, with GHIJ sitting just below at nearly colourless. A GHIJ diamond will still appear colourless to the naked eye, however if you’re comparing a diamond side by side to a DEF diamond, only then will it appear not as colourless. In our opinion, how often do we compare diamonds on the daily besides when we purchase it? Choose the diamond you feel most comfortable buying, with your preferences in mind. And always look at it in person or from multiple view points in pictures and videos! Personal note: when shopping, a G diamond was identical to the E & F diamonds we were comparing side by side… you couldn’t even notice the colour difference! Some things to consider:
- Do you want/need it to be completely colourless?
- Are you setting it with yellow gold? If so, and you want a whiter diamond, we would suggest staying higher on the colour scale as a yellow/gold setting will pull your diamond to appear warmer.
- Do you like a slightly/more warmer diamond?
- This C only applies to round diamonds. Sorry fancy shape lovers! There is no actual grading scale for shapes outside of the round. There are other identifiers on the cut of a diamond for fancy shapes and we will get into that in the next part! However for those round diamond lovers/shoppers, this section is for you! A diamond cut grade is graded from Excellent to Poor. It’s determined by 3 major factors: brightness, fire and scintillation. In order to score high in these sections, a diamonds table size, total depth, crown angle, crown height, pavilion angle, pavilion depth, lower girdle/half facet length, girdle, thickness, star length and culet are examined. The cut determines how well a diamond will react with the light, how much it will sparkle. You don’t want a diamond that’s dull or not eye appealing.
5. Fancy Shape Go-To Guide
A fancy shape, like a radiant or oval, doesn’t get an overall cut grade. Which makes things a little difficult when shopping for a fancier diamond.So how does one choose a great fancy shape without being underwhelmed by it’s shine and sparkle? Here are a few things you need to know!
- Do your research! Depth of a diamond can determine a ton. If your diamond is too shallow, it won’t sparkle as bright and will look too heavy for its size. If your diamond is too deep, then it’ll look smaller than it actually is… and again the sparkle just won’t be there! Each shape has a recommended depth zone, for example with a radiant an “excellent cut” would have a 61%-67% depth.
- Again, this will vary depending upon the shape. The table is how the diamond appears face up. The recommended table % will affect how your diamond appears. A too small or too big table % will affect the look of your diamond, how it sparkles, and the overall brilliance of it. A recommended table % for a radiant is anywhere between 61%-69%.
- The girdle of your diamond can affect a number of things, from the size, to the longevity of it. An extremely thin girdle can be hard to set and may break/chip. An extremely thick girdle can make the diamond look smaller as it takes up too much of the diamonds depth and can reflect negatively in its top view. An ideal girdle rating lies at thin, medium. But anything between Very thin- very thick won’t affect its proportions.
- The length and width of your diamond will be determined by you and your partner. A preference will definitely come into play here. Let’s look at the radiant cut as an example again. If you go with a L/W ratio of 1:1, then your radiant will be square. Now, if you go with a L/W ratio of 1:4, then your radiant will be more elongated. It truly depends on you and your preferences and if you want a more elongated diamond.
- A lot of elongated shapes can have the visual of a bowtie. Unfortunately, this isn’t something you can tell from its grading report or specs. The bowtie effect (hint, it physically looks like a bowtie) appears in the middle of a diamond and it’s caused by a blockage of light. Meaning, it doesn’t reflect any light at a certain angle to our eyes, think of it like a dark patch. Bowties are extremely hard to avoid in fancy shapes, most will have one, if not a minimal one. You need to view the diamond in person, or request photos/videos from your jeweller in different lights, to determine if you have a bowtie in your diamond. This isn’t a bad thing! Again, it’s a personal preference. If you dislike the sight of a bowtie, try to ask your jeweller to find a diamond with no bowtie/minimal bowtie.
Alright! That’s everything you need to know when choosing a diamond. If you have any further questions, drop them down below! Our next blog post will be a feature on How To Drop Dream Engagement Ring Hints, for all those who are looking to lead your future husband/wife in the right direction. Trust us, it’s better you prepare them than they go in blind. Diamond hunting is hard enough, without a clear vision? Nearly impossible.
How To Pick The Ultimate Diamond Engagement Ring