If you’re looking to buy a diamond engagement ring for the one you love, possibly the hardest part about it is choosing the diamond. Even though most online engagement ring retailers give you the option to build your own ring, it can be tough to choose a diamond out of the options available.
Depending on your budget, choosing a diamond ring can become a complicated and time-consuming process. Everyone knows the diamond determines the overall look of the ring and its value. So, if you want to give your partner a gorgeous diamond engagement ring, it’s time to delve deeper into the ring buying process. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps on how to choose a diamond for a very good price without sacrificing its appearance.
Step #1: Decide On A Budget
This is the most critical part in choosing a diamond. Diamond engagement rings can be very expensive, especially if you don’t know your options. Online retailers can help you keep within your budget by teaching you how to choose a diamond using the 4Cs method. We’ll go into the 4Cs a little later. When deciding on your budget, here are some tips to remember:
- Set your budget prior to entering the store to help keep you on track with the rings you’re going to look at.
- Avoid looking at rings that are over your budget. The more expensive rings are designed to look better than those in the lower range.
- Choose a ring that offers a strong band material. Weaker band material can cause it to wear out faster over time.
Step #2: Decide On The Shape Of Your Diamond
Keep in mind that the shape of the diamond is different from its “cut” (which is one of the 4Cs). The “cut” refers to the angles and facets of the diamond and the way the stone reflects light. It’s usually used as a method of evaluating the value of a diamond. Diamonds come in different shapes, such as:
- Plus many others
Step #3: Understand The 4Cs
Now that your budget is set, and you have the shape in mind, it’s time to choose, and this is where things usually get tricky. To choose a diamond that won’t go over your budget, you have to understand the 4Cs: cut, color, clarity, and carat.
- Cut – This is the most important characteristic of a diamond you really need to consider as it has the greatest impact on the overall look of the ring. As mentioned earlier, cut refers to the way a diamond reflects light. For diamonds with a good cut, the light will reflect out the top. Badly cut diamonds might reflect light on the bottom or side.
- Color – Another important characteristic of a diamond is the color. Remember that diamonds are also valued according to their color scale, which ranges from D (refers to the colorlessness of the stone) to Z (refers to diamonds which have a yellow-brown or grayish color). Ideally, the diamond you pick should be colorless or as colorless as possible. The more colorless the diamond is, the more expensive it will be.
- Clarity – Make no mistake—diamonds are known for being durable and strong. But even though they’re the hardest element on earth, they still come with some flaws and that’s measured by clarity. The clarity scale for diamonds starts with “FL” (flawless) to “I3” (included). If a diamond is marked as “I3”, this means it has a small mark that’s visible to the naked eye. Since you’re choosing a diamond for an engagement ring, you should limit the clarity scale from FL to VS1/VS2 (very slightly included). Diamond experts even recommend you choose a diamond that’s within the “very slightly included” range to save money. The flaws of the diamonds within this range have very little difference from diamonds that rank higher on the clarity scale.
- Carat – This refers to the size of the diamond. As mentioned earlier, the carat of your diamond will depend on your budget, so there’s really no trick with this one. The higher the carat number is, the bigger the diamond will be and the more it will cost you.
By now, you may have narrowed down your search to a couple of diamonds within your budget and search criteria. The whole process is indeed very complicated and may take a lot of time, but by being smart about your choice, you may be able to shave off at least a couple of hundred dollars from your budget while ensuring you get the ideal diamond for your engagement ring.