An engagement ring purchase is hopefully a once-in-a-lifetime thing, which means getting it right the first time around is of the utmost importance. It not only gets you something for your girlfriend and you to be proud of, but also sets the tone for your being together for the rest of your lives. Following are some things you need to know how to do going in.
Picking Out the Shape
Since the ring is for your girlfriend, you need to be sure of what suits her, as well as what she likes among the options that opens up. First comes the shape; then, you need to choose the clarity and color, and then the stone setting on the band. In other words, it all keeps coming back to the right shape, so that is what you will need to fix on first. As long as you know the shape she loves the most, you can be reasonably sure of the kind of ring she is likely to adore well into your future together.
Round brilliant diamond engagement rings are very popular on the market, but don’t let that tell you your bae will be into those before anything else, no pun intended. What you get her should be a statement of who she is, in that at a glance, it must be able to express both her personality and style. Check out each of the different stone cuts on the market —the oval, the heart, the cushion, the marquise, etc —and you will see that each of those tells a completely different story based on the diamond rings they are set on.
Evaluate each individually based on pros and cons regarding color, carat weight, and clarity. For instance, cushions and ovals show the most color, while round brilliants show the least; ovals and pears possess the best spread of the lot; Asschers and emeralds display more inclusions; and pears, marquises, and ovals are likelier to exhibit the bow-tie effect.
Wisely Picking a Clarity Grade
Buying something of a higher clarity always makes sense, but in some cases it makes more sense than in others. For instance, if you have decided to go with an Asscher or an Emerald cut stone, then the high-clarity route is especially a no-brainer, because these are two cuts which display internal flaws to the maximum. For the uninitiated, clarity when speaking of a diamond literally means fewer and smaller inclusions and other flaws.
Some cuts have the kind of faceting capable of hiding such flaws at first sight and even on closer inspection, and if you ever decide to go with one of these, it makes less sense to dish out for higher clarity. All you would be doing there is adding to the price tag, unless you personally know a gem expert who also happens to be in your social circle.
Making Out Certification
There exist 4 Cs which affect how much a graded diamond is worth on the market. Then you also have the fifth C, which is the certification that you acquire with your gem purchase. This certification can come from a number of recognized gem laboratories from around the globe. GIA (the Gemological Institution of America), is the most renowned and reliable of these. If this lab has graded your diamond as VS2 in terms of clarity, then you know it is exactly that —a VS2.
There are also other labs such as AGS, EGL, AGI, GSI, IGI, and HRD, which provide grading of varying and often lower levels of consistency, and thus, reliability. This is because their standards and systems are laxer. If you have a stone graded by one of them, it is possible to get it certified again by GIA for a small fee. It is cheaper to go with a non-certified diamond instead, but unless you are okay with not knowing for sure that the stone was sourced ethically, that is not the way to go.
Giving it Your Special Touch
You’re planning on going down on a knee and asking your girlfriend to marry you, in a moment which is supposed to be all about the two of you, and which speaks all at once of promise, commitment, love, and a positive outlook on your future. It bears making sure that the ring you give her plays a big part in all that, so you may want to throw in some customizations which not only allude to her personal style, but also hint at the love you hold for her in your heart. Rest assured there are many ways to go.
A laser engraving of the date and moment that you first met is obviously the first thing to consider. This can be made on the stone and not the band, if you are looking for something unique to do there. You could even hand-forge your birthstones on the inside of the shank.
There are many ways you can impress your girlfriend and make her break out in tears of joy, but doing it just right requires acing the things mentioned above. Get all the help you can while you go about this, because it is worth the moment when you finally hear “Yes!” come out of her lips.