If you’ve met ‘the one’ and are at the point in your relationship where you’re ready to pop the question, you’re probably thinking of ways to win her heart with the perfect proposal. No proposal is complete without a ring, yet with all the variety of shapes, designs and stones available picking the right ring can feel like a monumental task.
Fortunately, with a little knowledge and guidance, you can easily navigate your way through this challenge. In this article, we will run through some of the essentials you need to know when shopping for the perfect engagement ring.
Gauge Her Style
By now you should have a good sense of your partner’s style and preferences when it comes to jewelry and fashion. Perhaps her style is subtle and chic and she prefers to wear simple studs in her ears, or fine-chain necklaces rather than opt for a more glamorous look. To complement this minimal style, consider a classic and timeless piece of jewelry such as a solitaire engagement ring which offers an understated elegance and beauty.
If your other half enjoys vintage clothing and yearns for the old-world glamor of yesteryear she may suit a more antique-looking piece of jewelry such as an Asscher cut diamond ring.
Another way to narrow down her style is by consulting her close friends or family members to whom she may have dropped hints or shared her vision board. Knowing what she likes can help you focus your search and make the rest of the process far easier and enjoyable.
Know the 4Cs
Not all diamonds are alike. Before you begin shopping, familiarize yourself with the criteria that jewelry and gem experts use when valuing diamonds. Having an understanding of the 4Cs, which stand for cut, color, clarity and carat, can help you make an informed decision and ask the right questions before purchasing a ring. Below are some of the essentials to keep in mind:
Cut: Arguably the most important factor when choosing a diamond, the cut will determine the overall beauty and sparkle of the stone. The way a diamond is cut refers to its symmetry, dimensions and polish. A well-cut diamond will reflect more light, appearing luminous and brilliant while a poorly cut diamond will appear dull and lackluster.
The cut of a diamond will affect its unique characteristics of fire, brilliance and scintillation. Fire refers to a diamond’s ability to disperse light into a prism of colors; brilliance measures the total amount of light it reflects and scintillation is the play of light which produces a flashing effect when the diamond moves.
Color: The closer a diamond is to being colorless the more valuable and prized it will be. A transparent diamond can reflect more light and produce greater amounts of fire and brilliance giving it the desired sparkle. Color is measured on a scale ranging from D to Z, with D being completely colorless, and Z being light brown or yellow. A good tip when shopping is to select a diamond in the near colorless range of G-J, as these offer the best value.
Clarity: The clarity of a diamond is measured based on the number of inclusions or impurities contained within it. These are usually mineral deposits that appear during the formation of a diamond and often look like small crystals, pinpoints, feathers or wisps within its structure.
While less than 0.5% of diamonds are completely flawless, the diamond clarity scale is graded from FL (Flawless) to I3 (Included). When making your selection a clarity grade of VS2 or above is recommended.
Carat: Sometimes confused with its size, the carat of a diamond is more akin to its weight. A one-carat diamond weighs 200 milligrams. This is divided by 100 to produce a point system that results in a precise way of measuring diamonds. For example, a 25 point carat is the same as a 0.25 carat or a quarter of a carat. The value of a diamond will increase disproportionately according to its carat size. This is because the larger a diamond, the scarcer it is.
Once you have an idea of your partner’s style you can use this information to determine which diamond shape to go for. From emeralds to Asschers, princesses cuts to cushions, the options can seem overwhelming, however, you will soon realize certain shapes suit certain personalities better.
For example, the round cut is known for producing the most sparkle and would suit a more glamorous style whereas an emerald is less brilliant yet offers a more understated elegance. Mentioning your partner’s style to a jeweler can help them present you with suitable options.
Now that you know the ins and outs of shopping for the perfect engagement ring, all that’s left to do is propose.