From the monthly archives:

December 2010

Choosing the Perfect Engagement Ring

by on December 13, 2010

For today’s post, 77 Diamonds has compiled a ten-step plan to finding the perfect engagement ring. So before the panic sets in, ease your mind with their simple-to-follow guide.

1) DECIDE ON A BUDGET AND KNOW HER RING SIZE
Before you can even begin to comprehend the process of deliberating over diamonds, you must outline your budget for the rock. Once you’ve thrashed out the finer points with your wallet, it will be much easier to reconcile you or your significant other’s preferences for the style and design of the ring. However, before you splash out, it is essential that you know their ring-size.

2) ALWAYS CONSIDER METAL AND SIZE FIRST
Engagement bands are usually made of platinum, yellow gold, rose gold, palladium or white gold. The type of metal and its thickness will affect what settings, styles and stones you can pick, including the procedures for repair or re-sizing, therefore it is important to consider the ring size here too (either in mm or a ring grading E to V).

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3) CHOOSE YOUR SETTING WISELY
There are many variations of standard and custom settings available for engagement rings. Prong, bar, tension, bezel, channel, flush, cluster, and invisible, to name but a few. Which setting you choose is often dictated by the shape and size of the ring that you may already have in mind. The most popular is the ‘prong’ setting because it holds the diamond in place as if it were hanging, maximizing the amount of light that enters the diamond which in turn makes the stone sparkle more.

Choose the right Diamond: The 4 Cs
Clarity, Cut, Colour and Carat are the famous four aspects of a diamond that you are going to have to brush up on before determining which diamond to choose for that all-important engagement ring. Our diamond education section is a recommended read.

4) DIAMOND CLARITY
Clarity of a diamond is what makes every diamond unique and subsequently it is what has the most influence on its price. Clarity is measured by grades which mark the level of inclusions of the stone. Inclusions are the broader term for blemishes, scratches, air pockets and non-diamond material on the surface of or inside the diamond. Grades range from Flawless to Included (flawless being the best) but be wary that diamond grading laboratories have different grading standards. To ensure an eye clean diamond you should always go with a stone of VS1 clarity or above or else make sure you either see the diamond for yourself or have your jeweller confirm it is ‘eye clean’.

5) DIAMOND CUT
Diamonds are known for their brilliance, but a diamond’s sparkle is determined by its cut which works to reflect as much light as possible by adjusting angles and proportions. The cut grade should be classified according to the certificate issued by the grading laboratory.

6) DIAMOND COLOUR
Diamonds are famous and loved for their icy white appearance; however most diamonds contain a hint of brown or yellow. Colour is graded on a scale from D (white or colourless) to Z (brownish or yellowish). Diamond grades from D to H are usually colourless or near-colourless but a faint yellow tint becomes visible in I grades. You need to consider personal preference, budget and the colour of the jewellery setting before settling on a stone colour.

7) DIAMOND CARAT
In order to get the best value for your money you’ll need to find a good balance between quality and size. Carat refers to the unit of diamond weight and is equal to 0.2grams. The carat weight will give you an idea of the size of your diamond, but double the carat does not necessarily mean double the size of the stone.

8) CHOOSE THE BEST STYLE FOR HER
Once you are familiar with the 4 Cs, you’re ready to choose a diamond shape. Shapes include the classic Round Brilliant cut, the trendy Princess cut, the glamorous Emerald cut, the creative Oval cut, the majestic Marquise cut, the antique-style Asscher, the sparkling Cushion cut or the popular Heart or Pear shapes.

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9) CHECK YOUR CERTIFICATE OF APPRAISAL
Once you have chosen the diamond and the setting, you will need to obtain a certificate of authenticity especially if you choose to insure your purchase.
The certificate validates the carat weight, cut, colour and clarity with the diamond’s exact measurements. The majority of certificates are issued by two of the most trusted certifying organizations of the diamond industry. The Gemological Institute of America (G.I.A.) and the American Gem Society (A.G.S.)
Be cautious of alternative laboratories which may not be internationally recognized.

10) OBTAIN A GUARANTEE OR WARRANTY
Just in case the ring needs adjusting or repairing, ensure that you understand your rights for return or amendment. Depending on the jeweller, they will usually provide either a limited-time money-back guarantee or a lifetime warranty.

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