You’ve decided that you’re ready to take the plunge and ask the love of your life to marry you, now what? Well, picking out an engagement ring is probably the next step and, in general, most people buy diamond solitaire engagement rings. You don’t have to be a diamond expert to pick out an engagement ring, the jeweler will help you with the process, but there are some things you should be aware of when selecting a diamond engagement ring.
Should I Buy a Loose or Mounted Diamond For Solitaire Diamond Engagement Rings?
When you’re shopping for the perfect engagement ring, you will find many rings that already include the diamond and setting, but you will also have the choice of selecting a diamond that hasn’t been mounted in a setting. Most jewelers will suggest buying a loose diamond instead of a mounted one for several reasons. The best reason for selecting a loose diamond is so that the customer can rest assured that the diamond is of good quality.
While a loose diamond is more expensive than a mounted one, the quality of a loose diamond is easier to judge. A mounted diamond may have a flaw or imperfection that is covered up by the setting. A diamond’s quality is judged by its lack of flaws and its brilliance, which includes the way the light reflects off the diamond. When a diamond solitaire engagement ring is bought with the gemstone already mounted, it is almost impossible to determine its brilliance.
Most loose diamonds, approximately 90 percent, are certified, which helps ensure that you are buying a quality gemstone. There are several companies that certify diamonds, but the one most jewelers recommend is the Gemological Institute of America, GIA. They created a grading system for diamonds known as the four “Cs”. This grading system is used to determine its quality.
What is the Four “Cs” Grading System for Best Diamond Solitaire Engagement Rings?
The four “Cs” grading system was created by the GIA to help communicate a diamond’s quality is used worldwide by diamond companies. The four “Cs” are:
Color – The grading scale for color ranges from D – Z and it measures the colorlessness of a diamond. A gem-quality diamond should have no hue or color. The highest value diamonds are as clear as a drop of water.
Clarity – A diamond’s clarity refers to its flaws. Flaws inside the stone are called inclusions and ones on the outside are blemishes. The number of flaws, their size, nature, relief and position determine the clarity of the stone.
Cut – The cut grade of a diamond tells how well the facets of it interact with the light. A poorly cut diamond will not reflect light well, diminishing its value.
Carat – This is a measurement of how much a diamond weighs, most often measured in milligrams. A carat is equal to 200 milligrams and a carat diamond has 100 “points.” Diamonds less than one carat are described by their number of points. For instance, a 0.25 carat diamond means it has 25 points.
A jeweler will allow you to look at a diamond through a loupe and explain the characteristics of the stone. However, it is always a good idea to have some idea of what they are talking about when they describe the diamond to you.
What is the Difference between Cut and Shape For A Simple Solitaire Engagement Ring?
You’ve probably heard a diamond described as having a certain cut, using terms such as:
Cushion cut solitaire engagement rings;
Solitaire princess cut engagement rings; or
Round cut solitaire engagement rings.
However, this description is incorrect. The cut of a diamond refers to how shaped and the facets it has and the shape of diamond is its appearance. A cushion cut or princess cut is the shape, not the actual cut.
There are 10 common diamond shapes you will see in a jewelry store. Along with princess and cushion cut, the diamond shapes include:
The shape of the diamond will often help determine the setting that you buy for it. A heart shaped diamond needs a setting that will protect its tip because it can be easily damaged since it is fragile.
How Much Should I Pay For A Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring?
The buyer’s budget needs to be considered when pricing solitaire diamond engagement rings. While you don’t want to be too cheap when it comes to an engagement ring meant to last a lifetime, but you shouldn’t go into debt either. There is a belief that the buyer should spend about three months’ salary on the ring, but that rule of thumb was created by a diamond company as a marketing ploy.
The quality of the diamond and its size will dictate the price of the stone. A 1 ct. solitaire diamond ring will cost more than a ring with a .5 ct. diamond, but the shape of the diamond, be it princess cut solitaire engagement rings or round cut solitaire engagement rings, usually won’t have a bearing on the price. The buyer should take into account what he can afford and the ring that he wants to buy.
New Isn’t Always Better – Vintage Solitaire Engagement Rings
Depending on the woman, diamond solitaire engagement rings don’t have to be brand new or have a standard look in order to be appreciated. Unique solitaire engagement rings can be custom designed to better fit the wearer’s personality or vintage solitaire engagement rings, especially those with sentimental value, may be the preferred option for a woman.
While engagement rings can be bought in many jewelry stores and online, the buyer may want to at least look at loose diamonds before deciding upon the ring. This will help them see what a quality diamond looks like up close, something they can’t do online.
Whether it is a simple solitaire engagement ring or something more elaborate, the true value of the ring is the meaning it represents between. While some people may judge the monetary value of it, an engagement ring represents the love two people share and a lifetime commitment that they are making to each other.