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A friend of mine asked me how to go about choosing the perfect diamond engagement ring within the budget he had decided on. Now, this is advice I can happily give. Don’t ask me for advice on restaurants or for directions, but I am very happy to advise on selecting the perfect diamond and what design aspects make a diamond ring that will be admired forever. Here is my concise version of How to choose the perfect diamond engagement ring:
1. Knowing your budget range is great start. This will allow your diamond consultant to offer you a great range of diamonds of varying grades within that price. Are you still wondering how much to spend on a diamond engagement ring? In the 1950’s De Beers marketing suggested three month’s salary as a benchmark. Economy has changed since then. For many of us a two month salary is still out of the question. I’ve heard someone joke the best way to calculate budget is ‘the difference in ages, time ten thousand Rand’. Jokes aside, you be the judge of your budget. It is a gift of a promise from your heart to hers. She will cherish her diamond and be proud to show everyone her ring. Bear in mind it is an investment which will hold its value, and increase in value in the greatest likelihood. It will be admired and cherished by her as much for the beauty as the sentiment.
2. Once you have an idea of the amount you wish to spend, think about a design. Knowing what the ring design will cost will leave you knowing what you can spend on the diamond.
3. Has she been dropping any hints about diamond ring designs? Have magazines been left open on the coffee table showing glossy adverts for a particular ring design? Have you been sent a link to her 200 image page on Pinterest showing her favourite designs ‘by mistake’? If you have a good idea of her favourite ring design then you can contact a jewellery consultant to get a quote for having the perfect ring custom made. It is not expensive to have a ring custom designed and made. It will cost you even less, at the right manufacturer, than buying a ring off the shelf in a shopping mall retail store. If you have no idea of her taste, and she is unsuspecting of the upcoming surprise proposal, and you are nervous about being rejected for pulling out the wrong ring choice while down on your one knee baring your heart and soul…have no fear. 80% of women choose the classic solitaire setting. They look like this, with six claws holding the diamond or four claws. Six claws are more secure for the diamond. The band can vary in shape and width. A six claw solitaire will match with any wedding band. A six claw solitaire engagement ring is a timeless and elegant design which will not date. She will love it now, and still be cherishing her ring in 50 years time. Best of all, the six claw solitaire ring is the lowest cost engagement ring design, leaving you the maximum part of your engagement ring budget for your diamond.
If the idea of a four claw or six claw diamond engagement ring appeals to you, contact your diamond and design consultant for images of variations to choose from, and the pricing.
If you would like something with a bit more sparkle on the band or around the setting, contact your diamond ring consultant for a list of the top ten most popular diamond engagement ring designs.
4. Dave has told me he want to spend a maximum of R40 000 and he is considering a platinum six claw solitaire ring design. The ring will cost him R8 000 so he knows the most he is willing to spend on his diamond is R32 000. There is so much information available on the internet about diamonds and diamond grading. Choosing a diamond can get very technical and seem a daunting task. Buying a diamond is no every day purchase. It is a big investment of your hard earned capital and one does not want to make a mistake or be swindled. The first biggest question when buying a diamond should be ‘where?’. Do some research, ask friends about their experiences, read some reviews and get some quotes. You need to be comparing apples with apples when comparing quotes, and there is a lot more to a diamond’s value than just colour, cut, clarity and carat weight. You need find a jeweller with a very good reputation, qualified gemologists and a pride in the quality they are offering. Once you have decided where to buy your diamond, you can get down to the business of choosing the perfect diamond.
5. The most important quality factor in choosing your diamond is the cut. A perfect diamond cut will allow the maximum scintillation in a diamond as all light entering the stone is reflected and reflected and no light is lost through the pavilion of the diamond. Read more here about the different cut grades. A lesser cut will cost you less, but if it not as beautiful, then why buy it.
6. Don’t confuse shape and cut. The cut grade should be excellent, the shape is selected according to taste. Here are some diamond shapes. (insert) The most popular shape is the round brilliant cut. All other shapes are a lower price per carat, yet much more scarce. Most diamonds are cut into round brilliant cut. The modern round brilliant cut is designed to sparkle with the maximum brilliance. Most other diamond shapes are variations of the modern round brilliant. Shape is a very personal choice. If your girlfriend has not hinted about her favourite diamond shape, a round brilliant cut is one that 99% of women will be delighted to own.
7. Diamond colour grade is another diamond grading factor which can be a very personal choice. Click on this link for more information about diamond colour grades. In the white diamond colour category, a D colour is the whitest one can get. A D colour breaks up the spectrum of natural light into all the colours of the spectrum. You will see flashes of violet, blues, greens, yellows and reds in your diamond. This phenomenon is called brilliance and is truly mesmerising. In the diamonds with a yellow tone or brown overtone, this will be less noticeable.
D, E and F colour diamonds are termed rare white and are priced accordingly.
G is still very white
H and I are still white and a very popular choice in South Africa and most parts of the world. The majority of women would like the biggest diamond possible, and so may favour an H or I colour of a bigger weight, to a rare white diamond of smaller weight. Your diamond consultant will give you a good range of options within your budget.
J colour is still fairly white. K is very beautiful and just off-white. L and lower have a definite pale yellow tint and I recommend seeing them as you just might love one of these best. If you are buying a diamond unseen, over the internet, or from a jewellery in a distant location, I do recommend that I and above will not disappoint you if you don’t want a yellow tint visible in your diamond.
8. Clarity
9. Carat: The unit of weight measurement for diamonds is a carat. 1carat =0.2grams. The weight of the diamond determines the rarity and has a very big influence on value. You diamond consultant, knowing your estimate ideal budget, will be able to give you a list of diamonds with combinations of colour, clarity and carat weight. They can recommend which one is the most beautiful diamond, best value for money and most popular choice.
10. Once you have made the big decision about which diamond and ring design, let your consultant take care of the rest and have your ring delivered to your desk or front door via a safe and secure fully insured courier service. All you need to do now is work on that engagement proposal speech! Here is what Dave chose to be a symbol of his love and commitment to his future wife: