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How to buy an engagement ring

You will need to follow the advice below if you want to join the 75% British men who buy a diamond for their “special woman”. This is not something to be taken lightly. You will not only be spending a lot of money (all women have heard the “engagement ring” mantra that the fiance gives up her monthly salary to buy an engagement ring), but you will also be purchasing an object that will become a symbol of your most important relationship.
There are a few universally accepted guidelines for buying diamonds. If you adhere to these guidelines, you will avoid any pitfalls.

Let’s start with a lesson in geology. Diamonds contain 99.95% of pure crystallised Carbon and can be extremely ancient – as much as one to three trillion years. They are the hardest substance naturally found and form below the Earth’s surfaces when crystals are produced by volcanoes. Diamonds are released from volcanoes’ feed-pipes as they erode, forming layers of gravel that can later be mined. Because of the rarity and difficulty of this natural process, only a handful sites are home to diamond mines. Raw diamonds are shipped from the mines to the world’s cutting centers to be shaped before being set in jewellery. The hardness, brilliance, and sparkle that comes from this process is what makes them a girl’s best friend.

We’ll now give you a quick history lesson to help you understand the origins of this trend. Legend has it that Archduke Maximilian of Austria, who was in love with Mary of Burgundy in 1477, thought up a brilliant idea. He placed the ring on Mary of Burgundy’s third finger. The finger is believed to contain a vein that leads to the heart. The outcome of the marriage isn’t known, but it’s not a problem.

The Four Cs

Now that you have an idea of why you are purchasing an engagement ring made from a diamond you can start to learn more about the “Four Cs,” which are cut colour, clarity, carat and clarity. Although all aspects must be considered when comparing diamonds and other factors should also be considered, Tiffany and Co claims that cut is the most significant factor.

Cut: This is the only characteristic that a diamond has that is not affected by nature. It can be made wrong or poorly. A mistake in cutting a diamond can cause it to lose its sparkle. It is how the 57 and 58 facets (the tiny planes of diamond cut on the surface) are angled. The resulting effect, known as “fire”, determines how light reflects onto and exits the diamond. You will see less brilliance if you make the cuts too deep, too shallow, or both.

The shape of a diamond is also determined by its cut. The most common form is the rectangular cut. But there are others such as the pear shape, the marquise and princess shapes, as well. Ask to see all shapes, even in a picture, so you know all the options.

Colour: The rarest and most valuable colour is white. The “D” grade is given by jewellers to absolutely colourless diamonds. The scale rises to “Z” (don’t ask about A, B, and C). Between these extremes, subtle coloured diamonds can be graded by jewellers. Fancies are diamonds of a distinct, strong colour. These are rare.

Clarity: A lot of people get too obsessed with the clarity of a particular diamond. If you look at most diamonds through a jeweller’s magnifying glass (magnifying eyeglass), you will notice small “inclusions”, also known “nature’s fingerprints”. Although they may look like tiny feathers or clouds, they are usually not visible to the naked eye. They can alter the diamond’s fire but also make it unique and shouldn’t be taken as a flaw. What’s the point of worrying about something you don’t even see? As long as the grade of the stone is SI1 (Slightly Included 1) or higher, you should be fine. The worst and most expensive grades are IF (Internally Flawless) or worse.

Carat: A carat measures the weight of a particular diamond and its size. A carat is equal in weight to 0.2gm (or 200mgm). A carat is split into 100 smaller units known as points. 75 points are three-quarters a carat. The average size for engagement rings is between one and half of a carat. Do not confuse carats for karats, which are the units of purity for gold.

All reputable jewellers are familiar with these four Cs and will happily talk to you about them whenever displaying diamonds. However, if you are unsure whether you want to trust a jeweller completely, request a certificate stone. This is a diamond which has been coded using a laser by an independent gemmological lab. You should choose which type of certificate to use, since not all certificates can be recognized everywhere. The Gemmological Institute of America (GIA), issues the most internationally recognised certificates. HRD and IGL certificates are very popular. EGL, EGL, EGL and AGS are also popular (see Diamond Certificate issuers, right). The fee for a certificate of grading varies depending on the carat, but you can get exact prices by contacting a laboratory. Do not be afraid to organize your certificate and reject the recommendations of jewellers.

Cert stones are also useful to prevent buying substitutes. Quartz, white sapphire quartz, zircon and topaz are natural minerals that can almost be colourless and used as natural replacements for diamonds. Citroen cubic zirconia, moissanite are two examples of synthetic substitutes. They are often sold as legitimately cheaper alternatives to real diamonds.

You can also treat diamonds artificially, including by having them fracture-filled, irradiated and laser-treated. All of this is legal provided it is disclosed to buyers. However, if the buyer wants a true and untreated diamond they should be wary about terms like “clarity improved”.

How much should you pay?

This is the fifth C. Cost. Of course, it’s a personal decision how much money you spend. However, it is common to hear that one-to two months salary is the norm. The one thing we can say is that it appears to be due to De Beers’ publicity machine. Spend as much or as little as you can afford. De Beers controls the diamond market and has an interest. Don’t think that a diamond engagement ring is a smart investment. A retailer may mark up a diamond ring by upto 100% and it can lose half its worth as soon as you leave their shop. It may take longer than five years to recover the price of a diamond purchased at wholesale rates in London’s Hatton Garden.

Give her everything she desires

Even though you know all the details about your I3s, if your partner doesn’t have the right engagement ring, it is useless. You should never surprise her by buying a diamond ring.

It is possible to discover her favorite style of jewellery by looking at what she has. What style of jewellery does she prefer? Are you unsure if she prefers yellow gold, white gold, or two-tone (white/yellow gold), which is currently the most common metal for engagement rings? Is she averse to the engagement rings of other women? Are there any instances when she expresses an interest in a style while looking through magazines? If you’re able to talk with her female friends and relatives, you should be able to get an accurate picture about her tastes and likes.

Although she may prefer a diamond solitaire with 76% of all the sales of engagement rings, there are many ways to present quality stones on a ring. Would she like a Tiffany-style diamond solitaire? The prongs will hold the diamond high. Or maybe a basket or other low-head setting. However, it’s important that you involve her in making the final decision. Although it may not be in your romantic nature, she will be grateful.

1: Buying a Jeweller

There are many options to purchasing an engagement ring at a jeweller. It is possible to buy an antique ring at a shop or auction. But if your goal is to purchase a brand new ring, you should visit as many jewellers in order to get a better idea of what is available. You should remember that major high street jewellers are often more expensive than London’s Hatton Garden jewelry centre. It is also worth noting that there are many shops located in the same street. Remember, too, the peak times for jewellers in December and February are before Valentine’s Day. August is typically their slowest months, so this might be the best time for you to ask for a better offer. Every time you visit a shop make sure you have this checklist in your head.

* Does the store enjoy a solid reputation in the local community?

* Do staff members have sound knowledge of gemmology? Avoid unexplained or gratuitous jargon.

* Are they willing to sell you diamonds that have a well-respected gemmological certificate. If so, it is important that you retain the original gemmological certificate.

* Is your shop a member a trade association If so, which trade association?

* Will the shop give you a detailed receipt of your purchase? This is vital for future repair or insurance claims.

* Does the shop seem to be busy with repairs? (A good indicator of customer confidence.

* What guarantees and warranties does the shop offer? Take the time to read them.

* Will the salesperson let me examine the diamond using a loupe, and with a white background. Diamonds viewed against a dark background will affect the eyes’ perception of colour.

2: The web

Avoid buying diamond rings online. It is best to view the diamonds in person before you make any purchase. If you do decide to purchase diamond rings via the internet, ensure that you only purchase cert stones. Pay particular attention to delivery terms and potential tax and duties charges if you are buying from a site based outside of the United States. However, the internet offers you the chance to do your homework.

3: Only for the brave

If you are serious about finding a great deal, you can try the companies who attempt to disrupt the traditional supply chains of the diamond industry. Hatton Garden wholesalers are an alternative. They usually only sell direct directly to retailers. While they may not be recognized as street vendors, or even a bell to ring in most cases, they will still sell loose diamonds for up to 50% less than what you can find on the high streets. They won’t have the time for people who aren’t serious, and they won’t be interested in giving much of a sales pitch. However, if you know what you are looking for, then give them a chance. For numbers and names, contact the jewelry trade associations.