5 Steps to Choosing the Perfect Diamond Engagement Ring

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5 Steps to Choosing the Perfect Diamond Engagement Ring

If you’re planning to choose a diamond engagement ring for your special someone, you should know that this is possibly the most important decision that you’ll ever make. This is one decision, no matter how good or bad, that you have to live with for the rest of your married life. And depending on how it goes, the ring could be a token of undying love, or a constant reminder of how you didn’t get it quite right. So make it easier for yourself and go in prepared.

We recommend that you get a good idea of what your fiancé likes beforehand. Once you’re ready, remember the key is to striking a balance between the clarity, cut, shape, and carat weight of the diamond. These four factors govern the quality and look of the diamond, as well as its cost.

Below we have a 5-step plan that will help you choose the perfect diamond engagement ring on your first and hopefully last try:

Choosing the Carat Weight

The carat weight of a diamond determines its size and therefore its rarity. The bigger a diamond, the rarer and more expensive it is. When selecting a carat weight, start off with the largest diamond that falls within your price range and work from there. For an average person, a good size to start with is 1.2 – 1.5 carats. Once, you set yourself a carat benchmark you can adjust it along with the diamond’s cut, clarity and shape to fit your budget.

Most people confuse how big a diamond looks with its carat weight. But smaller diamonds with better cut quality appear to be much bigger than larger diamonds with lower cut grades. So it’s more important to strike a balance between the carat weight and its cut quality. At the end of that day, it’s the overall look of the diamond that counts and not just its carat weight.

Which Shape of Diamond to Select

Selecting the right shape is more subjective. Ideally, you should already know the shape that your fiancé prefers. Round diamonds are easily the most popular followed by princess-cut. Accordingly, these two shapes tend to be more expensive than others. So you can actually save quite a bit by going with an unconventional shape.

So what other options do you have? If you like a rectangular shape, go for the brilliant radiant diamonds. Emerald diamonds with their step-cut are very clear, but offer much less sparkle. You also have assher, marquise and oval-shaped diamonds, each with a distinctive look that could work. Some of these shapes may even make the diamond appear bigger from the top.

Last but not the least, if you are a true romantic; why not go for the heart-shaped diamond? There is nothing that can quite top the romantic gesture of proposing with a heart-shaped diamond engagement ring.

How Important Are Cuts

Generally speaking, cut quality ranges from excellent, very good, good, and fair to poor. But there is no fixed formula, and you’ll find quite a bit of variation across cut qualities and their labels across different sellers. But that does not discount its importance either.

Cut quality is perhaps the most important aspect of a diamond. It influences the shine, sparkle and overall brilliance of a diamond. Even if you go for a lower carat weight or clarity, a good quality cut could be your saving grace.

The safest option, if you can afford it, is to go with good to excellent cut quality. It all depends on what your preference is with regard to the shape and size of the diamond. If size is a major consideration, you can lower the clarity and go with an unconventional shape. Round cut diamonds look best with above good cuts, otherwise they may appear dull and lifeless.

Which Range of Clarity is the Best?

When selecting the clarity, an important tip to keep in mind is that the larger the diamond, the better clarity you will need. This is because imperfections pop more noticeably in larger diamonds.

That said, for larger diamonds you should go with clarity of VS-2 or more. For diamonds between 1 to 2 carats, aim for SI1 or above. For diamonds less than 1 carat, clarity becomes less important and you can go with less than SI1.

Clarity is also dependant on shape. For the better cuts, you can go for lower clarity since the cut will make up for the impurities. You will need higher clarity for others like assher and emerald where the imperfections could otherwise really stand out.

Staying in Your Budget

To stay within your budget, Katie from Orla James advises that each and every aspect of a diamond can be varied which is a huge help. Start off by setting a carat weight benchmark and selecting your desired shape. Go with the highest possible clarity and cut possible. Now, lower the clarity until you reach the minimum for a carat size as discussed above. Then lower the cut quality, going down to “good”.

See if the selected diamond fits your budget. If not, consider altering the shape, and repeating the process with cut and clarity again. If nothing seems to be working and you’ve reached your minimum in those areas, you will have to lower the carat weight.

Related reading: Jewellery Trends Through The Decades

Katie Jones

I love jewellery, writing, yoga and living by the sea!

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