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Friday, October 14, 2011

THE PERFECT DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RING BUYING GUIDE

Its the season of love, promises, engagements and weddings & I know you lovely ladies about to tie the knot have the Big question on your mind about the "The Lord of the Rings-The Engagement Ring"

Girls quick mail this post to your Man-on-prowl for the engagement ring, you can come back & thank me later :)

Here is a bunch of practical advice to help you find the perfect engagement ring that you'll cherish forever. 
 
                                                Harry Winston Diamond Engagement rings

Just a bit of background into my own engagement ring-I & My Hubby (the-then fiance`) spent over 6 months in search of the perfect ring!!! A search spanning 4 cities, scores of jewelers and gazillion online sites, I finally found the Princess cut diamond trinity ring in my size & specs at Gold Souk in Gurgaon!
It was tedious search, but I was jumping with joy & tears welled up in my eyes when we found it!
Next week we have our Engagement anniversary & I love my ring more & more everyday :)

This is what my engagement ring looks like (I tried clicking pics of my own ring,but the images look blurred )This 3-stone ring design is called "Diamond trinity ring" the three diamonds symbolizing The Past, The Present & The Future.


So lets get started to help you find your perfect diamond engagement ring!

DECIDE ON A BUDGET-I know sounds very un-romantic, but its very important to set a budget range to help you zero down on perfect memento of love , without breaking your bank.

DECIDE THE DIAMOND SHAPE-The diamond shape should be based on your personal preference. The Round shaped diamonds have the highest brilliance due to higher number of facets.
 
The Round diamond are also the most commonly available and also the most popular. You might not find too much variety in other shapes at most jewelery stores.
DECIDE THE DIAMOND CLARITY-After diamond weight the biggest impact on the diamond price comes from diamond clarity.Most naturally occurring diamonds have some microscopic inclusions, the fewer the inclusions, the higher the price.An internally and externally flawless diamond is very rare and hence extremely valuable.
In certain cultures specially Southern India IF & VVSI clarity is symbolic of purity and for auspicious purposes like wedding only these charities are preferred.
 
 The Centenary Diamond
273.85 carats - D Color, Flawless Clarity
©De Beers Group 

Clarity of  an un-set diamond can be checked by a jeweler easily using a loupe, however once a stone is set in its mount the clarity of stone if very difficult to ascertain even for a trained eye. Assuming the engagement ring you are buying is not for investment / resale purpose,you are likely to get best-bang-for-your-buck effect in a SI1-VSI 2 clarity.

FL-No internal or external inclusion extremely rare
IF-Internally Flawless-No internal imperfection very rare
VVSI 1 & VVSI 2-Very Very slightly included .Very difficult to see imperfections under 10x magnification. An excellent quality diamond.
VSI 1 & VSI2-Very Very slightly included Imperfections are not typically visible to the unaided eye. Less expensive than the VVS1 or VVS2 grades.
SI1  & SI 2-SI 1 Slightly inclusion,imperfections not easily visible to the naked eye, SI 2-inclusions can be seen under magnification of 10 x

DECIDE THE DIAMOND CUT-The diamond cut is what decides the sparkle of your piece of ice. 
Simply put, how the diamond is cut actually decides how much light entering your diamond from the table (top of the diamond) and is reflected back through the table.An Ideal cut diamond will reflect the maximum amount of light and will sparkle the most.Where as a shallow or deep cut diamond might be bigger of higher clarity and color yet not have the fire in its heart and look lifeless.

DECIDE THE DIAMOND CARAT-AGE-This is obviously based on your preference & on your budget.Bigger diamonds are not necessarily better and in fact can be poorer quality than smaller diamonds of higher clarity,cut & color.
Most Girls look for 0.5 carat to 1 carat diamond rings and hence the specific stones of this caratage command a huge premium in pricing.
Buying poorer quality of diamond while chasing a bigger rock is a strict No-No.So choose wisely.
You could choose a smaller central stone and have a halo of smaller diamonds around it to impart it a bigger look. 
check out the design below for idea


DECIDE THE DIAMOND COLOR-After the shape & cut of the diamond the single most important aspect which decides how 'blingy' your diamond ring looks is the Diamond Color.
The best colored diamond are absolutely colorless and are graded "D".The darkest diamonds in muddy coors are graded "Z". 
This color gradings in applicable only to white diamonds and not the "Fancies" like blue /pink or champagne colored diamonds.

Go for the highest color you can find & afford. I got "F" colored diamonds for my own ring.
Most branded jewelery stores usually sell G or H colored diamonds in pre-set rings.



DECIDE THE METAL OF THE RING-Diamonds are the second hardest naturally occurring stones in nature ( trivia- hardest is Silicon Carbide also known as carborundum,it's used in car brakes..Girls, not the kind of stuff we are into!)
Diamonds need a strong metal to hold them hence diamonds are set in Silver /  Platinum or 14K/18 K gold (higher Karat gold is too soft to hold diamonds).
Yellow colored gold will usually will impart diamond faint yellowish hue,so if you are buying a very good colored diamond (D,E,F colors) avoid yellow gold.

Platinum with its white scratch resistant surface & hardness is perfect match for the diamond. But do note platinum is very hard metal and your local jeweler might not have the right machinery to re-size the ring at a later date.
Silver has the right strength and color but it tarnishes with time would require regular maintenance.
A good alternate to both silver & Platinum is White Gold. Usually 18 K white gold is plated with Rhodium(very precious metal, costs almost 10 times more than gold) and it imparts a dazzling white mirror like shine to the gold.

DECIDE THE DIAMOND SETTING- Diamonds are set in the ring in different ways, depending upon the shape of the diamond and how you want the overall ring to look.


And finally we come to the last and most important "C" of diamond buying-  

CERTIFICATION-Most Indian jewelers tend to only provide in-store certifications, which obviously don't hold good in other stores / many a times it would not match with the official appraisal report from a reputed diamond testing lab like GIA /IGL / AGSL.
If you are buying small diamonds (less than 0.15 carats) from your trusted jeweler you might be willing to buy a diamond without International certification, however if you are buying higher carat solitaires don't invest unless you get a Gem testing Lab's report along with the diamond.

Practical Tips-
  1. Carry some pictures of the ring designs you like to show them to your jeweler to get what you want.
  2. Research on the net for diamond price based on the Rapaport report.
  3. Compare loose diamond price from sites like www.caratlane.com,www.bluenile.com, www.amazon.com to get a realistic price estimate
  4. Get your ring measured in store, if its lose of tight get the ring re-sized in the store itself. (Don't wear loose ring under any circumstance you can lose your precious ring.)
The search for perfect engagement ring is well worth the effort & research,as you'll wear it everyday for the rest of your life.

I hope you found this article helpful, tomorrow I'll  tell you all about "How to Buy a great engagement ring on a budget". If you like what you read, hit the follow button & subscribe by email.

Do leave a comment behind I'd love to hear your thoughts :)

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8 comments:

  1. ooh i love the harry winston one..its gorgeous !!!

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  2. Mehak-Oh yess the Harry Winston one is to die for, I love the dainty wedding band/eternity ring with it

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  3. Mehak- Mwah! All the best girl, I hope the Boy takes due note and shops for the Biggest sparkler in town!

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  4. Whoo, nice article. I really want my future husband to see this before he buys one for me!!

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  5. Scarlet-Thanks so much dear :) Do bookmark this & mail to Mr. Right to find the Right Bling Bling ;)

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  6. Hey, nice site you have here! Keep up the excellent work!

    Mothers Day Gifts to Chennai

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  7. Awesome post! Men must buy engagement rings considering the taste and style of their ladies too.

    ReplyDelete

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