Are you ready to take that big step and buy an engagement ring? Congratulations on your pending engagement! I have scoured the internet to find the best advice on buying that perfect diamond for you, your partner, and your budget. I came across this article from prominent jeweler Blue Nile which provided the most practical advice. This advice is great to follow for getting it right the first time!
1. Set a Budget that Works for You
And stick with it. It may sound like common sense, but there is a lot of ridiculous noise out there about spending three months salary on a ring. That’s all marketing. Don’t fall for it.
2. Do Your Homework
Much like buying a car, take the time to do some research. Do a bit of research on the 4Cs: Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat and you’ll learn how to get the best quality for the best price.
3. Speaking of the 4Cs, Cut is the Most Important
Cut is the most critical of the 4Cs (raise your hand if you thought it was Carat) because it determines a diamond’s brilliance. Get the highest Cut grade your budget allows.
4. The Other Cs: Find The Sweet Spot
As a diamond’s color and clarity grade improves, its price increases, but at a certain point, the human eye cannot detect the difference in grades. For the best value choose a near colorless (graded G-H) and eye-clean (graded VS1-VS2) diamond.
5. Buy Shy to Save Big
Diamond prices jump significantly at the carat and half-carat mark. Purchasing just shy of those weights can save a significant amount of money and the slight size difference will go unnoticed.
6. Make Sure It’s Legit
The unofficial fifth C is independent Certification. Insist that your diamond comes with a grading report from the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) to guarantee it’s what the seller says it is.
7. Get in Shape
Round brilliant diamonds are very popular, but don’t rule out other shapes, such as pear, oval, emerald, and princess. Fancy shapes, as they’re called, can look larger and cost less than a round diamond of similar carat size. Now, that is fancy.
8. Shop Around
Your phone is smart; use it to compare diamonds—even if you can’t see them side-by-side. Use the independent grading report to your advantage and visit several retailers, online and off, to compare the prices of two diamonds with the same Cs.
9. Be Smart About Returns
Just in case, make sure that the jeweler has a good return policy. It’s hard to believe, but some companies still only allow returns within 24 hours and some don’t accept returns at all. Blue Nile offers a 30-day return policy, no questions asked.