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Your Handy Shopping Guide: Engagement Rings Edition

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The diamond industry has experienced the ebb and flow of trends, especially now that there are a plethora of options and choices for the consumers to choose from. It is thus, not all that surprising if consumers are unsure what’s the first thing they should look out for when purchasing a diamond ring.

Well, be clueless no more! We have put together a few must-knows that you should take note of before purchasing a stunning rock that will sit beautifully on the finger. These steps will ensure that the ring you’re buying is only the very best that you deserve.

1. Know Your 4Cs

The essential features when considering a diamond engagement ring is to examine the 4Cs: Colour, Cut, Clarity and Carat Weight. Created by Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the 4Cs serve as a stringent guideline to assess the quality of a diamond.

For a brief rundown, the 4Cs are as followed:

  • Colour: Colour grades range from D (colourless) to Z (yellow), with the former being the most uncommon.
  • Cut: The diamond’s shine highly depends on the quality of its cut.
  • Clarity: Clarity deals with the absence of their imperfections and flaws.
  • Carat Weight: Carat weight alludes to the size of the gem.

Once you’ve understood what the 4Cs stand for, you will then need to decide which of the 4Cs you would like to prioritise. Doing so will help to narrow down the search to the ones that have the highest potential of gracing the bride-to-be’s finger.

The 4Cs is a universal language adopted by all diamond ateliers. This way, you can ask the sales assistant on the 4C diamond grading of a particular diamond. Understanding this language will give you the boost of confidence when discussing your needs on purchasing a brilliant engagement ring.

2. Understanding the Nuances

On that note, understanding the 4Cs may not be sufficient when buying a diamond ring. To attain comprehensive understanding into what are the aspects considered when making a diamond ring, you will need to also understand the nuances that exist within its shape, cutting style and cut quality.

Shape describes the outline of the gem, and by far, the round brilliant cut has been the reigned supreme. This cut makes up of 73 percent of diamonds in the global market and it doesn’t look like it will relinquish its popularity seat even in 2020 – making them on par with other trending engagement rings this year. Other shapes include but not limited to, the rectangle, heart and marquise.

Cutting style refers to the way the diamond’s facets are arranged. For instance, the emerald cut is recognised by the bevelled corners and four long facets along the sides of a square or rectangular-shaped stone. The round brilliant cut has maintained its popularity with its 58 facets that give its dazzling brilliance. Brittany Snow would agree, having debuted an elegant round brilliant solitaire diamond ring.

Cut quality refers to the diamond’s ability to interact and reflect the light. Diamonds of the same shape and style may differ in table size, girdle thickness, polish and symmetry. These aspects will have an impact not only its appearances but also the diamond’s cut quality.

3. The Band Can Make A Difference

While it may seem trivial once compared to the gemstone, the metal band will affect the overall look of the piece. For instance, setting a colourless diamond in yellow prongs will make it more yellowish than it truly is.

Below is some important information on a few of these metals:

  • Platinum: This grey-white metal has been the most popular choice as an engagement ring band. This metal is known for its durable, corrosion-resistant and hypoallergenic qualities. It is thus understandable why it has been the indisputable choice despite the high cost.
  • Gold: Surprisingly, gold bands have been favoured more with every passing year. In 2020, it is predicted to reach a comeback that rivals that of platinum bands. For the longest time, this metal has enchanted people with its colour and lustre.
  • White Gold: Like platinum bands, white gold bands were sought-after as engagement rings bands. Although highly durable, it requires replating as its rhodium plating will wear away over time.

4. Consider The Setting

For every engagement ring, a gemstone is held in place by a setting that will not only enhance the beauty of the gem but also protect it from any potential harm.

Here are 3 common types of settings:

  • Prong: Prongs are narrow metal supports that secure the stone(s) in place. There are several variations, so make sure to ask your local jeweller on what are your options.
  • Bezel: A bezel setting is when a thin metal strip is pushed around the gem to enclose it and hold it in place. This setting is most suitable for a ring that has a centre stone.
  • Halo: This setting includes tiny diamonds that will surround a centre stone. While a cluster halo may add more sparkle to your ring, hidden halos are now much more preferred as it serves a subtle elegance.

5. Their Preferred Rock

Now, comes the highlight. The gemstone will garner the most attention from your family members and friends alike; thus, it is the most crucial part of the ring that you have to get it right.

While diamonds have been the staple gemstone, there are other options that you can go for outside of the classic diamond ring. Colourful stones have been in high demand these days, especially after notable Hollywood stars such as Scarlett Johansson, were seen sporting one. There are gems for every colour; all you need to do is choose!

6. Establishing the Budget

This wide range of options will narrow once you’ve put in your budget into the equation. While some won’t blink at the cost of 1 carat diamond ring, many others like HENRYs, in particular, will still think twice when it comes to buying something with such a hefty price tag. If you resonate with the latter, we may have just the thing for you.

The lab grown diamond is an alternative that you may want to look into. They started as diamond seeds that will mature when they undergo these two processes: High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). Quality is ensured, as only diamonds that pass the stringent 4C diamond grading requirements will reach the consumers.

It’s only understandable if the cost of these lab grown diamonds reflects the complex and intricate procedure. However, this is not the case! For instance, at Star Carat, one carat diamond ring costs SGD$2,999 onwards – comprising of lab grown diamonds. This is comparable to the average price of roughly a 0.4 carat mined diamond. Our Type IIA diamonds in Star Carat – diamonds that account for only 2 percent of the world’s mined diamonds – are also IGI certified. Imagine paying 50% less for a 1 carat diamond ring!

Outside of lab grown diamonds, you may also look at diamond simulants such as cubic zirconia and moissanite. However, it is worth noting that simulants do not possess the same brilliance as diamonds as they are not made of carbon crystals. Lab diamonds, on the other hand, are every bit as luxurious as their mined counterparts without the premium price.

7. Get Yourself Acquainted with Diamond Certification

When purchasing your engagement ring, learn more about the international diamond certification which shares more info on a diamond’s quality and more importantly, attests to its authenticity. There are several diamond certification labs in the world that inspect diamonds with 4C grading standards – diamond certificates offer an independent assessment of the stone so shoppers can make a reputable purchase. For instance, the diamonds at Star Carat Shop are certified by the International Gemological Institute. You will be more assured on the quality of diamonds you’re purchasing once you have the information on hand.

8. Insure That Bling

Last and surely, not least, you will need to insure the engagement ring that you’ve just purchased. This can give you a peace of mind to protect one of the most important purchases in life – especially one that you are emotionally and financially invested in.

Conclusion

Of course, you’d need to take note of several other considerations outside of the actual ring. Perhaps discuss with your partner whether you would want it to be passed down as an heirloom. You may want to also contemplate the involvement of your partner and the weight of their decision unless you want it to be a complete surprise. The most crucial factor would most definitely to double-check the ring size of your partner, lest the surprise is ruined with a ring that is too small or too big.

Otherwise, in such a joyous occasion, express your love with the perfect engagement ring and welcome a new chapter together as a couple!