Rings are seen as symbols of love exchanged between wedded couples since the dawn of time, this tradition is dated back to ancient Egyptians who believed that circles represent eternity. Rings in ancient Egypt was normally made of woven reeds or leather. Fast forwarding to the first diamond engagement ring that was ever commissioned which belonged to the finger of Mary of Burgundy, the trend of giving a diamond engagement ring wasn’t sparkled until recently in the 19th century when diamonds were found in abundance in South Africa. From only European royals and aristocrats to most commoners, we can only blame the brilliant De Beers’ ad campaign and their unforgettable slogan “A Diamond is Forever.” who made the diamond ring an inevitable choice. But how to know what to look for and what to expect? There are fifteen ways we have collected that will guide you through everything you need to know about diamond rings.
The Famous 4C’s
One of the most commonly heard word when you first tell your family or friends about your intentions on buying a diamond ring is how the 4 C’s matter the most. The concept behind the 4 C’s (cut, color, carat, clarity) comes from GIA when they originally landed on standards that could value diamonds according to a certain grading system. It’s a universal assessment for the quality and value that the diamond holds that could be known by both of the supply and demand markets.
Cut Vs Shape
The cut is often mistaken for the shape of the diamond, but it’s much more than that. A cut is the most important aspect of the 4 C’s; it determines a diamond’s quality. The cut represents more than just a shape; Brightness, fire, and scintillation are all determined by how the rough gem was originally cut. The ideal cut gives the diamond its sparkling beautiful look by allowing light to pass through all the right angles. The cut grading depends on the symmetry, polishing, and proportion of the diamond and it varies from ideal, very good, good, all the way down to fair and poor. Cut grading is easy to be applied on round shapes as they are easier to measure compared to other shapes. There are two reasons why the cut is the factor that matters the most when it comes to these beautiful rare gems; the first is even the highest quality diamond will look dull and lifeless if it’s poorly cut; the second is the compromising of the size, every girl wants the biggest carat size, a poorly cut diamond will look smaller due to the fact the light will be reflected in all the wrong ways. Steer away from too shallow or too deep when it comes to diamond cuts.
Coming to the more popular concept for a cut which is the shape of the diamond, there are far too many to choose from like emerald, oval, and Asscher Cut and not just the round brilliant cut. There is a reason why most brides will choose the round cut though, ideally because it’s the one that gives the most “blinding bling” we all dream about. The princess diamond cut comes next as it’s more modern and affordable with the square shape that is closer to the natural form that rough diamonds found at.
Choose The Color
The colorless the diamond, the more expensive and rare it is. There is a known color scale or more accurately, the lack of it when it comes to white or colorless diamonds which ranks from D to Z. D and E are the highest quality, and the rarest to find. The H color is considered the fine line between premium and slightly tinted rings. Anything bellows an M is not worth buying and usually used for more industrial purposes. On the other hand, fancy colored diamond rings are quite rare and valuable, it’s a whole other story when it comes to the color scale.
How Many Carats?
Carat is the most misunderstood factor out of the 4 C’s, many think that carat would naturally refer to the size when it actually refers to the weight, and some would even confuse carat with Karat which is used to determine purity when it comes to gold. Carat is the unit used to weigh diamonds with 1 carat being equal to 0.2 grams. The carat weight reflects on the size but not in a linear relationship as many would think but rather a curve. If you are aiming to stay within budget, choose the diamond that has wider measurements on the top and a better cut, it will seem bigger when it doesn’t even vary in weight.
The Right Clarity
The conditions diamonds are formed under, from pressure, heat, and being underground usually lead to impurities and imperfections in the stones. Clarity is what determines how a diamond looks and internally is when it comes to flaws. The clarity grading scale goes from flawless, internally flawless, very very slightly 1 (VVS1,2), VS, SL, and L1,2,3. Diamonds’ beauty is not affected by blemishes and inclusions which are not visible to the naked eye.
The Certificate Matters
Diamond certification is considered to be the fifth C to the common known 4 C’s that determine the value of any diamond. Making sure your precious gem is certified by a known and recognized lab will ensure an unbiased assessment of the quality of the stone. Labs like GIA, AGS, IGI, EGL, GSI, and HRD give out documents that describe all the characteristics of the diamond you are buying. The grading of your diamond is only as good as the reputation of the lab you have a certificate from. It’s known that diamonds lose their value when they are being re-sold, but a certificate will show the true colors of your diamond.
Unlike the colorless diamond, colored diamond are valued and desired depending on the intensity and the rarity of their colors. Fancy rare colored diamonds are much more expensive and harder to find; you are spending your money on the rarity of the gem that you will possess. Some cuts are known to enhance the color of your diamond such as step and antique cuts. Choosing the metal ring for colored diamonds are a bit trickier as the color has to flatter the original color for your diamond and enhance it.
Custom-Made Diamond Rings
Every finger is different, and every girl has a different taste. Before falling under the wrong impression that a custom ring would cost a fortune and it’s only for the prestigious, explore the possibility of designing your ring and unleash your creativity. Any girl wants her ring to be one of a kind that only suits her. Diamond rings Toronto will let you choose your design and make it come to life; from the setting to the metal band like you have always imagined. The size matters only if you or your significant other think it does. Be your own judge and drop the stereotypes about diamond as they are all beautiful and rare. For engagement rings, an heirloom could be a bliss or a curse, in either situation, if you are dreaming about wearing your grandmother’s ring, or you don’t want to disappoint your mother, stones could be placed in another setting that suits your taste more, and metal bands could be melted and reformed.
The band of your ring adds a great value to its final look and feel. Platinum is the most common option because of its durability, purity, and convenience for people with sensitive skin. After that, gold comes which is determined by its karats for purity and has a variety of colors you can choose from. White, rose or yellow gold are always an option. White gold or platinum is usually the best for colorless diamonds to not reflect any color on the stone. Depending on your usual accessory and the jewelry you already prefer, you can choose the color and the material for your metal band.
So you have chosen the perfect metal band of your preferred material and color, now let’s talk about the finish. Do you want your ring to have a nice matte finish where it looks smooth but not as shiny to tone down the finish look of your ring and to make room for the stone to shine brighter? Or you might want a nice polished finish that will make your finish-look even more shiny and flashy. It depends on you and your partner’s taste to choose from the wide variety of finishes from stone, satin, to hammer and Florentine.
If you are shopping without your partner, know that not every ring you are going to find can be resized. Don’t just give up on the element surprise and spy on your partner’s ring size to know exactly what to look for if you are not sure. You can also ask if the ring can be resized before you go ahead and buy it. There is always to option to measure one of your partner’s rings to know the exact right measure or take the ring with you to the jeweler so they can determine the right size.
Setting Is Everything
You expect the gift of a diamond ring or especially engagement diamond rings to be worn forever, well hopefully. The endurance right here is what matters the most. The setting refers to how the stone is set on the metal band, so you need to make sure of many things when it comes to the setting. The right setting will protect your ring, make it appear larger, and enhances its bling. There are so many settings such as prong, halo, bezel, tension, channel, pavé, and many others. Prong for example which is the most desired is where the diamond is elevated and the metal barely shows ensuring a timeless finish look; those with a more active lifestyle usually prefers a low prong setting as it doesn’t get snagged as much as the higher one.
Fluorescent diamond is a hot topic discussed by diamond ring enthusiasts over the years. A diamond is said to be more fluorescent when it has more particles that emit a usually blue glow to the stone without affecting its value or beauty. Fluorescent diamonds might give a lower grading color diamond like I or J a brighter and more sparkly look. They are usually less pure but more affordable and cheaper to make sure you make use of your budget.
Insurance Is Essential
You have put a lot of money and effort into finding the perfect ring that wowed your girl, it’s time to get the stone insured. The ring is subjected to robbery or it simply can be lost, so it would be an understatement to say that would be a huge loss. Insuring any high-value personal property is a smart move that will make sure you are covered and ready for the worst case scenario. This step doesn’t take long as all you need to do is to call your insurance agent and add it to your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance to raise the value of your insurance plan.
Figure Out the Budget
Don’t go on the internet searching for the right budget to set when searching for the right diamond ring. The budget should be determined as per you and how comfortable you are spending on the ring according to how much money you make or can save. If you shop smart bearing in mind all the tips and hacks on how to buy a stone that will look brighter and bigger, you won’t have to sacrifice being choked under a pile of credit card debt. The sentimental value that the ring holds and represents is much more important than its materialistic value, so don’t feel pressured to spend a lot of money when you can’t afford it.
While girls are raised to dream about their perfect “diamond ring”, men are usually ignorant about the matter except on how much it’s going to cost them and yet they are the ones who usually do the shopping alone to not lose the element of surprise. Other than the fact the diamonds are so beautiful and sparkly, and they are “a girl’s best friend”, how do we know what to look for when buying the perfect ring? The process of finding the right ring might be intimidating and pricey, however, it’s worth the trouble when you see the happiness on your significant other’s face.