Getting engaged is a big deal. In fact, if you are planning on getting engaged, you can expect to run the full gamut of human emotions. You are committing your life to be bonded to another person’s…FOREVER.
Not running away yet? Okay, I’ll get to the good stuff.
And what do we do to symbolize this commitment? An engagement ring is purchased and presented. Generally, this ring will contain a diamond and come with the question, “Will you marry me?” I am assuming that since you are taking a moment to read my blog that you find jewelry interesting, would like to be engaged or you feel obligated because we are friends. No matter why you are reading, I have information and opinions to help you along your way.
Every single day (except Mondays and Sundays), I talk to people about getting engaged. This puts me in a unique position to dish on what I think is important with some authority.
The single most important thing you can do with your partner before getting engaged is talk about expectations. Ladies, if you are in a serious relationship, chances are you have some idea how much money your boyfriend makes or has saved. I cannot tell you how many times we have couples come in together to look at rings and they are not just on different pages…they are on different planets! For example, the other day a couple came in to see what we had. The woman let us know that she was interested in having a 1.50-2.00 carat diamond. The gentleman did not say much about this. We began showing her different diamonds in that size range. They left eventually. Within half an hour, we get a call from him. He has a budget of $2,500. This leaves him with about a $8,000-$10,000 gap to reach her expectations. Most ladies will be perfectly happy with a $2,500 engagement ring. You can get something substantial for this…however, if you take a girl out and show her 2.00 carats all day, you can guess she might expect something like that!
Another equally important thing (and probably what should be your first step) is to make sure you are ready. There are a lot of people who get married because they think it is the next step in life. Just because something is the next logical step according to people around you, does not make it the next step for you. Have the important conversations with your partner regarding family, money, religion, life in general, etc. Your life is a big commitment. Take your time. Marriage is serious stuff! Hopefully I am not the first person telling you this.
Now the fun stuff…let’s talk about diamonds! Let me first say, please remember this is mostly just my opinion mixed with some facts. Diamonds are my business, but I don’t claim to know everything. I am just hoping to help point you in a good direction…in my opinion. J
Research is important when it comes to buying a diamond. I recommend looking up as much information as you can, asking friends about their experiences and educating yourself in the terms you’ll need to know when buying a diamond. Research different websites that are selling diamonds and see what different sizes and qualities are selling for. That being said, I feel very strongly that you should buy your diamond from someone you can talk to, face to face. Obviously, my business relies on people doing this, but from the standpoint of getting what you pay for (and the service after the purchase), it is important to have somewhere to go and speak with a person. I also think it is important to stay away from large chain stores. No offense to those places… but from my experience of shopping around at various stores, I never felt important or satisfied. Broad statement? Perhaps.
When it comes to choosing the size and quality of diamond you want to focus on, you have to ask yourself what characteristics are important to you. If I was shopping for a diamond for myself, I would most likely look for a G-H color, SI-1 clarity with a super awesome (aka ideal or excellent) cut on it. The reasoning behind those specific characteristics? Color is something that is graded by laying a diamond on its side. By getting a G-H color diamond, I would be on the edge of colorless and into the near colorless range. The diamond will still face up very white and not have any hint of yellow to a majority of people. Clarity is something that many people can spend more money than they need to on. I would choose an SI-1 (or even a strictly graded SI-2) because even though it means “slightly included”, it also means there are no visible imperfections to the naked eye. As long as it is graded correctly, I should need at least 10 times magnification to see the imperfections. You can spend thousands of dollars more on a higher clarity, but in all reality it will look almost exactly the same as an SI quality diamond. The cut seems to be the thing that I won’t ever skimp on. Diamonds need to be sparkly and they get their sparkle from the way they are cut. Ideal or Excellent cut diamonds are where it’s at. These qualities can be applied to any sized diamond to reach the desired budget.
Some other important questions to ask yourself…
Girls: Do I want to be surprised by what he chooses? Would I prefer he set my diamond in a solitaire and let me choose my setting later? Does he know my ring size? Does he know the shape of diamond I prefer?
Guys: What is my budget? Have I shopped around enough? Do I have a good grasp on her style? White gold, yellow gold, platinum or palladium? What are her expectations? Have I given myself enough time to have a ring put together?
For anyone looking to cut back their budget or have a different look, think about a sapphire or ruby as a center stone. They are almost as hard as diamonds and come in a variety of colors. I have a yellow sapphire! We’ll talk about gemstone engagement rings in a future blog.
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