It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and I couldn’t be more excited!
Blair proposed on 15 February 2015, following a thoughtful and special Valentine’s (the day before, for any guys reading!) and I must admit I’m a sucker for romance and I think Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to pop the question.
If you think a Valentine’s Day proposal might be up your partner’s sleeve this February, slip this article into his inbox:
9 Steps to Smart Engagement Ring Shopping
- CUT: Before you hit the jewellery store, and your credit card takes the hit, know your way around the 4Cs, beginning with a diamond’s cut – which determines the sparkle and has the greatest impact on the appearance of the stone. It affects the way the light flows into and out of the stone, and light = sparkle. Cut is the predominant factor that affects a diamond’s beauty.
- CLARITY: Determined based on the ‘inclusions’ in your diamond, that is the natural faults or imperfections in the diamond.
- COLOUR: The most premium colours (D, E and F) cost more because they’re scarce. The best diamonds are colourless, while lower quality (and cost) diamonds are faint to light yellow. G and H are also near colourless, yet can save you 20-30%.
- CARAT: Often misconstrued as being the diamond’s size, carat is a measure of weight. A .9 carat stone may only be 10% lighter than a 1.0 carat stone, but can save you plenty.
- COST: Related to the 4Cs is the cost of the diamond itself. Usually, the centre stone makes up around 90% of the cost of the ring, with the remaining 10% being spent on the setting, and smaller stones surrounding. I wrote an article with Dan of The Diamond Shop recently talking about how much to spend on an engagement ring where you can learn more about the cost. The Diamond Shop are also the only jewellers in New Zealand to have a diamond price guarantee – the best priced diamonds in New Zealand. Consider that she’ll be wearing the engagement ring for the rest of her life, and of course epend what you can reasonably afford.
- SHAPE: Many women have a clear idea of what shape diamond they’d like, so consider whether you’ve heard her mention specialist cuts like princess, cushion, radiant, or asscher. A round cut diamond is by far the most popular shape throughout the world accounting for more than 70% of all diamonds sold.
- SETTING: A diamond’s setting is the way the diamond is held as a piece of jewellery. The most common and classic diamond ring setting is called a prong setting – though other popular settings include halo, tiffany, bezel, pave and three-stone setting. If you’re not sure of what your partner would like, the “Yes” ring is an ideal alternative to choosing the ring setting yourself. Girls, if you’re not sure which setting you’d like, consider these Celebrity Engagement Rings, and What does your Engagement Ring say about you.
- CERTIFICATION: Uncertified diamonds are usually of inferior quality and may not be ethically sourced – never purchase a diamond without certification. Dan recommends GIA certification – considered the world’s foremost authority on diamonds, coloured stones and pearls, and GIA certification may be considered the equivalent of the deed on a house – its the official documentation that describes exactly what you’ve bought.
- SERVICE: Buying an engagement ring is an immensely personal and special experience – a once in a lifetime investment that demands the absolute best in service. When you begin ring shopping, your diamond salesperson should be able to educate you on your investment, and ensure that you can find and purchase precisely the right diamond, choose the right setting to maximise the potential of a diamond, offer after-sales support and assistance with your wedding ring shopping. I had the pleasure of experiencing Nic & Dan’s service and expertise at The Diamond Shop recently, and can’t recommend them enough.
Shop with The Diamond Shop this February and mention that you read this article and they’ll not only help you with the perfect engagement ring, but also the the little white book wedding organiser and diary
Once you’ve got the ring, head to the wedding planning page!