Marilyn Monroe said it best with “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” but for the guys hoping to make a girl’s dream come true, there’s a little more to it. Choosing an engagement ring can be intimidating: what style does she like? what colour metal? is the name on the box important..? and the ‘big’ one…
Does size matter?
We’ve covered engagement ring styles before, and if a guy doesn’t know exactly what his future bride would like but still wants to surprise her with something sparkly, a temporary ring (see The ‘Yes’ Ring) is an amazing option. It does still leave the one important question though, what size diamond does she want? The second-most important question is then how much does it cost – we’ll get to that too – see bottom of page!
I asked the diamond experts, what does a girl want?
Assisting couples to design bespoke engagement rings, The Diamond Shop Managing Director Dan Robinson frequently starts by helping the guy find the right diamond to propose with. Following the proposal, Dan works with them together to design the perfect setting according to her taste and style.
In his experience, the guy’s initial thought in choosing a diamond is to meet her expectations when it comes to size, commonly referred to as ‘Carat’. The 1 Carat diamond is often the ‘benchmark’, though Dan also encourages guys to give equal thought to the quality of the diamond. All too often he is asked to compare in-house jewellery valuations or quotes from other jewellers to find that while that 1 Carat mark is met, the cut is not excellent, and the colour and clarity mean the diamond will not be as attractive.
Instead, to work with a customer’s budget he will sometimes suggest a higher quality, but a slightly smaller 0.70 to 0.90 carat diamond. This has the visual impact desired in terms of size, and an excellent cut and grading ensures a diamond’s beauty and sparkle. He stresses the importance of having a GIA certificate for a diamond (rather than an in-house and often inflated valuation) and all the specifics of the diamond, rather than a vague description and carat size.
Nicola Baker agrees that a 1 carat diamond is the magic number many girls aspire to have, but also stresses that the experience and skill of a designer and craftsman is of equal importance. The way a diamond is ‘set’ within a band, and with surrounding stones, has a huge impact on its look too, and the size the centre stone looks. Often they have a design in mind they’ve always dreamed of. With that in mind, Nicola, General Manager of The Diamond Shop works with them to custom design their dream ring and maximising the diamond’s appearance.
She suggests that a round brilliant, the most popular style, is ideal for maximising the look of a diamond’s size, together with an excellent ‘Cut’ and a setting designed by an accomplished jewellery setter makes all the difference.
Win Charlebois doesn’t mince words “in my experience of 35 years in the industry, women aspire to have a one carat diamond,” he says.
The Diamond Shop will also gift your bride-to-be a copy of the little white book wedding organiser and diary (the other thing a girl wants!)
Like anything we purchase, you can’t expect to pay the same price everywhere, but in the case of diamonds, it’s not a matter of comparing brands of diamond (i.e. brands of chocolate, like Cadbury, or Whittakers). All jewellers sell ‘unbranded’ diamonds which are independently valued by GIA (or valued in-house by some jewellers).
The beauty of this is that you really can compare apples with apples, and there’s absolutely no point buying a Tiffany engagement ring over an identical one from Michael Hill. The Diamond Shop prides itself in offering the best diamond prices in New Zealand – so if you’re wondering whether the diamond you’re eyeing up is fairly priced based on its specifications, talk to them and they’ll not only enlighten you, but will also be able to find you a better quality diamond for the same budget.
No matter where you’re shopping for a diamond engagement ring, ensure to download The Diamond Shop Price Guide below – how to buy a diamond and not get ripped off!