If you’re giving thought to proposing to your girlfriend, then the first step is buying the perfect engagement ring. If you’ve already been shopping, then you can clearly see that it can sometimes be an overwhelming process, both financially and emotionally. Before you invest a significant amount of money, it’s best to do research and become familiar with what it is exactly that you’re buying. This article breaks down the process and will shed some light on the tradition of buying an engagement ring.
Set a budget
Though finding the right engagement ring is the first and perhaps one of the most important parts of the marriage process, it’s also necessary to budget properly. If you don’t set a budget, the cost can quickly get out of hand and leave you broke. She may not marry you then! With all kidding aside, there are several different theories about how much you should spend on an engagement ring. While some experts say you should spend two months worth of your salary, others say it should be roughly 10% of your salary in a one year period. I say spend whatever makes you comfortable. Everyone’s financial situation is different, and always keep in mind that price doesn’t mean everything. Many women would agree that it’s the act of being engaged that’s important, and could be worth all of the diamonds in the world.
Despite whatever your budget may be, it’s still important to do the research and have a great understanding of the value of a diamond and how it is determined. The four C’s are the characteristics that determine the cost of a diamond. Here they are:
Color is very important in determining the cost of a diamond. Some experts would agree that color, not carat size, is the most critical part in selecting a diamond. You could have the biggest diamond in the world, but if it has a yellow tint then it’s not going to look good. Diamonds vary in color from colorless to light yellow. The colorless diamond is the most rare, and of course he most valuable. There is a scale that represents the color rating system and the ratings range from D to Z. D to J ratings are the most desirable, and from there they gradually rate on a system of faint yellow to light yellow. Ask the jeweler what the color rating is when looking at diamonds.
Clarity is another factor that you need to pay close attention. All diamonds contain internal characteristics that are often referred to as inclusions. The less inclusions there are, the more expensive and flawless your diamond will be. Flawless diamonds are rare and will cost you a pretty penny. This is one area where you can save some money by getting a diamond that doesn’t have top notch clarity. Like the color of a diamond, there is also a rating system for clarity. The clarity system rates diamonds on a scale from flawless to imperfect. How is it graded, you may ask? An expert studies the diamond at 10 times the magnification and determines the size and number of inclusions of the diamond. They will then place a rating on the diamond based on the research.
The cut of a diamond is important because if you choose a diamond that is improperly cut it will appear glassy. A properly cut diamond will bring out the color and gleam. This is what people often refer to as “bling bling.” Although the shape of a diamond is different from the actual cut, there are several different shapes you can choose from including princess, brilliant, pear, emerald, oval, and heart.
The carat is the characteristic that all women don’t want their boyfriend to cut corners on. The carat is also known as the weight and size of a diamond. However, it is the ignorance of many diamond buyers that lead them to buying a ring based on its size rather than a combination of all the four C’s. Just because a diamond is large doesn’t necessarily mean it’s impressive. A combination of all the four C’s will determine the value of a diamond. The jeweler rates the weight of a diamond into a point scale. One carat is divided into 100 points, so every quarter of a carat is equal to 25 points. When you’re buying the diamond, don’t get wrapped up in the carat size. Personally, I’d rather scale down on the size of a diamond to make sure I get my money’s worth in quality, cut, and color.
Be sure that the jeweler you pick has a good reputation in the area. Ask around for recommendations from friends and family members to see who has great pricing and quality diamonds in the place you live.