February is the most romantic month of the year, love is in the air and many couples are finding that the challenges of Covid have brought them closer together. The big white wedding might have to wait a little longer but Guy’s if you want to make things more formal with a proposal and you don’t know where to start with an engagement ring, then our Guy’s Guide might be just what you are looking for!
- Size Matters!
Let’s face it gents, size does matter and not all 1ct diamonds are created equal! With all other factors being constant, 2 diamonds weighing exactly the same can look different in size. This is due to a factor rarely explained and its called “spread”. If a diamond has a good spread it means it has a larger diameter than you would expect for it’s weight and as a result it will have less depth.
Let me simplify – If a 1ct diamond would typically have a diameter of 6.5mm but with a good spread this same 1ct stone could have a diameter in excess of 7.2mm thereby giving it a look of at least a 1.25ct diamond for the same price! Sounds good?…Buyer beware! Whilst this sounds like a good deal there will be a trade off and the 2 main ones to note are that diamonds with a good spread can lack sparkle as due to their shallow nature they suffer from light leakage out of the bottom of the stone.
Secondly, because the stone is shallow it is more prone to chipping, cracking and breaking (yes diamonds can break!). This is not to say you should not buy a diamond with a good spread but be aware of the pitfalls and always ask your jeweller for their ethical professional opinion on all aspects of the diamond you are considering.
2. Cut Matters!
‘Cut‘ as defined in the “4 C’s” (cut, clarity, carat, colour) refers to how well the diamond has been faceted and polished in order to maximize it’s full beauty. In this context it does not refer to the shape of the diamond which can be a common mis-conception.
Without wanting to give you a lesson on diamond cutting, most round brilliant diamonds have 57 or 58 tiny angled facets intended to work like mirrors, reflecting light to produce a magnificent light show with each turn of the stone. If the position and angle of these “mirrors” are less than perfect then the beauty of the diamond is compromised. Within the scope of “cut” we also have to consider polish which refers to how well each facet has been polished (think of it as smears when you polish a mirror) and finally symmetry refers to how perfect the outline of the diamond is…no one wants a round – “ish” round diamond.
To cut through the jargon then, in a nut shell, when buying a round brilliant diamond you want to be aiming for a stone with a laboratory grading of overall excellent cut, excellent polish and excellent symmetry. At Jewels we do not offer our clients anything less!
…cut can be graded from poor to excellent. A good cut is one up from fair so don’t be fooled into thinking good is good enough!
3. Laboratory Certificates Matter!
Not all diamonds are laboratory certified and not all laboratories are created equal! The two tips we would like to share on this subject however are firstly your diamond may be shop certified or it may be laboratory certified. Be clear at the time of purchase which one you are being offered. If your diamond is shop certified it means that the retailer who is probably not a diamond grader and probably does not have access to laboratory equipment has decided that the diamond he is selling you is a certain quality in his opinion so do not be fooled into believing that a shop certificate is a guarantee of quality. Having said that most diamonds under 0.30ct are not laboratory certified as standard so if your ring design also has smaller diamonds you would not expect these to have anything other than a shop certificate.
If your main diamond is over 0.50ct it is worth paying extra for a laboratory certified diamond and although there are many laboratories out there, we would recommend asking your jeweller for a GIA certified stone. The GIA has an exemplary reputation and is responsible for devising the modern diamond grading system as we know it today. In addition GIA diamonds are all laser inscribed for identification purposes so you can be sure you are receiving the same stone as stated on the GIA laboratory certificate.
At Jewels we only offer GIA certified diamonds…your guarantee of quality!
Click on image to learn more about GIA graded diamonds.
4. Metal Matters!
There are several factors to consider when choosing the metal for your engagement ring. The most popular choices (although not limited to) are gold which commonly is available in white, yellow and rose colors or, alternatively platinum. White metals continue to be the most popular choice in most markets and it is generally considered that a white metal setting enhances the beauty of the diamond. However you should know that whether you choose white gold or platinum they can both be high maintenance. Why?……firstly there is no such thing as white gold (or rose gold for that matter) gold is yellow. In essence 18kt white gold is 75% natural yellow gold and 25% white metal alloy so with these percentages, even with high quality whitener alloys, white gold will not become the gleaming white metal you see shining away in most jewellers shop windows. White gold looks the way it does when it is new because of rhodium plating. The presence of rhodium plating is often not discussed at the time of purchase so be prepared, if you choose white gold that over time, the plating will likely wear off and you will need to periodically “rhodium dip” it to restore its former beauty. This is not an expensive process but it can be an inconvenience. Yellow gold and rose gold options will remain looking the same colour as at time of purchase as they are not usually plated to enhance colour. Platinum by comparison is a naturally white metal, it looks almost identical to white gold when it is new and it does not require rhodium plating. Sounds like a better option?…..Maybe not as platinum takes on a greyish hue over time and it scratches easier than gold. The white appearance of platinum however, can be restored through professional polishing. So whether you opt for white gold or platinum, expect that your ring will either go yellowish or greyish over time but the look of both metals can be easily restored by your jeweller during normal maintenance visits.
5. Design doesn’t matter! (As much as you think it does)
Many couples on the brink of engagement dream of the groom getting down on one knee, ring in hand, she goes gooey eyed, says yes, he slips on the ring (which is a perfect fit) and they live happily ever after! This dream can be a reality, but the pressure on the guy to surprise the most important person in his life, by spending a significant amount of money on something he probably knows very little about, can make the lead up to the proposal a nightmare rather than a dream come true!
So how can we help take some of that pressure off?
No-one knows your fiancee to be more than you. You know her personality, you know her style, you know her likes and also her dislikes so do not underestimate how much you already know which can help… you just need to tap into it! You can learn a lot about her taste by looking at the jewellery she already has and you can bet your life if you are this serious about her, she feels the same about you; so she will have already discussed her dream ring with her friends and family and they probably even have a good idea of her chosen design! Ring size is also not a problem to work out for an experienced jeweller so worry not…
Finally and probably most importantly, when you buy your engagement ring, the majority of the cost is usually in the main diamond itself. So whilst we need to take notice of her taste in jewellery, speak to her friends and family, try and find out her preference for metal, work on her ring size etc., in the great scheme of things if she really doesn’t like the ring, at Jewels we will take back the metal and redesign a new ring FREE of charge. Therefore the only part you would need to pay again would be the actual labour charges for making the new ring and any extra metal which may or may not be required for the new design. Similarly if the size is wrong then it is a very small job to put right and we will do this for you with our compliments. So take the pressure off yourself and know whatever design you choose it can be changed at relatively low cost.
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