A dazzling yellow gold solitaire engagement ring featuring a brilliant round-cut diamond on the center setting, with smaller diamonds adorning the band for added elegance and sparkle

Selecting the perfect engagement ring is a pivotal moment in any love story. It’s a symbol of your commitment and a testament to your understanding of your partner’s unique taste. At Jewels, we understand the importance of this decision, and we’re here to guide you through 7 key elements that go beyond the traditional 4 C’s of carat, cut, color and clarity. Let’s embark on a journey to create the ideal ring that will not only captivate her heart but also ensure that she’s wearing a piece of art that reflects your love and commitment.

1. Carat

When you envision your future fiancee proudly wearing your engagement ring, you want it to make a statement. However, it’s essential to look beyond the carat weight. You’ll discover a unique factor called “spread,” which is rarely discussed. “Spread” determines how large the diamond appears in relation to its weight. A diamond with good spread has a larger diameter than expected for its weight, so for example, a 1-carat diamond usually measures about 6.5mm in diameter, but with good spread, that same 1-carat diamond could exceed 6.8mm, giving it the presence of a 1.20-carat diamond for a similar price.

Left: 1ct Diamond Right: 1.2ct Diamond

Sounds enticing? Well, here’s the catch. While a good spread might give you a visually larger diamond face up, it will not be as deep so in extreme cases, it may lack sparkle due to its shallow nature, resulting in light leakage. It can also be more prone to chipping, cracking, and even breaking. Having said that, there are lovely diamonds with good spread out there, but it’s crucial to be aware of the potential trade-offs and to avoid extreme deviations from the “normal” boundaries. Take advice from a jewellery professional and remember, it’s not just about the carat; it’s about achieving the perfect balance of size and brilliance.

2. Cut

In the world of diamonds, “cut” isn’t about shape; it’s about how well the diamond has been faceted and polished to maximize its beauty. Imagine facets working like tiny mirrors, reflecting light to create a breathtaking play of brilliance with every movement. If the positioning and angles of these “mirrors” aren’t just right, the diamond’s beauty is compromised.

Sparkling yellow gold solitaire engagement ring with diamonds on the band

To simplify things, when you’re in search of a round brilliant diamond, set your sights on one with a laboratory grading of an overall excellent cut, excellent polish, and excellent symmetry – often referred to in the trade as “triple X.” At Jewels, we hold ourselves to the highest standards, but keep in mind that wherever you purchase your diamond, when it comes to cut, good isn’t good enough…..insist on excellence!

3. Colour

In the world of gemstones, colour is one of the defining characteristics of their beauty. However, when it comes to diamonds, it’s a bit of a paradox. To grade a diamond’s colour, the industry uses a scale from D (colourless) to Z (light yellow or brown). As you go further down the scale, the yellow/brown tones are quite obvious to most people, however – diamonds in the D, E, and F range all appear virtually identical to the untrained eye. So, you may not want to pay more for something you can’t see if you are comparing diamonds in this range?

Diamond Color Scale
Image Courtesy of GIA

We recommend not venturing lower than an H color grade because, at this point, as you can see in the above image, you might start noticing a subtle yellowish hue. In the end, it’s about finding the right balance between beauty and budget.

4. Clarity

Now, let’s demystify the concept of diamond clarity. Diamond clarity refers to the presence of internal or external flaws, known as inclusions and blemishes. The clarity scale ranges from “Flawless” (no inclusions or blemishes visible under 10x magnification) to “Included” (inclusions and/or blemishes visible to the naked eye).

In an ideal world, who wouldn’t love a perfect, flawless diamond? But in reality, here’s the revelation – unless your diamond is primarily an investment piece, anything graded higher than VS (Very Slightly Included) is often where you might be paying for something even a professional can’t see with the naked eye and would struggle to see under magnification. It’s like having a masterpiece hidden in a vault.

Unless you’re planning to view your diamond under a microscope and possess the trained eye of a gemologist, the minute inclusions or blemishes at this level aren’t something you or your future fiancée will notice. The money spent here might be better directed toward enhancing other aspects which you can see, like investing in a better colour grade or increasing the diamond’s size.

We believe that every diamond should tell a unique story, and that story shouldn’t be confined to microscopic details that no one but a gemologist will ever appreciate. So, when it comes to clarity, our recommendation is clear: prioritize what you can see and cherish the beauty of your diamond in the real world.

5. Certificates

Not all diamonds come with laboratory certifications, and not all laboratories are created equal. It’s essential to be discerning when it comes to diamond certification. One essential tip is to distinguish between shop-certified and laboratory-certified diamonds. Shop certification means that the retailer, who likely isn’t a qualified gemologist and lacks access to laboratory equipment, has provided an opinion on the diamond’s quality based on their judgement.

Shop certification offers some level of assurance, depending on the terms and conditions of the sale, but it’s not a guarantee of quality. Most diamonds under 0.30 carats are typically shop-certified, so if your ring design features smaller diamonds, you might not expect them to have anything other than shop certification. However, if your main stone is over 0.50 carats, it’s worth investing in a laboratory-certified diamond.

Among the various laboratories, we highly recommend seeking a GIA (Gemological Institute of America) certified stone. GIA has an impeccable reputation and is responsible for the modern diamond grading system as we know it today. GIA diamonds are laser inscribed  for identification purposes, ensuring you receive precisely what’s stated on the certificate. At Jewels, we exclusively offer GIA-certified diamonds, so you can rest assured you’re getting the best.

6. Metal

Selecting the right metal for your engagement ring is a decision that’s both practical and sentimental. The two most popular choices are gold, which typically is available in white, yellow, and rose color choices, or platinum. For the purposes of this guide, we’ll focus on white gold and platinum, but there are other options available out there, such as palladium.

If you’re leaning towards white gold, there’s a crucial detail you should know. White gold isn’t naturally white; all gold is yellow, and to achieve the various colours, it’s mixed with metal alloys. Even with high-quality whitener alloys, white gold won’t achieve the brilliant white you see in jewelry store displays.

The appearance of white gold is due to rhodium plating. Over time, this plating will wear off, and you’ll need to periodically have it “dipped” to restore its former beauty. While this isn’t an expensive process, it can be inconvenient, as you’ll have to part with your beloved ring temporarily.

Platinum, on the other hand, is naturally white. It looks almost identical to white gold when it’s new, and it doesn’t require rhodium plating. However, platinum has its own considerations. It scratches more easily than gold, and over time, it takes on a greyish hue, which will need professional polishing to return to it’s original appearance (if you don’t like the grey hue). In essence, whether you choose white gold or platinum, be prepared for some maintenance!

7. Design Doesn’t Matter…. (As Much as You Think)

The pressure to surprise your partner with the perfect engagement ring can make the lead-up to the proposal more stressful than it should be. Many couples dream of the “down on one knee” moment, the sparkle in her eyes, and the perfect fit, but the reality is that there’s more to the story. While the design is important, it’s not set in stone. If she doesn’t adore the ring, don’t fret. At Jewels, we’re flexible. We’ll gladly take back the metal and redesign a new ring, and the only costs you’d incur are for labour and any additional metal, if needed. The same goes for adjusting the size – it’s a straightforward job.

A heartfelt marriage proposal scene, with a man down on one knee, presenting a ring to his partner

Consider this: rather than stressing over the design, you can put your energy into choosing the perfect diamond. We can beautifully package it for you to present on the day, and then imagine the excitement of designing the ring together. After all, you wouldn’t pick her wedding dress which she will wear for one day only, so perhaps she’d welcome some input into the ring she’ll wear for a lifetime? If you’ve already purchased the diamond, your romantic gesture is secure. On a more practical note, you’ve also already covered the majority of the cost. All that’s left is the enjoyable task of deciding on the design together.

A joyous engaged couple sharing a moment of happiness, their eyes filled with love and excitement as they celebrate their commitment to each other

Selecting the perfect engagement ring is a journey, not a destination. At Jewels, we’re committed to ensuring that this journey is smooth, enjoyable, and memorable. It’s not just about the 4 C’s, the certification, the metal, or the design; it’s about crafting a symbol of your love story.

If you’re ready to take the next step and explore the world of exceptional engagement rings, we’re here to guide you. Whether you’re in the UK, Dubai or anywhere else in the world, now is the ideal time to discuss your dreams and ideas for the perfect ring. With our expertise and unique client care, you could have your customized engagement ring safely nestled under the tree for that magical Christmas proposal.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us and let’s make your vision a reality. Your love story deserves nothing less than a ring that’s as unique and special as the bond you share. 💍✨

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