So you’ve found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Wedding bells are ringing but there’s a key step that must happen before you start planning your big day...the proposal. Even if you’ve already decided on your dream ring, there are some key points you need to know before buying an engagement ring that accurately embodies the love you have for your partner.
Just a few years ago, you would really only have one choice when it comes to diamonds: those mined from the earth. Unfortunately, the process of collecting these diamonds requires a high pollution cost on the environment, shaky ethics, and often a toll on your wallet. In fact, mined diamonds can be up to 40% more expensive than their new alternative, lab-grown diamonds.
In the past few years, man made diamonds have become a huge disruptor in the industry as more and more individuals (particularly millennials) have seen and reaped the benefits of this revolutionary science. Knowing exactly where the diamonds in your engagement ring came from is so much more rewarding and comforting than wondering if your they originated from a place of pain and suffering.
The type of diamond that you decide on might alter your budget, which is why we’ve put it as step #2. Since mined diamonds can be so much more expensive, you might have originally thought that you could only get a certain quality or size diamond. However, if you go with a lab-grown diamond, you can either save a bit on your budget, or get a bigger or better stone! Think about it this way, if you originally budgeted for a 2 carat mined diamond, you can now get a 2.5 carat lab-grown diamond.
When it comes to talking with your partner about budget, it’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all rule. Some couples believe that the ring price should be equivalent to a two-month salary. This, of course, is another shady part of the old diamond industry that was used to make men spend more money on rings. The thought you put behind an engagement ring is much more important than how much you spend. And what could be more thoughtful than a diamond with ethical origins?
As with any large purchase, it’s important to do your homework, read reviews, and compare prices. Although lab-grown diamonds can be up to 40% less expensive, that’s not the case at every retailer. Do your own cost analysis, be sure to look into their policies, and find the company that works best for you.
The 4 C’s
When people think about diamonds created in a lab, they often think that the end result is a perfectly cut and polished diamond, ready to be set in a ring. This is a huge misconception, as lab grown diamonds are cut, polished, and graded the exact same way as mined diamonds are. So, if you’ve decided on a man-made stone, you still need to learn the 4 C’s.
Cut is one of the most important things because it is about how much your diamond sparkles. The term “cut” refers to how a diamond’s angles relate to light. A number of factors influence a diamond’s cut grade, including its overall face-up appearance, design and craftsmanship.
Color, not all diamonds are 100% perfectly clear. The Gemological Institute of America grades colors on a scale from D which means colorless to Z which are the diamonds with light yellow traces. Again, it's important to keep this in mind when you are selecting your stone.
Clarity refers to the assessment of imperfections in the diamond, both internally and on the surface. The less imperfections, the higher the grade of the piece.
Carat is about both weight and size.
If you have any trouble deciding on the specifications of your diamond, reach out to a diamond expert for help. They should be able to guide you to the perfect diamond at the best price.
Choosing a Setting
Next, we have to select a setting. What’s your favorite style?
Generally, there are four main collections to choose from, Classic, Solitaire, Halo, and Vintage. Although each one has their own perks, the style of your ring will really come down to personal preference and personality.
Classic and solitaire rings are timeless and can easily be dressed up or down with an accompanied matching band.
Halo rings are great if you want to make your diamond appear even larger.
Vintage engagement rings are extremely unique and combine a time period of the past with a love story from the present.
More than anything, your engagement ring should represent the love you have for your partner and the commitment you’re making. Using the guidelines above, personal preference, and a bit of help from a diamond expert, you should be able to find the ring of your dreams with ease.