Tips for Buying an Engagement Ring

Are you looking to buy an engagement ring? Here are several things you need to know before you begin your search!

1. Know the 4C's

  • Color: D-to-Z diamond color grades rate a diamond’s lack of color. Diamonds with less color are rarer.
  • Cut: The quality of a diamond’s cut determines how well it unleashes its light.
  • Clarity: Diamond clarity refers to the absence of inclusions and blemishes.
  • Carat Weight: Diamond carat weight determines a diamond’s apparent size.

2. Understand the difference between diamond shapes, diamond cutting styles, and cut qualities!

Shape describes a diamond’s outline when viewed face up.  By far, the most popular diamond shape is round. But there are other shapes—known as fancy shapes—which include the marquise, pear, oval, rectangle, square and heart.

Cutting style refers to how the diamond’s facets are arranged.  For example, the most common facet arrangement for round diamonds is the standard brilliant cutting style

Cut quality refers to how well a diamond’s facets interact with light. Diamonds cut in the same shape and style can vary in table size, girdle thickness, polish and symmetry.

3. Pick a metal for the band

If you love the color of gold, consider that white metal prongs or bezels are often integrated into yellow gold bands to create contrast with the diamond. Rose gold is trending, has a warm and soothing appearance. Platinum is a gray-white metal that is elegant, extremely durable and corrosion resistant. Sterling silver is often used in jewelry but rarely in engagement rings, as it is not the most durable of metals and tarnishes over time.

4. Choose the setting

Here are three common types of settings:

1. Prong: A diamond is held in place with four to six prongs (narrow metal supports). When prongs are used to secure a single stone, the ring is often called a “solitaire.”

2. Bezel: For this engagement ring setting style, a thin metal strip is pushed or hammered around the gem to hold it in place. The bezel setting provides excellent protection for the center stone.

3. Halo: Tiny diamonds encircle the center stone. A halo can add more sparkle to an engagement ring and make the center stone look larger.

5. Pick side stones

Side stones are a dazzling way to dress up an engagement ring. Popular choices include channel or pavé set diamonds along the shank of the ring, diamond baguettes on either side of the center stone, and colored gems in any number of configurations.

6. Look at the diamond under different lighting conditions

When buying a diamond engagement ring, be sure to look at it under these four different lighting conditions to see how it performs:

1. An environment where spot lighting is not overwhelming
2. Diffused lighting—fluorescent lights that bounce light off a white ceiling are best
3. A mixed lighting environment of spot and diffused lighting
4. Natural daylight – directly under the sun, or under the dappled shade of a tree that breaks up the diamond’s light into thousands of slivers

7. Pick a trusted jeweler

Since an engagement ring is an expensive purchase, you’ll want to buy it from a jeweler you can trust. Tip – start by looking for a jeweler who has earned a credential from an accredited school like GIA. At Gem Source, our professional jeweler is GIA certified and able to offer you a grading report on the diamond of your choice.

8. Insist on a diamond grading report

When buying an engagement ring, insist on a diamond grading report. By giving you the exact quality characteristics of the diamond, the report will remove any uncertainty from your buying decision. The report will also indicate whether the diamond has been treated to enhance its color or clarity.