Diamond rings set themselves apart from other types of jewelry because they arguably have the most meaning. After all, the diamond ring is used to lock in your love in wedding ceremonies for someone else.
Whether you’re buying a ring to symbolize a lifetime of love, or you just want to amplify your typical, everyday wear, there are some things to keep in mind when getting your next rock.
Let’s look at everything there is to know about buying a diamond ring with this comprehensive guide.
Are You Hearing Wedding Bells?
First things first: if you’re reading this because you’re looking to buy a diamond ring for that special someone in your life as a symbol of commitment, the rules are completely different.
Engagement rings have been a staple of the jewelry industry since Archduke Maximillian of Austria had a diamond ring commissioned for his soon-to-be wife. This sparked a trend for diamonds within European nobility. This started to take hold all over the world before it became commonplace to get ornate rings for your loved one before you officially tie the knot.
Getting the perfect diamond for your loved one can set you up for a successful marriage right off the bat, or it might set you up for failure. You need to take a lot of things into consideration when browsing for wedding rings.
The first rule of thumb is that the diamond ring should cost at least two month’s salary. So if you make $60,000 a year, you’re going to want to spend $10,000 on that diamond ring. It’s a small price to pay to show that you’re fully committed to the relationship.
Next, you need to know her ring size. There’s nothing worse than slipping the ring onto her finger and having it slide right off. If she already has rings, borrow one and place it on a piece of paper, tracing the inside with a stencil. A jeweler or jewelry consultant can use that to try to get an accurate size.
Finally, think about her preferences. If you notice that a lot of the rings she wears are round cut, then it might be a good idea to look for similar items. Does she wear a lot of gold? Maybe get a setting made of solid gold for the gem to lay. If she's into unique jewelry, think about a halo setting. We’ll talk a bit more about diamond cuts in a second.
Don't forget that she'll also need a ring for the ceremony. Consider a matching wedding band/engagement ring set. If you want to buy a flashy ring but can't afford one, it is common for the couple to upgrade their rings on an important anniversary.
Getting the Best Quality: The Four C’s
Whether you’re buying for your loved one or buying for yourself, you want to make sure you’re getting the highest quality diamond possible. After all, that’s the main attraction of any ring.
Understanding diamond cuts are pretty easy once you understand the Four C’s of diamond buying: Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat.
Diamond cut refers to the actual shape of the diamond itself. Stones are shaped by jewelers to reflect the light in different ways. You might be familiar with a round-cut gem, which is just a circle. But there are also princess cuts (square) or pear cuts. Other shapes include oval, marquise, and tear.
Cut comes down to your personal preference, which can be easy to figure out when buying for yourself. But if you’re buying for someone else, you might need to do some detective work to try to figure out what they like best.
Diamond clarity refers to the absence of inclusions and blemishes in the gem itself. You usually wouldn’t be able to notice these inclusions with the naked eye. The only person likely to know is a professional diamond expert.
Diamonds are ranked on a scale that goes from Flawless, meaning that the stone has no visible blemishes under 10x magnification, down to Included, meaning that inclusions are pretty obvious under the same magnification.
Clarity affects how the light is refracted in the gem itself. If you’re getting an engagement ring, you’ll probably want to spend a bit more to get a higher quality stone.
But if you’re buying for yourself, you have a bit more freedom to just go based on what you like.
While diamonds can be colored artificially to be red, green, blue, or anything else, diamond color refers to how translucent the stone is. So actually, it really refers to the absence of color.
Stones that are the most translucent and don’t take on a brownish sheen are higher-quality gems. People won’t be able to take their eyes off of your hands.
Finally, diamond carat refers to the size of the stone. Larger stones have a larger carat, and they also make a bigger impact. When you’re buying an engagement ring, the national average is one carat. However, if you want to make an extremely bold statement for yourself, there’s no harm in going even higher with fine jewelry.
Don’t Stop at Just One Stone
The traditional engagement ring has one giant rock in the center of a beautiful band. But if you’re getting a ring for style’s sake, you don’t need to stop at just one.
There are rings that are clustered, meaning that multiple gemstones are placed directly next to one another for a stunning appearance. This reflects the light from multiple directions, making the whole piece shimmer from any angle.
Thisdiamond clustered band ring is a prime example of how multiple diamonds can enhance a traditional ring to the max. This is the type of ring for people who like to play against the norm and try something different.
No Bland Bands
You should definitely devote some time and energy to finding the perfect rock to fit around your finger, but it’s not the only component of each ring. The band or setting that the ring rests on is just as important.
The setting can drastically alter the appearance of the ring as a whole. For instance, this eternity ring uses 18k gold for its band, which gives the piece a more authentic, contemporary feel. It’s something that kings and queens would proudly display in front of their loyal subjects. It will make you feel like royalty.
But then look at the difference when we take that same eternity ring in white gold. White gold looks more similar to the color of the diamond, which gives it a clean and polished look. This is for people who want more of a modern feel that looks towards the future rather than a nod to the past.
Other options include rose gold or yellow gold.
Each has its place -- it really comes down to what you like most.
Perfect Jewelry for Your Wish List
Diamond rings are one of the easiest pieces of jewelry to make work with any outfit. You don’t have to worry much about making it match your fit, but you do need to worry about choosing the right diamond. After all, the sparkle is the main attraction.
If you’re getting an engagement ring, you have a whole different set of rules to follow. But if you’re just getting a ring for yourself, you have a lot more freedom.
Either way, you need to think about the four C’s of diamond clarity, the number of diamonds you want on your ring, and the type of band that your gems can rest on.
It might take some trial and error before you can find your perfect fit, but you’ll soon be confident enough to fill up every finger with pureice.