10 Super Helpful Charts To Help You Buy The Perfect Diamond Engagement Ring

Author Cristina LaPenna
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Date Oct 5, 2015

Your best friend just got married, your co-worker told you in yesterday's meeting that he is going to pop the question, and your girlfriend has been dropping hints left and right. Then it hits you - it IS the right time to get down on one knee and propose! First thing's first, you need the ring to do that...but where do you even start?

Building the perfect diamond engagement ring only takes two steps - choosing the diamond, and then choosing the setting. That's it!

Sounds easy, right? But we don't just stop at easy. To make it even easier, we have broken it down and created a guide spelling out what kind of decisions you will need to make at each step, and everything you will need to know in order to make sure that you are building the perfect ring for her. Ready to get started? Here we go...

Step 1: Choosing A Diamond

Step One: Diamond Equation - How To Design A Diamond Engagement Ring

Shape:

The first place we recommend starting when choosing your loose diamond is with the shape of the diamond. While all of the other factors are significant in their own way, it can sometimes be difficult to try to determine what is more important to you and your significant other. The shape of the diamond is a great place to start because either your partner has explicitly told you, "I want a classic, round cut diamond," or you can go through their Pinterest engagement ring page and see that all of the rings that she has pinned have cushion-shaped diamonds.

When choosing a loose diamond, one thing that you should think about is how the shape of the diamond impacts the sparkle of the diamond. If you are between two shapes, you might want to choose the shape that has a higher brilliance over another. It is also important to remember that a diamond's shape also impacts the price of the diamond. Here are some of the most popular diamond shapes that you could pick from:

Shape - How To Design A Diamond Engagement Ring

Cut:

A diamond's cut refers to how the proportions and the angles of a diamond reflect light. So, a diamond's cut determines how bright the diamond is and how much it sparkles. Two diamonds could be identical in all categories, but if one has a better cut than another, the diamonds will look completely different. A diamond with an excellent cut will sparkle from all the way across the room, but a diamond with a cut that is below average won't reflect much light back to you so it often looks dull and lifeless.

The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) will certify and determine the cut grade of a diamond on a scale of either Poor, Good, Very Good, or Excellent. Buying a Very Good or Excellent diamond costs more because it is much more likely to be more brilliant and a better diamond. We recommend viewing all loose diamonds in person before you purchase because even though a diamond's cut grade can give you some clues about the sparkle potential of a diamond, it doesn't tell you the whole story. See it for yourself!

Cut - How To Design A Diamond Engagement Ring

Color:

The color of a diamond, or how white or "colorless" the diamond looks is the next factor of choosing a diamond. As you go up and down the GIA Color Grading Scale below, the more rare and more expensive diamonds are considered 'colorless' and are given a grade of D, E, or F. As you go down the scale, the diamonds go from near colorless to a light yellow. Color is one of the most important factors of a diamond, so we recommend reading more about what you should know about color before you buy a diamond on our free educational guide.

Color - How To Design A Diamond Engagement Ring

Clarity:

The next step is to consider what clarity of diamond you and your significant other want to purchase. Clarity means either the presence or absence of imperfections within the stone. These could be anything from dark spots to cracks to cloudiness inside the stone that are developed during the formation of the diamond in the ground. The cleaner, or the less imperfections that the diamond has, the more rare and therefore expensive it is.

When a diamond's clarity is graded, it reflects the appearance to a certified expert when the loose diamond is looked at under a 10x magnification. So, although a diamond may have inclusions, they may not be visible at all to the naked eye. Make sure that you look closely at the diamonds to determine which grade of clarity you want to purchase, because although two stones could be the same clarity, one could look a lot clearer than the other. To read more about what determines the clarity of a diamond, click here.

Clarity - How To Design A Diamond Engagement Ring

Carat:

Carat size is often the only thing that people know about in terms of diamond engagement rings, and is often the first 'wish list' item that people mention when they visit a jeweler - "I want a 2 carat diamond ring" is a common phrase we hear. Below is a scale that you can use to see what the different diamond carat sizes look like in comparison to one another.

But, before you look at the scale and set your heart on a carat weight, the carat weight also is the top determining factor of the price of the loose diamond you end up purchasing. In this way, it is important to set realistic expectations in terms of diamond carat and your budget. Did you know that as the carat weight of a diamond increases, the price of that diamond exponentially increases? Here is an explanation of why that happens. If she really wants that 3 carat rock, but you can really only afford a 1 carat, we came up with other ways to give her a beautiful ring and keep you on budget. This way you'll still be able to get a beautiful ring without having to pay for that rare, high carat center stone.

Step 2: Choosing A Setting

Step Two: Choose A Setting - How To Design A Diamond Engagement Ring

Styles:

Picking out a loose diamond might seem like a breeze compared to the next step - Trying to figure out what style of the ring itself you should choose to hold the diamond. Because there are hundreds of styles available and the whole 'Is my girlfriend's style more classic or more vintage?' questions may seem like we are asking you rocket science equations, we've broken the styles down into the most popular ring styles to help you start navigating the wilderness that is ring styles, featured below:

Styles of Settings - How To Design A Diamond Engagement Ring

If you need a little more guidance, we also created an infographic that will help you try to understand what her personal style is and pulled together some examples of different styles to give you a starting point when picking out styles of rings. If you still don't see something that jumps out at you and shouts 'the one!' an alternative is to have a ring custom made.

Metals:

You've got the diamond. You've got the style. You've got the girl. The last step in building her perfect engagement ring is to choose which type of metal the ring should be - one of the major parts of the cost of the engagement ring. You want a ring that will last as long as your love, so the two best options are going to be choosing between either precious metals, gold or platinum.

Metals of Settings - How To Design A Diamond Engagement Ring

Above you will see that gold comes in three different colors - white gold, yellow gold, and rose gold. To read about the differences between them, you can click here. What about platinum? The differences between platinum and white gold are important in determining which metal you should pick if you know you want a white metal. A few important things to consider is that platinum is more durable than white gold, platinum will stay white forever while white gold will turn yellow over time, and that platinum is hypoallergenic while white gold is not. While platinum is more expensive than white gold, we always tell people to think about it in the long run - This engagement ring will be worn every day for the rest of her life, so make sure you are comfortable with what metal you pick for the setting.

Size:

Do not forget to figure out her ring size before building your perfect engagement ring! There are so many ways to figure out the ring size of your bride-to-be, but if you need some ideas here is a list of 6 ways to find her ring size without her knowing. If you somehow get the ring size wrong (don't worry, it happens) an engagement ring can usually be resized to the perfect ring size. You can read more about how a jeweler sizes a ring here.

We gave you the tools, now make her dream ring become a reality. Contact us or make an appointment and one of our specialists will be more than happy to help you build the perfect diamond engagement ring!

Engagement Rings - Browse the Collection

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