Engagement Rings 101

Engagement
Words:
Pattie Parkhurst
Pictures:

1)    Determine your budget and a timeline.

Before shopping for an engagement ring, it is crucial to determine both your budget and your partner's expectations for the ring. Do you have family gemstones and gold you would like to use? Do you want natural diamonds, or lab created?Anything is possible, however your budget may determine a few specifics. The average price of an engagement ring is $5,000 to $7,000. However, spending this much up front on a ring might not be an option. Financing options are available if needed, and you can apply for our financing here. Keep in mind that ordering a ring may take up to six weeks, and possibly longer if you are customizing your piece.

1)    Consider your style.

Together we will create a ring that your loved one will cherish and adore for forever.  Think of what they want, and take into consideration whether they love big bling or are more subtle with the jewelry they do wear and would want something more practical. Do they love diamonds or do they want a more colorful array of gemstones? If you want your fiancé to to be a part of the design process, consider a stand-in ring for the proposal.Then you both can be a part of the ring design process together. There are a few categories of rings you may want to look at, as well, to get some ideas.Alternative, Organic, Story, Antique-inspired, Dainty, Deco, Cluster, Traditional.I usually tell people to look at their significant others jewelry they already have, their closet, and favorite colors. Then go to Pinterest and check out either my jewelry boards (search: Pattie Parkhurst) or your own investigating.

1)   Determine what type of metal you are using

We want your piece to last, so I encourage people to use 14k or 18k platinum and palladium. These metals are two of the strongest and will last the longest. A quick note: you will want to avoid sterling silver as it is a soft metal and it will not hold up well over time. Gold that is higher than 18k is also very soft and malleable.

4) Learn the 4 C's of Diamonds - carat, cut, clarity, and color

The 4 C's of diamonds are the four essential characteristics used to evaluate and grade a diamond's quality. Details are as follows:

A) Carat weight: this measurement refers to a diamond's size and weight. Larger diamonds generally have a higher carat weight and are rarer, making them more valuable.

Common Sizes

B) Cut shape: the cut of a diamond refers to the actual shape and reflective qualities of a diamond. A well-cut diamond reflects light beautifully and exhibits maximum brilliance and sparkle. The cut is graded on a scale from Excellent to Poor. Here are some different shapes below:

Common Shapes

C) Clarity: Clarity measures the presence of any internal or external flaws, known as inclusions and blemishes, respectively. Almost all natural diamonds have some inclusions. Some diamonds, however, are popular because of their inclusions and take, for example, salt and pepper diamonds. When it comes to grading, diamonds with fewer or no visible flaws are considered higher in clarity and are more valuable. Clarity is graded on a scale from Flawless (no imperfections visible under 10x magnification) to Included (imperfections visible to the naked eye).

D) Color: The color of a diamond is graded on a scale from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown). The most valuable diamonds are colorless or near-colorless, as they allow the diamond to reflect light more effectively and appear brighter.

Considering the 4 C's helps buyers understand the quality and value of a diamond, allowing them to make informed decisions when purchasing a diamond for an engagement ring or any other piece of jewelry.

Colored Gemstone

5) Explore Gemstone Options. Consider using gemstones in various colors within your piece to add dynamism. Durable stones like sapphires, which come in a wide range of colors, can add exceptionality. For reds, add rubies and for shades of green, look to emeralds.

6) Insure Your Ring! Once you have your ring, obtain an appraisal report to determine the value and guide you in insuring your precious investment.

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