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The Gentleman's Guide to Buying an Engagement Ring

THE GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO BUYING AN ENGAGEMENT RING DIAMOND SHOP THE DIAMOND" SHOP WHAT TO BUY So you've met the woman of your dreams. Congratulations! The hardest part is over. Next comes the second-hardest part - popping the question. Which brings us to the third hardest part – buying the ring. There are two major issues to consider when choosing a ring. The first is the diamond itself, which is where most of the expense goes, and the second is the setting, which is what makes it individual. OD00000000 We know it's complicated, so we've put together a few tips to help you choose the best diamond your budget will allow, and set in a ring your partner will love. THE DIAMOND" SHOP BUDGET APRIL $3,000 $30,000 Traditionally, it's said that you should spend two month's salary on the ring, but this is not by any means a hard and fast rule. A pre-made ring can cost anything from $300 to $30,000, and while you obviously want the best ring possible, it's not within every guy's budget to set aside a big lump sum before popping the question. While this is no time to be stingy, it's a good idea to learn a little about diamonds to ensure you're getting the best possible deal. Working out the maximum you can afford, and sticking to that figure, is much smarter than trying to show you care by overspending. THE DIAMOND SHOP THE DIAMOND Experts determine the value of a diamond based on four criteria, which are known as the Four Cs; colour, clarity, cut and carat. We go into more detail on the Four Cs elsewhere on our site, but here are a few basics to bear in mind when shopping: CLARATY CUT Triple Excellent Shallow Cut (Роoг) Deep Cut (Poor) When rating for clarity, experts look at whether the diamond shows any cloudiness (this can prevent light passing through, reducing its sparkle) or 'inclusions', which are tiny flaws that appeared in the diamond while it was forming. Without getting too technical, go for a diamond with clarity in the range between S1 and VS1, with no black inclusions. It is possible to buy a diamond with a higher clarity rating than VS1, but those are much more expensive and the difference in beauty is not visible to the non-expert. The cut is the manmade aspect of your diamond. This is extremely important, because the quality of the cut affects how light passes through the diamond, creating the sparkle. Triple Excellent is the highest possible cut grade, meaning the diamond reflects the most light and sparkles the most brightly. The grading scale goes all the way down to Poor, but for something as important as an engagement ring, it's unwise to go any lower than a Very Good cut. We recommend going for Triple Excellent wherever possible – it is more expensive, but the visible difference in beauty makes it worth the extra spend. CARAT COLOUR ZHG F D THE O0000 DIAMOND" SHOP Carat is the weight of the diamond, which corresponds to its size. The higher the carat, the bigger the diamond. However, carat does not reflect the quality of the diamond - a large, high-carat diamond might not have the best cut, colour or clarity. Remember: size matters, but it isn't everything! The highest colour grade available is a D, and the lowest is a Z. Colour grades F, G and H are all excellent value, with F being the most expensive and H the least. All of these are white diamonds and the difference between them is hard to see with the naked eye Finally, gemologists and jewelers have differing opinions on something called fluorescence, which is a natural property some diamonds have that causes them to glow under ultra-violet light. Some believe this affects how the diamond looks even when it's not under UV light - just to be on the safe side, where possible we suggest opting for a diamond graded as having no fluorescence. SETTING Engagement rings are available in a variety of precious metals, including platinum, titanium and white and yellow gold. If you opt for a traditional yellow gold, go for 18k gold, as it wears well and will maintain its rich colour over the years. If a white metal is more your partner's style, we recommend 950 grade platinum - not only is it beautiful, it's extremely durable and hypoallergenic, both important qualities when a ring is going to be worn everyday. White gold is also beautiful, but it will need replating every few years to maintain its colour and shine - platinum does not require this extra attention. The setting is what gives the ring its individual style - antique or modern, subtle or statement. Your partner probably has some pretty strong ideas about the kind of jewelry she likes already, and those are worth trying to find out about - remember, if all goes according to plan it will be her wearing this ring for the rest of her life, not you! Most people have some kind of preference for a type of metal or era of jewelry, so if you don't think you can ask without ruining the surprise, take a look at the kind of rings she already owns. Gold or silver? Slender or chunky? Old or new? Chances are, you'll be able to find some clues PLATINUM YELLOW GOLD WHITE GOLD TITANIUM 950 GRADE (18K) (NEEDS REPLATING) CHEAPER OPTION 78 22 Pt Au Ti Platinum Gold Titanium to her taste. THE DIAMOND" SHOP ROUND PRINCESS Diamonds can be cut into a number of fancy shapes, including Marquise and Heart Cut. If you opt for a fancy shape diamond, be aware that it needs to fit with the Emerald, EMERALD ASSCHER wedding band that will eventually be paired with it. In addition to making sure they sit together comfortably, they should CUSHION RADIANT be made of the same metal and not be wildly different in style. If you want to surprise your partner with a diamond, but are not 100% sure of the style of ring they want, a temporary setting is a great idea. A temporary setting is one that's not designed to be worn, but just to display the diamond you've chosen until it's placed into a real setting. Proposing with a temporary setting is a win/win - you get to impress with the perfect diamond, and she gets to choose her ideal ring. OVAL MARQUISE PEAR HEART THE DIAMOND™ SHOP COMPARISON SHOPPING At any reputable jeweler, all the relevant information about your diamond will be available on something called a GIA Certificate, which proves that it has been examined and graded by the Gemological Institute of America. The GIA is considered the official worldwide body responsible for valuation and grading of diamonds, and its ratings are consistent wherever you go, creating a level playing field for large and small jewelers. GIA CERTIFICATE 15% SAVING THAT IT HAS BEEN EXAMINED AND GRADED BY THE GEMOLOGICAL INSTITUTE OF AMERICA DIAMOND On the subject of buying abroad, it's often possible to save the sales tax by buying your diamond while in another country and picking it up at the airport when you're on your way home. New Zealand is one example of a country where this is possible: the ring and official collection documents are simply forwarded to an airport Collection Point, ready to be picked up after you've passed through customs on your way out of the country. This loophole instantly saves you 15% sales tax, reducing the price of a $9,000 ring to $7,826. This means that whether you shop in person or online, at home or abroad, you can compare prices knowing you're looking at the same quality diamonds, certified by the same experts. By comparing 'apples with apples' in this way, an informed buyer (that's you!) can make real savings. THE DIAMOND" SHOP SIZE TOO BIG JUST RIGHT If you plan to surprise your soon-to-be spouse by proposing with the ring in hand, it's important to get the size right. A ring that turns out to be way too small or way too big to wear will put a damper on even the most romantic proposal, so get your hands on a ring belonging to your partner and get those measurements before committing to buy. TOO SMALL If you don't trust yourself to 'borrow' a ring without being noticed, consider enlisting her best friend, flatmate or mum to help. Another option is to simply measure her favourite ring's diameter as accurately as possible and put it back work with that. most jewellers will be able to Alternatively, proposing with a diamond in a temporary setting, as described above, may help you avoid this issue entirely. THE DIAMOND" SHOP HACH

The Gentleman's Guide to Buying an Engagement Ring

shared by CusMusGus on Feb 13
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