May 7, 2007

How to Pick an Engagement Ring

With all the brides walking up the aisles this month, it is only natural for the rest of us, the ones still trying to catch that bouquet, to fantasize about that special day.

Usually the journey starts with the famous engagement ring.

No other ring has been given more value, nor caused more joy.

No other symbol has been more desired (by the girls) and more dreaded (by the guys, on occasion) at the same time.

So it does not come as a surprise that I’ve fantasized about owning one, too.

And thanks to internet, my (and your) days of fantasizing are over. It is now possible, in fact, to build your engagement ring online (and then send the bookmark to your boyfriend). :)

The most important part of the project is, of course, picking the right diamond, and there are many different diamonds to pick from. And when you are about to spend 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 thousand dollars on a diamond, you want to make sure you know what is the best diamond your money can buy (I’m talking to the guys now).

Here’s a cheat sheet. A quick overview of what you should be aware of:

A diamond has to be appraised and certified for the following:

Clarity, Color, Cut and Carat.

Cut and Carat are easy to understand.

The Cut is the shape of the diamond, round, oval, heart shaped, etc., and it’s more of a personal taste matter. But it is also important in determining the sparkle of the diamond.

The Carat is the size of the diamond. The bigger the size, the more expensive the ring. When price is an issue, go for a smaller and better quality diamond, unless size is important.

Clarity classifies the purity of the diamond, and the eventual presence of any flaws and/or imperfections. A diamond with fewer imperfections sparkles more. A diamond with no flaws is called “flawless” and it’s the highest grade of clarity, followed by “internally flawless”, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, SI2, I1, I2, I3.

The Color of a diamond ranges from colorless to slightly yellow. The absence of color enhances the sparkling, so once again here is a scale, to guide us in picking the closest diamond to colorless our budget allows us: D, E, F (colorless), G, H, I, J (almost colorless), K, L, M (faint yellow), N, O, P, Q, R (very light yellow), S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z (light yellow).

After all the studying, I decided it was time to have fun, and I started playing with the “Ring Builder” on and here are some of my favorite combinations:

Band: Platinum

Carat Weight: 1

Color: D

Clarity: VVS2

A classic with a twist: a sparkling band, with an oval diamond. It’s perfect for a young couple, as it is affordable and simple, yet beautiful at the same time.

But not quite my favorite...

Band: White Gold

Carat Weight: 1

Color: E

Clarity: VVS1

For the same price, I was able to create a more “mature” style, with an “asscher” cut diamond, and a more elaborate design on the band.

Still not the “one” for me...

So I decided to go a bit crazy, and this was the result:

Band: Platinum

Carat Weight: 2

Color: E

Clarity: IF

An astonishingly beautiful yet amazingly expensive engagement ring!

I couldn’t wear a Mustang convertible on my finger (I would rather drive it), so I toned it down a little, and I was very happy with the results...

Here is my “engagement ring”:

Band: Platinum

Carat Weight: 1

Color: D

Clarity: IF

But I’ve also learned that the naked eye won’t really be able to tell the difference if I move a bit down the scale if color and clarity, while the price drops dramatically. So I guess I would love this ring just as much:

Band: Platinum

Carat Weight: 1

Color: F

Clarity: VS1

Go ahead, have fun exploring all the different combinations, and don't forget to bookmark that page!


Unknown said...

Women and men need to be aware that most of the diamonds in the US come from the horrific diamond business around the world (especially Africa) where many are enslaved or killed for the precious stones. Please watch the movie, BLOOD DIAMOND.
These days - not every engagement ring needs to be a diamond. There are many other creative, less expensive, less devastating ways to express love to your partner. I think we need to focus more on the love and quality of the relationship than the size of the diamond ring and how much we spend on the wedding.

Anonymous said...

sita is just a dumbass. "Most" of the diamonds in the US come from reputable sources. Know your jeweler and if you do not have a jeweler, get to know one! It is illegal to do business with the "Blood Diamond" people here in the US. Many diamonds are coming from Russia, although not many really big ones. And, now there is that whole new process of "cultivating" real diamonds...the company is in Florida. Yes, man-made real diamonds, near perfect and in colors for much less cost.
And who ever heard of not giving a diamond engagement ring? What loser are you dating?

Anonymous said...

Nice display of aggression there Anonymous. I wonder if you are even in a relationship.

How would anyone really know where "Most" of the diamonds come from?
And so what if America has some small rules around it - what about the rest of the planet? It is the mind set of competition and comparison that is the real problem.

Also, I know first hand (from a friend that comes from South Africa in particular) that DeBeers is one of the worst infiltrators. Hmmm, I see their ads all over American magazines.

I appreciate the info about man-made diamonds - yet it is one thing to post an opinion it is another to insult and judge people. Good luck to you and your nasty, negative projections.

Wake up - many, many people do not have diamond engagement rings: