Buying a diamond ring — whether for you or for someone special — isn’t an action to be taken lightly. It’s a substantial investment, so you’ll want to ensure you’re putting enough thought into the purchase.
If you rush things, you’ll end up letting the pressure (whether from the seller or your expectations about the recipient) affect your decision-making. Remain patient and you’ll be satisfied with your purchase for years to come.
Five Things to Think About
Any time you’re preparing to make a major purchase, you’d be wise to have a plan. Otherwise, you risk falling prey to sales tactics and your emotions. In the case of buying a diamond ring, the following five tips should keep you pointed in the right direction.
- Set a Budget
It all starts with a budget. Small and simple diamond rings are available for just a few hundred dollars, but then there are lavish rings worth six figures or more. You need to set your price limit, as well as a range where you’ll be comfortable. Once you set a budget, stick to it.
If money is an issue and you’re trying to buy a gorgeous ring without having to spend too much, there are some tricks for lowering the price point without compromising the look. One of the most common ones is “buying shy.”
“Diamond prices jump disproportionately at the carat and half-carat marks,” explains Jessica Zaleski of The Knot, “which means buying just shy (say, 1.8 carats instead of 2) can equal a potential savings of nearly 20 percent — but the difference in the diamond will hardly be noticeable, if at all.”
Even if you have a large budget, setting your limit will keep you grounded. It’s all too easy to walk into a jewelry shop intending to spend X dollars, only to see something a little more extravagant and spend quite a bit more.
If you’re concerned about your ability to stay within your budget, bring a friend along.
- Understand the Four Cs
In diamond buying, there’s a concept known as the four Cs. This represents color, cut, clarity, and carat, which collectively should be the guiding principles in any evaluation or purchase decision.
“Diamonds are graded according to color and you can pick from a variety of color grades to suit your budget,” Diamondere explains. “Ideally you’ll have to pick a stone with a purer white color (Grades D-F), unless you choose to buy colored diamonds. However, if you want to buy a larger stone, you can focus more on cut rather than color.”
A diamond’s cut consists of of different depths, widths, and facets. How a diamond is cut determines the way in which light gets refracted and reflected by it, and that ultimately determines its brilliance and allure.
Clarity is pretty self-explanatory and refers to the presence or absence of blemishes and cloudiness. The clearer the diamond, the better.
Finally, carat refers to the weight of the diamond. This is one of the most important factors in the pricing of diamonds and is typically the first thing a jeweler will ask you when preparing to show various ring options.
- Only Purchase Certified
In order to make sure you’re making a smart purchase, consider only certified diamonds. Certified diamonds have been verified for quality, which enables you to be certain the salesperson isn’t trying to deceive you. Also, certified diamonds hold their value much better over time.
- Understand the Different Settings
A diamond ring may start with consideration of the stone, but it certainly doesn’t stop there. You would do well to think about the setting.
Do you want a classic solitaire ring setting that consists of just the diamond and a simple metal band, or are you in the market for something more extravagant … such as a halo ring setting with diamonds down the band?
From an aesthetic point of view, this is the most important decision. There are thousands of unique looks and you want to choose one that fits your style and needs. Do your research and consider all your options before you make the purchase.
- Consider Going Custom
Though you can shop any website or jewelry store and see a bunch of standard rings, there’s also the opportunity to design your very own custom ring. The process is a little more complicated — and you’ll have to work closely with multiple parties — but the end product is something totally unique.
If you like the idea of wearing a ring that nobody else has, then custom designing your setting may be an appealing choice.
Patience is the Word
When it comes down to it, patience is the most important aspect of the diamond ring-buying process. You mustn’t rush things, and you have to maintain enough discipline to carefully evaluate and choose the right ring for you.
A modicum of patience up front is most likely to leave you feeling satisfied for many years to come.