THE 5 MUST-KNOW R.I.N.G.S. TIPS WHEN BUYING AN ENGAGEMENT RING You only get to do this once and you want to get it right the first time. 1.Recon the Shape The shape you choose for your girlfriend is important. The color and clarity you choose based on that shape is very important. The setting you choose based on that color and clarity is monumentally important. You get the point. It’s all about the shape. Knowing what shape your future fiancée loves is the key to giving her a ring she will adore for years to come. If you know that, you are set to go to the next step. If you are unsure, find a way to find out. Trust me when I say, you don’t want to miss the mark on diamond shape. Round brilliants are the most popular by around 70%, but just like your car is unique to you and a statement of who you are, your future fiancée’s shape is an expression of her style and personality. Heart shape, oval, cushion cut, emerald cut, radiant…they all tell a different story. Next Step: Every shape should be considered carefully as they all offer different pros and cons when it comes to color, clarity and carat weight. Did you know…? -Ovals and cushion cuts show color the most. -Round Brilliants show color the least. -Pears and ovals have a larger spread than other diamonds. -Emeralds and Asschers show inclusions more. -Ovals, Marquis and Pear shapes have “Bow-ties” that must be considered before choosing. This list goes on but the point is, choose your shape wisely and know where to spend your money on the 5 C’s when it comes to your shape. And if you would rather utilize your valuable time to do what you do best, you know who to enlist for expert advice. 2. Invest Wisely on Clarity – If you are buying certain cuts (i.e. round, cushion, oval…etc) and the jeweler is selling you on a VVS1 or VS1 telling you it is high quality diamond, that may be true. And you want to give her the best. However, your dollars can be better allocated where you can see them. What does this mean? Buying high clarity makes sense with certain cuts, such as Emerald Cuts and Asscher Cuts. However, cuts with more brilliance and faceting hide inclusions and imperfections. So much so, that in many cases one cannot discern the difference between a VS1 and an SI1, except on the price tag. So would you rather spend that extra money on something you can’t see, or spend it on a larger stone or higher color stone which you can see? The general rule is that color and carat weight are the two most visible characteristics in a diamond. 3. Need to Know your Certs. Did you know that the “5th C – Certification” effects the price of your diamond? The institutes that certify diamonds command different premiums based on the caliber of their grading system. The most reputable institute being GIA, the Gemological Institute of America. A GIA graded diamond is going to be the most accurately graded and also the most expensive. Houses like Harry Winston, Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels only carry GIA graded diamonds. When your GIA certificate says F-VS2 – it is exactly that, a F-VS2. Other certifications of note include EGL, AGS, GSI, AGI, HRD, IGI. These options will command slightly lower prices on their diamonds due to less stringent grading systems. This may mean that your F-VS2 can possibly be a G/H-SI1. For many, this is not a problem and you can always get your diamond certified by GIA at any point for a small fee. A non-certified diamond is the least expensive diamond option available if you are looking for a value buy. Just know there is no way to guarantee that those diamonds were ethically sourced and you will have to go with your eyes and your gut on that purchase. 4. Give her Ring YOUR special touch When you get down on one knee and ask the love of your life to be your wife, you are not putting a diamond on her finger. You are putting the most important symbol of your promise, your soul, your future together on her hand. Take a deep breath. Aside from getting her an absolutely gorgeous ring that speaks to her unique style, adding a more personal element to her ring will take your sparkling symbol of love to the next level. Here are 3 ways to make her ring more meaningful: Laser engraving a phrase, initials or significant date on her diamond. Yes on her diamond. Ask me about this, it is incredible and invisible to the naked eye. Hand forge your birthstones on the inside of the ring shank. A little something for you two. Forever Fingerprint – your actual fingerprint, etched onto the inside of her band. 5. Set it up Right Make sure her setting is hand made for the stone you pick out. There are no short cuts around this. Pre-mount settings are not going to offer the same security and integrity that a hand forged setting will. Why? Every diamond has different depth, millimeters, dimensions and angles. Placing an expensive stone in a pre-made setting made for a broad carat weight range (2-3 carat), instead of a basket designed for your exact stone is not the right move on this significant purchase. I have heard horror stories of diamonds flying across the room from a simple high five. Simply put, give her diamond the setting it deserves. A custom made basket and shank to promote the diamond’s sparkle and scintillation and offer a tank’s worth of security for your sparkling symbol of love.