Planning to pop the question, and looking to get the most bang for your buck from your engagement ring purchase? This week, jewelry retailer Four Mine – based in New York – contributes with their expertise on how shop for your dream engagement ring, and get the most out of your purchase.
Finding that perfect ring to encapsulate your love can be a daunting task. From selecting the right style, to ensuring that you get the most value for your money, there are many details to perfect. However, if you keep the following tips in mind, you can get the ideal ring that will represent your love for a lifetime and won’t break your bank.
Carat: A carat is the measure of the weight of a diamond and also representative of its visual size. To save money, buy diamonds shy of “critical weights” – for example, instead of shelling out for the full 1.00 carat diamond, try to find something around 0.95 carat. Manufacturers do everything they can to cut to critical weights because industry pricing is tiered on those values.
Shape: Consider a fancy shape; shapes other than traditional round (fancy shapes) are significantly less expensive and trendier. Because round diamonds are the most sought after shape, especially for engagement rings, they tend to carry a premium. Fancy shapes look equally beautiful and will set your engagement ring apart from most. Shapes that are popular right now are Cushion and Emerald.
Color and clarity: The clarity of a diamond is determined by the number of small imperfections that occur during the growth of a diamond. Clarity is given based on a scale of FL (flawless) to I3 (included). Meanwhile, color is indicative of the amount of visible color in a diamond and is measured from D (colorless) to Z (light color). Diamonds in the H / I color and SI clarity range offer the best value without taking away much of the sparkle in your ring. The imperfections are rarely visible to the naked eye and the color is hardly noticeable. Visit Four Mine’s education guide to understand more about the 4 Cs.
Certified: If you want assurance that you’re getting what you paid for, be sure to buy GIA (Gemological Institute of America) certified diamonds. GIA is the most consistent grading lab and has the highest grading standards. They carefully judge a diamond based on the four essential Cs: color, carat, clarity and cut. Other labs are inconsistent and carry noticeable discounts for a reason. Don’t be fooled by a “too good to be true” price!
Cost: Even though you might like to browse in stores, buy diamonds online. Prices are significantly less and the selection is far larger. You can see upwards of 20% price differences between online and in-store prices. Online jewelers are extremely price competitive and so the markups are actually very low.
If you are able to plan ahead, try to purchase your diamond in the summer months. Summers are slow for most jewelers, so you are able to get less expensive diamonds. You should avoid purchasing during the winter months, especially around Christmas, as prices can be volatile during the holidays.
Style and Setting
Metals: Karat is the measure of the purity of gold, going up to 24 karats. Rings are available in many metal types. 18 karat gold is purer than 14 karat, but adds little to no extra value. The longevity of 14k is high, and simple servicing can keep it looking brand new. Just polishing out scratches or rhodium plating restores shine as if it were new. Do this once year and it should only cost about $10-$20. In terms of style, the majority of women prefer white metal. However, rose gold can also be a great option for a bride who wants to stand out and be trendy.
Design: Classic setting styles please almost everyone and are both wearable and fashionable in the long run. Solitaires are perfect as they are timeless and maintain the focus on the center stone. While a three-stone ring can have meaning, it is not always the most affordable. Opt for a Halo ring if you want to add lots of sparkle and accentuate your center stone. If she prefers an intricate style, opt for a braided band, with side-stones to add both sparkle and a design element. Alternatively, a band with metalwork may please someone looking for a vintage design. Confused about which style will match her taste? Try the Uniquely Her Quiz on Four Mine to understand which ring will best suit her.
Final purchase: Buy your engagement ring via bank wire online. There is almost always a discount because no credit card processing fees are involved. Additionally, buying from an out-of-state online jeweler means that you can avoid taxes. Follow these tips and you’ll save hundreds of dollars!
Four Mine is an online jewelry retailer specializing in unique diamond engagement rings and wedding bands. With a 35+ year heritage in the diamond industry and an expertise in design, we are able to create the perfect rings for all our customers. We offer free gemologist consultations, and exclusive shopping tools to help shop. Our aim is to provide exceptional customer service with a free, at home try-before-you-buy service for engagement rings, free shipping, returns, resizing, engraving and a lifetime warranty on all our jewelry. Visit us at www.fourmine.com today to start crafting your ring or check us out at facebook.com/MyFourMine!