Engagement ring buying guide
Proposing to a loved one is an emotional and uniquely special occasion that requires much thought and planning. At diamondport, we know that an engagement is about so much more than simply buying a ring – it’s about finding the most perfect diamond engagement ring for your partner, one that will be treasured for a lifetime and one that beautifully encapsulates how you feel.
So many questions, feelings and concerns will likely be racing through your mind at this time. From how much to spend, the type of ring to buy, and the size of diamond, to whether your partner will say “yes”, and where to pop the question, our diamond engagement ring guide should help you make the right choices. After all, buying an engagement ring may be your most expensive purchase to date, and if you’re still unsure of how to proceed once you’ve read our guide, feel free to get in touch with our diamond experts who will be happy to discuss this with you in greater detail.
How much to spend
This age-old question has long haunted people wanting to propose to a loved one. But while two months’ worth of salary is the traditional budget for an engagement ring, how you can put an exact amount on the purchase?
Our advice is to select your diamond engagement ring based on quality and value rather than price tag – finding the right cut, colour, clarity and carat for the diamond, and deciding between gold, silver and platinum for the metal, are the core factors to consider. Of course, thinking about the ring your partner truly wants instead of focusing on cost will help guide you too.
Whatever your budget, we’re here to help you select wisely because buying an engagement ring is a once-in-a-lifetime purchase.
Type of diamond
The diamond type includes the shape and the 4Cs: Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat.
You may want a traditional diamond shape or a fancy cut diamond for your engagement ring. Among the most popular diamond shapes to set in an engagement ring are Round Brilliant cut (RBC), Princess cut and Radiant cut. Take a look at our Diamond Shapes section for more information.
Once you’ve chosen your diamond shape, you should decide on the diamond size (its carat weight). This will be dictated by your budget as well as the quality of diamond characteristics you want. Remember that size isn’t everything and that the diamond cut and clarity are important too – it would be a better investment to buy a smaller, higher quality diamond than a larger, lower quality diamond for your engagement ring.
When it comes to diamond quality, you need to consider each of the 4Cs.
The Cut of a diamond determines its sparkle and brilliance; how much light the diamond is able to reflect. Without the right cut, your diamond will not demonstrate its true sparkle. diamondport only sells diamonds with a Very Good or Excellent cut so you know you’re buying quality when you buy from us.
The Colour of a diamond relates to how colourless the stone is; the more colourless the diamond, the greater its value. The GIA established the colour scale from Z grade which is a yellow diamond to D grade which is a pure colourless diamond. For a colourless or ‘rare white diamond’ we recommend a diamond with a colour grade of D to H, although we also stock colour grade I for near-colourless diamonds at a smaller cost.
The Clarity of a diamond relates to how flawless the stone is. The diamond clarity chart runs from IF all the way through to I3, although diamondport only sells superior diamonds, with clarity grades FL to I1. A diamond with a high clarity grade will sparkle more brightly, possess a near-flawless or flawless appearance and be more visually appealing.
The Carat of a diamond is the weight of the stone, although no two diamonds with the same carat will necessarily look the same – you need to also consider the cut, clarity and colour of the diamond. A diamond carat is divided into 100 points or 200 milligrams. The most popular diamond sizes are half carat (0.50ct), three-quarter carat (0.75ct), one carat (1.00ct) and two carat (2.00ct). However, if you want to reduce the cost slightly when it comes to diamond carat, you should consider buying a diamond that is just under one of these popular sizes and ensuring the cut, colour and clarity are quality too.
Style of ring
How the ring will look comes down to your partner’s taste in jewellery. Preference for classical or contemporary, simple or elaborate, gold, silver or platinum settings, will determine the style of your engagement ring.
diamondport designs a range of ring styles that include solitaire diamond engagement rings, diamond three-stone rings and diamond cluster engagement rings. For a truly unique engagement ring, you may want to consider a bespoke design. You can create your ideal engagement ring using your own ideas and sketches or talk through your thoughts with our diamond ring experts. You can find out more about our bespoke engagement ring service, here.
The precious metal of an engagement ring is important too as this enhances, complements, and influences the overall beauty and appeal of a ring. Choose between gold rings, silver rings and platinum rings.
Platinum is hypo-allergenic and therefore kind to every skin type. A more expensive but excellent choice of diamond setting, platinum keeps even the smallest and most precious of diamonds securely in place. Almost exactly the same to look at as white gold engagement rings, platinum engagement rings have the added benefit of retaining an unblemished appearance for longer because of the metal’s hard nature.
Gold is a classical choice for an engagement ring. diamondport offers 18 kt yellow and white gold across our range.
This can be trickier than it sounds, especially if you’re planning a surprise proposal. But don’t worry; there are plenty of ways to ensure you get the right size diamond engagement ring. You can borrow one of your partner’s rings (from the correct finger) and take this to a jeweller to confirm ring size. Or you can be direct and ask her or him, whether this is done in a subtle manner or not. The ring size is important so you need to do what you can to get this right; however, although if you really don’t know or don’t want to run the risk of spoiling the surprise, buy a slightly bigger ring size which can then be altered accordingly to make it a perfect fit.
When, where and how to pop the question are undoubtedly at the front of your mind at this exciting time. The best place to start is with your partner – her or his likes, interests, history, habits, personality and so on. Thinking about the type of proposal your partner would enjoy, whether this is an intimate affair or a public occasion, will help you plan too.
And then let your imagination fly...
Once you’ve figured out the basics of the type of proposal and the places your partner enjoys, it’s time to get imaginative. Proposals don’t have to be the traditional down-on-one-knee-in-a-beautiful-setting – although this works perfectly for so many – they can happen anywhere. Your favourite art gallery in your favourite city; that place where you both laughed about something silly for so long; the funfair; a rowing boat – anywhere you choose is sure to be the right location to make the most of your proposal and present your diamond engagement ring in the most idyllic way possible.
All prices are in AUD. Copyright 2013 diamondport store.