Okay, real talk – choosing an engagement ring can be a little bit daunting (no pressure). Not exactly clued-up on the terminology? Don’t know your cuts from your carats? We turned to Xennox Diamonds for their expert advice on how to buy the perfect engagement ring and skip the stress-out.
Related article: Everything you need to know about engagement rings
Get to know the 4Cs
Think cut, colour, clarity and carat. Firstly, ‘cut’ refers to the way the stone is, well, cut to make it sparkle – sounds simple enough, right? There’s plenty of technical jargon behind it, but to give you a practical example ask your jeweller to show you examples of their different cuts – they generally range from poor (try and avoid) to fair, good, very good and excellent (aim for this if possible!).
Next, ‘colour’ is pretty explanatory. While you can get coloured diamonds, this term typically relates to how clearly white the stone is (as opposed to yellow). Jewellers use an alphabetical scale to give you a visual representation – ask to see something in the D to F range for a classically white diamond.
Again, ‘clarity’ seems quite straight-forward, but there are some things to literally look out for. ‘Graphite’ is an inclusion that looks like black spots; ‘feathers’ appear as tiny semi-circles; ‘crystals’ are basically tiny diamonds or mineral deposits within a diamond (sounds good but try and avoid); and ‘clouds’ look like spots of mist. Ask your jeweller to look at your stone with a 10x magnifying glass to get the best result.
Lastly, ‘carat’ is also worth thinking about. The term relates to the weight of the stone (rather than size) – but when a diamond increases in weight it also increases in volume in every direction. Don’t think that bigger is always better when it comes to carat-size, though. It’s much more important to look for a high-quality stone than a big one – yes, quality over quantity!
Know their ideal ‘style’
Okay, here’s when you get a little more creative. There are so many different styles out there – from ‘halo’ (with a ring of stones around the main diamond, like above) to ‘princess’ (a very square-shaped diamond).
A great way to find the right style is to take along examples of similar rings you know your partner likes – listen in if they say something when passing a jewellery store! A jeweller will be able to suggest rings in that style or find an alternative that you think your partner will treasure.
Consider designing your own ring
Before you jump to ‘Woah, hey now”, customising your own ring doesn’t have to be a stressful affair.
A good jeweller will work with you to create something totally unique for your partner – just be upfront about your ideal budget and consider time constraints. They’ll generate a design for you based on your ideas and help you pick the perfect stone (or stones) to suit – easy!