The Ultimate Diamond Buying Guide

The time has come for you to start looking for an engagement ring. First and foremost, congratulations! We're so pleased that this is happening for you and your significant other.

However, there's so much information on the Internet when it comes to choosing an engagement ring. It can be impossible to make a selection with how much information is out there!

We're here to help make the research a little bit easier on you. Read the following seven tips to get started.

#1: Narrow Down What Shape and Carat Size You Want

Because there are so many options and choices ahead of you for choosing your engagement ring, one of the best things you can do is narrow it down.

Searching through infinite choices is much harder than searching through a few. Going into the ring search with a semblance of an idea can save you a lot of time, effort, and pain.

  • Shapes - The number of stone shapes out there is infinite. With modern technology, most stones can be crafted into many other shapes!

    There are the traditional ones, such as the baguette cut, the emerald cut, and others, but if you are interested in something specific, it's sure to be out there.
  • Carat Size - This can be a bit of a tricky one because you might run up against the problem of wanting a specific carat size but finding that it's outside of your budget.

    If this happens to you, there are a few options you can try to secure your perfect ring.

Wait
You can wait to see if it happens to go on sale at some point over the next few months or years. This is not the most attractive method to many, considering there's no guarantee that it'll ever go down in price.

You could be waiting forever.

Compromise
Another option is to compromise on your perfect ring and look into getting a different carat size. Especially in this modern age, there are several methods that jewelers can use to replicate certain jewels more cheaply.

If you find that you are looking for a specific look and not necessarily an accurate carat size, there might be an option out there for you.

Haggle
Another way to possibly secure your perfect ring is to try and make a deal with the jewelers. It's not super well known, but many jewelers are willing to haggle with potential customers.

Most jewelers end up marking up their products by such a large amount that, even if you were going to haggle, they would still end up making a very respectable profit.

The much higher, marked-up price tag also gives them some extra money when rich people come in and want one-of-a-kind jewels. These are the type of people who will pay for their jewelry at the listed price.

Repayment Plan
If all else fails, you can try to set up a long-term repayment plan with the jeweler of your choice. Depending on how far they're willing to stretch out your repayment options—which might come down to how good or bad your credit score is—it might be a more sustainable way to pay off your engagement ring.

Using a percentage of a paycheck is more financially stable than using multiple paychecks in one big purchase.

#2: Get Measured Correctly

This one can also help narrow down your choice, although it may not make you as happy to do so this way.

Once you know your ring size, it can help you select a ring that comes in your size. Fingers crossed that the ring style and carat size you've selected will fit your finger!

So, how are you supposed to know what ring size you need without immediately needing to resize your engagement ring?

There are a few different methods. Hundreds of methods exist online to help you size your finger in the comfort of your home.

Online Sizing

Most of them will have you print out a ruler and wrap it around your finger. Once you have a number, you will be able to select your ring size online.

Make sure you've measured correctly, however! You don't want to self-measure and find that you've made a mistake!

Buy Yourself a Sizer

A more accurate method that's gained popularity in recent years is buying ring sizers online. You can find them at most online stores nowadays.

Once the sizers arrive, you can try on different ones to see which is the best for your finger of choice. However, although it's unlikely, it is possible that the sizers may not be completely exact.

Thus, the best method—and the way to make sure you're getting your exact measurement—is to...

Go To Your Local Jeweler

If you want to be 120% sure that you have the correct size for your ring finger, your best bet is to go into an actual jeweler. They will make sure to accurately size your finger. From then, whether you work with that jeweler going forward or not, you can seek out your perfect ring with confidence that it'll fit.

#3: Consider How Your Engagement Ring Will Look with Your Wedding Band

When it comes to choosing your perfect engagement ring, you might get so caught up in getting yourself the perfect engagement ring. . . that you might forget to see how it works with your eventual wedding band.

You don't want to end up with an engagement ring and a wedding band that don't fit together, do you?

Or, worse, if you select poorly and end up with a ring and a band that scrape against one another. If this happens, your beautiful jewelry will not look so beautiful soon thereafter.

If possible, when it comes to choosing your engagement ring and your wedding band, see if you can go into a jeweler and try them on at the same time.

If you do this, you may even find yourself choosing something different from what you thought was "your dream!"

Remember that you'll hopefully be wearing this ring and this band for the rest of your life, so you're going to want to make sure that they look good together and that they look good on you.

#4: Always Buy Certified

Don't get swindled! Many unofficial sellers out there know how important engagement rings are to couples. Most of these same sellers also are aware of how expensive it can be to purchase an engagement ring.

These sorts of sellers will offer to "work with you" and to "find the perfect ring for your budget" or they'll be willing to "cut you a deal."

You'll work with them and feel as if you're getting a fantastic deal. . . but then discover that the jewelry you've purchased isn't legitimate!

Don't let this happen to you! When you purchase jewelry, make sure that it's been certified and that the seller has records of the certification.

When it comes to certified jewelry, what that means is that it's been appraised for Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat Weight by a trusted gemological laboratory.

Most places will be very upfront with their certification and their proof, so only start to worry if you have to Sherlock Holmes a piece of jewelry in an attempt to find out its certification.

#5: Size Matters Only If You (Or Your Future Fiance) Want It To

Growing up, you may have thought that "bigger means better," especially when it comes to the rock on your hand. A lot of that thought process can probably be laid at the feet of media over the past few decades, but the size of the rock doesn't have to be the most important thing.

You and your partner have to select the best-sized stone for your finger, your budget, and your lives. You will likely even save money if you decide to go with a smaller stone than one that weighs ten pounds.

Even though the media would like you to play "the comparison game" with other engagement rings, you don't have to fall for those tricks.

If you want a large stone, get a large stone. However, if you don't want a large stone and you think they make rings look tacky, don't feel obligated to go that direction.

You should want to buy the ring that you want. Not the one the media wants.

#6: Be Completely Unique By Thinking Outside the Box

Especially in recent decades, people have been going rouge with their engagement rings. Some people find their rings in bargain bins, vintage shops, or they might even make their own!

A lot of people aren't allowing themselves to be beholden to what has, for so long, been considered "the standard." They're paving their way and making sure that their engagement rings are one-of-a- kind.

Going this route tends to be budget-friendly, as well! Although you might have to pay a fee for a custom piece, you can also get a bit 'loosey-goosey' with the materials to save money.

Your perfect ring doesn't have to be found in a store, but don't count them out, either! You'd be surprised by the selection in many jewelry stores these days.

#7: Visit a Jewelry Appraiser

As you might have realized from the other tips, most of them end with going into an actual jewelry store.

To make sure that you're getting your money's worth and that you're getting quality goods, you should make sure to check in with a jewelry appraiser at some point during your engagement ring search.

Places like Conrad Jewelry will ensure that you're buying legitimate and certified diamonds of the highest quality!

To learn more about Conrad Jewelry and its diamond buying/selling process, please make sure to visit the website.

FAQs

What is the etiquette for buying an engagement ring? This is another element of traditional wedding planning that is slowly going away, but as it stands, the general "rule of thumb" is that the groom-to-be purchases the bride's engagement ring, and the bride purchases the groom's.

However, because these rings are an extremely important part of a couple's relationship, and also because both parties will be wearing these rings hopefully forever, both people should end up with rings that they like.

As such, most couples nowadays will search for rings and select them together. Although this removes the surprise of how the ring will look, it still leaves a lot of space for when the actual rings will be presented!

How many carats should a ring be? "Should" is one of those words that doesn't have much place as you plan your perfect wedding. Unless you're trying to exactly copy someone else's wedding, there is no specific script you're meant to follow.

However, if you must know, according to brides.com, "In the United States, for example, the national average for an engagement ring is around one carat. In the United Kingdom, it's 0.6 carats, and in Europe it's even smaller, hovering at 0.5 carats."

How much should I spend on an engagement ring in 2021? Although this is not a rule, the general idea is that you should spend at least two months' salary on the engagement ring.

However, that may not be feasible for most couples, so you should spend whatever you can to make yourself happy. If that ends up being less than two months' salary, that's fine. If that ends up being more than two months' salary, that's fine, too.

It'll help if you go into your engagement ring purchase with a budget, and then make sure to stick to that!

Hopefully, these tips will help make your engagement ring search easier! If you ever have any questions, make sure to check with a licensed jeweler such as Conrad Jewelry.