Take all the stress out of shopping for engagement rings with our super handy checklist that covers all the basics of ring shopping.
From metal bands all the way to shape, cut, colour, clarity and carat, we have compiled an easy to use checklist of the things you need to consider when choosing the perfect ring. With this list, it will become far simpler to know what is important to note and what is less important. As they say, knowledge is power, so be sure to arm yourself and make the ring choice that guarantees a “yes!”.
A Simple but Comprehensive Checklist for Buying Engagement Rings
Without further ado, here are some of the most important checks to make when purchasing engagement rings:
The band of the ring is often overlooked, but is almost as important as the stone. There are a number of things to keep in mind when choosing a band, from colour to durability and even practicality, and each type of metal has its own advantages to offer. Once you know more about the options on hand, you can choose from the following examples:
- White Gold
- Yellow Gold
- Rose Gold
- Blended Gold
The shape or style of the diamond can be referred to as the cut, even though technically, the cut refers to the way that the stone is crafted. It is essential to put some thought into choosing the best shape, so be sure that you know what each type is all about as well as what characteristics each shape has. After determining which shape is best for your future fiancé, you can check off your choice from the following examples:
Referring to the qualities and dimensions of the stone, the diamond cut is quite possibly one of the most important aspects to consider when choosing engagement rings. Along with colour, clarity and carat, the cut makes up the 4 Cs of diamond grading. A good cut will maximise the amount of light that reflects off the top of the stone, which enables the diamond to give that all-important sparkle. Each angle is carved to produce the best possible refraction of light, while the finishing process also determines the stone’s ability to shine. Don’t get too confused when the term cut is also applied to the shape – ideally, you need to aim for the best cut possible. Shapes that produce a good shape include round and oval.
Also included in the 4Cs, this is the weight standard for diamonds as well as other precious gems. A carat equates to about 0.2 grams. Typically, the higher the carat; the higher the cost – this is because larger diamonds are much rarer than small diamonds. In a diamond engagement ring, some of the carat options could include the following examples:
- 0ct +
Diamonds are graded according to their lack of colour rather than their colour. The highest quality stones have a colour grade of D, meaning that they have no hint of colour whatsoever. Colour grades of E and F fall under the white diamond category, but have a very small amount of colour that can only be seen by a gem specialist under magnification. G-J graded stones appear colourless to the naked eye but when compared next to a pure white diamond, hint of colour can be seen. K-M stones have the lowest colour grading, and may not reflect light to the same degree that a higher graded stone is able to do.
- D, E or F
- G, H, I or J
- K, L or M
Last but not least on the engagement ring checklist, clarity is the factor that determines the amount of tiny flaws within the diamond. Formed deep within the layers of the earth under heat and pressure, almost every diamond has some inclusion on the surface or deeper within its shape. These could include air bubbles, cracks, deposits from other minerals, scratches, pits and chips. Diamonds that have few or no inclusions are the rarest (and priciest) of them all. This does not mean that a stone with some very small inclusions will have visible flaws – very often these tiny marks can only be seen under a magnifying glass, and even then, a gem expert may be the only one to notice the flaws. Stones too many inclusions lack sparkle, as the path of light is blocked. Clarity grading levels include the following:
- Flawless (FL) and Internally Flawless (IF) – no visible inclusion under 10 x magnification
- Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) – contains tiny inclusions that are difficult to see under 10x magnification
- Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) – contains tiny inclusions that are relatively difficult to see under 10x magnification
- Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) – noticeable inclusion under 10x magnification
- Included (I1 and I2) – visible inclusions that may also affect brilliance
We suggest that you print this checklist out when you are ready to being shopping for engagement rings, so that you have a handy guide to refer to and a better idea of what things you need to keep top of mind during the process.