You Hear Wedding Bells?
After all, you don't want to leave one of the most important decisions in your life entirely up to him, do you? He WILL lose sleep over finding that perfect diamond engagement ring, even though he will not admit it. So why not help him out a little, give him some guidance and direction.
There are so many choices when it comes to shopping for engagement rings and you and he will hear a lot of advice from a lot of "helpful" people. His "Uncle Charlie" will know a guy who knows a guy. Your sister will tell you that you have to get your diamond ring where she got hers. Your co-worker will tell you about this really cool Web site with great prices on diamond rings...and on and on. There will be advice around every corner.
Let's go through some of the available options and identify the pros and cons of each. This should help you both figure out what the best options are when you start shopping for your engagement ring...
Your Local Jewelry Store:
Definitely a great place to start. A jewelry store will have a small selection of pre-set engagement rings for you to see in person, and try on. If you run into a helpful sales associate that is willing to spend some time with you and explain all of the nuances of buying diamonds, it will be well worth your time.
1. Shape - Diamonds are cut into 10 most common shapes, but there are countless other "designer" shapes popping up in the industry on a regular basis. Most of the shapes are self explanatory (round, oval, pear, heart), but do you know what a Marquise or a Radiant looks like? Take a look at the most commonly available diamond shapes and decide what you like best.
2. Size - Bigger is better, right? Not necessarily. Unless your fiancé has very deep pockets, you will not be getting a 5 carat boulder to weigh you down. Too many men are convinced that it has to be big. Would you like to have a big ugly rock that is dull and lifeless on your hand, just so you could tell everyone it's 3 carats, or would you rather have a beautiful, sparkling beacon of light catching all of your friends' attention. You won't have to wave your hand in front of them to get noticed, they will come to you!
3. The 4 C's - The most common phrase in the diamond business and the most important when shopping for a diamond online. The 4 C's represent a diamond's cut, color, clarity and carat weight. CUT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF A DIAMOND'S FIRE AND BRILLIANCE. So many people buying diamonds focus on color and clarity, that cut is often overlooked. You can spend a fortune buying a flawless clarity and perfect color (white) diamond, yet if it is poorly cut, it will be dull and lifeless.
4. The Mounting Metal - This is basically a matter of personal preference and what looks best on you. Yellow gold is classic and works best for a solitaire engagement ring. Yellow gold is also better for mounting diamonds with a lower color grade (yellowish tint), because the yellow from the diamond blends into the setting. White gold and Platinum give a modern look and work best with three stone rings. Be sure to choose a diamond with a high color grade, otherwise the white mounting will negatively emphasize a yellowish diamond.
5. The Online Engagement Ring Builder - The most fun part of buying a diamond online is being able to build your own ring. Choose a diamond and a setting, then e-mail it to your fiancé. Even if he doesn't buy it online, he will know exactly what style to look for when he goes shopping. No surprises, and everyone is happy!
There are hundreds of diamond and jewelry web sites out there, but my advice is to stick with the leaders in the field. On their sites, you can browse thousands of diamonds as well as build your own engagement ring and see how different settings look with different shape diamonds. They both have highly knowledgeable and very friendly customer service staff that can answer questions about diamonds and settings, and offer a no risk 100% guarantee and return policy.
Good luck and CONGRATULATIONS!
About the Author...
Diamondse is designed to give consumers an overview of diamond terminology, the "4 C's", shapes of diamonds and explain diamond grading reports. We also have a searchable database of diamond prices from leading online jewelers.
More about buying diamond engagement rings around the Web:
Engagement Ring Advice for Guys - About.com guide with tips on selecting the perfect engagement ring by size, style and shape, with related resources.