Your wedding is a once in a lifetime opportunity to spoil your partner and design the perfect day. Before you make it that far, you’ll need a diamond engagement ring to pop the question.
Diamond engagement rings are enduringly popular, but they’re so expensive that many buyers have no experience with buying precious stones. Knowing how to select diamonds, rings, settings and styles can turn your engagement ring into a masterpiece. To ensure you get the details right, we’re going to go over some of the things you need to look for when buying a Brisbane engagement ring, and how you can wow your partner on any budget.
1. Diamond Quality
The quality of stones is everything when it comes to engagement rings. Diamonds come in hundreds of different colours, shapes, weights and grades, which can make it hard to select a stone that suits your loved one. To keep things simple, we can break diamond quality down into four key categories:
- Colour – Diamond colour is graded from totally colourless to a light yellow or brown tinge. The less colour a diamond has, the more valuable it is, although alternatives such as pink diamonds are a highly sought-after stone for engagement rings.
- Clarity – As a natural product, not all diamonds are pure, and some contain imperfections such as irregularities and inclusions. The clearer a diamond, the higher its value, and the more iridescent it is under light.
- Cut – The cut of a diamond determines how it interacts with the light. If you’re looking for a diamond that shines when worn, the quality of the cut is the most important factor. Cut is graded based on proportions, symmetry and polish, all of which determine how much the stone seems to sparkle.
- Carat – Diamond carat refers to the total weight of a diamond. Generally speaking, larger diamonds are rarer and more valuable. If you’d like a large diamond but don’t have the budget for mined stones, consider man-made diamonds. These are often 30% cheaper than mined alternatives.
2. Check Stones Under Different Lighting
When cut and polished to a high level, diamonds catch and refract light, which makes them sparkle when worn.
When buying diamonds, you should pay special attention to how the diamonds look under different lighting. In the jeweller’s shop, diamonds are displayed under bright lighting that makes them seem even more stunning. But normal conditions are rarely that bright, so you can’t expect a diamond to look that good from day to day. In normal lighting conditions, a diamond should sparkle gently. It doesn’t matter how large the stone is, the more it shines, the better the quality.
But you should also review diamonds under different types of light, such as UV. UV light can show imperfections in the diamond and how it’s cut. For instance, diamonds that appear to glow under UV light often look hazy in normal conditions.
3. Find Out How the Stones Were Sourced
It’s no secret that the diamond industry was once plagued by ‘blood diamonds’. Mined by underpaid workers in terrible conditions, blood diamonds were an affordable alternative, but they carried a steep ethical price.
These days, the diamond industry is highly regulated, but it’s still important to check the origin of your stones. Diamonds that come from reputable sources should be supplied with certification. The certification you receive depends on where the diamonds were mined and sold. In Australia, diamonds are monitored by the Diamond Certification Laboratory of Australia (DCLA).
The DCLA checks diamond providence and can help you determine the supplier and where the stones were mined, allowing you to create a ring without the ethical price tag.
4. Know Your Diamond Styles
Finally, we need to consider the cut and style of the diamond. While the classic diamond shape is still popular, diamonds are available in other shapes, such as pear, oval, rectangle, square, heart and marquise.
Using a fancy diamond shape can lend a further sense of personality to your engagement ring. When you’re giving a once in a lifetime gift, that can significantly increase the value in your partner’s eyes.
Before purchasing a diamond, find out if your partner has a preference for a particular style. Diamond cuts come and go in popularity, so it’s hard to go wrong when choosing a timeless style, but ask your partner if you’re unsure.
5. Selecting a Metal for the Band
Precious stones get the limelight when it comes to engagement rings. But the metals and settings you choose can have a dramatic effect on how the final product looks.
When selecting a metal for the band, the first thing you need to know is what metal you’ll be using for your wedding bands. It’s traditional for engagement rings and wedding bands to match, so make sure you’re selecting a precious metal with one eye on the future.
Beyond that, the sky’s the limit when it comes to metal. Gold and silver remain popular, but it’s also possible to purchase engagement rings made with more eclectic materials, such as titanium.
6. Designing the Setting
Just like any other accessory, diamond engagement rings are a fashion piece, and trends come and go. Some of the major trends in diamond fashion is how rings are set.
Setting refers to the layout, shape and mounting style of the precious stones. The setting is typically designed to highlight the beauty of the stone. If your partner likes dazzling jewellery, styles such as pavé settings can make the diamond stand out. On the other hand, if the wearer prefers something simpler, a solitaire setting may be a better choice.
Speak to your jeweller about settings. They’ll be able to help you select a style that matches your partner’s tastes.
7. Know Where to Compromise
The sheer cost of diamond engagement rings often surprises first time buyers. Even with a reputation for being expensive, many people are still shocked by how much diamonds actually cost. Before going shopping, set a budget for your purchase, and make sure you stick to it.
Remember that you don’t need to purchase the largest or highest quality diamond. While those types of rings are stunning, they aren’t to everyone’s tastes, and using multiple, smaller diamonds can still make the same sort of impact.
In most cases you can bring the cost of your purchase down by compromising on the size of the diamond. We recommend opting for the highest quality of cut possible, and then choosing the carat weight based on what you can afford. This ensures you get a stunning, sparkly diamond without needing to break the bank.
8. Work with a Jeweller to Create a Custom Ring
Engagement rings come in thousands of different styles and price ranges. The choice is endless, and all you need to do is visit the next jewellery shop to see something entirely new.
But the options don’t stop there. Custom engagement rings are a rising trend, and they’re the perfect way to turn your special day into something you’ll remember forever.
Jewellers that offer custom diamond engagement rings will work with you to create something entirely unique. These rings are typically hand-made by the jeweller, and you have unlimited freedom to choose stones, precious metals, settings, styles and more. The best part about a custom ring is that you don’t need to compromise. You can select the features and styles you want, and rest assured that your loved one will enjoy their ring for a lifetime.