When it comes to engagements, the biggest purchase before the party is typically the engagement ring — and it’s a pretty big deal.
While diamond engagement rings aren’t for everyone, for others, it’s a classic symbol of love. But shelling out the cash for the big purchase isn’t something to be overlooked. It’s important to do your research before you dive in so that you and your loved one walk away with something that you not only love the look of, but will last a lifetime as well.
Luckily for those on the hunt for their dream ring, we had the opportunity to talk with Brett Halliday, president of sales and operations in North America for Michael Hill about everything to know about how to pick the perfect diamond engagement ring.
Take a peek below for his tips and tricks below!
What’s the first thing someone should consider when looking for an engagement ring?
One of the first things to consider when looking for an engagement ring is the four C’s. Once you know this and find out which C’s are most important to you – it makes engagement ring shopping much easier.
Following these four characteristics helps to define each and every diamond as they are all unique in its own way.
- Cut: A diamond’s sparkle depends on the quality of its cut, making it arguably the most important consideration when making your purchase. Too shallow or too deep and the diamond may appear dull, even if the colour and clarity are near-perfect. Ultimately, you should choose the highest quality cut your budget allows and compromise elsewhere instead. Our diamond experts recommend cuts graded “Very Good” or “Ideal” for the best effect.
- Colour: Colourless diamonds are graded a D on the Diamond Colour Chart, which runs from D through to Z. These diamonds are extremely rare and of the highest quality. Lower grade diamonds possess varying degrees of colour, with a yellow hue becoming increasingly apparent in diamonds graded K to Z. Colour is the second most important characteristic to look for in your diamond. Near colourless diamonds graded G or H possess almost indistinguishable traces of colour at a lower price point.
- Clarity: Clarity is affected by small, natural imperfections, which appear on the surface and inside of a diamond. And virtually all diamonds are flawed to one degree or another. Those with the highest clarity grading are Flawless diamonds, where imperfections can’t be seen, even with a 10x magnification. In most cases, a diamond’s flaws will be invisible to the naked eye, making “Slightly Included” and “Very Slightly Included” diamonds, both beautiful and excellent value options.
- Carat: Carat refers to the weight of a diamond, not the size, as is often the misconception. It’s always worth considering carat in relation to cut. Higher grade cuts can make smaller diamonds appear larger, while poor cuts can have the reverse effect. Diamonds that fall slightly below the whole and half carat marks are often excellent value – and you’re not likely to notice the difference in size.
What are the different elements that make one ring more expensive than another?
There are various elements that make one ring more expensive than another. This includes:
- The diamond or coloured gemstone. Choosing coloured gemstones over diamonds can sometimes be a more affordable option with a different look. When it comes to diamonds, there are many elements that can change the value – this includes the diamond cut, colour, clarity and carat (as outlined earlier).
- Another factor is the metal. Gold is less expensive than platinum as platinum is a much rarer and dense than gold so it will weigh more. The karat of the gold is also something to consider – the higher the karat, the more expensive the metal.
- The setting can also make one ring more expensive than another. Really intricate settings with more detail can cost more than a single, plain band.
What are some ideal metals for engagement rings? What should one avoid, if anything?
The ideal metals for engagement rings are gold and platinum. Both metals are highly durable and the most commonly used metals for engagement rings. If you are wanting a white gold ring, you can either go for white gold or platinum. White gold rings can gain a yellowish tinge over time, which is why we recommend rhodium plating to keep your rings looking fresh! Platinum will keep its colour over time.
Avoid stainless steel for engagement rings — this metal will not last and is not ideal for everyday wear as it will tarnish. Sterling silver is also not recommended as it is a softer metal than gold.
What are the most classic type of diamond cuts, as well as some popular trends for 2019?
Round brilliant is the most popular and classic diamond cut. It has the most sparkle and scintillation, and will go with almost any setting. But some of the most popular trends are 2019 are as follows:
Vintage styles add a touch of old school glamour and evoke the romance of the past.
Pear cuts are becoming increasingly popular. From a pear halo for extra impact to a classic single pear solitaire – this cut is here to stay.
Coloured stone rings have gained popularity amongst the modern-day brides who are looking for a non-traditional ring.
What should one consider when sizing a ring?
The band detail needs to be considered when sizing a ring. If a ring has intricate detail or diamonds along the entire band, this can make it more difficult to resize. Plain bands are definitely the most versatile.
What are some other things that are important to consider when splurging on an engagement ring?
Whilst the main focus tends to be on the ring itself, it is also important to consider how you care and maintain your ring after your purchase. At Michael Hill, we offer customers our professional care plan, strong warranties and guarantees, as well as free jewellery cleaning as we want your jewellery to stay as beautiful as it was the day you fell in love with it.
Another important consideration is how the diamonds are sourced. We are part of the Responsible Jewellery Council which is why we are committed to using responsibly sourced, natural diamonds. You can read more about this on our website.
Featured image: Instagram/@amberbridge
Articles You Might Be Interested In
What It’s Like Getting A Custom Engagement Ring Made At Made You Look
10 Places To Shop For Affordable And Stylish Bridesmaid Dresses
7 Places To Score A Wedding Dress For Less Than $500
6 Unexpected Places to Buy a Wedding Dress in Toronto
How Much Should You Gift At A Wedding? We Find the Answer