Buying an engagement ring is certainly no walk in the park. At some point in time, I’m sure you have some burning questions and face some uncertainties during your shopping process. Well, you aren’t alone. Chances are, you probably share similar concerns with hundreds of other shoppers who are in the same shoes.
Check out some of the most common questions people ask when shopping for an engagement ring…
Would you recommend buying the setting and diamond from the same store or getting them separately at different places?
My recommendation is to buy everything from a single source as this will make one jeweler/company be solely responsible for the entire piece of jewelry. The rationale is simple; in the unlikely event that something goes wrong (e.g. diamond gets chipped, diamond can’t fit into custom-made setting and etc…), you don’t want to get into a scenario where finger pointing and blame shifting occurs.
The other advantage of buying from a single source is that it reduces the hassle of vetting a setter whom you can trust your diamond with.
Do you think the differences in carat sizes (0.10, 0.20) are noticeable?
This is a subjective issue and it really depends on individuals. In general, size differences will be more noticeable in smaller sized diamonds i.e. 0.40 to 0.50 carats than for larger sized diamonds i.e. 1.90 to 2.00 carats.
You can read up on more information here: http://beyond4cs.com/2012/08/size-differences-in-carat-weights/
I think I was offered a great deal on this particular diamond by a jeweler. Do you think the price for this diamond is good?
The best way to determine whether you are getting a fair deal is to utilize the prices of online vendors as a benchmark for comparison. I had written a tutorial to show you how to perform your own research correctly here: http://beyond4cs.com/diamond-prices/
What are the ideal proportions you would recommend for a round brilliant cut diamond?
I had tabulated my recommended proportions in a diagram found at this webpage: http://beyond4cs.com/shapes/round/ideal-proportions/
Bear in mind that numbers don’t reveal everything about a diamond’s performance. You need to make use of additional data like ASET or Idealscope to help you make educated decisions.
Do you offer a buyer’s service, or do you make recommendations for a finder’s fee? In other words, what’s in it for you and why are you offering your advice for “free”?
I don’t offer a buyer’s service nor charge a finder’s fee for help rendered to my readers. I know there are professional brokers who charge a 5-10% finder’s fee for facilitating purchases but that is not how I intend to run Beyond4cs.com. I created Beyond4cs.com with the goal of helping people get better value for their money and not adding to the costs of buying an engagement ring.
I do generate revenue from the website through affiliate marketing & advertising fees from vendors. If you are interested, you can read this page for full details: http://beyond4cs.com/about/ftc-disclosure/
I’m worried that the diamond I picked isn’t eye-clean. The inclusion in the video/image looks pretty obvious. Can you offer any advice on this?
First of all, you need to realize that the majority of images/videos are blown up to 10X – 20X magnification. This makes any imperfections and inclusions look more serious than they really are in real life.
Below is a guideline that many readers find useful when browsing through diamond inventories. Remember, every diamond is unique and if you still aren’t sure, feel free to contact me for a second opinion of your diamond choices.
Websites like James Allen allow you to scrutinize details upclose…
For diamonds less than 0.50 carats, stones graded with VS2 or higher by GIA are going to be eyeclean. Most SI1s and SI2s are eyeclean but should be subjected to a visual inspection.
For diamonds between 0.50 and 1.00 carats, stones graded with VS2 or higher are generally going to be eyeclean. Most SI1s are eyeclean but should be subjected to a visual inspection.
For diamonds between 1.00 and 1.50 carats, stones graded with VS2 or higher are generally going to be eyeclean. Most SI1s and below are NOT eyeclean.
For diamonds between greater than 2.00 carats, stones graded with VS2 or higher are generally going to be eyeclean. SI1s and below are NOT going to be eyeclean. If they are, they have inclusions that are detrimental to the stone’s durability.
Do I need the services of an appraiser after I receive the diamond ring even though it already has a grading certificate?
In general, you would only need to do so if you intend to buy insurance for your jewelry. If you bought your diamond from a trustworthy vendor, you will get exactly what you bought. Paying for an appraisal isn’t necessary but if it gives you a peace of mind, why not?
I’m afraid I will see yellowish body color in my diamond. Do you think a G or H color is good enough? Do you think I can see yellowish nuances in an E or F color grade?
When it comes to detecting color nuances, it is a subjective issue that varies from person to person. The best way to determine your tolerances towards color is to visit a local store and view diamonds in person. Get the sales person to show you GIA graded diamonds with similar carat sizes that range from D – K in color.
Most people can’t detect color nuances until they reach lower grades like H while some people may require an E or F color in order for a diamond to face-up white to them. Anyway, once you have a better idea of your personal preferences, it would make your shopping process much more straightforward.
Reference article: http://beyond4cs.com/color/side-by-side-comparison/
The only information of the diamond I’m interested in buying is a GIA grading report. Do you think it is a well-cut diamond?
In order for me to offer constructive advice, I would need more information like pictures, ASET/Idealscope images and etc. There’s no way you or me can make an educated decision based on numbers found in a grading report.
When it comes to evaluating a diamond’s cut, the ASET/Idealscope data will clearly show you the optical performance of the diamond. You probably want to use the links below to get a better idea of determining light return:
Is it necessary to match the color of the melee stones against by center diamond in a pave setting?
It is a lot harder to detect color in smaller diamonds than in larger stones. It is generally safe to use melees that are up to 2 color grades away from the center diamond and you wouldn’t notice any differences in color. As an example, if your center diamond is an F, it is fine to use G or H colored melees in your ring setting.
Will fluorescence really make a diamond face up whiter? If so, how much whiter would it make the diamond appear to be?
Ideal cut diamonds with a cool, sexy blue glow from Brian Gavin Diamonds
In my experience, medium to very strong blue fluorescence can make a yellowish diamond face up whiter by half a grade to one color grade depending on the lighting environment. The effects would be more readily observed in lighting conditions with stronger UV sources.
Would you recommend a white gold or platinum material for the setting?
I recommend white gold for practical purposes. It’s cheaper and looks just as good as platinum. However, if you are allergic to nickel, you need to pay more for a platinum setting.
I’m from the UK/EU and buying online is going to incur me a huge expense in VAT. This makes online shopping prohibitive and I think I’m better off shopping locally. Are there any UK/EU based vendors you would recommend?
Well, you are wrong. Regardless of whether you purchase from a local store or online vendor, any purchase you make will be subjected to VAT. The local stores had already incorporated the tax/duty in their list prices (and that’s why you don’t see it; but it’s there).
The better way to make accurate comparisons is to compare online prices (with import taxes) against your local stores (for diamonds with identical specifications).
A friend of mine knows a wholesaler or has a family member in the jewelry business. Is it a good idea to buy my engagement ring from them?
Based on the experiences of my readers who had similar run-ins with “wholesalers”, my advice is to stay away. The truth is, a large number of retailers label themselves as “wholesalers” as a marketing gimmick to give the impression of preferential pricing. I actually written an indepth article about such unethical practices here.
Don’t believe me? All you need to do is to compare prices. Find out what they are offering and perform your own pricing research here. I can assure you that you aren’t going to get the real “wholesale” prices because the “wholesaler” you are dealing with is nothing more than a middle man.