Questions People Ask When Buying An Engagement Ring

princess cut solitaire diamond ring

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. On top of that, you won’t have to incur additional setting fees that jewelers may impose when setting a diamond from an external source.

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:

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 diamond stores as a benchmark for comparison. I had written a tutorial to show you how to perform your own research correctly here:

selecting a loose diamond gia certified

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:

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.

Reliable vendors like those that we recommend from this list here have fully transparent practices that will help you make better and rational decisions based on facts and not marketing fluff.

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 I created 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:

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.

see inclusions magified upclose

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 greater than 2.00 carats, stones graded with VS2 or higher are generally going to be eyeclean. Most SI1s and below are NOT going to be eyeclean. If they are, they likely have inclusions that are detrimental to the stone’s durability.

Vendors with transparent business practices like James Allen and White Flash offer magnified 360 degrees videos that enable you to view and scrutinize the smallest diamond details. They are 2 of the best places to buy high quality GIA/AGS certified diamonds .

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 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.

Watch this video and you can decide for yourself where your threshold lies:



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:

The only information on the diamond I’m interested in buying is a GIA grading report. Can you help me review it and 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 anyone 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 the 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?

brian gavin blue ideal cut

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.

Reference article:

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). I’ve written a couple of articles that address questions people ask when buying an engagement ring in these countries.

jewelry store sales person bad scam friend

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 wrote an indepth article about such unethical practices here.

Don’t believe me? All you need to do is to compare prices and the quality of diamonds being sold. 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.

If you want to buy a high quality diamond engagement ring, James Allen and White Flash are rock-solid vendors that offer competitive prices for their GIA/AGS selections of diamonds and have 100% risk-free sales policies that protect your interest as a consumer.

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  1. Christian-
    June 13, 2018 at 11:30 pm

    I found your website while I was reading one of your articles about tiffany engagement ring.

    I really like your articles and I hope you can help me out.

    A bit about myself. I live in Sydney – Australian, I dont know much about diamonds and I need to get one engagement within the next 7 weeks as I am going to japan to request her father’s permission to marry.

    As my girlfriend is 1.59 cm tall, I am after a small diamond (I guess max 0.5 carat) but I am not sure about the other factor like clarity, color, etc.

    I am not buying the diamond as an investment or thinking that one day I am going to resell it. I just want to buy something that makes her feel like a princess and also conformable to wear everyday. That why I am thinking in spending max 4k.

    Was wondering if you can give me an advice should I look after when I buy a diamond? like , is clarity important in a small diamond ? What are the important engagement rings questions that most other people have?

    so far I went to tiffany and I really like the tiffany harmony setting. Also, I found one in blue (see image below)

    item on blue nile diamond ring

    Also, I visited but I am not sure about the reputation of this store. Finally I found “MOKUMEGANEYA JAPAN” but it seems a bit expensive.


    Thank in advance.

  2. Paul Gian-
    June 15, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    I can tell you that the diamonds sold by michaelhill are not any better than those sold by bluenile. In fact, I would say that the Astor diamonds would have better performance. Read this review of Blue Nile if you haven’t done so:

    For practical reasons, I would recommend G/VS2-SI1 clarity for a diamond that faces up white and is eyeclean. Some questions to ask the jeweler when buying an engagement ring would be stuff like where the diamonds are being graded and their sales policies. You want to keep a lookout for only GIA certification and 100% money back refund policies to safeguard your purchase.

  3. Christian-
    June 28, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    I am planning to buy this ring from a japanese store in Japan 0.290ct E VS2 VG.

    Japanese people likes small diamonds but high quality.

    Unfortunately, my girlfriend likes yellow gold and I read that yellow gold + colorless diamond is not a good value for my money. Do you agree?

    Also, the shop offered me 2 options of yellow gold.

    K18 Yellow gold = Gold 75%, Silver + Copper 25%
    K18 Champagne gold = Gold 75%, Silver + Copper + Platinum 25%

    Do you think that the diamond will look better in champagne gold as it’s a bit whiter.

    Or should I get white gold?

    champagne gold vs yellow gold comparison

  4. Paul Gian-
    June 29, 2018 at 4:04 am

    First of all, a Very Good cut diamond (assuming it is from GIA) is nowhere near the meaning of a high quality diamond. It’s actually mediocre and for a round diamond to receive a VG grade says alot about the kind of lousy cut quality the stone has.

    As for color matching and pairing. It is really up to personal preferences. A colorless diamond is perfectly OK with a yellow gold or champagne gold setting. Really, for such a small sized diamond, the price differences are actually minute even if you compare a D to a J color diamond.

  5. monica-
    July 25, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    I just finished reading your critique of the GIA paper on florescence. In that critique, you state that the effect of florescence is not as rare as the GIA paper suggests and you dissect the report to highlight how/why the study is not scientifically sound and how the paper is internally inconsistent. I then clicked on the link to your assessment of a diamond seller’s “blue” line and found this statement from you: ” Now, it’s true that fluorescence can cause transparency issues with diamonds but this only occurs in a very small minority of them.”

    I was a bit surprised because that seems to contradict your claims that I had just finished reading condemning the GIA for suggesting the effect of florescence being such a rarity.

    My finance recently ordered a diamond (that I selected), D color/medium florescence and after reading your first page on florescence, I felt paranoid but after reading this second page, which is consistent with most info out there on florescence, I didn’t feel as paranoid; though I did feel confused in light of the seeming contradiction.

    Also, I can’t quite visualize “milky” or “hazy.” You did provide an image of one but I can’t really understand the impact without seeing it side by side with a “clean” one. Any additional thoughts here?

  6. Paul Gian-
    July 27, 2018 at 11:44 pm

    GIA says it is super rare. I say it isn’t. I don’t define 1 – 3% as a rare occurrence.

    And when GIA did the experiment, they conveniently “ignored” the results that the participants gave them. I’m not making this up and you had seen their findings yourself in the paper. I just offered a view based on my own experience on it and talked about the elephant in the room.

    Get the vendor to quantify what they mean by “very small minority”. If it is a vendor I recommended like Brian Gavin, rest assured that ALL such issues all checked for and filtered. Anyway, I personally think that fluorescence is Cool and it brings down prices. So, what’s there not to like about it?

  7. Raj-
    September 19, 2019 at 2:38 am

    Thanks for the wealth of knowledge that you generously share on your website. I’m shopping for an engagement ring and had made an appointment with White Flash next week to view some diamonds and settings in their showroom. What are the questions to ask when buying an engagement ring? This is the first time I am visiting a jeweler and I’m quite nervous about the upcoming appointment.

  8. Paul Gian-
    September 20, 2019 at 10:03 pm

    White Flash is one of the best vendors in the market with exemplary customer service and they sell super ideal cut diamonds that are the best in the world. So, you are definitely in safe hands. Now, as for what are the questions to ask when buying an engagement ring, you probably want to do some research into what your recipient wants and it would be a good idea to ask them to show you a couple of diamonds in side by side comparison so that you can see (or can’t see) any differences in diamonds with different color/clarity grades. They are really friendly people and just relax! Enjoy the shopping experience. They aren’t pushy and if you aren’t ready to commit, just tell them you need more time. They are great that way.

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