Quick and Easy Buying Guide

Carat weight: 1 carat = 200 milligrams = 6.5 mm diameter. Doubling weight doesn't double diameter.

Diamond clarity: FL/IF/VVS/VS = super expensive, near perfect. SI = best value if you can check a photo for obvious inclusions (defects).


Color: D-G = colorless, expensive, only if you have money to burn. H-J = best value. Can go lower in gold metal settings than white metal.

Cut: Better cut ratings let more light into a diamond, making it sparkle more. Very important property, don't skimp here.

Set a budget and minimum cut (Premium). Go J color for gold and I/H for white metals. Go searching for SI1/SI2 clarity diamonds at James Allen. Pick a diamond with small/no inclusions. Choose a ring setting and buy it risk-free (60-day returns).

5 Minute Guide

This guide should take you about 5 minutes to read and will give you the quick and dirty way to make the best purchase possible of a diamond engagement ring. Only reading this page is NOT recommended, but will get you started. You can always come back and read the rest of the site once you've had a look around.

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Step 1

Spend a little time browsing through jewellery catalogues, brochures, and online jewellery sites such as James Allen or Blue Nile. This can be done by yourself or with your partner.

Step 2

Sit down with your lady and decide on the following things so you can narrow your search:

  • Ring metal - yellow gold, white gold, platinum, or silver. Main things to consider are colours that go with her skin and any possible allergies.
  • Ring style - a solitaire ring (single diamond), a three stone ring (three main diamonds), and whether the ring will have channeling or banding (small diamonds inset into the band on either side of the main diamond(s). Whether to get a delicate, thin band, or thick, chunky band.
  • Diamond shape - round, princess cut (square) or oval shaped.

Step 3

Decide on a budet and STICK TO IT. You should only do this once you've had enough of a look online and in brochures to realize how much various options cost. For example, at current prices, a one carat diamond solitaire ring costs anywhere from $3499 to $10000 and more. This way, you can set yourself a firm budget and have an idea of what you will and won't be able to get within that budget.

The jewellery industry has perpetuated the idea that you spend 3 months salary on a ring - ignore this and choose a number that is consistent with what you spend on other big purchases in your life, and that you would be comfortable with. Nothing is worse than buying something and then feeling guilty and stressed about the repayments you have to make.

Step 4

Swear again to yourself that you'll stick to your budget!

Step 5

Get your lady to get her engagement ring finger sized again. Don't do this when it's cold as her finger will expand when it gets warmer.

Step 6

Go searching in stores and online. Whenever you look at a ring in a store, make sure you write down the details about the ring and diamond - the ring metal type, ring design, diamond size, colour, clarity and shape being the most important to note. Whenver you find a ring in a store that you like, try creating a custom ring that closely matches it on an online site such as James Allen.

For a budget ring, consider a diamond colour between H and J, and a clarity rating between VS2 and SI2. To help you with your shopping, try having a look at James Allen using the picture below - James Allen is the only online retailer that has pictures of the actual diamonds they sell:

Save 10% Off Your Ring Setting

Engagement Ring Guru has partnered with James Allen to provide you with an unique 10% off any engagement ring setting coupon code. Just type in "ringgu10" during the purchase process and you'll get 10% off the ring setting price (doesn't include the diamond).

So for example, if you picked a solitaire ring setting worth $800 and a diamond worth $2000, you'd save $80 off the total price. Not bad for only typing in 8 characters!

Step 7

If you're confident, make the final choice of ring yourself. Or you could run it by your beloved as well to be safe. If you've decided to buy online, make sure you've got enough money on your credit card and place the order. Keep an eye out on the package using a tracking service, and make sure it's insured. Follow up with customs in your country if you have to pay taxes and duty to clear it from customs.

If you've decided to buy from a store, and have already shown significant interest, they've probably offered you a discounted price already, somewhere between 10 and 30% off. Offer them a lower price and be prepared to walk away. It never hurts to try and you might save a few hundred dollars extra which will be useful on the honeymoon!

Step 8