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).

Palladium Engagement Rings

Palladium engagement rings are silver white in appearance. One of the big advantages of a palladium engagement ring is the metal – it is much purer than some other types of rings such as a white metal ring. Palladium rings are typically about 95% pure. In comparison, a 14 carat white gold ring is only just over half pure gold, with the rest made up of non-gold alloys such as nickel.

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So why else would you go for a palladium engagement ring? Well, for one, palladium is quite a bit harder than white gold. This means the ring’s going to quite a bit tougher than a gold ring, standing the test of time. Because there are no alloy metals making up the composition of the ring, the ring is not going to tarnish as easily which is another plus.

Another advantage of palladium is that it is generally easier for jewelers to work with than other metals such as platinum – it’s got a lower melting point. So, all other things being equal, you may find more varied designs if you shop around.

Price is another plus with palladium, although this changes with time – it can be a lot cheaper than platinum for example.

One option if you want a combination of metals is to have a palladium mounting for your diamond combined with another metal for the ring band. This is especially a good thing because the strong palladium will ensure that your diamond is nicely secured in the ring.