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).

Broken Engagements

Sometimes, despite our best intentions, an engagement is called off. This happens every day, in every country, all over the world.

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First and foremost, you should remember that calling off an engagement is not a failure. This is despite what you think friends or family may think of you, especially the other person’s family.

Sometimes, calling off an engagement is only temporary. You may need more time to work some issues out with your partner, in which case, it’s good not to rush into things, which can sometimes happen in the excitement.

But most of the time, calling off an engagement is a permanent thing. In these situations, there are a number of things you need to remember to do.

First of all, you need to tell everyone involved in the wedding. If the engagement has been called off at the last minute, you may need to phone all the critical people involved. However, if you’ve called it off well ahead of time, you can send out brief notes to everyone.

Most importantly, when you make these notes, you don’t need to explain why the wedding is being called off. Just write a very brief, to the point, message.

Now of course, your friends and family who are attending the wedding aren’t the only people you need to tell. You need to tell all the people you’ve hired to work on your wedding.

The celebrant or priest who was going to run your ceremony needs to be told. In the case of a priest, there may be a fairly complicated process in calling off a wedding. With a celebrant, you may just lose your deposit.

Then there are the venues –the marriage venue, which may be a church, the reception venue, and any locations you’ve booked for photos. There are the musicians, caterers, florist, cake maker, and any honeymoon arrangements. You should check any contracts to see what the refund arrangements are –you may be able to avoid some arguments this way.

All the gifts you’ve received already need to be returned -even if they are personalized gifts, etiquette says they should be returned. This includes returning the ring, usually to the person who purchased it, or to the family that owns the ring, if it is an heirloom.

If you’ve already got a wedding dress you have a few options. You can try and sell it. You can keep it and try and alter it (or not alter it, if you don’t care). Or, you can try and return it to the store. You may lose a deposit, or incur a restocking fee, but you should still be able to save some of the price.

Cautious people sometimes purchase wedding insurance. Often however, wedding insurance does not cover situations where someone’s mind changes. Once again, read the contract.

Both people will, most likely, have a mixture of depression, anger, and confusion. This is a very natural thing to have in such a situation. What is most important is that you don’t get frustrated by how bad you feel.

If you have items associated with the wedding, such as photos, put them away so you can deal with them later. Then you can return when you have a calm and clear mind, and deal with things appropriately.