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).

Diamond Engagement Ring Checklist

Because buying a diamond engagement ring can be an emotional process, it pays to have a rigorous process for doing so. That’s where a checklist comes in useful.

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Often people say the first thing you should work out is how much you’re willing to spend. This isn’t necessarily the best advice, especially if you don’t know much about buying a diamond engagement ring.

What you should do first is spent some time on the Internet researching diamond engagement rings. Then, you should spend some time in local jewellery stores, looking at the diamonds, looking at the rings, and speaking to staff. But make sure you commit to not buying anything at this early stage.

The reason you do some research on the Internet first is so that when you walk into the stores, you have some idea about what the sales staff are talking to you about. If you don’t look like a complete moron, the staff are less likely to try and rip you off.

Okay, so you’ve done some research on the Internet, and you’ve had a look at some rings in some stores. Now you can start thinking about what you want to spend. Remember, you should be spending an amount that both you and your partner are comfortable with.

When you consider how much you are going to spend, remember that there are many other costs associated with a wedding. You may need to buy a suit, the bride will need to buy a wedding dress, there is the cost of the ceremony, photographer, flowers, cake, reception, and honeymoon. Plus there are usually other expenses that you don’t think of. Take these all into account when you consider how much to spend on the ring.

Next on the checklist is to decide whether to buy your diamond engagement ring in a brick and mortar store or on the Internet. Once you’ve decided that, you still have to work out which jeweler to pick.

You need to choose a ring setting as well. There are many options here –traditionally solitaire rings have been very popular, but there are also three stone settings, channel settings, and many other options. What setting you choose will also depend on what type of diamond you want and also the size of the diamond. Some settings will suit princess cut diamonds, while other settings will only suit stones of a certain size.

Usually when you buy a diamond you should get an appraisal and a certificate. These are needed to prove the genuineness of the diamond and can also be useful in future if you need to sell the ring (perish the thought).

Most jewellers should also offer a return or exchange policy, preferably in writing. On top of that, there should also be some sort of warranty arrangement. You should make sure you check all the conditions of the warranty. For example, you may need to visit the jeweller regularly to get your ring cleaned as part of the warranty.