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).

Engraving Engagement Rings

Want to add that extra bit of personalisation to your engagement or wedding ring? Engraving your ring is a great way to add a personal touch to an already special piece of jewellery.

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Some types of rings are easier to engrave than others. Firstly, the engraver needs a reasonable area of ring to put the engraving on. This means that rings with extremely thin bands are probably not suitable for engraving. Likewise, complex ring designs with no clear areas of surface to engrave are also unsuitable.

Then there is the material to consider. The common ring materials of white or yellow gold, silver and platinum are particularly well-suited to engraving. One of the problems of other materials such as titanium is that the very reason you got the ring (for their toughness) makes engraving them very difficult. The engraving is likely to be shallower and harder to read than on a gold ring.

Another common rookie mistake is choosing a cheap and inexperienced engraver to engrave your engagement ring. This is generally not a very good idea as the ring is a significant investment and if the engraver screws up, there goes your investment. So make sure the engraver you choose has a good record, or even better, see if the jewellery store you bought the ring from can do it for you (you may have to wait a couple of days if they can't do it on the spot).

The decision on what to have engraved on the ring is a personal one and there are a few different options. You do also have some physical limitations, such as the amount of space available on the ring surface. Here are a few suggestions based on what friends have had engraved on their rings:

The initials of the couple – this is one of the most common options and has the advantage of being very compact

the date of a significant event for the couple, such as their first date or proposal date

a favourite quote, such as "Love is forever"

There are a few things to check and consider when you choose to engrave your diamond engagement ring. The first is that you will of course be making the ring a lot harder to sell because of the personalisation. For most people, this is not an issue as they intend to keep the ring for life. But if you have deliberately chosen a cheaper ring and intend to sell it later so you can upgrade your ring, you may wish to give the matter extra thought.

You may or may not be asked to choose a font style and size when you go to get your ring engraved. You should also check, check and check (check lots) the engraving both before you submit it and after you get the ring back. After you've had the ring for a while with the engraving, you may find that dirt or soap scum tends to get stuck in the engraving – you'll need to clean it occasionally to keep the engraving visible.