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).

How To Announce An Engagement

The time just after you've become engaged can be one of the most exciting times of your life. It's tempting in the moment to become carried away and wildly proclaim your engagement to the entire world. The some of your friends and family this may be the most appropriate to tell them about your engagement. However, especially for more distant friends and family, there are more appropriate and tried and tested methods of announcing your engagement.

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The traditional first step in announcing an engagement was for the parents of a couple to organise for an engagement announcement to be published in the newspaper. This is still quite often done today, but often you have told your closest family and friends first.

Bear in mind as well that some of your friends or family may already know about the engagement before it happens, as they may have been consulted for advice on how to carry out the proposal.

Once again, it is important, even forgetting about etiquette, to remember to tell all those closest to you as soon as possible so no one feels left out. So don't forget to tell parents (both sets of parents), brothers and sisters, grandparents, any current children of either person, and any other relatives that you are close to. If you have any close friends who are like family you should tell them first as well, before announcing it to all of your other friends.

So how do you go about announcing it to everyone once you've told your inner circle? One of the most common methods is to send out engagement announcement cards by postal mail, although some people now do it using e-mail or an online website, or even via text message. Don't forget that you have the option to send photos of your engagement as well. Just make sure they are appropriate to the particular medium your publishing the announcement in.

If a large number of people that you would like to tell are all going to be together at an event such as a family Christmas gathering, and the timing works you can tell them then. Just don't make the huge mistake of announcing your engagement at someone else's wedding or engagement party – this is a very bad move and will take attention away from the couple of the moment.

In this age of technology is common for couples to put together or hire someone to put together a website covering details of both the engagement and the wedding. Sometimes this even takes the form of a blog. If done tastefully, a website can be a lasting tribute to the couple.