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).

Loosening A Tight Ring

Anyone who has ever worn a ring has sometimes experienced the frustration of not being able to remove the ring. There are a large number of reasons why a ring may become stuck, and are also luckily a number of solutions for getting it off.

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Firstly, why does a ring get stuck? The most obvious reason is that the person wearing the ring has gained weight. The reasons for this can be many – they may have been eating more food or exercising less. The weight gain could be pregnancy related, or related to water retention.

Some of the reasons for a ring getting stuck are only temporary. If you have been exercising, you may find that the increased blood flow has caused parts of your body including your hands to swell up. One of the most common examples of this is walking exercise. Your hands swell up for two reasons. The increased blood flow makes your fingers get thicker. And because when you walk you typically hold your hands down by your side, you get increased blood flow because of the relative position of your hands to your heart.

So what are the appropriate ways of getting a tight ring off your finger? Without any additional aids, you can try removing the ring while holding your finger at different levels of straightness – sometimes bending your finger slightly can actually make it easier to take the ring off.

Another classic solution is to hold your hand in cold water for a couple of minutes to reduce any swelling. Just don't make the classic mistake of trying to remove the ring while holding it under a tap, and then drop the ring down the drain.

If you've just been exercising and don't have access to cold water, you can try holding your hand high above your head for a couple of minutes. This will reduce the blood flow to your hand and hopefully make the ring looser.

There are also some very bad ways to try and remove a ring.

Never, ever try to force the ring off your hand by pulling with metal pliers. The metal surface of the pliers can scratch or even bend your ring.

Also don't pull on the ring using any of the fragile parts of the setting. For example, it is a very very bad idea to pull on the diamond in a solitaire setting.

Try to avoid using some types of lubricant as oil and other substances can dirty or even damage the ring. However, if after trying water you can't get it off, you may be forced to try one of these substances. Try and choose one which won't damage the ring material, and be sure to wash the ring as soon as you have got it off your finger.