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).

Proposing On Valentines Day

Valentine's Day means a lot of different things to different people. For some, Valentine's Day is a crass commercialisation of an ideal of love. For others, Valentine's Day is a very special day and allows a couple to celebrate their love together, possibly through the exchanging of gifts and/or doing something special together.

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If Valentine's Day is a special day for you as a couple then you can consider proposing on Valentine's Day. However there are a few caveats.

You don't want to have to rearrange your whole engagement plan just so you can propose on a specific day. For instance, if it is April and you have been thinking of proposing for a while, it may not be suitable for you to wait almost a year until the next time Valentine's Day comes around.

On the other hand, if Valentine's Day is special to you and it's December or January, the timing may be perfect. You have a couple of months to get everything organised, choose a ring and so on, and you'll be able to propose on the day.

There are a number of classical ways of proposing on Valentine's Day.

For couples who normally exchange gifts, the man can add the engagement ring to an otherwise innocuous looking gift as a special surprise for his partner. You can do the normal proposal where you just give your partner a ring in a box, or you can attach the ring to a romantic gift such as roses or a fluffy toy. Just be sure to watch your partner carefully so she doesn't accidentally miss the ring and throw it out when she prunes the flowers.

One classic situation is where your partner misses the fact there is a diamond engagement ring hiding in the gift. In these situations, you may want to gently prod your partner by saying something like, "Honey, you haven't opened all of the present yet."

Another classic way of proposing on Valentine's Day is to combine proposing with a romantic meal at a nice restaurant. Some people like to place the ring at the bottom of the glass of champagne. If doing this care should be taken to make sure that the ring cannot accidentally be swallowed.

Or you can not try and do something fancy but rather just propose on your knee after one of the courses, often desert.

One thing that is often overlooked is when you will be able to celebrate your engagement. If you get engaged on Valentine's Day, you will be able to celebrate each year on that day as well. For some, this may be an inconvenience as it can be harder to organise romantic getaways on the very busy Valentine's Day.