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).

Showing Your Engagement Ring

So you've just got engaged, you got a beautiful new diamond engagement ring, and you want to display it to the entire world. Here are a few tips for giving the best show possible.

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One fun activity is to wear the ring at a dinner party or gathering and see how long it takes people to notice. Depending on how observant your friends are, they may notice it straightaway or it may take them the entire night. What you can do is make your hand more and more obvious as the night progresses. For example, resting your head on your left hand at a table can display the ring prominently for everyone to notice.

However, you may be so excited that you just want to announce it straightaway and show your ring off. Typically, the woman will extend her arm towards the person she is showing the ring to and sometimes bend the wrist slightly downwards. Doing this in a brightly lit room or a natural sunlight will get the best sparkle out of the ring.

It is generally inadvisable to take the ring off when displaying it to people. Half the point is that the ring is actually on your finger – it's not just about the ring, but about the fact that you're wearing it. You also increase the risk that the ring will become damaged or even lost every time you take it off, especially in public places (think about open drains et cetera).

Not everyone you want to show the ring to will be in the same city as you. If you can't wait to show it to them in person or this isn't feasible, you'll have to take a video or photo of the ring on your hand. Taking a photo of a ring is actually quite challenging and you may need to take quite a few photos to get a good shot. Make sure there's plenty of lighting in the room, and get a nice and close to the ring. You may even want to do some postprocessing on the photo to brighten the image up and also to crop it so the ring appears as large as possible.

As you take photos of the ring on your finger, you'll discover that the human hand looks quite unattractive in many different positions. Trial and error is the name of the game here. You can also look on the Internet to see some of the classical poses for showing off your ring.

Just after you get the ring it will be at its most clean. If you are showing it to lots of people and they are touching it, the ring will gradually become oily and dirty from all the contact. You'll need to clean it regularly during this period. Also bear in mind that odds are some of the people you show the ring to will be sick. Carry a small bottle of hand sanitiser with you to keep your hands clean of bacteria.