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).

Starting An Heirloom Ring

Even if the ring you have bought is a brand-new one, if you're looking to the future you can plan to use the ring as an heirloom ring within your family. Typically, an heirloom ring is passed down from the mother or grandmother to a daughter or granddaughter.

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There are a few things you need to do in order to keep this as a possibility. Firstly, when appropriate, you should make any current boyfriends or partners of daughters or granddaughters aware that you have an heirloom ring and that you would be willing or would even like that they use it when and if they propose.

Of course, the boyfriend may not be keen for the idea in which case they should not be pressured. They may prefer to pick out a ring themselves or even to work with their girlfriend to pick a ring that they are both happy with. Don't be offended if they don't want to take the ring.

Another situation you may have to deal with is if there are multiple candidates to give the ring to – for example, if you have multiple daughters. This situation may be complicated by the fact that it is unlikely that all your daughters will become engaged at the same time.

One option for dealing with the situation is to split the ring amongst all your daughters. One could get the stone from the ring, while the other could get the setting.

Alternatively, you could keep the ring but get a jeweller to design a faithful replica for each of your daughters. Your daughters may also wish to customise each of their rings so they combine both their own personal style choices with the spirit of having an heirloom ring.

It may be that you don't even have to worry about splitting the ring because only one of your daughters wishes to use it. You can work this out by communicating early with all of them about what they think of your heirloom ring and whether they would like to use it as their engagement ring.