Home  >>  Write  >>  Rings  >>  diamond engagement rings


Diamond Engagement Rings – A Classic Expression of Love


He's popped THE question, and you've said Yes! Now the first stop on your road to married bliss is choosing that important symbol of your love: the diamond engagement ring.

Unless you're marrying the son of a billionaire (lucky you!) or an aristocrat who can give you a priceless family heirloom, you need to do your homework before you go shopping for a diamond engagement ring.

First, realize that you're buying a luxury item in your diamond engagement ring. Think hard about how much money you're willing and able to spend to get value.

Next, learn how to choose a diamond engagement ring. You may have heard these qualities before, but they remain the classic standards for choosing a diamond: cut, color, clarity and carat weight. Here's what they mean:

Cut: The way a diamond is cut by a jeweler determines its value. Traditional 58-facet brilliant cuts such as the solitaire are among the most common, but a more contemporary cut, the trillion (a triangle cut), is gaining in popularity. For those who prefer a more elegant stone, "step cuts" such as the emerald and the princess are preferred. The cut of your diamond will determine how much it sparkles on your finger.

Color: Although we tend to think of diamonds as "white" or clear, nearly all diamonds have some color to them, usually a faint yellow. The less yellow a diamond has, the better its color. The Gemological Institute of America rates diamonds from D (colorless) to Z (yellow). Be sure to ask for the color rating of your stone.

Clarity: Because diamonds are a natural substance, they will contain tiny imperfections known as "inclusions" or "flaws." Diamonds with the fewest flaws are the most valuable. Completely flawless diamonds are very rare and thus very expensive. The most common measurement of clarity is from the Gemological Institute of America. The GIA scale ranks diamonds as Flawless (FL), Internally Flawless (IF), Very Very Slightly Included (VVS), Very Slightly Included (VS), Slightly Imperfect (SI), and Imperfect (I). A good range to consider is VVS to VS, since only experts can see these flaws. Avoid Imperfect diamonds.

Carat: Diamonds are weighed by carats. One carat equals 200 milligrams, and carats are broken down into 100 points. It's important not to confuse the carat weight of your diamond with its value. Don't make the mistake of getting a huge stone that is inferior in color and clarity.

Finally, what precious metal do you want for the setting of your diamond engagement ring? Diamonds are usually set in white gold, yellow gold or platinum, and the color of your diamond often can dictate the color of your setting. Yellow gold is very forgiving of diamonds with less clarity. If you've chosen a stone that's nearly colorless, choose white gold or platinum to show it off best.

Whatever your choices, remember: This is a once-in-a-lifetime purchase, so take your time to get the best value for your budget.