Malloves will help you find the perfect ring
Buying an engagement ring isn’t just one of the most expensive purchases you’ll probably make in your life — it’s also one of the most exciting. But along with that excitement comes some confusion, a bit of panic, and a whole lot of little questions before you ask the biggest one of all: “Will you marry me?”
You’ve probably seen movies or TV shows where the guy goes into a jewelry store and leaves with a big rock ten minutes later, but that’s not the case in real life. (Thanks, Hollywood!) Instead, stepping into those doors and standing in front of cases upon cases of blindingly sparkly diamonds can be incredibly intimidating. With all the factors — from how much you should spend to what style of diamond you should get — you might go from feeling pretty confident to wanting to run out of those doors as fast as you came in. But it’s much too early for cold feet: You just need a little guidance.
Shopping for an engagement ring is actually a lot like shopping for a house or car, except the finished product is much smaller and much shinier. You can’t really just look at one and say, “Ok, I’ll take it!” – You want to know what materials it’s made of, any imperfections it has, if it’s within your budget — the list goes on. You also don’t just want to say yes to something without being sure your significant other is going to love it, too. It’s a big deal and an equally big investment, so there’s nothing wrong with taking your time to find something that will check off all the qualities on your list.
You might not know the difference between yellow gold and rose gold, what the 4Cs are, or the difference between a princess and cushion cut right now, but you will soon: Before you know it, you’ll be such an engagement ring pro that all your friends will be coming to you for answers when it’s their turn to get hitched. Here’s everything — and we mean everything! — you need to know about how to buy a ring.
How Do You Know What She Wants?
Listen up, guys, because this is a crucial step in buying an engagement ring: You have to figure out what your significant other wants, because she’s going to be wearing that ring for the rest of her life (so she better like it). Luckily, there are many ways to go about finding <the one.<
Today technology will be your best friend in figuring out the perfect engagement ring. If you want some hints from the recipient herself, she might just send you a link to her private Pinterest board full of ideas she’s been collecting over the years, screenshots of rings she liked on Instagram, or some inspiration from her favorite celebrities. But if you’d rather decide for yourself without her knowing, talk to her friends and family because there’s a good chance she’s let them in on some of her favorite looks over the years.
The Most Popular Settings:
All the different types of engagement ring settings might be making your head spin, but these are the ones you’ll see the most:
- Solitaire: A solitaire ring is exactly what it sounds like: a single stone. With that stone, you can choose how many prongs — aka the claws that hold the diamond in place on the band — you want, which is typically 4 or 6.
- Vintage: Vintage rings come in many different styles from certain eras — such as Victorian and Art Deco — and they each have a very distinct look.
- Gemstone: Instead of a diamond, it’s common to pick a gemstone as the center stone, like sapphire or aquamarine.
- Sidestone: Perfect for someone who wants a little extra bling without being too in-your-face, sidestone engagement rings have a line of pavé or a halo that makes the center stone stand out more.
- Halo: Instead of having just a solitaire diamond, it’s common to choose to put a halo of smaller diamonds around the main stone.
- Three-Stone: Instead of having a solitaire stone, some couples go for three-stone engagement rings for what they represent: the past, present, and future.
The band of the engagement ring might not seem like a huge deal compared to the stone, but it makes all the difference in how the ring looks and feels. The first thing that plays a big role is whether the band is thick or thin. How wide the band is can totally transform the look of a ring, and it’s really a preference thing. While thicker bands used to be more common, thin and delicate bands are now becoming increasingly popular.
Next comes the material. There are many different directions you can go in, but these are the most common choices:
- Platinum: a silvery hue
- White Gold: looks similar to platinum, but is made of a mixture of gold and white metals
- Yellow Gold: pure gold mixed with other metals for a yellow hue
- Rose Gold: gold mixed with copper for a pinkish hue
The styles of engagement rings are seemingly endless, but there’s something to match everyone’s personality. While some women prefer a simpler look, others love vintage rings that take inspiration from different eras with intricate details.
You might instantly think a diamond is the way to go, but don’t forget about gemstones: Kate Middleton is rocking a blue sapphire ring, after all. There are many different gemstones to look at, but the most popular options are the following:
- Sapphire: deep blue
- Emerald: green
- Ruby: red
- Moissanite: looks very similar to a diamond
- Morganite: pinkish
- Aquamarine: light blue
- Amethyst: purple
It’s also possible to get diamonds in different colors, from the timeless yellow canary diamond to incredibly rare red and blue diamonds. The only problem? They can be even more expensive than colorless diamonds depending on the size, how vibrantly colored the diamond is, and other factors. One exception, though, is the black diamond, which is becoming more and more popular but remains much cheaper than other colored diamonds.
If you’re still feeling a little unsure of what to get your significant other, you’ll be happy to know the decision doesn’t have to be 100% yours. In the past, it was common for a guy to go to the jewelry store and choose what he thought his bride-to-be would want, but now it’s more common to go look at rings together.
You don’t want to be in a situation where you pick out something that she doesn’t like at all It used to be where the significant other had no idea what to expect, but now we usually see couples coming in together. That way everything will be done to their liking and there’s no room for error.
How to Find Her Ring Size
If you don’t have your significant other’s ring size and don’t want to ask her, there are some sneaky ways to go about figuring out what it is without her suspecting anything at all.
- Option One: Find a ring she already wears all the time and have someone check the size based on that.
- Option Two: Ask one of her friends or family members if they know her size. If they don’t, find out what sizes her sister and mom wear; they might have the same finger size.
- Option Three: If you’re really desperate and have ran out of all other options, you can always pull the string trick. If your significant other is a heavy sleeper, try to tie a string around her finger while she’s catching some zzzs, then take it with you when you go to the jewelry store
The great thing about engagement rings is that there’s something for every budget, no matter how small or how big it is. You’ve probably heard the old theory on having to spend one months’ salary on a ring, but that’s not necessarily the case these days. Instead, most people are simply making a conscious decision about what they feel the most comfortable spending.
The average amount spent in the U.S. on an engagement ring is a little over $6,000. But in bigger cities like New York, people are spending closer to $10,000. People aren’t specifically going by the ‘one month’s salary’ rule anymore, but it can sometimes happen coincidentally that that’s what they end up spending, Most people are sitting down and saying “What can I feasibly spend?” or “What do I personally feel is the appropriate amount to spend on something like this?”
Really, there’s no right a nswer or rule: You can get a beautiful $500 engagement ring, or a beautiful $50,000 engagement ring. But when you’re deciding how much money to fork out, pay close attention to the 4Cs, which can make a huge difference in how much bang you get for your buck.
Diamond 4 Cs
So you’re probably wondering what the 4Cs everyone keeps talking about are. To put it simply, they’re the four very important aspects of how the diamond looks and just how big and shiny it is: carat, color, clarity, and cut.
The carat refers to the diamond’s weight — not the size, like most people assume. The range differs depending on where you buy your ring, but you can typically find something as small as 1/5 carat to something as large as 5 carats and up. It all depends on preference (and your budget): some women prefer something dainty, while others want something that really stands out.
Obviously the bigger the ring, the more expensive it gets. Luckily there’s an easy way to make a diamond look bigger without increasing the carat size. The most common size is going to be a little larger than a carat, and the best way to make it look bigger is by adding a halo around the surface. You’re taking a diamond that’s one carat in the middle, but you’re giving it the surface area of a two carat diamond simply by adding that extra perimeter around it. When the halo is done seamlessly, you really can’t tell where the diamond in the center starts and ends.
When you think of a diamond, you probably think of something really clear. The color of a diamond is graded on the absence of color, with a scale that ranges from D, E, and F as the most colorless to X, Y, and Z, which have a visibly yellow tint. The most popular types are colorless and near colorless, and those also cost the most.
Clarity refers to the number, size, and position of the diamond’s imperfections. The GIA Clarity Scale ranges from Flawless (FL) where no imperfections are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification to I1, I2, and I3 (Included) where imperfections are easy to spot under 10x magnification. The imperfections could be everything from a black dot or grey line to a cloud within the diamond. No diamond is really perfectly pure, but the closer and higher up it is on the scale, the more flawless it is. The goal is not being able to see any of those imperfections with the naked eye; that will take away from the sparkle of the diamond.
The cut of the diamond doesn’t refer to the shape of the diamond. It’s actually talking about the diamond’s proportions, symmetry, and polish — aka what makes it sparkle. Cut can be a little tricky, though, because GIA only assigns cut grades to round diamonds, which range from poor to excellent.
When it comes to a shape — like cushion cut or oval, for example — it’s something where you’ll have to sit down and look at the diamond’s proportions and evaluate for yourself.
Aside from the standard round diamonds, there are plenty of other cuts that make for a beautiful engagement ring that are equally dazzling:
- Round: a standard circle shape
- Princess: a square or rectangular outline
- Emerald: a rectangular outline that has a step cut with rows of pavilion
- Asscher: a square cut Emerald with a deeper pavilion
- Cushion: a square with rounded corners
- Marquise: a long and narrow football-shape
- Radiant: a square shape with cut corners
- Oval: a standard oval shape
- Heart: a standard heart shape
- Pear: a standard pear shape
How to Avoid Dodgy Diamonds
When you’re looking for the perfect diamond ring, make sure you’re buying from a trustworthy retailer and your diamond is certified by a reputable source, like GIA or EGL. If you get a certificate from another source, the quality of the diamond might not be as good. If you’re getting a certificate from a certifier that’s not well-known, they may be more lenient. The diamond could be certified, but it could be 2 or 3 grades lower than what a stricter certifier would go by.
Besides making sure your diamond has a reputable certificate, there are also things to look out for that your certificate won’t tell you. The certificate isn’t going to tell you if the imperfection in the diamond is visible to the naked eye. It shows you it’s there, but it doesn’t tell you if it takes away from the sparkle of the diamond. It’s definitely important to not just go off the certificate alone. Make sure you see the diamond in person if you can!
Malloves Jewelers of Middletown is here to assist you in your diamond search, but we aren’t here to pressure you! We don’t work on commission. The only thing we want to do is provide you with a “Diamond Education”. You can talk to us about diamonds whether you decide to buy from us or not, we are here to assist you!
At Malloves Jewelers: Our focus is to provide every customer with professional and superior service. This includes competitive pricing and honest disclosure of all information for every item in our store.
Guaranteed Grading: Free Insurance documentation and guarantee of quality and value for each Malloves’ registered diamond.
Lifetime Trade-up: You can trade in your diamond ring purchased at Malloves toward the purchase of another diamond ring costing at least 50% more.
Goldsmith and Graduate Gemologist: Both on staff for your appraisal and repair needs so your diamond ring will never leave our store.
Quality and Experience: Malloves has been family owned and operated for 90 years and has earned an excellent reputation of providing quality products and services.
Guaranteed Lifetime Warranty: Your center diamond is warrantied against loss from its original mounting providing it has been inspected within the previous 90 days.
Always Free Cleaning: You may have your Malloves diamond cleaned and inspected whenever you want, free of charge, for as long as you own it.