Engagement rings - what to look for

Jujee

Member
Jun 21, 2010
7
0
I posted this on another thread and was told to just start a new one! So here it is - I didn't really want to have to help my boyfriend pick out my engagement ring (because I wanted a surprise) but he is terrified of doing the wrong thing so I'm helping him at least with research. It seems like you don't need to know that much - the 4Cs. What else should i know??? 4Cs, where to buy, what kind of papers the ring should have, etc. Thanks!!
 

ahertz

O.G.
Jul 16, 2007
6,202
20
I'd check out (or have your boyfriend check out) pricescope.com, which is a great resource for diamond buying. For me, the most important thing to have would be a GIA or AGS certified diamond with an excellent cut. Color and clarity are secondary to me.
 

Swanky

Admin
Admin
O.G.
Jan 12, 2006
88,300
18,056
Aside from the important 4C's. . . do you know what you love?
Do you know the design and shape you love?
I'd try on a slew, including rings you never thought you'd like :tup:

We all place the 4Cs in our own order of importance, but most people educated about diamonds will list Cut first. W/O the best cut your diamond your stone will lack life/sparkle.
For me, color and clarity are about equal. I don't need the whitest color nor do I need a flawless stone.
 

Monica

O.G.
Mar 21, 2008
2,066
9
The 4 c's are really complex. 'Similar' diamond specs does not mean that the diamonds are of equal 'quality'. An impurity can be quite ugly right in the middle of the diamond... But can be acceptable under the prongs. Also, the the C's not only stand on itself, but relate with each other.

Personal preference is very important as well: do you prefer a white icecube or a warmer stone or a fancy colour.

Here on tpf I also learned that impurities show even more in an emerald cut diamond versus a brilliant cut diamond.

With thorough study and a little help from tpf-ers like Swanky or the Pricescope people I am sure you can select a gorgeous diamond with your fiancée.

Good luck!
 

Gimmethebag

Gimme Gimme Gimme
O.G.
Dec 2, 2008
3,346
2,140
It isn't all about carat size... In fact, carat is a weight measurement so a well cut stone might look bigger and brighter than a different stone with a higher carat weight.

Certain shapes face up bigger and some face up smaller. But it's not only about bigger so have fun and try on all the different shapes.

I'm not too picky when it comes to color, but I'm a total clarity nut. I wouldn't go below VS clarity. I can see some tint in poor lighting with my H stones, so I would look for H or better color. In most light, I think the H is a very bright white.

If you are open to buying secondhand, you can get a very good price on your stone. Better than any online vendor can sell you too.
 

black jade

Member
Aug 28, 2008
406
4
Pricescope.com has great tutorials and very good information. I would start there, as suggested above. Learn about the 4 c's and learn about 'cut' and then look around at jewelry stores to see what YOU like, before committing to buying something online (where it is more cost effective but you can't see in advance). You need to try on to see what style looks good on your finger (it might not be the one that looks greatest in the advertisement pictures); whether really high color is important to you (at P'scope, they will tell you it's not, but it may be important to YOU to have a really white diamond); at what point the clarity begins to be unacceptable to you, etc. etc. And then of course you have to consider your budget.

Good luck, you should have fun searching!
Congratulations.
 

elizat

Member
Sep 21, 2007
9,628
7
I'm with everyone- spend some time at Pricescope and figure out what you like. What some- or most- people like, you might not (i.e. I would not want an icy white Tiffany style solitaire ring and would prefer a warm colored diamond- J-O color, in an art deco setting)! Spend some time figuring out what appeals to you, what you like and what fits the budget.
 

black jade

Member
Aug 28, 2008
406
4
One last suggestion though--Pricescope is a great site in many ways, but don't follow their advice blindly. Be sure you look at things in person and make up your own mind. They have some vendors they tend to push--who are great vendors, but there are others. Also, although 'cut is king' it may not be important to you personally to have a super-duper ideal diamond, instead of one which is excellent, or even 'very good' cut that has no real visual differences (but doesn't have the paper qualifications that P'scopers like).

I got two diamonds while I was on P'scope, a solitaire ring and a pair of stud earrings. Both are much nicer than they would have been if I had not been on Pricescope and not read their advice. the earrings are from one of their preferred vendors, whiteflash.com and they are superb earrings (H VS2, ACA AGS 000). The solitaire is from Bluenile.com, which is a site that is dissed a lot on Pricescope because they don't give you all the papers Pricescopers like, but it's a gorgeous diamond and not visually any different from the ACAs. I made sure that it also had an AGS cert and ran the numbers through something they have there which is very useful called the 'Holloway Cut Advisor' and got a beautiful ring for somewhat less of a price than it would have been on whiteflash,com (though both places have better prices than highend brick and mortar stores with comparable diamonds). A GIA cert would also have been fine.

I am by no means an expert, but since being on Pricescope, I learned what I like. I buy diamonds most of the time now in my local pawnshop and have gotten great deals (verified always by an appraiser) because I became an educated consumer. You can, too--it's not a very difficult thing to do.
 

Crystalina

O.G.
Mar 22, 2007
2,193
18
Also, be sure to let your BF know if you want just an e-ring for now (and you can search for a wedding band later) or if you prefer a set (and e-ring that comes with matching, fitting band).

I say this b/c my ring is a round brilliant with lots of filligree and engraving with pavee diamonds all around on both sides. I LOVE my ring and wouldn't trade if for anything, but finding a band has been impossible, and going custom is very expensive and would hide half the stones since my band would have to be soldered to the ring (so as not to scratch the engraving, filligree and diamonds).

I urge you to discuss this with him b/c it's something I never thought of and now I'm married without any band and it's a bit of a bummer!
 

Jujee

Member
Jun 21, 2010
7
0
Wow, thanks for all your responses! I went away (to a wedding, ironically) for a long weekend.

I really love the halo settings and I want a round stone. Also, a friend of mine has a gorgeous ring with this really really thin band, which I also love, so I'm thinking something along those lines.

We looked at loose stones in the diamond district earlier this week. I'm not sure about the H color - it looks ok to me but maybe I should try in different lights?

The jeweler we went to had all GIA certified diamonds..he said they have the most trusted grading reports. Is that true? There are so many different ones I see online.

Thanks!!!
 
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