What to look for when buying a diamond engagement ring

Shopping for a diamond ring can be daunting and confusing – there’s so many choices, from size to shape, colour, and look. When you’re investing a lot of your time, energy and money into a diamond ring, it needs to be perfect.

What should you look for in a diamond ring?

We often get asked by our clients, “What should I be looking for in a diamond ring?” While it’s a good start to have an idea of her favourite ring style and design , there’s more to buying a diamond ring than her personal taste. When we think of diamonds, we’re sure most of us imagine a sparkling white stone that flashes as it moves. However, to achieve this level of sparkle, we need to make sure we get a good quality diamond. But what does that mean exactly? Let’s consider the diamond’s characteristics, as well as secondary factors, such as the grading of its polish, symmetry and fluorescence.

Here’s what to look for when buying a diamond engagement ring:

Look for excellence

A diamond that has been graded with Excellent (cut, polish, symmetry), has the optimal characteristics to best reflect light back out of the diamond, rather than the light being trapped inside. This is what we perceive as the sparkle that we see and want from a diamond. Diamonds that are not of ideal cut—too shallow or deep – have poor symmetry and are not polished well after they are cut. These diamonds will lack sparkle and appear dull and flat.

Look for fluorescence

Fluorescence refers to the effect that UV light has on a diamond. A diamond that has little to no fluorescence will look murky out in the natural sunlight.

Look at the centre diamond

We often guide our customers to choosing the main centre diamond first, as most of the value of your ring will be in that diamond. Then, we can advise what can be done, to customise the rest of the design to specification, whether it’s a diamond halo or shoulder diamonds.

Look for the colour G or above 

When it comes to colours, D, E, F and G offer the best choice. This is because the further down you go on the colour scale, the more yellow tinge you’ll see in the diamond. A detectable yellow tinge in a white diamond typically lowers the visual appeal. This is critical as the colour is what you see when you first look at a diamond.

Look to see if the diamond is eye clean

Even if a diamond has been graded to be SI clarity, a general misconception is that all SI clarity diamonds are eye clean. This is not true! Visually, diamonds that are not eye clean will be cloudy and murky, so we highly recommend that you make sure you see the diamond in person to confirm that it won’t have any dark inclusions and what you’re getting won’t look like it’s perpetually dirty.

Look for colour treatment or enhancement

Clarity-enhanced diamonds are basically low-grade diamonds that have been treated to appear “cleaner”, namely by drilling into the diamond to remove imperfections. While these diamonds will be lower in price and visually appear no different to untreated diamonds, it is ill-advised to purchase them as its structural integrity is compromised. This means these stones run a higher risk of cracking and chipping and may not hold up, should your ring ever need a repair or claws re-tipped. Many jewellers will refuse to repair clarity-enhanced diamond jewellery due to these risks. Ask whether the diamonds have been treated for clarity or colour enhancement.

Look for carat weight vs. individual carat weight

If you’re looking at a diamond ring with a halo, ask for individual carat weights. Otherwise, you could be paying for a total carat weight of 1ct combined, when you’ve requested for a diamond in the centre with a weight of 1ct.

Look for a solid band

Too often we see customers bringing in rings that are bent or with diamonds that have fallen out as a result of hollowed out bands and really fine claws. While this depends on how the ring is cared for, this cost-cutting method of making jewellery puts the piece at a high risk of damage. All it takes is something as simple as carrying a shopping bag to bend that hollowed band or even taking off a jacket to catch one of those fine claws – and out pops the stone. We can’t stress enough how important it is to check the ring in person to ensure it has a solid band and claws to prevent unnecessary damage.

Find high quality diamond rings for life with Solitaire Jewellery

What each customer values in a diamond is different and you could save money by choosing a slightly lower colour and/or clarity if carat size is non-negotiable, or vice versa. By compromising on certain quality factors, you may be able to get that slightly larger stone or whiter stone in your budget. After all, the comparable side-by-side perceptible difference in a slight drop in colour or clarity is often negligible to most people, especially without a trained eye.

Need help finding the perfect diamond engagement ring? Visit Solitaire Jewellery, the experts in quality diamond rings and jewellery.