There is definitely no shortage of either ring designs or jewelry stores when it comes to the search for the perfect engagement ring. In fact, the selection is almost so wide that the process can be overwhelming. An engagement ring is not only one of the largest, but also one of the most significant purchases you are likely to ever make, so you don’t want to mess this one up. In addition to the cost of the purchase, you might also be feeling under pressure for your partner to love the ring as much as you love them – after all, it is a symbol of your love for ever more.

I would recommend starting with a reputable jeweller. Always use recommendations from friends and family to find someone you trust. If that is not a feasible plan look for jewellers with affiliations to industry organisations. Jewellers that are accredited by the Gemological Institute of America, for example, are good options. No matter which store you choose, always confirm with them what their returns policy is. That way you can take the stone back and exchange it for another one if it is not correct.

In a search for the right diamond, youwill at some point encounter the expression, the 4 C’s. This is a diamond grading system that is quickly moving into mainstream usage. Each C stands for something, and you can use your knowledge around that topic to select the best diamond that falls within your budget.

How to choose the right one

When it comes to diamonds, you have to know what you’re paying for, and how the factors like cut, carat, colour and clarity will affect the final look of your purchase. What exactly makes and included diamond less valuable than a flawless one? Can you get away with a cheap but elegant diamond or is an expensive one better?

Cut

The cut refers to how the actual design affects the sparkle factor of the diamond, and is not strictly speaking about the shape it ends up to be. Shapes like pear or oval shape are done within specific guidelines, so that the facets pick up maximum light to create optimum sparkle.

Carat

This is how the size or weight of a diamond is measured. An average engagement ring diamond is generally one carat, but remember that the intention behind a cheap but beautiful diamond engagement ring is the same!

Clarity

Inclusions is the term that is used for small imperfections on the surface of a diamond. Remember that a diamond is a natural product which is formed under huge pressure for thousands of years, and therefore is subject to imperfection. The amount of imperfections on the surface of the diamond is what determines its clarity, which is measured on a scale. The fewer visible inclusions, the higher the cost of the diamond.

Colour

Believe it or not, diamonds come in a whole range of colours. The most valuable ones are colourless, rated D on the scale, and extends all the way to Z, which is a visibly yellowish colour. Coloured diamonds have become more popular in recent times than they have been to date.

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