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Finding The Right Engagement Ring, A Woman's Guide
An engagement ring is one piece of jewellery that you will probably live with all your life – if you’re lucky. So unless you’re blessed with an incredibly romantic partner who goes out, chooses the ring, sets up a great backdrop for a proposal and drops down on one knee to do it, you will, in all probability, be taken along to the jeweller to make your choice. Now this is when you need to come down from Cloud Nine and let a bit of practical thinking into your decision. After all,that engagement ring is going to be on your finger, day after day, week after week,month after month and year after year. You need to have something you can connect with, feel at one with.
Choosing your Diamond
The choice of the stone at the centre is up to you. There are people who are unconventional and might want sapphires, rubies or emeralds. However, most women still prefer to be given a diamond – and a diamond in a traditional setting at that. Some things really don’t ever go out of style and the Tiffany’s classic six prong setting is still the most popular. When it comes to the diamond, remember the 4 Cs. That stands for Colour, Cut, Clarity and Carat. If you don’t know enough, ask the jeweller about it.
Most men spend in the region of $2000 to $3000 for an engagement ring. While the average weight in the US is around 1 carat, in Europe it is generally 0.3 carats. So maybe you should ask to see diamonds in that price and carat range.
I asked Ed Searancke of Samara James, London what else a woman should look for when it comes to choosing a diamond engagement ring and this is what he had to say: “A Forevermark today is a good indicator that the diamond is of good quality.” This is an icon that is inscribed on the diamonds that pass a stringent grading test in the DeBeers labs that are located in Antwerp, Belgium and Maidenhead, UK. All Forevermark diamonds come with detailed reports and it just makes a woman feel that much more secure about the diamond she is buying.
The other thing to look for is how the colour of the diamond appears in different lighting. The factor of fluorescence tends to make a diamond change its hue when the lighting is different. Most jewellers guide you when it comes to this so it would be a good thing to ask.
Finally, Ed reminded me that it would be great if every diamond buyer insisted on conflict-free diamonds. Many jewellers like him make sure that they stock only conflict-free diamonds but it does help when customers insist on it. This is one way of ensuring that blood diamonds don’t come into the diamond supply stream.
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme – how self regulation is working
Way back at the turn of the century, there was a move to adopt a way to certify rough diamonds. In 2003, KPCS or the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme came into being. Countries and companies can be a part of the scheme. What it does is this: every diamond that it certifies must definitely have not been a blood diamond – remember the movie? With these diamonds not being allowed into the legitimate mainstream, it means drying up of the money that goes to fund conflicts in many of the diamond-mining and diamond-processing areas. In order to facilitate compliance with the parameters that have been set, the KPCS have a number of very advanced tools. In 5 years, the incidence of wars in Africa especially, has lessened considerably. Fewer and fewer blood diamonds are finding their way into jewellery retailer stores and what’s really admirable is the fact that it has all been done with self regulation and the will to root out this evil.
An engagement ring is a symbol of love. If it’s going to stay on your finger for years, don’t just pick the first one you fancy – it has to be much more than an impulse purchase. Choose right and many years from now, you’ll still be glad you chose the ring you did!