So in my introductory blog i introduced myself and my partner Natalie. Laid the foundations for what my blogs will be about and how i plan to keep everybody up to date.
I discussed our intention to visit the Melbourne Bridal show on the weekend and my goodness there was so much to take in. First learning’s and thoughts about the process so far, be prepared for a blurred mind, im feeling this process is going to leave Natalie and myself with a sense of being over whelmed, i guess the saying goes “one step at a time”, if it weren’t for having friends and family who have recently been through the engagement and wedding process i can imagine it would be a very daunting and confusing task. Reach out to your loved one’s who have been through the process before and get an understanding as to what to expect to brace your mind for whats to come. However more on the bridal expo in a couple days, today we will be discussing one of the most important decisions for both soon to be bride and groom, the engagement ring…..
The ring, it comes with a lot of questions, variables and endless possibilities. I will do my best to break it down for you as much as i possibly can but what i will do is use my experiences to try and help you along your way.
You will have been with your partner long enough to know where you stand in this equation, do they want to design something themselves which means you simply purchase a make do ring in the mean time to propose with knowing full well your partner will then go and design/ purchase their dream ring or are you the gutsy type that plans to design/ purchase a ring for your partner without intention of buying another once the proposal has taken place. If you are the later like myself then my experiences will hopefully help guide you, not for the design or what to buy but for the small learning’s that will give you confidence in knowing what you are looking for.
Should you be willing to brave the design and purchase experience on your own continue reading for some helpful information.
Question to ask yourself for the design:
Who is your partner?
Simply write down the aspects of your partner that you fell in love with, all the nuances and quirks that make them who they are. For example my partner loves symmetry, everything Natalie puts together needs to be symmetrical and Natalie has an OCD for it. Natalie is very down to earth and bubbly but is very structured in her daily and working life. Natalie is very simple (in a nice way) and doesn’t like to be the centre of attention and lastly Natalie is very elegant. What this allowed me to do is design a ring that is simple, symmetrical, without all the bling and add touches of elegance. The ring i designed is simple, with a thin band, one diamond and very straight structured symmetrical diamond prongs. All the things i discussed about Natalie were evident in the rings design and bonus she loves it!
What colour band would your partner prefer?
Look at all the jewellery your partner wears, is it yellow gold, rose gold or silver? This is an obvious indicator as to the colour the band should be. Without asking your partner the question you will be able to identify what they prefer.
The diamond we will get into a little later.
Once you have the what, it is time to start looking for the where.
There are so many companies out there that are fantastic in their own right at what they do, you will hear all sorts of ads on the radio or TV and naturally not ever venturing into the jewellery world it will be confusing as to how it all works. The first and most important thing when deciding on the where is connection. Make sure you get a good vibe from the person you are dealing with, simply you are spending a large sum of hard earned money and further to this you have to deal with these people/ company for the lifespan of the ring. Cleaning and repairs on an annual basis so be comfortable with the service you are being provided otherwise you will be stuck in a un - happy situation in an already stressful situation.
Retailer Vs Wholesaler
In my ring journey i only visited two companies, one being a retailer and the other a wholesaler, i dont have enough evidence to speak for the industry as a whole but based on my experience what you envision in your mind prior to visiting a jewellery store is what you will find from a retailer, plenty of designs in glass boxes, gloves used to show you the designs and attention to detail in the design process. The wholesaler was someone who had fantastic knowledge in diamonds but the process was a little more rushed. I liken it to visiting a boutique shop and a warehouse sale. However regardless of this fact and how its all sold to you everyone in the diamond industry is simply a salesperson. No different to myself, i am a sales person but i have the knowledge in real estate so be weary of the sales tactics and techniques used during the process. In terms of price however, this is a completely different ball game and once again disclaimer i can’t speak for the whole industry however in my experience the difference in diamond price is significant. What i was offered at the retailer in my budget i was able to purchase double the size and a similar grade and clarity with the wholesaler. I obviously went with the wholesaler option as the price was a huge factor in my decision making process, i was happy to deal with slightly below par service for a far greater product.
The diamond is without a doubt the part of the process that will give you a headache, i left my first appointment with my consultant with a migraine. I didn’t know what i was about to enter into and the amount of acronyms blew me away. But at the foundation of it everyone talks about the 4c’s, do as much research as you can on these before going for your first appointment.
As far as my knowledge goes this is probably the most pivotal part of the diamond, this is essentially what gives the diamond sparkle. The better the cut the more the diamond shines. It is rated in Triple excellent, excellent and well to be honest i dont know much after that. I figured its the most important part id only look at diamonds with excellent cut, lets face it no one wants an engagement ring that doesn’t sparkle, so do not sacrifice this component.
What i believe to be the second most important, some may disagree as this is determined by the size of the diamond. You may think the difference between 0.5 Carat and 1 carat is not that great but the best way to look at it is double the size. You can tell the difference and the size does matter, however depending on the design going to a 3.0 Carat may destroy the design your going for, in our case i went for a 1.0 carat, the design wouldn’t have worked with anything larger or too much larger anyways as the elegance would have been stripped away. There are many ways to make the diamond stand out on the finger of your partner which lays in the design of the ring, speak with your consultant about how to help with this.
The third most important of the 4 c’s in my opinion. No one wants to look into a ring and see marks everywhere, however unless you have laser eyes or constantly walk around with a magnifying glass a lot of the blemishes in the rock can’t be seen by the untrained eye and lets be honest how many of your friends and family carry around a magnifying glass, my bet none. Also with the cut sparkling in everyone’s face should you go a triple excellent they wont get time to judge the clarity as the sparkle sparkle effect will overwhelm their eye in the 3 seconds they take close attention to the ring. The clarity i ended on was an SI2 and without the certificate showing where the spots are my partner would never have noticed them in the ring.
The final and least important of the 4 c’s again in my opinion.Although the least important this part had me stirring the most. The colour scale goes from a D — Z, ask me why they dont start at A and i couldn’t answer it for you because i have no idea. The typical scale states anything from a D - F is classified as colourless, G — I is classified as near colourless and i think your smart enough to follow the trend through to Z. I struggled with this element though partly due to with a rose gold band the colour tends to become slightly lower in grade so essentially a D becomes like looking at a E, so i was told anyways. Looking at each individual diamond from a D — I without a better graded colour next to it again from the un trained eye you probably wont be able to notice the yellow undertone, however place another diamond next to it and you will be able to see the difference. This is a personal decision also as some people prefer to have an undertone in their diamond, again you have to go back to the original question, who is your partner?, I settled on a F colour, classified as colourless, much cheaper than a D colour yet still the same effect.
Certificates are not a magical 5th C it is separate all together however you will be asked about them. These are essentially the certificate of the diamond, where it comes from and essentially giving you piece of mind the diamond was found in a humane way. Every lab has their own acronym but if your asked wether you wish to have one or not i will always say its best to. Its insurance that you are getting what you paid for, it details the diamond, any blemishes in the diamond and what your classification is with regards to the 4 C’s. Do not get confused by these acronyms it is just different dependant on the lab.
The choice process
This is the part that will have your stomach turning in knots. Ask your consultant for a variety to look at, in my experience i was shown the diamonds the consultant wanted me to buy in my budget but not allow me the flexibility to view a whole host of them for myself. Place them in a row, look at the differences between them and make sure what your buying will suit the design your after. Don’t get sucked into pressure of other appointments so your feeling rushed, take your time, analyse the diamonds because at the end of the day it is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make.
Choosing a diamond and ring design is very much a stressful process, a lot of this stress comes from the fact we want our partner to love what we chose/ created. It will take time, it will take patience but having a bit of knowledge will alleviate the stress and anxiety of being thrown into a world you have no idea about with sales consultants putting pressure on you to buy. Take control of the situation and know that there is no wrong answer if you know your partner inside out. Buying an interim ring is also never a bad thing, whatever works for you and your partner is what you do. Don’t follow anyone else’s story because your in your own and as each day goes by you are continuing to write your own story, it’s not one size fits all.
I would love to answer any questions you may have. Again i am no expert in this field i am just sharing my opinions and experience and hope that if your in this process my experience can help you on your way and make the process just that little bit simpler. Good Luck!