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How to Pick the Right Engagement Diamond
Feeling a little lost?
We know how much women adore diamonds... and we know how much men hate shopping for jewellery.
Let's face it: In a stereotypical world, men are perfect at messing up the DIY, whereas women are perfect at looking pretty. But when it comes to engagement rings, that attitude has to change... after all, finding the perfect diamond engagement ring could be what makes or breaks the rest of your life.
So where to start?
There's so much to consider when shopping for your engagement ring, and you could read all about it all day and still not feel any closer to the target. So, here is a brief low-down of all the basics on making sure when you're asking for a 'yes', you charm and impress.
Knowing Your Woman
Before you even start your search, you need to make sure you know exactly what you're going to be trying to achieve. For example, some women love to be surprised (think about an "I Love You, Marry Me" banner hung from a skyscraper type thing), whereas others like to know exactly what is happening and when (such as "Right, it's pretty clear that we'll be married one day, so let's plan"). So:
- Does your woman like surprises? If she does, you're on your own - the best you can hope for is that you've picked up enough hints during your time spent with her to know what she likes. If you haven't picked up on hints (such as 'ooh I love that ring' comments), then you could always speak to a trusted source who knows her well such as a family member. Be careful here - weddings are big news, and if the person you're asking doesn't have a zip for the lip, then you could be opening up a whole new can of worms.
- Does your woman like to know what's going on? If so, then you might want to go shopping for an engagement ring together. This is great, because you can be sure you won't be making a mistake with such an expensive purchase... but make sure you read up on the sections below, as showing your girl that you've done your research and that you've actually learned a thing or two about engagement rings will be a guaranteed hit
Knowing Your Diamonds
Not all women will want a diamond engagement ring... some might prefer a coloured gemstone or a different kind of jewel. But if you know you want diamond, then welcome to confusion! Don't worry though, the tips below will tell you a little bit of information on the properties of diamonds so you can make sure that when you find the right ring, the quality of the diamond is right up there.
Carat Weight. In a nutshell, the Carat Weight of a diamond is simply how heavy it is. The heavier the diamond, the bigger it will be. So a lower Carat Weight doesn't mean the diamond is less pure or lower quality, it simply means it isn't as big.
Colour. The colour effects the price of the diamonds, as the diamonds with the least colour are harder to find and therefore more expensive. You will generally find that if a diamond is slightly coloured, the cost will be lower as a result.
Clarity. Unlike the colour which can usually be determined by the naked eye, the Clarity grade of a diamond must be determined through the professional use of specialist equipment. The Clarity grade tells you of any minor imperfections, with the higher the grade meaning the better the quality.
Cut. You will notice that diamonds are given a grade labelled 'Cut'. This shows how well it has been cut, and is one of the most important factors. A score of 'Excellent' or 'Very Good' will tell you that the person who cut it was a true expert, and if the diamond has been cut right it will often reflect more light (giving the appearance of being bigger).
Note that the Cut is nothing to do with the shape
Knowing Your Jewellers
Another important part of buying the perfect engagement ring, is knowing where to buy it from. If you're tempted to visit a low quality dealer to try and shave a few pounds from your purchase, you are likely to end up disappointed. Remember as well to find out whether or not the retailer you choose will be able to offer corrections such as re-sizing after the purchase has been made - after all, you don't want to make one of the most important investments of your life only to find out that it doesn't fit, and that you can't do a thing!
There are plenty of high quality jewellery retailers dealing in the supply of diamond engagement rings, but if you're in the UK and want to add a real twist of culture and expertise, one of the most recommended places to go is Hatton Garden in London, which has been the heart of the UK's jewellery trade since the Middle Ages.
Remember that you should always book an appointment in advance with a jeweller to avoid disappointment and unnecessary waiting.
For now though, the very best of luck with your quest.
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