One of the most exciting times of your life will be in deciding on an engagement ring to present to your lovely lady when you ask her to marry you. It’s a decision that will stand throughout your marriage, so choosing the ring should be done with a lot of forethought. Here are seven important considerations when you start looking.
1. Does the jeweler or designer provide protection?
Choosing an engagement ring is actually only the beginning. You’ll want this symbol of your love and devotion to last all through her lifetime, so making sure the ring is protected is paramount. After all, life happens. Dirt and wear and tear can take their toll on jewelry, so making sure the warranty covers what might happen is something you simply shouldn’t compromise on. What good is a beautiful engagement ring if six months down the line something happens and the ring is damaged? You don’t want to have to replace the ring after making such an important decision, both in terms of appeal and investment. Your love is forever, so shouldn’t her engagement ring last a lifetime as well?
A jewelry warranty or guarantee generally covers replacement or repair of diamonds and other gemstones, ideally for a lifetime. The warranty may be included in the price of the ring, or the jeweler may offer it as an add-on. One caveat that is typically observed is that you have the ring inspected regularly, usually at least every six months. Not complying with the jeweler’s terms can void the warranty, so it’s important that both you and your fiancé read the warranty and understand its requirements.
Hal Davis Jewelers furnishes an appraisal with each purchase. Appraisals are important information about your jewelry that is necessary if you decide to insure the piece, and should include the following:
- Current retail prices in the region where you bought the ring
- Cut, clarity, color and carats of diamonds or other gemstones
- Information about the number of diamonds or other gemstones
- The kind and weight of the precious metal used in the ring
- Origins of the materials and assessment of the craftsmanship
- Manufacturer’s marks, including brand name and serial number
With Hal Davis Jewelers, a full description is provided with each item’s current market replacement value. Each brand designer has its own warranty, and two of our brands—Tacori and Michael M—have lifetime warranties.
2. Is the jeweler trustworthy?
Most of us only buy fine jewelry a few times during our lifetimes, yet those times are emotionally significant for us. Buying jewelry isn’t like making other major purchases. Unless you have a trained eye, it’s difficult (if not impossible) to fully appreciate the value of a precious stone. Since that is true, finding a trustworthy jeweler is worth your while.
- A good reputation and integrity is preeminent in choosing a jeweler. You definitely want a company that will care for her ring for its lifetime. Consider these points when shopping for a jeweler:
- Is the jeweler interested in your needs or does he focus on his own agenda (price, for instance)
- How long has the jeweler been in business? A great warranty is worthless if the company you bought it from isn’t there to back it up.
- Is the company credentialed? Be sure the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or American Gem Society (AGS) has given the jeweler its certification.
- What kind of services are offered? The jeweler should offer a wide variety of services so that you know you can have the ring cared for properly. Do they offer an in-house gemologist who is trained and knowledgeable? How about a bench jeweler so her ring can be repaired or resized?
- Will the jeweler walk you through understanding the 4Cs so that you know what you are looking at?
- Does the jeweler also instruct you on the quality of the metal used in the ring?
Hal Davis Jewelers has been in business for 50 years. The American Gem Society certifies all their gemstones and diamonds, ensuring a quality product you can believe in. Professionally educated gemologists are on staff, too. Hal Davis Jewelers maintains a close relationship with each customer so that they are comfortable having the company take care of their jewelry through the years (cleaning, stone tightening, rhodium plating, etc.)
3. Understanding the 4Cs: color, cut, carat, and clarity
The Gem Institute of America (GIA) made buying diamonds a whole lot easier when they created the 4Cs as a guide. Now we have a universal method of comparing diamonds objectively so you can know exactly what you are buying.
- Diamonds are valued by how close they come to being colorless. The less color in the diamond, the more valuable it is. Even though slight differences in color may be invisible to the naked eye, they make a big distinction in the value.
- Cut determines the allure of a diamond more than any other factor. The fire, sparkle and brilliance are affected by cut, and a diamond cutter must be very precise to maximize the characteristics of the cut.
- Carat weight is the measurement of how much a diamond weighs.
- Clarity is based on the number of blemishes and inclusions visible in the diamond. These “flaws” are a natural result of the formation of the stone in the ground, and the fewer inclusions and blemishes, the rarer the stone.
4. What’s her style?
This is probably the hardest factor to quantify. There is no “standard” by which to measure personal aesthetic preference. So how do you go about finding out what she’d like to have? Here are a few ideas:
- Ask her girlfriends. They probably have a good idea of what kind of jewelry she prefers and can be your best bet in determining what she’d like.
- Check her Pinterest account. She has probably posted rings that she likes, and you can probably figure out if she prefers white gold, platinum, yellow gold or even rose gold.
- Pay attention to the jewelry she already has. Does she wear yellow or white gold? Is it traditional in design or modern?
- Consider having a custom ring designed just for her. Hal Davis Jewelers can make a ring that will be uniquely hers.
5. What size is her finger?
Okay, maybe this one is the hardest question. Short of asking her and giving away the surprise, you may just have to guess. But that’s okay, because if you buy from Hal Davis Jewelers, they can easily resize the ring if you guessed wrong.
6. How much is in your budget?
Sticking to a budget when buying an engagement ring can be tough, especially if you have no idea what you want. Here are a few tips:
- Don’t fall for the old adage that an engagement ring needs to cost one or two times your monthly budget. Determine a budget you can afford, and stick to it.
- Know what you want in a diamond. Remember that cut is the most important characteristic of the stone, and be willing to compromise a little to get an aesthetically pleasing ring and still stay within your budget.
- You don’t have to buy the biggest diamond. A slightly smaller stone can save you lots of money, so look at 0.8 or 0.9 carats instead of 1 carat.
- Consider white gold over platinum. They look quite similar, but white gold is much less expensive than platinum.
7. Will you want to upgrade the diamond or mounting someday?
Of course, you don’t absolutely have to know the answer to that question up front. But if you have the idea that you might want an upgrade in the future, then knowing what the jeweler will do for you in this respect is a good idea. Two of the designer brand at Hal Davis Jewelers—Michael M and Tacori—offer up to 75% credit for upgrades. Hal Davis Jewelers offers up to 100% credit on diamond upgrades. That means if you decide to upgrade her diamond ring after your initial purchase, HDJ will buy your original purchase back and give you a credit towards your upgrade.
Now that you have an idea of what’s involved in choosing and buying a diamond engagement ring for the love of your life, all that’s left is to pop the question. Although we can help you with your purchase, the poetry behind your proposal is up to you!