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Vashi Nanwani Dominguez, founder of one of the UK’s leading online engagement ring retailers DiamondManufacturers.co.uk give his five top tips for choosing the perfect engagement ring your partner will love.
Before I start, the most important thing to remember is enjoy this moment. There is no need to get stressed or panic about getting it wrong before you have even started. Just remember, when you finally come to pop the question that she loves you for who you are and will probably just wonder what took you so long.
The “correct” budget is the one you feel comfortable with. You don’t want to be a cheapskate but over-extravagance has caused many a headache in relationships.
The first step in choosing a ring she’ll love is to look at what jewellery she already wears and what rings she looks at when you’re out together. Does she like modern, fashionable jewellery or classic and elegant rings, earrings and necklaces? Does your partner have a preference for a specific metal, such as silver, white gold, yellow gold or platinum? It is quite likely that she will wear the diamond engagement ring alongside other pieces of jewellery, in which case it would make sense not just to go with the precious metal she prefers but to match existing jewellery.
Carat- One carat is 0.2 grams and the more your stone has the more it will cost. That’s obvious but what is not quite so obvious that larger stones are disproportionately more expensive than smaller ones. A 1 carat stone costs much more than twice a ½ carat stone. Choosing a stone is a balancing act between the 4 Cs with a little less here meaning you can have a little more there. Cut- The cut determines the amount of light reflected back to the viewer. A well-cut stone throws light back at you giving the sparkle and brilliance we prize. But a less well-cut stone will allow light to escape through the sides and back of the gem, giving a duller appearance. Not really what you buy a diamond for. The most popular shape and cut at the moment is the Round Brilliant, for which by the way you will pay a premium because it is so popular, but there are many, many other cuts and shapes. Your jeweller will help with information and advice but ultimately it depends upon what you think looks good
Clarity- Clarity denotes the number of flaws in the stone both internal (inclusions) and external (blemishes). It is true that a completely flawless stone will reflect more light than a flawed one, but at the higher end of the market we are talking of differences indistinguishable to the untrained eye - but very distinguishable to even the most untrained wallet. Colour- Diamonds range from colourless, grade D, to brown or yellow at the lower end. An easy way for a non-expert to tell the difference, however, is to look at the price.
Choosing the correct ring size for your partner is always a challenge. If you are able to measure one of her existing rings or bring it along to the jewellery store, the jeweller will be able to provide you with the most precise size. If not, ask your partner's mother, sister or one of her friends if they know her finger size. They may be able to find out by casually swapping rings with her. What if it’s not the correct size?
Once you have bought your engagement ring and placed it on your fiancée’s finger, insurance cover may not be your first concern. It is worth checking whether the ring is covered by your normal insurance policy though, because you should not assume that it is automatically insured against damage, theft or loss.
For anyone who is still feeling a little confused, DiamondManufacturers.co.uk offer straightforward online buyer guides as well as a team of diamond experts available for live chat online, on the phone or in person at their London Covent Garden office. They are on hand to help you create and make the right ring purchase decision.