DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RINGS ADVICE
Why diamond engagement rings?
A diamond symbolises everlastingness – a diamond engagement ring is therefore a symbol of an everlasting unity between two individuals as a prelude to marriage. Aside from being symbols of everlastingness, diamonds make practical sense over other gemstones for engagement:
- Diamonds are the only gems that combine sparkle with hardness. Diamonds score the maximum 10 on the MoH scale of hardness whereas all other gems score lower and over a lifetime of daily wear: other gems that are not diamonds are subject to chipping and abrasion over time so that if worn daily in rings, they will periodically need re-polishing to remove minor chips and pits.
- From a colour point of view: white diamonds will match with anything clothing whereas coloured gems will clash with certain colours. For both these reasons – coloured precious gemstones are more popular as occasional jewellery such as dress rings that are worn occasionally or in pendants/earrings rather than as engagement rings.
- Diamonds retain and appreciate in value more than any other gemstone. In a classic diamond solitaire ring, the main value (>80%) is in the central diamond rather than the rest of the ring. The market for gems other than diamonds is a lot smaller and more volatile
What style is most popular? Solitaire diamond engagement rings (that is a ring with a single diamond) are the most classic and popular choice for an engagement – as an engagement ring is worn daily for life, the diamond engagement ring has to look good every day not just when you are in your 20s or 30s but also as you go forward through 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond. Other classic designs are solitaires with small diamonds on the shoulders. As we have an in-house design team – we can create any style and design of jewellery. We have made thousands of designs in our 25+ years – the rings gallery on our website shows 100+ examples. See http://www.bestdiamonds.co.uk/rings_gallery.asp?p=all. The main value is in the diamond – if you not sure of design then you can propose with a loose diamond in a special presentation case and let your fiancee choose the ring design.
Which shape diamond for a diamond engagement ring? A round brilliant diamond is the most popular and the most sparkly shape: it looks good in any carat weight. – 80-90% of all diamonds are cut in the round shape in line with the demand/popularity of this shape. After round brilliant: princess cut diamond is the most popular fancy shape: its a more contemporary shape: 5-10% of all diamonds are cut in the princess cut shape.
Here is a picture that shows how the different shapes compare – all these diamonds are 1.01 carat each. From left to right is shown:
1 Princess cut, 2 Round brilliant, 3 Pear shape, 4 Oval, 5 Asscher, 6 Cushion,7 Marquise, 8 Emerald cut
Other fancy shapes are much rarer (ranging from 1 in 100 to 1 in 10,000 in line with their more limited demand and appeal) and look better in larger carat weights – its best to have your fiancee’s help or some prior knowledge of what she would like if you are choosing a fancy shape to know that it will appeal to her – will she be the 1 in 80-90% who likes a round brilliant or will she be the 1 in 100 that likes a pear shape or 1 in 8000 that likes a cushion cut diamond..?
- Pear and oval shapes suit those with long fingers and are most popular in larger carat weights
- Emerald cut and asscher cut diamonds are favoured by those who like art-deco and prefer their diamonds under-stated as emerald cut diamonds have the least sparkle. Asscher cut diamonds are square emerald cut diamonds – though asscher has more sparkle than emerald cut diamond they do not sparkle as much as princess cut or cushion cut diamonds. As emerald and asscher cut diamonds are so see-through they require higher quality diamonds
- Cushion cut diamonds are popular in vintage-style designs that help outline/emphasise their shape: each one is unique in shape from oblong through to squarish - cushion cut diamonds look smaller than the same carat round brilliant diamond as the cushions require more depth
- Radiant cut diamonds have the same outline as emerald cut but have more sparkle – they are most popular in larger carat weights requiring larger budgets
- Marquise and heart diamonds are the least popular shapes: marquise cut diamonds were at the height of their popularity in the 1980s:
What carat/size of diamond? The answer to this depends entirely on your budget: diamond trade prices increase exponentially with carat weight: a one carat diamond costs 4 times the price of half a carat, a 0.7 carat is around half the price of 1 carat, a 1.5 carat diamond costs double the price of 1 carat and a 2 carat diamond costs nearly 4 times the price of 1 carat. If budget allows then larger carat weights diamonds are more desired though we offer a lifetime free upgrade: you get 100% of your diamond’s purchase price (trade price is set in US dollars per carat), less applicable VAT and the cost of the jewellery setting, toward a more expensive diamond. The diamond and its grading report must be in their original undamaged condition. As we specialise in selling higher value diamonds, the majority of our clients buy over a carat or more and upgrades are usually only sought after several years marriage or after children if the starting diamond is less than a carat.To find out prices see http://www.bestdiamonds.co.uk/request_diamond_price.asp
Should I surprise her? This is a decision that only you can make – about 80% of our clients are men who choose to surprise her with an engagement ring, 15% are couples who come and select together or he comes but comes pre-armed with knowing what shape and style of ring she would like and about 5% are women who come and choose their own ring.