When it comes to both rings and relationships, it takes time to come to the right decision. Finding the perfect partner is the hardest part, of course—but once you’ve found the person who completes you, these tips will make finding the perfect engagement diamond a breeze.

Research Is Key

A pair of engagement rings from Alex & Co.

The first step to buying is researching any and all things diamond: styles, cuts, trends, sizes, shapes, settings, and more. There are resources everywhere, from websites to wedding magazines. Even the recipient’s existing jewelry offers insights into her taste and preferences. The research phase is also time to pay attention to pricing in order to set a realistic budget based on the desired ring qualities.

Setting the Budget

In the past, suitors relied on the “three-month” rule of thumb: three months of his salary should be spent finding the perfect engagement ring. However, even with financing, that budget is unrealistic to many people. Instead, the budget should take into account taste, need, and financial situation to offer a balance between size and quality.

Choosing the Jeweler

Proposing is a big decision, and it’s important to work with a jeweler who understands the importance of the occasion. A good jeweler won’t rush the decision but will spend time helping the buyer explore different styles, cuts, settings, and other options. When it comes to a ring that will sit on a loved one’s finger for years to come, good jewelers want their customers to spend as much time as they need to feel confident that they’ve found a ring that expresses their unique journey.

The Four Cs

The four most important qualities of a diamond are cut, carat, color, and clarity. The best-looking stones will have a balance between these four Cs, but ultimately, clarity is probably the least important factor for those on a budget. Our diamond calculator helps explain the relationship between the four Cs, but here is a quick introduction:

  • Cut. Cut does not mean the diamond’s shape; it refers to how symmetrical and well proportioned the diamond is cut. This determines the diamond’s brightness (the white light reflected from the inside and outside of the diamond), fire (the distribution light into colors of the rainbow), and scintillation (how much it sparkles). Ideally, aim for a grade of Very Good to Excellent.
  • Carat. Carat is the weight of the diamond, and one carat equals 0.20 grams. Clarity becomes more important as carat weight goes up, as flaws are more noticeable in larger diamonds.
  • Color. Color really means colorless, and less color is better. The most valuable diamonds are Colorless or Near Colorless on the grading scale. Any more color and the diamond will look slightly tinted or yellow. Usually, you begin to notice yellow tinting around “I” color grading and as a result most people prefer to “H” color or better.
  • Clarity. This refers to how clean the diamond appears in terms of visual characteristics. All Diamonds have clarity characteristics, only Flawless have no inclusions or blemishes visible at 10x magnification. Most people choose diamonds with minor clarity characteristics as long as they are not noticeable to the naked eye and do not affect the brilliance of the diamond.

Build Your Ring Today

Ultimately, the most important factor in choosing a diamond is its value to you and the person you’ve chosen it for. Alex & Co. carries a large selection of ideal cut diamonds and engagement ring settings, and we’d be honored to help you pick out the ring that tells your love story. We also do custom designs for truly one-of-a-kind pieces. Call us at 617.965.8777 or request an appointment today.