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Tips to Buying an Engagement Ring

ebruary is a popular month for diamonds, with millions of couples becoming engaged on Valentine’s Day, alone. If you’re thinking of popping the question—and proposing with a diamond bauble—here are some important shopping tips to help you make the smartest purchase.

Ignore the 3-Month Salary Rule

Spending the traditional two to three month’s salary is no longer the case, says Salim Shamy of LaViano Jewelers in New Jersey, a popular destination for engagement rings and wedding bands. In fact, in 2010, consumers spent an average of $5,392 on an engagement ring—or roughly, 10 percent of the average U.S. household income. These days, the purchase depends largely on one’s financial situation, disposable income and savings. “Don’t go beyond your ability,” says Shamy. “If you prepare to spend $10,000, just make sure you’re getting the best product at $10,000.”

Before walking into a jewelry store, have some idea of what you want. Learn what makes a diamond special and what kind of diamond your special someone might prefer.

A diamond’s rarity—and therefore its price—is determined by four unique characteristics: the Four C’s: carat (the weight), clarity (the degree of flaws or blemishes), color (from colorless to yellow) and cut (the shape). This is the universal grading system used to objectively compare diamonds.

Pay Special Attention to the Cut

A diamond of a smaller carat, but with an exquisite cut, could take on the appearance of a much pricier gem. So much so that Shamy of LaViano Jewelers rates a diamond’s cut or shape—ranging from excellent to poor—as the most important purchasing criteria, because it helps to determine its brilliance or “sparkle.” The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) agrees, saying that the “allure of a particular diamond depends more on cut than anything else.” Some of the key factors in a diamond’s cut include its proportions, symmetry and polish.

Choose the Stone First, Setting Second

Gem experts advocate buying a loose diamond first, then deciding on its setting. The diamond, after all, is the most important and expensive aspect of the ring. You want to be able to pick the best stone that fits your budget, and when the diamond is loose, you’re better able to evaluate its 4 C’s. Preset diamond rings tend to be slightly more expensive, as well.

Request Certification

All diamonds should come with a stone certificate, a document from an independent third-party authority, such as the GIA or the American Gem Society (AGS), which verifies its authenticity and description. Reputable jewelers should provide this without hesitation. If not, take that as the ultimate red flag that the diamond is not all its hyped up to be. The GIA Diamond Grading Report, for example, provides technical information, such as the dimensions, quality and characteristics of a loose diamond. For added piece of mind—and for insurance reasons—you may also want to have the diamond valued by an independent appraisal specialist.

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16 Comments

  1. This was helpful. Thanks!

  2. Selinor578 says:

    I agree too. It's all just a ruse to make you believe you've gotta have a ring on your finger. I wonder is that story true where back in the 1930s or some time guys came from the diamond mines to Hollywood and payed a load of money to the directors to always make a big deal if there was a scene about a woman being engaged. Like a huge fuss between her and her friends…"Oohhhh let us see the ring. Oooohhh isn't it beautiful. It's all a big con to fool the suckers out of months of their salaries.

  3. Taras Selich says:

    Good day! I'm John.I did -40 lbs last 2 weeks.More here hddiet.gs#y89X
    

  4. brown55061 says:

    Diamonds are not forever lol. It's a result of pressure and crap in the ground, and slaves dig them out of the dirt. My bet is less than 1% of women on the planet know this, care about it, and are worth even 1 carat. Materialism at it's best!

  5. freegibran says:

    Rubbish, diamonds are actually worthless. 

  6. John Dudley says:

    We offer top quality of Diamond Engagement Rings, Engagement Nscd Diamond Ring,  Nscd Diamond Ring  at affordable price.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LLICP9O

  7. its the thought that cpunts

  8. Kjernekar says:

    Diamonds rarity? Hahahaha, yeah sure.

    Those things aren't rare at all, its basically glorified pebbles on a ring.

  9. 5 tips for men buying rings. Don't buy her one, let her buy you a motorcycle at 3 months of her salary and ask you to marry her. Funny how women all bitch about equal rights and equal pay. Yet we're suppose to shower women with pathetic gems and diamonds that cause death around the world. What kind of selfish pigs feel so self entitled to have kids turned into slaves so they can show off to their girlfriends.

  10. $10,000 for a ring nah!  put that money on a house or a honeymoon 50% of people end up getting divorced anyways.

  11. Rosy Daryl says:

    We have the different variety to get the best diamond engagement rings at our Kathana's online store.

  12. Men, don't do it. It's too risky and just not worth it. Divorce rate is now 65%. 80%+ of all divorces are filed by the wife, no fault. Further, most married men are miserable, sexless and trapped. The outlook for the US jewelry industry after 2020 is dismal (look it up online), and for very good reason. Fewer middle and upper class men are deciding to marry at all (because of the risks), and fewer women are willing to "settle" with marrying men who fail to make more money then they do. If you really want to know what being married to any woman is like, find a fat and ugly woman who despises you, has zero respect for you, and kicks you in the testicles 52 consecutive weeks of the year. Then go buy her a house. Congratulations. You now know what people mean by "happily married". 3 months salary? No. Instead buy yourself a motorcycle, or a 3 week vacation to Thailand.

  13. Sasha Evelyn says:

    you should also check some reviews and other things, as described well on http://www.diamondspeacearmy.com/how-to-choose-your-engagement-ring-store/

  14. Sir Iodine says:

    If my pay is 225K per year should I buy a 24 carat diamond ring with a pure californium base?

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