THE PERFECT ENGAGEMENT GUIDE
The Buyers Guide
WHAT TO BUY?
The hardest part is over you have met the woman of your dreams
BUT now you have to pop the question which brings us to the "buying the ring" part.
The 2 major considerations when choosing a ring
1st is the diamond itself and 2nd is the setting, which is what makes it individual.
Traditionally, its said that you should spend two months salary on the perfect ring, but its not by means a hard or fast rule.
All diamonds and diamond jewellery are tailor made to your hearts desire and can cost anything from R20 000- R100 000 or more. While you obviously want the best there is to give, every gentleman's budget differs before popping the question.
While this is no time to be stingy, its a good idea to learn a little about diamonds to ensure you're getting the best possible deal. Working out the maximum you can afford, and sticking to that figure is much smarter than trying to show you care by overspending
Experts determine the value of a diamond based on four criteria, which are known as the FOUR C's
Here are a few basics to bear in mind when choosing the perfect diamond for your fiancee
What does your diamond engagement ring say about you?
The highest colour grade available is a D, and the lowest is a Z. Colour grade F, G and H are all excellent value,
with F being the most expensive and H the least.
All of these are white diamonds and the difference between them is hard to see with the naked eye.
Finally, gemologists and jewellers have differing opinions on something called fluorescence, which is a natural property some diamonds have that causes them to glow under ultra-violet light. Some believe this affects how the diamond looks even when it's not under UV light - just to be on the safe side, where possible, we suggest opting for a diamond graded that has little or no fluorescence.
Without getting too technical, go for a diamond with clarity in the range between S1 and VS1, with no black inclusions. Experts look at whether the diamond shows any cloudiness (this can prevent light passing through, reducing its sparkle) or "inclusions", which are tiny flaws that appeared in the diamond while it was forming.
It is possible to buy a diamond with a higher clarity rating than VS1, but difference in beauty is not visible to the non-expert.
The cut is the man made aspect of your diamond. This is extremely important, because the quality of the cut affects how light passes through the diamond, creating the sparkle. Triple excellent is the highest possible cut grade, meaning the diamond reflects the most light and sparkles the most brightly. The grading scale goes all the way down to Poor, but for something as important as an engagement ring, it's unwise to go any lower than Very Good cut.
We at Buraq Diamonds highly recommend going for Triple Excellent whenever possible - it is more expensive, but the visible difference in beauty makes it worth the extra spend.
Carat is the weight of the diamond, which corresponds to its size. The higher the carat, the bigger the diamond. however, carat does not reflect the quality of the diamond - a large, high carat diamond might not have the best cut, colour or clarity.
Size isn't everything
The setting is what gives the ring its individual style - antique or modern, subtle or statement. engagement rings are available in a variety of precious metals, including platinum, titanium and white and yellow gold.
With traditional yellow gold go for 18k gold, as it wears well and will maintain its rich colour over the years. White gold is also beautiful, but it will need replating every few years to maintain its colour and shine - platinum does not require this extra attention.
If a white metal is more your partners style, we recommend 950 grade platinum - not only is it beautiful, its extremely durable and hypoallergenic, both important qualities when a ring is going to be worn every day.
If you plan to surprise your soon-to-be spouse by proposing with the ring in hand, it's important to get the size right, so get your hands on a ring belonging to your partner and get those measurements before committing to buy.
If you don't trust yourself to "borrow" a ring without being noticed, consider enlisting her best friend, flatmate or mum to help. Another option is to simply measure her favorite ring's diameter as accurately as possible and put it back - most jewellers will be able to work with that. Alternatively, proposing with a diamond in a temporary setting, as described above, may help you avoid this issue entirely.
At any reputable jeweller, all the relevant information about your diamond will be available on something called a GIA certificate, which proves that is has been examined and graded by the Gemological institute of America. The GIA is considered the official worldwide body responsible for valuation and grading of diamonds and its ratings are consistent where ever you go, creating a level playing field for large and small jewellers.
This means that whether you shop in person or on-line, at home or abroad, you can compare prices knowing you're looking at the same quality diamonds, certified by the same experts. By comparing 'apples with apples' in this way, an informed buyer (that's you!) can make real savings.
THE PERFECT RING IS COMPLETE
And now you're ready to propose!