Engaging with diamonds

 You know it is going to last forever: you’ve chosen the venue ; rehearsed the proposal speech until it’s perfect ;now it’s time to find that special engagement ring that will declare your devotion.

The first thing you’ll need to establish before you step into a jewellery store with its sparkling treasure trove of rings, is a budget.

Tell the jeweller your budget options from the start so that he can show you rings within your price range.

A lot of couples do go in and pick a ring together, but the surprise moment is the more romantic approach but that takes some planning and research on the man’s part so that when she opens that box it’s a gasp of pleasure and not horror.

What’s her style?
If you are planning to marry this woman you should know a bit about her personal style by now and what she favours jewellery wise. When you’re with your girlfriend, take note of the type of jewellery she wears. Does she wear a lot of gold? Maybe she’s a silver or platinum woman. Does she like simple, understated pieces? Or does she favour the big, glitzy variety? Think about her personality; is she an outgoing girl who you know is going to want to show off her ring to everyone she meets? Then go for something big and sparkly. Is she an earthy woman, who doesn’t wear much jewellery at all? Look for rings that are simple, yet beautiful.

You could also take her into jewellery stores and see what her reaction is to different types of rings and get some idea of her preferences.

Ring Size
If it does not fit it’s going to be a huge disappointment and you will then have to take it back to be altered.

The best way to find out her ring size is by measuring a ring she already wears. If you can swipe one and take it to a jeweller to be measured accurately all and good otherwise measure it with a piece of thread.

First the band
The most common metals for the band include yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, platinum, and silver. Each metal has their advantage and disadvantages. For example, platinum is an extremely durable metal and will last a long time. However, it dulls much more quickly than gold, and it’s harder to bring back the initial lustre it once had.

Gold, on the other hand, is shinier than platinum, and because it’s a soft metal, it’s easier to buff and polish it to get back the ring’s original lustre. Gold’s advantage over platinum is also its weakness. Because it’s a soft metal, gold wears down faster. In about 15 to 20 years, the engagement ring may have to be reshanked because it’s worn too thin.

Rings like anything else follow fashions ,and currently platinum or white gold are in vogue but if you have done your research then you will know your girl’s preference and some like the traditional yellow gold band.

Now the fun – the stone
Diamonds or a single diamond is the classic choice. Here in Cayman there are top quality jewellers to help you make a good choice within your price range. Lance Kidder Marketing Manager of Kirk Freeportbelieves, “The most important factor when choosing a diamond is the reputation and trustworthiness of your diamond dealer.  If a diamond is being given to mark an important event in your life that will be symbolized forever through that stone.”

Amir Ronen, Diamonds International Watch and Design Manager says “ go for “‘‘sparkle,’’  a combination of a good cut (by measurements) high colour grading (D-I) and good clarity (that will allow a good reflection and refraction of light without any obstacles that will cause a loss of light  ).To do this he says

“You should look for a wise combination of the four C’s (colour, clarity, carat and cut) which will get you to the ultimate look, sparkle and price.”

The Four CS
Cut. Cut doesn’t refer to the shape of the diamond, but rather the angles and proportions of the stone. While nature determines the other three C’s, the diamond’s cut is determined by a cutter. A well cut diamond reflects light from one facet to another and projects the light through the top of the stone. This is what gives a diamond its sparkle. Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow leak light through the bottom or the side of the stone, resulting in a lacklustre appearance.

Out of all the four C’s, cut is the most important. Even if you have the perfect colour, clarity, and carat, if the cut isn’t right, the diamond won’t have that fiery brilliance.

Kidder recommends sticking with the classic cuts.“It seems that new cuts are invented every year and each one is promoted as being better than the previous.  But the classic cuts outsell the new fad cuts every year.  Similarly, different diamond rating agencies seem to pop up often (and some disappear just as quickly) but I would recommend purchasing a diamond that is graded by one of the older grading agencies that have been established in the industry “forever”.   

And that all important questions does size matter?

Well in the case of diamonds it certainly does.

Ronen explains why

“The larger the diamond, there will be more spectrum -reflection and refraction (the sparkle will increase) plus the size of each facet surface will be larger there for stronger shine and sparkle”.

Selecting the Diamond Shape
In addition to the four C’s, you’ll also want to take into consideration a diamond’s shape. Kidder cautions “Shapes are definitely an individual taste and I strongly urge gentlemen to find out their girlfriend’s shape preference prior to ring shopping – either by asking her directly or working through a friend or family member.  Most women have a preference and since it is something she will look at multiple times every day for the rest of her life, it is a good idea to make certain it is something she will look at fondly.”

So how good are men at choosing a ring? Ronen says ,“most of the time they are quite decisive once they find the right diamond using the staff to guide them properly.”

But he also admits,  “to tell the truth most of the man’s coming to the store by themselves will not have any idea and usually will follow a curtain guiding line that they have received from the ”lady” such as ” only white gold ” only princess cut.”

So follow her instructions get advice from a good jeweller and hopefully you will have diamonds that last forever.

A well cut diamond reflects light from one facet to another and projects the light through the top of the stone. This is what gives a diamond its sparkle.