As if finding “The One” wasn’t hard enough, finding THE ring for “The One” can be an even more stressful and confusing ordeal. The thing is, it shouldn’t be! The whole process should be exciting and teach you new things as well as open up the doors to a whole new chapter in your life. To get you prepped and looking forward to the ring finding process, here are 4 areas to take into consideration before you really jump into the search.
1. The 4 C’s
Jewelers throw around the 4 C’s as if everyone in the world should know what they are, when in truth, most of us who haven’t needed to go diamond shopping before have no idea what a single C is or what the C means.
Without going into every intricate detail, the short version is this: The 4 C’s stand for Carat (the unit in which the weight of the diamond is measured), Clarity (how flawless or devoid of scratches and imperfections the diamond is), Colour (exactly what it sounds like), and Cut (the width and height, as well as the symmetry of all the faces on the diamond).
Each C has its own grades and levels which affect it’s pricing. Obviously the larger the diamond, the more perfect the clarity, the clearer the colour, and the more intricate the cut, the more expensive the diamond is going to be.
When choosing a ring, your budget determines which C’s are your top priorities. For most of us who don’t have a money tree growing in our backyard, it’s helpful to figure out which C matters more to you. This is all based on personal preference as well as the taste of the person you’re buying for. Some people are willing to sacrifice on the size of the diamond if it means the clarity and colour of the diamond are higher whereas others believe size is more important since the naked eye can’t always see the imperfections of a diamond. Then there are those who feel like the cut is the most important since it can make even a smaller diamond seem more brilliant by the way it catches light and sparkles. Ultimately, it really is about personal preference.
2. The Alternatives
We’re raised to believe that THE ring has to be a diamond ring, but we live in an age where there are a lot of other options that are just as, if not more eye catching and beautiful than a diamond. Other than for the purposes of tradition or status, diamond alternatives can make the engagement ring truly unique (not to mention save you quite a bit of money.)
Here are just a few diamond alternatives that are growing in popularity and are definitely worth looking into as part of your options.
- Moissanite: A lab-made stone that sparkles as well as any diamond and is almost as hard, making it quite durable and worth the money. It is significantly less expensive than a diamond. Where it lacks slightly for some is in colour. Moissanite tends to be less white than a diamond, but they are able to be made in a variety of colours.
- Asha: Even less expensive than a Moissanite, this diamond alternative made from diamond carbon bonds is a step up from a cubic zirconia (probably the lowest end of the clear coloured diamond alternatives), but quality wise, it does lack in the durability and sparkle department.
- Precious Stones (Sapphires, rubies, emeralds, topaz, amethyst): so much attention is given to diamonds that people forget about how gorgeous and outstanding precious stones can be, especially with a beautiful setting and maybe accent diamonds on the side if you really want there to be diamonds somewhere on the ring. They come in colours that diamonds just can’t replicate, and like the other diamond alternatives we’ve mentioned so far, you’ll be spending far less on a ring with a precious stone versus a classic diamond ring.
3. The Options
Just like the stone in THE ring, you have plenty of options when it comes to WHERE to get THE ring. People tend to run straight towards chain jewelry stores found at the nearby mall when they really should be exploring all their options in order to get the best deal.
- Second-hand rings shouldn’t be overlooked! Although this option requires you to be very careful and to do your research extensively, getting an engagement ring second-hand from sellers on Kijiji can not only save you money, but get you one of a kind or antique rings that just aren’t found in stores.
- Buying online is also another possible cost-effective option, however, just like with the second-hand ring option, the key to a successful online ring-purchasing experience is asking as many questions as you can, researching the right type of questions to ask, and checking out reviews as well as asking around for people who have used this method.
4. The Style
Last but not least, consider the style of the person you’re buying THE ring for. Ask their friends, snoop around their closets, take sneaky pictures of jewelry they already own and use all these clues to find out what type of ring they’re going to gravitate towards. Rings don’t just come in one style- there are modern rings, celebrity imitation rings, vintage-style rings, deco-rings with intricate designs, two-tone rings (mixing metals), or classic rings, to name just a few. Knowing the style of the ring you want is crucial because the way the stone is set, the designs on the band, and the overall look of the stone is based on the style. It’s not only about the stone in the center of the ring.
At the end of the day, The One is going to love whatever you pick because it came from you, but if you’re going to be shelling out a significant amount of money, you’re going to want to think about all your options and really do some thinking and researching before you choose your final ring.