The One Engagement Ring

By Lesley-Ann Graham


You love her and you want her to be permanently part of your life. You’ve decided that you want to let the whole world how you feel by putting the rock on her finger. Only problem is, you’ve never done this before and know nothing about jewelry.

No worries, you can do this! You just need the help of some very special people to help you get the ring ready in time for your proposal. Are you ready to meet your team?

The first of your accomplices is family – her mother and/or her sisters. They know your fiancée really well – they should, after all they’ve known her all their lives.

They can tell you what she likes and what she doesn’t in terms of style. They also have access to her jewelry box, just in case you need to borrow a piece or two for comparison and for her ring size.

Your next accomplice is a jeweler. Now he’s not going to appear out of thin air. There’s no magic lamp that you can rub to find him. You’ll have to do the search the old fashioned way – research.

You’re looking for an honest jeweler. Forget searching the mall, they rarely know what they’re selling. You need someone who will help you find the perfect gem for your lady and who can create the perfect setting to match it. He also needs to be someone who understands finances and can, and will, give you options that work within your budget. One way you can tell if you’ve found someone you can work with is if they give receipts that indicate refunds as well as the proper certificate for the stones you purchase

What certificate you ask? The certificate issued by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or another equally reputed independent lab, to help you identify the true value of your diamond. It will tell you all about the various points that make your stone unique. You’ll find that no two stones are exactly alike and this piece of paper can help you avoid getting scammed.

Now there are 4C’s that you need to know so that you can choose a true gem for your fiancée. The 4C’s stand for cut, clarity, color and carat; listed in the proper order of importance when choosing a gem. All these traits for your particular piece should be specified in the matching certificate.

The cut of a diamond is pretty simple to determine. You are looking at 2 aspects – the shape and the quality of the cut. The artisan who handled the diamond will shape the stone ideally to bring out the inner fire of the diamond. He will carve the stone shaping it into a specific geometrical pattern such as a round or an emerald by creating facets. These flat walls bounce light off each other creating that sparkle that women all over the world love. This is what they call brilliance.

You need to keep in mind 2 things. First, what shape suits her finger best? Conspirator number one will assist you here. Are her fingers long? Then maybe she’d like the marquise or emerald cut. On the other hand, she may have very small hands. Why not go for a princess or radiant cut instead? If you’re unsure go for the standard: the round brilliant. In quality, ideal is the highest rating followed by very good then good then fair and finally, poor. You can’t really tell the difference with the naked eye. Still, it’s a good idea to stay with good or better. You can save yourself quite a bundle by choosing a very good cut instead of an ideal, and still end up with a gem your lady will love.

Now, every gem has some imperfections. The good news is, they are not visible to the naked eye. The one with the least imperfections are called flawless and they are so rare that they are truly expensive. If you’re watching the budget, ask for a diamond of clarity of at least very slightly flawed (VS1 or VS-2) or higher, so that you still get a good gem without breaking your bank.

If your girl will go for tradition, she’ll probably go for the clear diamond. If she’s an avid Hollywood fan, she may prefer to follow the growing trend in colored diamond. General rule: the more colorless the piece, the more expensive. Clue: choose a piece between grades D (colorless) to H (nearly colorless). You can’t tell the difference in color by just looking at it but you will feel it in your pocketbook.

Lastly, the weight or size of the gem is the least important. As your co-conspirators may tell you, quality is more important. Just to let you know what carat is though, it is the metric system by which a diamond is weighed, at a 100 points to a carat. The important thing to remember here is that your jeweler should give you the specific carat weight of each diamond not the total of all the stones in the ring.

Once you’ve chosen, have it made into a ring. A popular setting is platinum, which looks even more beautiful as it ages and is a really tough material. There are so many possible settings, you’ll be truly grateful for your conspirators. Keep in mind that a beautiful gem needs a beautiful ring to accentuate its beauty so take your time choosing. It calls for as much care as the gem did.

Soon, your jeweler will deliver your beautiful ring. Don’t forget to check that the certificate and the actual piece match. All you’ll need to do next is decide how you want to propose. Best Wishes!

About the Author: Lesley-Ann Graham runs – a valuable wedding planning resource with articles, tips and advice to help you plan your perfect wedding!