The engagement ring is a dream most women have had since they were little girls, and while they do come in all materials and styles, the most popular and desirable by far is the solitaire ring. That lone diamond that commands presence and beauty and symbolizes the love of a lifetime.
But as romantic as the notion of that ring may be, choosing one can be equally confusing! We recommend doing a bit of research before entering your jewellery store, to avoid last minute confusion or a purchase that you later regret. After all, this is one ring that will be worn for a lifetime!
And when it comes to solitaires, there’s no escaping the technical basics of the 4Cs. Here we list them out for you to make a more informed decision.
While the round diamond is by far the most popular, there are multiple other shapes in which a diamond can be bought, and more importantly, the price gets impacted by your choice as well. The round shape also happens to be the most expensive cut available in the market. You may want to try out something different, such as the Marquise, Princess cut, Pear, Heart or Emerald shape to see what suits the bride’s finger and looks the best.
We keep hearing the term carat used loosely regarding your jewellery’s quality, but what does this really mean? While a lot of people believe it has to do with your diamond’s size, it’s actually a measure of the weight of the stone. Hence, a 1 carat diamond would not come in a standard size, but varies on the basis of the cut and shape as well. Based on the carat measure of your diamond, you could be shelling out anywhere between Rs. 50,000 to 2 lakhs for your precious stone!
One of the methods to bring the ring of your dreams a little closer to your budget is to shave off a tiny amount of cents (1 carat is made of a 100 cents) from your diamond. 10 cents reduced does not affect the size or look of your diamond significantly to the naked eye, but definitely impacts the price at which it is sold.
Believe it or not, there are multiple colour ranges for your diamond, and not all are pure white and sparkly! The range starts from D, which is the rare absolutely colourless range, and heads all the way to Z, the latter of which have a slight yellow tinge. Not surprisingly, D-F are the most expensive range of diamonds and the price goes down as the colour changes. Makes sure you ask your jeweller exactly what colour range your diamond falls in!
Of course, this colour spectrum does not include the extremely rare pink and blue diamonds, which cost much more than a D diamond!
Last but not the least, the fourth C – Clarity, is something inherent to a diamond, and cannot be altered by human intervention. As with the colour chart, there is also grading of clarity starting from FL-IF, VVS1-VVS2, VS1-VS2, SI1-SI2, I1, I2 & I3. The clarity grade depends on, if the diamond is flawless without any inclusions (FL-IF), and the amount of imperfections visible under magnification of the naked eye, with I2-I3 standing for an imperfect diamond. Again, an FL diamond would by far be the most expensive, with your price range reducing with each grade. Rings can fit a little better into your budget by a small change from VVS to VS, which might not really show as much of a difference in quality to the naked eye, but makes a much bigger difference in price!
Some people prefer selecting their diamond separately, and then having it set into a ring of their choice. Either way, the band is also an important choice along with the diamond. While gold is beautifully classic, platinum is classy and new-age. Do think about what you prefer, in terms of your skin tone and the look of your ring. Moreover, the design of the band can completely define how your ring looks. Whether you want a plain band or a prong setting, do see different catalogues to get a better idea of your dream ring.
We would also suggest looking for a certified diamond, to ensure quality of purchase. There are multiple agencies such as the IGI & GIA who offer certifications, so make sure you ask your jewellery store manager for this!
So put on your research hat, decide your budget and see what specifications you prefer, because the final price of your ring is going to be dependent on all the qualities mentioned above. Moreover, ensure you know what you’re buying, and don’t get duped into purchasing a lower quality product for a higher price!