If you love her then you better put a ring on it, according to Beyonce. But before you invest your hard earned cash in a sparkler to wow your lady in waiting, there’s a few things you need to know to ensure you get the best bling for your buck. The 4 Cs. That is, cut, colour, clarity and carat. And this, my friend, is how diamond quality is measured around the globe. Brush up on the below 4 Cs before you hit the jewellery stores.
Sounds simple, but the ‘cut’ is not the place to cut corners. No, no. In fact, this is where you – and your wife-to-be – will see the skills of a quality jeweller truly shine and just how much the gem’s cut can affect its overall appearance. How so? Well, according to Wallace Bishop designers, who are celebrating 101 years of quality craftsmanship and jewellery design, the cut affects the gem’s sparkle, which can make the gem appear bigger than it actually is, as well as affecting the gem’s brilliance and bling factor. This is not the C to skimp on. Go for the best cut your buck will buy.
Sound like a pro: Diamonds are ranked on a scale which takes into account the brilliance, fire and scintillation of the gem, with Excellent at the top end of the scale and Poor at the bottom end. Look for diamonds as close to the Excellent end as you can, and you’ll be making an Excellent investment.
A clear case of ‘less is more’. That is, the less colour the diamond has, the more it shines, sparkles and brilliance it emits. And that is brilliant for both your investment and your betrothed’s hand prancing.
Sound like a pro: Here’s how the colour scale works. Diamonds with a colour scale rating of D, E and F are best, but if you want to save a bit of cashola, gems ranked J or above will still look pretty impressive to the group of gal’s cooing over it at lunch. Steer clear of gems ranked Z and at the less covetable end of the alphabet, as Z is light yellow with poor light reflection. And this diamond is not a girl’s best friend.
Tip: To get her ring size, trace a ring she wears or borrow one from her jewellery box, take it to your expert jeweller to size, or buy her a ring she’ll love and get it resized later. Alternatively, buy her the diamond and let her choose her own ring design
A diamonds clarity is determined by the amount of inclusions it has (inclusions are minerals or tiny fractures within the diamond). Or, in mathematical terms, the clearer the diamond, the less inclusions it has and the more $$$ you’ll pay. But, here’s the thing - some imperfections and blemishes are so tiny that unless your lover and circles have bionic supervision abilities, no one is ever going to notice them. And if it does have a noticeable blemish, a clever jeweller can suggest tricks to disguise it, like a claw setting positioned over the flaw. Although, try to avoid blemishes that sit at the top or middle of the diamond, as these are harder to disguise and more visible.
Sound like a pro: Scale is determined by the amount of inclusions with FL-IF (internally flawless) being the most expensive, followed by VVS1-VVS2 (very very slight inclusions), VS1-VS2 (very slight inclusions), SI1-S12 (slight inclusions) and lastly I1-I3 (included). You can save a bit of moolah by choosing a SI1-SI2 which has imperfections but they are often barely visible.
No idea how much to spend? The old rule of thumb is to spend between one and three month’s salary – but don’t break your bank. No couple should start ‘happily ever after’ together stressed out and in debt.
We’re not talking the garden variety kind here, we’re refering to the diamond’s weight! And this is one of the few times in a bride-to-be’s life that she’ll likely be happy about being on the ‘heavier side’. Of course the bigger the carat, the more expensive it is. But, being the clever blokes that we are, we’ve got a few tricks that’ll alleviate the ‘bigger is better’ pressure.
Sound like a pro: Firstly, a well cut diamond will look bigger than it is and sparkle more brilliantly. Secondly, the setting, or way the gem is attached to the ring can also make it appear bigger. And thirdly, diamonds jump in price at the half-carat and one-carat size. Use this to your advantage and buy your sparkler at just below either of these weights to save big. Win-win.
For a stellar selection of diamonds and engagment rings, speak to the experts at Wallace Bishop today. They can guide you through the process, from style to budget and everything in between.