We know once you’ve made the decision to ask that special question choosing the perfect engagement ring can be as equally nerve-wracking for many
We hope this little guide can help you ask the right questions and know when you’re getting a good deal or not.
So the first, and often most difficult question we think you should ask is, how much are you looking at spending? This may seem really obvious but the budget you’re working to really does make a difference to the quality of diamond you can purchase and we want you to have the best possible quality piece of jewellery without you going over budget. Spending more than you have in mind is never a good thing and even though the Chapelle Jewellery stores do offer Interest Free Credit for such diamond rings, helping you spread the cost, it does help having an indication of how much you’re comfortable spending at the outset.
Secondly, take a look at your future fiancée’s existing jewellery collection and see whether she prefers white or yellow jewellery. You may find she likes to mix it up but you’ll probably notice there are a few pieces she wears more often than others and these will give you a good indication of whether you should be looking for white or yellow gold for the perfect engagement ring. White gold has become more popular in recent years but let’s not forget, it’s all down to personal taste and we’re all different!
Now it’s on to what may seem the daunting task of working through the 4 C’s. Although many people think the 4 C’s are there to confuse you the buyer, they were actually created to give a grading system by which all diamonds could be assessed. So the 4 C’s are CUT, COLOUR, CLARITY and CARAT weight.
We’ll start by looking at the CUT. The cut refers to the shape and way that the diamond has been cut. The most popular cuts are round brilliant cut, which feature 57 facets making the diamond sparkle and radiant lots of fire and brilliance, and princess cut. The princess cut is less sparkly as it has fewer facets and is square in shape. Obviously other cuts are around including heart, pear and emerald cut to name just a few but in our experience we find that the round brilliant and princess cut diamonds continue to be the most popular. If you’re not sure then we would always recommend the round brilliant cut as the starting point; this is what many see as the most traditional of cuts for a diamond which sparkles the most.
Next there’s COLOUR to consider. Unless you’re after a fancy coloured diamond where there is a significant colour, for example pink or canary yellow, then the whiter the diamond the better which in turn also means the more expensive it is! Diamonds are graded from D colour, known as exceptional white, at the top and each step down the alphabet reflects a slight change in the colour. The difference between the top three grades (DEF) however is very difficult to tell and these three grades of colour all sit within the ‘colourless category so our guidance is simple; if your diamond is I or above it will look white in appearance. The slightly more obvious yellow hints start to show when you go lower down the alphabet.
Now let’s move on to the third C, CLARITY, which relates to the individual markings seen within a diamond, known as inclusions. A diamond which is graded flawless has no inclusions, is rare and as such costly! One of the strengths of a round brilliant cut diamond is that the cut will hide some of these inclusions more successfully than, for example an emerald cut stone which has a larger flatter section in the middle. We need to see inclusions as nature’s fingerprints and the hope is to keep the visibility as low as possible within the budget you have to spend. For the majority of customers it’s all about whether these markings can be easily seen and whether they affect the way the diamond sparkles. Our advice is simple; try to assess the diamond without an eye glass and appreciate it for how it looks as the bride to be will be wearing it this way.
Finally, we have CARAT which actually is the weight of the stone and not the size, although it goes without saying that there is a correlation between the two! 1 carat is the same as 100 points and, with all other elements of the 4 C’s being equal, when a diamond hits certain weights the price jumps. For example ½ carat is much more desirable than say a diamond which is just under at 49 points. Bigger, or in the case of diamonds heavier, isn’t always better so the carat weight needs to be considered along with the other 4 C’s.
At Chapelle Jewellery we are proud to offer a wonderful selection of diamond engagement rings. The Canadian Ice collection all feature diamonds which are mined from the Northern Territories of Canada, known for very white diamonds, and you have the confidence of knowing the grading of these stones as each ring comes with its very own Birth Certificate. You can even register ownership of the diamond on the Canadian Ice website! We’ve also got a good selection of certificated diamond solitaire rings, in gold and platinum, which have all been assessed by independent gemmologists according to these 4 C’s.
We know choosing the right diamond isn’t easy. A diamond is created after millions of years in the making and whether you have £500 or £5000 to spend you’re purchasing an engagement ring which is unique. It’s all about balancing the 4 C’s and just being aware of these different ways to measure the quality of the stone. We don’t all have the huge budgets of celebrities, so here at Chapelle Jewellery we hope to guide customers through their purchase. The thing is, a diamond which is graded as having visible inclusions can still sparkle and shine and provide lots of joy to the wearer and let’s not forget, that’s what the perfect engagement ring is really all about.