Buying a Diamond Engagement Ring
How to buy the perfect ring
To start you on your journey here is a basic shopping guide to engagement rings based on more than 100 years of experiences. It covers diamonds, settings, antiques and ring shopping.
Shopping alone or together
Some people still like the idea of surprising their future partner with a ring, but this is no longer standard practice. Many couples are now shopping together for an engagement ring. Some of the benefits of shopping together are that you and your future partner are much more likely to get rings that fit your fingers perfectly, and suits your unique tastes. It takes an enormous pressure off the ring purchaser and can be the best date yet! At M. Lowe & Company we decided to go with the modern trend, so we are now offering the “Champagne and Diamonds” engagement ring service. Call us to set up an appointment and we will have a chilled bottle of champagne waiting for you. An engagement ring specialist will teach you about diamonds, and you can take your time to try on dozens of rings without any pressure to buy.
Settings and Metals
While the value of a ring is mostly determined by the diamond, we have noticed that most women fall in love with a particular setting. The look and feel of a setting determines the ring’s “personality.” Engagement rings come in white and yellow gold and in platinum. The perfect ring for a lady’s hand is a matter of individual preference, skin tone, finger shape and lifestyle. Some rings have delicately swirling engraving, some have filigree, some have polished, hammered or matte finishes. There are so many variations and combinations and styles, most women have to try on at least 20 before they even start to identify their preferences. Even then we often see women fall in love with a ring that completely surprised them.
There is nothing like the romance and refinement of an antique diamond ring. An antique ring can have a certain magic to it, that defies logic but can make your fingers tingle when you look at it. Antiques can be surprisingly inexpensive, considering their history and the remarkable quality of their craftsmanship. Come into the store to see our collection. We have great examples from many eras.
Considering that you will be wearing this ring every day for years to come, it is well worth your time to spend an hour or two talking to one of our engagement ring consultants. We can give you a level of attention and expertise that is becoming increasingly rare in this modern age of bulk production and mass marketing.
A quick study guide
Diamonds are graded (and priced) according to four basic criteria — often referred to as the Four C’s:
Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat.
Diamond Solitaire Ring: 18K white gold 1.03 cts center stone
Diamond Earrings: 14K white diamond studs 1.13 cts
Cut refers to the precision of a diamond’s proportions. Many people confuse cut with shape. Examples of diamond shapes are round, emerald, oval, pear, princess, or others. The Ideal cut round brilliant makes the most of a diamond’s optical properties and delivers the maximum brightness and sparkle. Round brilliant diamonds are divided into five categories regarding cut: Ideal, Premium, Very Good, Good, and Fair & Poor. An ideal diamond has the best combination of brilliancy (white light), dispersion (the colored flashes) and scintillation (sparkle). That being said, there are many antique and traditional cuts such as rose cuts, European cut and old mine cuts which are lovely and which many people prefer.
Color refers to the the body color of the diamond. Diamonds come in every color of the rainbow, but the color grading chart refers to diamonds that range from (D) colorless to yellow, brown or grey (Z). The differences between diamond colors are extremely subtle. If you are interested we would be happy to show you some diamonds and teach you more about color grading.
Clarity refers to the number and type of inclusions within a diamond. An inclusion is anything that is not transparent crystal. Inclusions can absorb light in a diamond and can reduce it’s brightness and sparkle. The size and placement of these inclusions are described in the following categories:
|F||Flawless||Perfect, these diamonds are extremely rare and are very expensive.|
|IF||Internally Flawless||No Inclusions, but may have surface pits or other flaws. Rare.|
|VVS1, VVS2||Very Very Slightly Included||Minute inclusions in the stone can be only detected by a gemologist with 10x magnification. This group is divided into two categories.|
|VS1, VS2||Very Slight Inclusions||Inclusions can be detected under 10x magnification. This group is divided into two categories.|
|S1, S2, S3||Included||The inclusions are visible to the naked eye. This group is divided into three categories.|
Carat refers to the weight of a diamond. A carat is a 5th of a gram and is divided into 100 “points” so a 65 point diamond weighs 0.65 carats. Pricing and carat weights can be a very tricky business to understand. If you would like a full explanation of carat weight and pricing, you are always welcome to drop by the store and ask an expert.
This exquisite marquis diamond certainly has a history…
If only it could talk and tell us it’s story — 3.84 carats, VVS2 clarity, D color
Diamond Ring Key
- 18K white and 0.4tw diamonds
- 14K white, 1.0 ct SI1
- 18K white, 0.33 tw diamonds
- Platinum and diamonds
- 18K white, 0.73ct SI1 G/H, 12 = 0.22tw
- 18K white, 0.09tw diamonds
- Platinum and diamonds
- Platinum, 1.5ct SI2 H diamond
- Platinum set, 0.6ct emerald cut SI1 G/H, 0.8tdw
- 14K white, 0.6ct VS2 F
- 14K white
- Platinum, 2.26tw diamonds
- 18K white, 0.78ct SI2 F
- Platinum, 2.06ct emerald cut I1 I, 2.75tdw
- 18K white, 0.35ct oval diamond
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Diamond Engagement Ring
Platinum & diamond
Yellow Diamond Ring
14K white, yellow diamond 1.51 cts
Estate Diamond Ring
18K white & diamond