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The Do's and Don'ts When Diamond Shopping

The Do's and Don'ts When Diamond Shopping

Andrew is your typical guy. If there’s not a motor attached to it, his philosophy is “who needs it!” Gina is the quintessential girl next door. She loves flowers and lazy afternoons and all things pretty. The moment has come for them to go diamond engagement ring shopping. How fun!! Wait, what? Andrew thinks this is going to be, well, hard. He doesn’t know the first thing about diamonds or how to choose one, never mind the perfect one. And Gina is more about the ring setting than the four c’s of the diamond if she is being completely honest. This can be a really fun and rewarding bonding moment for the both of them with some simple tips for diamond shopping. At Perrara, we’ve helped thousands of couples buying diamonds and ring settings. In this article we pass along our complete guide of do’s and don’ts to make an awesome decision.

The Do’s

DO: Be Adventurous

Couples who arrive relaxed and ready to explore the options tend to have the most fun. It becomes a journey of discovery. What is important to each of you? What makes your heart happy? Those who have a willingness to play, try on and discover with an open mind enjoy the process more than those who get bogged down in critiquing.


DO: Know Your Diamond Shapes

In 2023, there are so many innovative and unique diamond shapes in the market. Just yesterday I had a client in with a shape I had never seen before! Understanding a little about the shapes you are gravitating toward will help you choose the perfect diamond. While we’ve published a blog article called “What Is The Best Diamond Shape For An Engagement Ring?” that you can check out, here are some Cliff’s Notes on some of the shapes we commonly get asked about:

  • Round diamonds - by far the most desired, classic, timeless shape of diamond. Round diamonds are also uniquely graded for their cut. This means if you purchase a GIA graded excellent cut, that is the highest grading GIA (the Gemological Institute of America) gives. Round diamonds also tend to “hide” inclusions or flaws beautifully, they are so sparkly that’s what you see first!

  • Asscher diamonds - we are seeing renewed interest in this cut. Essentially a square emerald cut, this diamond shape is very intriguing, like looking into a perfectly clear window. Important to note: asscher cut diamonds have to be cut fairly deep in order to get the right sparkle, so it’s good to be aware that an asscher cut will look smaller than most other cuts if you are comparing carat for carat. Also, as there are very few facets, inclusions will be readily visible to the naked eye so a high quality clarity grade is a must!

DO: Do Your Research

If specific components of a diamond engagement ring are highly important or symbolic to you, do a little research ahead of time. If you’ve heard that diamond cut is the most important of the four c’s, Google different articles and buying guides to understand why some have that opinion. Maybe your ideal ring is crafted out of rose gold. Understanding that rose gold is the softest color will help you choose a ring that not only gives you the color you want but also fits with your lifestyle.


DO: Set a budget & share it

If you have a desired budget for either the loose diamond or the compete engagement ring, share that with your jeweler. It very much helps us to present you with options that are respectful of the budget you’ve set. The great news is there are so many options now to help you get everything you want! For example, lab grown diamonds are a very cost effective way to get a big diamond look for a fraction of the cost of a natural mined diamond (though they too have some factors you will want to understand. We’ve dedicated two separate blogs to the topic: “Lab Grown Diamonds vs. Natural Mined Diamonds” and “Should I Buy A Lab Grown Diamond?” Even with the parameters of say, a yellow gold halo setting, there are still variables which we as jewelers can use to move the needle on the price. 14K white gold will be less than 18K, for example. When we know our boundaries it helps us be creative in helping you to get your perfect diamond ring!


DO: Ask about a return policy

If you are at all concerned that you may want to return the piece of jewelry you are buying, ask what the return policy is at the jewelry store you are shopping at. While we can’t speak to all policies, at Perrara we have a 15 day return policy on items that are unworn and unaltered. Special orders are considered a final sale as they were crafted especially for you and your loved one. Understanding the return policy of your retailer will save you if you have any reservations about the ring setting, the center stone or anything else. At Perrara, we want you both to be happy so please feel free to have a candid conversation on this topic and we’ll brainstorm a way for you to have options in the event a change needs to be made.


The Don’ts

DON’T: Buy a diamond based solely on the GIA certificate

GIA certification is wonderful peace of mind assurance that your diamond was independently graded by a laboratory that doesn’t benefit financially in your purchase. However, the GIA certificate doesn’t make your diamond more sparkly or more valuable. You must see the diamond in person to judge for yourself the beauty and make a decision if this is truly your perfect diamond. Various types of inclusions, fluorescence and the brilliance in fancy shaped diamonds must be appreciated with the eyes of the person making the purchase.


DON’T: Guess on your ring size

The old myth that our feet are the same size as our fingers is not accurate, sorry to burst your bubble! Your ring size is determined by jewelers master ring sizers and some insight into the ring style, your lifestyle and how often the ring will be worn. It is always best to have your finger measured after you have chosen your perfect engagement ring. Yes, in most cases an engagement ring can be re-sized but it’s ideal to get as close as possible right away. For helpful tips on how an engagement ring should fit, you guessed it, we have a blog for that!


DON’T: Don’t rely on warranty

Warranties in jewelry cover manufacturers defect which is very, very rare. Warranty does not cover wear and tear, damage, loss, theft or many other scenarios that life throws at us. No matter where you purchase your engagement ring, add it to your house insurance policy or purchase specialized jewelry insurance. It’s cost is well worth the peace of mind knowing you’re covered if you experience trauma or loss.


DON’T: Don’t forget about the wedding band!

Shopping for your wedding band while you are shopping for your engagement ring is so important. Even though you will most likely not be purchasing it at the same time, you will want to know that you still love the look of your engagement ring with a wedding ring. In my experience, if you love a halo setting or a three stone ring style, you absolutely want to see what the finished set will look like. A wedding band with these two particular ring settings completely changes the look of the engagement ring. It can sometimes sway a potential bride to a different ring style entirely! Trust me, it’s not fun to be a couple of months out from your wedding day and frustrated because you can’t find a wedding band you love with your perfect engagement ring! While a solitaire engagement ring is not everyone’s jam, it does provide unlimited wedding band options. Whether you want simple, diamond or even gemstones, pretty much anything goes with a solitaire!


In Summary:

Shopping for a diamond or an engagement ring is unlike shopping for fine jewelry. Often times an engagement ring is especially made for the client, with their choice of carat diamond whereas diamond jewelry like earrings, pendants and bracelets are purchased out of the showcase. It’s good to understand the process differences and shop accordingly. And don’t worry if it seems a little daunting - we’re here to make the journey fun, rewarding and memorable. We’ll walk you through it, we promise!

With Love, Perrara

Author: Lisa Maloney, Proprietor

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