The thought of buying an engagement ring and diamond is incredible daunting and could give the groom-to-be and soon-to-be-engaged man cold feet -- in terms of attempting to make a purchase without some much-needed help. Sure, that help could come in the form of an overly anxious girlfriend who isn't shy about suggesting what ring or style she'd like -- as in she takes you ring shopping and points vehemently at the exact ring she wants.
But what if you don't have that type of female direction just yet as part of your relationship. More questions than answer begin to abound.
What kind of diamond do you buy?
How much should I spend?
What happens to me if the wrong diamond is purchased?
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All good questions that thankfully can be answered with the well-known "four C's" within the jewelry business: carat, clarity, cut and color. These four engagement ring and diamond staples are the backbones of the buying process.
Using these indicators as guides is a sure-fire way to make your purchase as impactful and engaging as possible. Ring cost is directly related to the first category -- the carat. Most engagement rings hover around the $2,000 to $3,000 mark on average but buying a ring on a budget isn't a terrible thing as a Â½ carat can still net plenty of second-looks for as little as a few hundred dollars.
A common misconception is that carat and cut are one in the same. According to most expert jewelers, cut measures how the diamonds are melded together and the overall design as opposed to the value. Cut is about showcasing the diamond at its best.
Color isn't quite what you'd like but rather a grading system using letters to determine quality and rareness. The color yellow is found in most diamonds and the scale of color works its way either up or down from the predominant yellow color. But don't strain your eyes too hard or overly concern yourself with color -- you can't see it unless you've decided to bring your magnifying device with you.
Clarity is a measure of imperfections within a particular diamond; again, not something that most consumers can spot without the help of an expert jeweler on standby. "Flawless" is the term used to describe the absolute perfect clarity for diamonds.
Keeping color, clarity, cut and carat in mind certainly bodes well for customers and makes for a more pleasurable shopping experience. Truthfully, most men probably don't keep them in mind, other than cut and carat. The biggest mistake is not asking about the other two out of ignorance or the feeling that it just doesn't matter.
But perhaps the biggest "c" word is one that is worth more than just a mention: compromise. The most important aspect of diamond buying to keep in mind is choosing the one that best fits the style and affection for your significant other.
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