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engagement ring


Do You Hear Wedding Bells?
By Tanya Blok, Sat Dec 10th

So you've been in that perfect relationship for some time now.You've been dropping hints about the future and he is receivingyou loud and clear. It's time to do a little "window shopping."After all, you don't want to leave one of the most importantdecisions in your life entirely up to him, do you? He WILL losesleep over finding that perfect engagement ring, even though hewill not admit it. So why not help him out a little, give himsome guidance and direction.

There are so many choices when it comes to shopping forengagement rings and you and he will hear a lot of advice from alot of "helpful" people. His "Uncle Charlie" will know a guy whoknows a guy. Your sister will tell you that you have to get yourring where she got hers. Your co-worker will tell you about thisreally cool website. And on and on, there will be advice aroundevery corner.

Let's go through some of the available options and identify thepros and cons of each. This should help you both figure out whatthe best option is for you.

Your Local Jewelry Store: Definintely a great place to start. Ajewelry store will have a small selection of pre-set engagementrings for you to see in person, and try on. If you run into ahelpful sales associate that is willing to spend some time withyou and explain all of the nuances of buying diamonds, it willbe well worth your time.

PROS Seeing the diamond in person. Nothing beats the feeling ofseeing diamonds sparkle on your finger!

Talking to a knowlegable human being and getting answers toquestions face to face.

CONS Limited selection. Most local jewelry stores do not havethe financial resources to carry a large inventory of diamonds.However, many stores do work with suppliers who are able to sendthem goods on memorandum (like consignment) if they have acustomer who is looking for a particular diamond.

Price. You will pay more at a jeweler, period. Sure you can tryand negotiate and feel like you got a better price, but ajeweler will not sell you that diamond for less than asubstantial profit. Most jewelers need to make a "keystone"markup on every item, which is double what they paid for thatdiamond. This markup covers the high overhead costs of running astore including insurance, rent and sales commissions.

Antique Shops: If you are looking for a ring that is trulyunique, this is the place for you. You'll need to do some legwork and visit many different stores to see what's available,but it could be worth it in the long run.

PROS Most likely to find a one of a kind ring. If you have theneed to be an original, stick to your search and you will findthat proverbial "diamond in the rough."

CONS Unless you get lucky, expect a long search. You may onlyfind a handful, if any rings in the shops you visit.

Most rings will not have any type of certification or appraisal.Unless you know a great deal about diamond grading, it ispossible to get taken advatage of very easily.

The Internet The Holy Grail and the Bottomless Pit ofinformation, all wrapped in one. By far, you will find thelargest selection of diamonds and engagement rings here, butthat can be


quite overwhelming. Start with the basics and workyour way through this checklist.

1. Shape - Diamonds are cut into 10 most common shapes, butthere are countless other "designer" shapes popping up in theindustry on a regular basis. Most of the shapes are selfexplanatory (round, oval, pear, heart), but do you know what aMarquise or a Radiant looks like? Take a look at the mostcommonly available diamond shapes and decide what you like best.

2. Size - Bigger is better, right? Not necessarily. Unless yourfiance has very deep pockets, you will not be getting a 5 caratboulder to weigh you down. Too many men are convinced that ithas to be big. Would you like to have a big ugly rock that isdull and lifeless on your hand, just so you could tell everyoneit's 3 carats, or would you rather have a beautiful, sparklingbeacon of light catching all of your friends attention. Youwon't have to wave your hand in front of them to notice, theywill come to you!

3. The 4 C's - The most common phrase in the diamond businessand the most important when shopping for a diamond online. The 4C's represent a diamond's cut, color, clarity and carat weight.CUT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF A DIAMOND'S FIRE ANDBRILLIANCE. So many people buying diamonds focus on color andclarity, that cut is often overlooked. You can spend a fortunebuying a flawless clarity and perfect color (white) diamond, yetif it is poorly cut, it will be dull and lifeless.

4. The Mouting Metal - This is basically a matter of personalpreference and what looks best on you. Yellow gold is classicand works best for a solitaire engagement ring. Yellow gold isalso better for mounting diamonds with a lower color grade(yellowish tint), because the yellow from the diamond blendsinto the setting. White gold and Platinum give a modern look andwork best with three stone rings. Be sure to choose a diamondwith a high color grade, otherwise the white moutning willnegatively emphasise a yellowish diamond.

5. The Online engagement ring Builder - The most fun part ofbuying a diamond online is being able to build your own ring.Choose a diamond and a setting, then email it to your fiance.Even if he doesn't buy it online, he will know exactly whatstyle to look for when he goes shopping. No surprises, andeveryone is happy!

There are hundreds of diamond and jewelry web sites out there,but my advice is to stick with the leaders in the field. Ontheir sites, you can browse thousands of diamonds as well asbuild your own engagement ring and see how different settingslook with different shape diamonds. They both have highlyknowlegable and very friendly customer service staff that cananswer questions about diamonds and settings, and offer a norisk 100% guarantee and return policy.



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This page was updated on Nov 2009 and is Copyright © 2003 by Global Com Consulting Inc.