Engagement Ring Shopping Tips
Here are a few useful tips (and videos at the bottom) you should keep in mind when you are shopping for your perfect engagement ring.
(i) Become familiar with the 4 C's, useful videos here.
(ii) Know your budget - people selling you a ring are great at making you spend more than you want so know your limit and stick to it
(iii) Most jewellers will ask 'Whats your budget' - don't tell them your real budget as they will usually show you something above this price
(iv) Most jewellers will try and pressure you to select platinum as there is higher margins in it. While gold is less expensive and just as good if not better. See metal advice for more information
(v) Talk to many jewellers and try on many rings so you know what you like as you will be wearing this for the rest of your life.
(vi) For guys thinking of popping the question, ask the jeweller about the return policy in case she does not like it.
(vii) Use a reputable jeweller with a physical location so if something goes wrong they can fix it there and then.
(viii) There are some money saving tips listed below, be familiar with these as they are useful
(ix) Try and haggle on price. most jewellers have a high markup on their rings so don't be afraid to look for a discount or even something free like a free wedding ring
(x) Try on the wedding ring with the engagement ring to ensure it fits tight together as a gap can be frustrating.
(xi) Make sure the wedding ring and engagement ring are the same metal otherwise they may colour at different stages
(xii) For rings you see and try on and like, being a camera to take a picture of it and try and get a price of the ring in the photo too as viewing many rings later they day can get confusing (what ring relates to what jeweller and what price etc)
(xiii) Get a valuation cert with your ring as an insurance company will want this if you choose to insure your ring separately
(xiv) If shopping abroad be careful and try and get independent expert advice where possible. Recommendations are key. If something looks too good to be true it generally is.
(xv) Enjoy the process as it is the first stage of the wedding process and the only stage that will be worn for ever.
Money saving tips
(i) 18k White gold is less expensive than platinum and palladium is less expensive again. I would not recommend 9k white gold as it is less expensive again but not suitable for a good quality engagement ring
(ii) If your move down one or two grades on the diamond colour (don't go below i) you will not notice with the naked eye but could save big.
(iii) If you move on the clarity down a few graded (don't go below VS2) you could save a good bit here too
(iv) Carat is the weight of the diamond, or the size. Select a carat which is just below a 'magic number'. For example a 0.95 carat diamond will be significantly lower than a 1.0 carat diamond with no difference to the naked eye and a big difference in price
(v) Cluster engagement rings are smaller diamonds set together to give the appearance of one large diamond. The cost of four 0.25 carat diamonds is significantly less than one 1.0 carat diamond
(vi) All jewellers can provide a certificate for a diamond but they add a cost to the diamond. All jewellers have uncertified diamonds which simply mean they are not verified as being the colour and clarity the jeweller says. A cert could add 40% to the cost of a diamond.
(vii) If you buy the wedding rings at the same time you will usually get a better deal and always ask for a discount
(viii)Diamonds are expensive. Other gem stones may be an option like sapphire, emerald or ruby which are less expensive (usually).
(ix) Avoid large high end jewellers with huge overheads. Some jewellers in Ireland in main streets charge excessive markup on their products. We at bespoke diamonds have minimal overheads and benefit from bulk buying and passing on the savings.
If you have any queries feel free to drop me a mail or give me a call to assist in any way.
See our contact details