LWP Tips: Engagement Rings
1. When it comes to picking out the perfect engagement ring, we always hear about the 4Cs. Can you briefly explain to us what the 4Cs are?
I’ll try to talk about this in layman’s terms, so that the readers, specifically the men, can easily understand.
The 4 C’s are the four standards of describing a diamond: Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat.
Color. Super basic. It literally talks about the color of diamonds. The International Diamond Grading System uses the letters D-Z to describe the presence of color in a diamond. The closer it gets to D, which is almost colorless, as clear as the waters of Linapacan Island, Palawan, the whiter and purer it is! Of course, it follows that its value goes higher also.
But did you know that diamonds come in different colors too? Fancy colored diamonds come in purple, yellow, pink, blue, green, brown and even black! Colored diamonds have a separate grading system than colorless and clear diamonds.
Clarity talks about the “imperfections” of diamonds. Because diamonds are formed within the Earth, its attributes are far from perfect giving them internal flaws that we call “birthmarks” or inclusions. They sometimes look like small dots, lines, clouds or blurred blobs which can lessen the brilliance of a diamond.
On the clarity scale you’ll find “FL” or Flawless at the top, which is the cleanest, and “I” or Included at the bottom. FL means the diamond has no birthmarks within the stone yielding a flawless, clear-cut appearance. Perfect. Period. For the I Grade, the flaws are seen by the naked eye, which will affect the stone’s brilliance. People usually go for the VS1-VS2 clarity because although the inclusions are there, they are not visible to the naked eye, providing the diamond ample brilliance.
Cut. Diamond cut is not its shape. Cut is the proportion, symmetry and polish of a diamond. The cut determines its capability to refract light. The more it is able to refract light, the more brilliant, sparkly and obviously pretty the diamond gets. For example, two diamonds have the same clarity, color and carat but different cut. If you put them side by side, the diamond with the excellent cut will appear more brilliant giving it the illusion of a bigger face despite having the same qualities as the other. This is a bit more challenging to determine compared to the other standards.
Carat. Carat is, contrary to popular belief, a diamond’s weight not its size. The carat (weight) of diamonds can be determined by weighing them on a scale and not by measuring them with a ruler.
2. There are so many different cuts (shapes) when it comes to the diamond/stone. Is there a style that’s more popular than the others based on your customers?
The best seller would always be the round shaped diamonds. I guess it’s because it is considered a classic and round cut diamonds are the more brilliant ones. Usually my clients choose the solitaire setting, on a dainty band, to make the stone stand out.
3. The most obvious choice in picking out the stone is obviously a clear diamond, but lately we’re seeing more women wearing colored stones, moonstones, and other birth stones on their ring fingers. Do you think these trendier styles will last?
Nowadays, a lot of women like their engagement rings to reflect their personality, style, and way of life. Most of the time, it is the boyfriends who take their girls’ preferences in consideration. We had a lot of clients who specifically ordered for their girlfriend’s birthstone while others also look into what the stones symbolize, like Rose Quartz for everlasting love or Blue Topaz for loyalty. Will it stand the test of time? Of course! The beauty, quality and unique meanings of these precious stones are just as timeless and as classic as that of the diamond.
4. What is the best guideline to determine the carat size that you can afford?
Diamonds are actually more complicated than we think. If only I can give a price point based on the carat size of a diamond but it doesn’t work that way. All the qualities of a diamond have to be considered before its price is determined. Therefore, it is essential to define your budget. For example, if you have a budget of Php20,000 and want to propose with a big stone, I would suggest considering buying a colored stone instead of a diamond or get a small carat diamond instead.
5. What is the minimum clarity you would recommend?
Ideally, we all aspire for FL (Flawless). However, since these kinds of diamonds are hard to come by, and are really expensive, the next best thing would be to get a VS1-VS2 since its flaws are not seen by the naked eye but still has the same amount of brilliance.
On the other hand, if the receiver cares more for the overall look of the ring, an SI (Slightly Included) will be just fine. Some brilliant cut diamonds with SI clarity can be eye clean making it a more affordable option.
6. What are the latest engagement trends you see and would reco?
Although having a surprise proposal is sweet and climactic, nowadays some girls pick and even design their own engagement rings. I even had a client who was proposed to with a paper origami ring and was asked to pick her own real engagement ring afterwards. Why not? The girl is the one who will wear the ring anyway.
Just a tip for guys who want a surprise proposal, creating dummy Instagram or Pinterest accounts and following your girlfriend’s accounts will give you an idea of her design pegs.
If you’re still at a loss, you can always ask @littlewhitepouch for some help.
7. How much do you think should one spend on a ring?
The real question is.. How much do you love her? Hehe kidding. The price of the ring doesn’t determine the love you have for your girlfriend so please always consider your status and finances when spending for a ring. Don’t let your heart buy the ring, leave that to your wallet!
Remember an engagement ring is conjugal property once you’re married. This ring isn’t just for her, it is for you both, for your union. So if you are willing to splurge, go on! Diamonds are definitely a good investment.
8. For those who are on a budget what would you ask them to prioritize out of the 4Cs? Do you have any tips for them, too?
Honestly, aside from the 4C’s, another “C” that you have to prioritize is CREATIVITY. There is no one way to propose; there is no one type of ring to propose with; and there is not just one type of stone that she’ll say yes to! Expand your options and be open to get to know other gems aside from diamonds.
And to the girls, I’ve said this before, “Ringtention.” See the intention of the ring, not just the ring.