With so many colors and shades to choose from and so many variations of ring designs, how do I start going about choosing the engagement ring of my dreams? Here are ten practical suggestions when considering choosing a colored diamond engagement ring.
1. Decide to start with a setting style or a diamond color
There is a lot to think about when choosing a colored diamond engagement ring, after all hopefully this is a once in a life time purchase and you want the ring to be close to perfect, as possible. It helps to be systematic. Either first focus on the stone or focus on the ring setting and think about a preference or idea that's been in the forefront of your mind. Save pictures of diamonds or ring settings you've seen and develop a clear metal picture of the elements of the ring that are most important, and prioritize them. For example I love the idea of "a pastel purplish pink round diamond" or " a fiery intense yellow radiant diamond".
2. Custom made or off-the-shelf.
Is the ring of your dreams readily available, I.e. in stock and ready to purchase from an online or brick retailer, or are you going to need to custom make your ring, by choosing a loose diamond and ring design. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Custom rings can be created exactly to your specification, as long as they stay within budget. However they can take between 3 weeks to a month to create. You also won't see the final product until it’s made. An off-the-shelf ready-made ring can be purchased and receive immediately and you see what you get. However you may need to compromise slightly on the design, or look around until you find a ring that fits your requirements and budget.
3. Pick a retailer that can give you the best advice and guidance.
Whether you’re buying over the net or at your local jeweler, look for someone that specializes in natural colored diamonds and has years of experience in creating jewelry of that nature. The retailer should have extensive knowledge and resources to help you choose the right stone. Slight differences in shape, make, color, secondary tone, size and clarity, can make enormous difference both to how the ring will look and its respective cost. You should choose someone you can trust and rely on, when making this relatively expensive decision.
4. Think about a rough idea of your budget
When you're planning a budget for your engagement ring, don't forget about the wedding ring. Are you going to want a plain gold band or a diamond wedding ring? Your budget will guide you as to whether you can choose a yellow diamond, a blue diamond or pink diamond and of course its color intensity and size. If you know roughly how much you are willing to spend, then it will provide a better focus as to the choices available. If it’s one partner purchasing an engagement ring for the other, then you may need to get used to the idea that your partner may have expectations that need fulfilling and you may need to splash out a little more than expected.
5. Learn a little about the costs of different diamond colors and the categories of ring styles
One thing that may help is to learn about the costs of different colors and materials. Pink and blue diamonds are way more expensive then yellows and browns. A 1.00Ct Fancy Intense Yellow diamond can cost around $9000 to $10,000. However a Fancy Purplish Pink Diamond of the same size can cost $200,000...a big difference. A platinum ring setting can cost $500 more than the same design made in 18K white gold. So your expectations will start to change, the further along the learning curve.
6. Matching color intensities
If you are mixing more than one diamond color in the same engagement ring and want to achieve a balance and harmony of colors, make sure that the colors are of complimenting intensities. For example if you set vivid yellows next to light greens or blues. The yellows will totally dominate the greens.
7. There are ways to save on costs
If you’re strict on budget and trying to safe costs it will help, not to be adamant about a sticking to a specific diamond size. For example, the visual difference in size between a 0.90Ct diamond and a 1.00 Ct diamond can be barely noticeable, however the price difference can make a huge difference. Choosing a colored diamond with a secondary tone or with a lower intensity can save a lot. As I mentioned in previous articles, a vivid color can appear garish; a more pastel color can be preferential and give an exquisite and delicate look to the finished engagement ring
8. Choose a suitable metal type
Be aware of the metal type and color, that will compliment both the diamonds you've selected and your budget. Platinum even though it’s more expensive, won't lose its color over time. Gold will oxidize, according to the amount of other alloys mixed with it. Also white gold, tends to be Rhodium plated and that will wear off after a while and will need to be re-plated. It’s really important to choose the right colored metal for the colored diamond you're choosing. If you picked a Fancy Light Pink or Light Pink diamond and intend to set it in white gold, you will barely see the color. To 'show-off' the color, you will need a contrasting diamond color next to it. For light pinks it’s good to use rose gold with perhaps some light gray blue diamonds next to it.
9. Don't forget to think about the wedding ring at the same time
Planning for your wedding ring at the same time as your engagement ring will help in choosing the style of the engagement ring; will clarity issues of spacing between the two rings; will save headache later on and will save on costs. Expect a discount when purchasing both rings at the same time and if the jeweler doesn't offer it, then ask for it and if they refuse, then find another retailer.
10. Make sure you have the right finger size
Make sure the ring finger size is correct. You can check at your local jeweler or measure a ring that is already in your possession. Take into consideration finger temperature, and any periodic conditions such a pregnancy or illness that may swell the fingers. The knuckles may also be large, which also needs to be taken into consideration.