5 Engagement Ring Shopping Tips to Avoid Getting in Debt
Engagement rings are an investment. And just like any kind of investment, it can be scary to shell out money for something you have no knowledge of. If you’re planning to buy a ring soon, here are 5 useful tips to keep in mind before and during shopping:
1) Do your research – Salespeople can oversell jewelry and can easily exaggerate the value of rings if they get the feeling you have no idea of what you’re looking for. Before shopping around, make sure you know the market for gold, platinum, diamonds, or other precious stones, and your partner’s personality and preference. You should then set a realistic budget based on your newfound market knowledge.
2) Skip branded rings – If you have all the money in the world to spare, branded rings such as “Lucida” from Tiffany & Co. are priced premium just for the name. If budget is a concern, be aware that price doesn’t mean the rings hold added features. You can find an engagement ring with the same quality as branded rings, but with a more budget-friendly pricing.
3) Choose the most important 4Cs – If you’re looking for a diamond ring, but want to stick to your budget, compromise on some of a diamond’s 4Cs – cut, color, clarity and carat weight. Each diamond is graded for its 4Cs using a system developed by the Gemological Institute of America.
The most important diamond characteristic is cut, since this affects how a diamond sparkles. A 1 carat good cut diamond may look smaller than a .75-carat stone with an excellent cut.
Some stores alter the clarity of a stone, using laser to remove imperfections. The end-result would be more beautiful, but the cost is about 20 to 30% cheaper. Such alterations should also be indicated at the GIA grading of engagement rings.
4) Setting can improve a stone’s appearance– A stone with a slightly yellowish tint would look colorless if you choose to set it in gold. Instead of going with white diamonds with the highest D grade, which would be priced higher, you can choose a stone in the lower-priced M-O bracket and still make the stone seem colorless with a golden setting.
5) Paperwork and insuranceare important – Like all investments, a diamond engagement ring should have documentation that details its grade based on standard systems from GIA or the American Gem Society. You should also have it insured, and assessed regularly to ensure its value keeps up with the current market.
Aside from these 5 important tips, it is also best to view engagement rings in person to see their beauty and sparkle. If you’re in Dallas, D.C., New York, or Atlanta, check out the wide range of engagement rings at Ascot Diamonds.
AscotDiamonds.com sells engagement rings that cater to a wide range of budgets, preference, and personal taste. At Ascot Diamonds, you can shop online, have the rings customized, or set an appointment before visiting their stores.