F.A.O. Jewelers: Mid-Michigan’s Best Jewelry Experience
Guide To The Perfect Ring
Step 1: What’s Your Budget?
The first step when buying jewelry is to establish a budget. It seems like everyone has conflicting ideas of what an appropriate budget is when buying jewelry; this is especially true when it comes to buying an engagement ring. We’re here to set the record straight: there are no rules when deciding your budget for an engagement ring or any piece of jewelry. It all comes down to what you’re comfortable spending.
Remember – With financing options available at F.A.O. Jewelers, you won’t have to worry about breaking the bank. We’ll describe financing options, later on in this guide.
Step 2: Choosing a Stone & Shape
The next step in the F.A.O. Jewelers’ process is to choose the right stone & shape for your piece of jewelry. This step is especially important for anyone buying an engagement ring.
The centerpiece of any engagement ring is the stone itself. Usually with engagement rings, natural-mined, princess cut diamonds are the most popular choice, but they’re certainly not the only choice. More and more couples have been choosing alternative gemstones and shapes for a unique look.
At F.A.O. Jewelers, we boast one of the best selections of diamonds, gemstones, and jewelry options in the nation. When you come in to visit our store, your jewelry consultant helps you find the perfect gemstone for your engagement ring, or any other piece of jewelry.
Popular Diamonds and Gemstones
Natural-Mined Diamonds: Most popular stone for engagement rings, the hardest, most scratch-resistant material known to man. Diamonds really are forever.
Lab-Grown Diamonds: Using high pressure and other nature-mirroring techniques, lab-grown diamonds have the same chemical, visual, and physical properties as naturally mined diamonds, at a fraction of the cost.
Moissanite: With possible meteoric origins, this diamond-like space stone is so rare in nature that they’re now grown almost exclusively in labs.
Sapphires: Famous for their beautiful blue color, sapphires can actually be found in a wide gamut of colors, some even have color-changing properties. It’s no wonder why the likes of Princess Diana, Jackie Kennedy, and Victoria Beckham have all had sapphire engagement rings.
Rubies: These deep red gemstones are the perfect embodiment of passion, romance, and love, making them a perfect choice for the center stone of an engagement ring.
Emeralds: As one of the most easily recognizable precious gemstones, emeralds make a stunning and unique choice for an engagement ring and will leave everyone green with envy.
Morganite: For subtle, understated beauty, morganite is the perfect choice. These soft-pink gemstones create a stunning look as the centerpiece of any engagement ring.
Diamond and Gemstone Shapes
Round: By far, the most popular shape of diamond for engagement rings.
Oval: Has a similar shape to the round diamonds, oval-shaped diamonds give the illusion of a larger stone while maintaining the allure of a round cut diamond.
Cushion: With a history stretching back 200 years, cushion-shaped diamonds combine a square shape with rounded corners for one of the most classic looks of any diamond shape.
Pear: These pear-shaped diamonds combine the shape of marquise and round-shaped diamonds for a beautiful, unique look.
Princess: First introduced in the 1980s, the princess cut is the most popular of the “Fancy Shape” diamonds.
Marquise: With an elongated football-like shape, marquise diamonds have one of the greatest surface areas of any diamond shape.
Asscher: Asscher cut diamonds have a similar style to emerald cut ones, but with a square shape instead of rectangular.
Emerald: The large, rectangular shape of emerald shaped diamonds produce a “hall of mirrors” effect that is absolutely breathtaking.
Radiant: Similar in shape to cushion and princess-shaped diamonds, radiant cut diamonds create a stunning and vibrant look with complex and beautiful facet patterns.
Heart: The unmistakable heart shape of these diamonds create the perfect symbol of love, making it an excellent option when designing your engagement ring.
Step 3: The 4 C’s – Color, Clarity, Cut, & Carat
When choosing a stone for your engagement ring, especially a diamond, it’s important to keep the 4 C’s in mind: color, clarity, cut, and carat.
Most gemstones come in a wide array of colors depending on where and how they are found. To better classify and rate the different colors of diamonds, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) came up with a standardized scale based on letter grades. The scale goes from D, completely flawless and colorless, to Z, yellow/brown color. This is not to be confused with “Fancy Color” diamonds, which have colors that are outside of this spectrum, like blues, pinks, and reds. Fancy color diamonds are some of the rarest and most valuable stones on earth.
GIA’s Diamond Color Scale
D-F: Flawless, colorless diamonds. The most sought-after, highest value diamonds.
G-J: Near colorless diamonds. The difference in color between these diamonds and flawless ones is so small you’d need to be a gemologist to tell the difference.
K-M: Faint colored diamonds. Slightly more yellow/brown than G-J diamonds, but nearly undetectable without doing a side-by-side comparison of a more flawless diamond.
N-R: Very light colored diamonds. These diamonds have a slight yellow/brown color that can be detected by the naked eye.
S-Z: Light colored diamonds. These are the diamonds on the lowest end of the spectrum, with a more noticeable yellow or brown hue.
Clarity is the Second “C” to keep in mind when buying a diamond engagement ring. This refers to the number of flaws inside (inclusions) and outside (blemishes) the diamond. Just like the color scale, the clarity of a diamond falls within its own scale, from FL (flawless) to I (included).
GIA’s Diamond Clarity Scale
Flawless (FL): Describes a diamond with no inclusions inside or blemishes outside.
Internally Flawless (IF): Diamonds without inclusions inside, but few blemishes on the surface.
Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS 1&2): Diamonds with inclusions that are difficult to see under 10x magnification.
Very Slightly Included (VS 1&2): Diamonds with inclusions that are somewhat noticeable under 10x magnification.
Slightly Included (SI 1&2): Diamonds with inclusions that are noticeable under 10x magnification.
Included (1-3): Diamonds with inclusions that are obvious under 10x magnification and affect both the brilliance and transparency of the stone.
Not to be confused with the shape, the cut is what really determines the beauty and allure of your diamond. The quality of cut when it comes to a diamond largely depends on the quality of light reflection and refraction within the stone. Cut qualities are determined by three traits: brightness, fire, and scintillation.
The brightness of a diamond cut describes the light that is reflected from the diamond. Also called “brilliance”, the quality of a diamond’s brightness depends on the amount of light that gets reflected back to your eye. This is achieved through well-cut facets that accurately reflect light back out the top (table) of the diamond.
While brightness of a diamond refers to reflected light, “fire” refers to the refraction of light through the spectrum. Similar to the effects of a prism, a high-quality cut on a diamond allows for light to be broken up into the rainbow colors of the spectrum, creating a beautiful and intricate effect.
Finally, scintillation refers to the way light sparkles across and within a diamond. Best seen when the diamond is in motion, scintillation happens because of the brilliant contrasting between light and dark areas within the diamond. It’s basically the life of your diamond.
The carat of a diamond refers to the weight of the diamond and is not to be mistaken with karat, in reference to the purity of gold. This standardized unit of measurement means you can buy a 1ct diamond in the United States or in Botswana, and it’ll be the exact same weight.
One carat equals 0.2 grams, which is about the same weight as a paperclip. As the carats go up, so too does the value of the diamond. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the Carat is only one of the 4 C’s to consider when buying a diamond, and they all matter.
Step 4: Metal Color & Setting
After deciding on what stone, shape, and cut you want, it’s time to think about the type of metal and setting you want to complete the look. The type and color of metal used for your ring, along with the setting arrangement, should perfectly accent the type of stone being used.
Best Metals to Use for an Engagement Ring
Step 5: Financing & Insurance
When it comes to purchasing an expensive piece of jewelry you do not need to expect to pay all of that cash upfront. There are options to finance a ring with a loan through your jeweler. Using loans to make these major purchases can be a smart financial move so that you can still keep extra cash on hand for the moment.
Once you have figured out a payment plan that fits your needs, the next step is to insure your ring. Ring insurance protects you from risks such as physical loss of the ring/diamond, theft or damage. Typically, there are options for insuring your ring through your jeweler.
Reach Out to Us Today For All Your Fine Jewelry Needs
Ready to start the next chapter of your life?
Schedule a FREE appointment with one of our
specialists and learn how easy it is to find
exactly what your special someone is going to
love with the help of one of our experts!
Reach Out to Us Today For All Your Fine Jewelry Needs
Ready to start the next chapter of your life? Schedule a FREE appointment with one of our specialists and learn how easy it is to find exactly what your special someone is going to love with the help of one of our experts!