Posted by: anxiouslyengaged | September 8, 2008

A Man’s Guide to a Girl’s Best Friend…

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when you’re thinking about buying a ring.  They fall into two categories: the practical, technical information about diamonds and regular, old advice.


First the advice, the most important rule of buying a ring is: never ask a girl to marry you if you don’t already know her answer.  Or you can always follow my roommate’s advice: Make sure that the jeweler has a nice return policy.


Tradition says you’re supposed to spend three month’s salary on the engagement ring.  That’s a nice frame of reference but don’t feel like it’s set in stone. Everyone wants a great ring, just remember that no one wants to start married life off with $40,000 on your credit card because she said she had to have the Hope Diamond. Now that I’ve got the big brother lecture out of the way, let’s get down to brass tacks.  When you decide to get that diamond, look for the 4 C’s: Carat, Clarity, Color and Cut.


1. Carat — The weight.  Bigger diamonds are harder to find so they cost more.  Some people say bigger is better and some people save some money by getting a lot of little diamonds on the ring.  Small diamonds are more common and so one huge diamond costs more than a pile of small diamonds, even if they total weight is the same.

2. Clarity — Sometimes not-diamonds get into the mix when the earth is making diamonds.  When they do, the diamond can get cloudy spots. The scale for grading diamonds’ clarity goes from Flawless, which means they can’t see anything when they magnify it 10 times, to Included, which means you might be able to see something if you look at it in the right light. 

3. Color — The color of a diamond is graded on a scale from D to Z.  A through C are so colorless they are invisible and consequently quite hard to find. The less color, or the closer to D you get, the more expensive the diamond will be.  When the diamonds is below Z, they say it’s a funny color on purpose and they charging you more for it.

4.  Cut — This doesn’t have to do with shape.  It has to do with the facets, which are the flat planes on the diamond, and the angles.  And that affects the way the diamond catches the light, they’re what determine how sparkly the diamond is.  (And you thought that you’d never need geometry…)


What’s important is to remember is that you’re buying the ring for her.  Make sure it’s what she would want.  Don’t grab what you think looks cool or what is the cheapest.  She’s gotta walk around with that thing on her hand all day, every day.  Be kind.  But most importantly, don’t ask her until you know what the answer is.


Written by Aaron Rowley







  1. DCLA Diamond buying advice

    Many consumers experience a great deal of uncertainty when purchasing a diamond, particularly an engagement diamond. This is not unjustified with the increased incidence of treated diamonds, synthetic diamonds and diamond simulants, no to mention incorrectly graded diamonds. Whilst some retailers may take advantage of unsuspecting consumers, there are some easy ways to ensure a smart purchase and avoid the tricks.

    The do’s and don’ts of diamond buying

     Buy from a reputable jeweller. One that sells with genuine certificates.
     Buy with a diamond grading certificate from an independent and recognised laboratory. This ensures you have a natural, untreated diamond that has been graded accurately.
     Read the certificate carefully and rely on that information.
     Compare prices only if you are comparing certified diamonds. This allows you to compare prices without unknowingly sacrificing quality.
     Be cautious of “sales” which appear to be genuine but are nothing more than a large discount off an inflated price.
     Be cautious of internet retailers offering a huge selection of diamonds. Often many are not available and it is a classic baiting scam.
     Buy a diamond that is cold laser inscribed. This identifies the diamond and ensures you get the one described by the certificate.

     Don’t buy your diamond overseas, buy locally. This ensures you have recourse if anything is wrong.
     Don’t buy a diamond without seeing it first. The internet has become the perfect marketplace for selling the “leftovers”.
     Don’t buy with a bogus certificate. If you are unsure check on the laboratory.
     Don’t accept the seller’s valuation or certificate as accurate, it is not independent and may be overstated. Grading laboratories do not sell diamonds. This represents a significant conflict of interest.
     Don’t accept unknown certificates or photocopies of the original certificate.
     Don’t shop based on price alone, this generally results in a lower quality not a better deal.

    Knowledge is key to any decision. Certification is vitally important to ensure you make an informed diamond purchase.

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