How to Buy an Engagement Ring
We get it. Shopping for an engagement ring can be totally overwhelming.
At Katie Diamond we believe ring shopping doesn't have to be confusing. Whether you're interested in one of our in-stock styles or are about to deep dive into the custom design process with us, it's our mission to make you feel 100% comfortable and informed every single step of the way.
find your shape.
Have you had your heart set on a specific shape for as long as you could remember? Maybe you love a few and just can't decide. There's also a good chance you won't know what you like until you try different diamond shapes on your own hand. While you're still in the exploratory stages, narrowing down the diamond shape is a must.
While certain diamond shapes will go in and out of style over time, we think the shape you choose should represent your personality and speak true to who you are. Round, oval and emerald cuts are classic. We'd also consider princess and cushion cuts to be oh-so dreamy. Regardless of the shape you choose, it'll be yours to cherish forever and commemorate one of the happiest days of your life. If that's not timeless - we don't know what is!
round oval emerald
Once you can narrow down what shape you love, you can start focusing in on the details. This is our favorite part - the details are what's going to set your ring apart from other similar styles and is what's going to make it feel truly yours when you finally put the finished product on your finger.
find your style.
We love a classic ring because it's timeless. It will never go out of style and someone probably won't be able to look at it in 30 years and be able to guess what year you got engaged. The best part about it is if you're into stacking your rings - as we all are here - it will have a personality all of it's own once you add a few more bands to the party. More on ring stacking here.
solitaire round brilliant diamond with pave diamond eternity band
antique or heirloom.
Intricate pattern and texture work make any ring feel special and one of a kind. Even the most delicate milgrain detail on a setting or band can spark nostalgia and make you fall in love. Are you an old soul? An engagement ring with an heirloom feel may be just what you need to say yes to forever.
princess cut diamond centerstone & emerald cut side stones bezel set with milgrain detail and round brilliant accent diamonds
If you're an alternative bride looking for something fun and different - consider adding some rock 'n roll details to your ring. Having fun with geometric shapes and settings or different side stones can make a world of difference.
three-stone round old european cut diamonds in a clawed prong setting with round diamond, geometric setting eternity band
At Katie Diamond we wholeheartedly believe that a beautiful engagement ring can be created at any budget. There are so many more important things than spending a load of cash on a ring that could otherwise be appropriated towards a home, a wedding, or an awesome honeymoon. Set your budget with what feels comfortable to you. Ask yourself questions like - who is paying for the ring? Do you have any money in savings? What can I actually afford? What other big experiences or commodities do I want to work towards? Only you can answer these questions. Our advice is to be open and honest with yourself and your partner and then stick to your budget. You'll be glad you did later, we promise!
Once you decide on your budget and choose a style you can sit down with one of our diamond experts here at Katie Diamond and pick a beautiful, sparkling stone. We'll bring in diamonds in your preferred shape and cut and keep you on budget. We guarantee there's an amazing stone out there just for you - and we can't wait to help you find it.
the 4 c's.
Diamond buying doesn't have to be overwhelming and we're here to break it down for you.
'Facets' are the term we use to describe all the different surfaces on a diamond. A diamond with an excellent cut has facets carefully cut and positioned to produce maximum sparkle. A poorly cut diamond will appear dull and lackluster so you should choose a diamond with the best cut that your budget allows for your engagement ring.
A GIA Certified diamond will rank a stone on the following cut scale:
Excellent | Very Good | Good | Fair | Poor
In short, cut is the sparkle of the stone ranked from excellent - poor.
It's incredibly rare to come across a truly colorless diamond. While we encourage everyone to know exactly what you are paying for - we always remind our customers that this is probably the only time you'll loop (look at through a special magnifying glass) your stone and/or compare it to others. As long as there's no visible color (yellow, gray, or even pink) to the naked eye, we consider it an amazing stone and engagement ring quality.
A GIA Certified diamond will rank a stone on the following color scale:
D E F | G H I J | K L M
colorless near colorless faint
Diamonds that fall in the D, E or F color category are of the highest quality and have a bright, white, colorless look. Diamonds ranked G, H, I or J in color typically look white and here's where you can get a great value for your money. We usually don't suggest K, L or M colored diamonds for an engagement ring but the right stone paired with yellow gold can make all the difference.
The bigger the stone, the more noticeable it's color can be. For example, you might not be able to notice the color in a diamond under 1 carat that's a K but a 3 carat, K colored diamond would be very noticeable.
Cut also plays into how the color of the diamond looks to the naked eye. The color of a round brilliant diamond will be slightly less important than that of an emerald cut diamond because of the placement of the facets. Emerald cuts have larger tables (one single flat surface on the top of the diamond) which will make color more noticeable while round brilliants have a tendency to bounce the light off all their different facets, or surfaces, and sparkle no matter what.
"Inclusions" are small imperfections within your diamond. Most can't be seen by the naked eye yet the less that exist in any particular stone, the higher the clarity rating it receives and the more value associated with it. Diamonds are all one of a kind and therefore imperfect. Flawless diamonds make up less than 1% of all stones and are incredibly hard to come by- not to mention they're very expensive! In short, you should expect some inclusions in your stone but aim for it to be mostly eye clean.
A GIA Certified diamond will rank a stone on the following clarity scale:
FL | IF | VVS1 | VVS2 | VS1 | VS2 | SI1 | SI2 | I1 | I2 | I3
FL, IF Flawless + Internally Flawless
VVS1, VVS2 Very, Very slightly included. A diamond with this rating will have inclusions difficult for a trained eye to see even under magnification.
VS1, VS2 Very slightly included. A diamond with this rating will have inclusions that are typically only visible under magnification.
SI1, SI2 Slightly included. A diamond with this rating will have inclusions that can be seen under magnification and noticeable to a keen eye.
I1, I2, I3 Included. A diamond with this rating will typically have inclusions noticeable to the naked eye.
The importance of clarity depends on the cut of your stone. Some cuts, like a round brilliant, bounces light off all its different facets and that allows it to hide a lot of imperfections it may have. Inclusions may be more visible in other cuts, like an emerald or asscher.
The carat of a diamond refers to it's weight, not it's size! So, while the carat weight will generally increase as size increases, it's not a linear correlation.
The price per carat of a stone jumps significantly at half and whole marks. So, the price difference in a 0.99 carat diamond vs a 1 carat diamond will be significant. Buy just shy to save some money without sacrificing on size.
All of Katie's designs are feminine and delicate in detail and we suggest the thinnest band possible, that will still support the nature of your diamond, as not to take away from the center stone.
Carat vs. karat: Don't get them confused! Carat refers to the weight of a diamond or gemstone (1 carat round brilliant diamond) while karat refers to the purity of gold (14 karat yellow gold).
above: a close friend looping the perfect emerald-cut diamond for an engagement ring.