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Engagement Ring Buying Guide

Engagement Ring Buying Guide

Regardless of whether you are working with a diamond wholesaler or retail jewelry store, we recommend you keep the following Diamond Buying Guidelines in mind:

  • Set a budget and stick to it.
  • Have a working knowledge of the 4C’sCut, Color, Clarity and Carat weight – and know how to juggle them to fit your budget.       
  • Be open to learning about factors beyond the Four Cs,  factors that affect the price of a diamond, such as florescence, Polish symmetry, etc.
  • Always look at diamonds on a white background. Black mats won’t allow you to judge a diamond’s true color.

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  • Look at loose diamonds instead of diamonds already in a setting. Look at various diamonds side by side to compare quality, using a jeweler’s loupe.
  • If the size of the diamond is important, consider the elongated shapes.  An oval or pear shape diamond will often look bigger than a cushion or round diamond of identical carat weight.
  • Consider a custom mounting reflecting your own personal style. Custom mountings are originals, created especially with you in mind, and can save you money over pre-made designer mountings.
  • To ensure the value of your diamond, consider buying a certified diamond, with an accompanying GIA or EGL certificate.
  • In order to maximize your purchasing power, consider buying your diamond from a Diamond wholesaler, such as Shapiro Diamonds.
  • When buying bridal rings, it’s customary to first buy the diamond engagement ring then purchase the wedding bands with your fiancé.
  • On an average, wedding bands are bought three months before the wedding day and are fashioned both from the same metal.
  • An engagement ring can be bought and fitted to your fiancée’s finger after purchase. Shapiro Diamonds offers overnight ring sizing at no extra charge to our customers.
  • Round diamonds are the most popular shape worn by brides-to-be.
  • The diamond in an engagement ring usually accounts for 75-90% of the overall cost.
  • The five most common settings for precious gems are: solitaire, halo, three-stone, pavé, and channel.
  • Diamonds are graded by four characteristics: Carat, Cut, Clarity, and Color.

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  • Like diamonds, other gemstones are also evaluated by carat, cut, clarity, and color.
  • Gemstones are priced and sold by weight, calculated in carats, which are 1/5 of a gram.
  • When buying a diamond be sure the color and clarity are the same quality as the side stones.
  • Round brilliant diamonds usually contain 58 facets.
  • Look for diamonds that have no dark areas but an even brilliance throughout.
  • If a diamond has been treated to enhance color or cover flaws, it should cost less than a “natural” diamond.
  • The Moh’s Scale is used to measure a gemstone’s hardness. A diamond is 10. Sapphires and rubies are 9. Topaz is 8.
  • Choose diamonds in the SI clarity range rather than flawless to save money. The SI flaws (inclusions) are not visible to the naked eye.
  • Choose a halo or three stone setting for your diamond to make it appear larger on the finger.
  • Consider the size and shape of a lady’s hand when buying her a ring. Elongated diamonds such as ovals or pear shape diamonds will appear larger and will be more flattering on long fingers.
  • Examine where the ring has been soldered/welded. Make sure the seams are smooth.
  • Platinum, Gold, and Silver are the three precious metals, platinum being the most expensive, the most rare, and the most enduring. White Gold will be the brightest of the three metals.
  • Check that the polishing or texture finish is consistent and has been carefully applied everywhere on your ring.
  • Fine finishing and polishing should be seen throughout the entire piece of jewelry.
  • 24 karat gold is pure gold and usually too soft for jewelry making.

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  • 18 karat means 18 parts pure gold and six parts alloy metals.
  • White gold is often rhodium plated to increase its white luster.
  • Pink or rose gold is alloyed with copper and has a fancy rose to reddish hue.
  • Vintage designs are often chosen for their enduring style and sophistication.
  • Consider how and when the jewelry will be worn when selecting the piece.
  • Natural pearls are exceedingly rare, irregular in shape, and the most expensive kind of pearl you can buy.
  • Virtually all “real” pearls found in jewelry stores are cultured pearls.
  • A cultured pearl will feel rough when rubbed against the teeth, an imitation pearl smooth.
  • Basically, the most expensive cultured pearls are South Sea, followed by Tahitian, Akoya, and freshwater.
  • Purchase your jewelry at a reputable location with professionally trained and experienced Diamond experts such as Shapiro Diamonds.
  • Insure your diamond jewelry against theft, loss, and damage.


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