Posts Tagged ‘Diamond Rings’

Debunking the Top Five Engagement Ring Shopping Myths

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

man presenting engagement ring in blue box

Myth: engagement ring shopping has to be one of the most stressful, frightening shopping experience in a guy’s life. Fact: With a little information and guidance, you can pick out the perfect engagement ring without going gray. You can, in fact, be confident in your choice and know that you are buying a ring she will wear with pride for years and years.

The best way to approach buying a diamond ring is to think of it like buying a new car. When you are thinking about buying a new car, you don’t just watch a couple dramatic commercials and then swipe your credit card. You read up on fuel efficiency, performance and handling, fuel efficiency, and then weigh your options carefully, so you know you are buying the model that is right for you and your lifestyle. Personal taste plays an important role, of course, but information is key.

Let’s debunk some of those myths that are making engagement ring shopping such a daunting prospect.

Myth: The engagement ring has to be a surprise.
Although the chick flicks would have us believe that the girl is shocked when the guy whips out that little velvet box, chances are, if you are thinking about marriage, she is too, and you’ve probably even discussed it. She knows what’s coming.

Although tradition would tell you to ask her best friend for help choosing the engagement ring, you should probably do that only if you’re pretty confident in your engagement ring choosing abilities or if you know she loves surprises. These days, more couples than ever are going engagement ring shopping together, which allows the girl to finally get to have an opinion about the one piece of jewelry she will probably wear more than any other. And remember, you can always present a non-surprise engagement ring with a creative proposal that will take her by surprise.

Myth: You have to be a gemologist to know how to pick a good diamond.
It might not be as gripping as Car and Driver, but the educational section of a jewelry website that specializes in engagement rings will tell you everything you need to know about diamonds and engagement rings.

Frequent some online forums where educated consumers will be discussing everything from fluorescence to crown angles. (Don’t worry if you don’t know what those are quite yet.) Focus on the Four C’s—Cut, Clarity, Color and Carat. Try to pick up some of the important vocabulary words so you’ll be able to make an informed choice when it comes time to buy the loose diamond, and remember that it all comes down to personal preference.

Double Halo Amphora Setting and The Katie Engagement Ring

L – Whiteflash Double Halo with Amphora Setting. R – The Katie Engagement Ring

Myth: Women are mysterious creatures, and their choices in jewelry and clothes will never be understood by men.
Especially if you are planning on surprising her with the engagement ring, it is now time to start paying attention to your girlfriend’s taste in everything from jewelry to makeup. Consider her lifestyle—a preschool teacher who works with her hands will probably want a ring with a low profile that won’t get caught on anything, while an interior decorator known for her sleek design concepts will probably be looking for something with modern flair. There are literally thousands of engagement ring settings available, so in order to choose the engagement rings of her dreams, put yourself in your girlfriend’s impractical high-heeled shoes for a few minutes. Would she appreciate the glittery look of a halo setting, or maybe the alternative elegance of a sapphire center stone?

Myth: Engagement rings have to cost exactly two month’s salary.
Once you see all the stunning engagement rings available, it’s pretty easy to let your imagination take hold and start bookmarking engagement rings that cost more than your house. In order to make a responsible purchase, you will want to think about budget very carefully. Yes, a diamond engagement ring is an investment, both literally and symbolically, but at the same time, you aren’t doing your fiancée any favors if you spend money you don’t have on her engagement ring. The two months salary rule is quoted often, but it isn’t set in stone—you have to decide what makes sense for you.

Think long term—reputable jewelry houses like Whiteflash often offer a lifetime upgrade policy—which means that you can trade in your current diamond for a bigger or better one and only pay the difference forever. Also, keep in mind that no two engagement rings are exactly the same—the same dollar amount is going to amount to slightly different characteristics in two different stones. When in doubt, opt for quality (i.e. cut) over quantity, or carat size.

Myth: You are in this alone.
When it comes down to it, you aren’t just going to go online and click “purchase” like an engagement ring was some 2 AM Ebay impulse buy. Before you buy an engagement ring, a qualified sales representative should review all your options with you, making sure you know exactly what you’re getting. (Anyone who guarantees eternal domestic bliss is suspect.) While some customers prefer brick-and-mortar stores for their “human element”, the fact is that online shopping can be a more practical option for many guys. But don’t let shopping online mean you wander alone through virtual aisles of merchandise—the best online boutiques offer friendly and attentive customer service that would put a mall-counter sales clerk to shame.

Platinum Cathedral Pave Engagement Ring and 5th Avenue Ring

L – Platinum Cathedral Platinum Engagement Ring. R – 5th Avenue Engagement Ring

Brides, which of the Whiteflash.com rings featured in this post is your favorite? Grooms, did you encounter any of these myths during your engagement ring shopping experience? Let us know by posting a comment below.

Don’t Buy a Diamond Without Talking to Max

Monday, December 13th, 2010
No, this is not a marquee for a strip club.

No, this is not a marquee for a strip club.

“It’s like Kelley Blue Book, except for diamonds.”

This is how Max’s Diamond Price Guide was described to me when I first heard about it last week.  I have to admit, it’s pretty ingenious. Most guys, including myself pre-engagement, have no idea how to budget for an diamond ring. And why would we? We’re talking about a group of consumers whose collective jewelry buying experience revolves around those coin operated vending machines at the grocery store.

Max’s Price Guides, LLC is an independent resource meaning they’re not trying to sell you anything. They’re simply aiming to provide relevant, timely and acurate pricing that will enhance the shopping experience. What’s not to love? The team at Max’s has over 25 years of real-world diamond valuation experience. Here are just a few of the tools that they offer:

plastic-jewelry-coin-op-vending-machine

Avoid the diamond crapshoot. This isn’t a grocery store. This is one of the most important purchases you’ll ever make.

Pricing information that is updated weekly – Diamond prices often change based on a number of factors within the market. The weekly pricing information on Max is produced using a proprietary system that evaluates vast amounts of actual market prices and relevant, worldwide economic data. In addition to pricing data, they offer research tools, feature articles, news reports, and diamond education resources.

RealMarket Value Search Tool – A tool you’ll us to make sure the price is right. Max’s editors verify and update prices weekly to give you useful, relevant market pricing information. Enter a diamond Shape, Carat Weight, Color Grade, Clarity Grade, and Cut Grade and get a free RealMarket Value report for the diamond. Available values include Suggested Retail Price – In Store, Suggested Retail Price – Internet, Private Party Transaction Price, and the Sell to Jeweler Price. Values are updated weekly.

The “What Diamond Can I Afford?” Tool – This tool helps you figure out the best carat, color, clarity, and cut available in your budget. Through the Max’s Diamond Price Guide site, you can produce a report in minutes that will be your guide to selecting the right diamond within your spending budget.

Find a Local Jeweler – Search for an approved local jeweler in your area using Google Maps. Simple and EASY

Currency Converter – Diamond retails prices are often quoted in local currency. This powerful currency conversion tool calculates prices in a foreign currency.

To connect further with Max’s Diamond Price Guide, check them out on Twitter.

5 Things to Ask Your Jeweler Before Buying a Diamond

Monday, November 15th, 2010

young-couple-looking-at-engagement-rings

Purchasing a diamond is a big step and finding the right one can be pretty intimidating. However, it doesn’t have to be. Before you make your purchase of a lifetime, make sure to ask the following 5 questions to your jeweler.

1. May I see a selection of diamonds to compare?

It’s important to see an assortment of diamonds that fall within your price range. Because buying a diamond is such a big investment, make sure you’ve explored your options before making a decision.

2. Can you tell me how the diamond grades against the 4Cs?
Nearly 50 years ago, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) created the now world-famous 4Cs of diamonds: Color, Cut, Clarity and Carat Weight.
Diamond Color: Measures how close a diamond is to being colorless. The more colorless a diamond, the more brilliant it appears under light.
Diamond Cut: The cut of a diamond impacts its brightness and how much it sparkles when exposed to light.
Diamond Clarity: Diamonds can contain tiny imperfections that naturally occur during its formation. Clarity is graded by how visible these markings are at 10x magnification.
Diamond Carat weight: The most obvious characteristic of the diamond, carat weight is relative to the size of the gem. While size is important, the perfect diamond is one that satisfies your requirements for Color, Clarity and Cut as well.

Your jeweler should have no problem explaining the 4Cs to you in more detail. In fact, to determine what Cs you find most important, you may want to ask your jeweler to show you diamonds that provide the best example of a certain characteristic, such as a colorless stone.

3. May I have a grading report for this diamond?
Insist that your diamond comes with a grading report from an independent, accredited gemological laboratory, such as GIA.  Their reports are highly regarded and are one of the most widely used reports in the world. An independently generated report will ensure your diamond’s value, quality, and authenticity. GIA also offers a Diamond Dossier®, containing the same information found on the traditional grading report, but in a more compact format, and available for stones of up to 2.00 carats.

4. How can I protect my investment?
Keep your purchase secure by having your diamond appraised or insured. Appraisers and insurers rely on diamond grading and identification reports to evaluate the quality and value of your diamond. Your professional jewelry can you provide you more information on diamond appraisal and insurance.

5. How can I take care of the diamond?
Diamonds are durable, but they aren’t indestructible. Talk to your jeweler about care and cleaning tips to keep your diamond strong and beautiful for years to come.

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To learn more about buying a diamond, visit www.gia4cs.gia.edu.

Rock Her World: The Rules of Engagement Ring Shopping

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010
Three Stone Trellis Engagement Ring

Three Stone Custom Trellis Engagement Ring

There are some things in life a man should never compromise; his values, his scotch, his leading lady and the diamond he will present to her when he proposes. While we would be happy to talk to you about fine scotches, this piece isn’t about booze-it ‘s about bling- so pour yourself a glass, sit back and  read up because we’ve done the research and are going to show you how to buy a diamond that will rock her world.

MAKE A BUDGET

These tough economic times have left many men worried they simply can’t afford to get engaged but contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to sell a piece of your liver or hawk Great Edna’s china to impress your bride-to-be.  “Setting a budget is an essential first step as is being informed.  For example, many men do not know that buying just under the carat weight will save them money,” says Bob Hoskins, Master Gemologist for Whiteflash.com

SAVE THE SAPPHIRES

Women have been dreaming about diamond engagement rings since the Archduke Maximilian of Austria presented Mary of Burgundy a diamond ring while proposing marriage in 1477.  As the centuries have passed, trends have come and gone but the now-classic diamond remains the gold standard in engagement rings. The bottom line: Save the sapphires, rubies and emeralds for the many birthdays and anniversaries you’ll be celebrating together.

STAY A CUT ABOVE THE REST

Most of us are aware of the four-C scale: Cut, which refers to how well the diamond is shaped and not the style, (i.e. cushion cut), color, clarity, which determines how many flaws are in the stone, and carat.  While the other C’s get the most press (and are the easiest for most consumers to understand) Hoskins says that paying up for a perfectly clear stone is less important than finding one that is shaped well.   “A lot of buyers focus on size and carat weight but it’s important to remember that the cut of the stone is the most important factor when purchasing a diamond since the cut is what determines its brilliance,” he says.  What this means is that  when a stone is cut with perfect precision. It allows the maximum amount of light to enter and pass through it. This is what causes the sparkle your fiancée-and her girlfriends- love so much.

princess cut pave diamond engagement ring

LEFT – Princess Cut Pave Diamond Engagement Ring RIGHT – Jennifer Diamond Engagement Ring

GET HER SOMETHING SHE WILL ACTUALLY WANT TO WEAR

Many men will try to convince themselves that a woman should like any ring given to her if she’s saying “yes” for the right reasons but the reality is that most of us aren’t that interested in wearing things that don’t vibe with our style.  Think about that reindeer sweater your grandmother gave you.  Do you want to wear that sweater every day for the rest of your life and show it off to friends just because you love your nana?  We didn’t think so.  So, how does one avoid making his fiancé force smiles as she shows off a ring she hopes to “lose”?  Find out what her preferences are before you go shopping advises Hoskins. “Wander into a jewelry store together and pay attention to her reaction to different stones.  Does she toward classic or contemporary designs? Knowing the answer will make ring shopping a lot easier and more fun,” he says.

ENLIST THE TROOPS

Yes, fella’s, the rumors are true; most women have at least one friend or relative with whom they have shared the details of their ideal engagement ring, and she did this, in part, to ensure that when this day presented itself, you’d have some help.  We know, that was very thoughtful of her.  Just be careful about who you go blabbing your plans to.  It’s hard to believe but some women can’t keep secrets.

jennifer-diamond-engagement-ring

Jennifer Diamond Engagement Ring

Many modern couples are forgoing tradition for the chance to bond by building a ring together so if one of the reasons you love your girl is that she’s so hands-on, let her have a say in the ring she’ll be wearing.   Propose with a stand-in ring, pour a couple of glasses of champagne and a spend some time designing a ring together using Whiteflash’s unique custom design option.  “Some of our happiest female clients had a hand in designing their ‘dream ring’,” says Sheerah Koloroutis, a Whiteflash Creative Designer Specialist who notes that collaboration has replaced tradition in many aspects of wedding-planning, including the ring design.   “Most couples discuss marriage possibilities and plans for the future ahead of time so it’s not uncommon for them to work together to create the symbol of their love as well,” she says.

RELAX

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend but you’re the love of her life and though the ring might sparkle (and it will because you got one that was cut well), the reason she squeals is because she’s just been asked to spend the rest of her life with you.

Alison Rowe on Anniversay Gifts For Your Bride

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

anniversary-gift

By Bridal Expert Alison Rowe

Searching for the perfect anniversary gift doesn’t have to be a stressful process. Whether it’s an inexpensive, romantic token or an elegant gift that she will wear and treasure every day for the rest of her life, the key is to keep it meaningful.

If you are still newlyweds, or watching the purse strings, be inspired by what you used to do when you were first dating. Perhaps make her a playlist—today’s equivalent of a mixed tape–of the songs you danced to at your wedding reception, or cook her a meal inspired by your wedding reception’s menu. If cooking isn’t your thing, try channeling your inner Shakespeare and write her a love letter full of reasons why she’s “the one”-just like men used to before the days of email and texting!

Tacori Engagement Ring - $2,950

Tacori Platinum Ring – $2,950

Another perfect option is a beautiful piece of platinum and diamond jewelry. Platinum mirrors the qualities she is looking for in her marriage as it’s the most durable of all the precious metals, the rarest and the most enduring. Pair that with a diamond, the strongest gemstone (the word diamond comes from the Greek word adamas, which means ‘unconquerable’), and your gift will be one she can wear forever. It’s no wonder platinum and diamond jewelry has become synonymous with love! If you want some inspiration on styles, check out the design gallery on PreciousPlatinum.com.

Or, why not opt for the quintessential, breathtaking anniversary gift that makes every woman’s heart skip a beat: A diamond eternity band. This is definitely something she’ll be proud to wear everyday for the rest of her life, right alongside her engagement ring and wedding band. Whether you decide on a channel or prong setting, platinum is the perfect option as it will not only hold the diamonds more securely than any other metal, but allow them to give off their maximum brilliance, too.

Whatever gift you choose, your significant other will appreciate it because it is coming from her man.

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