Ignore the errant salesman or salesgirl from local jeweler shop, or sometimes even the high-end shops like Tiffany & Co. Trust me, you will know more about diamonds than they do after reading through this guide on how to choose the Ultimate Engagement Ring!
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- Focus on only 2Cs – Cut (fix) and Carat (variable)
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People will tell you the need to do a balancing equation in order to obtain the best combination worth your budget for the 4Cs, who says there isn’t a quick way to decide? Use the table below and you’ll be in good hands –
You only want the Best Cut (Hearts & Arrows) and maximize your Carat Weight with minimum criteria in Clarity and Color . With that in mind, I guarantee that your diamond will be the biggest (Carat) and shiniest (Cut) based on your budget. Isn’t that what girls want? No girls will remember clarity and color as long as they are big and shiny.
- Determining the right budget
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I told my girlfriend I had a 10k budget, but in fact when the time came to really part with that money, I didn’t want to (thankfully I’ve such an understand gf)! As such, I will give you a SIMPLE FORMULA in ensuring the right budget for your engagement ring!
Budget = Monthly earnings x 1.1 x Height of girlfriend
For example, if my girlfriend has a height of 1.6m, and I earn a monthly allowance of $3,000, my budget would be $5,280. Please note that this would mean my diamond should cost around $4,500 as we need to take into account the cost of the band as well ($500-$1200).
The logic behind the formula is to ensure that your budget takes into the account the height of your girlfriend (size of diamond) as well as your monthly earnings potential (1.1 factor is your potential, you can adjust if you don’t think you have that high earning potential 😛).
- Choosing the right Jeweler
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Which girl doesn’t want Tiffany & Co. or Cartier? Unfortunately, we have all fallen prey into equating brand to quality of diamond. As a general rule of thumb and after visiting countless retailers on diamonds, I personally would only recommend the below –
- Cartier (luxury)– Great service and gives the “wow” factor; diamond quality is fair but you pay for the brand, of course!
- JannPaul – Diamond quality is top-notch, but it is unfortunately now slightly more expensive than before.
- White Dwarf – Similar to JannPaul, but you save 7% of GST as they are not earning a million dollar revenue yet; limited choices but generally 10-15% cheaper than JannPaul
- Larry’s Jeweler (luxury) – Great Cut, but 10-15% more expensive than JannPaul.
All in all, I wouldn’t recommend buying diamond from a physical shop (local retailers included) in prime locations, because you are mostly paying for their rentals and brand name but not for the diamond itself. You could buy overseas online, but that would all be another ball game, which I will share subsequently.