Engagement Ring Shopping 101 From A Fresh New Perspective

As a 24-year-old female, I am in the stage in life where relationships are taken to an exciting level to where they’re committing to a lifetime together. Coming in with a fascination with engagement rings, but little knowledge, I quickly found out there is a lot that goes into finding your ideal engagement ring. A lot more than you would think. Whether you’re looking for your ring or looking to buy for your significant other, the whole process can be overwhelming, which is why it is extremely important to be knowledgeable about the process and rings in general. Having a basic understanding of how shopping for engagement rings work and an idea of what you’re looking for can make the entire experience more enjoyable and successful. Here are my tips as a fresh new perspective to this industry:

First of all, make an appointment.

We offer a personalized shopping experience to assist you in finding the ring that you or your loved one will forever love. By reaching out ahead of time, you can give us an idea of what you’re looking for so we can pull some options ahead of time. 

*Ask Elizabeth why making an appointment is more ideal*

Our bridal manager and diamond buyer, Elizabeth, is a GIA Graduate Gemologist. She is passionate about teaching you about diamonds and showcasing our Moyer standards while helping navigate you to a ring you feel confident in. To schedule an appointment, email Elizabeth at elizabeth@moyerfj.com or call the store at (317) 844-9003.

Narrow down your options ahead of time (put if you can) in not bold font like you did above

Our extensive selection of engagement rings allows you to have the many options to find exactly what you’re looking for, but having an idea of what you're thinking can help the hunt immensely. Are you shopping for your significant other and don’t know where to start? Dig into her personality and style preferences. Does she follow a bunch of trends and have stylish taste or does she stick to the classics? What kind of job or hobbies does she have - should she have a low-set diamond to avoid snagging? Another tip could be investigating her Pinterest board (if she has one). Maybe involve her close friends and family. Analyze her jewelry collection and see what metal types she has most of. Are her pieces classics or more fashionable?  Lastly, you could always be blunt or take her ring shopping. Before heading to Moyer, we recommend you do your research, get an idea of what you're thinking, and we'll take it from there. Add something here where you're like "coming at this with a surprise proposal in mind? the specialists at Moyer can guide you through the styles and help you find something she'll love. No pressure."

What the 4 C’s are

There are many factors that go into choosing that one engagement ring, but before digging into setting styles, diamond shapes, etc., you need to prioritize the diamonds 4 C’s. The 4 C’s were invented by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and are grades specifically for the diamond itself, describing the diamond quality. Each diamond is unique in its own ways and has certain qualities that establish its value. The 4 C’s are: Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight.

Color

Evaluating the color of diamonds revolves around the degree of colorlessness. A crystal clear diamond, which is a D (which means it is flawless in terms of color) on the D-Z color scale, is extremely rare. The scale is split into 5 classifications: colorless, near colorless, faint, very light, and light. It is important to know that most color distinctions are not visible to the untrained eye. Although you may not be able to tell a big difference, the quality and price is significantly affected by the color grade. Fun fact: It may seem like grading the color of a diamond is complex (it certainly did to me); however, the color is graded simply by comparing diamonds *upside down* to a white piece of paper. 

**Enter picture of basic color differentiation**

Clarity

Think of the diamond’s clarity as how clear or “clean” the diamond is. Most natural diamonds have some sort of flaw whether it is only visible to a skilled grader or it could affect the overall appearance of the stone. These imperfections are referred to as “inclusions;” however, not all inclusions are bad. The clarity grade is split up by flawless (FL), internally flawless (IF), very, very slightly included (VVS1 and VVS2), very slightly included (VS1 and VS2), slightly included (SI1 and SI2) and included (I1, I2, I3). I wouldn’t recommend getting your heart set on a flawless diamond because they are exceptionally rare and even most jewelers have yet to see one. Most diamonds fall into VS or SI. 

**Enter picture of basic clarity differentiation**

Cut

This is the most important of the 4 C’s. Typically, your attention is drawn to the sparkle of the diamond, and the cut determines the sparkle. However, cut is only graded on round brilliants. A properly cut diamond has accurate proportions resulting in true brilliance. The precision of the cut is the main variable. The cut scale is separated by excellent, very good, good, fair and poor. Would a diamond even be a diamond without sparkle? Fun fact: 50% of the diamond value is determined by the cut.

**Enter picture of basic cut differentiation**

Carat Weight

I think we all know that a carat is physically how much the diamond weighs and how "big" it looks. Larger diamonds are rarer and more desirable. It’s simple. The biggest takeaways from this C is to know that each carat is subdivided into 100 ‘points.’ You may hear the diamond be referred to as a ‘one point oh eight carats’ which just means it is a 1.08 carat stone. Also, a diamond’s carat weight and the ring’s total carat weight are different. Total carat weight applies to any ring that has more than one diamond. It is the sum of the individual carat weights of every diamond that comprises the ring. For example, a solitaire setting may have a 1.22 carat weight while a halo setting may have a 1.57 total carat weight.

**Enter picture of basic carat differentiation**

Below lays out the grading system for the 4 C’s. One thing to keep in mind in terms of the 4C’s is that preference on which characteristic is more important varies for each person. Your significant other may not care as much about the imperfections of a diamond but would rather have a bigger diamond while your friend’s girlfriend would like a higher color and cut grade but doesn’t necessarily care about how many carats it is. It solely depends on personal opinion.

**Enter picture of whole GIA grading scale.**

What to expect during your experience

Now is the time to get down to business. What is your timeline like? Are you looking for a semi mount with the ability to pick the diamond for your ring or are you looking to walk out with a complete engagement ring? During your shopping experience, you will be asked to determine:
  • The shape of diamond you’re looking for
  • Choosing the actual diamond as well as carat weight  (this is where the 4 C’s come into play)
  • Which metal type you want for the band
  • Setting style that fits her personality or taste
  • What you’re willing to pay 

Different diamond shapes

**Enter pictures of shapes**

The shape of the diamond is the general appearance of the diamond. Choose from the following options:
  • Round Brilliant
  • Princess
  • Emerald
  • Pear
  • Radiant
  • Marquise
  • Cushion
  • Oval
  • Asscher
  • Heart

The diamond

After learning about the 4 C’s, which is most important in your diamond? Color, clarity, cut or carat weight?  The band: Which metal type?

**Enter pictures of different metal types**

Before choosing a setting, you have options on which metal type you want. Typically, you have four to choose from: platinum, white gold, yellow gold or rose gold. You can’t go wrong with any metal type.
  • Platinum is the most valuable due to its durability, purity, natural lust, and is hypoallergenic. Out of the precious metal types, this is the most expensive choice; however, you wouldn’t have to worry about how it’ll wear over time and it has a simply beautiful appearance.
  • White Gold can appear to be the same appearance as platinum. It beautifully compliments the diamond and enhances the brilliance and sparkle while also being more affordable than platinum. White gold is resilient, but there are important instructions for keeping it shiny, scratch free, and retain its luster.
  • Yellow Gold is known for its beautiful radiance. It is fine gold blended with other metals to strengthen the metal. It does not tarnish or rust resulting in long lasting beauty. In terms of price range, it is in the same ballpark as white gold and rose gold.
  • Rose Gold has recently become a trending metal type. It is unique, trendy and romantic, plus it doesn't require much maintenance. This pink-tinted metal is gold blended with copper. The more copper, the deeper the rose tones and durability. The price range is similar to white and yellow gold.

Setting style: 

There is an endless amount of setting styles to choose from. Some settings may be a better fit for your specific choice of diamond, but in most circumstances, the setting style is based off of your preference. Here are some of the most common setting styles:
  • Solitaire (a timeless classic)
  • Channel
  • Halo
  • Three stone
  • Free Form
  • Criss cross
  • Infinity
  • Bypass
  • Straight
  • Tiffany
  • Bezel
  • Vintage
  • Split shank
  • Pavé

**Enter pictures of different setting styles**

Budget: What is your price range? At Moyer, we have rings for any budget between _____ to ______. No matter what your targeted price range is, we are confident that we will find exactly what you are looking for. All in all, Moyer Fine Jewelers is thrilled to help you find the exact engagement ring you desire, ensuring both quality and value. Our wide selection of impeccable diamond rings and variety of bands is endless. Don’t have what you’re looking for? We have the ability to create that ring you’re looking for. Our passionate master jewelers make miracles happen. We have a strict set of standards when it comes to diamonds, which is why we only sell the best GIA Certified diamonds. Our sales associates are committed to making your experience enjoyable from start to finish. 

*Explain warranty *

You’re vowing to a lifetime of love and happiness, and we vow to find you the ring she will adore from the moment you pop the question and for years to come.