A Guys Guide to Buying an Engagement Ring

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A Guy's Guide to Buying an Engagement Ring

Buying an engagement ring is a major step in the life of any guy. Not only is it a symbol of love and the intention to be married for a lifetime, it is a significant financial investment as well. For both of these reasons, it is extremely important to be prepared before making such a significant purchase. In many cases, the object of a man's affections may have some idea of what kind of ring she wants, and has maybe even dropped a few hints here and there. Some men, however, want to make certain to establish the element of surprise, and selects a ring that they believe will impress that special someone.

Engagement rings are most commonly found in jewellery stores, but guys might be able to save money by looking for rings on eBay as well. As always, it is important to evaluate a ring budget before making a purchase anywhere. For any man wanting to buy an engagement ring, especially for those who are selecting one on their own, it is important to know what kind of design factors go into engagement rings. First, it is important to select a band made of a precious metal, then, it is important to select the diamond or other stone that is the centrepiece of the ring. Finally, it is useful to examine the different styles of settings available that keeps the stone firmly connected to the band.

Engagement Ring Bands

The band of an engagement ring is perhaps not as visually prominent as the diamond, but it is no less significant. The band is circular, which in many cultures and for many people is symbolic of the everlasting nature of love. For the most part, an engagement band is made with gold or platinum, although other metals are becoming more popular. When buying any jewellery made with gold, it is important to understand how gold quality is evaluated.

Gold Quality

Gold jewellery is not always made with 100 per cent gold. For the most part, gold is mixed with other metals, including zinc, copper, silver, and palladium. The amount of gold in an individual piece of jewellery is measured in carats. An engagement ring that contains 100 per cent gold is a 24 carat ring. Any carat number below 24 contains a smaller per cent of gold.

Carat

Gold Per Cent

24

100

23

95.83

22

91.67

21

87.5

20

83.33

19

79.17

18

75

17

70.83

16

66.67

15

62.50

14

58.33

13

54.17

12

50

11

45.83

10

41.67

9

37.5

8

33.33

7

29.17

6

25

5

20.83

4

16.67

3

12.50

2

8.33

1

4.167

It should be noted that one of the reasons 24 carat gold is not used commonly in jewellery, is that it is a very soft metal and is therefore unsuitable for many kinds of jewellery. Engagement rings with a lower gold quality actually last longer over time.

Gold Colour

The practice of mixing gold with other metals also has an effect on the colour of the gold. While yellow gold is considered traditional, other gold colours are becoming increasingly more popular. The two most popular options for alternative gold colours are rose gold, made from mixing a larger quantity of copper with the gold, and white gold, which is made by mixing gold with silver, zinc, and palladium.

Platinum

Platinum is an extremely rare precious metal that, for this reason, is quite valuable. Rings made of platinum are not usually mixed with other metals, so the metal quality is much higher. This also has the added benefit of eliminating metals that some people might be allergic too, such as nickel, which is occasionally mixed with gold. Platinum has a white colour that many find quite appealing. Over time a patina may appeal on platinum jewellery that reduces the shine, but is still considered attractive.

Diamonds

The diamond is the most important part of an engagement ring as it is the most eye catching portion of the ring, and is usually where much of the cost comes from. Some who wish to buy engagement rings buy the diamond separately and then have it set in the ring of their choice. Regardless of how the ring is purchased, there are four different aspects of each diamond that should be examined before making a purchase: cut, clarity, colour and clarity. These are known as the four C's.

Cut

Cut refers to the width and depth of a given diamond. This is actually different than the shape a diamond is cut into. If a diamond is cut properly, it reflects light better through the top of the stone. If the cut is too deep or too shallow, the light does not reflect properly through the top and does not sparkle in an aesthetically pleasing way.

Clarity

Natural diamonds are formed by a geological process and therefore are not perfect. Nearly all diamonds have what are called 'inclusions' which are tiny imperfections within a diamond. In some cases, the inclusions are microscopic or have been cut away from a larger diamond to make a smaller one. Obviously, diamonds that do not have visible inclusions are more valuable.

Colour

While white diamonds are the most popular, diamonds are available in a variety of colours and various shades of those colours. Diamonds that have more colour are actually less expensive than perfectly white diamonds. When buying an engagement ring, it is important to determine if the colour is appealing to the recipient of the ring.

Carat

For diamonds and other gems, the word. 'Carat' has a different meaning than it does for gold. Carat refers to how much a diamond weighs. For all gemstones, a carat refers to 200 milligrams. In many cases, however, diamonds come in less than one carat, most of the time described in increments of one quarter. For the most part, larger diamonds cost more, but large diamonds with inclusions or lots of colour, may have a lower price.

Diamond Shape

For rings, diamonds are cut into a number of shapes. Some shapes are more popular than others, but all diamond shapes have their fans. Popular cuts include round diamonds, princess cut diamonds, which have a square shape, and pear, oval, and heart shapes.

Ring Settings

The setting for an engagement ring is what holds the diamond in place, and is used to display the diamond in a pleasing way. While there are some popular settings, the setting is more customisable than other parts of the ring and if many cases, the setting is entirely unique. The setting for a ring usually contains the prongs that hold the diamond in place and any smaller secondary, or 'accent' diamonds. In some cases, the setting consists only of the prongs holding the diamond in place in a simple and elegant manner.

Pave

Pave refers to a type of setting where smaller prongs are attached to multiple gemstones. This is usually done to surround the central diamond by smaller diamonds. Since smaller diamonds cost less than large diamonds, engagement rings with pave settings are often less expensive than other rings because the central diamond can be smaller without any loss of sparkle.

Channel

A channel setting is a type of setting that places accent diamonds into a narrow channel along the band of the engagement ring. In some cases, there is no larger diamond at all, and the ring is a simple band with diamonds in the channel. The channel can extend all the way around the ring, or it can only go part way around the ring.

Bezel

A bezel setting is one that does not use prongs to keep the diamond in place. Instead, there is a metal rim that encircles the entire stone and in some cases, extends above the gem. This allows the diamond to maintain a lower profile and does not get caught in clothing or other objects. This is particularly useful for women who maintain a more active or athletic lifestyle.

Buying an Engagement Ring on eBay

Those looking for an unconventional source for an engagement ring can be pleased with a wide selection of rings and other jewellery found on eBay. Rings made from a variety of metals, and topped with a wide variety of diamonds are found on eBay. In some cases, the rings are brand new, and in others, they are used, which may make them cheaper. Any guy wanting to get engaged can spend quite a while looking through the selection of engagement rings on eBay, starting with a search using the words, 'engagement ring' entered into the search bar on the eBay home page. Those who know exactly what kind of ring they want can enter a more specific term into the search bar that includes words related to specific ring styles. It is always important to fully read the product description for any ring sold on eBay, in order to determine the gold quality as well as the history of the ring.

Conclusion

Buying an engagement ring is a major moment in any guy's life, so it is important to make certain that the ring purchased is the right one. After establishing a ring budget, the next step is to evaluate the different ring styles available. The ring band is the first basic choice to make, as there are several metal options available. Gold is always a popular choice for rings, but there are variations in gold quality and gold colour that make a difference in cost, durability, and appearance. Along with gold, platinum is another popular choice for rings, although it is more expensive.

After deciding on a metal for the ring band, the diamond is the next thing a ring buyer needs to evaluate. Diamonds are evaluated by their cut, clarity, colour, and carat, all of which can determine how a diamond looks as well as how much it costs. Each diamond must be placed into a setting on the ring in order to attach it to the band, which can have an effect on cost. Since there are so many factors involved in getting married, it is important to evaluate all of these aspects in buying a ring so that the process is as simple as possible.

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