Wedding 101

4 Tips for Getting the Best Engagement Ring for Your Money

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Your partner is down on one knee...they’re pulling out a tiny velvet box...they’re asking you to spend the rest of your life with them. It’s exciting, it’s romantic, it’s overwhelmingly beautiful. But just what’s inside that little box?
To most of us, ring shopping may feel like navigating shark-infested waters. Lots of options, a huge price range, and lots of time and energy finding the perfect fit—literally. That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you! Just read on to find out the top four tips for maximizing your time and budget while still coming out with the ring of your (or your partner’s) dreams.

01
Do Your Homework

Step one with any big purchase is to do your homework. Besides figuring out just what kind of ring you’re looking for, make sure that you’re also researching various sellers and what they can offer you. There are plenty of places out there where you can buy an engagement ring, and you want to make sure that you end up supporting a business that is supporting you right back.
While the Internet is a fantastic place to start your search, this is also a good opportunity to utilize your social communities as well. Ask friends and family where they bought their rings, check social media for styles that you like, and really try to figure out what you’re looking for in a ring shopping experience. 
While there is nothing wrong with going with a trusted big-name seller, there are also lots of companies creating new and unique offerings in the engagement ring world who may suit your needs better. It might be tempting just to go with what you know, but we truly do recommend setting aside time to dive deep into the options and figure out what attracts you to certain kinds of sellers. 
Once you have an idea of what’s out there and who might be offering it, you’ll be much more prepared to actually enter the world of shopping and be confident in what you’re looking for. 

02
Understanding the 4 Cs

For some of us that have never bought an engagement ring before, the language around jewelry can be just as overwhelming as the specifics. As you explore the sellers you’re interested in working with, you might find yourself quickly over your head as the diamonds themselves are described. 
In order to be able to best describe what you’re looking for (as well as what you’re not looking for), it’s important that you understand the 4 Cs or the four basic assessments of the quality of a diamond. Once you have the 4 Cs under your belt, you’ll be better prepared to really understand the rings you’re looking at and how to best optimize your budget. 

Cut

What It Means: The cut of a diamond describes how the diamond’s surface interacts with the light. It is the only one of the 4 Cs that is determined by human hands and not the natural gem itself, as jewelers cut diamonds to maximize the brilliance of each individual stone. 
Why It Matters: Because cuts are not a natural component of the stone, there is absolutely room for error. Poorly cut diamonds will lose their shine more quickly, while well-cut gems will appear especially brilliant. There are different styles of cut that you should explore to see which one suits you the best. 

Color

What It Means: The color of the diamond refers to its natural tint. Natural diamonds tend to have a slightly yellow tint at the center, meaning that the closer to “colorless” a diamond is, the rarer it is. Color is graded on a scale from D-Z, with D being colorless and Z being light yellow. 
Why It Matters: Behind the cut, color has the most direct effect on a diamond’s appearance. While the cut of a gem can change its sparkle and shine, the color of a diamond won’t change. The color grading system can also contribute to the price of a diamond, as some jewelers only use diamonds closer to D, meaning they are rarer stones and, therefore, more expensive. 

Clarity

What It Means: Clarity is a way of measuring the purity of a stone based on its inclusions (internal flaws) and blemishes (external flaws). While inclusions may cause a diamond to appear cloudy, clarity usually doesn’t affect the diamond’s look to a naked eye, unless they are incredibly dramatic. 
Why It Matters: Clarity has a dramatic impact on the value of a diamond. It’s important to understand the grading system of clarity so that you know exactly what your ring is worth—and what a reasonable price is that you should be charged for it. Certain jewelers only work with certain grades of clarity to ensure high-quality products, so it’s important to know what to ask!

Carat Weight

What It Means: Carats are the weight measure for a diamond. It’s important to note that carat only applies to weight, not size, so sometimes you might have a ring with a higher carat weight that appears smaller than a ring with a lower weight. 
Why It Matters: Carat is often the C that is discussed most often when discussing diamonds casually, but it’s not the most important factor in a diamond’s value. When taking into consideration the other three Cs, you can have multiple two-carat diamonds that vary dramatically in price. When searching for your ring, consider both the cut and the carat to establish the look you’re going for and maximize your budget. 

03
The REAL Secret to a Double-sized Diamond!

Now that you’re armed with some serious knowledge about what to actually look for in a diamond, let’s get to the real juicy stuff: not all diamonds are created equal. 
Companies are constantly revolutionizing engagement ring designs to help you get the most bang for your buck, and it’s worth taking a little bit more time to actually understand the diamonds you’re looking at to make sure that you get the best ring for you. 
Take L’Amour Crisscut by Cristopher Designs New York. They have dedicated themselves to creating a signature cut that allows for more style and shine without sacrificing carats or class. The best part is, you end up saving money! Their unique cutting and shaping process allows you to end up with a bigger diamond for a lower cost. Sounds pretty perfect, right?
L’Amour Crisscut by Cristopher Designs New York is just one example of how, if you look a little deeper, you can find engagement rings that truly do it all. If you’re not ready to sacrifice style or carats, don’t! By doing your research and understanding the four Cs, you can become a more informed shopper and know what you’re looking for; brands like Crisscut are there to help once you’ve figured it out. 

04
Focus on What Matters to You

Ultimately, this is your ring—no one else’s. No one else will wear it or wake up to it day after day, and it won’t represent anyone else’s love for their partner. Because of that, make sure it is truly the ring you want. 
As with most things these days, it can be easy to be influenced by what you “should” do with your engagement ring: spend a certain amount of money, go for a certain look, have a certain number of carats, etc. While some of the advice out there can certainly be helpful, it really comes down to what matters most to you. 
Take some time to think things over for yourself before you share your thoughts and ideas with your partner. Communicate with each other about what you think reasonable expectations are regarding price, size, and style. While there is something fun about being surprised on what’s inside that little velvet box, you want to make sure that it represents you and your partnership in all the ways that matter most. 
Regardless of what you want, remember that there are endless options out there. Brands continue to want to provide only the best for their couples, so don’t be afraid to keep looking until you’re sure of what’s right for you.
Love these rings? Head over to Christopher Designs New York to get one of your very own...Find Your Perfect Ring Today!
Gracie Griffin
About The Author
Freelance writer.
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