Maria Doulton: I want to help you find the perfect engagement ring, so I have four simple tips to guide you. Before we start, let me explain that I'm focusing just on the round brilliant cut, because it is the classic engagement ring diamond, and that's because, for its size, it gives the best spread on the hand and sparkle. What’s more, it’s forgiving on colour and inclusions, which means you can play with your budget.
What better place than De Beers, who are, of course, the diamond experts, and have such a huge selection on hand to illustrate my four points? My first tip is to decide how much you're going to spend.
Sales Advisor: It helps us a lot if we know what sort of budget we’re working with.
Maria Doulton: To give you an example, this 1 carat diamond ring costs about £12,000, but prices don’t rise in neat steps, and that's because the larger the diamond, the rarer. A 5 carat diamond is more than 5 times the price of a 1 carat diamond.
My second tip is to decide which diamond size is the one for you.
Sales Advisor: In my experience, ladies tend to go for the large diamonds.
Maria Doulton: First, let’s see what different carat sizes look like on the hand. This is a half carat and costs £7,000. This is a 1 carat at £16,100. This is a 1.55 carat at £30,000, and this is a 5 carat at over £300,000.
My third tip is to be flexible on colour and clarity. Keep an open mind and you can get more carats for your money. You’ll be surprised to know that you can go as low as a J or a K and still get a great effect. The one of the left is a T colour and costs £16,100, and a similar one on the right, but in an I colour, costs £9,550.
As for clarity, it’s difficult to see inclusions with the naked eye. In fact, you need a loupe. If you lower the colour and the clarity, then prices begin to drop.
Here’s a good example. This ring is a 2 carat D colour and internally flawless, and costs £132,000. This ring of a similar size is a J colour, and slightly included, and costs £25,900.
My fourth tip is to consider the design of the ring, because optical illusions are your friend.
Sales Advisor: The design of the ring can create very different effects on the hand. The DB Classic is a very simple and elegant style, while the Aura gives an envision of sparkle to the diamond.
Maria Doulton: A ring like this Aura, with a halo of diamonds, automatically makes a ring appear bigger and adds more sparkle. It’s all a question of which style and setting you prefer. In an Aura setting, this 0.5 carat ring looks almost the same size as a 1 carat in a classic setting.
Now you’ve done your homework and you know what the different carat sizes look like on the hand, you can decide how flexible you want to be on colour and clarity.
Still not sure? Well, I have discovered that De Beers have this incredibly clever in store app that is called 'For You, Forever.’ What it does is it allows you to choose by price, colour, clarity and size, exactly the diamond that you want set in a ring, just for you. Simple really.
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To find out more about the rings in the video read this article