Michelle Demaree’s Engagement Ring Guide

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What to Look for When Shopping for an Engagement Ring

You have found “the one” who makes your heart skip a beat. Now it’s time find a diamond ring that returns the favour. In a sea of options, it is imperative to have unbiased, concrete advice from an industry expert on how to go about this very special search. This is why I have put together this engagement ring guide.

The cardinal rules to assessing diamond quality are known as the “Four C’s,” a checklist that vets the most pertinent details of a stone: colour, cut, clarity and carat weight. However, for clients in the know, there are actually “Six C’s,” so read on to learn the other two very important C’s that must be considered in your purchase.

Photo credit: Molly + Co

1. Carat. The most visible C is carat weight and arguably the most important feature of your stone. Total carat weight is a major factor when it comes to price. Interestingly enough, carat weight is not always a measure of how big your diamond is. Some diamonds carry more weight in the bottom of the stone, and others carry it toward the top, facing up larger. For instance, ovals will always show larger than asscher cuts even if the carat weight is equal. My clients get the inside scoop on how to go for the largest diamond (hint: it’s not looking at carat weight!).

2. Cut. This is your sparkle factor. Cut grade and expert precision of polish and symmetry determines how much scintillation, fire and brilliance your diamond will have. Always aim for Excellent or Very Good polish and symmetry on your certificate to ensure top grade sparkle — everything from the shape to the setting. Note that Round Brilliants are the only diamond that can achieve a Triple Excellent or overall Excellent Cut Grade because they are prisms, and perfection can be achieved on that cut.

3. Colour. How white or colourless is her diamond? Perfect white is a D color and the scale goes all the way to Z. Top colour range is D,E,F and near colourless is G,H,I,J. Should your future wife be keen on yellow or rose gold, you can get away with a lower colour due to that setting already warming up the stone. Round brilliants show colour the least and shapes such as ovals and cushions will show colour a bit more.

4. Clarity. How imperfect is her diamond? Skilled graders use 10x magnification to find tiny inclusions (imperfections) not seen by the naked eye. Best to trust this “C” to a trained eye! Many times, trusting buyers are sold a diamond with unnecessarily high clarity. A cushion, oval or radiant cut does not need to be a VVS1 or VS1 to look eye clean. It can be a gorgeously eye clean SI1 (which will save you money better spent on a larger stone or higher colour grade). I never let my clients pay for something they cannot see. When it comes to the emerald and asscher cut, higher clarity is necessary due to their inclusion-revealing step-cut faceting.

5. Certification. Certification is imperative in determining your diamond’s total value. A certificate from an accredited, internationally-recognized organization such as the Gemological Institute of America means the diamond has been independently assessed for authenticity and graded according to its quality. Diamonds bought online typically lack this important token of legitimacy. Houses such as Van Cleef & Arpels, Harry Winston and Cartier only carry GIA-approved diamonds.

6. Character. My additional metric is Character. Character is a quality that is indiscernible on a certificate and only determined by the eyes and heart of the beholder. Keep in mind that despite matching certificates, no two diamonds emit the same energy, sparkle and personality. You will know which diamond is right for her when you see it and it will match her own inner beauty and character!

Personalize Your Engagement Ring & Use a Professional

Once you’ve narrowed down your stone, personalize that ring. After all, it’s emblematic of your love and devotion. It could be something like a laser engraving of your initials, an inside joke both of you snickered at throughout your courtship or something that is poetic and romantic between the two of you.

If you are ready to begin your ring search, you can enlist the service of a professional ring concierge. They guide you from end-to-end to determine what ring is the best fit for your future bride. They will have an inside track to the entire diamond dealer and high-end jewelry network and can help you find the best ring at the best price. Quality and craftsmanship varies dramatically from different sources, so having your ring search streamlined will save you valuable time and money and also validate the authenticity and quality of your ring.

Michelle Demaree is an engagement ring concierge based out of Beverly Hills, CA. She has sold millions at Harry Winston, Tiffanys and Van Cleef & Arpels, and assists her clientele in accessing her exclusive network of fine jewelry at non-retail prices. To connect with her and learn more about her process, email michelle@missdiamondring.com or visit www.missdiamondring.com or Instagram.com/missdiamondring