Engagement Rings 101: A Buying Guide
When you know your love is forever, it’s time to make it official. Is a proposal in your future? The most important ingredient in any romantic proposal is a brilliant ring. The symbolism and enduring beauty of diamonds make them the ideal choice for an engagement ring that represents your forever love. Buying an engagement ring is a big deal. It’s a major purchase, of course. But it’s also the most meaningful symbol of your love. So, hey, no pressure! So how do you find the one ring that’s worthy of representing your enduring commitment to each other? We talked to our experts and put together a guide with six easy steps to the perfect engagement ring to symbolize your one-of-a-kind love.
1. Set a Budget
Forget everything you’ve heard about three month’s salary or two month’s salary. The good news is that engagement rings are available for every budget so you can spend what feels comfortable to you. (At Brilliant Carbon, our gorgeous illusion solitaire is less than $350.) According to the most recent survey by The Knot, couples reported spending an average of $5500 on the engagement ring. You can spend half that and still create a beautiful one-carat engagement ring. The secret? Choosing a lab grown diamond instead of a mined diamond. Lab grown diamonds look exactly the same as mined diamonds. Not similar, identical. That’s because they are the same, right down to the atomic level. The difference is where the diamond crystallized: deep in the earth or in the lab. There is one more difference: the price. Lab grown diamond engagement rings are much more affordable. You can upgrade the carat size and the quality of your lab grown diamond and still pay less than you would for a mined diamond. And when your Brilliant Carbon lab grown diamond engagement ring is carbon neutral, grown by a Sustainability Rated Producer, you are also contributing to a more brilliant future for everyone.
2. Shop Together
We’ve all seen the movie: the proposal on bended knee with an engagement ring that’s a total surprise. This tradition has become less popular in recent years, for good reason. In a De Beers and The Knot survey of soon-to-be-engaged couples, nearly every woman surveyed (96%) said she wanted to have some involvement in the selection of her engagement ring and would not want it to be a total surprise. If you will be wearing that engagement ring every day for the rest of your life, shouldn’t it be exactly the ring you want? Instead of hinting and sending messages through friends and family, why not just shop together? Marriage is a partnership and buying your rings is a decision that more couples today are making together. Let's face it, when you are about to get engaged, you both know you are ready to take the next step. Buying the ring together doesn't mean the proposal can't be a romantic surprise.
3. Get in Shape
Our customers are looking for engagement rings that are unique. You aren’t like anyone else and your engagement ring shouldn’t be either. Choosing a fancy shape lab grown diamond center stone for your engagement ring instantly adds personality. Fancy shape diamonds are all a little bit different and they add an unusual look to a simple timeless setting. Choose an oval lab grown diamond engagement ring to express timeless elegance, like Simone Biles or Blake Lively’s rings. An emerald cut lab grown diamond engagement ring, with its long rectangular reflections, has a sophisticated allure, like Beyonce and Amal Clooney’s rings. A pear shape engagement ring expresses a rebellious and independent spirit, like Margot Robbie and Cardi B’s rings. A square princess cut engagement ring has modern flair, like Kate Bosworth and Emily Ratajkowski’s rings.
4. Go Big or Go Home
What’s the first thing you notice about an engagement ring? Admit it: size matters. Just browse some engagement rings on Insta and you’ll immediately notice that bigger is definitely better. And engagement rings are definitely getting bigger. According to The Knot, 23% of couples now choose a two-carat engagement ring (or even larger!) That’s because couples are choosing larger two carat lab grown diamond engagement rings instead of the standard one-carat mined diamond rings. A two-carat lab grown diamond engagement ring sparkles more and catches the light, exploding with brilliance. No one-carat diamond can possibly compete. Do yourself a favor and supersize your engagement ring. You’ll never regret it.
5. Choose Your Quality
When you shop at many online retailers, it seems like you are doing your taxes, not falling in love with your new engagement ring. The 4Cs of diamond quality are important and you want to make sure your diamond sparkles with brilliance. But diamond color is graded upside down and clarity is graded with magnification. You can’t see the difference between G and H or SI1 and SI2 in the real world. Lab grown diamonds can be grown to exact specifications, so they are almost always great quality. In fact, they are Type IIa, the purest kind of diamond, equivalent to less than 5% of mined diamonds. So you can stop thinking about which of the 4Cs you are willing to sacrifice and choose the quality you really want. For most people, that’s near colorless, G or H and SI2, which has no eye-visible inclusions. One place you should never sacrifice is cut. At Brilliant Carbon all our diamonds, even the fancy shapes, are cut to the proportions that maximize brilliance and sparkle. Because uncompromising beauty is what lab-grown diamonds do best. And it goes without saying that your beautiful diamond should be accompanied with an independent lab certificate that confirms its quality.
6. Get Set
When it comes to engagement ring settings, it’s all in the details. Are you drawn to clean lines or intricate details? Do you prefer warm yellow gold or icy white gold? The design of your engagement ring is something you should love forever, so classic tends to be best. Gold is the best metal for a setting because it endures as long as love and looks good doing it. There’s nothing more classic than solitaire engagement rings. One fabulous lab grown diamond held on a delicate gold band is the timeless symbol of forever. Cover that band with small lab-grown diamonds in a pave engagement ring and you add brilliance and detail that makes your ring sparkle from every angle. An encircling halo engagement ring draws attention to your center stone and makes it look even bigger and brighter. If you love the look of diamonds all across your finger, you’ll fall in love with a three-stone engagement ring, which symbolizes your brilliant past, present and future together. When you propose with a ring that you know she loves, your confidence will shine. No matter which of these classic engagement ring silhouettes you choose, your engagement ring will be a brilliant symbol of your love for generations to come.