Throughout history, an engagement ring has been a symbol of love and eternity, a couple’s promise to spend the rest of their lives together. The ring can also be an investment, and may well be the most valuable piece of jewelry a woman owns. Those interested in purchasing expensive engagement rings should take several factors into account.
Diamond Value in Expensive Rings
The diamond is the most important component of an engagement ring’s value, and expensive engagement rings should have top notch diamonds. Four things determine the diamond’s quality and worth. While some assume that size, or carat weight, is the primary factor, that is not the case. The color of the diamond, its clarity, its cut and proportion and then, carat weight are the four factors that decides the diamond’s value. Experts refer to these as “the four c’s.”
Many, many factors within these four categories can affect the price of the diamond. For example, if the diamond has been cut so that the symmetry of the facets isn’t perfect, the value is lower. If the diamond has been cut too shallow, it can bring down the value. Blemishes mar the clarity of the stone, resulting in a lower quality diamond.
An expensive engagement ring with a high quality fine diamond should come with a diamond grading report or certificate. Knowing what to look for in this report can help you make an educated decision about which diamond engagement ring is your best choice.
Diamond reports are issued by a number of different gem laboratories. While GIA is perhaps the best known, there are also labs like EGL, AGL, HRD and IGI. Things to look for on the report are
• Dimensions – make sure the dimensions in the report match the dimensions of the actual diamond, or else a switch may have been made
• The exact carat weight – make sure it matches the diamond
• Finish is the stones symmetry and polish and should be listed as “good” or better.
• Proportion – Check the figure for depth percentage. The best is 58 to 60%, very good is 61 to 62%, acceptable is 62 to 64%, and over 64% is poor.
• Proportion – Check the figure given for table percentage. The best value is in the 53 to 57% range, 57 to 60% is a very good number, up to 64% is acceptable. Over 70% is a poor choice for expensive engagement rings.
• Clarity gradings vary amongst gem labs. For GIA, they are, from best to poorest, FL, IF, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, SI2, I1, I2 and I3.
• Color grades also vary amongst gem labs, and should be listed on the report.
• The girdle, or edge, thickness – a diamond with a very thin girdle is more likely to chip. A diamond with a very thick girdle looks smaller.
• Fluorescence – Stones may have either a yellow or blue fluorescence. However a “very strong yellow” fluorescence can make the stone appear yellower in daylight, while a “very strong blue” fluorescence can give the stone a cloudy appearance in daylight.
Metals of Expensive Engagement Rings
Expensive engagement rings are typically crafted from platinum, white gold or yellow gold. Keep in mind that white metals like platinum or white gold can enhance the whiteness of the diamond, while yellow gold can make it appear more yellow. However, if the stone is slightly yellow, yellow gold can actually make it appear whiter.