Before you read this article, may I suggest you read the articles I have written about the 4Cs of a diamond in this website. In this article, I would like to run through the process of choosing a diamond (with or without ring) for proposal.
There are 2 important component when choosing a diamond for proposal. Firstly, it is the intrinsic value of the diamond. This comes from the quality (rated by the 4Cs) of the diamond. The second is the perceived value of the diamond. These are often a result of branding and personal desires. Let’s start with the first.
As a guy buying a diamond ring, it is easy to be tempted to “buy the best” for the girl that you love. The classical “best” diamond you can get are AGS (American Gem society) triple 0 (or triple ideal) diamonds. This means that the diamond is ideally cut, have ideal colour (D colour) and Ideal clarity. (flawless). Because these are the rarest of all the ratings, naturally these are the most expensive.
You can find AGS 000 diamonds in most retail stores(you do have to ask, and make sure it comes with an AGS certificate) and definitely at any diamond ateliers. One of the famous range of AGS triple zero diamond is the Lee Hwa Destinee diamonds. You can imagine that the price is really high given the AGS 000 rating couple with the premium branding by Lee Hwa.
My take on this, go for an Ideal Cut. The cut makes a huge difference to the shine of the diamond. Otherwise, you can easily go for a Color grading that is slightly lower (e or f) with some “inclusions’ without anybody ever making out the difference unless you are going to be peering into your diamond with a microscope each time.
That being said, my own informal survey of women is that they don’t really comprehend or care to comprehend the full grading of their diamonds. As one of they said “as long as got certificate and look shiny, then can already”
This brings me to the next point, many girls would want a diamond from a “dream” brand. Common famous brands include Tiffany and co (They even stole the colour teal), Cartier etc. Most often than not, the same quality of diamond would cost 20 -50% more in these Jewellers. Is it worth it? This is a hard question to answer. Let’s look at this from 2 points fo view.
In terms of value, the intrinsic value of a ‘better quality’ diamond is certainly higher than one from a famous jeweller. If we were to strip the diamond ring into parts and sell it, this is worth more. But, the resale value of a jewellery from a famous jeweller like Cartier is often much better (not that I think you want to ever think of selling your proposal ring). It’s like the Hermes handbags currently, the leather itself isn’t worth much, the fact that it is Hermes is worth a lot.
Secondly, it is the bragging rights of your girl for many more years to come. After proposal, everyone will be gouging at her diamond ring with the usual ‘wooo’, ‘ah’. And believe me, YOU will be judge for being “awww so sweet”, “He is so good to you”, to a silent “oh, that’s errrm nice (aka he is so stingy)”. And this is going to set the stage for your many years of marriage to come.
So my final advice is, before you buy a proposal ring, find out the following:
– Does she know about AGS certification
– Is there a minimum size (carat) she is looking at
– Does she know anything about clarity and Color)
– What is the brand that she has been dreaming about
– what diamond ring does her best friend (aka most compared to friend) has.
Do these my friend, and you will be place in a holy light for many years to come. Good luck. Oh, if you think I forgot about budget, I didn’t. Except that my advice is, short term starvation is better than long term suffering. Interpret it the way you want. 🙂