Shopping for an engagement ring can be a daunting process, and it can be hard to know where to even begin. To help demystify the ring-shopping process, we put together a list of commonly asked questions for Brad Gattasso of Crown Jewelers.
Q: How early should I begin looking for an engagement ring and how long does the full process typically take?
A: Most people plan a few months in advance. This allows us to get the right stone if we don't have it on hand or in stock. Custom orders typically take 3-4 weeks if you’re looking for something to be made. This allows enough time to make any adjustments along the way.
Q: How can I figure out my partner’s ring size without them knowing?
A: Try and sneak a ring that they wear on their ring finger whether it be the right or the left. The best scenario would be to let us measure it of course, although this isn't always easy. Otherwise, see if you can fit their ring on one of your fingers. When you make it into our store we can then measure you and get a very close measurement. Remember the dominant hand can be up to a size larger than the non-dominant one.
Q: Can you explain the 4 C’s? Do these apply for all stones?
A: The four c's pertain to diamonds specifically. The cut of a stone is measured in two different ways: how symmetrical/proportionate the stone cut is as well as the shape of the stone (round brilliant, oval, princess, asscher, etc.). Carat is a measurement of weight. Clarity grades describe the degree of flaws or imperfections in a stone (FL, VVS, VS, etc). When we talk color in a white diamond, the grading system ranges from D to Z. The whitest color diamond you can buy is D. However, diamonds have a range of color and continue down through the alphabet as the stone has more color to it (typically yellow).
Q: How do you know you’re getting a quality ring for a fair price?
A: Find a brick-and-mortar store with a great reputation through friends and family.
Q: What are the pros and cons of choosing an engagement ring with a matching wedding band?
A: A matching band will fit the designs of your engagement ring, which ultimately compliments your engagement ring. A non-matching band is fine too, but side stones may not start and stop at the same place as they do on your engagement ring.
Q: What are some alternatives to mined diamonds?
A: The most popular alternative to a mined diamond (currently) would be a lab-grown or synthetic diamond.
Q: How is the process of choosing a gemstone different from that of choosing a diamond?
A: Buying a gemstone is similar to buying a diamond in many ways. When buying a colored gem, the goal is to find a shade of that particular stone that you love. Figure out what cut (shape) you think would work best for your partner. Clarity is important in a colored stone but not quite as crucial as it is in a diamond. Ultimately, when buying a colored stone, it's about the color!
Q: Can I buy a stone and bring it in to be used?
A: You can buy a stone and bring it in to be set, yes. That being said, I would check with the store you're working with first to see if they can source the stone you're looking for.
Q: What is the process for using an heirloom stone or ring versus purchasing an engagement ring?
A: The process does not become any more or less complicated when using a heirloom stone. Finding a store you trust with a good reputation will squash any qualms you have about leaving your family heirloom with them.
Q: How does the insurance process work for an engagement ring? Should I insure the ring before I give it to my partner, or should we discuss insurance together?
A: The insurance process is actually very easy. We cover the ring against manufacturer's defects, but we don't actually insure the ring. Any ring purchase with us is accompanied by an insurance appraisal that you'd give to your adjuster to add to a homeowner’s or renter’s policy.
We hope this Q&A has offered a helpful starting point for your ring-shopping process! While this list offers some foundational information on engagement rings, there is definitely more to the process than we were able to cover in this post. We suggest stopping into a local shop to learn more and build a relationship with a jeweler.
A big thank you again to Brad Gattasso of Crown Jewelers for collaborating with us!
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