Whether its a Halo, Cluster, Trilogy or Solitaire style, Pavé, Channel, Bar or Flush set, choosing a ring can be quite daunting when you first start looking.
I'll try and break it down into understandable chunks :)
The Colour scale is from White to Yellow. Both ends of the spectrum are quite rare, therefore completely colourless and pure yellow would be very expensive. If your budget is between £300 and £500, you can look between I and K and still maintain a good clarity and carat. If your budget reaches to around £1000, you could probably find one as high as G if you're lucky. There is no point however trying to aim for the best of the best in all categories.
You cannot look at one without the other but sometimes you have to make compromises as you can't have it all (unless you have BIG $$$$$).
Carat isn't always the size of the diamond, but the weight. Some rings, particularly clusters, halos and trilogies, carat is given as a collective weight as each stone is so small. Also, depending on how its cut and how its set, the carat can vary so much.
Clarity is how 'perfect' the stone is. There are tiny imperfections in stones which can be visible to the eye. These are rated I3- SI2. From SI1 (Slightly Included) to VS1 ( Very Slightly Included) you would need one of those magnifying things to see them and then VS2 through VVS to FL (flawless) are the rarest and most expensive and would need to be looked at under at least a 10x magnification to check for any imperfections.
As my ring is a Halo, the diamonds are relatively small so that the centre stone stands out. Collectively, I believe the collective carat is between 0.75 and 1 carat with G/H colour and SI1 clarity. Set in a slim 18 karat (different type than stones) white gold band. It's gorge!
If the carat is low, you can probably get away with having a low clarity as you wouldn't be able to see it. And the higher the carat, the more noticeable the colour.
But truthfully, none of this really matters. That is what I came to realise after trawling the internet to find the 'perfect' ring that 'ticked' all the boxes. Realistically you're not going to find one that meets your high standards that actually looks and feels deep down like the ring of your dreams!
You should choose the one that really feels right. The one that your heart calls to.
The one I settled on was really the one I wanted all along. I think I only looked at others for peace of mind that I was choosing it for the right reasons. The decision ended up being between my ring and a simple trilogy. They were both gorgeous!
Secretly, I knew the trilogy was the checkbox choice but I would always look at it and know that. The Ruby and Diamond ring however, it meant more than mere value for money or being the clearest, colourless most perfect cut within my budget. Diamond is my birthstone (April) and Ruby is his (July) so, this ring really spoke to me and represented our relationship. In the end I left it to S to choose between them and I think he too knew deep down it was the perfect ring for me.
Plus, if I ever wanted to, the centre stone could be changed out for a Diamond.
But I love it. it's perfect, its different and it's meaningful. And that's exactly what an engagement ring should be!
Choose with your heart. Not your head!
Have you gotten engaged recently? What ring did you/your other half choose? Let me know in the comments!