The Millennial’s Guide to Buying a Diamond Engagement Ring

What you should look for, and how you should go about it.

Buying a diamond can feel like such a scary adult experience. How do you know if you’re paying the right price for it? What do all the terms mean? What should you be looking for in a sparkler, anyway? The experts at JannPaul, a Singapore jeweller specialising in engagement rings and wedding bands, give us the low-down on the four Cs.

Cut

“The most important C of all is the cut of a diamond,” says the experts at JannPaul. The cut determines the diamond’s brilliance – in other words, its sparkle. To get a super sparkly diamond, you’ll need a Super Ideal Cut.

While most diamonds come with certification (most notably by GIA, the Gemological Institute of America), the certificates do not reveal a diamond’s light performance. An “Excellent” graded cut diamond may still suffer from severe light leakages and that won’t be shown on the certificate. That means two diamonds of identical grades on the GIA certificate may perform completely differently.

Most jewellery stores have specially calibrated lights so their diamonds look shiny from every angle, but will look different once you bring the stone out of the store. “This is why you should never buy a diamond based on what you see in the store, as everything looks good and the same,” says JannPaul experts. So how do you check if a diamond would remain brilliant when you bring it home or outdoors? You’ll need to analyse its light performance under the Angular Spectrum Evaluation Tool (ASET) scope, a tool that can be borrowed from the jeweller or purchased prior to your visit. This is a must to determine if a diamond has severe light leakages.

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Here’s a video from JannPaul that explains this further.

Carat

A diamond’s carat is based on its weight – but just because it’s heavier doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better. That’s because a heavier carat weight may not necessarily mean the larger the diamond. If a diamond is cut too deep, it would appear smaller. Avoid buying diamonds in the following carats: 0.30, 0.40, 0.70 and 1.00. The experts at JannPaul explain why: “Diamonds are priced by carat weight brackets, and you’ll end up paying a lot more when you cross over to the next bracket, even though it’s just a 0.01ct difference!”

A lower carat but well-cut diamond will appear larger and brighter, compared to a higher carat but poorly-cut diamond. In any case, avoid diamonds that are cut too wide (like the diamond on the far right below), as it would result in light leakages. What you want is the optimal balance of the widest spread without sacrificing on its light return.

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Colour

Colour grades for diamonds go from D (the highest) to Z (the lowest). The higher the colour grade of the diamond, the more colourless it will appear, whereas those on the lower end of the scale will have a yellow-ish tinge. If budget is a concern, don’t be deterred by the lower colour grade. This is especially the case when you’re setting the diamond on a rose or yellow gold ring because it can mask the colour of your diamond. “However, we recommend a colour grade of G or above, as once you hit H, that’s where the yellowish tinge becomes obvious,” says the experts at JannPaul.

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Don’t confuse colour with the brightness of a diamond. A high-colour but poorly-cut diamond will look darker and duller, compared to a high-performing diamond with a lower colour. What this means is a high light-performing G colour diamond will look brighter than a low-performing D colour diamond.

Here’s a video from JannPaul that explains this further.

 

Clarity

The clarity of a diamond refers to its inclusions (interior imperfections) and blemishes (surface imperfections). “There are over 20 types of diamond inclusions, with some that you should avoid, such as chip, bearding, scratch, and so on,” says the experts at JannPaul. In addition, you should avoid diamonds with inclusions located on its girdle (edges). This may cause durability issues that result in chipping over time. If you’re unsure, check with your local jeweller on the type and location of your diamond’s inclusions. “Generally, we recommend going for a clarity grade of VS2 or above,” says the experts at JannPaul.

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If you’re still nervous about making your first diamond purchase, just leave it to the experts at JannPaul. The jeweller provides free consultations and ring customisation services – which include a hyper realistic 3D render and wax moulding – for a truly one-of-a-kind design at no additional cost. Purchasing a diamond ring with JannPaul also comes with complimentary free ring re-sizing, re-plating and re-polishing, laser engraving, and ring cleaning services.

JannPaul is located at #01-23 Far East Shopping Centre, 545 Orchard Road. Call 6235 3897 or e-mail sales@jannpaul.com to make an appointment. Go to www.jannpaul.com or visit the JannPaul Diamonds Facebook page and YouTube page for more information.

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