11 September, 2014

How to Buy a Diamond Engagement Ring

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Let's talk about one my favorite subjects -- jewelry!

I was not planning to write this post at all, but when I was walking by those mall jewelry stores and saw young couples in love, looking at engagement rings, I so badly wanted to tell them, "Nooo, don't buy your engagement ring here!"
I wanted to step inside and tell them how I could help them find much better deals for diamonds online, like on Bluenile.com, but I didn't want to look like a crazy woman, or risk being escorted out of the mall by the security team. :-P

Why don't I think that people should purchase their diamond jewelry, especially engagement rings, at mall stores? For several reasons:
  • The diamonds are overpriced for what you get. For example, the clarity is usually as low as I1 or even I2, but are priced as if they are VS1/VS2. More information on the clarity is below.
  • The diamonds cost as though they are twice as large. For example, a 0.6 carat diamond from a mall jewelry store can cost as much as a 1.0 carat diamond from a direct dealer. Come on, you've got to be kidding me!
  • The diamonds are not very well cut, and only look good under jewelry store lighting. Try placing it next to a good quality diamond, under normal lighting condition, and see the stark contrast.
So, I decided to write this post. If it can help even just one person, then it is worth the effort. I like to think that an engagement ring is a forever ring, as I do not believe in "upgrading." To me, an engagement ring is one that you receive at the time of your engagement. Thus, I feel that you should receive a ring that you feel good about (whether it's a diamond or a gemstone ring) from the beginning, and have no regrets; this is my sole reason for writing this post today. Of course, I do understand that preferences and personal styles change as we grow, so "upgrading" a ring is natural to many. I don't feel very strongly about it either way. Besides, I'm probably just a very sentimental person. ;-)

Sean and I celebrated our 2-year wedding anniversary recently, and I remember spending a lot of my time researching diamonds and learning about the four Cs (Cut; Color; Clarity; Carats). I'm sure you've heard of the "four Cs," and it's boring to read about them all over again, so here are some visual graphics. Credit for the graphs below goes to Bluenile.com.

Colors: Diamond colors range from D (completely colorless -- very rare) to Z (deep, dark, noticeable color -- whether this is attractive or not is up to the individual to decide).


Cut: the cut grade of a diamond is to measure its light performance, also known as sparkle. ;-) Ideally, you want a diamond that is cut to proper proportion, so that the light that enters, can come back out. If a diamond is cut too shallow, the light leaks out at the bottom; if it is too deep, the light leaks out at the side.

Carat: this is the weight of the diamond, not the physical size. Keep in mind that on a smaller finger, a lower carat weight diamond can still look quite large. To learn more about it, click HERE.

This is my ring! The stone looks uneven in the setting, but that's only because of the awkward camera angle; it's perfect in person. :o)

After checking Bluenile.com daily, I finally found the diamond that I knew I was going to love! We decided to go with Blue Nile for our engagement diamond simply because this company really does offer the best deals, since they do not have much overhead to cover (Blue Nile doesn't have a storefront, thus, no money on rent or additional employees needs to be spent), and is a direct diamond dealer, which means there is no extra fee for the middleman, so the savings are passed on to you! Lastly, Blue Nile diamonds are conflict-free, and the company also offers a lifetime upgrading program.

Here's what we ended up getting:

Shape: Marquise -- this is my favorite shape because it is so feminine, yet with an nontraditional, unexpected edge. The marquise shape also elongates your hand, instead of making it look short and stout. One quick advice: if you do go with a Marquise shaped diamond, make sure that it isn't too long and skinny, or too short and wide; it should be proportionately cut.

Cut: Very good
Clarity: VVS1
Carat: 1 carat
Color: G

For the setting, we purchased it from a jeweler I knew. The cost of the diamond itself was so low, very reasonably priced, that even when added in with the cost of the ring, the total was still less than a single diamond of a lower grade/carat from a mall store.

Here's the obligatory "fire shot"! (A "fire shot" is a picture that captures the "fire" in your diamond, lol).

If you've made it this far, you might be wondering, "If this woman isn't getting paid by Blue Nile, why is she praising them so much?"

The simple answer for that is because this was the seller that Sean bought my engagement diamond from, and we had nothing but excellent experiences, from the customers service team, to the safe and timely arrival of our purchase.

Does a person have to get a diamond engagement ring? Of course not! I don't think a person even has to get any ring at all. As for me, personally, I like jewelry. Honestly, I would have been just as happy with a good quality sapphire ring, but I could not resist the sparkly allure of a diamond.

Oh, hey, here's a picture of our wedding! I remember wearing very high heeled shoes, just so I'd look good next to Sean, since he is quite tall, haha. Sorry that the picture is not the best quality, because it's actually a scan of the physical picture. I did my own hair and makeup, which saved me $500. Unless you don't know how to put on makeup, I'd suggest that you do it yourself and save some money (look for tutorials on YouTube! My favorite bridal makeup tutorials are from Emilynoel83 because she's a very good instructor and speaks clearly).

What is your dream engagement ring? If you have a blog, please feel free to share the link to it with your comment; I would love to visit it! :o)


  1. Hi sweety,
    I hope you doing well.
    Great post and you look so amazing on the pic<3. To be honest I'm not so far to think about my engagement ring, but maybe I schould:p.
    Have a lovely day!

    Much love,


    1. Awww, thank you for stopping by! I hope your weekend is going well.

  2. Your ring is so pretty and you look beautiful in your wedding picture. I don't think I have a dream engagement ring yet. :)


    1. Lol, yeah, I think you're a still a bit too young! ;-)

  3. Great tips...thanks for sharing. You made such a beautiful bride and I love your ring.

    Keisha xo

    1. Awww, thank you, Keisha. That's so sweet of you. <3

  4. you look like a princess, my dream engagement ring is very close to the first picture you posted!

  5. Oh great tips, I think I need to show this article to my boyfriend ;-)
    You looked so beautiful!

    Sarah x

    1. Oh, thank you so much! I think the boyfriend will definitely take the hint if you send him the article. ;-)

  6. Replies
    1. Haha, I get the same reaction whenever I see diamonds, too. Lol.

  7. Nice post, Great tips! You look lovely


    1. Aw, thank you! Thanks for stopping by. :o)

  8. WOW how incredible is your ring?!!?! It's so stunning x x

    Gemma | missmakeupmagpie.com

  9. Great suggestions! I hope people take your advice!

  10. You look so pretty <3 !!! Thank you for all your suggestions!!

    Serene xoxox


    1. Ahhh, thank you! That's very sweet of you to say.

  11. Need to give this to my bf hehehe. Though I'm definitely not ready for marriage right now! You look beautiful by the way and the ring is stunning!

    1. Lol, thanks. I wonder how he'd react if you give it to him; he might take it as a hint. :o)

  12. You guys look amazing together. Can't believe you are married. You look so much young.
    Nice detailed article for choosing rings. Loved every bit of it and appreciate your hard work for the write up. Happy weekend !


    1. Ahahaha, thanks for thinking that I look young! ;-) I'm glad you enjoyed the post, and I hope that you're having a good weekend.

  13. Gorgeous ring! I love the style and setting. Great post -- I don't know anything about diamonds so I learned quite a bit.

    1. Awww, thank you. I'm glad it was helpful.

  14. Oh wow so beautiful really loved your dress!


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  16. You made some decent points there. I wanted to thanks for your time for this splendid read!! Check out more info about diamond engagement rings and let me know what you feel. Engagement rings Melbourne


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