The aim of this article is to lead you through 7 ways to make your engagement ring remarkable. All 7 considerations will add value – but be careful how you interpret the word ‘value.’ We’ve spent many years creating ways to add additional value to our rings. Here are the results of some of our work. I have omitted ‘carat weight’ within the following article. This was too much of an obvious factor that increases the value of a diamond. My aim was to focus on less obvious details that not only increase monetary value, but add meaningful value at the same time.
It is a fact that diamonds graded by some laboratories are graded with less severity than others. Over-grading diamonds is a hot topic within our industry. Over-grading usually results in either the colour, clarity or both being higher on the certificate. Buyers feel they are getting greater value at a lesser cost. But really they are getting a lower value diamond. Fortunately most well known laboratories have forged a very good reputation for being accurate – grading diamonds with consistency. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is considered one of the most reputable diamond laboratories. You might pay slightly more for a GIA certified diamond, but the grading will be accurate. Diamonds weighing under 1 carat usually have the GIA report number laser engraved on the outer edge (girdle) – a valuable addition for confirming the identity of your diamond.
2. Diamond colour
A colour grade describes the whiteness of a diamond. The colour grade assigns a letter to represent the whiteness of a diamond. The whiter the diamond, the better the colour and the higher the letter. Remember that the colour scale starts with ‘D’, ‘E’ and then ‘F which are all exceptional grades of whiteness. Below ‘J’ colour you will see gradual tint of yellow or brown within the stone. A diamond will be more valuable if it possesses a whiter colour grade. Many jewellery manufacturers produce jewellery containing (what is often termed) commercially white diamonds. Not the most flattering term, but this covers a narrow band of whiteness between ‘H’ and ‘I’ colour, popular for the production of diamond jewellery. If you are searching for a higher value diamond (by colour) we suggest choosing a grade between D—G colour. It is important to remember that diamond colour does not affect the brightness and sparkle of a diamond.
3. Diamond clarity
Many people realise that flawless diamonds are rare and expensive. Most diamonds contain characteristics known as inclusions. The fewer inclusions, the higher the value of a diamond in terms of clarity. Certified diamonds are given a clarity grade which ranges from Flawless / Internally Flawless all the way down to Included (I) 3. For peace of mind we suggest that an ‘eye-clean’ diamond is chosen – SI1 clarity or above and for step-cut diamonds (Emerald cut, Asscher cut, Baguette cut) we suggest VS clarity grades or above. These diamond cuts are generally less forgiving of small inclusions which are more easily seen through the large table facets.
4. Cut / Polish / Symmetry
If a diamond engagement ring appears to be of exceptional value for the money, we don’t suggest that it’s a lie. We would however suggest that you learn what cut grade has been applied to your stone. Depending on how well the diamond is proportioned, there can be a staggering 40% difference in price. We have always worked to a minimum of a ‘Very Good’ cut grade as standard. Even a ‘Good’ cut grade will lessen the value and more importantly the brilliance of your diamond.
GIA assign a cut grade to round brilliant diamonds. If you want to maximise the value of your diamond, it might be possible to find a diamond which has an Excellent cut, Excellent polish and Excellent symmetry to ensure maximum brilliance.
5. Origin of your diamond
The value of a diamond engagement ring is further increased by knowing the origin of your diamond. This value is not necessarily one of cost. Many couples agree that knowing where their diamond originated is a valuable detail when buying the ring. Traditionally, rough diamonds are purchased from mixed sources, mined in many parts of the world. Although diamonds are routinely traded as conflict free they do not necessarily give the consumer any indication of provenance.
Today it is possible to source diamonds that are documented from the mine to the polished stone. We introduced CanadaMark diamonds into our services earlier this year for this very reason. CanadaMark diamonds are responsibly mined from the Ekati / Diavik mines in Canada and clients receive information such as the original rough diamond weight along with the information on where the diamond was mined. Each diamond has its own unique serial number that can be verified on the CanadaMark website.
6. Fairtrade Gold
The introduction of Fairtrade Gold is one of the greatest achievements of our industry in recent years. It is now possible for you to purchase an engagement ring made from 18ct Gold mined by impoverished small scale artisanal miners. Miners who were once exploited by intermediaries in their supply chain, now receive fair pay for the gold they mine. This helps them better their working conditions, whilst improving their business and community through certification from the Fairtrade Foundation.
We introduced Fairtrade Gold last year to add value to engagement rings and wedding rings – not just for our clients but for workers who are now given the opportunity to improve their lives. In June we decided to absorb the additional cost for this ethically conscious option for engagement rings and wedding rings as our way of promoting Fairtrade Gold over regular 18ct gold.
Customisation adds personal value to your purchase. This might be in the form of a unique design – a one off creation made just for you. Alternatively this might be a small detail change – such as a pink sapphire in place of the diamond. Further customisation options include a meaningful inscription engraved on the inside of the ring. We have been laser engraving messages in this way for many years – adding details such as dates, names, verses and sentimental messages to the inside of the band for both engagement rings and wedding rings.
An engagement ring combining all 7 factors
Implementing all 7 of the above will result in a remarkable ring. An exceptional blend of factors – combining immense sentimental value, with both material value and ethical value which stretches back to the mine, the workers, their community and the environment. Consider the difference between a ring with all of these details, compared to a ready-made, mass produced ring. Increased value and meaning don’t need to cost the earth.
To view some of our remarkable engagement rings that consider all of the above details, please visit our ideal cut premium range.