The Diamond Vault

The Diamond Vault started out in the wholesale diamond industry and expanded its operation to sell diamonds and diamond jewelry directly to the public with wholesale pricing while never neglecting a focus on providing outstanding customer service. We are direct diamond importers and also provide an array of services that include custom design, jewelry repair, watch repair and appraisal services.
7119 E. Shea Blvd. Suite 104 Scottsdale, AZ
Phone: 480-948-8444

What to Look for When Picking an Engagement Ring


You’ve decided to pop the question, and you’ve planned the perfect proposal. Now it’s time to get the ring. Maybe your girlfriend has already dropped a few hints about the kind of ring she wants—like that time she “accidentally” left a Web page open of that glittering princess cut engagement ring. Or, maybe the two of you have been talking about marriage for a while and you’ve asked her candidly what kind of ring she’d love to see adorning her ring finger.

Whether you’re planning a surprise proposal, or the two of you have plans to shop for a ring together, there are many factors to consider when choosing the perfect diamond engagement ring, including her preferred shape and setting, and, of course, the “four C’s,”—color, clarity, cut, and carats. She’ll be wearing the ring for the rest of her life, so you want to get it right!

Choosing an Engagement Ring

Don’t Know Her Ring Size?
If you’re planning a surprise proposal but don’t know her ring size—what’s your next step? Here are a few ideas for discreetly getting her ring size:

  • Before you go sifting through her jewelry box to see if she has a ring you can have sized, call a friend or family member—preferably one who has given her a ring before as a gift or who you think will probably know her ring size. You’d be surprised what her friends and family members might know!
  • While she’s sleeping, gently wrap a piece of string around her left ring finger, marking the string with a Sharpie where it comes together in a complete circle. Next, lay the marked-up string next to a tape measure to find the length in millimeters, and find her ring size on a chart. If she’s a light sleeper, better skip this one!
  • If your girlfriend wears a ring on her right ring finger, use that ring to determine the size of her left ring finger (this should give you a close enough approximation, even though fingers can vary in size from one hand to the other). How to do it? When she’s out of sight, make an impression of her ring in a bar of soap or clay.

The Specifics: What to Look For in a Ring
Here are some key things you should know when searching for the right ring.

Diamonds 101
Diamonds are the most popular stone for engagement rings and wedding bands, offering unsurpassed beauty and brilliant shine. Here’s what to look for in a diamond:

  • Color: Diamonds are found in a variety of colors—remember the famous blue diamond worn by the lead female character in the film Titanic? Diamonds can have red, black, yellow, or other hues, and are graded on their intensity and rarity of color—diamonds that are colorless are referred to as “white” diamonds, and are the rarest.
  • Clarity: The clarity of a diamond refers to how clear or transparent it is. Diamonds form under incredible heat and pressure conditions deep within the surface of the Earth. The same conditions that give us these remarkable gems can also create imperfections such as cracks, small bubbles, and fissures in the stone—referred to as inclusions. Jewelers use a magnifying glass (usually at 10X magnification) to view a diamond’s clarity and identify any inclusions. They rate the diamond based on a globally recognized clarity grading scale, which ranges from FL (flawless) to I1, I2, or I3, which means the inclusions are obvious at 10X magnification and are generally visible to the naked eye.  
  • Cut: The cut refers to the overall shape and finish of a diamond, and, importantly, how well the different facets of the diamond interact with light. How precisely a diamond is cut can dramatically impact the stone’s quality. A poorly cut diamond can result in lackluster shine, while an expertly cut stone sparkles brilliantly.
  • Carat: Carats refer to weight. One carat equals 0.007 ounces. The greater the number of carats, the larger the diamond (and the greater the price). This is where a husband-to-be on a budget can save significantly on a diamond engagement ring. The difference between a 1.8 and 2.0 carat diamond isn’t very noticeable, but it can save you significantly in terms of cost.

We’ve covered the “four C’s” of diamonds. Let’s look at some additional features that are important considerations when selecting a ring.

There are many shapes to choose from, many of which are “brilliant cut,” which means that the diamond is cut in a particular form with numerous facets, giving the stone exceptional brilliance. The different shapes include (from left to right in the image below):

Choosing an Engagement Ring

  • Round –  The most popular shape; technically advanced with many facets for brilliant shine
  • Princess –  A popular shape that is typically square (and sometimes rectangular) with the same degree of brilliance as the round brilliant
  • Emerald –  Traditionally a rectangular cut with a vintage look
  • Asscher –  Square-shaped diamond similar to emerald cut, but with large step facets and dramatically cut corners; has an antique look
  • Oval –  Modified round brilliant shape
  • Marquise –  Football shape that comes to a point at each end
  • Radiant –  A rectangular shape with brilliant facet pattern; offers more brilliance than the emerald shape; ideal for colored diamonds
  • Heart –  Modified brilliant diamond shape; the heart shape connotes love and romance
  • Pear –  Teardrop shaped combination of the brilliant round and marquise shapes
  • Cushion –  Similarly shaped to a pillow, thus sometimes referred to as “pillow cut,” cushion cut engagement rings feature rounded corners and larger facets; popular choice for colored diamonds

Another consideration is whether she’ll prefer a solitaire mounting or a diamond-encrusted setting. A solitaire ring showcases a single stone, while a diamond-encrusted setting complements the large stone and delivers more “bling.” A third option is the bridal set, which consists of a matching engagement ring and wedding band. With a bridal set, rings match and complement each other perfectly, and are often more comfortable to wear.  
 Choosing an Engagement Ring

Next: The Metals
Once you’ve settled on diamond shape and setting, you’ll need to decide on a precious metal. Here are some popular choices:

  • Palladium: Palladium is a lustrous metal with a silver-white finish and beautifully complements diamonds.
  • Platinum: One of the purest metals available, platinum is naturally white and won’t change over time. This metal is 35 times rarer than gold and has the advantage of being hypoallergenic. It’s an ideal choice for those with sensitive skin.
  • Yellow Gold: Yellow gold offers classic styling that never goes out of fashion. It is the preferred choice of many. Available in 14k and 18k.
  • White Gold: Made from an alloy of gold and at least one white metal (such as nickel or palladium), white gold is an affordable option that pairs beautifully with diamonds.

There are additional considerations when choosing an engagement ring, including understanding conflict diamonds—that’s why it’s important to consult with an expert. The specialists at The Diamond Vault can help you understand all your options and find an engagement ring that fits within your budget and which will truly dazzle her.


For more information about our diamonds and jewelry, Contact Us today and speak to one of our specialists.