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Everything you Need to Know when Choosing a Diamond Ring

As Managing Director at Loyes Diamonds, Barry Kerwin knows a thing or two about buying diamonds. We decided to tap into his knowledge to find out the secrets of buying the perfect diamond ring. 

First thing’s first! When it comes to buying a diamond engagement ring Barry says that the search should begin with a bit of research. “The Internet has a wealth of information and you can educate yourself on the various characteristics and attributes of a diamond,” he says. “Research the various shapes of diamonds and the various settings that they may be set into. It is also a great way to familiarise yourself with the language used by jewellers when buying diamonds.”

Going shopping with an idea of what you want and how much you want to spend is always a good idea. “It is very easy for someone to lose the run of themselves and spend way more than they should on a diamond ring,” Barry says. “Be realistic. We know it will be a piece of jewellery that you will wear forever but it’s not something that should rule your lives. We have so many ways of tweaking designs and adjusting a stones quality and settings that we can make dreams come true – within reason!”

Not every woman has a defined ‘taste’ in jewellery. If you have a look at what’s in a woman’s jewellery box it can range from plastic 80s earrings to exquisite and delicate gold pieces. If that’s the case you might want to look for a token engagement ring that you can replace with one the bride-to-be chooses. “My one piece of advice is that if they are going with a token ring please for your own sake and for your partner’s sake keep it real,” Barry says. “Some guys go and buy a one or two carat token ring and propose with it. The lady wears it for a few weeks and then when it comes to buying the real deal their budget only allows for a half-carat diamond that is substantially smaller. Do a little research and try and get something as close as possible to your budgeted real ring.”

“To use a token ring or not doesn’t really apply to some jewellers,” Barry says. “Loyes Diamonds offer a full money refund if something goes wrong and the ring is not required. If the ring isn’t to her taste we will also work with her and help her find the perfect engagement ring.”

Having helped so many couples find the perfect diamond ring, Barry knows that customers forget important factors when shopping. “When choosing the rings’ metal there are a number of considerations that should be made. Aesthetics, maintenance and of course price should all be considered. When it comes to the diamonds in the ring there are thousands of different variables that must be taken into account. Just choosing a shape of stone will have a major impact on the aesthetics of how the ring will look and wear, and the price will be greatly affected. For example round brilliant diamonds are the most popular shape of diamond, but it is also the more expensive shape of diamond.”

One interesting tip that Barry has is that platinum should go with platinum: “People don’t consider that if they choose to go with platinum for the engagement ring then it is advised to also go with a platinum wedding ring to avoid a harder metal wearing against a softer one. This will have an impact on the wedding ring’s price, so it can add up considerably.”

There has been a lot in the media about blood and conflict diamonds and for many couples having an ethical diamond is an important consideration. “All reputable jewellers only buy stones from reputable stone suppliers,” Barry says, “and these suppliers will have certificates to ensure the buyer that all stones adhere to what is known as the Kimberley process. This is an international process whereby the stones are followed from source through mining, sorting, cutting, polishing and distribution to ensure the stones are 100 per cent ethical. All of Loyes Diamonds are certified by the most reputable laboratories in the diamond industry and this further accentuates the fact that the diamond is ethically sourced.”

In 2015 there are lots of new trends to look forward to. Of course many traditional bridal looks will remain wedding favorites. When it comes to diamonds there are some trends to look out for. “The classic solitaire with its timeless beauty and elegance always holds its own,” Barry says. “The antique or halo style of ring has been very popular and offers that sparkle and twinkle of a larger ring for a fraction of the price.”

“Diamonds on the band and shoulders of the ring has become very popular again and features very much on many of the pieces we carry and create. We have seen some interesting trends in diamond shapes throughout the year too.  While the round brilliant shape diamond is the undisputed king, we have also seen a lot of interest in cushion shaped stones. Interestingly, for the first five months of the year the cushion was the most popular fancy (all diamond that are not round are termed fancy) and then all of a sudden oval shaped stones became very popular and also very hard to find. These trends are often down to celebrities and their beautiful rings.”

If a couple is on a tight budget but still want a diamond then Barry advises going for quality over quantity. “If the budget is tight and the client really wants a large ring we would advise that they go for something with a halo or a cluster style ring. The basic rule in diamonds is the smaller the diamond the less the cost. By placing many smaller diamonds side by side in different formations the goldsmith can give the illusion that the ring has much bigger diamonds. Also when using smaller stones it is possible to reduce the clarity a little and thereby save a little more.”

What would Barry’s top tips be for shoppers looking for the perfect engagement ring? “Buy certified from the most respected laboratories. The quality of a well cut diamond will far out sparkle a large lifeless stone. Always go for quality over quantity if you would like your diamond to perform and get noticed!”






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