9 secrets from an engagement ring expert.

When it comes to engagement rings, there’s a lot you need to know. From size to shape and cut to color, it’s easy to brush up on the basics. But, there are some tips and tricks only an expert could tell you.

At Tapper’s, we know you didn’t major in gemology. But… we did, and that’s why we’re revealing some of our secrets. We’ll tell you what others won’t, all to help you pick the perfect engagement ring.

Pssst… listen closely:

  • There’s a big difference between certified and non-certified. Any diamond certified by the Gem Institute of America is a diamond you don’t have to worry about. The GIA is widely-respected as the world’s leading authority on diamonds, and their gradings are based only on facts.
  • A fancy cut can actually be more affordable. Because solitaire diamonds are the most common, you may think they’re best for your budget. But, believe it or not, that’s not always true. You can actually get more for your money if you go with an oval, cushion, marquise or radiant diamond.
  • It’s okay to compromise on clarity. If you’re on a budget, you can come down a few clarity grades and, chances are, you won’t see a difference.
  • Big names aren’t always better. It’s easy to think that the stores with the greatest volume can give you the greatest price, but the truth is, their markups are significantly higher than independent jewelry stores. That means it could literally pay to shop local (and who wouldn’t want that?).
  • A clean ring will look significantly more expensive. You could have an absolutely flawless diamond… but if it’s dirty, it’s not going to reflect any light. Which means it’s not going to sparkle and shine.
  • Not all diamonds come in a standard shape. While a solitaire is always round and a princess is always square, there are other shapes that can vary. For example, marquee, pear, oval and cushion can be different from diamond to diamond. One may be long while the other is short, and one may be slender while the other is wide.
  • A flat diamond won’t be as sparkly. Flat diamonds definitely look larger, but they don’t reflect the light as well – which means they won’t sparkle as much.
  • You probably couldn’t tell the difference between platinum and white gold. The metals look similar, but their price tags don’t. Because platinum is a more durable metal, it’s more expensive. But… the naked eye wouldn’t notice.
  • Buy a diamond that’s just shy of the carat weight you want. If you’re looking for a one-carat diamond, first, look at one that’s .95 carats. Compare the two, and if you can’t tell them apart, go with the one that’s slightly smaller. It’s essentially the same thing, just less expensive.

Want more tips from someone who knows all things engagement rings? Visit a Tapper’s store near you, then ask to talk to a bridal expert.