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Top 7 Tips for Diamond Ring Shopping

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Looking to buy a new diamond ring, but not sure where to start? If you're unsure about the best place to begin, don't worry. We understand that terms like "cut" and "carat" can be confusing. And that it's hard to wrap your head around the benefits of each diamond shape. That's why we're here to help. In this guide, we'll make sure you understand everything about diamonds before you start looking. We'll explain how to shop for rings for different occasions, like engagements or weddings. We'll also show you how reviewing your existing jewelry can help you find what you're looking for. 

Once we've talked about style and design, we'll dive into the basics of diamond shopping. We'll explain how to understand grading and choose a quality diamond. We'll also explore the various diamond shapes available. Additionally, we'll discuss ring sizes and how to ensure you choose the right style from the beginning.

And finally, we’ll cover sustainability in the diamond industry, why it’s so important to look out for ethical standards when shopping, and give you the tools to shop for your new diamond ring in confidence.

1. Think About The Occasion

Start by thinking about the occasion and person you’re shopping for. Looking for an anniversary gift? Then an eternity ring could be a great idea. Getting married? You’ll want to shop for an engagement ring and then for your wedding bands. And if you’re simply looking to treat yourself, think about when, where and how often you’ll be wearing your new piece. Understanding the occasion first, and how often you’ll wear your new ring, can help inform both style and budget. 

Because there’s lots to consider when it comes to shopping for occasion rings, we’ve put together in-depth guides to choosing an engagement ring, shopping for wedding bands, and picking out an eternity piece.

Whether it’s for a special occasion or not, we recommend having an idea of what you’d like to spend on your new piece in mind before you start shopping. There are rings for all kinds of budgets, and knowing yours from the outset will help focus your search.

2. Go Over Your Current Collection

If you decide you’re after an everyday piece to throw into your jewelry mix, why not start with a quick audit of all the current pieces you wear and own? This will help paint a picture of what’s missing from your wardrobe and what you’ll likely wear it with most.

Think about whether you want a statement ring – something to wear on its own, or as the hero piece in any jewelry look. Or, perhaps you’re looking for a stackable ring to add to your existing hand candy? Think about what finger you’ll wear it on, whether index, wedding or even pinky.

3. Get to Know The 4Cs

Now you’ve thought about occasion and style, it’s time to talk diamonds. When shopping for a diamond ring you’ll come across the 4Cs. These stand for colour, cut, clarity and carat. The 4Cs are how the quality of any diamond, anywhere in the world, is measured.

Clarity refers to the purity of the stone and how flawless it is. Colour refers to whether there is any yellow, brown or grey to the stone. Cut is about how the facets of the stone interact with light. And finally carat refers to the weight of the diamond. 

Get to know the 4Cs, and think about what’s most important. Do you want a big diamond? Or perhaps the way it catches light matters most to you? You can balance the 4Cs to get the exact diamond you’re after.

To find out more, check out our guide to the 4Cs

4. Understand Different Diamond Shapes

Some of the key diamond shapes to look out for are round, oval, Marquise – which is like a long and narrow teardrop – pear, elongated radiant (a rectangular shape) and cushion-shaped. A classic diamond shape would be more rounded, and a more contemporary or standout diamond shape would be a Marquise or radiant. Think about the kind of mood and style you want your ring to have, then pick out shapes that bring your style to life.

We talk about diamond shapes mostly in relation to engagement rings but it’s worth knowing what they are, as every diamond ring could feature a combination of shapes which impact the style and finish of the piece.

You can read more about diamond shapes in our diamond shape guide.

5. Choose Your Band

At Kimai, you’ll have a choice of yellow, rose or white 18 carat recycled gold for your band. Gold can be recycled without losing any of its quality, so choosing recycled metal is one easy way to make sure your new piece is as sustainable as it is stylish. You might also be able to pick a particular finish for your metallic band, such as polished for high shine or burnished for a more textured look.

In some instances, particularly for wedding bands, you may be able to choose your bands thickness also. Thinner bands often flatter smaller fingers, and thicker bands provide more statement and standout on the setting itself.

6. Get The Size Right

Most rings come in a range of sizes, and most jewelers use the same ring size guide – though this will vary country to country. You can get rings resized at a later date – particularly heirloom pieces that are being passed down through generations – but if you’re shopping for a new ring, it’s always better to know your size upfront. Sometimes, due to the design of the piece, you might not be able to get your new ring resized later.

At Kimai, you can order a free ring sizer after you’ve secured your piece but before you commit to a size. Find out more in our ring size guide.

7. Make It Sustainable

While shopping for your new ring, be sure to do your research and check out where your piece has come from. Look for jewelry promoted as conflict-free, and read about how jewelers talk about their social and environmental impact. So you can be sure you’re making an informed decision.

Natural vs Lab-made Diamonds

When choosing a diamond, you can pick one that’s been mined or one that’s been lab-made. Both methods yield identical stones physically in terms of quality but have different production methods.

Social Impact

Lab-made diamonds are fully traceable, which means we can be sure they’ve been made in a safe environment and everyone’s been paid a fair wage. With mined stones, there is less transparency and this can be exploited by middlemen in ways that harm communities, particularly in conflict regions.

Environmental Impact

The pursuit of rare mined stones can lead to deforestation, soil erosion and displaced communities. Whereas lab-made diamonds require few resources and don’t take up much space or energy to create.

Now you’ve read our guide, you’re ready to start shopping for your new ring.

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