Over the last 30 years, I’ve witnessed a lot of happiness/joy and a lot of anger/frustration from the women who receive diamond engagement rings. This article focuses on the top ten complaints women currently have about their engagement rings. There used to be only one – “It’s not big enough! Size, size, size!” Overwhelmingly, size was the number one complaint for as long as I could remember. Then, mysteriously size dropped from its number one spot to the #2 spot in 2005. Now, more than 10 years later, SIZE isn’t even in the top five! What are millennials finding more important than “HUGE!!”? Let’s find out.
#10 REPAIRS. The difference between well-made jewelry and mass production/”fashion” jewelry is life span. If a piece of jewelry is a lot of flash for very little cash, it tends to break often and is constantly in the repair shop. Handmade, well-made jewelry breaks too, but is easily repaired. Quality jewelry lasts generations; the new cheap assembly line fast-fashion jewelry is lucky to last a season.
#9 FINGER SIZE – Doesn’t Fit. There are countless women out there that are wearing rings that are either too tight or too loose. They knew the ring wasn’t the right size when their significant others proposed, but they were so excited about their new sparkler that they never took the time to take it back to the jeweler to size the ring correctly. In other cases, the ring was the right size and the wearer isn’t the same size she used to be. Rings that are too loose get lost easily and rings that are too tight get stuck. It’s never fun to cut off a ring because it is cutting off circulation.
#8 SETTING. There is a lot to think about when it comes to the setting. What metal? White gold, yellow gold, rose gold, platinum, etc. Will there be accent stones, a halo? There are an infinite amount of settings and what might catch a woman’s fancy on Pinterest or Instagram might not look good on her hand. She may be in love with the main diamond (and you), but that doesn’t mean she likes the setting. Because so many women are unhappy with the setting, many jewelers offer loaner rings so the newly betrothed can pick her favorite setting after the question is popped.
#7 CONFLICT FREE. Today’s woman doesn’t want blood on her hands. She wants to be rest assured that her diamond doesn’t have a backstory she can’t live with. If the diamond was purchased secondhand or on the internet, there is no way for her to be sure her diamond isn’t a blood diamond. All online vendors – and I mean ALL of them – outsource their diamonds from brokers and don’t stock their own inventories. If they are a middleman, then you may be the one stuck in the middle with a diamond with a bad pedigree.
#6 SIZE. Alright, so size isn’t the most important thing to a woman anymore, but it’s still important. If the first thing a woman says about her engagement ring is “cute”, you can bet she thinks it’s too small. Cute is for puppies and babies. If your fiancé isn’t happy with the size of her rock, she’s probably not Jenny from the block.
#5 CLARITY. If a woman can see a flaw in her diamond without magnification, she won’t be happy. These used to be easier to avoid because all you had to do was not buy imperfect grade diamonds. But when GIA changed their definitions of their clarity grades in 2006, it became possible to buy a very slightly included diamond (VS1/VS2) that was actually imperfect. These are referred to as “soft-graded diamonds”. Hard-graded diamonds are diamonds guaranteed 100% eye-clean in grades SI1 or better. Diamonds that only have 30-60-day return policies are typically soft-graded. Read the disclaimers on lab reports. If they say they don’t guarantee the grades, then the diamond is soft-graded and may have an eye-visible inclusion that the novice might easily miss.
#4 COLOR (Too Brown or Too Yellow). Don’t believe the hype about chocolate diamonds. Chocolate made from carbon and not cocoa won’t make her happy. Most women don’t want brown or dingy yellow diamonds. Many women know that the more colorless a diamond is, the more valuable it is. There are exceptions to every rule, such as fancy colors like red, canary yellow, green, and blue, but these diamonds are more for collectors than wearers. In addition, most fancy colors available to wear are treated and therefore do not hold their value.
#3 WRONG SHAPE. Form follows function. Translation: The shape and proportions of a diamond determines how much and what type of sparkle the diamond will have. A diamond talks to us with its sparkle and the shape determines its language; each diamond shape speaks a slightly different language. If you get her the wrong shape, then it won’t have the sparkle she expects, so she will be unhappy. Two out of three women request a round diamond since it is the brightest. The other 1/3rd purchase all the other shapes combined. When in doubt, buy round and make sure it is Fully Bonded in case she wants to change the shape.
#2 SPARKLE. It doesn’t make any difference how white, clean, or big a diamond is if it was originally cut from poor quality rough. The second biggest complaint I hear from women is “Why doesn’t my diamond sparkle like it did in the jewelry store?” There are four components to making a diamond sparkle like it should: the clarity grade, color grade, how well-proportioned it is, and the composition of the rough it was cut from. Since 2005, less than 2% of the diamonds in the world have been cut from full-term rough, and since 2005, this complaint has only become louder. To guarantee your diamond is cut from full-term rough, just make sure it’s fully bonded. Low grade rough can only come with a limited return policy, usually 30-60 days.
#1 FAKE. How do you wipe the smile from a woman’s face? Tell her that her diamond engagement ring is fake. Women don’t do “fake” very well. There are a ton of imposters on the market these days; artificial, man-made, treated, and even natural/treated. Real love stories don’t have “fake” anywhere in their pages. Real is Rare. Fake will get you in the dog house. To prevent accidentally purchasing any of the fakes on the market, make sure you get in writing that the diamond is 100% natural and that if it is ever proven to be otherwise, you will get 100% of your money back. There are lots of ways to tell your love story. If you choose to include diamonds in yours, just make sure they’re real.
Look – we get these sorts of questions all of the time, and I totally understand why it’s a huge challenge to figure out where to begin on picking the perfect engagement ring for your future wife. We’ve helped thousands of men just like you over the past 30 years navigate the confusing road to purchasing their engagement ring, and we’d like to do the same for you!
Click on the button below to schedule a complimentary 1 on 1 call with one of our expert gemologists to see if we can be of service to you. We look forward to helping you “wow” her soon!
This is Fred Cuellar, the Diamond Guy®. Talk to you next time.