Your Guide to Buying the Perfect Engagement Ring

diamond engagement and wedding ring

So you’re in love and have decided to make it official — congratulations! Now you need a ring. Whether you go the traditional route and surprise her with a ring you’ve picked out by yourself or you plan to go ring shopping together, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed by all the choices. That’s why we’ve asked the experts at Diamond Guy Hawaii to answer all of our engagement ring questions.

diamond engagement and wedding ring

I know she’s “The One” and I want to propose in the future. How much money should I be saving? In other words, what’s a realistic budget?

The common answer is 3 months of salary. Personally I think there is no such thing as the “right budget.” There is the right ring and its cost. Many clients overestimate their budget and come in thinking they have to spend 30K on a ring. Once they see a few examples of rings in the 10-20K range they are just as amazed. Get the right ring; the budget should not be a huge factor.

I’ve heard of the 4 C’s. Can you explain each one?

The 4 C’s stand for Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat size.

Cut – This tends to be a very undervalued aspect in most common articles. Cut grade is the objective measure of a diamond’s light performance, so the better the cut the shinier the stone.
Color – The whiter the better. Color manifests itself in a diamond as pale yellow, so a diamond’s true color grade is based on its lack of color. A color grade of D is the highest possible, while Z is the lowest grade possible.
Clarity – A measure of the number and size of the tiny imperfections that occur in almost all diamonds, so the cleaner the better.
Carat – Carat weight specifically refers to a diamond’s weight… and of course bigger is better.

For a detailed explanation on each aspect, check out our education page. Remember it’s not one “C” that makes a diamond; it’s a combination of the right “C’s” with the right design.

diamond engagement ring with pink side stones

Are certain C’s more important than others?

My order of importance for years has been carat (size), cut (the angles and light reflection in the stone), clarity (anything eye clean is great in my opinion) and color. I’m a big advocate of cut and symmetry in the stone. Some assume that the higher the carat, the brighter the shine, but a diamond’s shine actually comes from the angles of its cut. Therefore, the cut of a diamond affects how clear the color shines through.

What metals can I choose from? Besides their look, are there any differences (pros and cons) between these metals?

We recommend 18 karat gold; it’s strong and holds shine very long. Unfortunately we’ve noticed that Platinum and 14 karat gold are actually getting dull quickly. For warmer tone diamonds, I would recommend a yellow gold setting so the warm tone won’t contrast as much to let’s say a white ring. For anything else I would definitely go with white gold.

If you feel funky, try rose gold. It’s absolutely stunning and is currently making a huge comeback.

Besides my budget, the 4 C’s, and the type of metal, what else is there to consider?

The design of a ring is extremely important. You should keep in mind that she’ll be wearing it everyday, so comfort is key! Also don’t forget to make sure it fits in with her style.

For wedding bands, make sure they will compliment the center stone (for those who may go with diamond bands or pave diamond work).

gold wedding bands

How do I figure out her size?

Ask her mom, sister or a good friend. As a last resort go through her jewelry box and get a ring that she wears often. Don’t get too worked up about the right size, it can end up being a short, few hour fix.

Once I pick out a ring, how long will it take to be ready?

Depending on its complexity, a custom-made ring can take anywhere from 10 to 21 days from start to completion. At Diamond Guy Hawaii we value the quality of our work – taking our time to make sure it’s perfect – and therefore commit to creating no more than six custom-made rings a month. You always have the right to ask a jeweler to expedite a ring, but keep in mind that quality lies in the hands of time.

Can you tell me about ring insurance?

The best ring insurance is your home insurance – call your agent for an affordable quote. If you don’t have home insurance, Jewelers Mutual is a good option for stand-alone diamond insurance.

What should I look for in a reputable jeweler?

It’s all about the reviews, reviews, reviews! Yelp or Google Plus is great for help. Also sit down for a consultation with the jeweler and just feel the energy. A diamond ring purchase is emotional and if you don’t feel good with the jeweler than find someone else. It happens from time to time, but in the end you’re in charge of your purchase.

Moshe from Diamond Guy Hawaii inspecting a diamond

Why should I come to Diamond Guy Hawaii?

We love what we do and we love helping folks find the perfect ring. Handmade and carefully crafted diamonds are our specialty at Diamond Guy Hawaii, as well as relating to our customers’ needs. We provide a great value, offer exceptional quality and have great relationships with our customers.

How are your prices “often less then half of the price you’ll see at any retail store?”

Just like you, we look for ways to save. Older diamonds shine just as brightly, so we re-cut diamonds from old estate pieces, and sell them for the price of the old diamond. Often times, this satisfies a customer’s design and budget. It also helps that our sister company is Hawaii Estate and Jewelry Buyers. The concept of buying old jewelry and recreating the pieces is the reason our diamonds lead Hawaii’s market in price.

What is your favorite part of your job?

The compliments and love that we get back from our clients are basically why I moved into this field. We love how couples are amazed when they spend less on a diamond ring than expected. As a diamond wholesaler (for over 10 years) I worked exclusively with stores and unfortunately there isn’t the same sense of gratification. Our business at Diamond Guy Hawaii relies on referrals, so when we receive great comments from others we know we’re doing something right.

To schedule a consultation or speak to a Diamond Guy Hawaii associate, please contact (808) 354-0559 or check out their website at

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