A Diamond in the Rough

Shopping for an engagement ring can feel overwhelming, to say the absolute least. You and your partner are spending a decent amount of money and it may feel like salespeople are speaking a different language. Cut, clarity, and carat? What does all that mean? What about the right metal to choose and what do you know about the stone’s source? As the Director of Marketing for ethical, lab-grown diamond company Clean Origin and with almost five years in the industry, Brandon Cook has helped many couples find their perfect engagement rings. We turned to Brandon for his most brilliant tips and tricks so you too can avoid a rocky experience as you shop for the right rock.

Do some research on your own.
One of the biggest mistakes couples make when buying an engagement ring is going into such a monumental purchase completely blind. Educating yourself on the 4 C’s of diamonds, the types of diamonds, and setting styles will not only give you a better understanding but will also help you narrow down your options, so you’re not completely overwhelmed when you do start your search.

Bonus tip: Set a budget! A reliable diamond expert will help you stay within your range, while still getting the best engagement ring for you and your partner.

Go with a lab grown diamond or another alternative.
The popularity of mined diamonds is fading quickly. Couples these days are looking for products with ethical origins that are made with sustainable practices. Buying a lab-grown diamond—like the ethical and lab-grown stones from Clean Origin—or another diamond alternative is not only better for the earth, but it can also save you tons of money. In fact, lab created diamonds can be up to 40% less expensive than their mined counterparts. That means you’re still getting a real diamond but at almost half the price. We’d say that’s quite the win.

Don’t skip out on fancy-shaped stones.
The round brilliant diamond is by far the most popular, and for good reason. It’s stunningly beautiful, brilliant due to the way that it’s cut, and it fits just about any setting. However, don’t write off other shapes just yet. Not only are a lot of these stones—such as the asscher-cut diamond—extremely unique, but some of them actually tend to look much larger than a round diamond of the same carat weight. Emeralds, ovals, and marquise cuts, for example, are all very long, so they tend to look bigger than a round or cushion might.

Buy a bridal set from the get-go.
While you’re already on the hunt for an engagement ring, go ahead and get one other ‘to-do’ checked off your list by buying a bridal set. This will ensure that both your wedding and engagement ring match and sit flush against each other. Plus, it means only one purchase instead of having to worry about finding a matching ring closer to your wedding day. Trust us, you’ll have bigger fish to fry.

Save money with 14k gold
We understand that metals such as platinum get quite the hype, but if we’re being honest, our go-to is 14k gold. Not only is it gorgeous in every available color—white, yellow, and rose gold—but it’s strong and reasonably priced. The only reason that one might opt to go with 18k gold is if they have a sensitivity to certain metals. Since 14k has the lowest percentage of pure gold, it has a higher percentage of other metals mixed in and individuals who are especially sensitive may experience a slight reaction. To give an idea of how the metals break down in terms of cost, we’ve included pricing for one of our most popular solitaire rings:

1.5mm Solitaire Setting
14k gold = $720
18k gold = $930
Platinum = $1,045

Even with these tips tucked under your belt, it’s important to shop with a reputable jeweler. Founded by a third-generation diamondere, Clean Origin is just the kind of ethical and sustainable business that you can trust for your precious stones that are such a big part of your precious memories.

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