Learn the 4Cs of diamonds
When thinking about how to buy an engagement ring, learning the 4Cs of diamonds is important to maximize your purchase. The 4Cs refer to a diamond’s cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. These four factors determine a diamond’s overall appearance and quality.
Understanding the 4Cs will help you choose the right diamond for yourself. Depending on the diamond shape or ring setting, certain Cs take priority over others. Speak with our diamond experts for further 4C guidance.
The first C is cut, which refers to the arrangement of a diamond’s facets. Cut directly affects how light enters and exits the diamond. A higher quality cut therefore equals more brilliance and shine.
The second C is color, which refers to the absence of color. The closer to colorless a white diamond is, the rarer and more valuable it becomes. Because color impacts overall appearance, most try to find a colorless or near colorless diamond for their engagement ring.
The third C is clarity, which refers to the visual purity of a diamond. It’s determined by the number of inclusions in the diamond, which occur naturally during the growth process. Flawless diamonds are rare and therefore more valuable than diamonds with slight inclusions.
The last C is carat weight, which is often confused with a diamond’s size. But depending on the shape, as well as the other Cs, certain diamonds appear larger than others of the same weight. The higher the carat weight, the more valuable a diamond becomes.
4. Select a metal type
The choice of metal and color should be based on personal preference. Take these details into consideration when selecting which metal is right for you.
18k solid yellow gold is perfect for individuals with neutral or warm skin tones, and can hide hints of yellow in a diamond lower on the color scale. It is often considered the most classic or traditional setting color.
18k solid white gold is known for its clean, pristine look and is ideal for those with neutral or cool skin tones. It also pairs well with colorless diamonds.
5. Complete your purchase
VRAI offers several ways to complete your engagement ring order.
For personalized guidance and expert advice, we encourage you to book an appointment with our diamond experts, in-store or virtually. You’ll receive in-depth diamond education, as well as help in selecting the perfect lab-grown diamond, setting, and matching wedding band.
You may complete your entire purchase online. Start by selecting either your diamond or setting of choice. Then your metal. You can select the style of the band, plain or pavé. Then you can choose a personal engraving. After you’ve finalized each detail, you can proceed to checkout.
On our site, settings and diamonds are priced separately. Use price filters when exploring our diamond inventory to stay within your budget.
VRAI is proud to offer Customer Experience Support via Live Chat and email should you need assistance while completing your purchase.
VRAI works with Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group to offer repair and replacement jewelry insurance on VRAI purchases. Insure your VRAI purchase by clicking here. This service is only available for US customers.
Tips for buying an engagement ring
Your ring style is very personal, as it symbolizes your shared love and commitment. Below are some useful tips to help lead you in the right direction:
Has your partner previously hinted at a style? Their subtle (or not-so-subtle) preferences can serve as a guide.
Search your partner’s favorite brands on social media for inspiration.
Reach out to family and friends who know your partner’s taste or have previously spoken about a design.
Take notes on your partner’s personal style. Would you describe it as classic, modern or unique?
The color of your band is another stylistic preference, influencing the overall tone of the design. Questions to ask you and your partner:
Which metal color will look best on my skin tone?
Do I want my gold color to match my partner’s ring?
Do I need to prioritize affordability or maintenance?
Before you start ring shopping, make sure you know the correct ring size. “I recommend having your ring size checked at least twice at different times of day. Your ring size can fluctuate depending on many variables,” explains Queena Chang, Diamond Expert and GIA Gemologist Graduate. “The fit that I look for is a ring that slips on easily but takes a little wiggle or turn at the knuckle to take off. The ring shouldn’t easily come off of the finger, nor should it feel like you have to pull to take it off. When in doubt, go slightly looser.”
If you’re not sure how to find your ring size, order a complimentary VRAI ring sizer. VRAI offers engagement rings in sizes 3-11 with custom sizing available.
How to pair an engagement ring with a wedding band
For pairing your rings based on diamond shape, consider the shape and size of plain platinum and solid gold wedding bands. A small flat or round band will pair well with almost all engagement rings, but the same style with a wider band might not pair as smoothly.
Diamond-accented rings such as the petite Eternity band, Devotion band, and Infinity band pair well with a Round Brilliant engagement rings, as well as other rounded shapes, like Oval engagement rings. The Devotion band and Baguette Infinity band feature baguette-shaped VRAI created diamonds and pair well with squared shapes, like an Emerald cut diamond or Princess cut diamond.
How to Buy an Engagement Ring FAQ
Yes! VRAI now offers the bespoke experience of Cut for You™. With this cut to order program, we cut and polish a lab-grown diamond to the precise shape and size you select. The Cut for You™ experience offers 30 diamond shapes from the most popular to iconic historical shapes to new shape variations exclusive to VRAI.
Yes! VRAI offers custom engravings on engagement and wedding rings. After you select your setting and center stone, click on Add Engraving before adding the ring to cart to add a personal engraving.
Usually between 6 weeks and 3 months. The right amount of time depends on each individual situation. Last-minute shoppers or spontaneous proposers may purchase their ring with only a week or less before they intend to propose. Planners will typically purchase 6 weeks or more before they intend to propose. Proposers looking to create a custom engagement ring may purchase 3 months or longer before they intend to propose to allow time for any modifications to the ring.
The 3-month rule is that a proposer should spend up to 3 months' salary on their engagement ring. This guideline is generally considered outdated in the 21st century. Different variations also exist. The 1-month rule suggests a proposer spend one month’s salary on an engagement ring. And the 2-month rule, predictably, suggests that two months' salary should be spent.
It’s a personal choice. Some prefer involving their partner in the selection process, making it a shared experience. Others cherish the surprise and emotion of the proposal by selecting the ring themselves. Ultimately, it depends on what feels right for both of you and the kind of moment you envision.
There are a few to finance your engagement ring.
Personal loan. You can take out a personal loan from your bank or other financial entity to cover the cost of your ring.
0% Annual Percentage Rate (APR) credit card. Many credit card companies offer a 0% APR for new customers for 12-24 months. This gives you time to pay off the engagement ring without accruing interest.
Buy Now, Pay Later with Klarna. VRAI offers Klarna’s buy now, pay at your own pace financing. Payment plans are available from 6 months to 36 months so you can pay at the pay right for you. VRAI also accepts PayPal which also offers a monthly payment option for some customers.
Engagement rings featuring diamonds sustainably created by VRAI are made to order and shipped within 10 business days. Custom-designed rings may take longer. The design team will be able to give you an estimate of when your custom ring will arrive.