WHAT IS MOISSANITE?
Discovered in 1893 by Nobel Prize Winner Henri Moissan
Moissanite is a gemstone born from the stars. It was first discovered in 1893 by a French scientist named Henri Moissan, who later won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He discovered microscopic particles of the gem that would eventually bear his name in Arizona, in a crater created by a meteorite that fell to Earth. He initially thought that he had discovered diamonds, but later determined that the crystals were composed of silicon carbide.
Natural moissanite is incredibly rare, so moissanite available today is laboratory-created. After many years of trial and error, the particles Moissan discovered were successfully synthesized to produce what is now one of the world’s most scintillating gemstones.
Moissanite, referred to as a diamond simulant, is engineered to give the illusion of similarity to diamonds, but is compositionally and visually quite different from a real diamond. The durability, brilliance, and color of the two gems are quite distinct. One common property of both diamonds and moissanites is that they are both very good thermal conductors.
Durability: Gemstones are measured on the Mohs scale of Hardness. On the Mohs scale, Moissanite would measure 9.25 while Diamonds, the hardest mineral known, would measure a 10 on the Mohs scale. Both stones are very comparable in hardness.
2. LET'S SET A BUDGET
THIS RING IS FOREVER. SET A BUDGET YOU CAN AFFORD.
It’s important to go into this purchase with a budget in mind so before you open that laptop or grab your car keys, decide what you want to spend. Engagement rings can vary widely in price and if you don’t have a plan in place for what you want to spend, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or pressured into something you can’t afford. Knowing what you can spend will help narrow down your choices and, more importantly, help you feel confident in this once in a lifetime purchase. SilverAndGold can work with any (and we mean ANY) budget. Whether you plan to spend $50, $5,000, or $50,000, let us help you find something a ring that works for you.
PRO TIP - BE REALISTIC WITH YOUR BUDGET. WHILE YOU MAY BE FEELING THE PRESSURE TO SPEND A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF MONEY, REPUTABLE RETAILERS WILL WORK WITHIN YOUR BUDGET WITHOUT PUSHING YOU TO SPEND MORE. IF YOU FEEL PRESSURED TO OVERSPEND, IT'S TIME TO LOOK ELSEWHERE.
3. RESEARCH THE 4 C’S
THE FIFTH C IS COST. WE ALREADY COVERED THAT ONE!
Knowledge is power and that couldn’t be truer when it comes to engagement ring shopping. When talking about diamonds (or any gemstone), these C’s are a universal language you should be familiar with.
C #1: Color: Refers to the D to Z color grades that rate a diamond’s lack of color. D is perfectly clear. Most diamonds are graded as D E F but the scale goes all the way to Z. Take a look at this picture to learn more.
C #2: Cut: Refers to the quality of the cut of a stone and how it affects the overall sparkle and light return. There are many styles of cut. Here is a handy diagram that outlines the most popular gemstone cuts at their best.
C #3: Clarity: Refers to any inclusions or blemishes present within the stone. The worse the clarity, the easier it is to see flaws with the naked eye. This scale can range from FL (Flawless) to I3 (Very Included).
C #4: Carat: Refers to the weight of the diamond. The higher the carat, the larger the stone.
Once you understand the 4C’s, ask yourself “Which is most important to me?”. Prioritizing the C’s will help you focus on diamonds you’ll love and eliminate the others that aren’t worth your time. Check out our blogs on each of the 4C’s for more in-depth information about each C.
PRO TIP - JEWELRY STORES COUNT ON YOU NOT KNOWING MUCH ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE PURCHASING AND WILL USE THIS LACK OF KNOWLEDGE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR WALLET. DON'T SKIP THIS STEP!
4. CHOOSE YOUR STONE
WHAT KIND OF STONE? DIAMOND? CREATED OR MINED? GEMS?
Diamonds are the “go-to” engagement ring stone, but that doesn’t mean they are the only option (or even the best option). Diamonds are classic and timeless but be sure to consider all of your choices. How about an environmentally friendly created diamond? Moissanite is another great option. Moissanite stones, for example, have more sparkle than a diamond and are less expensive per carat, meaning you can get a bigger bang for your buck. They’re also more environmentally friendly which is a plus to many young couples. There has also been a huge increase in using gemstones (such as sapphires, rubies, emeralds, etc.) as the main stone in engagement rings over the last few years. A pop of color in your ring can be a fun twist to the traditional clear stone.
PRO TIP - DIAMONDS AND MOISSANITE STONES ARE CLASSIC CHOICES THAT SHE IS SURE TO LOVE. ASK A TRUSTED FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER BEFORE STRAYING TOO FAR FROM THE CLASSICS TO ENSURE SHE'S DAZZLED IN THE BEST WAY POSSIBLE WHEN YOU POP THE QUESTION.
5. CHOOSE YOUR CARAT SIZE
PRICES GO UP EXPONENTIALLY WITH CARAT SIZE
Carat weight is one of the aforementioned C’s and will play a large role in determining how large a diamond looks. Once you narrow down your diamond shape, ask to see it in a few different carat sizes. Seeing the difference between several sizes will help you decide the right carat size for you. You might think bigger is always better when it comes to diamonds, but that’s not necessarily true. A lower carat diamond with a better cut can look larger than a higher carat diamond with a poor cut. Be sure to see your options before settling on a carat weight.
PRO TIP - DIAMOND PRICES GO UP EXPONENTIALLY WITH CARAT SIZE. TRY STAYING JUST BELOW A WHOLE CARAT SIZE (FOR EXAMPLE 1.90 CT INSTEAD OF 2.0 CT) TO SAVE BIG ON THE DIAMOND PRICE WITHOUT SACRIFICING ANY NOTICEABLE DIFFERENCE IN SIZE
6. CHOOSE YOUR METAL
18K GOLD? 14K GOLD? YELLOW OR WHITE GOLD? OR ROSE GOLD?
The precious metal you choose for her engagement ring will affect the overall look of the piece. White gold and platinum are the two most popular choices. They both offer a sleek, modern look and pair beautifully with any stone, especially diamonds and moissanites. If she loves the color of gold, that’s another option available to you but be sure to talk to your jeweler to find a setting that won’t cause the diamond to appear more yellowish (a hazard of putting colorless diamonds in yellow gold). Rose gold, which was popular in the 1930’s – 1950’s, is making a comeback especially in vintage style rings.
If you choose a white, yellow, or rose gold, be sure to check the karat of the gold (the percentage of pure gold). 18K is the most popular choice for engagement rings as it is 75% pure gold and has an all-around beautiful color, but it is slightly more susceptible to daily wear and tear than 14K gold and has a higher price tag. If your partner is tough on their jewelry, be sure to take that into consideration when making your choice.
PRO TIP - TAKE NOTE OF THE COLOR OF HER EVERYDAY JEWELRY. THIS CAN HELP YOU FIGURE OUT HER PRECIOUS METAL PREFERENCES TO ENSURE YOU'RE CHOOSING A RING SHE'LL LOVE.
7. CHOOSE YOUR SETTING
SOLITAIRE? HALO? HOW MANY PRONGS?
In an engagement ring, a diamond is held in place by a setting which highlights the overall beauty of the stone and protects it from damage or loss. Each setting offers different levels of protection and highlights stones differently. For example, if you’re looking at a single stone solitaire style engagement ring, it will most likely be held in place by a prong setting. The number of prongs needs to be balanced with the amount of security you want for the stone and the overall look you think your partner will love. While more prongs do equal more security, too many prongs will clutter the diamond’s appearance.
PRO TIP - IF YOU'RE BUDGET IS KEEPING YOUR CENTER STONE SMALLER THAN YOU'D LIKE, CONSIDER A HALO SETTING. THIS SETTING OFFERS ADDITIONAL SPARKLE AND HAS THE ADDED BENEFIT OF MAKING THE CENTER STONE LOOK LARGER.
8. KNOW (OR GET) HER RING SIZE
WE OFFER A FUN WAY TO FIND OUT HER RING SIZE
If you’re buying an engagement ring but don’t know her size, don’t fret. Here are a few handy tips to help you get her size without having to outright ask. Wait until she’s out of the room and then borrow a ring she owns (that you’ve seen her wear on her ring finger – don’t choose a ring she regularly wears on a different finger). Trace the inner circle of the ring onto paper or slide it onto your finger and draw a line where it stops. A jeweler can use these measurements to help make an educated guess. If you want to be more certain, consider buying one of our Multisizer Ring Sizers and gifting it to her (perhaps as part of another gift so she’s not suspicious). Trust us, she’ll immediately want to try it out and most likely will announce her ring sizes without realizing that was your plan all along.
PRO TIP - MOST RINGS CAN BE RESIZED, BUT IF YOU ARE NOT SURE THE SIZE YOU HAVE IS ACCURATE, BE SURE TO CHECK WITH YOUR JEWELER PRIOR TO PURCHASING. THEY SHOULD BE ABLE TO TELL YOU IF A RING CAN BE RESIZED OR NOT.
9. ASK QUESTIONS
WE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU. CALL ON US FOR GUIDANCE 734-895-8227
Don’t be afraid to ask any and every question you have. This is a big purchase. A reputable dealer will be happy to take the time to help you feel comfortable and confident in your purchase. Ask about discounts, ask about financing options, ask about certifications for the gemstones, ask about resizing and return policies, ask if there’s a matching wedding band, ask, ask, ask! You won’t regret the questions you ask but you might regret the ones you don’t! Feel free to call on us even if you are planning on purchasing the ring somewhere else and simply want an honest second opinion. We are here to help at (734) 895-8227.
PRO TIP - A REPUTABLE JEWELER WILL FIND THE ANSWER TO ANY QUESTION YOU HAVE. IF YOU FIND THAT YOUR QUESTIONS ARE BEING PUSHED ASIDE, RECONSIDER WHERE YOU'RE SHOPPING.
10. SHOP ONLINE OVER BRICK & MORTAR
ONLINE STORES HAVE A MUCH LARGER SELECTION.
While it might seem a little daunting to make a large purchase online instead of in person, online stores have a lot to offer. According to Diamonds.pro, “you’ll find almost all of the best value diamond rings online, not in local stores.” Aside from a larger selection, you’ll feel less pressure. You can take your time and browse to get a feel for what the site offers and what styles you like without having a salesperson standing over you. Most online sites offer a variety of ways to reach out when you’re ready to talk to a service rep, including online chat, email, and phone. And, perhaps most importantly, many jewelry sites have easy return policies allowing you to return or exchange the ring if it’s not everything you imagined!
PRO TIP - WHETHER YOU SHOP ONLINE OR IN-STORE, MAKE SURE YOU DON'T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE. MOST ONLINE SITES AND BRICK AND MORTAR STORES WILL TAKE A FEW WEEKS TO GET YOUR ORDER READY. ONLINE STORES HAVE ACCESS TO A MUCH MORE EXTENSIVE CATALOG OF DIAMOND AND GEMSTONE CHOICES. IF YOU'RE IN A HURRY, ASK TO SEE "QUICK SHIP" OR "READY MADE" PIECES.
11. MAKE YOUR PURCHASE
WE OFFER FLEXIBLE PAYMENT PLANS. MANY OF THEM WITH 0% INTEREST.
Congratulations! You’ve done it! Be sure to give yourself a pat on the back for this accomplishment! Now that you’ve got the ring, it’s time to plan out your proposal and get ready to celebrate!