how to pick a ring
Nothing is more personal – or daunting – than selecting the perfect diamond engagement ring. With Tiny Jewel Box, you have an expert by your side. Discover unparalleled diamond quality with the area's most unique selection, from vintage masterpieces to classic creations to dramatic contemporary designs – we even have a Custom Designer on staff ready to make your dream ring into a reality. We're here to answer every question, act as your personal consultant each step of the way, and help you navigate the balance of style, quality and price to find what’s exactly right for you.
Decide if you’d like to include your partner in this very special process. Or, if you prefer the element of surprise, we have some tips on how to get a running start. Selecting an engagement ring is an emotional decision, one that we feel honored to help you make. Here are some factors we’ll help you consider when choosing an engagement ring as we redefine your shopping experience:
- STYLE, SHAPE & COLOR
- THE 4 C’S
- ETHICALLY SOURCED
- BUDGET & TIMELINE
Take a peak in your partner’s jewelry box: Is it filled with mostly yellow or white metals? Do you see sleek, architectural styles or one-of-a-kind vintage pieces? We recommend doing some snooping or consulting with a friend or relative so you can make a well-educated decision and find a ring your loved one will be excited to wear for decades to come. If you can find a secret Pinterest board, you’re halfway there.
Before you get to the 4 C’s – cut, clarity, color and carat – decide what shape your partner may prefer. The shape refers to the actual geometry of the stone, which is different from the cut.
The setting is the framework in which the stone is mounted, and can set the mood for a ring. The same diamond can be mounted many different ways, taking on many different styles depending on the setting. If you like a specific diamond, we can show you a setting that takes on the exact style you’re looking for. To achieve a custom look, consider loose diamonds that can be set several ways. We design and manufacture custom rings in-house.
The 4 C's of buying a diamond – cut, clarity, color and carat – should be the main criteria you use to choose your engagement ring:
1. Cut – A diamond cut refers to the angles and proportions a diamond craftsman uses to unleash the potential brilliance of a diamond. Cut is graded from "Excellent" to "Poor.” The better the cut, the more brilliant the diamond will appear. Cut is the only characteristic of a diamond that is not determined by nature.
2. Clarity – Clarity depends on the presence or absence of tiny inclusions, or birthmarks, which occurred when the diamond was forming. The size, quantity, type, location, and color of the inclusions will determine the grade. Generally, inclusions are only visible to the unaided eye when the diamond is graded I1 or lower.
3. Color – Color refers to the presence of any color in the diamond. The closer the diamond is to colorless, the higher the grade and the more valuable. A change of one or two color grades is unnoticeable but can have a profound effect upon the price. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) developed an alphabetical scale to represent a diamond's color. The top of the scale is "D" and it continues down to "Z,” where the diamond displays obvious color.
4. Carat – This is a unit of weight for diamonds and other gemstones. Since larger diamonds occur less often in nature, value increases with carat weight. For example, two half-carat diamonds will cost significantly less than a single one-carat diamond of similar quality.
Our diamond experts will walk you through the subtle differences in each category that can dramatically affect how far your budget will go.
Independent Certification from Not-for-Profit Laboratories
A “Diamond Grading Report,” or a "Diamond Dossier," is a document containing the characteristics that make up that particular diamond's value. A completed grading report includes an analysis of the diamond's dimensions, clarity, color, polish and symmetry. The report provides the owner with an independent description of the diamond's essential qualities, a crucial part of the purchase.
At Tiny Jewel Box, our grading reports are available from two sources: the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and the AGS (American Gem Society Laboratories). These independent, not-for-profit laboratories have no vested interest in the outcome of the diamond grading report. We only sell diamonds that are GIA or AGS certified, so you and your loved one can rest assured that you are getting exactly what you’ve paid for.
Established in 1931, GIA is the world's largest and most respected not-for-profit institute of gemological research and learning. By extension, the GIA Diamond Grading Report and the GIA Diamond Dossier are considered the world's premier gemological credentials. For more information, please go to www.gia.edu.
AGS Laboratories is a preeminent authority in diamond grading, providing grading reports for diamonds of all shapes and sizes. Known industry-wide as a laboratory with strict grading requirements and high standards, the AGS employs leading-edge research and technology to help inform your diamond and fine jewelry purchases. For more information, please go to www.agslab.com.
We strictly adhere to the Kimberley Process, established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2003 to monitor the buying and selling of diamonds. Which means we subscribe to the highest standards and do everything possible to ensure the diamonds we source are free from exploitation.
Jim Rosenheim, owner and chairman of Tiny Jewel Box, proudly sits on the Ethical Initiatives Committee of the Jewelers of America. The committee gathers experts from across the country and advocates the highest possible ethical, social and environmental standards in the diamond and jewelry trade and among its worldwide members. We wholly espouse by the high ethical standards set by the Jewelers of America.
Budget is a very personal decision, and you should base this determination on your own income and comfort level. Whether your budget is $3,000 or $30,000, our diamond experts can guide you through the process and economize your budget without compromising the look.
Looking for something on the higher end? We have the resources and relationships to go straight to the source to find our clients flawless, one-of-a-kind diamonds for an engagement ring that rivals your favorite celebrity’s diamond. We’ve worked within a vast spectrum of budgets, so spend what you’re comfortable with and we’ll do the rest.
Expect to have at least two appointments with a diamond expert to find your ideal ring, with approximately two weeks in between. If you’re looking for a custom creation, we’ll point you to our Custom Designer, where creating a one-of-a-kind ring can take anywhere from four to six weeks. Expect the ring buying process to take up to six weeks from start to finish, and plan the proposal accordingly.