5 Tips for Buying an Engagement Ring

1. Always look at diamonds with your own eyes when deciding which one is right for you.

It is impossible to know if a diamond is exceptional or average based on the 4C’s or a certificate. Most jewelers and internet vendors sell average diamonds because they are cheaper and they want you to believe the lowest price is the most important factor in selecting a diamond. Exceptionally beautiful diamonds do cost more but are still affordable. Watch this video for more on what to look for in your diamond.

2. Trust local experts that specialize in diamonds.

At Lee Read we have three amazing Brands of diamonds you won’t see anywhere else, Fire&Ice, Kaleidoscope and Afterglow Natural Diamonds. Each gives you an entirely different look that you have to see to appreciate.

3. Your budget is important but the price you pay will soon be forgotten, The beauty of her engagement ring is forever.

An exceptional diamond will be exceptional forever, an average diamond will be average forever.

4. If you are hoping to propose as a surprise (without window shopping beforehand), we recommend keeping the engagement ring simple. We offer a variety of solitaire settings you can choose from that will match your price range. Once you’ve heard a yes, we will help you choose a unique band or setting that will add their personal style to the overall appearance.

5. Most likely she has been dropping hints about what style she likes. Take notice of the pictures she has sent you, stalk her Pinterest and Instagram, and ask trusted council like her mother figure or best friend that you know she has confided in.


Q. I don’t know anything about buying an engagement ring, where do I start?

A. Start with this video and then talk to a local diamond expert you can trust. You’ve probably already searched the internet for advice, and it is overwhelming! Selecting the right diamond doesn’t have to be difficult. At Lee Read we show you what makes some diamonds average and others exceptional. We will go into as much detail as you like and we always respect your budget.

Q. Is the internet a good place to learn about purchasing a diamond?

A. Yes, if you are looking for an average diamond for the lowest price. Most internet advisors think showing you how to save money is the most important factor in buying a diamond. But they are not the ones expressing their deepest feeling to the most important person in their lives. Real life is personal and an entirely different experience. Is your fiancé average or exceptional? Is spending the absolute minimum the most important factor when selecting her diamond she will wear the rest of her life? Are you giving her an “All Inclusive Care Plan” along with her engagement ring so keeping it looking like new the day you slip it on her finger is easy and never costs her a dime? Only you can answer these questions.

Q. Internet experts recommend using the 4Cs. Are they that important?

A. They are important, but the 4Cs give you only basic information regarding the diamond’s Size, Color, Clarity and Cut. Put simply, the 4Cs do NOT equal beauty. You need to see the diamond in person to really SEE the diamond. In the 1940’s the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), developed the 4C’s to describe basic diamond characteristics. It was like a programing language for jewelers and gemologists. Today the 4C’s have become an easy way for corporate jewelers to pass off average diamonds. Everyone knows the highest grade in school is an A. Think of it this way, the highest cut grade possible using the 4C’s (Excellent, Excellent, Excellent) equals an A. But, exceptionally beautiful diamonds are rarely an A. Modern technology has improved on the 60 year old standards. Now think, AA cut grades and AAA cut grades that are more important to the actual beauty of the diamond than anything else. Many dull diamonds come with Excellent, Excellent, Excellent on their grading report. That is why seeing is believing. Diamonds really do speak for themselves. They have a way of “picking” people. In a typical visit, one or two specific diamonds will really just stand out above the rest as “their diamond”. This is why we will keep recommending for you to experience a diamond in person before you purchase it. The 4C’s aren’t enough to stand on.”

For quick tips on what to look for in your diamond, we recommend this video.

Q. Is it wise to finance a diamond?

A. That is a personal decision. Here are some things to consider. Chances are good this is a once-in-a-lifetime purchase that she will wear and enjoy every day, the rest of her life. Your budget is important, but a diamond is not going to wear out or go out of style so spending more upfront makes sense. Never spend more than you can afford but most people can rearrange their finances to spend more on her diamond engagement ring now if they are willing to put off other purchases for a while.

Q. Does Lee Read offer financing?

A. Yes, we have a variety of plans that can be tailored to what works best for you.

Q. I’ve seen some pretty cool videos online that seem to make the diamonds look really good. Can I trust them when making a purchase?

A. No. Under the right lighting and using the right effects, almost anything can be made to look exceptional. That’s not true when you slip the same diamond on their finger. Again, videos are videos, and can’t substitute for actually seeing it with your own eyes. They almost always look better in a video than in real life.

At Lee Read, we will walk you through different sizes, qualities, and settings, and help you identify what is most important to you in your price range.

Q. Can I see a noticeable difference between an exceptional diamond and an average diamond?

Yes, the difference is amazing! You, your fiancé, her family, your family, and your friends will see a definite difference. Most companies focus on having the lowest price and that means they sell average diamonds to keep the price down. What you spend is important, but no one wants to wear an inexpensive dull diamond regardless of the price. At Lee Read, we will help you find the right diamond, in the right price range, and the beauty of the diamond will excel expectations.

Q. Is it hard to tell if a diamond is a good value?

A. Not if you are working with someone that will take the time to show you multiple diamonds of differing quality and prices, side by side. Smart diamond shoppers always look at multiple diamonds side by side just to know how they compare. At Lee Read, we are happy to show you various sizes, qualities unique cuts side by side so that you can make an informed decision.

Q. Is a money-back guarantee important?

A. Absolutely! Purchasing a diamond is a bonding experience. Chances are good the first diamond you select will be the right one. But sometimes it’s just not the right fit. Having that flexibility is important. At some stores, once they run your credit card they will not give you a refund for any reason. At Lee Read, you have 7 days from the time you purchase to receive a refund and we will happily exchange for a different diamond for 30 days.

Q. I hear Lab Grown diamonds are a green alternative and they cost less too.

A. Lab Grown diamonds take huge amounts of energy to produce. Growing them adds 40% more CO2 to the atmosphere than mining natural diamonds. The majority of Lab Grown Diamonds are manufacture in Asia with little or no respect for the environment or human rights.

Q. Are Lab Grown Diamonds a good value?

A. What do you think? A Lab Grown Diamond that sold for $4,000, 5 years ago sells for $800 today. A natural diamond that sold for $4,000, 5 years ago sells for about 4,200 today. Lab Grown diamonds are clones that are more and more common as production increases. Natural Diamonds are increasingly rare and valuable.

Q. Are Lab Grown diamonds the same as natural diamonds?

A. No. Anyone with the right equipment can easily identify Lab Grown diamonds from a Natural Diamond. Natural Diamonds are a rare miracle of Nature that formed billions of years ago before life on earth. Lab Grown diamonds take only weeks to produce. Retailers that sell Lab Grown diamonds will tell you they are the same, only cheaper. While they are the same crystallized carbon, Natural Diamonds are rare, unique and precious. Prices are actually increasing, meanwhile, Lab-Grown prices are falling with no end in sight.

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