Plain and simply put, my honest advice is to buy a ring that you can afford. All jewelry shops would like to sell a bigger and more expensive diamond, and might advise financing, but I truly think that an engagement ring is a symbol of the beautiful journey that two people embark upon when they decide to spend their lives together. Therefore, you do not want to look at the ring with heart ache remembering the financial distress. Also, the young couple does not want to start their journey together with a debt. There are options for absolutely beautiful and perfect engagement rings which can fit any budget. At Cape Diamond Exchange we offer layby up to 3 months. A layby sale is one where you pay by instalments and the goods are held by the retailer until you pay off the balance.


Historians believe the tradition of the engagement ring originated from a Roman custom. A man would present his prospective bride with an engagement ring only upon acceptance of his marriage proposal. He would ask, “Will you marry me?” And only when she says she will, he would present the gift. Nowadays, the man presents the ring with the question, “Will you marry me?”. Perhaps that man feels that the love of his life will say “yes” after she sees the diamond, and it all depends on the diamond…. He is therefore pressurized and wants to impress her with a diamond that might be beyond his budget. But it should not be like that. The engagement ring is a symbol of love and commitment and a beginning. It is not a symbol of money in the bank.


In the far past, since the 15th century, diamond engagement rings were found ONLY among European aristocracy and nobility. The De Beers Group, established in 1888, is an international corporation that specializes in diamonds.

De Beers used its dominant position through the 20th century to influence the international diamond market and they monopolized the market. De Beers successfully advertised diamonds to create a consumer demand. This is a fair game that all marketers do. And with this campaign, the diamond became more popular and diamonds were demanded by the general public. It no longer was something that only nobility and aristocrats wore. Moreover, in 1947 De Beers’ marketing efforts changed the diamond world forever when they coined the famous advertising slogan, “A Diamond is Forever”.

Fun fact: In 2000, the magazine “Advertising Age” named the slogan “A Diamond is Forever” as the best advertising slogan of the 20th century. It’s not a dress, a body lotion or flowers….

Diamond is forever! It is true! I have seen diamonds come into the store to be evaluated, they have passed from grandmother to the granddaughter and the diamond is still beautiful and sparkling and valuable as ever. The word diamond comes from the Greek word “adamas” which means indestructible and/or invincible; it is a very strong stone. Having said all the above, one can see why a diamond became so strongly associated with engagement rings. A diamond represents all that you want to show and give to a loved one – it’s all in one! Therefore, when you go to look for a diamond you need to know that each diamond is unique and has a special value. When going to buy the engagement ring, bear in mind the purpose of that purchase, the meaning of the stone and what is symbolizes. It will make it easier to part with the money, to know your budget, and make the purpose and the money work together.


Most diamonds have something called inclusions. Inclusions are small “flaws” or markings in the diamonds, but you can also think of them as special fingerprints in the diamonds. Diamonds without inclusions are rare and therefore more expensive. The diamonds that most people buy have inclusions, and truthfully, one does not usually see them. They are so small, and when your lady moves the hand, texting away or petting your dog, it will sparkle nicely even if it has inclusions. There are different colors and different cuts and different sizes of diamonds. I would recommend you get some basic knowledge about diamonds and know how it can affect the price. There are the famous 4 C’s of Diamonds: Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat… To learn more about Diamonds


There is also the aspect of the thickness of the band. Some women like thicker bands while others prefer very thing bands. 2mm to 5mm is a popular width but have a look at the rings that your girlfriend is wearing, and you will know what ring thickness she prefers. The bands also have different shapes (rounder or squarer, etc.). Again, looking at what she likes to wear, you will know what kind of band she will like.


What metal would you like your band to be? Silver? White gold or yellow gold? Gold which is 9 karat (kt. is the abbreviation), 14kt or 18kt gold? Platinum or titanium? Gold is by far the most popular metal. Platinum and Titanium are stronger, but less shinny.


The way the diamond is placed and held in position on the ring is called the setting. There are different ways to set the stone. The setting can be high or low. It can be held in place with “claws” – little strips or wires of metal that hold the diamond. There can be 4 claws or 6 claws, or what is called a tube setting. It can have a design on it, or no design. The options are endless, but all fun to think with and pick and choose. To read more about the setting of the ring read my article:

Which Engagement Ring do you prefer?



All these things should be taken into consideration when you are searching and looking at pictures. Remember to keep in mind the purpose, the meaning, the love, the budget, the diamond, the band, the metal and the setting. I know it’s a lot to think about – but soon it will all come together.


You can design your own ring from scratch! For some, it’s easier to walk into the store and see what is available in the stores and buy that. It’s visual and clear. Sometimes you are pressed for time or you don’t want the added work of creating a ring from scratch. If you have the time and desire to have a custom-made ring, go ahead – it can be very special to have your ideas brought to life for your engagement ring. The more common approach is to purchase a ready-made ring. If you are rushing to propose this coming weekend, or you simply found something ready which you like, buy a ready-made ring – it’s also a perfect way of getting your ring.
I hope this information helps!
Congratulations! Wishing you a life together full of peace and happiness and the 3 Ls: Love, Light, and Laughter.

In case you would like more help on this very important project, please read the following articles too:

1. How much should an Engagement Ring cost?

2. Why do we say Diamonds are forever?

Yours faithfully,
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