Pandemic may have put things on pause, but love isn’t slowing down anytime soon. In April we saw a spike in those applying for marriage licenses, and I’ve seen a number of friends get engaged in the past few months. Michael Pollak, the Founder & CEO of a new app called ENGAGE, brings his 44 years of experience in the jewelry business to make the ring buying process easier. With top accolades in his field, including induction into the National Jeweler Retailer Hall of Fame and Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year back in 2008 and 2007, respectively, he is a natural to lead the way in the new era of AI for ring shopping.
Officially launched in August of this year, ENGAGE is an AI-based app that brings the ring shopping experience to you. Luckily, Michael shares some of his top tips for picking out the best stone, along with the most popular cuts for engagement rings these days.
4 Tips for Selecting the Best Stone
- Set a budget that is comfortable for you. Diamonds come in all prices, sizes and shapes.
- Pick a shape that ‘speaks to you’. No shape is the wrong shape! Round diamonds are perennially the most popular shape, but there is a vast variety of shapes and you’ll know you have found the shape that you want when you see a selection of diamonds. Last but not least, while not only being a lovely choice for you, a “Fancy Cut” (any shape other than round) diamond will generally cost less than a round diamond of similar size and quality.
- The 4 C’s are important so familiarize yourself. But, there are more important C’s:
- Cut has a tremendous effect on the value of the diamond. It is the only one of the 4 C’s that is influenced by the artistry of the cutter. A well-cut diamond will always look better and that will always be appreciated.
- Color in a diamond actually refers to the absence of color. Color is an important part of the 4 C’s but the rarest colors (D-F) will always be more expensive and may not significantly affect the beauty of the diamond. A near colorless diamond of G -I color will be a beautiful diamond that you’ll cherish, especially if the diamond is a great cut. Don’t forget that if your ring is yellow or rose gold, the diamond will also appear whiter when mounted.
- Clarity is also a factor to keep in consideration. A diamond does not have to be Flawless to be beautiful. A well-selected SI1 diamond is a wonderful choice to keep within your budget.
- The Carat weight of the diamond is also a consideration that has a huge effect on the diamond. The size of the diamond is different than the weight of the diamond! A well-cut diamond will also appear larger, as more light is reflected back. You may choose a diamond smaller due to finger size, or may select a diamond that is larger.
- Pick a diamond that has the characteristics important to you and pick the diamond that you’ll cherish.
5 Most Popular Diamond Shapes and Cuts
Round: Round diamonds are the perennially favorite diamond shape. Their 57 symmetrical facets maximize the beauty of the diamond for Brilliance (white light reflected), Fire (breaking white light into spectral colors) and Sparkle (the interplay of light and dark in the diamond). Round diamonds are elegant and ageless.
Cushion: The Cushion Cut diamond holds the second place. The diamond is a combination of classic fashion with a modern flair. It has a soft squarish shape and its appearance is similar to a pillow. The most notable Cushion Shape diamond is the Hope Diamond in the Smithsonian Institution. So, if you want to dazzle people, a cushion-shaped diamond is a nice variant for your engagement ring.
Princess Cut: The next popular shape is Princess Cut. The princess diamond is usually cut in a square shape and has uncut corners. It has 76 facets, so you can admire its brilliance in full. It’s called “princess” presumably because it looks graceful and solemn, and fits modern ladies perfectly.
Oval: Oval diamonds are an extremely popular diamond shape. It is a perfect option for those, who like a classical round shape, but wish to consider something more unique. The oval diamond is symmetrical, elongated, and has 56-58 facets. Oval diamonds appear large due to their shape.
Emerald Cut: The unique and clean lines in an Emerald Cut diamond is attractive for women all over the world. This shape differs from others by its parallel arrangement of facets that makes a special optical effect. This diamond typically has 57 facets that spotlight the clarity of the diamond.
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