Well, there are quite a few ways that an Engagement Ring Consultant can save you money on the purchase of a ring. Chase.com points out three reasons to consider hiring a LITTLE BIRD Engagement Ring Consultant:
1. Hiring a Ring Consultant can save you 20 to 40 percent off the cost of the ring
Linda DiProperzio of Chase.com says: "This is key, since spending on engagement rings is at its highest ever. A survey by The Knot, a popular wedding resource, found that the average price of an engagement ring is about $6,000. Making sure you get the most for your money is crucial." LITTLE BIRD agrees. Big time. There's not a lively secondary market for private engagement ring sales out there. So, you're likely going to hold on to this ring for a very very long time. Let's make sure it's an investment you can stand behind for the long haul!
2. Ring consultants have insider knowledge
We go way beyond the 4c's. A consultant can inform and educate you on nitty gritty diamond and ring vocabulary that you won't glean online. We can also review diamond and gemstones certificate prior to you pulling the trigger. Furthermore, do you have the right metal type selected? Is this the right style of pavé? How will this ring jive with your future wedding band. We know this stuff inside and out and getting personalized advice based on YOUR goals and your lifestyle is what getting great ring consultation is all about.
3. We can offer a wider selection
AND we can help you figure out what you want. Picking out an engagement ring isn't a cake walk. You might not be aware of all your options and of all the bespoke and custom elements that are available to you for each little part of the ring anatomy. The options are endless. Your ultimate ring IS possible. It's just a matter of understanding what's out there!
A word to the wise: check on the commission
The thing is there are a few types of consultants out there. There are consultants with affiliate relationships with 6-8 online diamond companies. There are consultants who also sell diamonds. And then there's LITTLE BIRD. "Consultants like LITTLE BIRD don't profit off the sale of the gems or the design of the ring. Instead, the company charges a flat fee, with packages starting at $75. 'Our clients know that we're giving them unbiased recommendations because we're not profiting in the amount someone pays for the ring,' says Beth Moore, LITTLE BIRD's expert GIA certified Graduate Gemologist."
You may be already starting to feel overwhelmed by all the different looks out there, all the diamond information, and the barrage of marketing coming your way. It is time to stop the madness. LOOK, before you even step foot into a jewelry store or spend another hour poking engagement ring shopping online, you'll need answers to these 9 questions below.
This should give you some insight and help you determine what direction you should focus your attention and research energy. By the end of this lil exercise, you should have a firm idea of your next steps and whether or not you need additional guidance along the way.
NOTE: we recommend copy and pasting this list into a Google doc or similar and recording your answers in note form so that you can actually reference back to it. Seriously, if you bring these answers with you anywhere you will have a much more successful experience. Ok, here goes!
HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR DIAMOND SIZE from GH's Expert Panel on Engagement Ring Advice You Haven't Heard Before
Jewelry blog GEMHUNT.co hit the Internet like WHOA in 2016. We are honored to be joined by Jewels by Grace, The Clear Cut, Victor Barboné & Designs by Kamni on their expert panel, topic: Engagement Ring Advice You Haven't Heard Before. Among sage advice on how to find imperfections in the diamond and how to find the perfect engagement ring that is utterly personal, and unique is our hot pro tip on how to maximize the size of your diamond:
4. Don’t forget that “carat” refers to the weight, not how large the diamond actually appears when viewed from the top. Therefore, it’s super important to me that my clients choose a high standard for the quality of “cut” and then select the stone with the largest millimeter measurements so that they get the largest top view of the diamond for their money. Danielle, Little Bird
Get all the wisdom here:
Antique engagement rings are a fantastic choice for a multitude of reasons: they are super unique and one-of-a-kind, they are recycled and therefore make a socially and environmentally sound choice, AND if you're planning to propose during the holiday season (or an any type of tight timeline) they are a huge timesaver. If saving time is a factor in your engagement ring shopping process, then you've likely considering shopping online as well. Shopping online for an engagement ring can be a challenge, and it might feel extra challenging to decipher the visual characteristics and inherent rarity and quality of a genuine antique ring from afar. While there are many online engagement ring offerings, not all of them offer fantastic imagery and details about each ring. Furthermore, perhaps the most important feature of an online collection is that it is curated by someone with an eye for unique, well balanced, beautiful pieces in fantastic condition. Enter: one of our favorite online antique engagement ring shops, Victor Barboné!
Owner and curator Andria is newer to the antique ring scene and has arrived with a stunning collection of both classic antique engagement rings alongside really unique silhouettes, all with extremely reasonable price points. We picked her brain to learn more about her curating process. Check it out:
LITTLE BIRD: At any given time, how many rings are on your site and how long do they tend to refresh? How quickly do they sell?
Victor Barboné: We try to keep a wide variety of rings on our site at all times and are constantly adding to our selection! We add 3-6 rings to our site per week so it is a good idea to get on our email list so that you can be one of the first to see our new additions! I’ve had rings sell within hours of listing and some that have taken MONTHS to sell. You never know which person will connect with which ring! Because all of our rings are one-of-a-kind pieces, we strongly encourage you to move quickly when your dream ring pops up! We offer 90 day payment plans for this reason so that you can secure your unique ring and have up to 90 days to pay for it!
LB: How do you select rings? Do you have a favorite era? And who is the woman you shop for?
VB: I have learned to select rings based on my gut. “Would I wear this ring?” is the question I always ask before I make a purchase. I once saw a ring that I thought was rather odd (the Caitlyn ring) but gorgeous! I thought, no, people will think that it is too weird. But, I just had to have it! So I bought it and it has been one of my most popular and widely shared rings! Once Wed even pointed out that it is their favorite!
LB: What are the most popular antique ring styles you sell? Also, most popular era?
VB: Solitaires with engravings and clusters go the fastest! Solitaires that have delicate, subtle details where it’s all about the diamond are super popular, such as the Lola and Marcella rings. Clusters where there is a central diamond surrounded by other diamonds (not quite a halo) such as the Clementine and Jacqueline rings are the second most popular!
LB: What's your favorite ring in your collection right now and why?
VB: Oh, gosh! My favorites change from day to day but if I had to choose which I would have as my engagement ring, the Vivienne ring as my engagement ring! I love the old cut diamonds and to me the diamond in the Vivienne is the PERFECT example of what makes an old cut diamond special! It has the perfect checkerboard patterns, a good sized culet, and a high crown that gives OECs that cloud-like appearance! I am also baguette-obsessed so I love those tapered baguettes that highlight that stunning 2.60 carat diamond!
Thank you for
Guys, sorry but we are officially in engagement season. It's the time of year when couples are getting ready to see family at holiday gatherings, draw closer for the Winter, and make lifetime memories. It's possible that an engagement could me in your near future. So, how long does it actually take to get an engagement ring in hand once you start looking for the perfect ring? Well, how much time ya got? The lead time can depend on a few things, so we broke down your options in terms of the the time needed to have a ring in hand. Hope this helps!
I need an engagement ring within 1 week from now!
There is a 1-7 day lead time for off-the-shelf rings. There are some fabulous "off-the-shelf" engagement ring options. Just because they don't take forever to get in your hot little hand, doesn't make them any less beautiful or valuable. The two main options are...
Antique Engagement Rings - Super romantic. Antique pieces make for fantastic engagement rings. Art Deco, Edwardian, Art Nouveau, Retro... the styles and options are practically endless and you're sure to find something that fits the style and budget you're aiming for.
Favorites: Erstwhile, Lang Antiques, Trumpet & Horn and Victor Barboné
Boutique Engagement Rings - Super cool. There are some really excellent online and brick & mortar boutiques that offer already made, one of a kind, stunning engagement rings. There's a store out there for almost every style you can dream up: clean & classics, modern and streamlines, romantic and alternative, organic and wabi-sabi. What vibe are you going for?
Favorites: Catbird, Shibumi Studio & Gallery, Esqueleto and Trabert Goldsmiths
Pro tip: There's always the "temp setting" option. It's fabulous for nailing a tight timeline once you've found the perfect diamond. This is a blackbelt move, so feel free to buzz us for some free advice on how to tackle this option.
I need an engagement ring in 2 weeks from now!
There is a 1-2 weeks lead time for standard design engagement rings. What does that mean? Well, when a designer or a jeweler offers a standard design then they are able to produce that ring to your exact specifications within about 2 weeks. Think of it this way, if there's a style number or style name associated with the piece, then it's likely part of that jeweler's "standard collection" and therefore they have all the design parameters already laid out and ready. You just have to pick the center diamond or gemstone, a specific ring size and metal type (platinum, white gold, yellow gold, rose gold, etc). There are fantastic in-store and online jewelers who offer fabulous, unique and well-made standard collections.
Pro tip: if you're going this route, be sure to confirm that you have a return and exchange policy. It's customary to offer this option for standard collection pieces.
I need an engagement ring in the next 1-3 months!
Well then! You've got the perfect amount of time to tackle a bespoke engagement ring project if you so desire. Off-the-shelf options or standard designs may still be at the top of your list based on your ring style goals, but if you feel like custom is the route you would like to take then buckle in for a bit of a ride. Once you pick a jeweler and have a basic design scheme in mind your next steps are to select the center diamond or gemstone with the jeweler, and then move to the sketch or CAD design phase. Once you approved of the stone and the ring specifications, the ring will take another 2-4 weeks to be crafted from scratch. Hence, the whole process takes about 6-8 weeks on average.
Need some personalized ring wisdom in regards to your timeline? We are happy to chat with you about the best strategies based on your schedule. And it's free!
We are honored to have been included in Style Girlfriend's LEVELED-UP ENGAGEMENT RING GUIDE. Among many nuggets of wisdom are a couple of favorites:
1. SNOOPING IS ENCOURAGE and it's good to do your homework, but....
2. IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT THE SIZE (OR PRICE)
Read the whole guide here!
Thank you for the stellar review, Blinklist! Read the whole review here.
We. Will. Keep. It. SIMPLE.
Here are the major things you need to know about men's wedding bands:
1. ON MATCHING: Her wedding band needs to match whatever metal the engagement ring is. So if her engagement ring is platinum, her wedding band needs to be platinum, too. If her engagement ring is 18K yellow gold, so should her wedding ring be. Unless you are mixing metal colors, stick to one metal type. However, YOUR ring doesn't need to match hers. So go with what you truly like the look and feel of! Definitely consider all the options: white gold, platinum, palladium, yellow gold, rose gold, matted, hammered, an alternative metal...
2. ON WIDTH: The most standard width for a men's wedding ring is somewhere between 4 - 6 millimeters. If you want a thinner, lighter band, then choose something closer to 4mm. If you want a wider, heftier band, then skew closer to 6mm. The 5mm is dead on "classic". Thinner than 4mm is totally cool, but on the slimmer and more feminine side. And wider than that is also a great look, but it's certainly going to feel heavier and bulkier.
3. ON METAL & STYLE CHOICE: If you decide to go with a white metal, then we strongly
Fancy. Color. Diamonds. Yep, that’s a gemological term! Any diamond that isn’t your typical crystalline white color is likely considered a “fancy color”. Yellow, blue, green, red, chocolate, champagne… the list goes on. Fancy colored diamonds are less common for most folks to choose for a central engagement ring gem, but they are real dang cool and we love it when we do get to work with a client to select one. For those considering a colored diamond engagement ring, we tapped Emily Duke of Diamond Envy. She’s the first person we call when we are on the hunt of a fancy colored diamond and she’s here to give us all a little background on How Fancy Colored Diamonds Work!
What are the most popular of colored diamonds?
Yellow was the gateway to color for most people. “Canary diamonds” as they are often called, are still very popular along with brown or “chocolate” diamonds (Levian’s trademarked term.) They are more abundant in nature and are therefore, a very affordable option for diamond lovers. Thanks to impressive auction results over the past decade, along with some celebrity attention, pinks and blues are also quite desirable. They are much rarer though, so prices are significantly higher - a collector’s item of sorts.
Are colored diamonds more expensive than traditional colorless/near colorless diamonds?
Yes and no. Colorless and natural colored diamonds are both valued based on rarity. As I mentioned above, yellows and browns are mined frequently so their prices are generally lower, especially compared to a D (colorless) flawless diamond. Very rare colors though, like green, purple and red are so rarely discovered that they can sell for over $1 million per carat, blowing colorless diamonds out of the water! Of course other factors like carat weight and color intensity can affect price too.
What is your opinion of lab created colored diamonds?
Lab created diamonds are interesting. Right now they are being touted as an eco-friendly and conflict-free alternative to mined diamonds - but that might be a whole separate conversation to have. As far as their beauty? I can’t say for sure. I would say that because they have the same chemical makeup, they can be just as lovely.
Color treated diamonds though, to me, are just not as incredible as the real deal. Many are “coated” with a color that can wear off or chip. Others are heat treated to get better color. Part of the intrigue of natural colored diamonds is that Mother Nature combined these rare forces to give us unique jewels.
Is there a specific shape and color combo that you see time and time again?
Diamonds with natural color are a challenge to cut. From the rough, the cutter wants to bring out the most color. Rounds are best at reflecting white light so the shape is best for colorless diamonds. Brilliant cut fancy shapes (cushion, oval, radiant, pear, marquise) bring out the color best. We see a lot of yellow radiants because they produce strong color. As far as fashion and demand, we’re seeing a pretty big surge in cushions and pink just keeps gaining popularity. Yellows will probably always have a place in the business though because they are pretty and affordable.
Is there a specific shape and color combo that you think is amazing that the general population just hasn't tapped into yet?
I think chameleon diamonds are just absolutely insane. They change color and scientists aren’t completely sure why. How cool? They are priced really well too but that likely won’t last if we see a spike in demand.… maybe it’s just because my favorite color is green!
My other thought on this has to do with saturation. I think it’s interesting that most shoppers only want really strong color. A nice fancy light pink oval? So dreamy. Plus, they’re way more budget friendly than fancy intense or vivid options.
What are your favorite setting designs for a colored diamond?
I’m not a fan of the halo when it comes to colorless diamonds, but when you put some bright whites around a colored diamond, the color really pops. I think a traditional three stone is also nice for the same reason. There’s something so chic about taking a classic style and adding your own twist - in this case, a colored diamond center.
How long have you been working with colored diamonds? Why did you choose this avenue?
Our founder grew up in the business and he’s had his own wholesale company for over 15 years. He started out cutting colorless diamonds, but when he came across natural colored diamonds, he fell in love. I started in the industry just 3 short years ago but I’m hooked too! For us, color is exciting. Each stone is unique and special. There’s so much to learn and see.
We have an affinity for rare. Since starting in colored diamonds, we’ve added emeralds, sapphires and rubies to our inventory. We focus on each stone individually. If it’s extraordinary, we’re interested. We always joke that it’s hard to sell because we have a hard time parting with something so beautiful.
It can be a challenge to find natural colored diamonds in retailers across the US and the world, so we decided to share our passion with everyone. In 2013 we launched DiamondEnvy.com to bring our rare inventory to the web.
Dudes, meet GEM HUNT. This is the place your girlfriend goes on the internet when she’s hunting down the best engagement ring styles for her secret engagement ring Pinterest page or indulging in some online hot diamond materials before moving on to her next task in Asana. Editor Catherine Cason founded GEM HUNT after becoming engaged a few years ago. She is witty, irreverent, fun, and knowledgeable so we asked her to share some sage advice with you.
Congratulations, you are looking to get engaged. I will be straight with you being engaged is awesome — all champagne bubbles and fun. That said,