the age old question, diamond or no diamond? i bet a lot of you don’t know the story of how tyler and i got engaged. we tell it so often i just assumed that everyone knew by now. it goes like this: we were visiting vancouver for a day back when we still lived in victoria. it was a very dreary fall day, it was of course, raining and we sought shelter in every store we walked by. we were only seven months into our relationship but we already made some pretty serious leaps and bounds in that short amount of time. we were walking by a jewelry store and i pointed to a set of wedding bands that i would like to once have, so we walked in to try them on… for good measure. not thinking much of it we left, went to eat some crepes on robson street and keep dry. we got to talking and both decided that in fact we should just do it, we should get married. i’m never one to wait for things i want, i also felt like that feeling in the beginning of a relationship where you are so in love and see nothing beyond being together, that was the feeling i wanted to have when i was getting married. we went back, paid for our wedding bands and two months later we had a backyard candle lit dinner with our families and tied the knot. just like that. it rained all day and it was beautiful!
you may call me crazy but in the excitement of it all we kind of skipped the engagement part all together, we were also living between calgary and victoria, travelling so much and feeling unsettled that we always said that part could wait. turns out our lifestyle hasn’t slowed down since then. still living out of a suitcase most of the time and this year being particularly hard with family stuff, i was once again reminded that we shouldn’t wait for things that are important to us. we shoot engagement photos on occasion and we always hear how the holidays are such a perfect time for engagements so i thought it would be the perfect time to get educated on the art of picking out an engagement ring. birks came to the rescue. the jeweller is known for their luxury canadian diamonds and impeccable taste. i now know everything there is to know about engagement rings and want to pass my knowledge onto you.
so how do you begin to even think about shopping for an engagement ring?
- finding the right place you want to shop at is of course one of the most important things to check off your list. wherever you decide to get your ring will forever remain part of your story. you will tell it, again and again and you want it so be absolutely perfect. of course you want to feel like a princess. and to all the girls out there that don’t think they are necessarily the carrie bradshaw types, trust me, every girl loves feeling like a princess once in a while, and what better time than your engagement.
- the four c’s. every diamond that you purchase at birks is traceably canadian with laser engraved tracking and a certificate that tells you which mine in canada it came from. you know that you will be getting the best quality diamond so now you have to decide on the carat, color, clarity and cut you want. birks has 8 c’s that contribute as factors in the final price of your diamond, you can learn all about them here.
- financing. will you buy the ring out right? diamonds are not cheap but not unattainable. with the help of their [blue] birks credit card, birks has the best financing solutions. depending on the amount purchased, your downpayment and the term of loan there are 0% interest offers that make it easier than ever to have that ring you’ve always dreamed of. it’s super easy to apply for on-site and if you are lucky the credit check goes through as you are shopping. christmas is the perfect time to shop for your rings with special, no interest in-store offers on high ticketed pieces.
- insurance. birks provides retail and diamond certificates for all of their rings that outlines the specific grade and information about your diamond to make the insurance portion a breeze. call your broker and make sure that your diamond is insured against loss or damage.
- diamonds vs. everything else. do you want a diamond or are you looking for an alternative? a lot of girls look to other precious stones as alternatives to diamonds but not everyone knows that not all stones are created equal. there is a reason why diamonds are the most expensive. they are most durable, sparkle brightest and of course are the timeless choice. other stones to consider are sapphires and rubies. pearls and emeralds are NOT recommended as they are soft, scratch and crack easily. pearls are very porous so you can’t get them wet, risking destroying their lustre. they ARE a great option for wedding day jewelry and are encouraged to be saved for special occasions.
- yellow gold, white gold, rose gold or platinum. all birks rings are 18K gold and platinum, the higher the purity the harder it is to make delicate settings, you will notice that there isn’t a lot of 24K dainty jewelry out there, that’s because the metal gets softer the more pure it is. birks ensures the best quality pieces that will last you a lifetime, all you have to do is pick a color.
- setting. birks gives you full control of what you want your ring to look like. because every diamond is like a snowflake and no two are alike if you pick one out from the showroom floor that is the ring that will be sent away and sized to your specifications. if, for some reason, you can’t find what you are looking for they will make the ring that is perfect for you. the most popular diamond setting is the prong setting, and recently the pavé setting, lined with diamonds, giving you one continuous sparkle. for those of us that are worried about snagging or doing a lot of work with our hands a bezel setting might be more practical.
- who picks the ring? in case you are worried that it isn’t customary to pick out your own engagement ring don’t worry and don’t even think twice about it. if you will be wearing it for the rest of your life you should make sure you love it. there isn’t one formula couples follow. couples shop for rings together, men buy them on their own, or women come in and pick them out for themselves. the world is full of possibilities.
all birks diamonds come with a five year warranty, you can bring it in for cleaning sizing or tightening to your hearts content custom jewelry is only 1 year.
if you’re not getting engaged, or shopping for your engagement ring late like i am remember that the holidays are the perfect time to sparkle. birks has a selection of everyday and special occasion jewelry that will make heads turn. i fell in LOVE with these emerald art deco earrings, with a $48,000 price tag i’m seriously considering applying for that little blue birks card that could. because what are holidays for if not treating ourselves. xoxo