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    16 Things Everyone Should Know Before Buying An Engagement Ring

    Everything you need to know to put a ring on it.

    Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

    1. Understand what EXACTLY it is that you're looking for in a diamond.

    Remember the four C's (carat, clarity, color, and cut).

    2. Know what different size carats would look like on your finger.

    Carats refer to how much the diamond weighs. Looking for a ring with a more delicate feel? Consider a smaller diamond (like a .40 carat).

    3. There's a big difference between a 1 carat and a 2 carat diamond.

    Alison Caporimo / BuzzFeed

    If the difference between the two feels too great, you might want to consider something in between.

    4. Get a handle on diamond and gemstone cuts.

    Maybe you've always pictured a radiant diamond, but have you thought about asscher?

    5. If you're considering a diamond, think about if you want it cut for *sparkle* or ~color~.

    Alison Caporimo / BuzzFeed

    Round brilliant and old European cuts both have either 57 or 58 facets, but the placement of those facets gives each cut a unique look, according to jewelry brand Erstwhile. While vintage diamonds were cut for color, modern round brilliant diamonds are cut for sparkle.

    6. Here's a closer look at the difference between the two:

    Erstwhile / Alison Caporimo / Via

    A brilliant diamond or gemstone is cut to have numerous facets on the top and bottom of the stone, which makes it reflect and refract a lot of light. A great way to think of a brilliant diamond: "If you were to draw a diamond on a piece of paper, it has that pointy bottom," Rachel Thames, buyer and manager of Brooklyn-based jewelry store Catbird, told BuzzFeed.

    7. If you want a big stone (without the $$$), look at rose cuts.

    Dorsey Shaw / BuzzFeed

    You know how we said that brilliant cut diamonds have that pointy bottom? Well, a rose cut has a flat bottom, which means that the stone can have a large appearance while still weighing considerably less. "Prices tend to go down on a rose cut stone since you're getting less carat weight," jewelry designer Anna Sheffield told BuzzFeed.

    8. See how rose cuts compare to brilliant and old European cuts:

    Alison Caporimo / BuzzFeed

    Rose cuts are slightly transparent, which can lead to a really delicate look. "Rose cuts catch the light beautifully, but in a more pretty and subtle way," Thames said.

    9. If you want something a little more *unique*, check out salt and pepper — also known as grey or included — diamonds.

    Dorsey Shaw / BuzzFeed

    "In the diamond industry, they're not considered very practical so they tend to be a little less expensive," Sheffield said. But they're shimmery, textural, naturally occurring, and magical AF.

    10. If you want the grey diamond look for less, go for rutilated quartz.

    Alison Caporimo / BuzzFeed

    The rutilated quartz stone (pictured above) has black turmaline crystals inside of it, which gives it that mock grey diamond feel. Since quartz is a semi-precious stone, it will cost considerably less than a diamond. Black diamonds also tend to be less expensive than white diamonds as they are *imperfect*.

    11. If you were hoping for a pink diamond, take a look at morganite.

    Dorsey Shaw / BuzzFeed

    "Pink diamonds are extremely expensive because they're really rare, so morganite is a great way to get that clear pink look," Sheffield said. Morganite is a member of the beryl family (which includes emeralds), and it tends to be very *sparkly*. To play up the color, try setting it in a rose gold band.

    12. If you're not into diamonds, check out diamond alternatives.

    Alison Caporimo / BuzzFeed

    "You want to be careful with pearl and opal engagement rings," Thames said. "They're not built to wear everyday, so if you're out hiking you may want to take it off and wear a gold band that day."

    13. Know how to pick a damn perfect gemstone.

    "For precious stones — like emeralds, sapphires, and rubies — there's a grading system where the more clarity and saturation it has, the nicer it is," Sheffield said. Learn about the gemstone grading system here.

    14. If you want an impressive AF-looking ring without the high price tag, get a halo.

    Dorsey Shaw / BuzzFeed

    A halo is a cluster of tiny diamonds encircling the center stone. "What you save in the center stone you can make up in for in other ways like having a halo," Sheffield said. Exhibit A: the roughly 1 carat stone above (with a halo) that looks just as big as the much pricier 2 carat stone. Also, if you have a rose cut stone that isn't as shiny, a halo is a great way to add some extra shimmer.

    15. Compare different types of gold to get the perfect color.

    Alison Caporimo / BuzzFeed

    "The number before the 'k' refers to the actual percentage of gold in the band," Thames said. "The higher the karat, the more yellow intensity, the softer the metal is." If you're going for a higher karat gold, consider a thicker band.

    16. And watch a video about everything you need to know when it comes to engagement rings here:

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    To learn more about all of the rings pictured, visit Catbird and Anna Sheffield.

    Over and OUT.

    Alison Caporimo / BuzzFeed