Did you miss out on the Christmas engagement rush and the Valentine’s Day engagement rush too? Well, today might be your lucky day — it’s National Proposal Day. And even if third time isn’t the charm, jeweller Brian Gavin can help you brush up on your diamond ring knowledge for when you’re finally a blushing bride-to-be and get to post that engagement ring selfie.

Gavin, better known as “Brian the Cutter,” is a South African-born, fifth-generation diamond cutter who specializes in precision-cut diamonds and custom rings. Read on for his expert advice on choosing the perfect rock.

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1. Check the credentials. In order to be an ethical diamond shopper and get a quality diamond ring, you need to check your retailer’s credentials. Ask the retailer who supplies their diamonds, and if the diamonds are conflict-free. Also, is your jeweller a member of The American Gem Society, a group founded to protect shoppers from unscrupulous retailers? They should be.

2. On a tight budget? Go for cut rather than carats. Get a champagne-looking diamond on a beer budget by focusing on the cut, not carats, for an affordable yet sparkly engagement ring. A diamond cut with more angles will maximize the sparkle and shine, or white light return, says Gavin.

Blue fluorescent diamonds, those that emit a blue glow under UV light, are another affordable option. The blue glow is seen as a defect, so the diamonds cost less. Some jewellers, Brian Gavin Diamonds included, use only diamonds that emit a clear, not cloudy, blue glow. Bonus: Your engagement ring will literally light up a room under black light. Fun times at the club.


3. When buying fancy diamonds, forget the rules. Maybe you’re going for an unconventional engagement ring to go with your unconventional bride. When shopping for fancy color diamonds, the other three Cs go out the door and only one thing is important — color. Whereas with white diamonds you want the cut to minimize the color, with fancy diamonds you want the cut to amplify it.

4. The diamond buying experience doesn’t end when you leave the store. “If you want your teeth to last a lifetime, you get them checked every six months. The same rule applies to your ring,” says Gavin. You wear your ring every day, and it’s going to endure a lot of wear and tear. Get it checked every six months at your jeweller to make sure both stone and band are holding up well. Also, get insurance. You want to be protected in case the unthinkable happens — loss, theft or damage.


5. It’s “carat,” not “karat.” Carats are for diamonds, karats are for gold and carrots are for rabbits.

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(Photos via Brian Gavin Diamonds)