The holidays are upon us and there’s nothing like sharing in good food, good times, and good love. This time of year, it’s not unusual for couples to take a leap to the next level of their relationship and go from merely dating to an engagement for marriage.
Because that leap is an emotional one, it can be overwhelming to choose the perfect engagement ring whether you decide alone or as a couple.
And no one understands this better than Jean Luma. Certified by the GIA, the leading gemological laboratory in the world, Luma is a pace setting African American Gemologist whose internationally branded company, Luma Diamond Consultants, is going above and beyond with its service, delivery, and education of its clientele.
We caught up with Mr. Luma and he expertly advised us on the things to consider when purchasing an engagement ring. Here are our top 3:
Understanding the Value
Purchasing an engagement ring is not like buying a car. In fact, you may go through three or four cars in your lifetime, but your “one diamond will still be standing,” explains Luma. “That one time investment can carry on through 4 generations in your family history, and not just the monetary value but the emotional connection is amazing.”
This generational value is not often something we think about, but we ought to consider this as more than just a fleeting purchase.
“If your mom passes down a ring to you that meant so much to the union of your dad and your mom, now you take that symbolism as what it means to your new family and you probably won’t be so quick to say I just don’t want to do this anymore,” says Luma.
Counting the Cost
When you’re ready to start shopping, it’s important to set a budget and consider how much you are willing and able to spend.
Each diamond is unique and, as Luma explains, “it’s not an apples to apples comparison with any other diamond on the face of the earth. It’s one of the most difficult purchases to make if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for.”
And, when it comes to what you’re looking for, think long term. Because this item could one day serve as an heirloom, Luma says, “You may end up spending a little more because generations to come may have this diamond in the family. Don’t purchase thinking you will resell in 20 years and make a profit.”
He continues, “Your son or daughter can now save 15 thousand dollars because of the seven thousand dollar diamond you purchased 20 years ago. That’s where the value comes in, when passing it down.”
Making an Informed Decision
The emotions of the occasion should not, and most likely will not, be disregarded. However, this will be one of the most important emotional investments you will make and you should be armed with as much knowledge as possible.
We’ve all heard of the 4C’s – cut, carat, color, clarity – but most people are unaware of the implications of each.
“The cut of the diamond is the most important part of the diamond,” says Luma.
“But the two items you hear about the most is the carat weight and the color.
The cut probably takes 75% of what the diamond will be valued and no one educates the client on that.
So because there is no education customers end up leaving a location with a high color, high clarity, high carat weight diamond that has no value because the cut is fair or poor at best.
So when they go to the marketplace and have to resell it, the buying jeweler or someone who wants to buy the diamond says we’ll give you 20% of what you paid for this.
Because they purchased a poor quality item thinking it was a high quality item, they now have lost all of the value of the item. That is one of the major mistakes in purchasing diamonds.
There are about 35 different characteristics as a gemologist that Luma says he goes through just to make sure that the diamond is something that he would refer to a client.
So when the time is right, as it usually is around the holidays, that special purchase should represent the emotional connection to your soon to be spouse as well as the legacy you will leave for generations to come.
Luma Diamond Consultants will gladly extend a special offer to BMWK readers. Just visit their website here and fill out the client questionnaire. Then select Black & Married with Kids as the referral source to receive a special discount.
BMWK, are you ready to pop the question this holiday season?