With This Ring…

You’ve decided she’s the one and you’re ready to get down on one knee. Herewith: Expert tips from the folks at Freddy’s, a local institution of engagement ring bliss in Downtown Miami to help you pick the perfect piece to seal the deal.
Text by Dena Roché | June 4, 2018 | Luxury

It’s one of the most exciting, stressful and nerve-wracking purchases a man will ever make. A house? An exotic sports car? Nope, an engagement ring. This purchase has the power to change a couple’s future forever. The pressure to get it right is immense. So men, here is everything you need to know to find the perfect ring for your perfect lady.
The dream ring starts with knowing your soon-to-be-fiancée’s tastes. This requires you to play detective. First, take notice of the jewelry she wears. Is it big and bold or tailored and classic? Does she wear yellow or white gold and platinum? Are her pieces modern or vintage? This will give you an idea of her style. If you can get your hands on her jewelry box, try to snatch a ring to take with you for sizing purposes, but you can always give her the ring and size it at a later date at no charge.
Armed with an idea of what would please your beloved, it’s time to go shopping. “The most important thing is your budget,” says Freddy Strauss, co-owner of Freddy’s: The Certified Diamond Store, a family-owned jeweler in Miami specializing in engagement rings. We’ve all heard that the rule of thumb is 2 month’s salary, but that arbitrary standard has become passé. Today, the focus is on getting the best ring at a price that’s comfortable for the buyer. According to Strauss, the typical man spends $5,000-$12,000 on the ring. “Nowadays, the average engagement ring buyer is more educated,” says Strauss. “They do a lot of research online, but on the Internet they can’t touch, feel or see the actual ring — having a certain comfort level with the sales person and clicking with them is important.”
What’s more, a quality jeweler you trust will ensure that you purchase a diamond that is GIA Certified and can help educate you on what to look for, what’s most important and what to sacrifice to stay within budget.
Most men have heard about The 4 C’s — Color, Cut, Carat and Clarity — as the things to focus on when picking a diamond. While all are critical to the overall look of the stone, some are more important than others. Many experts say that Cut is the top C because it’s what allows a diamond’s shine and brilliance to come through. It’s rated from Excellent to Poor, with stones in the Very Good to Excellent range yielding plenty of sparkle. While round is the most popular shape, fancy shapes like cushion and princess cuts are popular. Another trick to making the diamond seem larger is to use the popular Halo Setting, where the main diamond is surrounded by smaller diamonds.
When it comes to Color, the stone is rated on a scale from D to Z with D being the best. According to the folks at Freddy’s, you should look at stones rated from D to J. “Color is the first thing you will notice when the diamond is set in the ring,” says Howard Steinlauf, Co-Owner of Freddy’s, adding that Clarity is the easiest concession to make. “Size (Carat) and Color are the things that most people want the most.”
Clarity refers to how flawless the diamond is. Most diamonds have minor inclusions, but these tiny flaws are invisible to the naked eye and won’t hurt the appearance of the ring. It is rated on a scale from FL (flawless) to I3 (obvious inclusions). Stones rated above VS2 will not have flaws that can be seen without magnification.
Carat is the most obvious of the 4 Cs and refers to the size of the diamond. While some girls think that bigger is better, those in the industry will say you should sacrifice a bit of size for quality. Deciding on a size also comes down to knowing your girlfriend’s preference and what will look good on her finger. After all, an engagement ring is something she’ll wear for the rest of her life, so you definitely want it to be timeless, although some of the current trends include cushion cuts, a resurgence of yellow gold, and stones other than diamonds are also great options.
Just like clothes, you can buy a ring “off the rack” or you can customize one to your exact specifications. The most important thing if you choose to design a ring, besides knowing your girlfriend’s tastes, likes and dislikes, is finding a jewelry store with a designer whose style you like. Ask friends for recommendations and visit several higher-end stores to see what is on display that their in-house designer created.
To find the perfect engagement ring and go over all your options with top jewelers in the field, stop in to Freddy’s: The Certified Diamond Store. In addition to their in-store and online multimillion-dollar diamond inventory, Freddy’s offers a full range of services from custom designs to special orders and complete in-store repair center; Seybold building 36 NE 1st St., Suite 129-131 Miami, FL 33132; 305.371.8261;