Diamond experts from Tampa, Florida share tips to buying the perfect engagement ring

round, cushion, princess, emerald.

Settings, prongs and engravings.

cut, color, clarity, carat.

There are many pieces that make up each engagement ring.

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Your loved one will be staring at your sparkling engagement ring every day, so naturally you want to make the right decision. But how?

From the shopping experience itself (online or in-person, with or without a partner) to the ring design, there’s a lot to juggle when it comes to this all-important purchase.

There are many steps to choosing an engagement ring before you use it to pop the question to your lover. (St. Petersburg)

Below is a guide to all your engagement ring questions answered by experts who have helped clients create the jewelry of their dreams to symbolize love.

  1. Online shopping and in-person shopping
  2. How to decide on a budget
  3. engagement ring shape
  4. 4 C’s
  5. Should you go ring shopping with your partner?
  6. How do I know what kind of ring she wants?
  7. What about customization?
  8. Is it grown in a lab or is it natural?

1. Online shopping and in-person shopping

Engagement rings have become trendy in the world of online shopping.

Online shopping may seem like an easy choice, but there are things you should consider before buying online.

“I think engagement rings are very unique, and when shopping online, I think the in-store experience where you can actually touch the ring, see how it feels, and see how it looks on your finger is very important. Replace that experience,” Anthony Zucco, a sales consultant at Mabilo Wholesalers in Tampa, Fla., told Fox News Digital.

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“That means making an appointment so women and men can actually come and see it in person without having to retouch or edit it online. I think this is an essential part of a successful engagement process. “Zucco continued.

Deciding how to purchase your diamond is the first of many steps in this process.

2. How to decide on a budget

One of the age-old questions is, “How much should I spend on an engagement ring?”

Well, it depends on who you ask.

Many people still strongly believe that three months’ salary is acceptable, but at the end of the day, that’s a myth, not a rule. Budgets are very personal to each individual. Before you dive into shopping, keep your budget in mind. Otherwise, expenses can add up quickly. You’ll probably have a lot of cash for your wedding. There’s no need to go into debt for a ring or your big day.

It’s also a good idea to have a frank discussion with your partner about your budget before making a purchase and decide on an amount that you’re both happy with.

cash in hand

Before you start shopping for an engagement ring, set a budget and stick to it. (St. Petersburg)

Creating a budget in advance will help you consider your options within that amount. Consider creating a rough budget long before you decide whether to actually ask.

That way, you can start putting money aside for future purchases instead of having thousands in just a few weeks or months.

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As far as averages go, The Knot’s 2023 Jewelry and Engagement Study found that number to be $5,500.

Once you’ve decided on a budget, your jeweler can guide you through the ring design process and make sure you stay within the allotted amount.

“When you buy a diamond, you have to choose between cut, shape, color, and clarity. Within each of those groups, you have to choose the level that you are comfortable with,” says Mark Owner.・Mr. Oliva says. Mabilo of Tampa told Fox News Digital.

“As you go through our process, we actually create a diamond that fits your budget, or better yet, you didn’t really notice because you didn’t study that much.” “We’re showing you things. We’re showing you some things in front of us. So, again, you have to consider all these factors,” he added.

3. Engagement ring shape

Center stones come in a variety of shapes, some classic and others more unique.

You can choose from common engagement ring shapes such as round, cushion, princess, emerald, oval, pear, and marquise, but that’s not all.

A study conducted by The Knot found that round diamond rings will be the most popular in 2023, with 34% of people choosing this shape.

Sources say oval stones are becoming a popular trend and will jump from 2% to 23% in 2023.

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4. The four Cs

If you’ve ever researched engagement rings, you’ve probably come across the four C’s. The 4Cs refer to cut, color, clarity, and carat. All of these should be considered to some degree, but there are some factors you’ll want to focus on more than others.

“I think we preach here at Mavilo…Kat,” Zucco explained. “The cut of the diamond causes all the light to be dispersed. If you look down and look at the girl’s stone across the room, you’ll see the cut of the diamond. So we want to make sure that never happens. I made a sacrifice with the cut.”

“Without a little bit of education, it can be hard for customers to guess that. So you have to really educate your customers on that angle. They understand the ratios, they understand the depth, they understand a little bit more. By taking a closer look, we can ‘see what they’re comparing and make sure the value is actually there,”’ Oliva said.

“We call it knowledge creates value, and we believe this is kind of why we develop internal apps to educate people. And if you show them the differences between the different cuts, they understand right away,” Oliva added.

Understanding color and transparency is also important, according to Zucco. These factors really become apparent when you visit a jewelry store and see the ring in front of your eyes.

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“We also want to educate our customers about color and clarity. It’s easy to lose all of this knowledge on the web. We want to be able to come in and see all the diamonds, all the options, the color differences. compared to what you see in ,” Zucco said. .

5. Should I go ring shopping with my partner?

Today, many couples choose to go ring shopping together. This allows the girls to participate in the design of the ring, making it a very seamless process.

“A lot of times when couples come in, it’s easier because they can collaborate on all the information together,” Oliva said.

“It’s amazing how 80% of the time we end up talking to women about the size of the diamond and the style of setting. Then we have a lot of conversations with our partners about the budget, the facts about the diamond itself. We need a lot of that part,” Oliva said.

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Today, many couples choose to go ring shopping together, each participating in the process. (St. Petersburg)

Oliva explained that even though there are far more couples now than in the past, many people still shop alone for their future spouse.

“I think probably 70% of buyers are individuals who don’t have other individuals involved yet. But increasingly, couples are coming in together. They want to know exactly what they want. You want to make sure you can get that person’s dream with that person next to you, especially if they’re doing custom, that’s really the right way to go. Because it can be done, so every element of that ring is taken away,” Oliva said.

6. How do I know what kind of ring she wants?

If you want to keep the element of surprise intact, you can still do that. You’ll have to get a little more creative.

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Pay close attention to any hints, subtle or subtle, about what kind of ring your partner wants.

You can always ask your friends or siblings about what your girlfriend likes. Maybe she told them.

Take note of the colors and styles of jewelry she already wears, and keep an eye on social media for inspiration for rings she might like. Because, as Oliva says, you need to come to the store with a basic idea: At least what you’re looking for.

“I would take inspiration from social media and photos on Instagram and Pinterest, but when it comes to the design side, you have to bring ideas. Usually the design side includes the shape of the diamond that she came up with. .I love it,” Oliva said.

7. What about customization?

From a distance, two engagement rings look the same, but up close you can see the difference. This is mainly due to customization.

Customization makes the ring more unique and personal to the wearer.

“From the engravings to the peek-a-boo diamonds to the birthstones on the bottom of the rail, we’ve done it all. People want personalized rings, something that sets their ring apart from the masses.” said Zucco.

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“If you look at our Instagram page, we see a lot of different things: white gold, yellow gold, diamonds in different shapes, big wide settings, thin settings, and that’s what makes our business so interesting. That’s what makes it so much fun,” Oliva said.

“You never do the same thing every day. Everyone has a different vision of how they like it done. To see it executed in your fingers and actually scale to your vision is great. We can, and that’s our reward.”

8. Is it grown in a lab or natural?

Lab-grown diamonds are a trending topic and many people are choosing this option instead of purchasing natural diamonds.

Oliva explained that lab-grown diamonds have had a huge impact on the diamond industry, and it’s a question many people have.

“The impact was huge,” Oliva said. “I think most jewelers have realized that given the economics and given the circumstances, it’s an option. This is the first time in history that we’ve ever had this lab-grown diamond as an option, and many People are moving in that direction, and a lot of jewelers don’t want to be associated with that.”

It’s important to educate your partner on this topic when deciding what type of diamond to buy for them.

“Lab-grown diamonds can be created using carbon CVD or high pressure and high temperature. This means that for the first time in history, diamonds can be created in a lab and produce effects similar to natural diamonds. And It’s catching the attention of consumers,” Oliva said.

“This is a multi-billion dollar business today. Most of our clients, whether they’re buying natural products or labs, are there and asking questions. That’s why we’re fully integrated into our app. There are many layers of education so people understand and see the process in action,” Oliva added.

“Diamonds are investments, heirlooms, and have an inherent value that goes beyond mere symbolism.”

“I think it’s really important for consumers to understand that lab-grown diamonds continue to fall and fall and fall, so lab-grown diamonds today compared to the beginning, say, two or three years ago. is probably about 90% lower than it was before,”’ Oliva added.

“So there’s a saying that a natural diamond is forever. It’s grown in a lab. If it’s what the client wants, it fits the budget needs, and the client is OK with it, it’s a beautiful stone.” is.”

He added: “But that’s a question, and it depends on the consumer and what asset class they want to invest in. Diamonds are an investment, they’re heirlooms, and they have an inherent value that goes beyond just being symbolic. Yes, but we follow trends. [and] Be transparent with your clients and try to guide them in the direction they want to go,” Oliva concluded.


Many jewelers include lab-grown diamonds in their inventory, while others avoid them. If you are interested in purchasing or simply exploring lab-grown diamonds, be sure to go to a jeweler who will answer your questions and give you both options to consider.

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