Marry Me?

How to Choose an Engagement Ring, According to This Houston Jeweler

Frank Lueth guides Houstonia on what to look for to have a memorable proposal.

By Danielle Wright

The Zadok store in Post Oak.

Image: Zadok

When it comes to popping the question, Valentine’s Day is one of the best days of the year to get down on one knee, according to 40% of men. Nearly 6 million couples get engaged on a romantic holiday, which makes for a nice surprise alongside a box of chocolates and roses.

But before opening the little black box, the ring inside must be a perfect match for your future fiancée. According to Zadok’s director of sales, Frank Lueth, there are many factors that tie into sourcing the perfect engagement ring, and it takes more than just looking for an exquisite exterior.

While 2020’s pandemic year took a toll on some lovers, others were pushed toward taking the next step. In 2021, Zadok saw an 204% increase in engagement ring purchases from 2020. Around Valentine’s Day, Lueth says customers have shied away from the diamond-encrusted halo band, aiming instead for more refined styles. 

“What's really gotten into style is the solitaire -- a very delicate solitaire,” Lueth tells Houstonia.” I would say more people have been asking like, ‘I want something like what my mom had,’ which is usually a yellow-gold or rose-gold which has made a bit of a resurgence, versus white gold or platinum. Also, the oval cut has been very popular lately.” 

Although the beauty of a diamond lies in the eyes of the beholder, the foundation set for the gem is actually more important. Authentication, Cut, and Ethics are the three main factors to keep in mind when searching for your ring. Lueth shares that Zadok only offers GIA-certified diamonds, which is a foremost authority on diamonds, colored stones, and pearls.

“You want to make sure that the diamond has a certificate so that those ratings of the stone are very solid and verifiable. It also helps to protect the value of the diamond that you're buying in case you want to trade it in the future. The GIA certificate is superior to any other kind of certificate that's available because they offer a security feature, which is the inscription of the GIA number on the side of the diamond.”

There are seven traditional gemstone cuts of rings: round, cushion, princess, oval, emerald, pear, and marquise. The cut grade will be the most important factor when choosing your cut. 

Zadok offers many types of rings including the radiant cut (far left).

Image: Zadok

“The cut grade is the most important and underappreciated part of the diamond because that's what gives the correct bounce back of the light. Having the right ratio of the cut so it's not too deep or too shallow gives good brilliance and scintillation of the light,” explains Lueth. “That's always very important with the diamond beyond the hard facts of color clarity. The cut grade is much more important than most people give prevalence to.”

Finding a diamond that’s ethically sourced can not only have dramatic effects on your diamond, but the environment as well. Although Zadok utilizes The Kimberly Process, which is a company that works with the government to help oversee and regulate the trade of rough or conflict diamonds, lab-created stones were found to cause more harm. According to Natural Diamonds, “man-made stones are artificially made though a replicate of natural conditions found in the earth, which are forcing carbon atoms into a crystal structure.” Lueth says buyers are being misled about the credibility of lab-created diamonds being a better process for the environment. 

“For many years, people didn't ask about the source of the diamond and I think the competition with lab-created diamonds has made people think that lab diamonds are environmentally friendly, but it's actually not because it takes so much energy expense,” Lueth says. “Diamonds are still a very rare commodity and there's a limited amount of stones that are produced for the world every year. There's a really good little analogy that I heard last year that says, ‘If you took the entire production of the world's diamonds, you would fill a yoga ball, but if you took the diamonds that were two karats and up, they would only fill a basketball.”

Round and cushion cuts.

Image: Zadok

There are many ways to get the most out of your diamond without paying a hefty price. Surprisingly, by choosing the pear or oval cut, buyers will get 20% to 30% more of the diamond than the classic round shape, which is usually more expensive. 

“Round diamonds are always the most expensive because you do have the most amount of waste when they're cutting this, so that causes the price and the cost of round diamonds to always be higher than the fancier shapes, which are pear, marquis, oval, cushion, and emerald,” says Lueth. 

Popping the question “Will you marry me?” may be memorable, but the perfect ring will sweep them off their feet. 

“It's easy to get caught up on falling in love with the numbers and the statistics of the diamond,” Lueth tells Houstonia. “Ultimately, I think it's important to find a stone that kind of speaks to you and has the brilliance and beauty that you're looking for so that every day when you look at the ring, you're happy and proud to wear it.”


For more information, visit Zadok online or in-store at 1801 Post Oak Blvd., Ste. 100. 

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