It’s been over 3 years since my now-husband I got engaged. Prior to the proposal we had talked about getting married… and being the practical guy that he was, he said he wanted to go with me to pick a ring that I liked because I would be wearing it for the rest of my life (instead of being surprised with an engagement ring). Who knows maybe he was copping out and not wanting to put in the effort because he knew I would research the heck out of it haha! Here is my CanadaMark Diamonds review.
We went to some brick and mortar shops and we got overwhelmed with the salespeople (some were pushy, some were super snobby, and I just usually feel icky around salespeople) so I decided to do some research online. I know I know, it’s not particularly romantic, but according to The Knot around 33% of couples end up picking the ring together. The prices were also much higher in store than online (I would estimate 25% more in price).
One thing that I definitely knew I wanted was for the diamond engagement ring to be conflict free, and preferably from Canada. You might say I have a bit of an outer scorecard with the ring on my finger (embarrassing to admit for me being somewhat of a minimalist and all).
I watched Blood Diamond (with Leonardo DiCaprio in it) many years ago and it really left an impression on me. Even though I still wanted a diamond, I preferred CanadaMark diamonds.
Table of Contents
What Are CanadaMark Diamonds?
CanadaMark diamonds are responsibly mined in Canada’s Northwest Territories and their diamonds are tracked through an independent process beginning from the mine origin and ending with the polished stone.
CanadaMark diamonds are conflict free and tend to cost more than a typical diamond (I would estimate this to be 10-20% more) because they are ethically sourced, and have high standards to follow before being sold to the consumer.
Even though the civil wars have ended, diamonds conventionally sourced are still involved with labour (e.g. child labour), environmental devastation, and violence. However, the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme of 2003 has really cut down on this and most diamonds available are conflict free.
CanadaMark diamonds and CanadaMark engagement rings come with an authenticity card a unique serial number. The unique serial number is laser engraved together with the CanadaMark logo on the diamond. This serial number is so small that you can’t see it with the naked eye and you can only see it using a microscope or a diamond loupe.
Where to Buy a Canadamark Engagement Ring:
There are a number of online engagement ring retailers that sell CanadaMark engagement rings.
- In a traditional Brick and Mortar shop, you can find the closest one to you here from the CanadaMark website.
- James Allen
- Blue Nile
One of the best ways to make sure you are shopping properly for a ring without wasting time is to use your filters when you are screening for your ring.
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Step-by-Step On How to Buy a CanadaMark Engagement Ring Online:
First go to the online engagement ring website.
For example, we can use the James Allen website. It is very visually appealing and has an easy to use filter.
- Click on CHOOSE A DIAMOND
- Select your SHAPE (FYI round brilliant diamonds tend to show off the most light). The following guidelines will be for a round brilliant diamond because that’s what I have.
- Then pick your CLARITY. SI1 (Slight Inclusion 1) gives you a lower price, you can instant chat with the representative and ask if it is “eye clean”, meaning that to the naked eye you do not see any inclusions (inclusions are black spots). James Allen owns their diamond inventory so you can zoom into the diamond as if you were looking at it under a diamond loupe. In contrast, Adiamor does not own their diamond inventory.
- Then select your COLOUR. The diamond colours go from white or D (pretty much white and also very expensive) all the way to a yellowish hue. An H diamond has a slight yellow tinge but only if compared side by side to a D diamond. An H diamond is a good option because you can’t tell the yellow and it is much cheaper than a D.
- Then choose the CUT. Cut is very important and is more important that the number of carats, it is PARAMOUNT. For example, you can have a diamond that is like 2 Carats but if it is cut poorly, your diamond will look smaller than that of a well cut diamond that is smaller in carat size.
- Then select the CARAT. To save money, you can buy ‘shy’– for example 0.97 carat instead of 1.01 carat and will save a lot for something that is not obvious to the eye.
- For a Round Brilliant diamond, select ADVANCED OPTIONS and look for TABLE (and click on 53-58%… this will sort out the badly cut diamonds and give you optimal table width). Table width is the widest part of the diamond and usually if you have a good table width (not too wide, not too narrow) you will have lots of shine.
- Finally select DEPTH and filter it to 60.2-62.7% for ideal depth values
Hopefully that made buying an engagement ring online a little less stressful. Probably less stressful than talking to a pushy sales person in a jewelry store, but some people enjoy that experience rather than getting something online.
Extra Tips For Buying Engagement Rings Online
I found Diamond Database helpful when I was obsessing over whether the size of the ring would look okay on my finger, I didn’t want it to look too small or too large or disproportionate.
With this website, you can plug in the diamond measurements are usually found on the GIA certificate that you can see online and you can compare the diamonds you are interested in side by side to see how it would look on a finger.
For example, some diamonds are cut shallow or too deep so even though it might be a 1.25 carat, it only looks like a 1 carat instead (like I said earlier, cut is of paramount importance). Using this diamond database will help you eliminate that issue when you are looking for an engagement ring online.
Finally, make sure when you order a ring online you can order the exact size. There are even quarter sizes. The easiest way is to find a ring you or she already owns and have it checked at a brick and mortar shop with a ring gauge. If it doesn’t fit most online retailers will help you resize it for free- though this would definitely be a hassle to have to ship it back etc.
My wedding ring is slightly smaller than my engagement ring and although it fits, I had to take them both off when I was pregnant. I almost had to cut my rings off because my finger swelled so much, thankfully I was able to remove the rings with the string trick. A few months post partum I was able to wear my engagement and wedding rings again.
Diamond Ring Insurance Coverage
I know a friend who has a $35,000 diamond ring and they pay insurance to cover it. Some home insurance providers allow you to pay additional premium to insure your jewelry or other valuables.
Personally in our situation, it’s always on my hand and the resale value of diamond rings is not so much in my opinion, so we opted not to have ring insurance, so that we can save money on home insurance in Vancouver.
Shipping The Diamond to Canada
Yes, it is ironic that a Canadian diamond was purchased from an online retailer from the United States.
Under the North American Fair Trade Agreement (NAFTA) any diamond manufactured in North America allows you to only pay for taxes (PST and GST). You don’t have to pay any additional taxes according to Ringspo.
You should not have to pay duty on your diamond engagement ring.
Most online jewelry stores like James Allen will ship via Fedex or Purolator and only a customs brokerage fee (which is usually under $20) is applicable.
My husband ordered my ring online and it arrived through Purolator. He just had to pick it up and it was a simple and straight forward process.
Here’s The CanadaMark Diamond Ring!
If you’re interested in what a highly researched CanadaMark Diamond ring looks like, this was taken when I had lots of time on my hands before getting married.
Having a baby really takes away your free time (I had enough time where I took pictures of my hand hahahaha).
The CanadaMark diamond engagement ring is a little over 1 carat (1.16) and I love how it shines in the elevator under florescent lighting or on a bright sunny day. I am a lover of shiny things and am possibly a crow at heart.
Do you have other tips to share on how to buy a CanadaMark diamond engagement ring online?
GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, dividend and ETF investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle. Before you go, check out my recommendations page of financial tools I use to save and invest money. Don’t forget to subscribe for blog updates, a free dividend yield spreadsheet, and the free Young Money Bootcamp eCourse.