THE BLOG
09/29/2014 02:36 pm ET Updated Nov 29, 2014

The All Important #Ringselfie

Posting the brand-new engagement ring online is not just for Kim Kardashian; it's for every bride with a smartphone who wants to declare, "Hey world, I just got engaged with THIS ring!" The #ringselfie phenomenon has been spreading like wildfire in our increasingly visually-obsessed social media world. What may have been enough before, i.e., "I said YES!!!" now clearly isn't. Now it's all about the photo of the new flashy bridal bling perched atop the ring finger.

According to The Knot, "You may not be into mirror selfies, post-workout selfies, or duck-face selfies, but the ring selfie is something sacred." And that #ringselfie has become so critical for many brides that they are willing to go to great lengths to make that picture as perfect as possible. There are two aspects of the photo that concern them: the wow factor of the ring and the appearance of their hand. How do they ensure bridal magazine photo-shoot impeccability?

The bottom line is that the ring must pass muster on Facebook, Instagram or wherever they break the news. Is the diamond big and beautiful enough? Is the style of the setting trendy enough? In other words, if a bride is going to post photos of her engagement ring, she wants to be proud of her new jewelry.

So in an effort to make the ring the biggest, baddest engagement ring for this e-engagement announcement, it would make a lot of sense to understand the difference between a flawless, ginormous, perfectly-colored diamond and one that just looks that way in the photo. In other words, why spend more money on features that the average #ringselfie consumer won't notice or appreciate? Buying a perfectly colored diamond (rated "D") is simply a waste of money since no one is going to super-magnify the photo, searching if the diamond has a yellow tinge to it. If the diamond is set in yellow or rose gold, for example, you can get away with a lower color grade (K-M for a round cut, J-K for princess, emerald and Asscher cuts, and I-J for all other shapes) since the yellow and rose colors absorb any yellow hue in the diamond.

The same rule of what the average onlooker will notice also applies to the diamond's clarity. Just as no one is going to use a diamond loupe on your ring to search for inclusions (diamond jargon for imperfections), what is most important to consider is whether the diamond is "eye-clean," meaning that to the average admirer, your diamond will appear sparkly and clean. It is possible to save a significant amount of money in this category. As long as the diamond is cut well and is deemed eye-clean from professionally done magnified photos, you could end up saving a huge chunk of change.

And buying a diamond based primarily on large carat weight is also not a great way to score a bigger rock because people only notice the surface area of the diamond once set in the ring, not the diamond's actual weight. There is no actual way for someone to know the carat weight of a diamond without weighing it or seeing its gemological laboratory certificate. What makes more sense, then, is to maximize the surface area of the diamond; for a round cut that means its diameter, and for any other shape, it means its length x width ratio. It's safe to assume that most picture-snapping brides would prefer a #ringselfie with a 0.90 ct. diamond with a 6.2mm spread over a 1.00 ct. diamond with a 6.1mm spread.

And it's not just the look of the ring that concerns the photographing bride, but how her hand appears in these photos as well. It's obvious to most women taking these pictures that they should make sure their fingernails are manicured, or at least trimmed and neat. But a new, invasive trend is starting to take hold: getting plastic surgery, also known as a hand-lift, for the all important #ringselfie. JCK Magazine reports that one plastic surgeon says he's seeing two to three patients a day for hand-lifts who are concerned how their hands will look under the flash of the #ringselfie. The procedure costs around $1200-3000. Dr. Ariel Ostad, a New York plastic surgeon, says "I've noticed over the last six months [that] patients actually bring a selfie in the examining room. They show me what bothers them and what they would like to fix."

One woman, Jennifer Desiderio, started becoming critical of her hands only after she got her ring and posted at least 50 photos on Instagram with it. "All of a sudden I started taking all of these pictures and selfies with my ring," said Desiderio. "It looked like (my) skin was a lot thinner than it used to be, and the veins... It just looked skeletal." And so, in an effort to appear flawless in social media land, Jennifer ended up at a plastic surgery clinic in La Jolla, California, and is thrilled with the results.

According to an ABC News article, "The quest for the perfect selfie photo has gotten so extreme that filters and photo edits just aren't cutting it for some people, who are instead going under the knife to physically alter their appearance in hopes of a better selfie." How sad that the #ringselfie demands a blemish-free hand to survive the scrutiny of friends and family. Isn't the point of this photo to see the RING?!

Well now that you know how to save money on the diamond, you better put it aside for the hand-lift. After all, those pre-Internet days are long gone when a beautiful ring shown in person to one person at a time was such an exciting moment for a new bride. Unless, of course, she likes her hands. ;-)