Gold Ring online Lacoochee

For centuries in Lacoochee , diamond has been used as an epitome of true love. It reflects love, affection, security, trust and a life long commitment. When you gift a diamond to a woman, let it be in the form of diamond engagement ring, you need not say the rest. It will make others understand that how much serious you are for her. It will portray your love in the best possible manner.

You can find a variety of diamond engagement rings at online jewelry stores in Lacoochee . These diamond engagement rings come in many shapes and styles. It is apt to choose diamond as the stone for these engagement rings because diamond is considered beautiful and it is also the hardest of all substances present on the earth. This is primarily the reason why people consider it ominous and feel that wearing diamond can bring same kind of good luck in their lives. This has made diamond engagement ring, diamond solitaire ring, designer engagement ring, diamond engagement ring platinum, discount diamond engagement ring a pre determined gift for those involved in love.

Out of all rings, a ring with solitaire is considered the most appropriate symbol which can depict your love. The attraction with the solitaire is incomparable. Diamond solitaire rings are set in a prong setting with 4 to 8 claws. Prongs can mostly be seen in platinum, yet another very beautiful and attractive metal. In most of the cases platinum is considered, as it is generally thin, and makes the diamond more visible.

Then there is yet another form of diamond engagement rings, which is attractive as well as romantic. It is known as past, present future ring. These rings define love as eternal and something which was in the past will be in the present and will be there in the future. The ring actually consists of three stones of diamond. The design of the ring can be like a center piece of diamond with two pieces around, or the three pieces of diamond clustered together. Side stone diamond engagement rings are also one style of engagement rings, which is elegant. This type of engagement ring is basically attractive as well as elegant.

They go well for working women.

Then there are antique diamond rings in Lacoochee . These are also called Victorian rings. The designs of these rings are just like what was prevalent in the past. These diamond rings also look well if they go with some other stones. And if you want to give something priceless and sentimental to your lover, then you can gift her ancestral ring. Ancestral ring is the ring of your family, coming down since past. This ring must have been worn by your mother and grandmother. These rings are high in sentimental value and thus are considered priceless. Bit if you do not have such a family ring, then there is nothing to be upset over. You can buy for your fiancé or your wife unique engagement rings; who knows, one day; this ring can becomes an ancestral ring for your family.

So, what are you waiting for? If you are planning to walk the aisle with hand in hand with your lover, then begin the process by gifting her a diamond engagement ring. After all, diamonds are a woman’s best friend.

unique wedding bands

Lacoochee How to Buy a Diamond And The 4 Biggest Mistakes When Buying a Diamond

To begin our function on various sorts of gemstones, we will begin with the very best and also most well known gemstone of them all the ruby. The diamond is the utmost gems. It has really few weaknesses as well as lots of staminas. It sparkles with its phenomenal value and emotional value. It is used in wedding celebration rings to stand for countless love or made use of as gifts/jewelry to be provided to enjoyed ones. However the diamond is a lot greater than its timeless beauty.

The ruby obtains its name from the Greek work adamas meaning unbeatable. In solidity, there is no contrast. The ruby prices in the Mohs scale a 10 which is the hardest compound on Earth. Its cutting resistance is 140 times that of the ruby as well as sapphire, the gemstones(Corundum) that are next in the Mohs scale in hardness. The diamond's optical residential properties such as appeal and rigidness make it unique and also quickly differentiated from various other imitations. Take pleasure in!

* History of Diamonds

The first taped diamond go back around 800 B.C. in India. Some believe it also dated back 6,000 years ago. The rubies were used as decorative objectives as well as as talismans to prevent wicked and provide protection in fight. Throughout the Dark Ages, diamonds were also mentioned to be made use of as a medical help. Religious doctors also told people that if they hold a ruby in a hand and also make the sign of the cross would certainly, it would cure and also illness and also recover wounds.

Diamonds ended up being much more preferred during the 19th century as a result of discovery of diamond down payments in South Africa. This discovery leads to boosted supply, improved cutting as well as brightening strategies, and also growth in economy. In 1979, rock hounds located the Argyle pipe in Australia which to this date is the wealthiest ruby deposit worldwide. Argyle, ever since, alone is in charge of supplying over one third of the globe's diamonds each year.

* Diamonds: Exactly how are they developed?

Rubies includes an allotrope of carbons that are developed in high-pressure, high-temperature problems. Diamonds are generated 90 miles under the Earth's surface at temperatures of regarding 2200 levels Fahrenheit. Diamonds are developed deep within the planet and also at some point, over very lengthy periods of time, push their method to the planet's surface area, normally through volcanic eruptions.

The age of these diamonds from beneath the surface area of the earth are from 1 to 3.3 billion years old! When rubies are developed and also begin their climb to the planet's surface, they undergo channels where the magma from the volcano increases to the surface area, grabbing diamonds along the means as well as ultimately transferring them externally, where they are eventually located and also mined.

* The 4 C's of Diamonds

There are 4 unique characteristics that establish the worth and also quality of a diamond. These are the color, cut, clearness as well as carat weight. Otherwise called the 4 C's of a ruby. In the complying with, we will certainly discuss these attributes in detail.

* Shade

In the last e-newsletter, we touch based on the color of gems as being one of the most essential function due to that shade is one of the most obvious feature. The ideal ruby needs to show up clear as well as anemic yet this is not the case for all rubies. Rubies can come in any type of color of the rainbow most usual shade is a color of yellow or brownish. The Geological Institute of America(GIA) have actually developed a guideline to quality ruby shade. This guideline is composed of a text system that ranges from the alphabet D - Z. Please see listed below:

D E F No Shade G H I J Nearly Colorless K L M Faintly tinted, can not hardly be seen as well as typically yellow in shade N O P Q R Lightly tinted, typically yellow. Can be seen with the naked eye S T U V W X Y Z Tinted, begins from yellow and also advances to brownish

* Clearness

The cut a diamond is figured out by the diamond's proportion such as its form, width as well as depth. The cut identifies just what is called the ruby's "sparkle". Even if the diamond itself has excellent color as well as clarity, with a poor cut the ruby will certainly have a dull radiance. This is since the cut establishes exactly how light travels within the diamond. The Gemological Institute of America has actually likewise developed a clearness grading system to place ruby clearness. This grading system includes Flawless (Fl), Inside Flawless (IF), Extremely Very Somewhat Consisted Of (VV1 or VV2), Extremely Slightly Consisted Of(VS1 or VS2), Somewhat Included(SI1 or SI2), and Included(I1, I2, and also I3). Although this system had actually been added to the ruby market, it is not widely utilized. This is due to that it took a great deal of practice and training to integrate it.

* Cut

The cut a ruby is determined by the diamond's percentage such as its form, width and depth. The cut identifies what is called the ruby's "brilliance". Also if the ruby itself has ideal shade as well as clarity, with a bad cut the diamond will certainly have a dull luster. This is since the cut determines just how light travels within the ruby.

There are 3 kinds of cuts that can determine the ruby's radiance. These are a shallow cut, a cut that is too deep and excellent cut. A superficial cut is a cut of a diamond that is as well low, that light taking a trip through it is lost under of the rock and also does not return right into view. This cut makes a diamond show up drab as well as boring. A cut that is unfathomable is a cut that is too expensive, that light taking a trip via it leaves via the sides as well as darkens the stone. A suitable cut is a perfect cut on a diamond that shows light to the top of the stone, giving it excellent sparkle.

* Carat weight

As mentioned on the last newsletter, a solitary carat weight(ct) considers concerning 200 milligrams or.2 grams. For smaller sized carat diamonds that evaluate much less compared to a carat, it is shared as points (pt). Factors are 1/100 of a carat weight. Carat weight of a diamond is essential as a result of that larger rubies are rarer than smaller ones, so essentially the larger the diamond the extra costly it is. There is no standard grading system or diagram that can show various carat weight. This is since there are so numerous variations of rubies fit as well as cut, that makes rocks of comparable weight, look different.

* Imitation Diamonds

Since rubies are the most important as well as rarest of all the gems, initiatives have been made to duplicate or even enhance diamonds making use of less costly alternatives. A great deal of times, straightforward errors have been made and also these choices or other gems such as spinel were sometimes puzzled with genuine rubies. Sometimes, some dishonest people attempt to offer these alternatives to misfortunate customers in order to profit. Below we will certainly review concerning these alternatives and also methods to recognize them.

* Artificial Diamonds

Synthetic diamonds are diamonds that are expanded made in a laboratory. The very first known situations of diamond synthesis were claimed to be documented between 1879 - 1928, but this was never confirmed. It wasn't till the 1940's where research started in the United States, Sweden, Soviet Union started looking into. Synthetic diamonds are otherwise referred to as High Pressure Heat (HPHT) diamonds or Chemical Vapor Down Payment (CVD) diamonds. The name of both these synthetic rubies stems from the processes used to create them. Several of these artificial rubies might either have better, lower or comparable qualities than that of a ruby. Consequently, these synthetic rubies are made use of for abrasives, cutting as well as polishing tools, as well as switches over in power plant.

* Simulants

Simulants are non-diamond materials that are used to replicate the look or even the shape of a ruby. One of the most basic and well recognized simulant is cubic zirconia (CZ). CZ at plain view could sparkle even more than a diamond as well as it is much less dense, meaning that a 1 carat CZ will be a lot larger compared to a 1 carat weight diamond. Nowadays, a much more popular simulant is moissanite, which has just the same features of a ruby. These characteristics include firmness (Moissanite-9.25 as well as diamond-10 in Mohs scale), refractive index(Moissanite -2.65 and diamond -2.42) as well as diffusion (Moissanite -.104 and also ruby -.044). This makes it difficult to differentiate the two at plain view and also would commonly require testers to discriminate. In the following area we will certainly go over ways to identify moissanites as well as other imitations.

* Real or Counterfeit?

An old method of determining rubies is to do a scratch test. This needs scraping a ruby with one more ruby which is devastating and also is seldom used nowadays. The finest and most reputable way to check for diamonds is to make use of testers that use thermal conductivity. These testers include battery powered thermistors installed with a retracting copper pointer. This tester works by infusing the heat onto the checked rock and afterwards the tool gauges the quantity of warm that it performs. Nevertheless thermal conductivity testers functions best to identify rubies as well as its other simulants, it will not assist distinguish lab developed or artificial rocks. To be able to determine these, specific optical strategies are needed. Laboratories make use of techniques such as spectroscopy, microscopy as well as luminescence in order to determine a particular stones origin. The average individual could make use of loupes and microscopic lens to distinguish artificial stones. All-natural diamonds normally have small blemishes and also flaws such as inclusions or some kind of foreign product, which will certainly not be found in synthetics.

princess cut wedding rings

What You Should Know When Buying a Diamond Ring

Lacoochee

There are a number of designs of interaction rings of 2018 that are incredibly fashionable. Whatever from lead diamond rings and tinted rocks to "environment-friendly" rings as well as network established diamond rings ended up being very popular in 2018.

Lead diamond rings are rings with three or four rows of tiny, even-sized rubies that normally go around the whole ring. A larger facility stone set above the remainder of the ring completes the look. Pave ruby interaction rings are among the very best involvement rings of 2018 due to the fact that they are an elegant option for an involvement ring while creating a great deal of shimmer on a future bride's third finger. You'll also find pave ruby wedding celebration bands that match your interaction ring and also make it even much more sparkly.

Colored stones have additionally grown in appeal. As a result of this, rings with colored rubies are amongst the most effective engagement rings of 2018. Rubies can be found in a variety of shades, consisting of yellow, blue, pink, as well as also black. True colored rubies are extremely uncommon, makings them extremely expensive. A one-carat colored ruby could run upwards of 10 thousand dollars. Nonetheless, if you could not manage to spend this much money on an involvement ring, there are a number of options that will certainly still permit you to be trendy with a colored stone. With the current modern technology, you can get a man-made colored diamond. With the advances that have actually been made, the majority of people could not tell the difference in between a mined diamond and also a man-made one. If you buy or commission a manufactured ruby, you can pick whichever color you like, and save several hundreds of bucks in the meantime. Conversely, if you desire a tinted rock but don't require a diamond, emeralds, sapphires, as well as rubies make remarkable options for interaction rings as well as are far more economical than extracted colored rubies.

Green involvement rings are likewise amongst the finest involvement rings of 2018. With even more individuals concerned about the atmosphere as well as concerning the civils rights problems that surround standard ruby mining, more individuals are seeking options to typical interaction rings. One opportunity is to buy an interaction ring that has a diamond that was mined in Canada as opposed to South Africa. Canada does not have the same civils rights problems focusing on its ruby market, so it's thought about to be extra friendly to the world. Conversely, getting a synthetic ruby ring is likewise considered to be more "environment-friendly" since not just does it not have the same civils rights issues that extracted diamonds do, yet it does not damage the earth like mining for diamonds tends to do. Conversely, the very best involvement rings of 2018 consist of antique interaction rings because the greenest involvement rings are those that are reused and also recycled. By purchasing an involvement ring that is antique, you are not contributing to the brand-new ruby ring market or the damage of the atmosphere.

Network set diamond rings are also on the list of best engagement rings of 2018. Network collection involvement rings have the stones set within the band of the ring, so the top of the rock is even with the top of the ring. Network set rings are especially suitable since the rubies are safeguarded from being damaged since you could not reach the rock to chip them. Much more preferred are channel collection diamond rings constructed out of platinum, which has just recently grown in popularity. If you desire to get a ring that is even extra unique, though, you can have a channel collection interaction ring set with rocks apart from rubies. Sapphires are a particularly prominent choice for involvement rings.

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3 Emerald Cut Diamond Ring online Florida

Heart Diamond Wedding Ring online Lacoochee

For centuries in Lacoochee , diamond has been used as an epitome of true love. It reflects love, affection, security, trust and a life long commitment. When you gift a diamond to a woman, let it be in the form of diamond engagement ring, you need not say the rest. It will make others understand that how much serious you are for her. It will portray your love in the best possible manner.

You can find a variety of diamond engagement rings at online jewelry stores in Lacoochee . These diamond engagement rings come in many shapes and styles. It is apt to choose diamond as the stone for these engagement rings because diamond is considered beautiful and it is also the hardest of all substances present on the earth. This is primarily the reason why people consider it ominous and feel that wearing diamond can bring same kind of good luck in their lives. This has made diamond engagement ring, diamond solitaire ring, designer engagement ring, diamond engagement ring platinum, discount diamond engagement ring a pre determined gift for those involved in love.

Out of all rings, a ring with solitaire is considered the most appropriate symbol which can depict your love. The attraction with the solitaire is incomparable. Diamond solitaire rings are set in a prong setting with 4 to 8 claws. Prongs can mostly be seen in platinum, yet another very beautiful and attractive metal. In most of the cases platinum is considered, as it is generally thin, and makes the diamond more visible.

Then there is yet another form of diamond engagement rings, which is attractive as well as romantic. It is known as past, present future ring. These rings define love as eternal and something which was in the past will be in the present and will be there in the future. The ring actually consists of three stones of diamond. The design of the ring can be like a center piece of diamond with two pieces around, or the three pieces of diamond clustered together. Side stone diamond engagement rings are also one style of engagement rings, which is elegant. This type of engagement ring is basically attractive as well as elegant.

They go well for working women.

Then there are antique diamond rings in Lacoochee . These are also called Victorian rings. The designs of these rings are just like what was prevalent in the past. These diamond rings also look well if they go with some other stones. And if you want to give something priceless and sentimental to your lover, then you can gift her ancestral ring. Ancestral ring is the ring of your family, coming down since past. This ring must have been worn by your mother and grandmother. These rings are high in sentimental value and thus are considered priceless. Bit if you do not have such a family ring, then there is nothing to be upset over. You can buy for your fiancé or your wife unique engagement rings; who knows, one day; this ring can becomes an ancestral ring for your family.

So, what are you waiting for? If you are planning to walk the aisle with hand in hand with your lover, then begin the process by gifting her a diamond engagement ring. After all, diamonds are a woman’s best friend.

bezel set diamond earrings

Lacoochee How to Buy a Diamond And The 4 Biggest Mistakes When Buying a Diamond

Not all sellers give ruby grading laboratory reports (aka diamond high quality reports) to their consumers. So my basic suggestions to you is to maintain your loan in your pocket when taking care of such jewelers.

Just buy a diamond engagement ring if it has the original ruby quality record.

A laboratory record is an independent analysis of the 4Cs of a loose diamond and consists of an outlined layout of the stone's clearness features and also a visuals representation of the rock's proportions. Having such a report permits you to compare diamonds of different high qualities as well as eventually helps you make a more notified purchasing choice.

A store may cut corners and also not provide a lab report or an unscrupulous vendor might give a fake one as a result of the moment, difficulty and also expenditure he'll bear to getting a rock rated.

Yeah - there is a cost for grading a diamond (though that cost is eventually paid by the customer), plus the delivery and insurance coverage fees for sending the diamond to the lab. And also allow us not forget the opportunity cost of a jewelry expert not having the ruby in his store to buy for a couple of weeks while the grading occurs.

However, a ruby grading record could likewise not be readily available because the prices to obtaining one might affect as well greatly on the last rate of the ring. As an example, a 0.3 ct ruby ring costing $250 claim, might cost around $75 to be rated and also have the record number inscribed on the girdle on the diamond. As you look for that optimal ruby involvement ring for your sweetheart, you'll find that there is an alphabet soup of labs declaring to give reputable diamond rating records. However I would only put my money on ...

The Premier Diamond Grading Lab News

Yes, all ruby high quality records are not produced equal. Within the industry, it is an agreement that the two premier labs are GIA-GTL (Gemological Institute of America's Treasure Trade Lab) and the AGS (American Treasure Society Laboratories).

The GCAL (Treasure Accreditation and also Assurance Laboratory) also uses highly pertained to reports or "ruby certificates" as they are described by GCAL. The GIA has the toughest global online reputation for freedom and also uniformity. Due to their constant color and also quality strictness standards, the world's largest and also most pricey rubies have actually been sent there for rating decades. In 2006, GIA-GTL included a two-dimensional cut grading system for rounded fantastic diamonds.

AGS makes use of the strictest cut standards in the industry. It makes use of a three-dimensional light performance metric that can grade several ruby shapes. Actually, it is the only cut grading system that is acknowledged by the clinical area.

Just what is even more, its Diamond Quality File uses a special as well as proprietary 0 to 10 grading system to review the 4 Cs - a system which is less complicated to comprehend than GIA's grading system. Actually, AGS even goes the extra action by equating their 0-10 score scale to various other types of ranking. For instance, the conventional VS1 ruby clearness score is a 3 on the AGS Diamond High Quality Document.

Diamond Reporting - The Drawbacks

1. Ruby grading is not standardized or controlled as well as hence you could come throughout tier 2 laboratories that use looser standards to the tier 1 grading labs stated above. If you buy a ruby that has actually been graded by a rate 2 laboratory, you could wind up paying extra for a minimal high quality ruby. So as an example, a ruby rated a "F" in color at a tier 2 laboratory may get a G, H, or lower shade ranking at a more credible laboratory. The market likewise marks down diamonds graded by minimal well-known laboratories by concerning 15-30% or more. So either you just acquire a ruby rated by a tier 1 laboratory or you accept that you might be buying a lesser top quality ruby compared to what is specified on the report if that ruby is rated by a lower recognized laboratory.

2. Numerous huge store have significant agreements with lesser recognized labs with "softer" diamond grading standards. Several of these softer labs put "recommended replacement values" on the laboratory records - worths which are greater than what stores plans sell the diamonds for. So a salesman in a chain store might claim to you, "Check out the large amount you are getting right here. We are marketing you this diamond involvement ring for $2500 yet the report says that the suggested substitute value is $4000." Wow - just what a bargain - NOT! This is why it is better that you rely on only independent tier 1 laboratories.

Also keep in mind that trusted diamond grading reports are not evaluations and don't use assessment numbers. Ruby evaluations are often blatantly filled with air and are not something you'll wish to rely on.

3. Diamond reports are riddled with disclaimers that define that nothing is "accredited" or ensured as well as that the labs are not answerable for errors. Actually, the GIA uses a please note of kinds on their web site regarding the usage of the word "accredit." The website says:

"It is incorrect to state that trainees, grads, their businesses, or specific gemstones are "accredited" by GIA. The Gemological Institute of America does not license anyone or anything. Neither a trainee neither a grad that has been granted a certification or diploma, neither a gem which has actually been graded or determined by GIA has actually been certified by GIA".

So it is feasible that you the customer is left holding the bag must an error in a report is later on uncovered. Courts have actually frequently ruled that vendors, not laboratories, are liable for such errors. Why? Due to the fact that the labs suggested beforehand that their records couldn't be held accountable.

Luckily, there are a pair methods to give on your own more customer defense:

A. You might fly to India where jewelers use a lifetime buyback plan to their consumers. Too costly to fly?

B. You can discover one of the 20% of United States jewelry experts who market fully bound diamonds. These are diamonds that are offered with lifetime damage, lifetime trade-in and also lifetime buyback policies.

C. Not as excellent a treatment as purchasing a fully bonded diamond however you could purchase a diamond that has a real "certification" and also not a record. "Qualified rubies do come with warranties" albeit for shorter durations.

Certification Some sellers describe a "diamond record" as a "qualified diamond" yet technically this is not fix. From a lawful viewpoint, a ruby record is a merely an expert viewpoint though in reality, aspects of a diamond rating report are not just viewpoints.

For instance, a ruby's carat weight (weight) could be properly established as well as its cut quality by gauging its optical efficiency or by describing a computer system design. A certificate on the other hand is a statement of fact - a record for which the company approves lawful obligation and also will make restitution to the consumer for mistakes.

Some leading diamond grading laboratories provide both records and certificates. AGS supplies Diamond Quality Files (non-certified reports) as well as likewise Diamond Top quality Certificates. Diamond High quality Certifications are prepared exclusively for AGS retail jewelers and offers guaranties from taking part American Treasure Society participant stores.

GCAL accredits it's diamond grading likewise. Its 100% money-back guarantee plan stands for a period of 2 years from the day on the applicable certification. This plan makes certain the accuracy of the cut, shade and also clarity qualities as well as the carat weight.

A record or certification ought to will have a number on it that might or may not be engraved on a diamond. You will certainly be able to enter that number on the internet site of the certifying laboratory to examine a record's credibility.

Aspects Of A Ruby Grading Report Ruby rating records are always developing yet particular aspect needs to continue to be the same. As an example, the:

The Record #. This number is provided as well as taped in a lab's document and may or might not be etched on a ruby's band. You can enter the report number on a grading lab's web site to check the authenticity of the ruby quality report or to obtain even more details about the diamond. Forming & Aspect Style: This is the synopsis as well as the reducing style used for the facet setup. There are 3 fundamental facet styles - "dazzling cut, action cut as well as combined reducing design" as well as 12 fundamental shapes which include notables such as rounded fantastic and princess cut" diamonds.

Measurements: This refers to dimension (not weight) of a diamond. Size consists of dimensions such as length, width, weight as well as diameter. A measurement is typically noted to the hundredth of a millimeter. Dimensions play a big role in how a diamond shines.

Carat weight Weight: The weight of a ruby is measured to the hundredth of a carat weight as well as some even offer such measure to the thousandth of a carat (1.123 ct.). Carat is one of the most unbiased and the easiest to recognize of the 4Cs since all one has to do is weight the rock. Color Grade: This tells you the level of shade lack in the ruby. The much less color the greater the grade.

Diamonds are normally rated from D-Z; the closer to "D" the whiter the diamond. You ought to never ever see ruby color array such as (G-H, I-J-K, and so forth) on a diamond report. You need to just see shade arrays on assessments for stones that are mounted.

Clarity Grade: Basically every ruby has internal imperfections called additions and exterior blemishes called acnes. A ruby is graded according to the size, kind, place and also amount of these defects.

Clearness qualities range from Flawless (FL) - Included. Labs utilize a pair specialists to quality the clearness of a diamond in order to develop a much more exact reading.

Cut Quality: More current diamond reports include a cut quality for common round great diamonds. Cut takes into account the sparkle, fire and also scintillation of the ruby. Cut quality ranges from Excellent - Poor.

Other aspects you may find on a diamond report consist of the gloss, symmetry, fluorescence and proportion. Armed with this details, you are better able making an evaluation of the top quality of diamond that is mounted in an interaction ring.

white gold diamond chain

What You Required To Know When Buying a Diamond Ring

Lacoochee

In an ideal world with unlimited budgets and an infinite supply of diamonds, everyone would have beautifully cut "D Flawless" diamonds. In the real world every diamond is unique. There are plenty of gorgeous diamonds to go around - you just need to know how to find one. Choosing a diamond is about balancing several factors to make the most of your budget. Each factor contributes to the beauty and prestige of your diamond. I will explain these factors so you will be prepared to make an informed decision about your diamond purchase.

FACTOR 1: CARAT WEIGHT

People often use the word Carat when discussing how big a diamond is, however "Carat" actually refers to the weight of a diamond. There is no rule as to what carat weight you should buy, but you'll doubtless have heard that "bigger is better." If you ask me, I think bigger is great but you shouldn't forget about the other aspects of a diamond's quality.

A useful tip: if you're looking at Certified Diamonds, you may find it valuable to compare the diameters of different diamonds. Since every diamond is individually cut, some may appear larger than others of the same weight.

FACTOR 2: SHAPE

Approximately 75% of diamonds sold worldwide are Round Brilliants. Rounds diamonds are the most popular, most brilliant, and most expensive. If you are purchasing a diamond as a surprise, Round Brilliant is generally your safest bet.

There is no real hierarchy of shapes being better or worse - it is truly a matter of personal preference. Princess Cuts are the second most popular, and a classic alternative to round diamonds. Cushion Cuts are trendy and have a beautiful vintage look. If you want something different but not too crazy, try an Oval Cut, Asscher Cut, or Radiant Cut diamond.

While no shape is better, there are some significant differences between shapes. Take for example, the radiant cut vs the emerald cut. Though they are a similar shape, the extra facets of the radiant cut give it additional fire and sparkle. If you prefer the emerald cut's understated elegance, consider that it's easier to spot any imperfections and select a higher clarity grade.

Another tip: Diamonds (even round diamonds) may not be perfectly symmetrical. It's nothing to worry about if your diamond's width does not precisely match its height, but if your diamond is much longer than it is wide it may not be what you're expecting. This is especially the case in shapes like Cushion and Oval, where a more asymmetrical diamond might look "skinny", with much of the fire and brilliance concentrated at the ends.

FACTOR 3: CUT

"Cut" refers to a diamond's finish and proportions, and is critical in determining its beauty. Getting the angles right ensures a beautiful diamond that's full of life. In many cases it can be more difficult to spot flaws in a fiery, brilliant diamond. Cut is generally graded in five categories: Poor, Fair, Good, Very Good, and Excellent. Excellent is the highest graded awarded by GIA (whereas other labs may use terms like "ideal" or numbers like "0"). If you want to play safe, stick to "Very Good" and "Excellent" cuts when you choose your diamond.

FACTOR 4: CLARITY

Almost all diamonds have naturally¬ occurring features called "inclusions." Inclusions form as the diamond crystallizes deep underground, and they are unique to each diamond. They take many different forms, and can help you identify a diamond as your own. However, large and prominent inclusions can detract from the beauty of a diamond.

There are many different types of inclusions, and not all are created equal. If your diamond certificate has an "inclusion map," check where the inclusions are. Try to find a diamond with inclusions near the edge where they will be masked by sparkle or hidden by the setting of your diamond. If your budget is limited, I recommend buying "SI" clarity or better. "SI" stands for "Slightly Included." With close inspection you can usually spot the inclusions in an SI¬ graded diamond, but these inclusions will most likely not be visible once your diamond is set in jewellery. If you want to be sure your diamond will look "eye clean", even up close, I recommend selecting a VS2 clarity diamond or better. "VS" stands for "Very Slight Inclusion," and imperfections in VS clarity stones are rarely seen by the naked eye.

FACTOR 5: COLOUR

The term "colour" usually refers to how much warm tint is in a diamond. The scale ranges from D (colorless) to Z (very strongly tinted yellow or brown). Pure white diamonds are considered more desirable, and are more expensive. Warmer¬-hued diamonds (such as K, L, and M) are not necessarily less attractive, but they are significantly less valuable.

Conventional wisdom is to select J colour or better. Personally, I love G and H colour diamonds ¬- they hit the "sweet spot" where most people will not notice colour in the diamond unless they're doing a direct comparison. However, an I or J colour diamond that is well cut and has a lot of life can give you a beautiful diamond at a bargain price.

Depending on how they are cut, different diamonds will display colour differently. This is why colour grades are assigned by looking at a diamond upside¬down. Generally, more¬ brilliant diamonds show their colour less than less brilliant diamonds.

FACTOR 6: FLUORESCENCE

Fluorescence has a bad rep, and most of it is unfair. Diamond Fluorescence refers to how a diamond responds when subjected to ultra¬violet light. Fluorescent diamonds can glow any one of several colours, but the most common is blue. In rare cases fluorescence can cause your diamond to have a milky appearance when viewed in direct daylight. This is most often the case with strong or very strong fluorescence and D/E/F colour diamonds.

However, there are many, many more cases where blue fluorescence is a positive thing. Imagine you were shining a blue light on a yellow diamond... the blue tint can make your diamond look whiter. If your diamond falls in the "near colourless," "lightly tinted," or "tinted" range I recommend looking for medium blue or faint blue fluorescence.

Warning: Green, red, and yellow fluorescence are rare, and they will not have the same benefit. If you are interested in a diamond that has strong blue, very strong blue, green, red, or yellow fluorescence, I recommend asking your salesperson to show you your diamond outside in natural daylight. If you're buying online, contact the seller prior to making your purchase so they can examine the diamond first in natural daylight.

FACTOR 7: GRADER

This should always be your first question: Says who? Every diamond grading laboratory has different standards, so comparing diamonds graded by different sources is extremely unreliable. One grader might grade a diamond K SI2, and another might call that same diamond F VS2. I know that sounds crazy, but I see it happen all the time.

The most reputable and consistent grading laboratories are GIA, AGS, IGI, and HRD. GIA is considered the global standard worldwide. AGS is a popular alternative in the U.S.A. while IGI and HRD are more common in Europe.

EGL is tricky because there are EGL labs all over the world, and some of them do a great job while others can be less reliable. We strongly recommend caution when buying an EGL certified diamond unless it's from EGL-¬USA.

Many diamonds are assigned grades by valuation companies and in-¬house graders. If your diamond does not come with a report from a major laboratory, you should always ask where the grader trained. He or she should be certified by a major grading laboratory: GIA, AGS, IGI, or HRD. Be smart and be cautious about reports done by uncertified shop owners, salespeople, or valuation companies.

SELECTING YOUR DIAMOND

You can choose to purchase your diamond online, or from a retail store. If you prefer to purchase your diamond in a retail store, avoid the big chains and shop with smaller independent jewellers. Many independent jewellers are actually significantly less expensive than their large competitors. (You don't have to take my word for it - shop around and you'll quickly learn that this is true). This way you'll buy a better quality diamond and - if you wish - you'll have the opportunity to design your own hand-made engagement ring setting.

If you choose to shop online, I would recommend comparing prices and service across several websites. Be sure that the company ships from your country - otherwise you'll be hit with expensive duty and GST. Always make sure you call or e-mail customer service and have them hand-inspect your diamond before you complete your purchase. Sometimes a diamond may seem like a great deal, but it could have an unfortunate inclusion, asymmetrical cut, or be negatively impacted by fluoresence. And above all, make sure you have an easy and affordable way to return the diamond if it doesn't turn out as you'd hoped. Online shopping is the best way to get a great deal on a diamond for your engagement ring, diamond studs, or pendant - just review this article, be reasonably cautious, and have fun.

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