Diamond Earrings online Otter Creek

For centuries in Otter Creek , 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 Otter Creek . 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 Otter Creek . 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.

white gold princess cut diamond ring

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

To begin our feature on different types of gemstones, we will start with the very best and most well known gemstone of them all the ruby. The diamond is the supreme gemstone. It has few weaknesses as well as numerous toughness. It shines with its extraordinary worth as well as nostalgic value. It is made use of in wedding celebration rings to represent unlimited love or utilized as gifts/jewelry to be offered to loved ones. However the ruby is so a lot greater than its timeless appeal.

The ruby obtains its name from the Greek job adamas implying unsurpassable. In solidity, there is no contrast. The diamond rates in the Mohs scale a 10 which is the hardest compound on Earth. Its cutting resistance is 140 times that of the ruby and also sapphire, the gemstones(Diamond) that are following in the Mohs range in firmness. The diamond's optical homes such as gloss as well as rigidness make it special as well as quickly distinguished from other replicas. Appreciate!

* Background of Diamonds

The first taped diamond go back around 800 B.C. in India. Some think it also went back 6,000 years earlier. The diamonds were utilized as decorative objectives as well as additionally as amulets to ward off bad and also offer security in fight. Throughout the Dark Ages, rubies were even specified to be used as a clinical aid. Spiritual physicians even told clients that if they hold a ruby in a hand and make the indication of the cross would certainly, it would heal and ailment and also recover injuries.

Diamonds ended up being more preferred throughout the 19th century due to exploration of diamond down payments in South Africa. This exploration leads to boosted supply, enhanced reducing and polishing strategies, and also development in economic climate. In 1979, rock hounds found the Argyle pipeline in Australia which to this date is the richest ruby down payment on the planet. Argyle, since after that, alone is responsible for supplying over one third of the globe's rubies yearly.

* Diamonds: How are they developed?

Diamonds contains an allotrope of carbons that are developed in high-pressure, high-temperature conditions. Rubies are created 90 miles under the Planet's surface at temperature levels of about 2200 degrees Fahrenheit. Rubies are created deep within the earth and eventually, over incredibly long periods of time, press their way to the earth's surface, normally with volcanic eruptions.

The age of these diamonds from under the surface of the planet are from 1 to 3.3 billion years of ages! When rubies are developed and also start their ascent to the earth's surface area, they experience networks where the lava from the volcano climbs to the surface, grabbing rubies along the road and also at some point transferring them on the surface area, where they are eventually discovered as well as extracted.

* The 4 C's of Diamonds

There are four unique attributes that determine the value as well as top quality of a diamond. These are the color, cut, clarity and carat weight. Or else understood as the 4 C's of a ruby. In the adhering to, we will speak concerning these functions carefully.

* Color

In the last e-newsletter, we touch based on the shade of gemstones as being the most essential feature because of that color is the most noticeable feature. The ideal ruby should appear clear as well as anemic but this is not the situation for all diamonds. Rubies could can be found in any kind of shade of the rainbow most common shade is a shade of yellow or brownish. The Geological Institute of The U.S.A.(GIA) have designed a guideline to quality ruby shade. This guideline contains a lettering system that ranges from the alphabet D - Z. Please see listed below:

D E F No Shade G H I J Nearly Anemic K L M Faintly colored, can't hardly be seen and usually yellow in shade N O P Q R Lightly tinted, usually yellow. Could be seen with the nude eye S T U V W X Y Z Tinted, begins from yellow and progresses to brown

* Clearness

The cut a ruby is identified by the diamond's percentage such as its shape, width as well as depth. The cut determines what is called the diamond's "brilliance". Even if the ruby itself has perfect color as well as clarity, with an inadequate cut the diamond will certainly have a plain luster. This is due to the fact that the cut identifies exactly how light travels within the ruby. The Gemological Institute of The U.S.A. has likewise created a quality grading system to rank diamond clarity. This grading system consists of Perfect (Fl), Inside Flawless (IF), Really Really Somewhat Consisted Of (VV1 or VV2), Extremely Slightly Included(VS1 or VS2), Somewhat Included(SI1 or SI2), as well as Consisted Of(I1, I2, and I3). Although this system had been added to the ruby industry, it is not widely used. This is due to that it took a whole lot of method as well as training to integrate it.

* Cut

The cut a diamond is established by the diamond's percentage such as its shape, width as well as deepness. The cut determines exactly what is called the diamond's "luster". Even if the ruby itself has best color and also clarity, with an inadequate cut the ruby will have a plain brilliance. This is because the cut identifies how light travels within the ruby.

There are 3 sorts of cuts that could establish the ruby's radiance. These are a superficial cut, a cut that is unfathomable as well as ideal cut. A shallow cut is a cut of a diamond that is too low, that light taking a trip with it is lost under of the stone as well as does not come back into sight. This cut makes a ruby show up lifeless and also plain. A cut that is unfathomable is a cut that is expensive, that light taking a trip via it runs away with the sides as well as darkens the stone. A perfect cut is a perfect cut on a diamond that mirrors light to the top of the rock, providing it perfect luster.

* Carat weight

As mentioned on the last e-newsletter, a single carat(ct) weighs regarding 200 milligrams or.2 grams. For smaller carat weight rubies that evaluate much less compared to a carat, it is expressed as factors (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 compared to smaller ones, so basically the larger the diamond the more pricey it is. There is no basic grading system or representation that could reveal different carat weight. This is because there are a lot of variations of diamonds in form and cut, makings stones of similar weight, look different.

* Imitation Diamonds

Considering that diamonds are the most useful and rarest of all the gems, efforts have been made to duplicate or perhaps enhance rubies utilizing more economical options. A great deal of times, honest blunders have been made and also these alternatives or other gemstones such as spinel were sometimes confused with real diamonds. Sometimes, some unethical individuals aim to sell these alternatives to misfortunate customers in order to earnings. Listed below we will review regarding these choices and also methods to determine them.

* Artificial Diamonds

Synthetic rubies are diamonds that are expanded manufactured in a lab. The initial recognized cases of ruby synthesis were asserted to be recorded between 1879 - 1928, however this was never confirmed. It wasn't till the 1940's where study started in the USA, Sweden, Soviet Union started looking into. Artificial diamonds are or else referred to as High Stress High Temperature Level (HPHT) diamonds or Chemical Vapor Deposit (CVD) diamonds. The name of both these synthetic rubies stems from the processes utilized to develop them. A few of these synthetic diamonds might either have better, lower or comparable qualities compared to that of a diamond. Therefore, these artificial diamonds are used for abrasives, cutting as well as brightening devices, and switches in power stations.

* Simulants

Simulants are non-diamond materials that are utilized to replicate the appearance as well as also the shape of a diamond. The most fundamental and also popular simulant is cubic zirconia (CZ). CZ at simple sight could shimmer even more than a ruby as well as also it is much less dense, meaning that a 1 carat weight CZ will certainly be a lot bigger than a 1 carat ruby. Nowadays, an extra preferred simulant is moissanite, which has all the same characteristics of a ruby. These characteristics include firmness (Moissanite-9.25 and diamond-10 in Mohs scale), refractive index(Moissanite -2.65 as well as diamond -2.42) and dispersion (Moissanite -.104 and also diamond -.044). This makes it hard to differentiate both at simple sight and also would certainly often require testers to discriminate. In the following area we will discuss just how to identify moissanites and other imitations.

* Real or Phony?

An old approach of determining diamonds is to do a scratch test. This requires scratching a diamond with one more ruby which is devastating as well as is seldom used nowadays. The very best as well as most trustworthy way to test for diamonds is to use testers that make use of thermal conductivity. These testers include battery powered thermistors placed with a retractable copper suggestion. This tester functions by injecting the heat into the evaluated rock and afterwards the tool determines the quantity of warm that it performs. However thermal conductivity testers works best to identify rubies and its other simulants, it will not aid differentiate lab created or artificial rocks. To be able to identify these, particular optical techniques are required. Laboratories utilize methods such as spectroscopy, microscopy and luminescence in order to establish a particular rocks origin. The typical individual can utilize loupes and microscopes to identify synthetic rocks. All-natural rubies normally have small imperfections as well as problems such as additions or some type of international product, which will certainly not be discovered in synthetics.

princess cut engagement rings

What You Should Know When Buying a Ruby Ring

Otter Creek

There are a number of styles of interaction rings of 2018 that are unbelievably stylish. Whatever from lead ruby rings and colored stones to "eco-friendly" rings as well as channel set ruby rings became popular in 2018.

Pave diamond rings are rings with three or 4 rows of small, even-sized diamonds that typically walk around the entire ring. A bigger facility rock established over the remainder of the ring finishes the appearance. Lead diamond engagement rings are one of the most effective interaction rings of 2018 since they are a sophisticated option for an involvement ring while creating a great deal of sparkle on a future bride's third finger. You'll also locate lead ruby wedding event bands that match your involvement ring and make it a lot more sparkly.

Colored rocks have actually additionally grown in appeal. As a result of this, rings with tinted rubies are among the best engagement rings of 2018. Rubies come in a selection of colors, consisting of yellow, blue, pink, or even black. True tinted rubies are exceptionally rare, makings them exceptionally costly. A one-carat tinted diamond can run upwards of ten thousand dollars. However, if you can not afford to invest this much money on an involvement ring, there are a number of alternatives that will still allow you to be trendy with a colored rock. With the most recent technology, you could acquire a synthetic tinted diamond. With the breakthroughs that have been made, many people could not inform the difference in between an extracted diamond and also a manufactured one. If you acquire or commission a manufactured ruby, you can choose whichever color you favor, and conserve numerous thousands of dollars in the meanwhile. Additionally, if you want a tinted rock yet don't require a ruby, emerald greens, sapphires, as well as rubies make fantastic options for involvement rings and are much more economical compared to extracted colored rubies.

Green involvement rings are also among the finest interaction rings of 2018. With even more people concerned concerning the setting and about the human rights issues that border typical diamond mining, even more people are looking for choices to typical engagement rings. One possibility is to get an engagement ring that has a ruby that was mined in Canada as opposed to South Africa. Canada doesn't have the same civils rights problems focusing on its diamond market, so it's taken into consideration to be more pleasant to the globe. Alternatively, acquiring a synthetic ruby ring is likewise thought about to be more "green" because not only does it not have the exact same civils rights problems that extracted rubies do, yet it does not destroy the planet like mining for diamonds tends to do. Additionally, the finest engagement rings of 2018 include antique engagement rings since the greenest interaction rings are those that are reused and also reused. By getting an interaction ring that is antique, you are not adding to the brand-new ruby ring market or the damage of the setting.

Network established diamond rings are likewise on the checklist of ideal engagement rings of 2018. Network collection engagement rings have actually the rocks set within the band of the ring, so the top of the rock is even with the top of the ring. Network established rings are specifically perfect due to the fact that the rubies are secured from being damaged because you could not reach the stone to chip them. A lot more prominent are channel collection ruby rings made out of platinum, which has actually lately expanded in appeal. If you desire to get a ring that is also more one-of-a-kind, though, you can have a channel set engagement ring set with rocks other than rubies. Sapphires are a particularly preferred selection for involvement rings.

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3 Emerald Cut Diamond Ring online Florida

Wedding Rings For Men And Women online Otter Creek

For centuries in Otter Creek , 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 Otter Creek . 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 Otter Creek . 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.

1 ct wedding band

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

Not all sellers offer ruby grading lab records (also known as diamond top quality records) to their customers. So my basic recommendations to you is to maintain your cash in your pocket when managing such jewelry experts.

Only acquire a ruby involvement ring if it features the original ruby top quality report.

A lab report is an independent evaluation of the 4Cs of a loose diamond and includes a plotted diagram of the stone's clarity attributes and a visuals representation of the rock's proportions. Having such a report allows you to contrast rubies of different top qualities and also ultimately helps you make an even more educated acquiring choice.

A seller may cut edges and not supply a laboratory record or an underhanded vendor might supply a phony one as a result of the moment, difficulty as well as expense he'll bear to getting a rock rated.

Yeah - there is a rate for grading a ruby (though that expense is eventually paid by the customer), plus the delivery and insurance policy charges for sending the ruby to the laboratory. As well as let us not fail to remember the chance expense of a jewelry expert not having the diamond in his shop for sale for a few weeks while the grading occurs.

Nonetheless, a ruby grading record may also not be available since the prices to obtaining one might influence as well heavily on the final cost of the ring. For instance, a 0.3 ct ruby ring costing $250 state, could cost around $75 to be graded and have the record number inscribed on the girdle on the ruby. As you look for that perfect ruby involvement ring for your sweetie, you'll discover that there is an alphabet soup of labs claiming to give reliable diamond rating reports. However I would only put my money on ...

The Premier Ruby Grading Lab Reports

Yes, all ruby high quality reports are not created equal. Within the market, it is a consensus that both leading laboratories are GIA-GTL (Gemological Institute of America's Treasure Trade Lab) as well as the AGS (American Treasure Society Laboratories).

The GCAL (Gem Qualification and Assurance Laboratory) additionally supplies highly concerned records or "ruby certifications" as they are referred to by GCAL. The GIA has the toughest worldwide credibility for self-reliance as well as consistency. As a result of their consistent color and clearness strictness standards, the world's largest and most expensive rubies have been sent there for grading years. In 2006, GIA-GTL added a two-dimensional cut grading system for rounded fantastic rubies.

AGS uses the most strict cut requirements in the sector. It utilizes a three-dimensional light efficiency metric that could quality several diamond shapes. As a matter of fact, it is the only cut grading system that is acknowledged by the scientific area.

What is even more, its Diamond Quality File uses an unique and proprietary 0 to 10 grading system to assess the 4 Cs - a system which is easier to understand than GIA's grading system. In fact, AGS even goes the added action by corresponding their 0-10 score range to other types of ranking. As an example, the traditional VS1 diamond quality score is a 3 on the AGS Diamond Quality Document.

Diamond Reporting - The Drawbacks

1. Diamond grading is not standard or controlled and thus you might come throughout rate 2 laboratories that employ looser standards to the rate 1 grading laboratories pointed out above. If you buy a diamond that has been graded by a tier 2 laboratory, you may wind up paying more for a lower high quality diamond. So for instance, a ruby ranked a "F" in shade at a tier 2 laboratory could get a G, H, or lower color rating at a more trusted laboratory. The industry likewise discounts rubies graded by minimal recognized labs by about 15-30% or even more. So either you just purchase a ruby rated by a tier 1 lab or you accept that you may be purchasing a minimal quality ruby compared to exactly what is stated on the report if that diamond is rated by a lower recognized laboratory.

2. Lots of huge store have big agreements with lesser recognized labs with "softer" ruby grading guidelines. A few of these softer laboratories put "recommended replacement worths" on the laboratory records - worths which are greater than just what stores plans offer the rubies for. So a salesman in a chain shop could say to you, "Look at the good deal you are getting here. We are selling you this ruby involvement ring for $2500 but the record says that the suggested substitute worth is $4000." Wow - what a bargain - NOT! This is why it is much better that you trust only independent tier 1 labs.

Also remember that trusted ruby rating records are not assessments as well as do not provide assessment numbers. Diamond evaluations are often grossly inflated and also are not something you'll wish to depend on.

3. Diamond reports are filled with disclaimers that specify that absolutely nothing is "licensed" or assured and also that the labs are not responsible for mistakes. As a matter of fact, the GIA uses a disclaimer of kinds on their site concerning the usage of the word "certify." The site claims:

"It is inaccurate to state that trainees, grads, their companies, or certain gems are "accredited" by GIA. The Gemological Institute of America does not accredit any person or anything. Neither a student neither a grad who has been granted a certificate or diploma, neither a gem which has been graded or recognized by GIA has actually been accredited by GIA".

So it is possible that you the customer is left holding the bag needs to an error in a report is later on discovered. Courts have actually frequently ruled that vendors, not laboratories, are accountable for such mistakes. Why? Because the laboratories suggested in advance that their records couldn't be held responsible.

Luckily, there are a couple methods to provide yourself much more purchaser protection:

A. You could fly to India where jewelry experts supply a life time buyback policy to their customers. As well pricey to fly?

B. You might discover among the 20% of United States jewelry experts that sell totally adhered diamonds. These are rubies that are offered with life time damage, life time trade-in and lifetime buyback plans.

C. Not as excellent a treatment as acquiring a totally bound diamond however you could buy a diamond that features an actual "certificate" and also not a record. "Licensed rubies do feature warranties" albeit for shorter periods.

Certification Some vendors refer to a "diamond report" as a "certified ruby" yet practically this is not deal with. From a legal point ofview, a ruby report is a just a skilled viewpoint though in truth, aspects of a diamond rating record are not simply viewpoints.

As an example, a ruby's carat weight (weight) could be precisely determined in addition to its cut quality by determining its optical effectiveness or by referring to a computer design. A certificate on the other hand is a statement of reality - a file for which the company accepts legal duty as well as will certainly make restitution to the consumer for errors.

Some top ruby grading labs use both reports and certificates. AGS provides Diamond Quality Papers (non-certified reports) as well as Diamond Top quality Certificates. Diamond High quality Certificates are ready exclusively for AGS retail jewelers and also offers warranties from taking part American Treasure Society member shops.

GCAL licenses it's diamond grading also. Its 100% money-back warranty policy stands for a period of two years from the date on the appropriate certificate. This policy makes certain the accuracy of the cut, color as well as clarity grades and also the carat weight.

A record or certification need to will have a number on it that may or could not be etched on a ruby. You will certainly have the ability to go into that number on the site of the certifying lab to check a report's legitimacy.

Aspects Of A Diamond Grading Report Ruby rating reports are always progressing yet certain component should continue to be the same. For example, the:

The Record #. This number is given and taped in a lab's record and also may or might not be inscribed on a ruby's girdle. You can enter the report number on a grading laboratory's website to inspect the authenticity of the diamond quality record or to get even more information about the diamond. Shape & Aspect Style: This is the overview as well as the cutting design made use of for the element setup. There are 3 basic facet designs - "great cut, action cut as well as combined cutting design" and also 12 fundamental shapes which include notables such as rounded dazzling and also princess cut" diamonds.

Measurements: This refers to dimension (not weight) of a diamond. Dimension includes measurements such as size, size, weight and also diameter. A measurement is commonly listed to the hundredth of a millimeter. Measurements play a massive function in just how a ruby shines.

Carat weight Weight: The weight of a ruby is determined to the hundredth of a carat weight and some also give such step to the thousandth of a carat weight (1.123 ct.). Carat weight is the most objective and the most convenient to recognize of the 4Cs because all one needs to do is weight the rock. Shade Quality: This informs you the degree of color lack in the ruby. The much less color the greater the quality.

Diamonds are normally graded from D-Z; the closer to "D" the whiter the ruby. You need to never ever see ruby color variety such as (G-H, I-J-K, and more) on a ruby record. You ought to only see shade arrays on appraisals for stones that are mounted.

Quality Quality: Basically every diamond has inner imperfections called inclusions and also exterior imperfections called imperfections. A diamond is rated inning accordance with the dimension, type, place as well as quantity of these problems.

Clearness grades vary from Flawless (FL) - Included. Labs utilize a couple specialists to quality the clearness of a ruby in order to develop a much more accurate reading.

Cut Quality: Much more recent ruby records consist of a cut grade for standard round fantastic diamonds. Cut takes into factor to consider the brilliance, fire as well as scintillation of the ruby. Cut grade varies from Exceptional - Poor.

Other components you may come across on a ruby record consist of the gloss, symmetry, fluorescence and proportion. Armed with this details, you are much better able to make an analysis of the top quality of diamond that is placed in an involvement ring.

10 ct ring

Begin With the Essential When Interested in Purchasing Ruby Jewelry.

Otter Creek

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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