Three Stone Round Diamond Ring Settings in Clearlake

5 Tips on What To Look For When Buying Diamonds For Wedding Rings

A wedding, or an engagement in  Clearlake, is one of the most important events in every couple’s life. One of the best ways of making the experience memorable is by choosing the right ring to symbolize the love you have for one another. While most couples would like to get the most beautiful ring they can lay their hands on, budgetary restrictions can be a challenge. However, it is possible to find an ideal ring based on your budget.

For anyone looking for precious diamonds for engagement rings and wedding rings in Clearlake, they should consider going about the process carefully. There are various dealers in the market, some of who may sell you fake diamonds. Here are a few useful tips on what to look for when looking for precious diamonds for engagement or wedding rings.

Consider the Diamond Cut

1. Any expert will tell you that the cut is the most important thing to consider when buying diamonds in Clearlake. The main reason behind this is that the cut usually influences the sparkle. A diamond may be clear and feature a high quality color grade, but if the cut is poor, it may still appear dull. The dealer you buy from should be able to cut your diamond in the proper proportions. If your budget can allow it, choose a diamond with the highest cut grade.

Diamond Color

2.  Contrary to common belief, lack of color in your diamonds denotes a higher color grade. Some people go for pale yellow diamond, without knowing that it is low quality. To avoid such an experience, ask the diamond dealer to give you grade H or higher. Near colorless diamond ranges from grade G to J, but it may be quite expensive.

Clarity Diamonds can also be chosen based on their clarity levels.

3. This is usually not a very important factor to consider, considering that the precious stones usually come with imperfections, known as inclusions. These tiny imperfections may not be easy to detect, and they may only be seen through a microscope. However, the fewer there are, the higher the clarity grade of your diamonds. If your budget can be stretched further, consider buying grade VS1 grade or higher.

Consider the Diamond’s Carat Weight

4.  Unlike common belief, carat does not mean the size of the diamond, but its actual weight. Carat and cut must be considered side by side, because no matter the size of the diamond, a poor cut grade can make your precious stones look smaller. Another important fact to keep in mind is that the more the weight of the diamond, the more you will pay for it. Therefore, you should consider going for a less heavy stone with a high grade cut.

Ask for Proof of Certification

5. There is nothing as unfortunate as buying diamonds for your special event only to realize that they are of poor quality, or that they were stolen. To avoid such an eventuality, always ask the dealer in Clearlake to show you the copy of diamond certification.

With these tips, you should be able to make the right choice when buying precious diamonds in Clearlake for you engagement or wedding.

3 stone sapphire ring

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

Not all sellers give diamond grading lab records (aka diamond high quality records) to their consumers. So my basic recommendations to you is to keep your loan in your pocket when dealing with such jewelers.

Only buy a diamond involvement ring if it features the initial diamond quality report.

A lab record is an independent examination of the 4Cs of a loose diamond and also includes a plotted representation of the rock's clarity qualities as well as a graphic depiction of the rock's percentages. Having such a report enables you to compare rubies of various qualities as well as eventually aids you make an even more informed purchasing decision.

A store may cut edges as well as not provide a laboratory record or an underhanded vendor might supply a phony one because of the moment, difficulty and expense he'll birth to obtaining a rock graded.

Yeah - there is a rate for grading a diamond (though that price is ultimately paid by the customer), plus the shipping as well as insurance policy fees for sending out the ruby to the laboratory. As well as let us not fail to remember the chance price of a jeweler not having the ruby in his store to buy for a couple of weeks while the grading occurs.

Nevertheless, a diamond rating record could likewise not be available since the prices to obtaining one may impact as well heavily on the last rate of the ring. For instance, a 0.3 ct diamond ring costing $250 state, might cost around $75 to be graded and also have the record number engraved on the girdle on the diamond. As you look for that suitable diamond engagement ring for your sweetheart, you'll find that there is an alphabet soup of labs asserting to offer reliable diamond grading records. However I would only put my cash on ...

The Premier Ruby Grading Laboratory Reports

Yes, all diamond high quality reports are not produced equal. Within the market, it is an agreement that both top laboratories are GIA-GTL (Gemological Institute of The U.S.A.'s Treasure Profession Lab) and also the AGS (American Gem Culture Laboratories).

The GCAL (Treasure Certification and also Guarantee Lab) additionally offers highly concerned records or "diamond certificates" as they are referred to by GCAL. The GIA has the best worldwide online reputation for freedom and uniformity. Because of their constant color and also quality strictness guidelines, the world's largest and most expensive rubies have been sent out there for grading years. In 2006, GIA-GTL added a two-dimensional cut grading system for round dazzling rubies.

AGS uses the strictest cut requirements in the sector. It makes use of a three-dimensional light efficiency metric that could grade numerous diamond shapes. In truth, it is the only cut grading system that is identified by the clinical area.

Just what is more, its Ruby High quality Record makes use of a distinct and also proprietary 0 to 10 grading system to review the 4 Cs - a system which is easier to comprehend compared to GIA's grading system. Actually, AGS even goes the added step by equating their 0-10 rating scale to other kinds of score. For example, the conventional VS1 ruby clarity score is a 3 on the AGS Ruby Top Quality Record.

Diamond Coverage - The Drawbacks

1. Diamond grading is not standardized or regulated as well as thus you may come across rate 2 labs that utilize looser standards to the rate 1 grading laboratories stated above. If you get a ruby that has actually been graded by a tier 2 lab, you might wind up paying more for a minimal top quality ruby. So for instance, a diamond ranked a "F" in shade at a rate 2 lab could get a G, H, or lower color ranking at a much more respectable laboratory. The sector additionally marks down diamonds rated by lower recognized laboratories by about 15-30% or more. So either you just buy a diamond rated by a rate 1 lab or you approve that you could be buying a minimal high quality diamond compared to exactly what is mentioned on the report if that ruby is rated by a lower well-known lab.

2. Many huge chain shops have big agreements with lesser known labs with "softer" ruby grading standards. Some of these softer labs placed "recommended replacement values" on the laboratory records - worths which are greater than just what shops intends market the diamonds for. So a salesman in a chain shop might state to you, "Look at the lot you are obtaining below. We are offering you this ruby interaction ring for $2500 however the report states that the recommended replacement worth is $4000." Wow - what an offer - NOT! This is why it is better that you rely on just independent rate 1 labs.

Additionally bear in mind that trusted ruby rating records are not appraisals and also don't use evaluation numbers. Diamond appraisals are often grossly inflated as well as are not something you'll wish to depend on.

3. Ruby reports are filled with please notes that define that nothing is "certified" or guaranteed which the labs are not responsible for errors. Actually, the GIA supplies a please note of types on their internet site concerning the use of the word "certify." The site states:

"It is wrong to state that students, grads, their organisations, or certain gems are "licensed" by GIA. The Gemological Institute of The U.S.A. does not license anybody or anything. Neither a trainee neither a grad that has actually been awarded a certification or diploma, nor a treasure which has actually been graded or identified by GIA has been licensed by GIA".

So it is feasible that you the customer is left holding the bag needs to a mistake in a record is later uncovered. Courts have often ruled that sellers, not laboratories, are in charge of such mistakes. Why? Due to the fact that the laboratories suggested ahead of time that their records couldn't be held responsible.

The good news is, there are a couple methods to give on your own much more customer security:

A. You might fly to India where jewelers provide a lifetime buyback policy to their consumers. As well costly to fly?

B. You might find among the 20% people jewelers that market completely adhered diamonds. These are rubies that are offered with lifetime damage, lifetime trade-in as well as lifetime buyback plans.

C. Not as great a remedy as acquiring a completely bound ruby however you might acquire a ruby that features an actual "certificate" and not a record. "Qualified rubies do feature warranties" albeit for much shorter periods.

Accreditation Some vendors describe a "diamond report" as a "certified diamond" but technically this is not correct. From a legal point ofview, a ruby report is a merely a skilled point of view though in truth, elements of a diamond rating record are not simply opinions.

As an example, a ruby's carat weight (weight) could be properly identified as well as its cut quality by measuring its optical performance or by describing a computer system version. A certification on the various other hand is a statement of truth - a paper for which the company approves legal duty and will make restitution to the customer for errors.

Some leading ruby grading laboratories supply both reports as well as certificates. AGS uses Diamond Quality Records (non-certified reports) and likewise Diamond Top quality Certificates. Diamond Top quality Certifications are ready solely for AGS retail jewelers and offers guaranties from participating American Gem Culture member stores.

GCAL certifies it's ruby grading additionally. Its 100% money-back warranty policy stands for a period of two years from the date on the applicable certificate. This policy ensures the accuracy of the cut, color and quality grades and also the carat weight.

A record or certification should will certainly have a number on it that might or may not be etched on a ruby. You will have the ability to go into that number on the website of the accrediting lab to inspect a record's validity.

Aspects Of A Diamond Grading Report Diamond grading reports are constantly evolving but particular aspect must remain the exact same. As an example, the:

The Report #. This number is provided and also videotaped in a lab's record and also could or could not be engraved on a ruby's girdle. You could get in the record number on a rating lab's web site to check the credibility of the diamond quality record or to get even more information about the diamond. Forming & Aspect Style: This is the synopsis and the cutting style made use of for the aspect arrangement. There are 3 standard facet styles - "dazzling cut, step cut as well as combined cutting design" and 12 fundamental forms which include notables such as rounded fantastic as well as princess cut" diamonds.

Measurements: This refers to dimension (not weight) of a diamond. Dimension includes dimensions such as length, size, weight as well as size. A dimension is commonly noted to the hundredth of a millimeter. Dimensions play a substantial duty in how a ruby sparkles.

Carat weight Weight: The weight of a diamond is measured to the hundredth of a carat weight and also some also provide such action to the thousandth of a carat (1.123 ct.). Carat is one of the most unbiased and also the simplest to comprehend of the 4Cs due to the fact that all one needs to do is weight the stone. Color Quality: This tells you the degree of shade lack in the ruby. The much less shade the greater the quality.

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

Clearness Grade: Virtually every diamond has interior flaws called inclusions as well as exterior imperfections called blemishes. A ruby is graded inning accordance with the size, kind, location and quantity of these flaws.

Clearness grades vary from Flawless (FL) - Consisted Of. Labs make use of a couple experts to quality the quality of a ruby in order to generate an extra exact reading.

Cut Grade: Much more current diamond reports consist of a cut grade for conventional round fantastic rubies. Cut considers the sparkle, fire and scintillation of the ruby. Cut grade varies from Excellent - Poor.

Various other aspects you may stumble upon on a ruby report consist of the gloss, symmetry, fluorescence as well as proportion. Armed with this details, you are much better able to earn an analysis of the high quality of ruby that is installed in an interaction ring.

gold necklace with small diamond

Start With the Fundamentals When Fascinated in Acquiring Ruby Fashion Jewelry.

Clearlake

There are a number of styles of involvement rings of 2018 that are extremely fashionable. Whatever from pave diamond rings and tinted stones to "environment-friendly" rings as well as network set diamond rings ended up being incredibly popular in 2018.

Pave diamond rings are rings with three or 4 rows of little, even-sized rubies that normally go around the entire ring. A bigger facility rock established above the remainder of the ring finishes the look. Pave diamond involvement rings are one of the very best engagement rings of 2018 due to the fact that they are a stylish choice for an involvement ring while producing a great deal of glimmer on a future bride's third finger. You'll likewise find pave diamond wedding celebration bands that match your involvement ring and also make it a lot more sparkly.

Colored rocks have actually additionally grown in popularity. Due to this, rings with colored diamonds are among the most effective involvement rings of 2018. Rubies come in a range of colors, consisting of yellow, blue, pink, as well as black. True colored diamonds are incredibly uncommon, makings them incredibly expensive. A one-carat colored diamond can run upwards of 10 thousand bucks. Nonetheless, if you could not afford to spend this much money on an interaction ring, there are a couple of alternatives that will still allow you to be fashionable with a tinted rock. With the current technology, you can buy a synthetic tinted diamond. With the developments that have actually been made, many people can not tell the distinction between a mined diamond as well as a manufactured one. If you get or commission a synthetic diamond, you can pick whichever shade you like, and save several thousands of bucks in the meanwhile. Alternatively, if you want a tinted rock but don't need a ruby, emerald greens, sapphires, and also rubies make fantastic choices for engagement rings as well as are far cheaper than extracted colored diamonds.

Green engagement rings are likewise among the finest involvement rings of 2018. With more individuals worried concerning the atmosphere as well as concerning the human civil liberties issues that border typical diamond mining, more individuals are searching for options to conventional involvement rings. One opportunity is to get an engagement ring that has a diamond that was mined in Canada rather than South Africa. Canada doesn't have the same human legal rights issues rotating around its diamond market, so it's taken into consideration to be a lot more pleasant to the globe. Conversely, acquiring a synthetic diamond ring is likewise thought about to be extra "eco-friendly" because not only does it not have the exact same civils rights concerns that mined diamonds do, yet it doesn't destroy the earth like mining for rubies tends to do. Additionally, the most effective engagement rings of 2018 include antique engagement rings since the greenest engagement rings are those that are recycled as well as reused. By getting an interaction ring that is antique, you are not adding to the new ruby ring market or the devastation of the setting.

Channel established diamond rings are likewise on the listing of ideal involvement rings of 2018. Network collection interaction rings have the rocks established within the band of the ring, so the top of the rock is despite having the top of the ring. Channel established rings are especially ideal because the diamonds are secured from being harmed since you can not reach the stone to chip them. A lot more preferred are channel set diamond rings constructed of platinum, which has recently grown in appeal. If you intend to buy a ring that is much more unique, though, you could have a channel set involvement ring established with rocks apart from rubies. Sapphires are a specifically prominent option for interaction rings.

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Vintage Wedding Rings in Washington

Sapphire Rings in Clearlake

5 Tips on What To Look For When Buying Diamonds For Wedding Rings

A wedding, or an engagement in  Clearlake, is one of the most important events in every couple’s life. One of the best ways of making the experience memorable is by choosing the right ring to symbolize the love you have for one another. While most couples would like to get the most beautiful ring they can lay their hands on, budgetary restrictions can be a challenge. However, it is possible to find an ideal ring based on your budget.

For anyone looking for precious diamonds for engagement rings and wedding rings in Clearlake, they should consider going about the process carefully. There are various dealers in the market, some of who may sell you fake diamonds. Here are a few useful tips on what to look for when looking for precious diamonds for engagement or wedding rings.

Consider the Diamond Cut

1. Any expert will tell you that the cut is the most important thing to consider when buying diamonds in Clearlake. The main reason behind this is that the cut usually influences the sparkle. A diamond may be clear and feature a high quality color grade, but if the cut is poor, it may still appear dull. The dealer you buy from should be able to cut your diamond in the proper proportions. If your budget can allow it, choose a diamond with the highest cut grade.

Diamond Color

2.  Contrary to common belief, lack of color in your diamonds denotes a higher color grade. Some people go for pale yellow diamond, without knowing that it is low quality. To avoid such an experience, ask the diamond dealer to give you grade H or higher. Near colorless diamond ranges from grade G to J, but it may be quite expensive.

Clarity Diamonds can also be chosen based on their clarity levels.

3. This is usually not a very important factor to consider, considering that the precious stones usually come with imperfections, known as inclusions. These tiny imperfections may not be easy to detect, and they may only be seen through a microscope. However, the fewer there are, the higher the clarity grade of your diamonds. If your budget can be stretched further, consider buying grade VS1 grade or higher.

Consider the Diamond’s Carat Weight

4.  Unlike common belief, carat does not mean the size of the diamond, but its actual weight. Carat and cut must be considered side by side, because no matter the size of the diamond, a poor cut grade can make your precious stones look smaller. Another important fact to keep in mind is that the more the weight of the diamond, the more you will pay for it. Therefore, you should consider going for a less heavy stone with a high grade cut.

Ask for Proof of Certification

5. There is nothing as unfortunate as buying diamonds for your special event only to realize that they are of poor quality, or that they were stolen. To avoid such an eventuality, always ask the dealer in Clearlake to show you the copy of diamond certification.

With these tips, you should be able to make the right choice when buying precious diamonds in Clearlake for you engagement or wedding.

1 ct wedding band

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

Diamonds are naturally available in a really large range of shades. Lots of people know concerning colorless diamonds as well as GIA's color grading system that is made use of to identify a diamond's body color ... you know D, E, F, etc. This shade grading system is only used to classify the most usual diamond body color of yellow however anytime a diamond is located in another color like pink, blue, environment-friendly, and so on; after that this ruby is described as a "" expensive diamond"".

All-natural Fancy rubies can be very pricey and also often times extra costly compared to a comparable size colorless ruby. A great example of a Fancy ruby is the notorious 45.52 carat fancy deep blue ruby, the Hope Diamond, which gets on screen in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington, DC.

A shade boosted ruby is a 100% natural diamond that has actually had its color altered. As well as most importantly, color boosted diamonds can be found in an extremely large selection of shades at really economical costs!

A little history- For lots of, several years it has actually been well understood that a diamond's color could be "" boosted"" by placing a little tinted material on the surface area of a ruby and also much like magic ... a diamond that had an obvious yellowish color would transform to a more attractive near anemic ruby. Unfortunately, this sort of color enhanced ruby might transform back to its original body color if this tinted compound was accidentally eliminated. In more current years, the technology of color improved diamonds has gone very high technology. It is now feasible to completely change the shade of a diamond! These processes are considered permanent since it does remain steady when exposed to everyday normal problems. The shade will certainly not fade if exposed to sunlight or be cleaned off by extreme chemicals.

How is it done? The desired outcome of any one of these treatments is to have an extra valuable ruby. A less valuable diamond would be a ruby that has a low body shade or in some cases a lower clearness. The color improved diamond therapy companies recognize if they start off with a specific kind of ruby as well as procedure it for a certain quantity of time that they need to wind up with a specific color but it does not constantly work that method. This is a scientific research that does require some art in their procedures ... the only procedure that gives constant results is the coating process.

The three procedures are as follows- Process # 1- HPHT Color Boosted Diamonds- High Pressure/ Heat (HPHT) treatment can enhance the shade of certain kinds of brown rubies and also therefore boost their worth. General Electric has created a process that basically is a mechanical simulation of a ruby's production in nature. The color boosted diamond will certainly be heated up to an extremely high temperature under an extremely high, supported pressure. Faults in the crystal structure are then repositioned leading to an alteration of the ruby's shade. Since the conditions of HPHT are really just like diamond's initial formation, only a well equipped laboratory will be able to positively recognize this kind of color enhanced ruby. HPHT was initially used to transform yellowish diamonds into more marketable fancy colored enhanced rubies, today it is also made use of to change some undesirable brownish diamonds into more desirable anemic colored improved rubies.

Refine # 2- Irradiated Shade Improved Diamonds- OK ... do not begin obtaining all excited because you saw words irradiated! This is a 100% safe process that is extremely comparable to what is used to maintain food by revealing it to a stream of Gamma rays. The color improved ruby process is carried out in a number of various methods however the outcomes are just the same. You begin with a reduced color (P, Q, R, etc.) 100% all-natural diamond that has actually currently been reduced as well as polished, after that it is subjected to a stream of quick electrons. During this part of the procedure the ruby will certainly count on a very dark shade because some of the atoms in the diamond's crystal framework have actually currently been disjointed and this subsequently has actually affected the method light go through the ruby. Next the ruby undergoes a regulated heating (annealing) process, this enables several of those atoms to transfer (partially fixed) in order to acquire a wanted shade.

Process # 3- Coated Color Boosted Diamonds- The coating on sleek rubies describes a slim synthetic layer that changes the shade of the diamond. The finishing could either be of the desired color or can cause a colored interference-effect. Sadly sometimes this process is done to deceive a customer. It is a relatively very easy process to carry out, it has actually been around for many years (although the coverings products are better currently), as well as it does not call for a whole lot of pricey high technology equipment. Lately, I have actually seen some pink covered diamonds on the marketplace, they are really appealing ... and also naturally you would have to buy them knowing that they have been coated and also follow your jewelry expert's guidelines regarding having as well as caring for these shade enhanced diamonds. The coating could be applied to the entire of a diamond's surface, simply all-time low of the diamond, or to a narrow area near the band. A well-applied covering can transform the shade by several color grade. Some finishes could be gotten rid of with steaming in acid, solid cleansing services, or even household chemicals. Occasionally dots or bigger locations of purple or blue ink are repainted on the diamond to assist combat a yellow-colored shade. The diamond's setup will usually cover the dots, so they are tough to see in a placed stone.

So, is a color enhanced ruby right for you? Maybe ... all-natural elegant shade diamonds can be gorgeous however they are expensive! Shade enhanced diamonds are budget-friendly as well as enable lots of people to own a brightly colored diamond. Ask your regional jeweler if they have any Fancy rubies ... either all-natural or shade improved rubies. It is always intriguing, and also fun, to consider something different!

Under regular wear the irradiated and HPHT color enhanced diamonds will certainly have not a problem of the shade fading away. The only factor to consider will certainly be when you should have any kind of service done on the piece of fashion jewelry. If this kind of shade improved ruby is subjected to extreme amounts of heat it may influence the shade. The jewelry expert will certainly have to understand that the ruby is a color boosted ruby before any type of job is done and after that the jewelry expert will have the ability to choose on the very best strategy. Shade improved diamonds are now likewise utilized as the small accent rubies around a larger colorless diamond. There are numerous interesting items of jewelry available with tiny blue, yellow, black, or eco-friendly color enhanced diamonds.

Currently that you understand about color enhanced rubies as well as someone tries to market you on exactly what they call a natural elegant tinted diamond yet it goes to a super bargain rate ... you will certainly recognize that something just does not appear best about the offer. A record from a revered grading laboratory ought to come with 100% natural Fancy colored diamonds that are marketed as natural. If you manage a trustworthy firm and also you have been reassured regarding what you are acquiring, then you will certainly lessen the possibility of something poor taking place to you. Just like any scenario entailing an expensive purchase of something that very few individuals are well versed in, education ought to be a vital part of your plan. This is much more essential if you prepare to acquire a color enhanced ruby. Bud Boland has actually remained in the jewelry business for 40 years and also has done everything from watchmaking, diamond setup, precious jewelry production, and has actually been a Jeweler for almost 35 years. He is a Graduate Jeweler from GIA (Gemological Institute of The U.S.A.), which is also the location where he was an Instructor. He has actually educated regarding diamonds to thousands of pupils from around the globe

bezel set diamond earrings

The Big 4 Cs For Loose Diamonds

Clearlake

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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Vintage Wedding Rings in Washington