Rose Gold Diamond Necklace in Gold Bar

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

A wedding, or an engagement in  Gold Bar, 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 Gold Bar, 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 Gold Bar. 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 Gold Bar 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 Gold Bar for you engagement or wedding.

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

Just how are ruby cut qualities assigned?

This is where points begin to obtain complicated. The approaches used to quantitatively analyze the high quality of a cut differ. The way the GIA establishes just what a diamond's cut grade should be, as an example, varies in really particular means from the method other certifiers like the AGS do it. Most of the times, these companies do not disclose the precise information of the procedures they utilize.

The form of a ruby additionally makes a difference with respect to how its cut quality is figured out. Although there are some standard requirements that continue to be the very same for any kind of kind of diamond, the exact methods utilized to grade a round diamond's cut are different from those used to quality a heart-shaped ruby's cut.

The remainder of this description will certainly focus on round rubies, as this is without a doubt one of the most common diamond shape. One of the elements influencing the cut quality of a round ruby is the number of elements it has. Facets are the level, specified locations externally of a ruby. The aspects on round diamonds are normally triangular. Currently, it's thought that the perfect round diamond should have 33 elements on the crown (the section of the ruby that rests over the band, which itself is the widest point of the diamond) and also 25 on the structure (the reduced, longer section of the diamond). When there are flaws externally of the diamond, cutters may add added aspects in order to cover them. This leads to a degradation in the total top quality of the cut.

While the aspect matter is normally set as an excellent way of evaluating the quality of a diamond cut, there are various other factors on which jewelers regularly differ. Some of the various other elements utilized by some authorities to help figure out cut qualities consist of the elevation of the diamond's crown, the depth of the pavilion, the diameter of the table (the top of the crown), and the angles of the crown and pavilion.

The American Standard standard for rounded diamonds calls for a crown elevation of 16.2%, structure deepness of 43.1%, as well as table size of 53% of the total band diameter. The Perfect Fantastic benchmark, however, requires 19.2% crown height, 40% pavilion deepness, and 56.5% table size. While these differences might be tough for novices to determine, they are an excellent image of the troubles related to developing a basic analysis of a diamond's cut.

Although there are some disputes as to the precise proportions that constitute the perfect ruby cut, for possible diamond customers, one of the most important point to recognize is that ruby accreditations given by companies like the AGS and GIA are trustworthy as well as significant. Reputable ruby suppliers base the rates at which they deal diamonds on the cut as well as the rest of the "four Cs." When you purchase a diamond, you do not need to stress concerning the assumption of just what makes an excellent ruby cut altering a lot that the value of your diamond will be substantially impacted.

Which diamond cut grade stands for the most effective worth?

Which kind of diamond is best for you greatly relies on your spending plan. For purchasers that are prepared to purchase them, vendors usually suggest rubies with the highest possible cut qualities. Nevertheless, this may be due to some self-involvement on their part.

The other 3 Cs have an influence on diamond costs as well, so it could be hard to gauge the specific distinction in price in between a Perfect or Exceptional cut ruby as well as a Great cut. For laid-back buyers and budget-conscious capitalists alike, rubies with a Great or Good cut quality could stand for an exceptional value. This is because, while they could be more cost effective compared to or else equal Suitable or Superb cut diamonds, the noticeable distinction in top quality is minimal.

At the same time, don't hesitate to utilize your discretion. If, for instance, you stumble upon a diamond with an Ideal cut ranking which has good ratings in the various other categories and is still within your budget plan, then you must certainly consider it, as long as you're handling a trustworthy vendor.

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Beginning With the Essential When Intrigued in Buying Ruby Jewelry.

Gold Bar

Rubies are normally offered in a really wide variety of shades. Most people learn about colorless rubies and GIA's color grading system that is utilized to categorize a diamond's body color ... you know D, E, F, and so on. This shade grading system is only utilized to identify one of the most common diamond body color of yellow nonetheless anytime a ruby is found in another shade like pink, blue, environment-friendly, etc.; after that this diamond is described as a "" fancy diamond"".

Natural Fancy diamonds can be really costly and also often times a lot more costly compared to a similar dimension colorless diamond. An extremely great example of a Fancy diamond is the well known 45.52 carat expensive deep blue ruby, the Hope Ruby, which gets on screen in the Smithsonian Nature Gallery in Washington, DC.

A shade boosted diamond is a 100% all-natural diamond that has actually had its color changed. And also best of all, color improved rubies come in a really vast choice of shades at very economical rates!

A little history- For several, several years it has actually been popular that a diamond's shade can be "" boosted"" by placing a bit of tinted substance on the surface of a ruby and also much like magic ... a diamond that had a recognizable yellow-colored color would change to a more appealing near colorless ruby. Sadly, this type of color boosted ruby can alter back to its initial body color if this tinted substance was unintentionally gotten rid of. In more recent years, the innovation of shade improved diamonds has actually gone very high technology. It is currently feasible to completely alter the shade of a diamond! These processes are considered irreversible since it does remain secure when exposed to daily typical problems. The color will certainly not fade if subjected to sunshine or be cleaned off by severe chemicals.

Just how is it done? The preferred outcome of any one of these treatments is to have a much more marketable ruby. A much less valuable ruby would be a diamond that has a reduced body shade or often a reduced clarity. The shade enhanced diamond therapy business recognize if they begin with a specific sort of ruby and process it for a specific quantity of time that they ought to end up with a certain shade but it does not always work by doing this. This is a scientific research that does require some art in their procedures ... the only process that provides constant results is the finishing process.

The three procedures are as complies with- Process # 1- HPHT Shade Boosted Diamonds- High Stress/ High Temperature Level (HPHT) therapy can boost the shade of certain sorts of brown rubies and thus raise their worth. General Electric has created a procedure that basically is a mechanical simulation of a ruby's creation in nature. The shade improved diamond will be warmed up to an extremely heat under an extremely high, stabilized pressure. Mistakes in the crystal structure are after that repositioned leading to a change of the ruby's color. Due to the fact that the conditions of HPHT are extremely much like diamond's initial formation, just a well furnished lab will have the ability to favorably identify this type of shade boosted ruby. HPHT wased initially made use of to turn yellowish rubies right into even more marketable fancy tinted enhanced diamonds, now it is likewise made use of to change some out of favor brownish rubies into better anemic colored improved diamonds.

Process # 2- Irradiated Shade Boosted Diamonds- OK ... do not start obtaining all delighted since you saw words irradiated! This is a 100% safe procedure that is very similar to what is used to maintain food by subjecting it to a stream of Gamma rays. The shade enhanced ruby process is performed in several different means yet the results are all the exact same. You begin with a low shade (P, Q, R, etc.) 100% all-natural ruby that has already been cut and also brightened, after that it is subjected to a stream of rapid electrons. Throughout this part of the process the diamond will look to an extremely dark color because several of the atoms in the diamond's crystal structure have currently been disjointed and also this consequently has affected the method light go through the ruby. Next the diamond undergoes a controlled home heating (annealing) process, this enables some of those atoms to transfer (partly fixed) in order to get a preferred color.

Process # 3- Layered Color Boosted Diamonds- The finishing on sleek diamonds describes a slim man-made layer that alters the color of the diamond. The finish can either be of the wanted shade or can trigger a tinted interference-effect. Sadly occasionally this procedure is done to trick a purchaser. It is a reasonably very easy process to do, it has actually been around for years (although the finishes materials are a lot better now), and it does not call for a lot of pricey high technology equipment. Recently, I've seen some pink coated rubies on the marketplace, they are really attractive ... as well as of program you would certainly have to purchase them knowing that they have actually been covered and follow your jeweler's guidelines concerning possessing and also caring for these color improved diamonds. The layer can be put on the entire of a ruby's surface, simply the bottom of the diamond, or to a slim zone near the girdle. A well-applied finishing can alter the color by several shade grade. Some layers can be gotten rid of via boiling in acid, solid cleaning services, or even household chemicals. In some cases dots or bigger locations of purple or blue ink are repainted on the diamond to assist neutralize a yellow-colored color. The ruby's setting will typically cover the dots, so they are difficult to see in a mounted rock.

So, is a color boosted ruby right for you? Perhaps ... all-natural elegant shade rubies could be attractive however they are pricey! Shade enhanced diamonds are inexpensive and also permit lots of people to own a vibrantly tinted ruby. Ask your local jewelry expert if they have any kind of Fancy rubies ... either all-natural or color boosted diamonds. It is constantly interesting, and also fun, to check out something various!

Under typical wear the irradiated and HPHT shade boosted diamonds will certainly have not a problem of the shade fading away. The only factor to consider will certainly be when you have to have any sort of service done on the piece of fashion jewelry. If this kind of color boosted diamond is subjected to excessive amounts of warmth it might influence the shade. The jewelry expert will should recognize that the diamond is a shade boosted ruby prior to any job is done and after that the jeweler will be able to pick the very best strategy. Shade boosted diamonds are currently additionally used as the little accent diamonds around a larger colorless diamond. There are several interesting items of precious jewelry offered with small blue, yellow, black, or green shade improved diamonds.

Since you know about color enhanced diamonds as well as a person tries to sell you on just what they call an all-natural fancy colored diamond however it is at a very bargain price ... you will certainly recognize that something simply does not appear best concerning the deal. A report from a recognized grading lab should go along with natural Fancy colored diamonds that are marketed as natural. If you handle a trusted firm as well as you have been reassured regarding exactly what you are purchasing, then you will certainly minimize the possibility of something negative happening to you. As with any type of circumstance involving a pricey acquisition of something that very few people are well versed in, education ought to be a crucial part of your plan. This is a lot more important if you intend to buy a color improved ruby. Bud Boland has actually remained in the precious jewelry service for 40 years as well as has done every little thing from watchmaking, diamond setting, precious jewelry making, and has actually been a Gemologist for nearly 35 years. He is a Graduate Jeweler from GIA (Gemological Institute of The U.S.A.), which is likewise the area where he was a Trainer. He has taught about rubies to thousands of students from around the globe

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Vintage Wedding Rings in Washington

White Gold Diamond Earrings in Gold Bar

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

A wedding, or an engagement in  Gold Bar, 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 Gold Bar, 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 Gold Bar. 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 Gold Bar 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 Gold Bar for you engagement or wedding.

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

Not all vendors offer ruby grading lab reports (aka diamond top quality records) to their customers. So my general recommendations to you is to maintain your loan in your pocket when handling such jewelers.

Only purchase a diamond interaction ring if it comes with the original diamond top quality record.

A lab record is an independent assessment of the 4Cs of a loose ruby as well as includes an outlined diagram of the stone's clearness attributes as well as a visuals depiction of the stone's percentages. Having such a record allows you to compare rubies of various high qualities and also ultimately aids you make a more notified acquiring decision.

A store could reduce edges as well as not offer a laboratory report or an unscrupulous vendor might supply a phony one due to the time, problem and cost he'll bear to obtaining a stone rated.

Yeah - there is a cost for rating a ruby (though that price is eventually paid by the consumer), plus the shipping and insurance coverage costs for sending the ruby to the lab. And let us not fail to remember the opportunity price of a jeweler not having the diamond in his store offer for sale for a couple of weeks while the grading takes place.

However, a ruby rating report may likewise not be available due to the fact that the prices to obtaining one might influence also heavily on the last cost of the ring. For example, a 0.3 ct ruby ring costing $250 state, could cost around $75 to be rated and have the report number engraved on the band on the diamond. As you look for that suitable diamond interaction ring for your sweetie, you'll find that there is a hodgepodge of laboratories asserting to supply credible diamond rating records. But I would only place my money on ...

The Premier Diamond Grading Laboratory Reports

Yes, all diamond top quality reports are not developed equal. Within the market, it is an agreement that both top laboratories are GIA-GTL (Gemological Institute of America's Treasure Profession Lab) as well as the AGS (American Treasure Culture Laboratories).

The GCAL (Treasure Qualification and Assurance Laboratory) additionally supplies highly regarded reports or "diamond certifications" as they are described by GCAL. The GIA has the strongest worldwide online reputation for self-reliance as well as uniformity. Because of their continuous color as well as clarity strictness guidelines, the globe's largest and also most costly diamonds have been sent out there for grading decades. In 2006, GIA-GTL included a two-dimensional cut grading system for round fantastic rubies.

AGS makes use of the strictest cut requirements in the sector. It utilizes a three-dimensional light performance metric that could quality several diamond forms. In reality, it is the only cut grading system that is acknowledged by the scientific community.

Exactly what is even more, its Ruby Top quality Record makes use of an one-of-a-kind as well as proprietary 0 to 10 grading system to review the 4 Cs - a system which is simpler to comprehend compared to GIA's grading system. As a matter of fact, AGS also goes the extra action by relating their 0-10 score scale to other forms of score. For example, the traditional VS1 ruby clarity ranking is a 3 on the AGS Diamond High Quality Document.

Diamond Coverage - The Drawbacks

1. Diamond grading is not standard or regulated and also hence you may stumble upon tier 2 laboratories that employ looser guidelines to the rate 1 grading laboratories stated over. If you buy a diamond that has been graded by a tier 2 laboratory, you might finish up paying more for a lower top quality diamond. So as an example, a ruby ranked a "F" in color at a tier 2 laboratory could get a G, H, or lower color rating at a much more trusted laboratory. The sector additionally marks down rubies graded by lower recognized laboratories by concerning 15-30% or even more. So either you just acquire a ruby rated by a tier 1 lab or you accept that you may be getting a lower quality diamond compared to exactly what is stated on the report if that ruby is graded by a lesser recognized laboratory.

2. Many huge chain shops have big contracts with minimal recognized labs with "softer" ruby grading standards. Several of these softer labs placed "recommended substitute worths" on the lab records - values which are greater than exactly what stores intends offer the diamonds for. So a salesperson in a chain shop might say to you, "Consider the large amount you are getting here. We are offering you this ruby interaction ring for $2500 yet the record states that the recommended substitute worth is $4000." Wow - exactly what a bargain - NOT! This is why it is better that you trust only independent rate 1 labs.

Likewise bear in mind that trustworthy diamond rating records are not assessments as well as don't provide appraisal numbers. Diamond evaluations are frequently grossly filled with air and also are not something you'll intend to rely upon.

3. Diamond reports are filled with please notes that define that nothing is "licensed" or assured which the labs are not answerable for errors. As a matter of fact, the GIA offers a disclaimer of kinds on their website relating to making use of the word "certify." The site claims:

"It is inaccurate to state that trainees, grads, their businesses, or certain gems are "accredited" by GIA. The Gemological Institute of America does not certify any individual or anything. Neither a pupil neither a graduate who has actually been granted a certification or diploma, neither a treasure which has actually been rated or recognized by GIA has been certified by GIA".

So it is possible that you the consumer is left holding the bag must an error in a report is later on discovered. Courts have frequently ruled that sellers, not labs, are in charge of such errors. Why? Since the labs indicated beforehand that their reports couldn't be held liable.

Fortunately, there are a pair ways to provide on your own extra customer security:

A. You can fly to India where jewelers supply a life time buyback plan to their consumers. Too costly to fly?

B. You can discover one of the 20% people jewelry experts who sell fully bound diamonds. These are diamonds that are offered with life time breakage, life time trade-in and also life time buyback policies.

C. Not as excellent a remedy as buying a completely adhered diamond however you could get a ruby that features a real "certificate" and also not a report. "Licensed rubies do include warranties" albeit for shorter periods.

Qualification Some sellers describe a "ruby report" as a "qualified diamond" yet technically this is not deal with. From a lawful standpoint, a diamond record is a merely a professional opinion though in reality, aspects of a diamond rating record are not simply opinions.

For instance, a ruby's carat weight (weight) could be properly determined as well as its cut grade by determining its optical efficiency or by referring to a computer system version. A certification on the other hand is a statement of truth - a paper for which the company approves lawful duty and will certainly make restitution to the customer for blunders.

Some top diamond grading labs offer both records and also certifications. AGS supplies Ruby Top quality Papers (non-certified records) as well as also Ruby High quality Certificates. Ruby Quality Certificates are ready solely for AGS retail jewelers and also uses guaranties from participating American Gem Culture participant shops.

GCAL certifies it's ruby grading also. Its 100% money-back warranty policy is valid for a period of 2 years from the date on the applicable certificate. This plan ensures the accuracy of the cut, shade as well as clearness qualities and the carat weight.

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

Elements Of A Diamond Grading Report Diamond rating reports are constantly progressing but specific component needs to continue to be the exact same. For circumstances, the:

The Report #. This number is provided as well as videotaped in a laboratory's document and also may or might not be engraved on a diamond's band. You could go into the report number on a grading lab's internet site to check the authenticity of the ruby top quality record or to get more details about the ruby. Forming & Element Style: This is the synopsis and the reducing style made use of for the facet setup. There are 3 basic aspect designs - "dazzling cut, action cut and blended reducing design" and 12 fundamental shapes that include notables such as rounded fantastic and also princess cut" rubies.

Measurements: This refers to size (not weight) of a ruby. Size consists of measurements such as size, size, weight and also diameter. A measurement is generally noted to the hundredth of a millimeter. Dimensions play a significant function in how a ruby glows.

Carat weight Weight: The weight of a ruby is determined to the hundredth of a carat weight and some also provide such step to the thousandth of a carat (1.123 ct.). Carat is the most unbiased and also the simplest to understand of the 4Cs since all one needs to do is weight the rock. Color Quality: This tells you the level of color lack in the diamond. The much less color the greater the quality.

Diamonds are generally rated from D-Z; the closer to "D" the whiter the ruby. You should never see diamond color array such as (G-H, I-J-K, and so forth) on a ruby record. You must only see color varieties on assessments for rocks that are mounted.

Quality Quality: Practically every diamond has inner imperfections called inclusions and also outside flaws called imperfections. A ruby is rated according to the size, type, area as well as amount of these imperfections.

Quality qualities vary from Remarkable (FL) - Consisted Of. Labs make use of a pair specialists to grade the clearness of a diamond in order to generate a much more exact analysis.

Cut Quality: Much more recent ruby reports include a cut quality for basic round great rubies. Cut takes into account the sparkle, fire as well as scintillation of the ruby. Cut quality ranges from Superb - Poor.

Various other aspects you might find on a diamond record include the polish, symmetry, fluorescence and percentage. Armed with this info, you are better able to earn an evaluation of the high quality of diamond that is placed in an involvement ring.

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Ways To Purchase Diamonds When Purchasing Wholesale.

Gold Bar

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