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.

affordable engagement rings

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

Diamonds are normally offered in an extremely wide variety of colors. Many people understand about colorless rubies and GIA's color grading system that is utilized to categorize a ruby's body color ... you recognize D, E, F, and so on. This color grading system is only made use of to classify one of the most usual ruby body shade of yellow nonetheless anytime a ruby is found in an additional shade like pink, blue, eco-friendly, and so on; then this ruby is referred to as a "" expensive ruby"".

Natural Fancy diamonds can be extremely pricey and also sometimes extra pricey than a similar size anemic diamond. A great instance of a Fancy ruby is the infamous 45.52 carat weight elegant deep blue diamond, the Hope Ruby, which gets on screen in the Smithsonian Nature Gallery in Washington, DC.

A shade boosted ruby is a 100% natural ruby that has actually had its color transformed. And also most importantly, shade enhanced diamonds come in a really vast option of colors at very affordable prices!

A little history- For lots of, several years it has been well known that a diamond's shade can be "" improved"" by putting a little tinted material on the surface of a diamond and also similar to magic ... a ruby that had an obvious yellow-colored shade would change to an extra attractive near anemic ruby. Unfortunately, this kind of shade enhanced diamond might change back to its original body color if this colored substance was unintentionally gotten rid of. In more current years, the technology of color improved rubies has actually gone exceptionally high tech. It is currently feasible to entirely transform the shade of a diamond! These processes are thought about permanent since it does stay stable when exposed to daily normal conditions. The shade will not fade if revealed to sunlight or be washed off by rough chemicals.

Exactly how is it done? The desired end result of any one of these therapies is to have an extra valuable diamond. A less valuable ruby would certainly be a diamond that has a reduced body color or often a reduced quality. The color improved diamond treatment companies recognize if they start with a particular kind of ruby as well as procedure it for a particular quantity of time that they must finish up with a particular color however it does not always function in this way. This is a scientific research that does call for some art in their processes ... the only procedure that gives regular results is the covering procedure.

The 3 procedures are as adheres to- Process # 1- HPHT Shade Enhanced Diamonds- High Stress/ High Temperature (HPHT) treatment could boost the color of particular types of brownish rubies and hence raise their value. General Electric has developed a procedure that practically is a mechanical simulation of a diamond's production in nature. The shade boosted diamond will be warmed up to a very heat under a very high, stabilized stress. Faults in the crystal structure are then reorganized causing a change of the diamond's shade. Due to the fact that the conditions of HPHT are very much like ruby's original development, only a well geared up laboratory will certainly be able to positively recognize this kind of shade boosted diamond. HPHT was initially made use of to turn yellowish rubies into even more marketable fancy tinted enhanced rubies, but currently it is additionally used to transform some undesirable brown rubies right into preferred colorless colored boosted rubies.

Refine # 2- Irradiated Color Improved Diamonds- OK ... do not start obtaining all excited because you saw the word irradiated! This is a 100% secure procedure that is really comparable to what is made use of to protect food by exposing it to a stream of Gamma rays. The color enhanced ruby process is done in a number of different methods but the outcomes are all the very same. You begin with a low color (P, Q, R, etc.) 100% all-natural diamond that has currently been reduced and also brightened, then it is subjected to a stream of quick electrons. Throughout this component of the procedure the ruby will certainly rely on an extremely dark color because several of the atoms in the ruby's crystal framework have currently been disjointed and also this then has actually impacted the means light travel through the diamond. Next the diamond undergoes a regulated heating (annealing) procedure, this permits several of those atoms to move (partly fixed) in order to get a wanted shade.

Refine # 3- Layered Shade Boosted Diamonds- The finishing on polished diamonds describes a thin artificial layer that changes the shade of the ruby. The finishing could either be of the preferred shade or could trigger a tinted interference-effect. However often this process is done to trick a customer. It is a reasonably easy process to perform, it has actually been around for many years (although the coatings materials are better currently), and also it does not require a lot of pricey advanced tools. Lately, I have actually seen some pink coated rubies on the marketplace, they are very attractive ... as well as certainly you would have to buy them understanding that they have been coated as well as follow your jeweler's standards concerning possessing and also looking after these shade enhanced rubies. The coating could be used to the whole of a diamond's surface, just all-time low of the diamond, or to a slim zone near the girdle. A well-applied finishing can alter the color by several color grade. Some finishings can be eliminated via steaming in acid, strong cleansing services, or even home chemicals. Occasionally dots or larger locations of purple or blue ink are painted on the diamond to assist neutralize a yellow-colored shade. The diamond's setup will typically cover the dots, so they are difficult to see in a mounted rock.

So, is a color boosted ruby right for you? Maybe ... all-natural expensive shade diamonds can be beautiful however they are costly! Shade improved rubies are affordable and also permit several individuals to have a vibrantly colored ruby. Ask your regional jeweler if they have any Fancy diamonds ... either natural or color improved diamonds. It is always intriguing, and also fun, to consider something different!

Under regular wear the irradiated and HPHT shade enhanced rubies will certainly have no troubles of the shade fading away. The only factor to consider will be when you have to have any kind of kind of solution done on the item of precious jewelry. If this kind of shade enhanced ruby is exposed to excessive amounts of warm it may affect the shade. The jewelry expert will need to know that the ruby is a shade improved diamond prior to any kind of work is done and afterwards the jewelry expert will have the ability to choose on the very best strategy. Shade enhanced rubies are currently likewise used as the little accent diamonds around a larger anemic diamond. There are lots of interesting pieces of fashion jewelry available with small blue, yellow, black, or green color boosted rubies.

Since you know concerning shade boosted diamonds as well as a person attempts to market you on exactly what they call a natural fancy tinted ruby but it goes to a very bargain rate ... you will certainly know that something just does not appear best regarding the offer. A report from a reputable grading lab should come with 100% natural Fancy tinted rubies that are marketed as all-natural. If you handle a credible firm and you have been assured about just what you are acquiring, after that you will certainly decrease the opportunity of something poor happening to you. As with any type of circumstance involving a pricey purchase of something that few people are experienceded in, education needs to be a vital part of your strategy. This is a lot more essential if you intend to purchase a shade improved diamond. Bud Boland has actually remained in the precious jewelry service for 40 years and also has done everything from watchmaking, ruby setup, precious jewelry production, and also has been a Jeweler for virtually 35 years. He is a Graduate Gemologist from GIA (Gemological Institute of America), which is likewise the place where he was a Teacher. He has actually shown concerning rubies to thousands of students from throughout the globe

1 ct tw earrings

How Do You Know If The Ruby Is Phony Or Actual Diamond?

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.

___________________________________________

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.

bezel set diamond earrings

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

Exactly how are ruby cut qualities assigned?

This is where things start to obtain complicated. The approaches made use of to quantitatively evaluate the quality of a cut vary. The way the GIA determines what a ruby's cut quality should be, for example, varies in extremely particular means from the way other certifiers like the AGS do it. Most of the times, these companies do not divulge the exact information of the procedures they use.

The form of a diamond likewise makes a distinction relative to just how its cut quality is determined. Although there are some basic requirements that continue to be the very same for any kind of sort of ruby, the exact techniques used to grade a round diamond's cut are different from those used to grade a heart-shaped ruby's cut.

The remainder of this explanation will concentrate on round rubies, as this is without a doubt one of the most common diamond shape. One of the elements impacting the cut grade of a rounded diamond is the variety of facets it has. Elements are the flat, defined areas on the surface area of a diamond. The aspects on round rubies are typically triangular. Presently, it's believed that the excellent round ruby need to have 33 facets on the crown (the section of the diamond that sits over the girdle, which itself is the best point of the diamond) and 25 on the structure (the lower, longer section of the ruby). When there are flaws on the surface area of the ruby, cutters might include extra facets in order to cover them. This leads to a deterioration in the overall quality of the cut.

While the aspect count is generally decideded upon as a great way of judging the high quality of a ruby cut, there are other points on which gemologists frequently disagree. A few of the other aspects utilized by some authorities to assist establish cut qualities consist of the height of the ruby's crown, the depth of the structure, the size of the table (the top of the crown), and also the angles of the crown as well as structure.

The American Criterion standard for round rubies calls for a crown elevation of 16.2%, structure depth of 43.1%, as well as table size of 53% of the complete girdle size. The Ideal Dazzling standard, however, requires 19.2% crown elevation, 40% structure depth, as well as 56.5% table size. While these distinctions may be tough for novices to recognize, they are an excellent illustration of the problems connected with producing a basic analysis of a ruby's cut.

Although there are some differences regarding the specific proportions that comprise the excellent ruby cut, for prospective ruby purchasers, one of the most vital point to understand is that ruby accreditations provided by organizations like the AGS as well as GIA are trustworthy as well as significant. Trusted ruby suppliers base the prices at which they deal rubies on the cut as well as the remainder of the "4 Cs." When you buy a ruby, you do not need to stress over the understanding of exactly what makes an excellent diamond cut altering a lot that the value of your ruby will certainly be considerably influenced.

Which diamond cut quality represents the best worth?

Which kind of diamond is best for you greatly relies on your budget plan. For customers that are eager to purchase them, suppliers normally recommend diamonds with the highest feasible cut qualities. Nevertheless, this may result from some self-involvement on their part.

The other three Cs have an impact on diamond rates also, so it could be tough to assess the precise distinction in cost between an Ideal or Excellent cut diamond and a Very Great cut. For casual purchasers as well as budget-conscious capitalists alike, diamonds with an Excellent or Great cut grade could represent an exceptional worth. This is because, while they can be extra budget friendly compared to or else equal Perfect or Excellent cut diamonds, the visible distinction in top quality is minimal.

At the exact same time, don't hesitate to use your discretion. If, as an example, you discover a diamond with a Suitable reduced score which has good scores in the various other groups as well as is still within your budget plan, after that you must certainly consider it, as long as you're dealing with a trusted supplier.

1 ct tw earrings

What You Should Know When Purchasing a Ruby Ring

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.

___________________________________________

Vintage Wedding Rings in Washington