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.

bezel set diamond earrings

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

To start our attribute on various kinds of gems, we will start with the finest and most well recognized gemstone of them all the ruby. The ruby is the best gems. It has few weak points as well as several toughness. It glows with its amazing worth as well as nostalgic value. It is used in wedding celebration rings to stand for endless love or utilized as gifts/jewelry to be offered to enjoyed ones. But the ruby is so a lot more than its infinite beauty.

The diamond obtains its name from the Greek work adamas indicating unbeatable. In hardness, there is no contrast. The ruby rates in the Mohs range a 10 which is the hardest substance in the world. Its reducing resistance is 140 times that of the ruby as well as sapphire, the gems(Diamond) that are following in the Mohs range in firmness. The ruby's optical residential or commercial properties such as luster and also inflexibility make it special and quickly identified from various other replicas. Delight in!

* History of Diamonds

The initial videotaped ruby go back around 800 B.C. in India. Some believe it even went back 6,000 years ago. The diamonds were used as ornamental functions as well as as talismans to ward off bad as well as give protection in battle. During the Dark Ages, rubies were also mentioned to be made use of as a clinical aid. Spiritual medical professionals also told individuals that if they hold a ruby in a hand as well as make the indicator of the cross would certainly, it would heal and also ailment and also recover wounds.

Rubies became more preferred throughout the 19th century as a result of discovery of ruby deposits in South Africa. This exploration brings about increased supply, improved cutting and polishing strategies, and development in economy. In 1979, rock hounds found the Argyle pipeline in Australia which to this day is the wealthiest diamond down payment worldwide. Argyle, considering that after that, alone is accountable for providing over one third of the world's diamonds each year.

* Diamonds: How are they developed?

Diamonds includes an allotrope of carbons that are developed in high-pressure, high-temperature conditions. Diamonds are produced 90 miles under the Planet's surface area at temperatures of about 2200 levels Fahrenheit. Diamonds are formed deep within the earth and also at some point, over incredibly extended periods of time, push their means to the earth's surface area, generally through volcanic eruptions.

The age of these diamonds from beneath the surface area of the earth are from 1 to 3.3 billion years of ages! When rubies are created and also begin their ascent to the earth's surface, they experience channels where the lava from the volcano increases to the surface, getting diamonds along the road and ultimately transferring them externally, where they are eventually located as well as extracted.

* The 4 C's of Diamonds

There are four distinct characteristics that establish the worth and also quality of a ruby. These are the shade, cut, clearness and also carat. Otherwise called the 4 C's of a diamond. In the following, we will certainly discuss these features carefully.

* Color

In the last e-newsletter, we touch based on the color of gemstones as being one of the most important attribute as a result of the fact that color is one of the most obvious feature. The best ruby needs to appear clear and also colorless but this is not the instance for all rubies. Diamonds can can be found in any type of color of the rainbow most typical color is a color of yellow or brown. The Geological Institute of America(GIA) have designed a standard to quality diamond shade. This standard includes a lettering system that ranges from the alphabet D - Z. Please see listed below:

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

* Quality

The cut a diamond is established by the ruby's proportion such as its shape, size as well as deepness. The cut determines what is called the ruby's "luster". Also if the diamond itself has ideal color and also clarity, with a bad cut the diamond will certainly have a boring radiance. This is because the cut establishes just how light trips within the diamond. The Gemological Institute of America has likewise created a clarity grading system to rank diamond quality. This grading system includes Remarkable (Fl), Internally Remarkable (IF), Very Extremely Somewhat Included (VV1 or VV2), Very Slightly Included(VS1 or VS2), A Little Included(SI1 or SI2), and also Consisted Of(I1, I2, as well as I3). Although this system had been added to the ruby market, it is not extensively utilized. This results from that it took a great deal of technique and also training to integrate it.

* Cut

The cut a diamond is established by the ruby's proportion such as its shape, size as well as deepness. The cut establishes exactly what is called the ruby's "radiance". Even if the diamond itself has best color and clearness, with an inadequate cut the ruby will certainly have a plain sparkle. This is because the cut establishes just how light travels within the diamond.

There are 3 kinds of cuts that can identify the ruby's luster. These are a superficial cut, a cut that is unfathomable and also ideal cut. A superficial cut is a cut of a ruby that is too low, that light taking a trip via it is shed under of the stone as well as does not come back into sight. This cut makes a ruby appear lifeless as well as plain. A cut that is as well deep is a cut that is too expensive, that light traveling via it runs away via the sides and also darkens the stone. A suitable cut is an ideal cut on a ruby that shows light to the top of the rock, providing it perfect luster.

* Carat

As mentioned on the last newsletter, a single carat weight(ct) weighs regarding 200 milligrams or.2 grams. For smaller carat rubies that weigh less compared to a carat weight, it is expressed as points (pt). Factors are 1/100 of a carat weight. Carat weight of a diamond is essential as a result of the fact that bigger rubies are rarer compared to smaller sized ones, so basically the larger the diamond the more pricey it is. There is no common grading system or representation that can show various carat weight. This is since there are a lot of variants of diamonds in form and also cut, that makes stones of similar weight, look different.

* Replica Diamonds

Considering that diamonds are one of the most important and also rarest of all the gemstones, initiatives have actually been made to replicate or even enhance rubies utilizing less costly choices. A whole lot of times, sincere mistakes have been made as well as these options or various other gemstones such as spinel were sometimes perplexed with real diamonds. Sometimes, some unethical individuals attempt to offer these choices to misfortunate customers in order to earnings. Below we will discuss regarding these options and also methods to recognize them.

* Synthetic Diamonds

Artificial rubies are rubies that are expanded made in a lab. The first known cases of diamond synthesis were declared to be recorded in between 1879 - 1928, however this was never confirmed. It wasn't up until the 1940's where study started in the USA, Sweden, Soviet Union began researching. Synthetic diamonds are or else known as High Stress High Temperature Level (HPHT) diamonds or Chemical Vapor Deposit (CVD) rubies. The name of both these synthetic diamonds stems from the procedures utilized to produce them. Some of these synthetic diamonds could either have higher, lesser or comparable qualities compared to that of a diamond. Consequently, these artificial diamonds are used for abrasives, reducing and also polishing tools, as well as switches in power plant.

* Simulants

Simulants are non-diamond materials that are used to replicate the appearance or even the shape of a ruby. The most fundamental and also popular simulant is cubic zirconia (CZ). CZ at plain view could shimmer greater than a ruby and it is less dense, meaning that a 1 carat weight CZ will be a lot bigger than a 1 carat diamond. Nowadays, a much more popular simulant is moissanite, which has all the same features of a diamond. These features consist of solidity (Moissanite-9.25 and also diamond-10 in Mohs scale), refractive index(Moissanite -2.65 as well as diamond -2.42) as well as dispersion (Moissanite -.104 as well as ruby -.044). This makes it tough to set apart both at plain view as well as would frequently call for testers to tell the difference. In the following section we will certainly go over ways to identify moissanites as well as various other replicas.

* Genuine or Fake?

An old technique of identifying rubies is to do a scratch examination. This requires damaging a ruby with one more ruby which is devastating as well as is seldom made use of nowadays. The ideal as well as most dependable way to evaluate for rubies is to use testers that make use of thermal conductivity. These testers contain battery powered thermistors installed with a retractable copper suggestion. This tester works by injecting the warm onto the evaluated rock and afterwards the tool gauges the amount of heat that it conducts. Nevertheless thermal conductivity testers works best to identify diamonds as well as its various other simulants, it will certainly not aid differentiate lab created or artificial rocks. To be able to identify these, specific optical techniques are required. Laboratories make use of methods such as spectroscopy, microscopy as well as luminescence in order to determine a specific rocks origin. The ordinary person can use loupes and microscopes to distinguish synthetic stones. All-natural rubies generally have minor blemishes and also defects such as inclusions or some type of international material, which will certainly not be discovered in synthetics.

diamond ring price

Exactly how Do You Know If The Diamond Is Fake Or Real Ruby?

Gold Bar

Diamonds are normally readily available in an extremely large range of colors. Most individuals find out about colorless diamonds and also GIA's color grading system that is utilized to classify a ruby's body shade ... you recognize D, E, F, etc. This shade grading system is only utilized to categorize the most common ruby body shade of yellow nevertheless anytime a diamond is located in another color like pink, blue, eco-friendly, etc.; after that this ruby is referred to as a "" expensive ruby"".

Natural Fancy diamonds can be extremely costly and also often times extra costly compared to a comparable size anemic ruby. A really good instance of a Fancy diamond is the well known 45.52 carat elegant deep blue diamond, the Hope Ruby, which is on screen in the Smithsonian Nature Gallery in Washington, DC.

A shade improved ruby is a 100% all-natural ruby that has actually had its color changed. And ideal of all, shade improved rubies come in an extremely large option of shades at very cost effective rates!

A little bit of background- For numerous, years it has been popular that a ruby's color might be "" boosted"" by putting a little tinted compound on the surface area of a ruby and also similar to magic ... a diamond that had a visible yellow-colored color would alter to a more attractive near anemic ruby. Unfortunately, this sort of shade boosted ruby could transform back to its initial body shade if this tinted substance was inadvertently gotten rid of. In more current years, the modern technology of color boosted rubies has actually gone incredibly high technology. It is now possible to completely alter the color of a ruby! These procedures are thought about long-term since it does remain secure when revealed to everyday regular problems. The color will not discolor if subjected to sunlight or be cleaned off by harsh chemicals.

Just how is it done? The wanted end result of any of these treatments is to have an extra marketable ruby. A less marketable ruby would certainly be a diamond that has a reduced body color or often a reduced clarity. The shade boosted ruby treatment companies understand if they begin with a particular sort of ruby as well as process it for a certain quantity of time that they need to wind up with a particular shade yet it does not constantly work that method. This is a scientific research that does need some art in their processes ... the only process that offers consistent outcomes is the finish procedure.

The three procedures are as follows- Process # 1- HPHT Color Improved Diamonds- High Stress/ Heat (HPHT) treatment could enhance the shade of certain kinds of brown diamonds as well as therefore boost their worth. General Electric has established a procedure that pretty a lot is a mechanical simulation of a ruby's development in nature. The shade improved ruby will be warmed up to an extremely high temperature level under a really high, stabilized pressure. Faults in the crystal framework are after that repositioned resulting in an alteration of the ruby's shade. Due to the fact that the conditions of HPHT are really just like diamond's original development, only a well outfitted lab will have the ability to favorably identify this kind of color enhanced ruby. HPHT was first used to transform yellowish rubies into even more marketable fancy tinted enhanced diamonds, now it is likewise used to transform some out of favor brownish diamonds into even more preferable colorless tinted improved rubies.

Process # 2- Irradiated Shade Boosted Diamonds- OK ... do not start obtaining all delighted due to the fact that you saw words irradiated! This is a 100% safe procedure that is extremely just like what is utilized to preserve food by revealing it to a stream of Gamma rays. The shade enhanced diamond process is done in several different means but the outcomes are just the same. You start with a low color (P, Q, R, etc.) 100% natural diamond that has actually currently been cut as well as brightened, after that it is revealed to a stream of rapid electrons. Throughout this part of the procedure the diamond will rely on a really dark shade because several of the atoms in the ruby's crystal structure have now been dislocated and this consequently has impacted the way light passes via the diamond. Next the diamond undergoes a controlled heating (annealing) procedure, this permits several of those atoms to transfer (partially repaired) in order to get a preferred color.

Process # 3- Coated Color Improved Diamonds- The coating on polished rubies describes a slim fabricated layer that alters the color of the ruby. The coating could either be of the desired color or could cause a tinted interference-effect. Sadly in some cases this process is done to trick a customer. It is a fairly very easy process to carry out, it has actually been around for years (although the coatings materials are far better now), as well as it does not require a great deal of expensive advanced equipment. Just recently, I've seen some pink layered diamonds on the market, they are extremely attractive ... as well as of training course you would have to purchase them recognizing that they have actually been coated as well as follow your jeweler's standards concerning owning and also taking care of these color boosted diamonds. The finish could be related to the entire of a diamond's surface area, simply all-time low of the diamond, or to a narrow zone near the band. A well-applied coating could alter the color by several color grade. Some coverings can be eliminated with boiling in acid, strong cleansing services, or perhaps home chemicals. Often dots or larger areas of purple or blue ink are painted on the ruby to assist counteract a yellowish color. The ruby's setup will generally cover the dots, so they are difficult to see in an installed rock.

So, is a shade enhanced ruby right for you? Maybe ... natural elegant shade diamonds can be beautiful yet they are costly! Color improved rubies are inexpensive and enable lots of people to possess a brilliantly colored diamond. Ask your neighborhood jeweler if they have any Fancy rubies ... either natural or color boosted rubies. It is constantly interesting, and enjoyable, to look at something various!

Under normal wear the irradiated and also HPHT color boosted diamonds will have not a problem of the shade fading away. The only consideration will certainly be when you require to have any type of sort of service done on the item of fashion jewelry. If this sort of color improved ruby is revealed to extreme amounts of warmth it might affect the color. The jewelry expert will certainly should understand that the diamond is a shade boosted diamond prior to any kind of work is done then the jewelry expert will have the ability to select the most effective strategy. Shade enhanced rubies are currently likewise made use of as the small accent diamonds around a bigger colorless ruby. There are many amazing items of jewelry offered with small blue, yellow, black, or environment-friendly shade improved rubies.

Now that you understand about color boosted diamonds and also someone attempts to market you on exactly what they call a natural fancy colored diamond however it goes to an extremely bargain cost ... you will certainly know that something just does not sound ideal concerning the deal. A report from a highly regarded grading lab ought to go along with 100% natural Fancy colored diamonds that are marketed as natural. If you deal with a respectable business and you have actually been guaranteed concerning exactly what you are getting, after that you will decrease the opportunity of something negative happening to you. Similar to any circumstance including a costly purchase of something that few people are experienceded in, education and learning should be a vital part of your plan. This is also more vital if you prepare to acquire a color boosted ruby. Bud Boland has been in the jewelry company for 40 years as well as has actually done every little thing from watchmaking, ruby setting, fashion jewelry production, and has been a Gemologist for virtually 35 years. He is a Graduate Jeweler from GIA (Gemological Institute of America), which is also the location where he was an Instructor. He has actually instructed about diamonds to thousands of trainees from all over the world

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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.

unique wedding bands

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

Exactly how are diamond cut grades assigned?

This is where points begin to obtain complicated. The techniques made use of to quantitatively analyze the high quality of a cut vary. The way the GIA determines exactly what a diamond's cut quality ought to be, for instance, differs in very certain methods from the means other certifiers like the AGS do it. In many cases, these organizations do not reveal the precise details of the processes they make use of.

The form of a diamond additionally makes a difference relative to how its cut grade is determined. Although there are some fundamental criteria that remain the same for any type of kind of diamond, the exact approaches used to quality a round diamond's cut are different from those made use of to quality a heart-shaped diamond's cut.

The remainder of this description will concentrate on round rubies, as this is by much one of the most common ruby form. Among the elements influencing the cut grade of a round ruby is the variety of aspects it has. Facets are the level, defined areas on the surface of a diamond. The elements on round rubies are normally triangular. Presently, it's believed that the perfect round diamond need to have 33 facets on the crown (the area of the diamond that sits above the band, which itself is the best point of the diamond) and 25 on the pavilion (the reduced, longer section of the ruby). When there are blemishes externally of the diamond, cutters may include added elements in order to obscure them. This results in a destruction in the general quality of the cut.

While the aspect matter is normally decideded upon as a great way of evaluating the quality of a diamond cut, there are other factors on which gemologists frequently disagree. Some of the various other elements utilized by some authorities to assist determine cut qualities include the elevation of the ruby's crown, the depth of the structure, the size of the table (the top of the crown), as well as the angles of the crown and pavilion.

The American Criterion criteria for round diamonds requires a crown elevation of 16.2%, pavilion deepness of 43.1%, as well as table diameter of 53% of the complete girdle diameter. The Perfect Great benchmark, nevertheless, asks for 19.2% crown elevation, 40% pavilion depth, as well as 56.5% table diameter. While these differences may be challenging for novices to determine, they are a great image of the problems related to producing a basic analysis of a ruby's cut.

Although there are some disagreements regarding the exact percentages that comprise the perfect ruby cut, for potential ruby customers, one of the most essential point to comprehend is that ruby accreditations supplied by organizations like the AGS and GIA are credible and significant. Respectable diamond suppliers base the prices at which they acquire and also sell diamonds on the cut in addition to the rest of the "4 Cs." When you buy a ruby, you don't have to fret about the perception of what makes a good diamond cut altering so much that the worth of your ruby will be substantially affected.

Which diamond reduced quality represents the finest value?

Which type of diamond is best for you largely depends on your budget. For purchasers that are willing to purchase them, vendors typically advise rubies with the highest possible cut qualities. Nevertheless, this might be due to some self-involvement on their part.

The various other three Cs have an influence on ruby rates too, so it could be tough to evaluate the precise difference in rate in between an Ideal or Superb cut diamond and an Excellent cut. For casual customers and also budget-conscious investors alike, rubies with a Very Good or Good cut quality could represent an excellent value. This is because, while they could be extra budget friendly compared to otherwise equivalent Ideal or Superb cut rubies, the visible distinction in high quality is marginal.

At the very same time, do not hesitate to utilize your discretion. If, for example, you stumble upon a diamond with a Suitable cut ranking which has great rankings in the other categories as well as is still within your spending plan, then you need to certainly consider it, as long as you're dealing with a trustworthy supplier.

10 ct ring

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

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