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.

white gold diamond chain

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

Buying a diamond engagement ring is rather a worthy acquisition every man should be fortunate adequate to earn. Some who do not really understand excessive regarding jewelry and also rubies may really feel as if they ought to just most likely to a store and also choose a ring which looks attractive to them. Although this might suffice, there are better means to choosing the ideal possible kind of ruby engagement ring for your liked one. The complying with will note the top 10 secrets to getting a ruby engagement ring.

Search

Perhaps one of the most effective keys to keep in mind if you bear in mind absolutely nothing else from this listing is to search. Getting a ring of this kind on a whim will certainly most likely not lead you to the very best deal or the most effective ruby. As a result, take your time when buying an interaction ring, store around as well as see exactly what is out there to be acquired.

You Could Locate a Stunning Diamond Engagement Ring on Sale

You must likewise know that you are able to locate a splendid ruby involvement ring with a positive price affixed to it. This is not to claim that you must restrict your choices just to sale things but always do not hesitate to peruse the sale counter when looking for an engagement ring to offer to your future fiancée. Do see to it that it is a legit sale and not one that runs all the time.

Dimension of the Diamond Truly Doesn't Issue

Another trick when it comes to buying an interaction ruby ring is that the carat weight dimension of the ruby is not actually exactly what matters when all is claimed and done. Although some may believe that a larger diamond equates to a far better diamond this is usually not the case as cut, color as well as quality all need to be thought about in addition to the carat weight of the stone.

Purchasing Online Is a Choice

With today's modern technology, you can purchase virtually anything online and the same holds true for ruby interaction rings. For those who like the concept of an on the internet acquisition, there are lots of web sites which offer ruby rings offer for sale and might offer fairly a great bargain too. Simply be certain to get documentation mentioning the true quality of the ring. The online company must have an One Month money back guaranty with no inquiries asked.

Buying the Ring with Wedding Event Bands Can Save Cash

You could additionally find that if you remain in the market for not just an involvement ring but wedding event bands too, purchasing every one of these products with each other could save you cash. Specific ring developers will generate involvement rings with matching wedding celebration bands which you can purchase as a collection.

White Gold Appears Like Platinum However Is More Economical

If your enjoyed one likes silver-tone jewelry but you are not able to afford a platinum diamond involvement ring, think about buying one constructed from white gold. White gold is a great option as it looks like platinum but is much more economical.

Precious Jewelry Merchants Typically Have One or 2 Sales Throughout The Year

An additional key to purchasing a diamond engagement ring is that many jewelry retailers offer sales throughout the year. Some are vacation sales whereas others are a way for the precious jewelry store to obtain rid of the old inventory making area for brand-new products coming right into the shop.

Buying the Ruby and also Setting Separately Can Conserve Money

You may likewise find that purchasing the diamond and also establishing separate from one an additional can save you some loan. It likewise enables you to pick exactly the kind of ring that you desire as well as be able to see it prior to the rock is established.

Getting a Little Carat Weight Dimension with Baguettes Is Sometimes a Better Deal

If you are looking for a ruby engagement ring with a lot of glimmer but you are not able to manage a large carat weight diamond, think about buying a smaller sized diamond however add baguettes to the ring. This will add shimmer and also sparkle and also not set you back as high as a larger diamond might cost.

Consider Small Fashion Jewelry Stores Which Deal Personalized Solution

For those that are looking for a precious jewelry store which will provide personalized service, you may desire to purchase the diamond interaction ring for your enjoyed one at a small fashion jewelry shop. These jewelry boutiques are commonly run by the specific proprietor who will do whatever possible making your interaction ring shopping journey spectacular.

marriage rings

Clarity Enhanced Diamonds - Some Things You Had To Know!

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.

3 stone sapphire ring

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

To begin our feature on various kinds of gems, we will certainly start with the most effective and also most well understood gemstone of them all the diamond. The diamond is the utmost gems. It has extremely couple of weaknesses and numerous toughness. It shines with its extraordinary worth and sentimental value. It is made use of in wedding event rings to stand for unlimited love or made use of as gifts/jewelry to be offered to loved ones. But the ruby is so much greater than its eternal elegance.

The diamond acquires its name from the Greek work adamas meaning unsurpassable. In firmness, there is no contrast. The ruby rates in the Mohs scale a 10 which is the hardest compound on Planet. Its cutting resistance is 140 times that of the ruby and also sapphire, the gems(Corundum) that are next in the Mohs scale in solidity. The ruby's optical buildings such as appeal as well as inflexibility make it unique and easily distinguished from various other replicas. Appreciate!

* Background of Diamonds

The very first taped ruby go back around 800 B.C. in India. Some believe it also dated back 6,000 years earlier. The rubies were made use of as decorative objectives as well as as talismans to prevent bad and supply defense in fight. During the Dark Ages, diamonds were even specified to be utilized as a medical help. Religious doctors also informed individuals that if they hold a ruby in a hand and make the indication of the cross would certainly, it would certainly heal as well as health problem as well as recover injuries.

Diamonds came to be a lot more preferred during the 19th century as a result of exploration of diamond deposits in South Africa. This exploration causes enhanced supply, enhanced reducing and brightening methods, as well as development in economy. In 1979, rock hounds found the Argyle pipe in Australia which to this day is the wealthiest diamond down payment worldwide. Argyle, ever since, alone is in charge of supplying over one third of the world's diamonds every year.

* Diamonds: How are they formed?

Rubies contains an allotrope of carbons that are created in high-pressure, high-temperature problems. Rubies are produced 90 miles under the Earth's surface at temperature levels of regarding 2200 levels Fahrenheit. Diamonds are created deep within the planet and ultimately, over extremely extended periods of time, push their means to the earth's surface area, normally with volcanic eruptions.

The age of these diamonds from underneath the surface area of the planet are from 1 to 3.3 billion years old! When rubies are created as well as start their ascent to the earth's surface area, they undergo channels where the lava from the volcano increases to the surface area, getting rubies in the process and ultimately depositing them externally, where they are at some point found as well as extracted.

* The 4 C's of Diamonds

There are four distinct qualities that establish the worth and also top quality of a ruby. These are the shade, cut, clarity and also carat weight. Or else called the 4 C's of a ruby. In the adhering to, we will certainly talk about these attributes carefully.

* Color

In the last e-newsletter, we touch based on the color of gems as being the most important attribute due to that shade is one of the most obvious feature. The best diamond ought to appear clear and also colorless yet this is not the situation for all rubies. Rubies can be available in any kind of shade of the rainbow most typical shade is a shade of yellow or brownish. The Geological Institute of America(GIA) have actually designed a standard to grade diamond color. 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 Almost Colorless K L M Faintly colored, cannot barely be seen and also usually yellow in shade N O P Q R Lightly tinted, normally yellow. Could be seen with the nude eye S T U V W X Y Z Tinted, begins with yellow and progresses to brown

* Clearness

The cut a diamond is determined by the ruby's proportion such as its shape, width and depth. The cut identifies just what is called the ruby's "sparkle". Even if the ruby itself has ideal shade and also clarity, with a poor cut the ruby will certainly have a plain radiance. This is due to the fact that the cut figures out how light travels within the ruby. The Gemological Institute of America has actually also designed a clearness grading system to rate ruby quality. This grading system consists of Perfect (Fl), Internally Perfect (IF), Very Extremely A Little Consisted Of (VV1 or VV2), Extremely Slightly Included(VS1 or VS2), Somewhat Consisted Of(SI1 or SI2), and also Consisted Of(I1, I2, as well as I3). Although this system had been added to the diamond market, it is not extensively utilized. This is due to that it took a lot of method and training to incorporate it.

* Cut

The cut a ruby is determined by the ruby's percentage such as its form, width and depth. The cut establishes exactly what is called the ruby's "luster". Also if the diamond itself has best shade as well as clearness, with a poor cut the ruby will have a dull sparkle. This is due to the fact that the cut figures out exactly how light travels within the diamond.

There are 3 kinds of cuts that can determine the ruby's brilliance. These are a superficial cut, a cut that is unfathomable and ideal cut. A shallow cut is a cut of a diamond that is also low, that light traveling via it is lost on the bottom of the rock as well as does not return into view. This cut makes a diamond appear drab and also plain. A cut that is unfathomable is a cut that is as well high, that light traveling through it gets away with the sides and darkens the rock. A suitable cut is a best cut on a diamond that reflects light to the top of the rock, providing it perfect brilliance.

* Carat weight

As specified on the last e-newsletter, a solitary carat weight(ct) weighs about 200 milligrams or.2 grams. For smaller carat rubies that consider less than a carat, it is expressed as factors (pt). Factors are 1/100 of a carat. Carat weight of a diamond is essential because of the fact that bigger rubies are rarer compared to smaller ones, so generally the larger the ruby the a lot more expensive it is. There is no common grading system or representation that could reveal different carat weight. This is because there are so several variants of rubies fit as well as cut, that makes rocks of comparable weight, look different.

* Replica Diamonds

Since rubies are one of the most valuable and rarest of all the gems, initiatives have actually been made to duplicate or even improve rubies utilizing less costly options. A great deal of times, straightforward mistakes have been made and also these alternatives or other gemstones such as spinel were in some cases perplexed with real diamonds. In many cases, some unethical individuals attempt to offer these choices to misfortunate purchasers in order to profit. Listed below we will go over about these options as well as methods to identify them.

* Artificial Diamonds

Synthetic rubies are rubies that are grown made in a research laboratory. The initial recognized situations of diamond synthesis were declared to be recorded in between 1879 - 1928, yet this was never ever confirmed. It wasn't till the 1940's where research started in the United States, Sweden, Soviet Union started researching. Synthetic diamonds are otherwise called High Stress Heat (HPHT) diamonds or Chemical Vapor Down Payment (CVD) rubies. The name of both these artificial diamonds stems from the processes utilized to develop them. A few of these artificial diamonds could either have greater, lower or similar features than that of a ruby. As a result, these artificial rubies are utilized for abrasives, cutting and polishing tools, and also changes in power plant.

* Simulants

Simulants are non-diamond substances that are used to replicate the look as well as the form of a ruby. The most basic as well as popular simulant is cubic zirconia (CZ). CZ at plain view can sparkle greater than a diamond and likewise it is much less dense, suggesting that a 1 carat CZ will be a lot bigger than a 1 carat diamond. Nowadays, a more popular simulant is moissanite, which has all the very same characteristics of a ruby. These characteristics include hardness (Moissanite-9.25 and diamond-10 in Mohs scale), refractive index(Moissanite -2.65 and also ruby -2.42) and dispersion (Moissanite -.104 as well as ruby -.044). This makes it hard to distinguish both at plain view as well as would certainly often need testers to tell the distinction. In the next area we will certainly discuss how you can determine moissanites and also other replicas.

* Actual or Fake?

An old technique of determining diamonds is to do a scratch test. This calls for scraping a ruby with another diamond which is damaging and is seldom utilized nowadays. The best and most trusted means to evaluate for diamonds is to make use of testers that make use of thermal conductivity. These testers include battery powered thermistors installed with a retractable copper pointer. This tester functions by infusing the warmth into the checked stone then the gadget gauges the quantity of heat that it performs. Nonetheless thermal conductivity testers works best to distinguish rubies as well as its various other simulants, it will certainly not assist distinguish lab developed or artificial stones. To be able to identify these, certain optical strategies are needed. Laboratories make use of techniques such as spectroscopy, microscopy and also luminescence in order to figure out a particular stones origin. The typical individual can make use of loupes and also microscopic lens to distinguish synthetic rocks. All-natural diamonds generally have small imperfections and also defects such as incorporations or some type of international product, which will certainly not be located in synthetics.

wedding bands

Quality Enhanced Diamonds - Some Points You Need to Know!

Clearlake

In an ideal world with unlimited budgets and an infinite supply of diamonds, everyone would have beautifully cut "D Flawless" diamonds. In the real world every diamond is unique. There are plenty of gorgeous diamonds to go around - you just need to know how to find one. Choosing a diamond is about balancing several factors to make the most of your budget. Each factor contributes to the beauty and prestige of your diamond. I will explain these factors so you will be prepared to make an informed decision about your diamond purchase.

FACTOR 1: CARAT WEIGHT

People often use the word Carat when discussing how big a diamond is, however "Carat" actually refers to the weight of a diamond. There is no rule as to what carat weight you should buy, but you'll doubtless have heard that "bigger is better." If you ask me, I think bigger is great but you shouldn't forget about the other aspects of a diamond's quality.

A useful tip: if you're looking at Certified Diamonds, you may find it valuable to compare the diameters of different diamonds. Since every diamond is individually cut, some may appear larger than others of the same weight.

FACTOR 2: SHAPE

Approximately 75% of diamonds sold worldwide are Round Brilliants. Rounds diamonds are the most popular, most brilliant, and most expensive. If you are purchasing a diamond as a surprise, Round Brilliant is generally your safest bet.

There is no real hierarchy of shapes being better or worse - it is truly a matter of personal preference. Princess Cuts are the second most popular, and a classic alternative to round diamonds. Cushion Cuts are trendy and have a beautiful vintage look. If you want something different but not too crazy, try an Oval Cut, Asscher Cut, or Radiant Cut diamond.

While no shape is better, there are some significant differences between shapes. Take for example, the radiant cut vs the emerald cut. Though they are a similar shape, the extra facets of the radiant cut give it additional fire and sparkle. If you prefer the emerald cut's understated elegance, consider that it's easier to spot any imperfections and select a higher clarity grade.

Another tip: Diamonds (even round diamonds) may not be perfectly symmetrical. It's nothing to worry about if your diamond's width does not precisely match its height, but if your diamond is much longer than it is wide it may not be what you're expecting. This is especially the case in shapes like Cushion and Oval, where a more asymmetrical diamond might look "skinny", with much of the fire and brilliance concentrated at the ends.

FACTOR 3: CUT

"Cut" refers to a diamond's finish and proportions, and is critical in determining its beauty. Getting the angles right ensures a beautiful diamond that's full of life. In many cases it can be more difficult to spot flaws in a fiery, brilliant diamond. Cut is generally graded in five categories: Poor, Fair, Good, Very Good, and Excellent. Excellent is the highest graded awarded by GIA (whereas other labs may use terms like "ideal" or numbers like "0"). If you want to play safe, stick to "Very Good" and "Excellent" cuts when you choose your diamond.

FACTOR 4: CLARITY

Almost all diamonds have naturally¬ occurring features called "inclusions." Inclusions form as the diamond crystallizes deep underground, and they are unique to each diamond. They take many different forms, and can help you identify a diamond as your own. However, large and prominent inclusions can detract from the beauty of a diamond.

There are many different types of inclusions, and not all are created equal. If your diamond certificate has an "inclusion map," check where the inclusions are. Try to find a diamond with inclusions near the edge where they will be masked by sparkle or hidden by the setting of your diamond. If your budget is limited, I recommend buying "SI" clarity or better. "SI" stands for "Slightly Included." With close inspection you can usually spot the inclusions in an SI¬ graded diamond, but these inclusions will most likely not be visible once your diamond is set in jewellery. If you want to be sure your diamond will look "eye clean", even up close, I recommend selecting a VS2 clarity diamond or better. "VS" stands for "Very Slight Inclusion," and imperfections in VS clarity stones are rarely seen by the naked eye.

FACTOR 5: COLOUR

The term "colour" usually refers to how much warm tint is in a diamond. The scale ranges from D (colorless) to Z (very strongly tinted yellow or brown). Pure white diamonds are considered more desirable, and are more expensive. Warmer¬-hued diamonds (such as K, L, and M) are not necessarily less attractive, but they are significantly less valuable.

Conventional wisdom is to select J colour or better. Personally, I love G and H colour diamonds ¬- they hit the "sweet spot" where most people will not notice colour in the diamond unless they're doing a direct comparison. However, an I or J colour diamond that is well cut and has a lot of life can give you a beautiful diamond at a bargain price.

Depending on how they are cut, different diamonds will display colour differently. This is why colour grades are assigned by looking at a diamond upside¬down. Generally, more¬ brilliant diamonds show their colour less than less brilliant diamonds.

FACTOR 6: FLUORESCENCE

Fluorescence has a bad rep, and most of it is unfair. Diamond Fluorescence refers to how a diamond responds when subjected to ultra¬violet light. Fluorescent diamonds can glow any one of several colours, but the most common is blue. In rare cases fluorescence can cause your diamond to have a milky appearance when viewed in direct daylight. This is most often the case with strong or very strong fluorescence and D/E/F colour diamonds.

However, there are many, many more cases where blue fluorescence is a positive thing. Imagine you were shining a blue light on a yellow diamond... the blue tint can make your diamond look whiter. If your diamond falls in the "near colourless," "lightly tinted," or "tinted" range I recommend looking for medium blue or faint blue fluorescence.

Warning: Green, red, and yellow fluorescence are rare, and they will not have the same benefit. If you are interested in a diamond that has strong blue, very strong blue, green, red, or yellow fluorescence, I recommend asking your salesperson to show you your diamond outside in natural daylight. If you're buying online, contact the seller prior to making your purchase so they can examine the diamond first in natural daylight.

FACTOR 7: GRADER

This should always be your first question: Says who? Every diamond grading laboratory has different standards, so comparing diamonds graded by different sources is extremely unreliable. One grader might grade a diamond K SI2, and another might call that same diamond F VS2. I know that sounds crazy, but I see it happen all the time.

The most reputable and consistent grading laboratories are GIA, AGS, IGI, and HRD. GIA is considered the global standard worldwide. AGS is a popular alternative in the U.S.A. while IGI and HRD are more common in Europe.

EGL is tricky because there are EGL labs all over the world, and some of them do a great job while others can be less reliable. We strongly recommend caution when buying an EGL certified diamond unless it's from EGL-¬USA.

Many diamonds are assigned grades by valuation companies and in-¬house graders. If your diamond does not come with a report from a major laboratory, you should always ask where the grader trained. He or she should be certified by a major grading laboratory: GIA, AGS, IGI, or HRD. Be smart and be cautious about reports done by uncertified shop owners, salespeople, or valuation companies.

SELECTING YOUR DIAMOND

You can choose to purchase your diamond online, or from a retail store. If you prefer to purchase your diamond in a retail store, avoid the big chains and shop with smaller independent jewellers. Many independent jewellers are actually significantly less expensive than their large competitors. (You don't have to take my word for it - shop around and you'll quickly learn that this is true). This way you'll buy a better quality diamond and - if you wish - you'll have the opportunity to design your own hand-made engagement ring setting.

If you choose to shop online, I would recommend comparing prices and service across several websites. Be sure that the company ships from your country - otherwise you'll be hit with expensive duty and GST. Always make sure you call or e-mail customer service and have them hand-inspect your diamond before you complete your purchase. Sometimes a diamond may seem like a great deal, but it could have an unfortunate inclusion, asymmetrical cut, or be negatively impacted by fluoresence. And above all, make sure you have an easy and affordable way to return the diamond if it doesn't turn out as you'd hoped. Online shopping is the best way to get a great deal on a diamond for your engagement ring, diamond studs, or pendant - just review this article, be reasonably cautious, and have fun.

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Vintage Wedding Rings in Washington