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.

pear diamond solitaire

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

Not all sellers give diamond grading laboratory records (also known as ruby top quality records) to their consumers. So my general suggestions to you is to maintain your loan in your pocket when taking care of such jewelers.

Just buy a ruby involvement ring if it features the original diamond high quality report.

A laboratory report is an independent evaluation of the 4Cs of a loose diamond as well as consists of an outlined representation of the stone's quality attributes and a visuals representation of the stone's percentages. Having such a record enables you to contrast diamonds of different high qualities as well as inevitably aids you make a more informed getting choice.

A retailer may reduce edges and also not provide a laboratory record or a deceitful vendor may supply a fake one due to the time, trouble and cost he'll birth to obtaining a rock rated.

Yeah - there is a price for rating a diamond (though that price is eventually paid by the customer), plus the shipping and also insurance coverage fees for sending out the ruby to the lab. And also let us not fail to remember the opportunity price of a jewelry expert not having the diamond in his shop offer for sale for a couple of weeks while the grading takes place.

Nonetheless, a diamond rating record may additionally not be available since the prices to getting one could affect as well heavily on the final price of the ring. As an example, a 0.3 ct diamond ring costing $250 state, could set you back around $75 to be graded as well as have the report number inscribed on the band on the diamond. As you look for that perfect diamond interaction ring for your sweetie, you'll find that there is an alphabet soup of labs claiming to offer trustworthy ruby rating reports. Yet I would only place my money on ...

The Premier Diamond Grading Laboratory News

Yes, all ruby high quality records are not produced equal. Within the sector, it is an agreement that both premier labs are GIA-GTL (Gemological Institute of The U.S.A.'s Gem Profession Laboratory) as well as the AGS (American Gem Culture Laboratories).

The GCAL (Gem Certification as well as Assurance Lab) also supplies highly regarded reports or "ruby certificates" as they are referred to by GCAL. The GIA has the strongest worldwide online reputation for independence and uniformity. Because of their continuous shade and also clarity strictness guidelines, the world's largest and also most pricey rubies have been sent there for grading decades. In 2006, GIA-GTL added a two-dimensional cut grading system for round fantastic rubies.

AGS uses the strictest cut standards in the sector. It makes use of a three-dimensional light efficiency metric that can quality numerous diamond shapes. Actually, it is the only cut grading system that is recognized by the clinical area.

Exactly what is more, its Ruby Quality Record utilizes a special and exclusive 0 to 10 grading system to assess the 4 Cs - a system which is easier to comprehend than GIA's grading system. In reality, AGS also goes the extra action by equating their 0-10 ranking range to other types of rating. For instance, the standard VS1 diamond clearness rating is a 3 on the AGS Ruby Top Quality Document.

Diamond Reporting - The Drawbacks

1. Diamond grading is not standardized or controlled as well as therefore you might discover rate 2 laboratories that utilize looser standards to the tier 1 grading laboratories pointed out above. If you acquire a diamond that has been rated by a tier 2 laboratory, you may finish up paying extra for a lesser quality ruby. So as an example, a diamond ranked a "F" in color at a rate 2 lab could get a G, H, or reduced shade ranking at a much more reliable laboratory. The market additionally discounts diamonds graded by minimal recognized laboratories by regarding 15-30% or more. So either you only get a ruby graded by a tier 1 laboratory or you accept that you could be purchasing a lower top quality ruby than just what is mentioned on the report if that diamond is rated by a minimal recognized lab.

2. Numerous large store have substantial contracts with minimal recognized laboratories with "softer" ruby grading guidelines. Some of these softer laboratories put "recommended substitute worths" on the laboratory reports - worths which are above exactly what stores means market the rubies for. So a salesman in a store might say to you, "Check out the terrific bargain you are obtaining here. We are offering you this diamond involvement ring for $2500 however the report says that the recommended replacement value is $4000." Wow - exactly what a deal - NOT! This is why it is better that you trust only independent rate 1 laboratories.

Also remember that reputable diamond rating reports are not appraisals as well as do not provide evaluation numbers. Diamond evaluations are frequently grossly filled with air and also are not something you'll want to rely upon.

3. Diamond records are filled with disclaimers that specify that absolutely nothing is "licensed" or guaranteed which the laboratories are not answerable for mistakes. In fact, the GIA offers a please note of types on their website pertaining to the use of the word "certify." The internet site claims:

"It is wrong to state that pupils, graduates, their services, or certain gems are "accredited" by GIA. The Gemological Institute of The U.S.A. does not license any individual or anything. Neither a student neither a grad that has actually been awarded a certificate or diploma, neither a treasure which has been graded or determined by GIA has been licensed by GIA".

So it is possible that you the consumer is left holding the bag ought to an error in a report is later on found. Courts have actually often ruled that sellers, not labs, are accountable for such mistakes. Why? Due to the fact that the labs indicated in advance that their reports couldn't be held accountable.

Luckily, there are a couple means to offer on your own a lot more buyer protection:

A. You could fly to India where jewelers offer a life time buyback policy to their customers. As well pricey to fly?

B. You could discover among the 20% of US jewelry experts that market fully adhered diamonds. These are diamonds that are marketed with lifetime damage, lifetime trade-in as well as lifetime buyback plans.

C. Not as excellent a solution as buying a completely bound diamond however you can get a diamond that has a real "certificate" and not a report. "Qualified diamonds do have warranties" albeit for much shorter periods.

Certification Some sellers describe a "ruby report" as a "certified diamond" however technically this is not deal with. From a legal point ofview, a ruby record is a merely an expert viewpoint though in reality, aspects of a diamond rating record are not just viewpoints.

For instance, a diamond's carat (weight) can be properly determined along with its cut grade by measuring its optical performance or by describing a computer system design. A certificate on the other hand is a declaration of truth - a document for which the issuer accepts lawful responsibility as well as will certainly make restitution to the consumer for errors.

Some leading ruby grading labs offer both reports and certifications. AGS provides Diamond Top quality Records (non-certified records) as well as Diamond Top quality Certificates. Diamond Quality Certifications are prepared solely for AGS retail jewelry experts as well as offers warranties from taking part American Treasure Society participant shops.

GCAL licenses it's diamond grading additionally. Its 100% money-back guarantee policy is valid for a duration of two years from the date on the relevant certification. This plan makes certain the precision of the cut, shade and quality grades and also the carat weight.

A record or certification need to will have a number on it that could or may not be engraved on a diamond. You will have the ability to enter that number on the web site of the accrediting lab to check a record's validity.

Elements Of A Diamond Grading Report Ruby rating records are constantly developing but specific element ought to continue to be the same. As an example, the:

The Report #. This number is given and taped in a laboratory's record as well as may or might not be inscribed on a diamond's girdle. You can get in the record number on a rating laboratory's internet site to inspect the authenticity of the diamond top quality report or to get even more details regarding the diamond. Forming & Aspect Style: This is the summary and also the reducing design made use of for the element setup. There are 3 fundamental aspect styles - "dazzling cut, action cut and mixed reducing style" and also 12 basic shapes which consist of notables such as rounded brilliant and princess cut" rubies.

Dimensions: This describes dimension (not weight) of a ruby. Size consists of dimensions such as length, width, weight as well as diameter. A measurement is normally detailed to the hundredth of a millimeter. Dimensions play a significant function in just how a diamond sparkles.

Carat weight Weight: The weight of a diamond is measured to the hundredth of a carat and some also supply such step to the thousandth of a carat weight (1.123 ct.). Carat is the most objective and also the simplest to understand of the 4Cs because all one has to do is weight the rock. Color Grade: This informs you the degree of color absence in the ruby. The much less shade the higher the quality.

Rubies are typically graded from D-Z; the closer to "D" the whiter the ruby. You should never ever see diamond color variety such as (G-H, I-J-K, and more) on a ruby record. You need to just see color ranges on assessments for rocks that are mounted.

Clearness Quality: Practically every ruby has internal blemishes called additions and outside blemishes called acnes. A diamond is rated according to the size, type, place and also quantity of these imperfections.

Quality grades vary from Perfect (FL) - Consisted Of. Labs use a pair professionals to grade the quality of a ruby in order to think of a more accurate reading.

Cut Quality: Extra recent ruby reports include a cut grade for common round fantastic rubies. Cut takes into account the luster, fire as well as scintillation of the ruby. Cut quality ranges from Outstanding - Poor.

Other elements you might stumble upon on a diamond report consist of the polish, proportion, fluorescence and percentage. Armed with this info, you are better able to earn an evaluation of the high quality of diamond that is installed in an involvement ring.

heart shaped wedding sets

Exactly How to Acquire Diamonds When Buying Wholesale.

Gold Bar

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

FACTOR 1: CARAT WEIGHT

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

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

FACTOR 2: SHAPE

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

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

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

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

FACTOR 3: CUT

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

FACTOR 4: CLARITY

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

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

FACTOR 5: COLOUR

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

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

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

FACTOR 6: FLUORESCENCE

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

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

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

FACTOR 7: GRADER

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

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

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

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

SELECTING YOUR DIAMOND

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

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

___________________________________________

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.

4 ct ring

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

Getting a diamond involvement ring is quite a deserving acquisition every male should be privileged adequate making. Some that do not actually understand excessive concerning fashion jewelry and rubies might really feel as if they should just most likely to a store as well as choose a ring which looks appealing to them. Although this might work, there are much better ways to picking the most effective feasible type of ruby engagement ring for your loved one. The adhering to will provide the leading 10 keys to purchasing a diamond engagement ring.

Search

Maybe among the most effective tricks to maintain in mind if you bear in mind absolutely nothing else from this listing is to go shopping about. Buying a ring of this kind on an impulse will certainly probably not lead you to the best deal or the best diamond. As a result, take your time when buying an interaction ring, search and also see just what is out there to be bought.

You Can Discover an Attractive Diamond Involvement Ring for sale

You ought to additionally understand the truth that you are able to discover a beautiful ruby interaction ring with a beneficial cost tag connected to it. This is not to say that you should restrict your options just to sale products however constantly don't hesitate to read the sale counter when looking for an interaction ring to offer to your future fiancée. Do see to it that it is a reputable sale as well as not one that runs all the time.

Size of the Ruby Really Doesn't Matter

One more key when it comes to acquiring an interaction diamond ring is that the carat weight dimension of the ruby is not truly exactly what matters when all is claimed and also done. Although some may believe that a larger diamond amounts to a much better ruby this is typically not the case as cut, color as well as clarity all must be taken right into account in addition to the carat weight of the stone.

Buying Online Is an Option

With today's technology, you can acquire practically anything online and the very same holds true for diamond involvement rings. For those that such as the idea of an on-line acquisition, there are lots of sites which provide ruby rings up for sale and may use fairly a bargain too. Simply be certain to get documents stating real top quality of the ring. The on-line service must have a 30 day cash back guaranty without concerns asked.

Getting the Ring with Wedding Bands Can Save Money

You might likewise locate that if you remain in the marketplace for not just an involvement ring yet wedding celebration bands too, buying every one of these items together could save you cash. Specific ring developers will create involvement rings with matching wedding event bands which you can purchase as a collection.

White Gold Resembles Platinum Yet Is More Economical

If your loved one suches as silver-tone precious jewelry however you are unable to manage a platinum diamond engagement ring, think about buying one constructed from white gold. White gold is a good choice as it appears like platinum however is much less expensive.

Precious Jewelry Retailers Usually Have 1 Or 2 Sales Throughout The Year

One more key to getting a ruby interaction ring is that many jewelry merchants provide sales during the year. Some are vacation sales whereas others are a method for the fashion jewelry shop to obtain rid of the old inventory to earn space for brand-new items coming into the store.

Investing in the Ruby as well as Setup Separately Could Save Loan

You might also find that getting the diamond as well as establishing different from each other can conserve you some cash. It likewise enables you to select exactly the kind of ring that you want as well as have the ability to see it before the stone is established.

Getting a Small Carat Weight Dimension with Baguettes Is In Some Cases a Better Deal

If you are looking for a diamond interaction ring with a great deal of sparkle yet you are not able to manage a big carat ruby, think about getting a smaller diamond however include baguettes to the ring. This will certainly add sparkle as well as shine and not cost as much as a bigger diamond might cost.

Think About Little Precious Jewelry Shops Which Offer Personalized Solution

For those who are looking for a fashion jewelry shop which will certainly supply personalized service, you might intend to buy the diamond interaction ring for your liked one at a small fashion jewelry shop. These jewelry stores are often run by the private proprietor who will certainly do everything feasible to earn your involvement ring buying journey spectacular.

3 stone halo engagement ring

How Do You Know If The Ruby Is Phony Or Real Ruby?

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