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.

3 stone diamond

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

Diamonds are normally available in a very large range of colors. Many people understand about colorless diamonds and GIA's shade grading system that is made use of to classify a ruby's body shade ... you recognize D, E, F, and so on. This shade grading system is only made use of to classify the most usual diamond body color of yellow nevertheless anytime a diamond is found in another shade like pink, blue, green, and so on; then this ruby is described as a "" elegant diamond"".

All-natural Fancy diamonds can be extremely pricey as well as lot of times extra expensive compared to a similar dimension anemic ruby. An excellent instance of a Fancy diamond is the well known 45.52 carat expensive deep blue diamond, the Hope Ruby, which gets on display in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington, DC.

A shade improved diamond is a 100% natural diamond that has had its color altered. And most importantly, color boosted diamonds can be found in a very broad selection of shades at really budget friendly prices!

A little bit of background- For several, several years it has actually been well recognized that a ruby's shade might be "" improved"" by putting a little bit of colored material on the surface of a diamond and also just like magic ... a diamond that had a recognizable yellow-colored color would alter to a much more eye-catching near anemic diamond. Regrettably, this kind of color enhanced diamond might change back to its original body shade if this tinted material was inadvertently gotten rid of. In even more current years, the modern technology of color boosted diamonds has actually gone extremely high technology. It is currently possible to totally change the color of a diamond! These processes are taken into consideration permanent due to the fact that it does remain stable when revealed to daily regular conditions. The shade will not fade if revealed to sunlight or be cleaned off by severe chemicals.

Just how is it done? The desired outcome of any one of these therapies is to have a more valuable ruby. A much less valuable diamond would be a ruby that has a low body color or in some cases a reduced clearness. The color boosted ruby therapy firms understand if they start with a certain kind of ruby as well as process it for a certain quantity of time that they need to wind up with a certain shade but it does not always function in this way. This is a science that does call for some art in their processes ... the only procedure that offers regular results is the layer procedure.

The three procedures are as follows- Process # 1- HPHT Color Improved Diamonds- High Stress/ Heat (HPHT) therapy can boost the color of certain kinds of brownish rubies as well as thus enhance their worth. General Electric has developed a procedure that very much is a mechanical simulation of a diamond's production in nature. The color improved diamond will certainly be warmed up to a very high temperature level under a very high, supported stress. Faults in the crystal structure are then rearranged causing an alteration of the ruby's shade. Due to the fact that the problems of HPHT are very comparable to diamond's original formation, just a well equipped laboratory will certainly be able to positively identify this kind of shade improved ruby. HPHT was initially made use of to turn yellow-colored rubies right into more valuable fancy tinted boosted diamonds, now it is additionally made use of to transform some out of favor brown diamonds right into more preferable anemic colored improved rubies.

Refine # 2- Irradiated Shade Improved Diamonds- OK ... do not begin obtaining all thrilled because you saw words irradiated! This is a 100% safe process that is extremely much like what is made use of to preserve food by subjecting it to a stream of Gamma rays. The color improved ruby procedure is performed in several different ways however the outcomes are all the same. You begin with a reduced color (P, Q, R, etc.) 100% all-natural diamond that has actually already been reduced as well as brightened, then it is revealed to a stream of fast electrons. Throughout this component of the process the ruby will certainly count on a really dark color due to the fact that a few of the atoms in the diamond's crystal structure have now been dislocated as well as this in turn has impacted the method light travel through the diamond. Next the ruby undergoes a regulated heating (annealing) process, this allows a few of those atoms to transfer (partly fixed) in order to get a wanted shade.

Process # 3- Coated Shade Enhanced Diamonds- The finishing on refined rubies refers to a slim synthetic layer that changes the shade of the ruby. The finish can either be of the preferred shade or can trigger a tinted interference-effect. However often this procedure is done to trick a purchaser. It is a relatively easy procedure to do, it has been around for years (although the finishes materials are better currently), and also it does not call for a great deal of pricey high tech tools. Recently, I've seen some pink coated diamonds on the marketplace, they are very appealing ... as well as certainly you would need to buy them understanding that they have been covered as well as follow your jeweler's standards concerning owning and also taking care of these color boosted rubies. The finish can be used to the entire of a ruby's surface, simply the bottom of the diamond, or to a narrow area near the band. A well-applied covering can transform the shade by several shade grade. Some finishings could be removed via boiling in acid, strong cleansing services, and even home chemicals. Occasionally dots or larger locations of purple or blue ink are painted on the ruby in order to help counteract a yellow-colored color. The ruby's setup will generally cover the dots, so they are difficult to see in a mounted rock.

So, is a shade boosted ruby right for you? Maybe ... all-natural fancy color rubies could be gorgeous but they are expensive! Shade boosted diamonds are inexpensive and also allow numerous people to have a vibrantly tinted ruby. Ask your neighborhood jeweler if they have any type of Fancy rubies ... either all-natural or shade boosted rubies. It is constantly intriguing, and fun, to consider something various!

Under regular wear the irradiated and also HPHT shade boosted diamonds will certainly have no troubles of the shade fading away. The only factor to consider will certainly be when you require to have any type of kind of solution done on the item of fashion jewelry. If this type of color improved diamond is revealed to too much amounts of warm it may influence the shade. The jeweler will certainly have to recognize that the diamond is a color enhanced diamond prior to any work is done and afterwards the jeweler will certainly have the ability to select the best strategy. Shade enhanced diamonds are now also utilized as the tiny accent rubies around a bigger anemic ruby. There are several exciting items of jewelry offered with tiny blue, yellow, black, or environment-friendly shade improved rubies.

Currently that you learn about shade boosted rubies and a person aims to market you on just what they call an all-natural elegant colored diamond but it goes to a super bargain rate ... you will recognize that something just does not seem ideal regarding the deal. A record from a recognized grading laboratory need to accompany 100% natural Fancy colored rubies that are marketed as all-natural. If you deal with a trustworthy firm and you have actually been assured regarding just what you are acquiring, after that you will decrease the opportunity of something poor occurring to you. Just like any situation involving a pricey purchase of something that not numerous people are well versed in, education and learning ought to be a vital part of your strategy. This is even more essential if you plan to acquire a shade enhanced ruby. Bud Boland has been in the precious jewelry company for 40 years and has actually done everything from watchmaking, diamond setup, jewelry making, as well as has been a Jeweler for virtually 35 years. He is a Graduate Jeweler from GIA (Gemological Institute of The U.S.A.), which is likewise the area where he was an Instructor. He has shown about diamonds to numerous trainees from around the world

pear diamond solitaire

What You Should Know When Buying a Diamond Ring

Clearlake

Diamonds are normally offered in a really vast variety of colors. The majority of people learn about colorless diamonds and also GIA's shade grading system that is made use of to categorize a diamond's body shade ... you know D, E, F, and so on. This shade grading system is only made use of to classify the most typical diamond body color of yellow nonetheless anytime a diamond is discovered in one more shade like pink, blue, green, and so on; then this diamond is described as a "" fancy ruby"".

All-natural Fancy diamonds can be extremely costly as well as often times more costly than a similar dimension anemic diamond. A great instance of a Fancy ruby is the notorious 45.52 carat expensive deep blue ruby, the Hope Ruby, which gets on display in the Smithsonian Natural History Gallery in Washington, DC.

A shade enhanced ruby is a 100% all-natural ruby that has had its shade transformed. And also ideal of all, shade enhanced diamonds been available in an extremely broad option of colors at very budget-friendly prices!

A little background- For several, years it has been popular that a ruby's color might be "" enhanced"" by putting a little bit of tinted material on the surface area of a diamond and simply like magic ... a ruby that had an obvious yellowish color would alter to a more appealing near colorless ruby. Sadly, this type of color enhanced ruby can change back to its original body shade if this tinted material was inadvertently gotten rid of. In even more current years, the innovation of color enhanced diamonds has gone incredibly high tech. It is now feasible to totally transform the color of a diamond! These procedures are considered permanent due to the fact that it does remain steady when exposed to daily normal conditions. The shade will certainly not discolor if exposed to sunlight or be cleaned off by extreme chemicals.

Just how is it done? The preferred end result of any one of these therapies is to have an extra marketable diamond. A much less valuable ruby would certainly be a ruby that has a reduced body color or sometimes a lower quality. The color boosted diamond therapy business understand if they begin off with a particular sort of ruby and also procedure it for a certain quantity of time that they need to end up with a particular color however it does not always function this way. This is a science that does call for some art in their procedures ... the only procedure that offers consistent results is the coating procedure.

The three processes are as follows- Process # 1- HPHT Color Enhanced Diamonds- High Pressure/ High Temperature (HPHT) therapy can improve the color of certain types of brown diamonds as well as thus increase their worth. General Electric has established a process that basically is a mechanical simulation of a ruby's creation in nature. The shade enhanced ruby will certainly be warmed up to a very high temperature level under a very high, supported stress. Mistakes in the crystal structure are after that reorganized resulting in a change of the diamond's shade. Because the problems of HPHT are very comparable to ruby's original formation, only a well outfitted lab will have the ability to positively recognize this type of shade enhanced ruby. HPHT wased initially utilized to transform yellow-colored rubies right into even more marketable fancy colored improved rubies, now it is likewise utilized to change some out of favor brownish rubies into more preferable colorless tinted boosted diamonds.

Process # 2- Irradiated Color Improved Diamonds- OK ... do not begin getting all thrilled due to the fact that you saw words irradiated! This is a 100% safe process that is really comparable to what is made use of to preserve food by subjecting it to a stream of Gamma rays. The color enhanced diamond process is done in a number of different ways yet the results are all the same. You begin with a reduced color (P, Q, R, and so on) 100% all-natural ruby that has currently been cut and brightened, then it is exposed to a stream of quick electrons. During this component of the process the ruby will certainly rely on an extremely dark color due to the fact that some of the atoms in the diamond's crystal structure have now been disjointed and this consequently has actually influenced the means light go through the ruby. Next the diamond experiences a controlled home heating (annealing) process, this allows some of those atoms to transfer (partly fixed) in order to acquire a desired color.

Refine # 3- Covered Color Boosted Diamonds- The finishing on sleek diamonds describes a slim synthetic layer that changes the shade of the ruby. The covering can either be of the preferred color or could trigger a colored interference-effect. Sadly sometimes this process is done to trick a buyer. It is a reasonably simple process to do, it has actually been around for several years (although the layers products are much better now), as well as it does not require a whole lot of pricey high tech devices. Recently, I've seen some pink layered diamonds on the market, they are extremely attractive ... and naturally you would need to acquire them understanding that they have actually been covered and also follow your jewelry expert's guidelines concerning owning and also looking after these shade boosted diamonds. The coating could be related to the entire of a ruby's surface, simply the base of the ruby, or to a narrow zone near the girdle. A well-applied coating could alter the color by several color quality. Some coatings can be gotten rid of through boiling in acid, strong cleansing remedies, or perhaps household chemicals. In some cases dots or bigger areas of purple or blue ink are painted on the diamond in order to help counteract a yellow-colored color. The diamond's setting will generally cover the dots, so they are challenging to see in a placed rock.

So, is a shade improved diamond right for you? Maybe ... all-natural elegant shade rubies could be attractive but they are costly! Shade boosted diamonds are inexpensive as well as enable numerous individuals to possess a vibrantly tinted diamond. Ask your neighborhood jeweler if they have any type of Fancy diamonds ... either natural or shade boosted diamonds. It is always fascinating, and enjoyable, to check out something different!

Under regular wear the irradiated and also HPHT shade improved diamonds will certainly have not a problem of the shade fading away. The only factor to consider will certainly be when you require to have any kind of service done on the item of fashion jewelry. If this kind of color enhanced diamond is revealed to excessive amounts of warm it could affect the color. The jeweler will certainly should recognize that the ruby is a shade enhanced diamond before any work is done and afterwards the jeweler will certainly have the ability to make a decision on the ideal course of activity. Color improved diamonds are currently likewise utilized as the small accent diamonds around a bigger colorless ruby. There are many amazing pieces of fashion jewelry readily available with tiny blue, yellow, black, or green shade enhanced diamonds.

Since you understand concerning color enhanced rubies and a person attempts to offer you on what they call a natural fancy colored diamond however it goes to an incredibly deal cost ... you will know that something just does not sound right about the deal. A report from a respected grading laboratory should accompany natural Fancy tinted rubies that are marketed as natural. If you handle a trusted firm and also you have been reassured regarding what you are buying, then you will certainly decrease the possibility of something poor occurring to you. As with any kind of situation entailing a costly purchase of something that very few individuals are well versed in, education and learning must be a vital part of your plan. This is much more crucial if you prepare to buy a color enhanced diamond. Bud Boland has remained in the precious jewelry business for 40 years and also has done every little thing from watchmaking, diamond setup, jewelry making, and has been a Jeweler for nearly 35 years. He is a Grad Jeweler from GIA (Gemological Institute of America), which is likewise the area where he was a Teacher. He has shown regarding diamonds to hundreds of students from all around the globe

___________________________________________

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 diamond ring yellow gold

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

You have been dating the individual of your dreams for rather some time now. You might or may not be staying together as a pair, either of both has its very own connection issues; if you do not live as a couple, the sensation of solitude that surges via your heart each time your companion states the words "great bye" after a beautiful day well spent together motivates you to do even more as well as every single time you transform erroneously to show them your sensations, the void that welcomes you, swiftly turns your inspiration to do more into a resolve to do more now! For those who have taken their connections an action better by relocating with each other.

Because of the loneliness felt each time a companion states excellent bye, different forms of stress and also feelings embeded in they can be the requirement to make your love official for the entire world to see or you both desire to start a steady family. Whatever inspires you into ultimately making the primary step to the most important dedication you would ever make in your entire life may not be off importance yet the symbol which you have to supply while taking this action is of miraculous relevance - "The Engagement Ring".

Today acquiring an involvement ring has currently become the status of identifying yourself as one who is currently taken and ready for marriage but have you ever played with the rock or band on your hand and assumed about its background? Because it's not specified in the holy bible or the oldest records that provide thorough accounts of practices prior to marriage in time passed.

The prominent involvement ring of the modern-day age had its start as current as the 19th century as well as wasn't constantly a sign of undying love, it was basically the first part payment of the bride-to-be cost to be paid to the bride's household however handed over as well as used by the new bride. It was a type of insurance provided for the female, in situation the potential partner which was constantly the guy back then disbands the marital relationship thereby compromising the female's virtue and allure to other men.

Real meaning and sign of the involvement ring started beaming via in the 20th century, when men offered their fiancées a band that symbolized their love as well as intents for a marriage union, the interaction ring represented that she had been taken, from limits and also ready to be married to her real love and it was positioned on the 4th finger of the left hand, for that finger was thought to have a vein running through it which came straight from the heart consequently representing the finger as a "heart finger". Earlier rings can simply be an item of silver or an iron band with no adornment, which the lady inserts right into her 4th finger on her left hand, this was the technique momentarily till commercial rings and the media took over the engagement scene. The Adverts revealed on involvement rings in the middle of the 19th century suggested that guys should invest no much less than 2 months of their regular monthly income to acquire the best ring for his valuable bride-to-be to be as well as just with an advert the interpretation and design of the involvement ring took a brand-new instructions. The modern engagement ring is a symbol that shows that a person is engaged to be wed snappy. The cut, prices as well as make of the involvement ring although not very important, includes a certain flavour to your interaction day or ceremony as well as has repudiated a brand-new jewelry market all on its very own. The Interaction ring currently can be found in various designs; it might be a band constructed from priceless materials such as Gold, Platinum or Silver or it could be a band tied with treasure rocks to offer a tempting beauty to the ring. The different significant designs of involvement rings will be reviewed below.

Different Sorts Of Involvement Rings

Jewelry rings; these are the quintessential classic engagement rings, the jewelry ring is composed of a band as well as a gem rock; the band can be made from any material of your selection ranging from gold to platinum while the gems need to likewise be preferred to fit your strange qualities, maybe rubies or sapphire cut in different manner ins which would be described below.

Engagement Rings with Side stones: These charming rings are made with gemstones placed right into the sides of the band, which could be made from any steel material depending on your preference. Some side rocks call also featured a main rock at the middle. The preferred gems utilized for this layout of rings are typically diamonds however you can directly customize your gemstone to the preference of your love.

The 3 Rock Bands or the Trinity ring: this is a ring style with its own charming history, it is believed that each rock in the 3 rock ring represents the past, existing as well as future of the moment in which a couple has invested with each other and also the ring would bind them together for all endless time. The ring layout is that of an immaculate platinum band with 3 elegant gems; one at the center with 2 location purposefully by the sides. The gemstones are normally crazy of rubies however you are allowed to customize yours into three different kinds of gems if you so wish.

The Matching Wedding Set: this is a lovely combination of both the involvement ring and also the actual wedding band, there is no collection style on how a matching bridal set needs to resemble yet it is typically great to have either the interaction ring or the wedding celebration ring highlighting the other as well as the other way around I.e. a charming platinum engagement ring with a gemstone must be combined with a simple Gold traditional wedding band, giving the bride-to-be with a touch of colour. Stress Rings: allow the name not serve as an obstacle to you when taking into consideration the stress ring for it is just one of those styles we call basic however forever sophisticated, it consists of a band made from any material of your choice, firmly holding a gemstone in its grasp with pressure i.e. the gemstone is not held by prongs however gripped in between both sides of the band product you selected. The band material functions as its holding support. It is highly suggested you go for 2 contrasting colours for the band and the gemstone to bring out real charm of the stress ring.

The Different Cuts of Gemstones

The Cushion cut: this method of reducing a gemstone, gives the stone a timeless shape that is in between a rectangle as well as an oval, it is among one of the most preferred jewellery cuts and also it's likewise called the antique cut.

The Marquise cut: the technique used in cutting the form of the marquise cut offers the gems an oblong shape between with ends. This ring has a traditional elven or ought to I state earthy look that highlights the superordinary charm in your bride.

The Emerald cut: the emerald gem naturally has its very own defined shape as well as this cut technique clearly mirrors it, the emerald cut is a rectangular cut with chopped edges extending at its four ends.

The Asscher cut: this technique of cutting the gems offers it a shape people state is similar to the emerald rectangle but it is extra octagonal in form than rectangle, the octagonal form helps it capture light as well as mirror it in different instructions. It's a perfectly beautiful cut for a rings gemstone.

The Princess cut: this is one of the most secondhand cuts on gems, it is square in form as well as aids draw out the appeal of the gemstone utilized quite demurely. The Round cut: this cut basic looks round yet its even more than that for it has different spikes included in its surface areas making it one of, if not the most beaming gems cut of the whole lot, it is recognized among women for its capacity to blind the eye (sparkle).

The Heart cut: best for the romantics in mind and shaped to stubborn belly their hearts, it is a simple and sophisticated cut that is fairly popular among ladies. After offering a general subject on involvement ring styles as well as cuts, the next action is to offer your notification the leaders in the sector that gives you with the best as well as most expensive rings- sometimes- around.

Expense Barnes: the producers of some of one of the most exquisite as well as expensive interaction bands out there. Tiffany: everyone recognizes the name Tiffany this designer house likewise supplies clients with top of the variety rings as well as costs delay. Tacori: the Tacori layout is also one of the most searched for engagement rings in the jewellery market the cut and plan of its layouts are constantly a pleasure to lay eyes on.

In picking a ring your budget plan should likewise enter into play so either you buy Tiffany's or an ordinary involvement ring, it's the idea that counts.

bezel set diamond earrings

What You Should Know When Buying a Diamond Ring

Clearlake

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

FACTOR 1: CARAT WEIGHT

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

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

FACTOR 2: SHAPE

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

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

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

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

FACTOR 3: CUT

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

FACTOR 4: CLARITY

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

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

FACTOR 5: COLOUR

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

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

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

FACTOR 6: FLUORESCENCE

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

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

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

FACTOR 7: GRADER

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

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

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

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

SELECTING YOUR DIAMOND

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

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

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Vintage Wedding Rings in Washington