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.

wedding band sets

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

Not all vendors provide diamond grading laboratory records (aka ruby quality reports) to their consumers. So my basic suggestions to you is to keep your money in your pocket when managing such jewelers.

Just buy a ruby engagement ring if it has the original diamond top quality report.

A laboratory record is an independent evaluation of the 4Cs of a loosened diamond as well as includes an outlined diagram of the rock's clarity features and a graphic depiction of the stone's percentages. Having such a record allows you to contrast diamonds of various top qualities and also inevitably helps you make an even more informed getting choice.

A retailer might cut edges as well as not provide a lab report or a deceitful vendor could provide a fake one due to the time, trouble and also expenditure he'll birth to obtaining a rock graded.

Yeah - there is a rate for rating a diamond (though that cost is ultimately paid by the consumer), plus the delivery and insurance policy fees for sending the ruby to the lab. And allow us not fail to remember the possibility price of a jeweler not having the diamond in his shop to buy for a couple of weeks while the grading occurs.

Nevertheless, a diamond rating report may also not be available due to the fact that the costs to obtaining one could impact as well greatly on the final cost of the ring. For instance, a 0.3 ct diamond ring setting you back $250 say, could cost around $75 to be rated and have the record number etched on the girdle on the diamond. As you look for that perfect diamond engagement ring for your sweetie, you'll find that there is an alphabet soup of labs declaring to give trusted ruby rating records. Yet I would only put my loan on ...

The Premier Diamond Grading Lab Reports

Yes, all ruby top quality records are not produced equal. Within the market, it is a consensus that the two leading laboratories are GIA-GTL (Gemological Institute of The U.S.A.'s Treasure Profession Laboratory) as well as the AGS (American Treasure Culture Laboratories).

The GCAL (Treasure Accreditation and also Assurance Laboratory) likewise uses highly pertained to reports or "diamond certifications" as they are described by GCAL. The GIA has the greatest global credibility for freedom and also uniformity. Because of their constant color and also quality strictness guidelines, the globe's largest as well as most costly diamonds have been sent there for grading years. In 2006, GIA-GTL included a two-dimensional cut grading system for rounded brilliant diamonds.

AGS makes use of the most strict cut standards in the industry. It makes use of a three-dimensional light efficiency metric that could quality several ruby shapes. Actually, it is the only cut grading system that is acknowledged by the clinical community.

Exactly what is even more, its Diamond Top quality Paper uses a distinct as well as exclusive 0 to 10 grading system to review the 4 Cs - a system which is simpler to understand compared to GIA's grading system. Actually, AGS even goes the added step by equating their 0-10 score scale to other kinds of score. For instance, the traditional VS1 diamond quality rating is a 3 on the AGS Diamond Top Quality File.

Ruby Coverage - The Drawbacks

1. Diamond grading is not standardized or controlled and for this reason you could come across rate 2 labs that use looser standards to the tier 1 grading labs discussed above. If you purchase a ruby that has actually been graded by a tier 2 laboratory, you may wind up paying more for a minimal quality ruby. So for example, a diamond ranked a "F" in shade at a tier 2 laboratory could get a G, H, or reduced color rating at a more trusted lab. The sector additionally discounts rubies graded by lower known laboratories by about 15-30% or more. So either you only buy a diamond graded by a rate 1 laboratory or you approve that you may be getting a minimal top quality diamond compared to just what is mentioned on the report if that diamond is rated by a minimal recognized lab.

2. Several large chain shops have significant contracts with minimal known laboratories with "softer" diamond grading guidelines. Some of these softer laboratories put "suggested replacement values" on the laboratory records - worths which are greater than what shops plans offer the rubies for. So a sales representative in a chain shop could claim to you, "Consider the excellent deal you are getting here. We are offering you this ruby engagement ring for $2500 but the report claims that the suggested substitute value is $4000." Wow - exactly what an offer - NOT! This is why it is much better that you trust only independent tier 1 labs.

Likewise keep in mind that reputable ruby rating reports are not evaluations and do not supply appraisal figures. Diamond assessments are often grossly inflated and also are not something you'll intend to count on.

3. Ruby records are riddled with disclaimers that define that nothing is "licensed" or ensured and also that the labs are not responsible for errors. As a matter of fact, the GIA uses a disclaimer of types on their web site regarding the use of words "license." The site states:

"It is wrong to state that pupils, graduates, their organisations, or particular gems are "certified" 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 been granted a certification or diploma, nor a gem which has been graded or identified by GIA has been accredited by GIA".

So it is possible that you the customer is left holding the bag must a mistake in a report is later on discovered. Courts have often ruled that sellers, not laboratories, are accountable for such errors. Why? Because the labs showed ahead of time that their reports couldn't be held responsible.

The good news is, there are a pair means to offer yourself a lot more customer protection:

A. You might fly to India where jewelry experts offer a life time buyback policy to their clients. Also expensive to fly?

B. You might discover one of the 20% people jewelry experts who market fully adhered rubies. These are rubies that are marketed with life time damage, lifetime trade-in and also life time buyback plans.

C. Not as great a remedy as getting a completely adhered ruby but you can purchase a ruby that comes with an actual "certificate" as well as not a report. "Licensed rubies do include warranties" albeit for shorter periods.

Qualification Some vendors refer to a "diamond record" as a "licensed diamond" however technically this is not fix. From a legal point ofview, a diamond record is a just an experienced point of view though in reality, aspects of a diamond rating report are not just viewpoints.

As an example, a diamond's carat (weight) could be accurately established along with its cut grade by gauging its optical efficiency or by referring to a computer system version. A certification on the other hand is a statement of reality - a file for which the company approves legal obligation as well as will certainly make restitution to the customer for errors.

Some top ruby grading laboratories use both records and certificates. AGS supplies Ruby Top quality Records (non-certified records) as well as Ruby High quality Certificates. Ruby Quality Certificates are ready specifically for AGS retail jewelers and supplies warranties from getting involved American Gem Society participant shops.

GCAL accredits it's diamond grading also. Its 100% money-back assurance plan is valid for a duration of two years from the date on the applicable certification. This policy guarantees the precision of the cut, color and also quality grades and also the carat weight.

A report or certificate should will have a number on it that could or may not be engraved on a diamond. You will certainly have the ability to go into that number on the website of the certifying lab to check a record's credibility.

Elements Of A Diamond Grading Record Diamond rating reports are constantly advancing however certain aspect should continue to be the same. As an example, the:

The Report #. This number is given and also recorded in a laboratory's record and could or might not be inscribed on a ruby's girdle. You could enter the record number on a grading laboratory's site to inspect the authenticity of the ruby quality record or to get even more info concerning the ruby. Shape & Aspect Design: This is the synopsis and the reducing design utilized for the element plan. There are 3 basic element styles - "fantastic cut, action cut and blended reducing style" and 12 basic shapes which include notables such as round fantastic as well as princess cut" diamonds.

Measurements: This refers to dimension (not weight) of a diamond. Size includes dimensions such as size, size, weight and diameter. A dimension is commonly noted to the hundredth of a millimeter. Measurements play a massive duty in just how a ruby shines.

Carat Weight: The weight of a diamond is measured to the hundredth of a carat weight and some also supply such procedure to the thousandth of a carat weight (1.123 ct.). Carat is the most objective and the easiest to recognize of the 4Cs because all one has to do is weight the stone. Color Quality: This tells you the level of shade lack in the diamond. The much less color the higher the grade.

Rubies are commonly rated from D-Z; the closer to "D" the whiter the ruby. You need to never see ruby shade variety such as (G-H, I-J-K, and more) on a diamond record. You need to only see color arrays on assessments for stones that are placed.

Clarity Quality: Virtually every diamond has actually inner imperfections called incorporations and exterior blemishes called blemishes. A ruby is rated according to the dimension, type, place and also amount of these flaws.

Clarity grades range from Perfect (FL) - Consisted Of. Labs make use of a couple professionals to grade the quality of a diamond in order to generate a much more accurate reading.

Cut Grade: Extra recent diamond reports consist of a cut quality for conventional round fantastic rubies. Cut takes into consideration the brilliance, fire and also scintillation of the ruby. Cut grade varies from Outstanding - Poor.

Other aspects you could encounter on a ruby record consist of the polish, proportion, fluorescence as well as percentage. Equipped with this details, you are better able to make an assessment of the top quality of ruby that is placed in an interaction ring.

1 ct wedding band

Getting Diamonds Online - Is This Online Jewelry Expert Right For You?

Clearlake

You have actually been dating the person of your dreams for fairly a long time currently. You could or could not be remaining with each other as a pair, either of the 2 has its own relationship troubles; if you do not live as a pair, the feeling of isolation that surges with your heart every time your companion claims the words "great bye" after a beautiful day well invested with each other motivates you to do even more and also whenever you turn incorrectly to share with him or her your feelings, the void that welcomes you, swiftly transforms your motivation to do more right into a willpower to do even more now! For those who have actually taken their partnerships a step even more by relocating with each other.

Because of the loneliness felt each time a companion states excellent bye, different kinds of stress and also feelings embeded in they could be the should make your love authorities for the entire world to see or you both intend to start a stable family. Whatever motivates you right into lastly making the very first step to one of the most crucial dedication you would certainly ever before make in your whole life may not be off importance but the symbol which you should offer while taking this step is of the utmost value - "The Engagement Ring".

Today purchasing an interaction ring has now come to be the standing quo of determining on your own as one who is already taken and also ready for marital relationship yet have you ever had fun with the rock or band on your hand and also considered its history? Given that it's not specified in the bible or the earliest papers that provide thorough accounts of methods prior to marriage in time passed.

The prominent engagement ring of the contemporary age had its start as current as the 19th century and had not been constantly a symbol of undying affection, it was extra or much less the initial part settlement of the bride-to-be rate to be paid to the bride-to-be's family members yet turned over and used by the bride. It was a type of insurance offered the female, in instance the potential companion which was always the guy back then disbands the marriage thereby compromising the lady's merit and appeal to other men.

Real meaning and symbol of the interaction ring started beaming with in the 20th century, when males provided their fiancées a band that symbolized their love and also purposes for a marital relationship union, the involvement ring signified that she had actually been taken, out of limits and also ready to be married to her true love and also it was positioned on the 4th finger of the left hand, for that finger was believed to have a vein running via it which came directly from the heart therefore signifying the finger as a "heart finger". Earlier rings could just be a piece of silver or an iron band without any kind of adornment, which the woman inserts into her 4th finger on her left hand, this was the method for a brief time till industrial rings and the media took control of the involvement scene. The Adverts shown on interaction rings in the center of the 19th century suggested that males must spend no less compared to 2 months of their monthly earnings to acquire the ideal ring for his priceless new bride to be and also simply with an advert the definition and design of the involvement ring took a new instructions. The contemporary involvement ring is a sign that shows that a person is involved to be wed snappy. The cut, prices and make of the interaction ring although not all important, includes a particular flavour to your engagement day or event as well as has actually repudiated a new jewelry market all by itself. The Involvement ring currently can be found in various styles; it can be a band made of precious products such as Gold, Platinum or Silver or maybe a band tied with treasure stones to give an alluring elegance to the ring. The different major layouts of engagement rings will be talked about listed below.

Various Sorts Of Engagement Rings

Jewelry rings; these are the ultimate timeless involvement rings, the solitaire ring contains a band and a treasure stone; the band can be made from any material of your choice varying from gold to platinum while the gems need to also be opted to fit your strange features, it might be diamonds or pearl cut in different manner ins which would be clarified below.

Interaction Rings with Side stones: These exquisite rings are made with gemstones inserted right into the sides of the band, which could be constructed from any metal material depending upon your taste. Some side stones sound likewise had a central rock at the middle. The popular gemstones used for this style of rings are normally diamonds yet you can personally tailor your gems to the taste of your love.

The Three Rock Bands or the Trinity ring: this is a ring layout with its own charming background, it is believed that each rock in the three rock ring signifies the past, present as well as future of the moment where a pair has actually invested with each other and the ring would bind them with each other for all eternity. The ring layout is that of an immaculate platinum band with three exquisite gemstones; one at the center with 2 area tactically by the sides. The gems are usually mad of diamonds however you are enabled to tailor yours right into 3 different types of gemstones if you so desire.

The Matching Wedding Set: this is a stunning combination of both the interaction ring as well as the actual wedding celebration band, there is no collection design on exactly how a matching bridal set should look like however it is normally great to have either the interaction ring or the wedding event ring accentuating the other and also the other way around I.e. a charming platinum interaction ring with a gemstone should be coupled with a basic Gold timeless wedding band, supplying the new bride with a touch of colour. Tension Rings: allow the name not work as a barrier to you when considering the tension ring for it is one of those styles we call easy but indefinitely classy, it contains a band made from any type of material of your choice, securely holding a gemstone in its hold with stress i.e. the gems is not held by prongs but squeezed between both sides of the band material you picked. The band material works as its holding assistance. It is extremely suggested you go with 2 contrasting colours for the band as well as the gemstone to highlight real beauty of the tension ring.

The Various Cuts of Gems

The Padding cut: this method of reducing a gems, gives the stone a classic shape that is between a rectangular shape and an oval, it is just one of one of the most prominent 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 gemstone an oval shape in the center with ends. This ring has a traditional elven or need to I state natural look that brings out the mythological appeal in your new bride.

The Emerald cut: the emerald gem normally has its very own specified shape and also this cut approach clearly mirrors it, the emerald cut is a rectangle-shaped cut with chopped edges protruding at its four ends.

The Asscher cut: this technique of reducing the gemstone provides it a form individuals say is comparable to the emerald rectangle yet it is a lot more octagonal in form compared to rectangular shape, the octagonal form helps it catch light and also reflect it in different directions. It's a completely stunning cut for a rings gems.

The Princess cut: this is just one of the most used cuts on gems, it is square in form and assists draw out the elegance of the gems made use of rather demurely. The Round cut: this cut basic looks round but its more compared to that for it has different spikes included to its surfaces making it among, otherwise the most shining gemstone cut of the whole lot, it is understood amongst ladies for its ability to blind the eye (shimmer).

The Heart cut: best for the romantics at heart and also shaped to stubborn belly their hearts, it is a straightforward and sophisticated cut that is quite prominent amongst women. After offering a general subject on interaction ring designs and also cuts, the following action is to bring to your notice the leaders in the sector that gives you with the very best as well as most costly rings- in many cases- available.

Bill Barnes: the producers of a few of one of the most splendid and also costly involvement bands available. Tiffany: everybody recognizes the name Tiffany this developer home likewise supplies clients with top of the range rings and also prices postpone. Tacori: the Tacori layout is also among one of the most searched for interaction rings in the jewelry industry the cut as well as arrangement of its layouts are constantly a happiness to lay eyes on.

In picking a ring your budget plan have to also come right into play so either you acquire Tiffany's or an average involvement ring, it's the idea that counts.

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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.

diamond ring price

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

There are a number of designs of involvement rings of 2018 that are extremely trendy. Everything from lead diamond rings and also colored rocks to "green" rings as well as network established ruby rings became preferred in 2018.

Pave ruby rings are rings with three or 4 rows of tiny, even-sized rubies that usually go around the entire ring. A bigger facility stone set above the remainder of the ring completes the look. Pave ruby engagement rings are one of the ideal involvement rings of 2018 since they are a classy option for an involvement ring while producing a great deal of sparkle on a soon-to-be bride-to-be's third finger. You'll likewise find lead ruby wedding celebration bands that match your engagement ring and also make it a lot more sparkly.

Colored stones have additionally expanded in appeal. As a result of this, rings with colored rubies are among the very best interaction rings of 2018. Rubies are available in a range of colors, consisting of yellow, blue, pink, or even black. True tinted diamonds are incredibly uncommon, that makes them extremely expensive. A one-carat tinted diamond can run upwards of 10 thousand dollars. Nonetheless, if you can not manage to invest this much money on an engagement ring, there are a couple of alternatives that will still enable you to be stylish with a colored stone. With the most recent innovation, you could get a manufactured tinted ruby. With the breakthroughs that have actually been made, most individuals could not tell the distinction in between an extracted ruby and a synthetic one. If you acquire or commission a synthetic ruby, you could pick whichever shade you prefer, as well as conserve numerous thousands of dollars in the meantime. Alternatively, if you desire a tinted stone yet don't require a ruby, emeralds, sapphires, and also rubies make wonderful alternatives for interaction rings and are far less pricey than extracted colored diamonds.

Green interaction rings are likewise amongst the most effective involvement rings of 2018. With even more individuals worried regarding the setting and also about the human rights concerns that surround conventional diamond mining, more individuals are looking for options to conventional interaction rings. One opportunity is to acquire an engagement ring that has a diamond that was extracted in Canada rather than South Africa. Canada does not have the exact same civils rights problems focusing on its diamond market, so it's considered to be more friendly to the world. Additionally, buying a man-made diamond ring is likewise considered to be extra "green" since not only does it not have the very same civils rights concerns that mined rubies do, yet it doesn't destroy the planet like mining for rubies tends to do. Conversely, the ideal engagement rings of 2018 include antique involvement rings considering that the greenest interaction rings are those that are reused and reused. By buying an engagement ring that is antique, you are not adding to the brand-new ruby ring market or the damage of the setting.

Network established ruby rings are additionally on the list of finest involvement rings of 2018. Network set interaction rings have actually the rocks established within the band of the ring, so the top of the stone is also with the top of the ring. Channel set rings are particularly ideal due to the fact that the diamonds are secured from being harmed due to the fact that you can not get to the stone to chip them. Even more preferred are network set diamond rings constructed of platinum, which has just recently expanded in appeal. If you wish to get a ring that is also much more distinct, however, you could have a channel set interaction ring set with stones other than rubies. Sapphires are a particularly preferred choice for involvement rings.

three diamond engagement ring

The Big 4 Cs For Loose Diamonds

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