5 Stone Diamond Ring in Nome

5 Tips on What To Look For When Buying Diamonds For Wedding Rings

A wedding, or an engagement in  Nome, 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 Nome, 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 Nome. 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 Nome 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 Nome for you engagement or wedding.

diamond rings

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

There are a variety of designs of engagement rings of 2018 that are extremely trendy. Every little thing from pave ruby rings and also tinted stones to "eco-friendly" rings and also network established diamond rings ended up being preferred in 2018.

Lead diamond rings are rings with 3 or 4 rows of small, even-sized diamonds that normally go around the whole ring. A larger center stone set over the rest of the ring completes the look. Pave diamond engagement rings are one of the best interaction rings of 2018 since they are an elegant choice for an engagement ring while producing a great deal of glimmer on a soon-to-be bride's third finger. You'll additionally find pave ruby wedding celebration bands that match your engagement ring and make it much more sparkly.

Colored rocks have additionally expanded in appeal. Since of this, rings with colored diamonds are amongst the best engagement rings of 2018. Diamonds can be found in a selection of colors, including yellow, blue, pink, and also also black. Real colored rubies are exceptionally unusual, that makes them very costly. A one-carat colored ruby could run upwards of 10 thousand bucks. Nonetheless, if you can not manage to invest this much loan on an involvement ring, there are a number of alternatives that will still allow you to be trendy with a colored stone. With the most up to date modern technology, you can buy a man-made colored ruby. With the developments that have been made, many people can not inform the difference in between a mined ruby as well as a man-made one. If you acquire or appoint a manufactured ruby, you could select whichever shade you favor, as well as save several countless dollars in the meanwhile. Alternatively, if you desire a tinted rock however do not need a ruby, emerald greens, sapphires, and rubies make fantastic choices for interaction rings and are far much less expensive compared to extracted colored rubies.

Environment-friendly engagement rings are additionally among the most effective engagement rings of 2018. With even more people concerned regarding the setting and also regarding the human rights concerns that border typical ruby mining, more individuals are trying to find choices to conventional engagement rings. One possibility is to get an involvement ring that has a diamond that was extracted in Canada rather than South Africa. Canada does not have the same human legal rights concerns revolving around its diamond market, so it's taken into consideration to be extra pleasant to the world. Conversely, getting a synthetic diamond ring is also considered to be a lot more "eco-friendly" because not just does it not have the same civils rights issues that extracted diamonds do, but it does not destroy the earth like mining for rubies has a tendency to do. Additionally, the most effective engagement rings of 2018 include antique involvement rings considering that the greenest engagement rings are those that are reused and reused. By purchasing an engagement ring that is antique, you are not adding to the brand-new diamond ring market or the devastation of the setting.

Channel established ruby rings are additionally on the list of best interaction rings of 2018. Channel collection engagement rings have actually the stones established within the band of the ring, so the top of the rock is even with the top of the ring. Channel set rings are specifically optimal because the diamonds are protected from being harmed because you could not reach the rock to chip them. Much more popular are channel collection diamond rings made out of platinum, which has actually lately grown in appeal. If you wish to buy a ring that is a lot more distinct, though, you could have a network set involvement ring established with rocks apart from diamonds. Sapphires are an especially preferred selection for interaction rings.

heart shaped wedding sets

What You Should Know When Buying a Diamond Ring

Nome

To begin our attribute on different sorts of gems, we will certainly start with the very best and also most well known gems of them all the diamond. The ruby is the ultimate gemstone. It has very few weaknesses as well as lots of toughness. It glows with its phenomenal worth and also emotional worth. It is used in wedding rings to stand for endless love or made use of as gifts/jewelry to be offered to loved ones. But the ruby is so a lot even more than its eternal elegance.

The diamond acquires its name from the Greek job adamas meaning irresistible. In hardness, there is no comparison. The diamond rates in the Mohs scale a 10 which is the hardest substance on Earth. Its cutting resistance is 140 times that of the ruby and also sapphire, the gemstones(Diamond) that are next in the Mohs range in hardness. The diamond's optical residential or commercial properties such as radiance and rigidity make it distinct and easily distinguished from other imitations. Appreciate!

* Background of Diamonds

The very first tape-recorded diamond go back around 800 B.C. in India. Some think it also went back 6,000 years earlier. The rubies were used as decorative functions and as talismans to prevent bad as well as offer protection in battle. During the Dark Ages, rubies were also stated to be made use of as a clinical help. Spiritual medical professionals even told clients that if they hold a diamond in a hand and also make the sign of the cross would, it would cure and also disease as well as recover wounds.

Rubies came to be a lot more prominent during the 19th century due to discovery of ruby down payments in South Africa. This exploration brings about raised supply, boosted cutting and brightening techniques, and development in economic climate. In 1979, rock hounds found the Argyle pipeline in Australia which to this day is the richest ruby down payment on the planet. Argyle, ever since, alone is accountable for providing over one third of the world's diamonds every year.

* Diamonds: Just how are they developed?

Rubies is composed of an allotrope of carbons that are developed in high-pressure, high-temperature conditions. Rubies are created 90 miles under the Planet's surface at temperature levels of about 2200 degrees Fahrenheit. Diamonds are created deep within the planet and also eventually, over extremely extended periods of time, press their means to the planet's surface, usually through volcanic eruptions.

The age of these rubies from under the surface of the planet are from 1 to 3.3 billion years of ages! When diamonds are developed as well as begin their ascent to the planet's surface, they undergo channels where the magma from the volcano climbs to the surface, grabbing rubies along the road as well as at some point depositing them on the surface, where they are at some point discovered as well as extracted.

* The 4 C's of Diamonds

There are 4 unique characteristics that figure out the worth and also quality of a ruby. These are the color, cut, quality and carat weight. Otherwise referred to as the 4 C's of a ruby. In the complying with, we will discuss these functions thoroughly.

* Color

In the last e-newsletter, we touch based on the shade of gemstones as being one of the most essential function due to that color is one of the most noticeable feature. The best ruby must appear clear as well as anemic but this is not the situation for all diamonds. Diamonds could come in any shade of the rainbow most common shade is a color of yellow or brown. The Geological Institute of The U.S.A.(GIA) have created a guideline to grade diamond color. This standard contains a lettering system that varies from the alphabet D - Z. Please see listed below:

D E F No Shade G H I J Almost Colorless K L M Faintly tinted, can not rarely be seen as well as typically yellow in color N O P Q R Lightly tinted, normally yellow. Can be seen with the naked eye S T U V W X Y Z Tinted, begins with yellow as well as advances to brown

* Quality

The cut a ruby is identified by the ruby's percentage such as its form, size as well as deepness. The cut establishes what is called the ruby's "brilliance". Even if the ruby itself has best shade as well as quality, with a poor cut the diamond will certainly have a boring luster. This is because the cut establishes exactly how light journeys within the ruby. The Gemological Institute of America has actually additionally devised a clearness grading system to rate diamond quality. This grading system consists of Flawless (Fl), Inside Remarkable (IF), Very Extremely A Little Consisted Of (VV1 or VV2), Really Somewhat Included(VS1 or VS2), Slightly Included(SI1 or SI2), and also Consisted Of(I1, I2, as well as I3). Although this system had actually been added to the ruby market, it is not widely utilized. This is due to that it took a great deal of practice and also training to integrate it.

* Cut

The cut a ruby is established by the ruby's percentage such as its form, width as well as deepness. The cut determines just what is called the ruby's "radiance". Even if the ruby itself has best color as well as quality, with a poor cut the ruby will certainly have a plain sparkle. This is due to the fact that the cut determines just how light trips within the diamond.

There are 3 kinds of cuts that can determine the ruby's luster. These are a superficial cut, a cut that is unfathomable as well as optimal cut. A superficial cut is a cut of a diamond that is also low, that light taking a trip through it is lost under of the stone and also does not come back into view. This cut makes a diamond appear lifeless and also boring. A cut that is unfathomable is a cut that is expensive, that light traveling via it leaves through the sides and also dims the stone. A suitable cut is an ideal cut on a ruby that mirrors light to the top of the stone, giving it best radiance.

* Carat

As specified on the last newsletter, a single carat(ct) weighs regarding 200 milligrams or.2 grams. For smaller carat weight diamonds that weigh less compared to a carat weight, it is shared as factors (pt). Factors are 1/100 of a carat weight. Carat weight of a diamond is very important due to that bigger diamonds are rarer than smaller ones, so essentially the bigger the ruby the more costly it is. There is no typical grading system or representation that can reveal various carat weight. This is because there are numerous variants of rubies in shape and also cut, which makes stones of comparable weight, look different.

* Imitation Diamonds

Since rubies are one of the most important and rarest of all the gemstones, initiatives have been made to duplicate or perhaps improve diamonds using cheaper options. A great deal of times, sincere mistakes have actually been made and these choices or various other gems such as spinel were in some cases perplexed with actual diamonds. In many cases, some deceitful people attempt to offer these choices to misfortunate buyers in order to earnings. Listed below we will certainly go over about these options and methods to recognize them.

* Synthetic Diamonds

Synthetic diamonds are diamonds that are grown made in a lab. The very first known cases of ruby synthesis were claimed to be recorded in between 1879 - 1928, yet this was never ever verified. It had not been up until the 1940's where research started in the United States, Sweden, Soviet Union started researching. Synthetic diamonds are or else referred to as High Stress Heat (HPHT) diamonds or Chemical Vapor Deposit (CVD) rubies. The name of both these synthetic rubies derives from the procedures made use of to produce them. Some of these synthetic diamonds might either have better, lower or comparable qualities compared to that of a diamond. Consequently, these artificial diamonds are used for abrasives, reducing and also polishing tools, and also switches in power plant.

* Simulants

Simulants are non-diamond substances that are made use of to reproduce the appearance and also the shape of a diamond. The most fundamental and well understood simulant is cubic zirconia (CZ). CZ at ordinary sight can shimmer greater than a diamond as well as also it is less dense, meaning that a 1 carat weight CZ will certainly be much bigger compared to a 1 carat weight diamond. Nowadays, a much more prominent simulant is moissanite, which has all the same characteristics of a ruby. These features consist of solidity (Moissanite-9.25 and also diamond-10 in Mohs range), refractive index(Moissanite -2.65 and also ruby -2.42) as well as diffusion (Moissanite -.104 as well as ruby -.044). This makes it hard to set apart the two at plain view and also would certainly commonly require testers to discriminate. In the following area we will certainly discuss ways to determine moissanites and other imitations.

* Actual or Phony?

An old technique of determining rubies is to do a scrape examination. This needs damaging a ruby with an additional ruby which is destructive as well as is rarely utilized nowadays. The very best and most reputable means to check for rubies is to use testers that make use of thermal conductivity. These testers include battery powered thermistors placed with a retracting copper tip. This tester works by infusing the heat onto the checked stone as well as after that the tool gauges the amount of warmth that it carries out. However thermal conductivity testers works best to distinguish diamonds and its other simulants, it will not aid distinguish laboratory developed or synthetic stones. To be able to determine these, particular optical methods are needed. Laboratories make use of strategies such as spectroscopy, microscopy as well as luminescence in order to determine a particular stones origin. The ordinary individual could make use of loupes as well as microscopes to identify artificial stones. Natural diamonds usually have small imperfections as well as imperfections such as additions or some kind of international product, which will not be located in synthetics.

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Wedding Rings For Men And Women in Alaska

Silver Chain Necklace online Nome

For centuries in Nome , diamond has been used as an epitome of true love. It reflects love, affection, security, trust and a life long commitment. When you gift a diamond to a woman, let it be in the form of diamond engagement ring, you need not say the rest. It will make others understand that how much serious you are for her. It will portray your love in the best possible manner.

You can find a variety of diamond engagement rings at online jewelry stores in Nome . These diamond engagement rings come in many shapes and styles. It is apt to choose diamond as the stone for these engagement rings because diamond is considered beautiful and it is also the hardest of all substances present on the earth. This is primarily the reason why people consider it ominous and feel that wearing diamond can bring same kind of good luck in their lives. This has made diamond engagement ring, diamond solitaire ring, designer engagement ring, diamond engagement ring platinum, discount diamond engagement ring a pre determined gift for those involved in love.

Out of all rings, a ring with solitaire is considered the most appropriate symbol which can depict your love. The attraction with the solitaire is incomparable. Diamond solitaire rings are set in a prong setting with 4 to 8 claws. Prongs can mostly be seen in platinum, yet another very beautiful and attractive metal. In most of the cases platinum is considered, as it is generally thin, and makes the diamond more visible.

Then there is yet another form of diamond engagement rings, which is attractive as well as romantic. It is known as past, present future ring. These rings define love as eternal and something which was in the past will be in the present and will be there in the future. The ring actually consists of three stones of diamond. The design of the ring can be like a center piece of diamond with two pieces around, or the three pieces of diamond clustered together. Side stone diamond engagement rings are also one style of engagement rings, which is elegant. This type of engagement ring is basically attractive as well as elegant.

They go well for working women.

Then there are antique diamond rings in Nome . These are also called Victorian rings. The designs of these rings are just like what was prevalent in the past. These diamond rings also look well if they go with some other stones. And if you want to give something priceless and sentimental to your lover, then you can gift her ancestral ring. Ancestral ring is the ring of your family, coming down since past. This ring must have been worn by your mother and grandmother. These rings are high in sentimental value and thus are considered priceless. Bit if you do not have such a family ring, then there is nothing to be upset over. You can buy for your fiancé or your wife unique engagement rings; who knows, one day; this ring can becomes an ancestral ring for your family.

So, what are you waiting for? If you are planning to walk the aisle with hand in hand with your lover, then begin the process by gifting her a diamond engagement ring. After all, diamonds are a woman’s best friend.

 

heart shaped wedding sets

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

Not all vendors give diamond grading laboratory records (also known as diamond high quality reports) to their customers. So my basic suggestions to you is to keep your cash in your pocket when dealing with such jewelers.

Only acquire a diamond interaction ring if it includes the initial ruby quality record.

A lab report is an independent assessment of the 4Cs of a loose ruby as well as includes an outlined layout of the rock's clearness characteristics and a visuals representation of the rock's proportions. Having such a report enables you to compare rubies of various high qualities as well as ultimately aids you make a more notified purchasing choice.

A seller might reduce edges and also not supply a lab record or an underhanded vendor might give a fake one due to the time, problem and expenditure he'll bear to obtaining a stone graded.

Yeah - there is a price for rating a ruby (though that cost is at some point paid by the consumer), plus the delivery and also insurance policy costs for sending out the diamond to the laboratory. And also allow us not forget the possibility price of a jewelry expert not having the ruby in his store available for sale for a couple of weeks while the grading occurs.

Nevertheless, a ruby rating report may likewise not be readily available because the expenses to getting one could affect too heavily on the final cost of the ring. For instance, a 0.3 ct ruby ring costing $250 claim, might set you back around $75 to be graded as well as have the record number inscribed on the band on the diamond. As you look for that optimal diamond involvement ring for your sweetheart, you'll discover that there is a hodgepodge of laboratories declaring to supply reliable diamond rating reports. Yet I would only place my money on ...

The Premier Ruby Grading Laboratory Reports

Yes, all ruby top quality reports are not produced equivalent. Within the market, it is a consensus that both top labs are GIA-GTL (Gemological Institute of The U.S.A.'s Treasure Profession Lab) and the AGS (American Gem Culture Laboratories).

The GCAL (Gem Qualification as well as Guarantee Lab) also uses extremely concerned reports or "diamond certifications" as they are described by GCAL. The GIA has the greatest international reputation for independence and uniformity. Because of their constant shade and also clearness strictness standards, the globe's biggest and also most expensive diamonds have actually been sent there for rating years. In 2006, GIA-GTL included a two-dimensional cut grading system for round great diamonds.

AGS uses the strictest cut standards in the market. It makes use of a three-dimensional light efficiency metric that can grade several diamond forms. Actually, it is the only cut grading system that is acknowledged by the scientific neighborhood.

Exactly what is even more, its Ruby High quality Document utilizes an one-of-a-kind and exclusive 0 to 10 grading system to evaluate the 4 Cs - a system which is easier to understand than GIA's grading system. In fact, AGS also goes the additional action by equating their 0-10 score range to other kinds of rating. For instance, the standard VS1 ruby clarity ranking is a 3 on the AGS Diamond Top Quality Paper.

Diamond Reporting - The Drawbacks

1. Ruby grading is not standard or controlled as well as hence you may find rate 2 labs that utilize looser guidelines to the tier 1 grading laboratories stated above. If you acquire a ruby that has actually been rated by a tier 2 lab, you might end up paying more for a lower quality ruby. So for example, a diamond rated a "F" in shade at a tier 2 laboratory may get a G, H, or reduced shade ranking at a much more reliable lab. The market also discounts rubies rated by minimal known laboratories by regarding 15-30% or even more. So either you only get a ruby rated by a rate 1 laboratory or you accept that you could be getting a lower top quality ruby than just what is stated on the record if that ruby is rated by a minimal well-known lab.

2. Lots of large chain stores have substantial agreements with lesser recognized laboratories with "softer" diamond grading standards. Some of these softer laboratories put "suggested replacement worths" on the lab records - worths which are above just what stores intends offer the diamonds for. So a salesman in a store might say to you, "Take a look at the fantastic offer you are getting right here. We are selling you this diamond engagement ring for $2500 however the record states that the recommended replacement worth is $4000." Wow - exactly what a bargain - NOT! This is why it is better that you rely on just independent tier 1 labs.

Likewise keep in mind that trustworthy ruby rating records are not assessments and also don't use evaluation numbers. Ruby evaluations are usually blatantly inflated and also are not something you'll wish to count on.

3. Ruby records are filled with please notes that specify that nothing is "accredited" or guaranteed as well as that the laboratories are not answerable for errors. In reality, the GIA provides a please note of kinds on their site pertaining to making use of the word "accredit." The site says:

"It is inaccurate to state that pupils, graduates, their businesses, or specific gemstones are "accredited" by GIA. The Gemological Institute of The U.S.A. does not certify anyone or anything. Neither a trainee nor a graduate that has actually been granted a certificate or diploma, nor a treasure which has been graded or recognized by GIA has actually been licensed by GIA".

So it is possible that you the consumer is left holding the bag should an inaccuracy in a report is later discovered. Courts have actually frequently ruled that vendors, not labs, are accountable for such errors. Why? Since the labs showed ahead of time that their records couldn't be held accountable.

Luckily, there are a couple methods to provide yourself much more purchaser defense:

A. You could fly to India where jewelry experts use a life time buyback policy to their customers. As well expensive to fly?

B. You could locate among the 20% of United States jewelers who offer completely adhered diamonds. These are rubies that are sold with lifetime damage, life time trade-in and lifetime buyback policies.

C. Not as good a remedy as purchasing a fully adhered ruby but you can buy a diamond that has an actual "certification" and also not a report. "Qualified diamonds do come with warranties" albeit for shorter periods.

Qualification Some sellers describe a "ruby record" as a "qualified diamond" but technically this is not remedy. From a lawful viewpoint, a diamond report is a just a skilled viewpoint though in truth, facets of a ruby grading report are not just point of views.

As an example, a ruby's carat (weight) could be properly figured out along with its cut grade by gauging its optical effectiveness or by describing a computer system design. A certificate on the various other hand is a statement of reality - a file for which the provider accepts legal duty and also will make restitution to the consumer for mistakes.

Some top diamond grading labs provide both records and certificates. AGS uses Diamond Top quality Documents (non-certified records) as well as Diamond Top quality Certificates. Ruby Quality Certificates are ready specifically for AGS retail jewelers and also offers guaranties from participating American Gem Society member stores.

GCAL accredits it's ruby grading additionally. Its 100% money-back guarantee policy stands for a duration of two years from the date on the relevant certificate. This plan ensures the precision of the cut, color and quality qualities and the carat weight.

A record or certificate must will have a number on it that might or could not be engraved on a diamond. You will have the ability to go into that number on the web site of the licensing lab to check a report's validity.

Aspects Of A Ruby Grading Report Diamond rating reports are always progressing however particular component should stay the exact same. For instance, the:

The Report #. This number is provided as well as recorded in a lab's record as well as could or may not be etched on a diamond's girdle. You can get in the record number on a rating laboratory's internet site to check the authenticity of the diamond quality record or to obtain more info concerning the diamond. Forming & Element Style: This is the synopsis and also the reducing style used for the facet setup. There are 3 fundamental element styles - "great cut, step cut as well as mixed reducing design" and 12 standard shapes which consist of notables such as round dazzling and also princess cut" rubies.

Dimensions: This refers to dimension (not weight) of a ruby. Dimension includes measurements such as size, width, weight and also diameter. A dimension is commonly listed to the hundredth of a millimeter. Dimensions play a massive function in just how a ruby glows.

Carat weight Weight: The weight of a diamond is gauged to the hundredth of a carat weight as well as some also provide such procedure to the thousandth of a carat (1.123 ct.). Carat is the most objective and also the most convenient to understand of the 4Cs since all one has to do is weight the rock. Shade Grade: This informs you the degree of shade absence in the diamond. The less shade the higher the grade.

Diamonds are generally rated from D-Z; the closer to "D" the whiter the ruby. You ought to never see diamond shade range such as (G-H, I-J-K, and so forth) on a ruby record. You need to only see shade arrays on assessments for stones that are placed.

Clarity Grade: Essentially every ruby has inner imperfections called inclusions and also external imperfections called imperfections. A diamond is rated inning accordance with the dimension, type, place and quantity of these flaws.

Quality grades vary from Remarkable (FL) - Included. Labs make use of a pair professionals to grade the clarity of a diamond in order to come up with a much more accurate analysis.

Cut Quality: Much more recent ruby records consist of a cut quality for standard round great rubies. Cut takes right into factor to consider the brilliance, fire and scintillation of the diamond. Cut grade varies from Excellent - Poor.

Various other elements you might discover on a ruby record include the polish, symmetry, fluorescence as well as percentage. Armed with this details, you are much better able to make an evaluation of the top quality of diamond that is installed in an engagement ring.

10 ct ring

What You Should Know When Buying a Diamond Ring

Nome

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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