Diamonds online Shalimar

For centuries in Shalimar , 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 Shalimar . 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 Shalimar . 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.

white gold diamond necklace

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

Just how are ruby cut qualities assigned?

This is where things begin to get complicated. The methods made use of to quantitatively evaluate the quality of a cut vary. The method the GIA establishes what a ruby's cut grade must be, for instance, varies in very details means from the means various other certifiers like the AGS do it. In most instances, these organizations don't disclose the exact information of the processes they make use of.

The form of a ruby additionally makes a distinction relative to just how its cut quality is established. Although there are some fundamental standards that remain the same for any type of type of diamond, the exact methods utilized to quality a round diamond's cut are different from those used to grade a heart-shaped ruby's cut.

The remainder of this description will certainly concentrate on round rubies, as this is by far the most typical diamond form. One of the elements influencing the cut quality of a round ruby is the number of facets it has. Aspects are the level, specified locations externally of a diamond. The aspects on round diamonds are usually triangular. Currently, it's assumed that the ideal round diamond ought to have 33 facets on the crown (the area of the ruby that sits above the band, which itself is the best point of the diamond) and 25 on the pavilion (the lower, much longer section of the diamond). When there are flaws externally of the diamond, cutters might add additional aspects in order to obscure them. This leads to a degradation in the general quality of the cut.

While the facet count is generally decideded upon as a great method of judging the high quality of a ruby cut, there are other factors on which gemologists regularly disagree. A few of the various other elements made use of by some authorities in order to help determine cut qualities include the elevation of the ruby's crown, the depth of the pavilion, the diameter of the table (the top of the crown), as well as the angles of the crown and pavilion.

The American Standard standard for round rubies asks for a crown height of 16.2%, pavilion depth of 43.1%, and table size of 53% of the total band diameter. The Suitable Dazzling standard, nevertheless, asks for 19.2% crown height, 40% pavilion deepness, and 56.5% table diameter. While these differences could be difficult for beginners to determine, they are a great illustration of the troubles associated with producing a simple analysis of a diamond's cut.

Although there are some disagreements as to the exact percentages that make up the perfect ruby cut, for prospective diamond customers, the most crucial thing to recognize is that diamond qualifications supplied by companies like the AGS and GIA are reliable and purposeful. Reliable diamond vendors base the prices at which they acquire and also offer diamonds on the cut as well as the remainder of the "four Cs." When you purchase a diamond, you do not need to bother with the understanding of just what makes an excellent ruby cut changing a lot that the worth of your diamond will be dramatically impacted.

Which diamond reduced quality stands for the best value?

Which sort of diamond is best for you largely depends upon your budget plan. For purchasers that agree to buy them, suppliers normally advise rubies with the highest possible cut grades. Nevertheless, this may be due to some self-involvement on their component.

The various other three Cs have an effect on diamond rates also, so it could be challenging to determine the precise difference in price between a Suitable or Exceptional cut diamond and a Great cut. For informal purchasers and budget-conscious capitalists alike, rubies with an Excellent or Good cut quality could stand for an exceptional value. This is because, while they can be much more inexpensive compared to or else comparable Suitable or Excellent cut rubies, the visible difference in quality is very little.

At the same time, feel totally free to use your discernment. If, as an example, you encounter a ruby with a Suitable reduced ranking which has great rankings in the various other categories and is still within your budget, then you ought to definitely consider it, as long as you're managing a reputable vendor.

10 ct ring

The Big 4 Cs For Loose Diamonds

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Not all sellers supply ruby grading laboratory records (aka diamond high quality reports) to their consumers. So my basic advice to you is to keep your cash in your pocket when managing such jewelry experts.

Just acquire a diamond engagement ring if it comes with the initial ruby quality report.

A lab record is an independent assessment of the 4Cs of a loose ruby as well as consists of an outlined diagram of the stone's quality attributes as well as a graphic depiction of the stone's proportions. Having such a report permits you to compare rubies of different top qualities as well as inevitably assists you make a more notified acquiring choice.

A store might reduce corners and also not offer a laboratory record or an unethical seller could provide a fake one as a result of the time, problem and also cost he'll bear to getting a rock rated.

Yeah - there is a cost for grading a ruby (though that cost is eventually paid by the consumer), plus the shipping and also insurance costs for sending the ruby to the lab. And allow us not fail to remember the opportunity price of a jeweler not having the ruby in his shop for sale for a few weeks while the grading takes place.

However, a ruby grading report might also not be available due to the fact that the expenses to obtaining one may affect as well greatly on the final cost of the ring. For instance, a 0.3 ct diamond ring setting you back $250 say, may cost around $75 to be graded as well as have the report number inscribed on the girdle on the ruby. As you browse for that ideal ruby engagement ring for your sweetie, you'll discover that there is an alphabet soup of labs asserting to give respectable ruby rating reports. However I would just put my money on ...

The Premier Diamond Grading Laboratory Information

Yes, all ruby high quality reports are not created equivalent. Within the sector, it is an agreement that both premier labs are GIA-GTL (Gemological Institute of The U.S.A.'s Treasure Trade Lab) as well as the AGS (American Gem Society Laboratories).

The GCAL (Treasure Qualification and also Guarantee Lab) likewise offers very regarded records or "diamond certifications" as they are referred to by GCAL. The GIA has the greatest worldwide online reputation for self-reliance and uniformity. As a result of their continuous shade and quality strictness standards, the globe's largest as well as most costly diamonds have been sent out there for grading decades. In 2006, GIA-GTL included a two-dimensional cut grading system for round fantastic rubies.

AGS makes use of the strictest cut requirements in the industry. It utilizes a three-dimensional light efficiency metric that can grade a number of diamond shapes. In reality, it is the only cut grading system that is acknowledged by the scientific community.

Just what is more, its Diamond Quality Paper uses a special and also proprietary 0 to 10 grading system to evaluate the 4 Cs - a system which is easier to comprehend than GIA's grading system. In fact, AGS also goes the added action by relating their 0-10 rating range to other kinds of ranking. As an example, the traditional VS1 diamond clearness rating is a 3 on the AGS Ruby High Quality File.

Ruby Coverage - The Drawbacks

1. Diamond grading is not standardized or regulated as well as hence you could find rate 2 labs that use looser guidelines to the tier 1 grading labs pointed out over. If you acquire a diamond that has been rated by a rate 2 lab, you might wind up paying extra for a lesser high quality ruby. So for instance, a ruby rated a "F" in color at a rate 2 lab could obtain a G, H, or reduced shade rating at a much more respectable laboratory. The market additionally discounts rubies graded by lesser known labs by about 15-30% or more. So either you only acquire a diamond rated by a rate 1 lab or you accept that you may be getting a minimal quality ruby than what is specified on the report if that ruby is graded by a lower known laboratory.

2. Many big chain stores have significant contracts with lesser recognized laboratories with "softer" ruby grading standards. Several of these softer labs placed "recommended replacement worths" on the laboratory reports - values which are above exactly what stores plans offer the diamonds for. So a sales representative in a store might claim to you, "Consider the good deal you are getting right here. We are offering you this ruby interaction ring for $2500 however the record states that the suggested substitute worth is $4000." Wow - what a bargain - NOT! This is why it is better that you rely on only independent rate 1 laboratories.

Also remember that trusted ruby grading records are not appraisals and also do not offer assessment numbers. Ruby appraisals are often blatantly inflated and also are not something you'll intend to depend on.

3. Ruby reports are filled with disclaimers that specify that absolutely nothing is "certified" or ensured and also that the laboratories are not liable for mistakes. In reality, the GIA supplies a disclaimer of types on their website relating to making use of the word "certify." The web site states:

"It is wrong to state that students, grads, their services, or specific gemstones are "licensed" by GIA. The Gemological Institute of The U.S.A. does not certify any individual or anything. Neither a student nor a grad who has been awarded a certificate or diploma, nor a gem which has actually been graded or identified by GIA has actually been accredited by GIA".

So it is possible that you the consumer is left holding the bag ought to a mistake in a report is later uncovered. Courts have often ruled that vendors, not labs, are accountable for such errors. Why? Since the labs indicated in advance that their reports couldn't be held liable.

Fortunately, there are a couple means to offer on your own much more buyer defense:

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

B. You could discover one of the 20% of US jewelers who sell totally adhered diamonds. These are rubies that are offered with life time damage, lifetime trade-in as well as lifetime buyback plans.

C. Not as good a treatment as purchasing a fully bound diamond but you can get a ruby that has a real "certification" as well as not a report. "Certified rubies do have warranties" albeit for shorter durations.

Accreditation Some vendors describe a "ruby record" as a "licensed diamond" but practically this is not remedy. From a legal point ofview, a ruby record is a simply a skilled opinion though in reality, facets of a diamond grading record are not simply opinions.

As an example, a ruby's carat (weight) can be accurately figured out as well as its cut grade by measuring its optical effectiveness or by referring to a computer system design. A certification on the other hand is a statement of fact - a paper for which the issuer accepts lawful duty as well as will certainly make restitution to the consumer for errors.

Some leading ruby grading laboratories use both reports and also certifications. AGS provides Ruby Quality Documents (non-certified reports) and Diamond High quality Certificates. Diamond High quality Certifications are ready exclusively for AGS retail jewelers and supplies guaranties from participating American Gem Culture member shops.

GCAL certifies it's ruby grading likewise. Its 100% money-back warranty plan stands for a period of 2 years from the date on the relevant certificate. This policy makes sure the accuracy of the cut, color as well as quality grades and the carat weight.

A report or certificate should will certainly have a number on it that may or could not be etched on a diamond. You will certainly be able to enter that number on the website of the accrediting laboratory to examine a report's validity.

Aspects Of A Ruby Grading Report Ruby rating records are constantly progressing however specific component needs to remain the exact same. For example, the:

The Report #. This number is offered and taped in a lab's record and could or could not be engraved on a diamond's girdle. You can get in the record number on a grading lab's web site to inspect the authenticity of the ruby top quality record or to obtain more details concerning the ruby. Forming & Aspect Design: This is the outline as well as the cutting design utilized for the element setup. There are 3 fundamental aspect designs - "dazzling cut, step cut and mixed reducing style" and 12 basic shapes which include notables such as rounded fantastic and princess cut" diamonds.

Measurements: This refers to dimension (not weight) of a ruby. Size consists of measurements such as length, width, weight and also diameter. A dimension is normally noted to the hundredth of a millimeter. Measurements play a massive duty in just how a ruby glows.

Carat weight Weight: The weight of a ruby is determined to the hundredth of a carat as well as some even supply such action to the thousandth of a carat (1.123 ct.). Carat is the most unbiased and the simplest to recognize of the 4Cs because all one needs to do is weight the rock. Color Quality: This tells you the degree of color absence in the diamond. The much less shade the greater the grade.

Diamonds are commonly graded from D-Z; the closer to "D" the whiter the ruby. You need to never ever see diamond shade array such as (G-H, I-J-K, and so forth) on a diamond record. You need to just see color arrays on assessments for stones that are placed.

Clearness Quality: Basically every diamond has internal imperfections called incorporations and also external blemishes called imperfections. A diamond is graded inning accordance with the size, type, place as well as amount of these defects.

Clarity qualities range from Perfect (FL) - Included. Labs make use of a pair professionals to quality the clarity of a diamond in order to think of a much more exact analysis.

Cut Grade: Extra recent ruby records consist of a cut grade for common round fantastic diamonds. Cut considers the radiance, fire as well as scintillation of the ruby. Cut quality ranges from Outstanding - Poor.

Other components you might find on a diamond record consist of the gloss, proportion, fluorescence and also proportion. Armed with this details, you are much better able to make an assessment of the high quality of diamond that is placed in an involvement ring.

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3 Emerald Cut Diamond Ring online Florida

3 Stone Halo Engagement Ring online Shalimar

For centuries in Shalimar , 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 Shalimar . 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 Shalimar . 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.

princess cut wedding rings

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

Rubies are normally offered in a very wide variety of shades. Most individuals learn about anemic rubies as well as GIA's color grading system that is utilized to categorize a ruby's body color ... you understand D, E, F, etc. This shade grading system is just utilized to classify the most common ruby body shade of yellow however anytime a ruby is discovered in another shade like pink, blue, eco-friendly, etc.; then this diamond is referred to as a "" fancy diamond"".

All-natural Fancy diamonds could be extremely pricey and lot of times much more expensive than a similar size colorless diamond. A great instance of a Fancy ruby is the notorious 45.52 carat elegant deep blue diamond, the Hope Diamond, which is on display screen in the Smithsonian Nature Museum in Washington, DC.

A color enhanced ruby is a 100% all-natural ruby that has had its color altered. And finest of all, color improved diamonds been available in an extremely wide selection of shades at very economical prices!

A little history- For many, many years it has actually been well recognized that a diamond's color can be "" improved"" by putting a little tinted compound externally of a diamond and also similar to magic ... a diamond that had a noticeable yellow-colored shade would alter to a more eye-catching near colorless diamond. However, this type of color improved diamond could alter back to its initial body color if this colored material was unintentionally eliminated. In more current years, the technology of color enhanced diamonds has gone very advanced. It is currently feasible to entirely alter the color of a ruby! These processes are taken into consideration long-term because it does stay secure when subjected to day-to-day typical problems. The shade will certainly not discolor if subjected to sunshine or be cleaned off by harsh chemicals.

How is it done? The preferred end result of any one of these treatments is to have an extra valuable diamond. A much less marketable ruby would certainly be a diamond that has a reduced body shade or sometimes a lower clearness. The color boosted ruby therapy business understand if they begin with a particular kind of ruby and procedure it for a certain quantity of time that they ought to wind up with a certain shade however it does not constantly function in this way. This is a science that does need some art in their processes ... the only process that offers regular results is the finish process.

The 3 processes are as follows- Process # 1- HPHT Shade Boosted Diamonds- High Stress/ High Temperature (HPHT) treatment can enhance the color of certain types of brownish diamonds as well as therefore boost their worth. General Electric has established a procedure that basically is a mechanical simulation of a diamond's production in nature. The color improved ruby will certainly be heated up to a very heat under a very high, maintained stress. Faults in the crystal structure are after that repositioned causing a change of the diamond's color. Due to the fact that the problems of HPHT are really much like diamond's initial formation, just a well furnished laboratory will certainly be able to favorably recognize this kind of shade boosted ruby. HPHT wased initially made use of to transform yellow-colored diamonds right into more valuable fancy colored boosted rubies, today it is additionally utilized to change some out of favor brown diamonds into preferred anemic tinted boosted rubies.

Process # 2- Irradiated Color Improved Diamonds- OK ... do not start obtaining all thrilled since you saw the word irradiated! This is a 100% risk-free process that is very much like what is made use of to maintain food by revealing it to a stream of Gamma rays. The shade boosted ruby procedure is carried out in a number of various methods yet the outcomes are just the same. You begin with a reduced shade (P, Q, R, etc.) 100% all-natural diamond that has actually already been reduced as well as brightened, after that it is subjected to a stream of fast electrons. During this part of the procedure the diamond will resort to a very dark color since some of the atoms in the diamond's crystal framework have actually now been dislocated and this consequently has impacted the way light passes with the ruby. Next the diamond experiences a regulated heating (annealing) procedure, this enables some of those atoms to relocate (partially fixed) in order to acquire a desired shade.

Refine # 3- Covered Color Boosted Diamonds- The coating on sleek rubies describes a thin synthetic layer that changes the color of the ruby. The covering could either be of the wanted shade or could cause a colored interference-effect. Unfortunately occasionally this process is done to trick a customer. It is a relatively very easy process to execute, it has actually been around for several years (although the finishes products are a lot better now), and also it does not require a whole lot of expensive advanced equipment. Just recently, I have actually seen some pink layered diamonds on the marketplace, they are extremely attractive ... and also certainly you would certainly have to purchase them knowing that they have been layered as well as follow your jewelry expert's standards about possessing as well as looking after these shade enhanced rubies. The coating can be put on the whole of a diamond's surface area, simply all-time low of the ruby, or to a slim area near the band. A well-applied finish can change the shade by one or more color grade. Some finishings can be eliminated via boiling in acid, solid cleansing options, or even family chemicals. Sometimes dots or bigger areas of purple or blue ink are repainted on the diamond in order to help combat a yellow-colored shade. The ruby's setup will typically cover the dots, so they are tough to see in an installed stone.

So, is a color improved diamond right for you? Perhaps ... all-natural expensive color rubies could be attractive yet they are pricey! Color improved diamonds are budget friendly as well as permit many individuals to own a brightly colored ruby. Ask your local jewelry expert if they have any Fancy diamonds ... either natural or color boosted diamonds. It is always fascinating, as well as fun, to take a look at something various!

Under typical wear the irradiated and HPHT color improved rubies will have not a problem of the color fading away. The only consideration will be when you should have any type of kind of solution done on the item of fashion jewelry. If this type of color improved diamond is subjected to too much quantities of warmth it may impact the shade. The jeweler will certainly should recognize that the ruby is a color enhanced diamond prior to any job is done then the jeweler will certainly have the ability to select the best strategy. Shade boosted diamonds are currently additionally made use of as the little accent diamonds around a bigger colorless diamond. There are several amazing items of fashion jewelry readily available with small blue, yellow, black, or green color boosted diamonds.

Since you know regarding color improved diamonds and also somebody attempts to market you on what they call an all-natural expensive colored diamond yet it goes to an incredibly bargain price ... you will know that something just does not appear right concerning the deal. A report from a highly regarded grading laboratory should go along with 100% natural Fancy colored diamonds that are marketed as natural. If you deal with a trusted firm and you have been guaranteed about exactly what you are purchasing, then you will certainly lessen the opportunity of something bad taking place to you. Similar to any kind of situation entailing a costly purchase of something that very few individuals are well versed in, education and learning must be an important part of your plan. This is even a lot more essential if you intend to acquire a color boosted ruby. Bud Boland has been in the fashion jewelry company for 40 years as well as has done whatever from watchmaking, diamond setting, jewelry production, and also has been a Gemologist for almost 35 years. He is a Graduate Jeweler from GIA (Gemological Institute of The U.S.A.), which is likewise the location where he was a Trainer. He has actually shown concerning rubies to thousands of students from all around the world

3 stone halo engagement ring

Clearness Boosted Diamonds - Some Things You Need to Know!

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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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