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.

1 ct tw earrings

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

Rubies are naturally available in an extremely large range of colors. The majority of individuals find out about anemic rubies and also GIA's color grading system that is used to identify a diamond's body shade ... you understand D, E, F, and so on. This shade grading system is just utilized to categorize one of the most typical ruby body shade of yellow however anytime a ruby is found in an additional color like pink, blue, environment-friendly, and so on; after that this diamond is referred to as a "" fancy diamond"".

All-natural Fancy rubies can be really costly as well as sometimes much more pricey compared to a similar size colorless diamond. A great example of a Fancy diamond is the well known 45.52 carat weight expensive deep blue diamond, the Hope Diamond, which gets on screen in the Smithsonian Nature Museum in Washington, DC.

A color improved diamond is a 100% all-natural diamond that has actually had its shade transformed. And most importantly, shade boosted rubies come in an extremely vast option of shades at really affordable costs!

A bit of background- For many, several years it has actually been popular that a diamond's color could be "" enhanced"" by placing a little colored material externally of a diamond as well as simply like magic ... a diamond that had a noticeable yellow-colored color would certainly transform to an extra attractive near anemic diamond. Unfortunately, this type of shade improved ruby could change back to its initial body color if this tinted substance was accidentally eliminated. In even more current years, the modern technology of shade boosted diamonds has gone exceptionally advanced. It is now feasible to completely transform the color of a diamond! These procedures are thought about irreversible due to the fact that it does remain stable when exposed to day-to-day normal conditions. The color will not fade if revealed to sunlight or be cleaned off by severe chemicals.

Exactly how is it done? The preferred outcome of any of these treatments is to have an extra valuable ruby. A less marketable ruby would be a diamond that has a reduced body color or sometimes a lower quality. The shade enhanced ruby treatment firms know if they start off with a specific kind of diamond as well as procedure it for a certain quantity of time that they must wind up with a particular color but it does not constantly function that method. This is a scientific research that does require some art in their processes ... the only procedure that offers constant outcomes is the layer process.

The 3 procedures are as complies with- Refine # 1- HPHT Color Boosted Diamonds- High Stress/ Heat (HPHT) therapy could boost the color of particular kinds of brownish rubies as well as therefore enhance their value. General Electric has developed a process that quite much is a mechanical simulation of a ruby's creation in nature. The shade improved diamond will be warmed up to a really heat under a really high, supported stress. Faults in the crystal structure are after that repositioned leading to a modification of the diamond's color. Due to the fact that the conditions of HPHT are extremely similar to diamond's initial development, only a well outfitted lab will certainly be able to positively identify this sort of shade enhanced ruby. HPHT was first used to turn yellowish rubies into more valuable fancy colored improved rubies, however now it is also made use of to change some out of favor brown diamonds right into preferred colorless colored boosted rubies.

Process # 2- Irradiated Shade Enhanced Diamonds- OK ... do not begin getting all thrilled since you saw the word irradiated! This is a 100% risk-free procedure that is very similar to exactly what is utilized to maintain food by exposing it to a stream of Gamma rays. The color improved diamond procedure is carried out in several various ways however the results are all the same. You begin with a low color (P, Q, R, etc.) 100% all-natural diamond that has actually already been cut and also brightened, after that it is subjected to a stream of rapid electrons. Throughout this component of the process the ruby will resort to an extremely dark color because a few of the atoms in the diamond's crystal structure have currently been disjointed and this consequently has impacted the method light passes with the ruby. Next the ruby undergoes a regulated home heating (annealing) process, this permits some of those atoms to move (partially repaired) in order to get a wanted color.

Refine # 3- Coated Shade Enhanced Diamonds- The layer on polished diamonds describes a slim artificial layer that modifies the shade of the diamond. The covering could either be of the preferred shade or could trigger a colored interference-effect. Unfortunately often this process is done to trick a purchaser. It is a relatively simple procedure to perform, it has actually been around for many years (although the finishes materials are a lot better currently), and it does not need a great deal of pricey high tech tools. Just recently, I have actually seen some pink layered rubies on the marketplace, they are really appealing ... and also of course you would have to buy them knowing that they have been coated as well as follow your jewelry expert's guidelines regarding having as well as taking care of these color enhanced rubies. The covering could be put on the entire of a diamond's surface area, just all-time low of the diamond, or to a slim area near the band. A well-applied coating can alter the color by several shade quality. Some coatings can be eliminated through boiling in acid, solid cleaning solutions, or also household chemicals. Occasionally dots or bigger areas of purple or blue ink are painted on the diamond to assist neutralize a yellowish shade. The ruby's setup will generally cover the dots, so they are tough to see in an installed rock.

So, is a shade boosted ruby right for you? Possibly ... all-natural expensive color rubies could be lovely but they are costly! Color enhanced diamonds are budget friendly and permit lots of people to own a vibrantly tinted ruby. Ask your regional jewelry expert if they have any kind of Fancy rubies ... either all-natural or color improved rubies. It is constantly intriguing, and also fun, to check out something different!

Under regular wear the irradiated as well as HPHT shade boosted diamonds will have not a problem of the color fading away. The only factor to consider will certainly be when you require to have any kind of sort of service done on the item of fashion jewelry. If this sort of color improved diamond is exposed to extreme quantities of warm it could affect the shade. The jewelry expert will require to know that the ruby is a color improved ruby prior to any kind of job is done and afterwards the jeweler will be able to pick the finest course of action. Shade improved rubies are currently also made use of as the little accent diamonds around a larger colorless ruby. There are several interesting items of jewelry available with little blue, yellow, black, or environment-friendly color improved diamonds.

Since you learn about color boosted diamonds as well as someone aims to market you on just what they call a natural expensive tinted diamond however it goes to an extremely deal cost ... you will understand that something simply does not appear ideal about the deal. A report from a respected grading laboratory must accompany 100% natural Fancy tinted diamonds that are marketed as all-natural. If you handle a credible company and you have been assured about exactly what you are buying, then you will decrease the possibility of something bad occurring to you. As with any kind of situation entailing a costly purchase of something that not many people are experienceded in, education ought to be a vital part of your strategy. This is much more important if you intend to purchase a color improved diamond. Bud Boland has actually been in the precious jewelry company for 40 years and also has actually done everything from watchmaking, diamond setting, precious jewelry making, and also has been a Jeweler for almost 35 years. He is a Grad Gemologist from GIA (Gemological Institute of America), which is additionally the place where he was a Teacher. He has actually taught regarding diamonds to numerous pupils from around the globe

round engagement rings

Fake Or Genuine Diamond And Also Is This Right For You

Clearlake

To begin our function on various sorts of gemstones, we will start with the best and also most popular gemstone of them all the diamond. The ruby is the best gemstone. It has few weak points and numerous strengths. It shines with its remarkable value and emotional value. It is utilized in wedding celebration rings to stand for unlimited love or used as gifts/jewelry to be provided to liked ones. Yet the ruby is a lot even more compared to its infinite appeal.

The diamond obtains its name from the Greek work adamas meaning unequalled. In hardness, there is no comparison. The diamond rates in the Mohs scale a 10 which is the hardest compound on Earth. Its reducing resistance is 140 times that of the ruby as well as sapphire, the gems(Corundum) that are next in the Mohs range in firmness. The ruby's optical residential or commercial properties such as radiance and inflexibility make it one-of-a-kind as well as conveniently differentiated from other replicas. Delight in!

* Background of Diamonds

The initial recorded ruby dates back around 800 B.C. in India. Some think it even went back 6,000 years earlier. The diamonds were used as attractive functions and as talismans to fend off bad and give defense in fight. Throughout the Dark Ages, rubies were also stated to be used as a medical aid. Spiritual doctors even told people that if they hold a diamond in a hand as well as make the indicator of the cross would certainly, it would certainly cure and also illness as well as heal wounds.

Diamonds ended up being more popular throughout the 19th century because of discovery of diamond down payments in South Africa. This discovery results in raised supply, enhanced reducing and also brightening strategies, as well as growth in economic situation. In 1979, rock hounds found the Argyle pipeline in Australia which to this day is the richest diamond down payment on the planet. Argyle, since then, alone is in charge of providing over one third of the world's rubies each year.

* Diamonds: Exactly how are they developed?

Diamonds contains an allotrope of carbons that are created in high-pressure, high-temperature problems. Rubies are generated 90 miles under the Planet's surface area at temperatures of regarding 2200 levels Fahrenheit. Diamonds are created deep within the planet and ultimately, over extremely lengthy periods of time, push their method to the earth's surface area, normally through volcanic eruptions.

The age of these diamonds from below the surface of the earth are from 1 to 3.3 billion years old! When diamonds are developed as well as start their ascent to the planet's surface, they experience channels where the lava from the volcano increases to the surface, grabbing diamonds along the method as well as ultimately depositing them externally, where they are at some point located as well as mined.

* The 4 C's of Diamonds

There are 4 distinct qualities that figure out the worth and quality of a ruby. These are the color, cut, clarity and carat. Or else called the 4 C's of a diamond. In the adhering to, we will chat regarding these functions in detail.

* Shade

In the last e-newsletter, we touch based on the color of gems as being the most important function as a result of the reality that color is one of the most obvious function. The perfect ruby ought to show up clear and anemic yet 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 brownish. The Geological Institute of America(GIA) have actually created a standard to quality diamond shade. This guideline contains a lettering system that varies from the alphabet D - Z. Please see below:

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

* Quality

The cut a ruby is established by the diamond's percentage such as its shape, size and depth. The cut determines just what is called the diamond's "luster". Also if the diamond itself has excellent shade and clarity, with a bad cut the ruby will certainly have a dull sparkle. This is due to the fact that the cut establishes just how light journeys within the ruby. The Gemological Institute of The U.S.A. has actually additionally devised a clarity grading system to rank ruby clarity. This grading system includes Remarkable (Fl), Internally Flawless (IF), Really Really Slightly Included (VV1 or VV2), Extremely Slightly Included(VS1 or VS2), Somewhat Consisted Of(SI1 or SI2), and also Consisted Of(I1, I2, and also I3). Although this system had been contributed to the ruby market, it is not extensively utilized. This is due to that it took a great deal of method as well as training to incorporate it.

* Cut

The cut a diamond is established by the ruby's percentage such as its form, width and deepness. The cut identifies what is called the diamond's "radiance". Even if the diamond itself has best shade and also clearness, with a poor cut the ruby will certainly have a plain brilliance. This is since the cut determines just how light journeys within the ruby.

There are 3 sorts of cuts that can identify the diamond's sparkle. These are a superficial cut, a cut that is unfathomable as well as optimal cut. A superficial cut is a cut of a ruby that is as well reduced, that light taking a trip with it is lost under of the stone as well as does not come back right into view. This cut makes a ruby show up lifeless and also boring. A cut that is unfathomable is a cut that is expensive, that light taking a trip via it leaves through the sides and also darkens the rock. An ideal cut is an ideal cut on a diamond that shows light to the top of the rock, providing it excellent luster.

* Carat

As specified on the last e-newsletter, a single carat weight(ct) evaluates regarding 200 milligrams or.2 grams. For smaller sized carat rubies that evaluate much less compared to a carat weight, it is revealed as factors (pt). Points are 1/100 of a carat. Carat weight of a ruby is essential as a result of the fact that larger diamonds are rarer compared to smaller ones, so essentially the larger the ruby the extra costly it is. There is no basic grading system or layout that can show various carat weight. This is due to the fact that there are many variants of diamonds in form and cut, which makes rocks of comparable weight, look various.

* Replica Diamonds

Because rubies are one of the most useful and rarest of all the gemstones, efforts have been made to replicate or perhaps boost rubies utilizing cheaper choices. A great deal of times, honest blunders have actually been made as well as these choices or other gems such as spinel were in some cases confused with actual rubies. In some situations, some deceitful individuals try to offer these choices to misfortunate purchasers in order to profit. Listed below we will review concerning these alternatives and also means to determine them.

* Synthetic Diamonds

Artificial rubies are diamonds that are expanded manufactured in a research laboratory. The very first recognized cases of diamond synthesis were claimed to be documented between 1879 - 1928, but this was never validated. It wasn't until the 1940's where research study started in the USA, Sweden, Soviet Union began investigating. Synthetic rubies are or else referred to as High Stress Heat (HPHT) diamonds or Chemical Vapor Down Payment (CVD) rubies. The name of both these artificial diamonds stems from the processes utilized to produce them. Several of these artificial diamonds could either have greater, lesser or comparable attributes compared to that of a diamond. For that reason, these synthetic rubies are used for abrasives, reducing and also brightening tools, and also switches in power stations.

* Simulants

Simulants are non-diamond compounds that are utilized to replicate the look as well as the form of a ruby. One of the most standard and well understood simulant is cubic zirconia (CZ). CZ at simple sight can glimmer more compared to a ruby and it is much less dense, meaning that a 1 carat CZ will be a lot bigger than a 1 carat ruby. Nowadays, a more preferred simulant is moissanite, which has all the very same features of a diamond. These features include hardness (Moissanite-9.25 as well as diamond-10 in Mohs scale), refractive index(Moissanite -2.65 and ruby -2.42) as well as dispersion (Moissanite -.104 as well as ruby -.044). This makes it tough to differentiate both at ordinary sight and also would certainly often call for testers to discriminate. In the next section we will certainly discuss how you can recognize moissanites and also various other replicas.

* Real or Phony?

An old approach of determining rubies is to do a scrape test. This needs scratching a ruby with one more diamond which is harmful and is hardly ever made use of nowadays. The ideal and most dependable means to evaluate for diamonds is to utilize testers that make use of thermal conductivity. These testers include battery powered thermistors placed with a retractable copper suggestion. This tester works by infusing the warm onto the examined rock and after that the gadget measures the amount of heat that it carries out. Nonetheless thermal conductivity testers functions best to distinguish rubies as well as its various other simulants, it will certainly not help differentiate laboratory developed or synthetic rocks. To be able to determine these, particular optical strategies are required. Laboratories utilize strategies such as spectroscopy, microscopy as well as luminescence in order to figure out a particular rocks origin. The ordinary person could utilize loupes and also microscopes to distinguish artificial rocks. Natural diamonds usually have minor blemishes as well as imperfections such as additions or some type of international material, which will certainly not be located in synthetics.

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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.

marriage rings

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

Getting a diamond engagement ring is fairly a deserving acquisition every male must be lucky adequate to make. Some who do not really know excessive concerning jewelry and diamonds might really feel as if they need to just go to a shop as well as pick a ring which looks eye-catching to them. Although this might suffice, there are much better means to choosing the most effective feasible type of diamond engagement ring for your enjoyed one. The complying with will certainly note the top 10 keys to purchasing a ruby engagement ring.

Shop Around

Maybe one of the ideal tricks to remember if you remember absolutely nothing else from this list is to shop about. Acquiring a ring of this type on an impulse will certainly probably not lead you to the finest offer or the most effective diamond. As a result, take your time when buying an involvement ring, store around and see just what is available to be acquired.

You Can Find a Gorgeous Ruby Engagement Ring on Sale

You should likewise know the fact that you have the ability to discover an exquisite ruby engagement ring with a favorable price affixed to it. This is not to say that you should restrict your choices just to sale products however constantly do not hesitate to peruse the sale counter when browsing for an involvement ring to provide to your future fiancée. Do make certain that it is a legit sale and not one that runs throughout the year.

Size of the Ruby Really Doesn't Matter

Another secret when it pertains to acquiring an involvement ruby ring is that the carat size of the diamond is not truly what issues when all is said and also done. Although some could assume that a larger diamond equals a much better ruby this is typically not the situation as cut, shade and clarity all need to be thought about along with the carat weight of the stone.

Buying Online Is an Alternative

With today's technology, you can buy virtually anything online and also the same holds true for diamond involvement rings. For those who such as the concept of an on-line acquisition, there are lots of sites which provide diamond rings available for sale and also could supply rather an excellent deal too. Simply be certain to obtain paperwork specifying real quality of the ring. The on-line business ought to have an One Month cash back guaranty with no inquiries asked.

Purchasing the Ring with Wedding Bands Could Save Money

You might additionally find that if you remain in the marketplace for not just an involvement ring but wedding bands also, purchasing all of these products together can save you money. Specific ring designers will create involvement rings with matching wedding bands which you can purchase as a collection.

White Gold Appears Like Platinum Yet Is Cheaper

If your loved one suches as silver-tone fashion jewelry yet you are unable to pay for a platinum ruby interaction ring, take into consideration buying one constructed from white gold. White gold is a great choice as it resembles platinum however is a lot less pricey.

Precious Jewelry Merchants Frequently Have A Couple Of Sales Throughout The Year

Another key to acquiring a diamond engagement ring is that several precious jewelry stores supply sales throughout the year. Some are vacation sales whereas others are a means for the fashion jewelry shop to get rid of the old stock making space for new products entering the shop.

Investing in the Diamond as well as Setting Separately Can Conserve Cash

You may also find that purchasing the ruby and also setting different from one another can save you some loan. It additionally permits you to choose precisely the type of ring that you want and be able to see it before the rock is established.

Getting a Little Carat Weight Dimension with Baguettes Is Occasionally a Better Deal

If you are browsing for a diamond engagement ring with a great deal of shimmer however you are unable to afford a large carat ruby, consider purchasing a smaller sized diamond yet add baguettes to the ring. This will certainly add shimmer and also shine as well as not set you back as high as a larger ruby might cost.

Take Into Consideration Tiny Precious Jewelry Shops Which Deal Personalized Service

For those who are looking for a fashion jewelry shop which will supply personalized service, you might intend to acquire the diamond interaction ring for your enjoyed one at a small precious jewelry store. These fashion jewelry shops are typically run by the private proprietor who will do every little thing feasible to make your interaction ring shopping trip incredible.

princess cut wedding rings

Grading Diamonds in the Rough!

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