Rose Gold Diamond Necklace in Gold Bar

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

A wedding, or an engagement in  Gold Bar, 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 Gold Bar, 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 Gold Bar. 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 Gold Bar 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 Gold Bar for you engagement or wedding.

cheap engagement rings

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

To begin our function on different sorts of gems, we will begin with the best and also most well recognized gemstone of them all the diamond. The diamond is the utmost gems. It has few weaknesses as well as many staminas. It sparkles with its extraordinary worth and emotional worth. It is made use of in wedding rings to stand for unlimited love or used as gifts/jewelry to be provided to enjoyed ones. But the diamond is a lot greater than its everlasting elegance.

The diamond derives its name from the Greek work adamas meaning unbeatable. In hardness, there is no comparison. The ruby rates in the Mohs scale a 10 which is the hardest material in the world. Its cutting 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 diamond's optical buildings such as gloss and rigidity make it one-of-a-kind and also easily differentiated from various other imitations. Enjoy!

* Background of Diamonds

The very first recorded diamond go back around 800 B.C. in India. Some think it even dated back 6,000 years earlier. The rubies were made use of as ornamental purposes as well as as amulets to fend off bad as well as give security in battle. During the Dark Ages, diamonds were also specified to be utilized as a clinical help. Religious medical professionals even informed individuals that if they hold a diamond in a hand and make the sign of the cross would certainly, it would certainly heal as well as disease and also heal wounds.

Diamonds ended up being a lot more prominent throughout the 19th century due to discovery of ruby deposits in South Africa. This exploration brings about enhanced supply, enhanced cutting and brightening methods, as well as development in economy. In 1979, rock hounds located the Argyle pipeline in Australia which to this date is the wealthiest ruby down payment worldwide. Argyle, ever since, alone is in charge of providing over one third of the globe's rubies annually.

* Diamonds: Exactly how are they developed?

Diamonds includes an allotrope of carbons that are formed in high-pressure, high-temperature conditions. Diamonds are produced 90 miles under the Earth's surface area at temperatures of about 2200 levels Fahrenheit. Rubies are formed deep within the planet and also eventually, over very lengthy durations of time, press their method to the earth's surface area, normally via volcanic eruptions.

The age of these diamonds from underneath the surface of the earth are from 1 to 3.3 billion years of ages! When rubies are developed and begin their ascent to the planet's surface, they go with networks where the lava from the volcano increases to the surface, choosing up diamonds along the means and ultimately transferring them externally, where they are eventually discovered as well as extracted.

* The 4 C's of Diamonds

There are 4 distinctive qualities that determine the value and also quality of a diamond. These are the color, cut, quality as well as carat weight. Or else recognized as the 4 C's of a ruby. In the adhering to, we will certainly speak concerning these features in information.

* Shade

In the last e-newsletter, we touch based on the shade of gems as being the most vital attribute as a result of that color is the most evident feature. The perfect ruby needs to show up clear and anemic yet this is not the situation for all diamonds. Diamonds could be available in any shade of the rainbow most common color is a color of yellow or brown. The Geological Institute of The U.S.A.(GIA) have devised a standard to grade diamond shade. This guideline contains a lettering system that ranges from the alphabet D - Z. Please see below:

D E F No Shade G H I J Virtually Anemic K L M Faintly tinted, can not barely be seen and also normally yellow in shade N O P Q R Lightly tinted, typically yellow. Can be seen with the nude eye S T U V W X Y Z Tinted, begins from yellow and also proceeds to brown

* Clarity

The cut a ruby is determined by the ruby's percentage such as its form, size as well as depth. The cut identifies exactly what is called the diamond's "sparkle". Also if the ruby itself has excellent shade and also clearness, with an inadequate cut the diamond will have a dull radiance. This is since the cut figures out how light trips within the ruby. The Gemological Institute of America has actually also designed a clearness grading system to place ruby clearness. This grading system includes Perfect (Fl), Inside Perfect (IF), Really Extremely A Little Consisted Of (VV1 or VV2), Extremely A Little Included(VS1 or VS2), A Little Consisted Of(SI1 or SI2), and Included(I1, I2, and I3). Although this system had actually been contributed to the ruby industry, it is not commonly made use of. This results from the truth that it took a great deal of practice and also training to incorporate it.

* Cut

The cut a ruby is figured out by the ruby's percentage such as its form, width and deepness. The cut determines exactly what is called the diamond's "sparkle". Also if the ruby itself has excellent color as well as clearness, with a bad cut the ruby will have a boring sparkle. This is due to the fact that the cut determines how light trips within the diamond.

There are 3 types of cuts that can figure out the diamond's radiance. These are a shallow cut, a cut that is too deep as well as ideal cut. A shallow cut is a cut of a diamond that is also low, that light taking a trip through it is lost on the bottom of the rock and also does not come back into view. This cut makes a ruby show up drab and also plain. A cut that is unfathomable is a cut that is as well high, that light taking a trip via it escapes through the sides and also dims the rock. A perfect cut is a best cut on a diamond that mirrors light to the top of the stone, providing it perfect sparkle.

* Carat

As stated on the last newsletter, a solitary carat(ct) evaluates regarding 200 milligrams or.2 grams. For smaller sized carat weight diamonds that weigh much less compared to a carat, it is shared as factors (pt). Points are 1/100 of a carat weight. Carat weight of a ruby is important due to that larger diamonds are rarer compared to smaller sized ones, so essentially the larger the ruby the more pricey it is. There is no standard grading system or representation that can show different carat weight. This is since there are many variations of rubies fit as well as cut, makings stones of similar weight, look various.

* Replica Diamonds

Since diamonds are the most beneficial and also rarest of all the gems, efforts have actually been made to duplicate or also boost diamonds making use of more economical choices. A great deal of times, sincere mistakes have actually been made as well as these alternatives or various other gems such as spinel were sometimes puzzled with genuine diamonds. Sometimes, some unethical individuals aim to sell these options to misfortunate customers in order to profit. Listed below we will certainly discuss regarding these choices as well as means to determine them.

* Artificial Diamonds

Artificial diamonds are rubies that are expanded produced in a lab. The initial recognized cases of diamond synthesis were asserted to be recorded between 1879 - 1928, however this was never ever validated. It had not been till the 1940's where study started in the USA, Sweden, Soviet Union started investigating. Artificial rubies are or else called High Stress High Temperature (HPHT) diamonds or Chemical Vapor Down Payment (CVD) diamonds. The name of both these artificial diamonds obtains from the processes made use of to develop them. Several of these artificial diamonds could either have better, minimal or comparable attributes than that of a ruby. For that reason, these synthetic diamonds are utilized for abrasives, cutting as well as polishing tools, and also switches over in power plant.

* Simulants

Simulants are non-diamond compounds that are made use of to replicate the appearance as well as the shape of a diamond. The most basic as well as well recognized simulant is cubic zirconia (CZ). CZ at ordinary sight could shimmer even more than a diamond as well as it is less dense, indicating that a 1 carat CZ will certainly be much larger than a 1 carat weight diamond. Nowadays, a more preferred simulant is moissanite, which has just the same characteristics of a ruby. These characteristics include solidity (Moissanite-9.25 as well as diamond-10 in Mohs scale), refractive index(Moissanite -2.65 as well as ruby -2.42) as well as diffusion (Moissanite -.104 and also ruby -.044). This makes it difficult to separate both at plain sight as well as would certainly often call for testers to discriminate. In the next section we will certainly discuss the best ways to identify moissanites and also other replicas.

* Actual or Counterfeit?

An old technique of determining diamonds is to do a scratch test. This needs scraping a ruby with an additional diamond which is destructive as well as is rarely utilized nowadays. The most effective and also most trusted method to check for diamonds is to make use of testers that utilize thermal conductivity. These testers include battery powered thermistors installed with a retracting copper pointer. This tester works by injecting the warm into the checked stone as well as then the tool gauges the amount of heat that it carries out. Nevertheless thermal conductivity testers functions best to differentiate rubies and also its other simulants, it will not assist distinguish laboratory created or artificial rocks. To be able to identify these, specific optical techniques are required. Laboratories utilize techniques such as spectroscopy, microscopy and luminescence in order to identify a specific stones beginning. The ordinary individual could make use of loupes and also microscopes to identify synthetic stones. Natural rubies usually have minor flaws and flaws such as incorporations or some sort of international product, which will certainly not be discovered in synthetics.

10 ct ring

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

Gold Bar

There are a variety of designs of engagement rings of 2018 that are unbelievably fashionable. Everything from lead ruby rings and colored stones to "environment-friendly" rings and also network established diamond rings ended up being popular in 2018.

Pave ruby rings are rings with three or 4 rows of little, even-sized rubies that generally go around the entire ring. A larger center rock set over the remainder of the ring completes the appearance. Lead diamond involvement rings are one of the very best involvement rings of 2018 because they are a sophisticated choice for an involvement ring while producing a lot of shimmer on a future bride-to-be's third finger. You'll additionally find pave ruby wedding celebration bands that match your involvement ring as well as make it much more sparkly.

Colored rocks have actually additionally grown in appeal. Due to the fact that of this, rings with tinted rubies are amongst the most effective interaction rings of 2018. Diamonds come in a range of shades, consisting of yellow, blue, pink, or even black. True colored rubies are extremely unusual, makings them exceptionally costly. A one-carat tinted diamond can run upwards of ten thousand dollars. Nevertheless, if you could not manage to invest this much loan on an engagement ring, there are a number of alternatives that will still permit you to be trendy with a tinted rock. With the current modern technology, you can get a man-made tinted diamond. With the breakthroughs that have actually been made, most individuals could not inform the distinction between an extracted ruby and also a manufactured one. If you get or appoint a manufactured ruby, you can choose whichever shade you prefer, and also conserve several hundreds of bucks in the meanwhile. Alternatively, if you want a colored stone however do not need a diamond, emerald greens, sapphires, as well as rubies make remarkable choices for engagement rings as well as are much cheaper than extracted tinted rubies.

Environment-friendly involvement rings are also among the most effective involvement rings of 2018. With more people concerned about the atmosphere and about the human rights issues that border typical diamond mining, more people are seeking alternatives to typical interaction rings. One possibility is to acquire an involvement ring that has a diamond that was extracted in Canada rather than South Africa. Canada does not have the very same human rights concerns revolving around its diamond market, so it's thought about to be much more pleasant to the globe. Conversely, purchasing a man-made ruby ring is likewise thought about to be a lot more "green" since not just does it not have the exact same human rights concerns that mined diamonds do, but it does not damage the earth like mining for rubies tends to do. Conversely, the best involvement rings of 2018 include antique engagement rings considering that the greenest engagement rings are those that are recycled as well as reused. By purchasing an engagement ring that is antique, you are not adding to the new diamond ring market or the destruction of the atmosphere.

Network set ruby rings are likewise on the checklist of best involvement rings of 2018. Network collection interaction rings have the stones established within the band of the ring, so the top of the stone is despite having the top of the ring. Channel set rings are specifically optimal since the rubies are secured from being harmed since you could not obtain to the rock to chip them. Even more preferred are channel collection diamond rings constructed out of platinum, which has just recently grown in appeal. If you intend to buy a ring that is also extra special, though, you could have a network set involvement ring set with rocks besides rubies. Sapphires are a specifically prominent option for involvement rings.

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Vintage Wedding Rings in Washington

White Gold Diamond Earrings in Gold Bar

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

A wedding, or an engagement in  Gold Bar, 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 Gold Bar, 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 Gold Bar. 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 Gold Bar 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 Gold Bar for you engagement or wedding.

bezel set diamond earrings

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

Not all sellers provide diamond grading laboratory reports (aka ruby quality reports) to their customers. So my general advice to you is to keep your money in your pocket when managing such jewelry experts.

Just buy a diamond engagement ring if it includes the initial ruby quality record.

A laboratory record is an independent analysis of the 4Cs of a loose diamond as well as consists of a plotted representation of the stone's clarity qualities and a graphic representation of the rock's percentages. Having such a record enables you to compare diamonds of different high qualities as well as ultimately helps you make an even more educated acquiring decision.

A seller might reduce edges as well as not offer a laboratory report or an unethical seller may offer a fake one because of the moment, problem and also cost he'll bear to getting a stone graded.

Yeah - there is a price for rating a diamond (though that price is at some point paid by the consumer), plus the shipping and insurance charges for sending the ruby to the lab. As well as let us not neglect the chance cost of a jeweler not having the diamond in his store up for sale for a couple of weeks while the grading takes location.

Nevertheless, a diamond rating report could additionally not be offered since the costs to obtaining one could impact as well heavily on the last cost of the ring. For instance, a 0.3 ct diamond ring setting you back $250 state, might set you back around $75 to be rated and have the record number etched on the girdle on the diamond. As you look for that ideal diamond involvement ring for your sweetheart, you'll find that there is an alphabet soup of labs asserting to provide reputable diamond grading records. But I would just place my loan on ...

The Premier Diamond Grading Laboratory Reports

Yes, all diamond high quality records are not produced equivalent. Within the industry, it is a consensus that both top labs are GIA-GTL (Gemological Institute of The U.S.A.'s Treasure Profession Lab) and also the AGS (American Treasure Society Laboratories).

The GCAL (Gem Certification and Assurance Laboratory) likewise uses very related to records or "diamond certifications" as they are referred to by GCAL. The GIA has the strongest international credibility for freedom as well as uniformity. As a result of their constant color as well as quality strictness standards, the globe's biggest and also most costly diamonds have actually been sent there for grading years. In 2006, GIA-GTL added a two-dimensional cut grading system for round great diamonds.

AGS makes use of the most strict cut requirements in the industry. It makes use of a three-dimensional light efficiency metric that can grade a number of diamond shapes. Actually, it is the only cut grading system that is identified by the clinical community.

Exactly what is more, its Diamond High quality Record makes use of an one-of-a-kind and proprietary 0 to 10 grading system to review the 4 Cs - a system which is much easier to comprehend than GIA's grading system. In reality, AGS also goes the additional action by equating their 0-10 ranking scale to various other kinds of ranking. For instance, the conventional VS1 ruby clearness score is a 3 on the AGS Diamond Top Quality Record.

Diamond Coverage - The Drawbacks

1. Diamond grading is not standard or regulated and also hence you may find rate 2 laboratories that use looser guidelines to the rate 1 grading labs pointed out over. If you purchase a ruby that has been graded by a tier 2 lab, you could finish up paying a lot more for a lower high quality ruby. So as an example, a ruby rated a "F" in color at a rate 2 lab might obtain a G, H, or lower shade score at a more trusted lab. The industry also discounts diamonds graded by lesser well-known labs by about 15-30% or more. So either you only acquire a ruby graded by a tier 1 laboratory or you approve that you may be buying a minimal top quality ruby than just what is mentioned on the report if that diamond is graded by a lower recognized lab.

2. Lots of large chain shops have big contracts with minimal recognized laboratories with "softer" ruby grading standards. A few of these softer laboratories placed "suggested replacement values" on the laboratory records - values which are greater than what stores plans sell the rubies for. So a sales representative in a store might claim to you, "Take a look at the terrific deal you are getting right here. We are offering you this ruby interaction ring for $2500 however the report says that the recommended replacement value is $4000." Wow - exactly what a bargain - NOT! This is why it is better that you rely on only independent rate 1 labs.

Additionally bear in mind that reputable ruby rating reports are not assessments and do not use evaluation numbers. Ruby appraisals are often grossly filled with air as well as are not something you'll intend to depend on.

3. Diamond reports are filled with disclaimers that specify that absolutely nothing is "accredited" or ensured and that the labs are not liable for mistakes. Actually, the GIA offers a disclaimer of kinds on their website pertaining to the use of the word "accredit." The web site says:

"It is inaccurate to state that pupils, graduates, their services, or specific gemstones are "accredited" by GIA. The Gemological Institute of America does not certify any person or anything. Neither a pupil nor a graduate who has been granted a certificate or diploma, neither a treasure which has been rated or determined by GIA has actually been licensed by GIA".

So it is feasible that you the customer is left holding the bag needs to a mistake in a record is later on discovered. Courts have actually often ruled that sellers, not labs, are in charge of such errors. Why? Since the labs indicated in advance that their records couldn't be held liable.

Thankfully, there are a pair methods to offer on your own extra buyer security:

A. You might fly to India where jewelers provide a life time buyback plan to their consumers. Also pricey to fly?

B. You can find one of the 20% people jewelry experts who offer completely adhered diamonds. These are diamonds that are sold with life time damage, life time trade-in and life time buyback plans.

C. Not as great a treatment as purchasing a totally bonded ruby but you can purchase a diamond that has a real "certificate" as well as not a report. "Qualified diamonds do have guaranties" albeit for much shorter periods.

Certification Some vendors describe a "ruby record" as a "qualified ruby" yet technically this is not deal with. From a legal perspective, a ruby record is a merely an expert viewpoint though in reality, aspects of a diamond grading record are not simply point of views.

For instance, a diamond's carat weight (weight) could be precisely identified as well as its cut quality by determining its optical performance or by describing a computer system version. A certificate on the other hand is a statement of truth - a file for which the provider approves lawful duty and also will certainly make restitution to the customer for mistakes.

Some top diamond grading laboratories provide both records and also certifications. AGS provides Diamond Top quality Documents (non-certified reports) as well as Diamond High quality Certificates. Diamond Top quality Certifications are ready solely for AGS retail jewelry experts and also supplies warranties from participating American Treasure Culture member shops.

GCAL licenses it's ruby grading likewise. Its 100% money-back warranty plan is valid for a duration of 2 years from the date on the relevant certification. This policy guarantees the accuracy of the cut, shade and quality grades as well as the carat weight.

A report or certification should will have a number on it that might or could not be inscribed on a diamond. You will certainly have the ability to get in that number on the site of the licensing laboratory to check a report's credibility.

Aspects Of A Diamond Grading Report Diamond grading reports are always developing yet certain aspect should remain the same. For circumstances, the:

The Report #. This number is given as well as videotaped in a laboratory's record as well as could or could not be inscribed on a ruby's girdle. You could get in the report number on a grading lab's internet site to check the authenticity of the diamond top quality record or to obtain more info concerning the ruby. Forming & Element Design: This is the overview and the reducing style used for the aspect setup. There are 3 fundamental aspect styles - "fantastic cut, action cut and blended reducing design" and 12 fundamental shapes which consist of notables such as rounded great and princess cut" diamonds.

Measurements: This refers to dimension (not weight) of a diamond. Size includes dimensions such as length, width, weight as well as diameter. A dimension is normally noted to the hundredth of a millimeter. Dimensions play a significant role in just how a ruby sparkles.

Carat Weight: The weight of a diamond is determined to the hundredth of a carat and also some even supply such action to the thousandth of a carat weight (1.123 ct.). Carat is one of the most unbiased and the simplest to comprehend of the 4Cs since all one has to do is weight the rock. Shade Quality: This informs you the degree of color absence in the diamond. The much less shade the higher the quality.

Diamonds are normally rated from D-Z; the closer to "D" the whiter the diamond. You must never ever see diamond shade array such as (G-H, I-J-K, and also so on) on a diamond record. You should just see color ranges on appraisals for rocks that are placed.

Clarity Grade: Practically every ruby has actually inner flaws called additions and also exterior imperfections called imperfections. A ruby is graded inning accordance with the dimension, type, location and amount of these flaws.

Quality qualities range from Remarkable (FL) - Consisted Of. Labs use a couple experts to grade the clarity of a ruby in order to come up with a much more accurate analysis.

Cut Grade: Much more recent ruby reports consist of a cut quality for basic round fantastic rubies. Cut considers the luster, fire and scintillation of the ruby. Cut quality varies from Exceptional - Poor.

Other elements you may encounter on a ruby report include the polish, proportion, fluorescence and also proportion. Armed with this details, you are much better able to make an evaluation of the high quality of diamond that is placed in an involvement ring.

round engagement rings

The Big 4 Cs For Loose Diamonds

Gold Bar

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