Surprising your girlfriend with a beautiful diamond ring is a moment both of you will cherish your entire life. A once in a lifetime occasion, buying a diamond ring should be done carefully as your fiancé will wear it every day. And showing it off to her friends and family members, flaunting your love.
The market is flooded with many jewelers and shops. Each one claims to sell the most authentic and beautiful diamonds there are. To make the right choice from the plethora of designs and variety can indeed be a confusing task.
It would do you good to be aware of some basic tips on buying diamond jewelry before you buy one for your girlfriend. The “four c’s”, color, cut, clarity and carat, are the deciding factors for a diamond’s purity and value.
This kind of gems comes in all colors, with white being the purest and costliest. Although it is the hardest stone available, diamond can be cut in a variety of fancy shapes and sizes. The shape and cut determine the shine of the gem.
One should choose the shape of the diamond according to your girlfriend’s personality. If she is dainty– buy a small elegant one; tall and well-built? go for a large squarish rock. The sparkle of the diamond often holds more importance than the rock’s size. Clarity of the diamond ensures a dazzling shine every time the light passes through the stone.
Carat, or the weight of the diamond, also contributes to its price and value in the market.
Synthetic Diamonds as a Cheaper Option
Educating yourself about the “four c’s” will keep you from buying imitations.
Even though it is conventional to spend two months salary on your engagement ring, you can buy synthetic diamonds, which will be easier on your wallet.
Synthetic diamond has the same physical properties of a real diamond. And is more affordable than the real one. Finally, do ask the jeweler to provide a purity certificate. It will serve as a guarantee and later help in insuring your gems.
Buying The Engagement Ring
The most widespread of engagement traditions is the groom presenting his bride to be with a ring. Most frequently, the engagement ring is a diamond ring. Even though diamonds are the most desired by brides to be, diamonds are not the only precious stones used in engagement rings.
If your choice of engagement ring is a diamond ring, be prepared to spend. The diamond jewelry retail market is a $30 billion market. Over $5 billion is spent on engagement rings in the U.S. market.
To the untrained eye, most diamonds look very similar. Most people differentiate between diamonds based on size, shape, and price. A lower price usually means lower diamond quality, not necessarily a bargain.
Understanding the four C’s of the diamond
Judging diamond quality requires skill and experience. And it involves grading a ring based on a combination of characteristics such as cut, clarity, color and carat weight. The above characteristics are called the “4 Cs”.
A diamond’s weight is measured in carats, equal to one-fifth of a gram. Usually diamonds range from 0.25 up to several carats.
Weight is only one way of valuing a diamond, color is another. Colorless diamonds are the most rare and they are the most valuable. Colored diamonds with a hint of yellow are more common and less expensive.
Diamond colors are coded from D to Z. A D grade is the most valuable and Z is least valuable. Diamonds graded D-F are considered colorless and they are the most valuable. Many reputable jewelry stores do not sell K thru Z grade diamonds.
The most valuable color grades
D: Absolutely colorless. The highest color grade, which is extremely rare.
E: Colorless. Only minute traces of color can be detected by an expert gemologist. A rare diamond.
F: Colorless. Slight color detected by an expert gemologist, but still considered a “colorless” grade. A high-quality diamond.
Another essential factor determining the price of a diamond is its cut. Just like color, cut, is equally difficult to judge for the untrained eye. The grading certificate that typically comes with the diamond will give you a good idea.
Independent testing laboratories, such as the GIA, provide certificates with a diamond’s grading from excellent to poor. A certified diamond also means a bigger price tag.
The clarity of a diamond simply refers to its purity. Most diamonds have minuscule markings called “inclusions”. A flawless (no inclusions) diamond is very rare and valuable, while a diamond riddled with inclusions is less expensive.
Clarity is ranked from “flawless” (FL) to “imperfect” (I1 to I2). Most diamonds fall between those with very, very small inclusions (VVS1) to rocks with slightly larger inclusions (S1). If you are willing to compromise on clarity, you can expect to save. To verify a diamond’s clarity, examine the laboratory certificate.
If you’re on a tight budget, try to stay away from the big-name jewelry stores. Brand name usually comes with a larger price tag. Buying wholesale may be an option.
Normally the wholesaler’s core business is selling diamonds to retailers. But they also sell to the public. Because they do not advertise in the traditional methods, nor are they located in shopping malls, you have to seek them out. You will find some wholesalers listed as diamond merchants in the Yellow Pages.
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