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DIAMONDS Your Guide to Buying
All About Diamonds
• Guide to DIAMOND RINGS
• How to tell if a diamond is real
• What you need to know about jewelry
• How to find your ring size
Buying diamonds may seem uncomplicated at first glance but there is much more to buying diamonds than most people think. For example, did you know that the cut and clarity of a diamond are more important in pricing than the size of the diamond.
What are Diamonds?
Basically diamonds are very very old rocks, formed deep in the Earth. Diamond is the crystallized form of carbon. Carbon crystalises in a cubic system which is the strongest and most symmetrical known on Earth, and is born hundreds of miles below the Earth's surface. Diamonds were formed more than 70 million years ago when diamond-bearing ore was brought to the surface through volcanic eruption. After the magma cooled, it solidified into blue ground, or kimberlite, where the precious rough is found today. The diamond is the hardest natural substance found on the earth. Gem-quality diamonds are made up from less than 20 percent of the diamonds mined worldwide. Most diamond is used industrially. The word diamond comes from the Greek word "adamas," meaning "unconquerable and indestructible."
Traditionally, diamonds are associated with love and marriage. The earliest record of a man giving a diamond to a woman for her hand in marriage was in 1477 when the Archduke of Austria gave a diamond to Mary of Burgundy. Today, some 500 years later, diamonds are the most popular gemstones in engagement rings.
The durability of a gem depends on both its hardness and toughness. Diamond, although highest on the scale of hardness (rated 10 on the Mohs scale), is not as tough as some gems because of its good cleavage. (Cleavage is the tendency of a diamond to split in certain directions where the carbon atoms are furthest apart.) Diamonds have a very high degree of transparency, refractivity and dispersion or 'fire' which gives rise in cut diamonds to a high degree of brilliancy and a display of prismatic colors. A diamond's fiery brilliance makes it cherished above all other gemstones by the majority of people.
How to Buy Diamonds - What to look for in a diamond
Each diamond is entirely unique. There are no two diamonds that are exactly the same. There are many things to consider when learning how to buy a diamond, and you should never rush into buying a diamond.
There are diamonds and then there are diamonds. Diamonds are graded by four aspects often called the 4 C's which are Cut, Clarity, Color and Carats.
The “4 C's”: Cut, Clarity, Color and Carats
What are the "4Cs" of diamond grading? These 4Cs were created by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) to help standardize diamond grading worldwide. All around the world, jewelers use the “4 C's” as a way of describing diamond quality. If you want to learn how to buy a diamond, you need to learn exactly what the 4 C's are, and how each aspect contributes to the value of the diamond. Each one of these has an effect on the cost of the diamond and fine diamonds will do well in all four areas. If three are excellent and the forth is poor then the value of the stone plummets.
The cut of a diamond describes how an artisan angles the gemstone to best reflect light through the diamond, causing it to sparkle. A raw diamond of gem-quality has to be cut in order to best reflect light and make it sparkle. A quality cut brings out the beauty of a diamond and makes it more valuable, while a poorly cut diamond will sell for less. A quality cut makes a major difference in the value of a diamond. One of the most important factors in judging diamond quality is judging the cut of a diamond. It’s important because a quality cut diamond will be more brilliant and reflects light more beautifully. When judging diamond quality on the cut of a diamond, look at the stone in a well lit area. If the light seems to go into the stone and bounce back, showing a sparkling reflective surface, the diamond has a good cut.
Many people confuse diamond "cut" with a diamond's "shape." Shape refers to the general outward appearance of the diamond, (such as round, emerald, or pear). When a diamond jeweler or a diamond certificate mentions "cut," that's a reference to the diamond's reflective qualities, not the shape of the diamond.
Diamond cut is perhaps the most important of the four Cs, so it is important to understand how this quality affects the properties and values of a diamond. A good cut gives a diamond its brilliance, which is that brightness that seems to come from the very heart of a diamond. The angles and finish of any diamond are what determine its ability to handle light, which leads to brilliance.
A cut diamond is described as in the above image. The crown is the top portion of the diamond and the pavilion is the bottom. The table is the top flat surface of the crown. When a diamond is well-cut, light enters through the table and travels to the pavilion where it reflects from one side to the other before reflecting back out of the diamond through the table and to the observer's eye.
* Diameter - The width of the diamond as measured through the girdle.
* Table - This is the large, flat top facet of a diamond.
* Crown - The upper portion of a cut gemstone, above the girdle.
* Girdle - The narrow rim of a diamond that separates the crown from the pavilion. It is the largest diameter to any part of the stone.
* Pavilion - The lower portion of the diamond, below the girdle. It is sometimes referred to as the base.
* Culet - The tiny facet on the pointed bottom of the pavilion, which is the portion of a cut gem below the girdle.
* Depth - The height of a gemstone, from the culet to the table.
Because cut is so important, several grading methods have been developed to help consumers determine the cut of a particular diamond. In general, these grades are:
* Very Good
* Fair and Poor
This cut is intended to maximize brilliance, and the typically smaller table sizes of these diamonds have the added benefit of creating a great deal of dispersion or 'fire' as well. This category applies only to round diamonds.
In the case of round diamonds, many Premium Cut diamonds have cuts that are the equal of any Ideal Cut diamond, though they often can be purchased at slightly lower prices than AGS Ideal Cuts. They are intended to provide maximum brilliance and fire.
These diamonds reflect most of the light that enters them, creating a good deal of brilliance. With these diamonds, the cutters have chosen to stray slightly from the preferred diamond proportions in order to create a larger diamond. The result is that these diamonds fall slightly outside of some customers' preferences in terms of, for example, table size or girdle width, though, in many cases many of the parameters of diamonds in this range will overlap with certain parameters of diamonds in the Ideal or Premium ranges. Generally, the price of these diamonds in slightly below that of Premium cuts.
Diamonds that reflect much of the light that enters them. Their proportions fall outside of the preferred range because the cutter has chosen to create the largest possible diamond from the original rough crystal, rather than cutting extra weight off to create a smaller Premium quality diamond. Diamonds in this range offer an excellent cost-savings to customers who want to stay in a budget without sacrificing quality or beauty.
Fair and Poor
A diamond graded as fair or poor reflects only a small proportion of the light that enters it. Typically these diamonds have been cut to maximize the carat weight over most other considerations.
The clarity of a diamond refers to how clear the diamond is when you look through it. A perfect diamond is rare; most have inclusions and flaws, although many cannot be seen without magnification.
When looking at a diamond for clarity, look to see if there are dark spots inside the diamond. Ask your jeweler if you can see the diamond under magnification. Your jeweler will be able to explain what you are seeing. The clarity of a diamond refers to whether or not the diamond is clear all the way through, or whether it has tiny flaws and cloudy areas within the gemstone. It’s actually very rare to have a diamond with absolute perfect clarity and no flaws, but most diamond flaws are not visible to the naked eye. These flaws can only be seen with a magnifying device and only properly interpreted with suitable training.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) uses a magnification of about 10x when judging diamond quality based on the clarity. There are treatments available to make a diamond appear nicer than it actually is, and the treatments should lower the overall price of the diamond so it is important to do your research before purchasing a diamond to be sure you are not spending more money than you should.
When we speak of a diamond's clarity, we are referring to the presence of identifying characteristics on (blemishes) and within (inclusions) the stone. If you think about the incredible amount of pressure it takes to create a diamond and the fact that natural diamonds are not grown in a sterile laboratory, it's no surprise that most diamonds have flaws.
Basically there are two types of flaws: inclusions and blemishes. Inclusions refer to internal flaws and blemishes refer to surface flaws. However, in the diamond grades listed below, you'll note that none of the grades include the term "blemish" -- for the purposes of grading diamonds, all flaws are called "inclusions."
Inclusions include flaws such as air bubbles, cracks, and non-diamond minerals found in the diamond. Blemishes include scratches, pits, and chips. Some blemishes occur during the cutting processes (most often at the girdle). Diamonds with no or few inclusions and blemishes are more highly valued than those with less clarity because they are rarer.
How are diamonds graded for clarity?
Diamonds are graded for clarity under 10x loupe magnification. Grades range from Flawless (diamonds which are completely free of blemishes and inclusions), to Included 3 (diamonds which possess large, heavy blemishes and inclusions that are visible to the naked eye). For clarity grades F through SI, inclusions (internal flaws) are NOT visible to the naked eye.
* F - Flawless: No internal or external flaws. Extremely rare.
* IF - Internally Flawless: no internal flaws, but some surface flaws. Very rare.
* VVS1-VVS2 - Very Very Slightly Included (two grades). Minute inclusions very difficult to detect under 10x magnification by a trained gemologist.
* VS1-VS2 - Very Slightly Included (two grades). Minute inclusions seen only with difficulty under 10x magnification.
* SI1-SI2 - Slightly Included (two grades). Minute inclusions more easily detected under 10x magnification.
REMEMBER: For grades F through SI, a diamond's clarity grade has an impact on the diamond's value, not on the unmagnified diamond's appearance.
* I1-I2-I3 - Included (three grades). Inclusions visible under 10x magnification AS WELL AS to the human eye. Diamonds graded with I1, I2 or I3 are not recommended.
While the presence of these clarity characteristics (inclusions and blemishes) do lower the clarity grade of a diamond, they can also be viewed as proof of a diamond's identity. GIA certificates include what is known as a "plot" of a diamond's inclusions -- think of it as a "diamond fingerprint." Since no two diamonds are exactly the same, comparing the uniqueness of your diamond's clarity characteristics with the plot provided on the diamond certificate offers assurance that the diamond you pay for is the same diamond you receive.
While Flawless diamonds are the rarest, a diamond does not have to be flawless to be stunning. Until you drop to the "I" grade, a diamond's clarity grade has an impact on the diamond's value, not on the unmagnified diamond's appearance. Diamonds with VVS and VS grades are excellent choices for both value and appearance. More affordable (and still a great choice) are those diamonds which gemologists call "eye-clean" - diamonds with no inclusions visible to the naked eye. These diamonds are SI1 and SI2 and unless the recipient carries a 10X loupe (a strong jewelry magnifying glass), she won't see the inclusions.
When jewelers speak of a diamond's color, they are usually referring to the presence or absence of color in white diamonds. Color is a result of the composition of the diamond, and it never changes over time. Because a colorless diamond, like a clear window, allows more light to pass through it than a colored diamond, colorless diamonds emit more sparkle and fire. The formation process of a diamond ensures that only a few, rare diamonds are truly colorless. Thus the whiter a diamond's color, the greater its value.
Diamonds graded G through I show virtually no color that is visible to the untrained eye. [NOTE: Fancy color diamonds do not follow this rule. These diamonds, which are very rare and very expensive, can be any color from blue to green to bright yellow. They are actually more valuable for their color.] To grade 'whiteness', most jewelers refer to GIA's professional color scale that begins with the highest rating of D for colorless, and travels down the alphabet to grade stones with traces of very faint or light yellowish or brownish color. The color scale continues all the way to Z.
Diamonds graded D through F are naturally the most valuable and desirable because of their rarity. Such diamonds are a treat for the eyes of anyone. But you can still obtain very attractive diamonds that are graded slightly less than colorless. And diamonds graded G through I show virtually no color that is visible to the untrained eye.
If your setting is white gold or platinum, you may wish to opt for a higher color grade than if the setting is yellow gold. And while a very, very faint hint of yellow will be apparent in diamonds graded J through M, this color can often be minimized by carefully selecting the right jewelry in which to mount your diamond. Keep in mind that, while most people strive to buy the most colorless diamond they can afford, there are many people who actually prefer the warmer glow of lower-color diamonds.
What is Flourescence?
Fluorescence is an effect that is seen in some gem-quality diamonds when they are exposed to long-wave ultraviolet light (such as the lighting frequently seen in dance clubs). Under most lighting conditions, this fluorescence is not detectable to the eye. While most gemologists prefer diamonds without this effect, some people enjoy it.
The actual color of a diamond is a personal preference, but diamonds that are colorless, known as white diamonds, are the ones most commonly seen. Diamonds actually come in different shades, including yellow, brown, green, blue and pink, among others. Fancy colored diamonds of fine quality, eg: blue or pink or green, are extremely rare and are correspondingly expensive. The blue Hope diamond as an example.
Diamonds are found in a variety of colors. Blue and pink diamonds are among the rarest, and yellow and brown as among the most common. Most diamonds are considered to be ideal if they are transparent, or colorless. Diamonds that are rated as colorless are the most expensive of diamonds that are readily available. (Fancy naturally occuring blue diamonds, or other colors, are rather rare and difficult to find. Treated diamonds are more common.)
The colors of diamonds are rated with an alphabet grading system that starts with “D” and ends with “Z”. Completely colorless diamonds fall in the “D” and “E” grade, while colored, fancy diamonds are at the other end of the alphabet, at “Y” and “Z”.
There are two main ways that jewelers’ use when judging diamond quality based on color. They may pull out a set of reference stones, and find the closest match between the diamond and the reference stone to determine its letter grade. Alternatively, the jeweler may use a colorimeter, which can electronically measure the color of the stone and determine its grade within 1/3 of a grade.
Larger diamonds cost more than smaller diamonds, even if the total carats of the diamonds are the same. For example, a single one carat diamond will cost you more than three diamonds set in a ring that add up to one carat. This is because larger diamonds become very rare. When diamonds are cut they lose about half their size, depending on the initial quality of the stone and exactly how it's cut. Actually, most diamonds discovered are not gem quality. The ones that you see in the jewelry store are the cream of the diamond crop.
Carat is the term used to describe the weight of a diamond gemstone. One carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams of weight. so 10 carats = 1 gram. The biggest diamond ever found was, in rough condition, about 40 grams (400 carats.)
A single diamond with a high amount of carat weight is more expensive than the equivalent amount of carats in multiple stones. This is because as the size of the stone increases so does the rarity. Very large diamonds tend to fall into the priceless category. So if you want a 2-carat diamond ring, for example, you may decide to go with a half-carat diamond surrounded by smaller diamonds that add up to one and a half carats to give you the total of 2 carats! Judging diamond quality soley by the amount of carats is impossible, since different shaped gemstones, and stones with different levels of clarity, will be priced differently even if they have the same amount of carats.
A carat is a unit of measurement, it's the unit used to weigh a diamond. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams, or 0.2 grams. The word "carat" is taken from the carob seeds that people once used in ancient times to balance scales. So uniform in shape and weight are these little seeds that even today's sophisticated instruments cannot detect more than three one-thousandths of a difference between them.
[NOTE: Don't confuse "carat weight" with "karat," the method of determining the purity of gold.]
The process that forms a diamond happens only in very rare circumstances, and typically the natural materials required are found only in small amounts. That means that larger diamonds are uncovered less often than smaller ones. Thus, large diamonds are rare and have a greater value per carat. For that reason, the price of a diamond rises exponentionaly to its size.
What Size Diamond Should I Buy?
* First, determine your budget. One general rule of thumb when buying a diamond engagement ring is "two months salary." This is just a guideline, it's not carved in stone and your first consideration should be what you can comfortably afford -- not what a jeweler tells you.
* Deciding on carat size is really about striking a balance between size and quality. If she prefers larger jewelry items, and you are working within a budget, you can still find a larger diamond of excellent quality gem by selecting one which is graded slightly lower in terms of color and clarity.
* Remember that slender fingers make small diamonds look bigger. If she has small fingers, a 1-carat diamond will look proportionately large -- and an even larger stone may appear stunningly big!
* Think about what sort of setting will hold the diamond. You'll have to be sure that the setting you choose is made to fit the carat weight of your diamond.
Certificates and Appraisals
In addition to understanding what to look for in regards to the 4 C's when learning how to buy a diamond, you should also learn how to read diamond certificates. These describe details about the unmounted diamond. You might also consider having any diamond you are interested in professionally appraised by an independent organization. You may not want to accept the appraisal done by the jeweler for the simple fact that they are biased and may appraise the diamond for slightly higher than it's actual worth in order to gain more money for the sale of the diamond. Your jeweler may give you a value of $1000 where another may give you a value of $250 if the sale means nothing to them.
What are GIA Certified Diamonds and AGS Certified Diamonds? Loose diamonds (not pre-set in a ring or other setting) that have been certified by GIA (Gemological Institute of America) or AGS (American Gem Society).
A certificate is a "blueprint" of a diamond, it tells you the diamond's exact measurements and weight, as well as the details of its cut and quality. It precisely points out all the individual characteristics of the stone. Certificates also serve as proof of the diamond's identity and value. A certificate is not the same thing as an appraisal. A certificate describes the quality of a diamond, but it does not place a monetary value on the gem. An appraisal places a monetary value on your diamond, but does not certify the quality of the diamond.
This is an example of a diamond certificate. Note the description shows the date, along with details about the stone including carat weight, color grade, clarity grade, cut grade and measurements.
There are many diamond labs that issue certificates, but the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the American Gem Society (AGS) are the two most widely regarded and recognized diamond grading labs in the world. Not all diamond certificates are created equal. If you do opt to buy non GIA- or AGS- certified diamonds, always ask for credentials of the certifying lab.
And while there are many other diamond grading labs in operation (many of which produce their own grading reports), dfferent labs have different grading standards, and some labs will be more lenient with their standards than others. Therefore, it is recommended you buy from a diamond jewelry store that offers GIA or AGS certified diamonds, as these labs have consistently demonstrated their commitment to high standards. If you do elect to buy non GIA- or AGS- certified diamonds, always ask for credentials of the certifying lab.
Why Do I Need a Certificate?
Shopping for certified diamonds allows you to make an informed choice about your diamond selections and to comparison shop among various diamond merchants. You can compare one diamond with a particular weight and quality with other diamonds of similar weight and quality to determine which diamond is the better value -- or which merchant has the best prices.
If a jewelry store offers to sell you a loose diamond without a certificate, keep in mind that it means you are buying the diamond based only on the salesperson's claim about its quality, and that a trained gemologist or even other jewelers may disagree with the salesperson's assessment.
If you thought all diamond shapes were the same, you might be surprised. There are actually quite a few that are readily available, in addition to custom cuts. Most jewelers offer at least nine of the most common diamond shapes, including:
• Round diamonds
• Emerald diamonds
• Heart diamonds
• Princess diamonds
• Pear diamonds
• Radiant diamonds
• Asscher diamonds
• Marquis diamonds
• Oval diamonds
Two diamonds that are the same shape will look very different if the size, clarity, color, cut, and weight (diamond carats) of the diamond varies. Naturally the different shapes allow for a greater variety of settings. Round diamonds are perfect for earrings, for example, while a pear shaped one might look dazzling when allowed to dangle.
Difference Between Diamond Shapes and Diamond Cut
Many people mistakenly use the terms “diamond shapes” and “diamond cuts” interchangeably, but there is a huge difference between them. The cut of a diamond refers to how the artisan maximizes the features of the gemstone by creating angles and details, making the light go into the diamond and bounce back in the most brilliant way possible. The quality of a diamond's cut contributes greatly to the overall value of the gemstone, where as the shape of a diamond does not increase or decrease a diamond's value. When discussing diamond shapes, you are referring to the actual geometric shape of the diamond, whether it is round or oval, emerald or heart shaped. More here on diamond shapesicon For example, a perfectly cut round diamond will burn with a dazzling inner light. A lesser cut will make it appear far more ordinary and a bad cut will ruin it. But all three cuts are still "round."
Choosing Diamond Shapes
With all the different diamond shapes, and setting, and colors, how do you go about choosing one? If you are buying yourself a diamond, it's just a matter of looking at all the different varieties and finding one that is most pleasing to your eyes, and the ones that look best when you put them on your finger, or wear in your necklace. When choosing a diamond shape for someone else, it becomes a bit more difficult. For an engagement ring, many women prefer the traditional round shaped diamond, while others may enjoy having something more unique. A young woman or one who is considered a hopeless romantic may prefer to have a heart shaped diamond. Other considerations for selecting diamond shapes for rings should be based on the size of a woman's hand. If she has relatively short, wide fingers, she can elegantly wear a pear shaped diamond, marquis, or oval shape. Place the same shaped diamond rings on a woman with slender, longer fingers, and it will cover up too much of the finger and look bulky, and perhaps even awkward. Small hands typically look best with round shaped or princess shaped diamonds.
Most Popular Diamond Shape for Engagement Rings
Even though there is a wide variety of diamond shapes available, the most commonly purchased diamond shape for engagement rings is the round diamond. Round diamonds are considered the “classic engagement ring”, and the stones are often set in yellow gold or platinum. In fact, any diamond shape other than round is considered to be a “fancy” shape, since the round diamond is so popular.
Jewelry Lab Certificates and Diamond Appraisals
The Difference Between Jewelry Lab Certificates and Appraisals
Most people have both jewelry lab certificates and appraisals for their valuable jewelry, but the two documents are not one in the same. They serve different purposes and contain a different set of information that is helpful to jewelry owners, as well as to people who are looking for new jewelry to purchase. Jewelry lab certificates and appraisals often go hand in hand, but the lab certificate is a document that describes information about an unmounted gem stone, like a diamond that has not been set into any piece of jewelry, while the appraisal provides detailed information on the market value of a piece of jewelry, whether it is unmounted or already set as a ring, earrings, or necklace for example.
Choosing Labs and Appraisals
When selecting jewelry lab certificates and appraisals on jewelry that you are considering to purchase, it is best to select an independent company that provides these documents rather than rely on the documents created by the company that you are planning to buy your jewelry from. Otherwise, you face the potential for the lab or appraiser to be biased, since they will benefit from the sale of jewelry. If you already have jewelry lab certificates and appraisals on your existing jewelry, but are unsure of their accuracy, it may be worthwhile to have your items appraised again to see what their current market value is.
Jewelry Lab Certificates
Jewelry lab certificates are written reports that detail unmounted gemstones rather than completed pieces of jewelry. The certificates include information about the diamonds (or other gemstone) cut and shape, as well as the stone's color and clarity grades as decided by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Lab certificates contain specifics about the carat weight as well as the dimensions of the diamond, taking into account the stone's angles. Once the lab certificate is drawn up, it should not change unless the stone is physically altered or it is found at a later date that the gem stone was evaluated incorrectly the first time. Jewelry Appraisals
The entire reason people obtain jewelry lab certificates and appraisals is to document the dollar value of the diamond, whether it is for personal investment purposes, or in order to have a physical record of the gem stone for insurance purposes. It is also great documentation to have if you ever decide to sell your jewelry at a future date, or pass it down to family members.
It is wise to have your existing valuable jewelry appraised in case it is stolen, or in the event you go through a divorce or estate settlement. Before purchasing a new piece of jewelry you can also get it appraised to get a good idea what the market value is on the piece before shelling out large amounts of money to pay for it if it isn't worth the amount of money they are asking for the piece.
How to Clean Your Diamond(s)
There are a few different ways that you can provide diamond care for your precious jewelry, in particular, there are different cleaning processes you can use to keep it looking as brilliant and sparkling as the day you brought it home from the jeweler! While there are many cleaning procedures that can be done from your own home, don't forget that you can almost always return to the jeweler where you purchased your diamond and ask for a professional cleaning. Sometimes cleanings are included in a warranty agreement, so check your paperwork to see if this form of diamond care is provided in your agreement.
The most commonly used method of diamond care is cleaning your diamond in a mild, warm water detergent bath. Fill a bowl with warm water, and add in a mild detergent that you have in the house. Some people use a dish detergent, while others will use a gentle bathroom cleaner. Using a toothbrush or eyebrow brush, gently brush your diamond with the sudsy water to loosen any dirt and oil that have found their way to your diamond. Afterwards, rinse your diamond by placing it into a strainer (careful to select a strainer with holes smaller than your diamond!) and running it under warm water to remove all soap. Never use chlorine bleach to clean your jewelry, the cleanser is much too harsh. While it won't hurt the diamond it may damage the metals in your jewelry.
There are many cleaners on the market for diamond care. Select one and follow it's instructions carefully for dipping your diamond into the cleanser. Once you've dipped your jewelry into the cleanser, you don't want to touch the diamonds, because oils from your fingers can be easily transferred to your diamond. Allow it to dry completely and then wear or return to storage. Consult with your diamond seller for more information.
Cold Water Soak
Diamond care also includes a process called a “cold water soak”. Fill a bowl with a solution of half cold water and half household ammonia. Place your diamond into the cleanser and allow it to soak for at least 30 minutes. When you take it out, tap the jewelry around the mounting brackets and then swish it around in your cold water solution again as a final rinsing. You can set it out to dry on a piece of tissue paper.
You can provide diamond care by purchasing an ultrasonic cleansing machine. These machines have a little cup that you fill with water and cleanser, and a place to insert your jewelry. Once you turn on the ultrasonic cleansing unit, it uses high speed motion to clean dirt and oils off your piece of jewelry. * Sharper Image Deluxe Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner & Tarnish Remover
Another important consideration of diamond care is how to store your diamonds when you are not wearing them. Diamonds are gemstones that can scratch other diamonds or other jewelry, so it is recommended that you never place them into a jewelry box or case with other pieces of jewelry unless you individual wrap the diamonds with tissue paper. The best way to properly provide diamond care and store your diamond however, is to place the jewelry piece into a fabric lined jewelry box, or a larger case that has individual dividers that are each lined with fabric to protect each piece of jewelry.
ONLINE DIAMOND BUYING
Recommended retailer: Bluenile.com
Bluenile - 800-242-2728 : 888-565-7641
BRILLIANCE: The intensity of white light reflected through the top of the diamond.
CROWN: The top part of a diamond, from the girdle to the table.
CULET: The bottom facet at the tip of the diamond.
DEPTH: The height of a gemstone, from the culet to the table.
DIAMETER: The width of the diamond, measured around the girdle.
DISPERSION: The result of white light splitting into all the colors of the rainbow.
EYE CLEAN: A term meaning no flaws are visible to the unaided eye when viewed from 12 inches away, with the diamond face up.
FACE UP: The diamond viewed from the top of the stone.
FACET: The flat, polished surfaces on the diamond. All Diamond Ideals diamonds have 57 facets.
FIRE: When moved, these are flashes of color reflected from within a diamond, resulting from dispersion. Just like a prism, white light entering a diamond separates into all the colors of the rainbow.
FLAW: Any external or internal imperfection in a diamond.
FLUORESCENCE: The luminescence exhibited in certain diamonds when exposed to ultraviolet light or strong sunlight. Fluorescence is most commonly blue in color, but can also be a variety of other colors.
GIRDLE: The narrow band encircling the widest part of a diamond. It may be faceted or non-faceted. All Diamond Ideals diamonds have the AGS certificate number laser inscribed on the girdle for your protection.
INCLUSION: An impurity within a diamond. Inclusions may or may not be visible with the unaided eye. Fewer inclusions ensure a finer clarity grade.
PAVILION: The bottom part of a diamond, from below the girdle to the tip of the culet.
POLISH: The smooth, shiny finish on the facets of a diamond. Ideal polish is critical for maximum diamond brilliance. Diamond Ideals sells only diamonds with Ideal polish, the highest grade given by AGS Labs.
PROPORTIONS: The cutting quality relative to the depth percentage, table percentage, girdle percentage, symmetry and crown and pavilion angle. Proportions influence light refraction and reflection within the diamond. Diamond Ideals sells only diamonds with Ideal proportions, the highest grade given by AGS Labs.
SCINTILLATION: Flashes of reflected light from a diamond when it moves. Commonly referred to as sparkle.
SYMMETRY: The overall uniformity of a stone's cut, which can range from poor to Ideal. The symmetrical alignment of facets makes for a more stunning diamond. Diamond Ideals sells only diamonds with Ideal symmetry, the highest grade given by AGS Labs.
TABLE: The largest, flat facet on the top of a diamond.
Do You Know How To Buy Your Diamond Engagement Ring?
Here are recommendations for your safe diamond engagement and wedding ring shopping:
1. Work with a reputable Jeweler; be it Brick & Mortar or Internet. Check with your local BBB and the Jewelers Vigilance Committe (www.jvclegal.org)
2. Know what you're buying. Make sure your diamond has a lab grading report. The two most stringent, accurate, and consistent diamond grading labs are the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and the AGS (Americn Gemological Society). Insist on them.
3. If you're more comfortable shopping with a Brick & Mortar Jeweler, look at as many diamonds as you can and away from the diamond counter's high intensity halogen lights which tend to make even the ugliest darkest diamonds look D-Flawless.
4. If you're shopping with an Internet Diamond vendor, make sure that they can examine the diamond for you to determine if there are any red flags you need to know about which would dissuade you from buying the stone. A great number of Internet Vendors sell of Virtual Diamond (VD) databases and never see the diamond you're buying. The diamond is drop-shipped directly to you from the manufacturer.
5. Ask the Internet Vendor to supply you with as much information as possible, including photo's.
6. Be clear and understand the Vendor's Policies: Payment, Returns, Upgrades, etc. and any timelines or deadlines that might accompany these Policies.
7. Ask about and receive any paperwork that comes with the diamond.
8. Stay away from in-house Appraisals. Such Appaisals are inflated, will cost you undue high insurance Premiums, and is a practice that is frowned upon and not sanctioned by the reputable National Association Of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA). Best is to get an evaluation and Appraisal from an Independent Appraiser that does not work for a Jewlery store and does not sell their own diamonds and jewelry. Contact NAJA for a llisting and location of such Appraisers.
Shop Smart. This is a big purchase not only in terms of money but also in terms of emotional significance.
Who Chooses The Diamond Engagement Ring?
Who influences the selection of your diamond engagement ring.
(Bridal Association of America BAA, and national jeweler official surveys)
I picked the ring out myself.................17%
My fiancee and I selected it together....28%
I gave guidelines to my fianc'e.............11%
I gave indirect hints to my fiancee.......13%
I had no influence.............................31%
• VERRAGIO.com - Diamond Rings
Engagement ring spending total = $6.1 billion in the United States in 2008, with another $2 billion in spending on wedding rings for brides and grooms.
This $8.1 billion bridal market will increase to $9.2 billion by 2013, a growth of 13.4 percent over the next five years. The majority of both engagement and wedding rings will contain diamonds with more than two-thirds of the rings being of white gold composition.
Couples typically begin their engagement ring search 6 months before their wedding with ring style and budget the main factors.
December is the most popular month to get engaged and Saturday the most popular day for the Guy to pop the question.
• Guide to DIAMOND RINGS
• How to tell if a diamond is real
• How to find your ring size
• Gold jewelry, Gold coins