Friday, October 3, 2008

Buying Loose Diamonds For Top 7 Tips

Looking for the "perfect" engagement ring can be a bit of a challenge. Sometimes the stone is ideal but the setting just isn't what you're looking for, and other times you find the ring and setting of your dreams, and you want to be very choosy about the stone you place in it. In circumstances like the latter, it can be very beneficial to pick your stone first so you can have your ring specifically tailored to the stone you chose. To feel confident about the ins and outs of buying loose diamonds for a ring, adhere to the following seven tips.

Identify and work with the jeweler you want to make your ring:
Many jewelers are happy to make custom rings based on the size and shape of the loose diamond you choose. Once you have determined the jeweler you want to purchase from, let them know all of the specifications of your diamond. The size of the diamond will determine what size the setting (also known as a collet) is. For a brilliant cut diamond, the jeweler may need to know the carat, or weight, of the diamond. The carat weight of a round stone is directly related to the size of the stone, in this instance. For a princess cut diamond, the jeweler probably needs to know the width, length and carat weight of the stone in order to properly create and fit the setting.

Know your "Four C's": The four C's are basic criteria that can be used to judge the beauty, price and value of a diamond. The first is the diamonds cut, which obviously has to do with the way a diamond is cut and shaped. The amount that is removed from the diamond has the most direct impact on the final way that a loose diamond will look. The second criteria is the diamonds color. Diamonds are graded on a scale of D-Z, where D is the most favorable coloring. The color helps to describe the overall appearance of the diamond, ranging anywhere from white to yellow. The third criterion is clarity, and this is graded from FL (flawless) to (Many Visible Inclusions). When learning about clarity, you will be learning about the number of and location of inclusions in the diamond. The fourth and final criterion is carat weight. This is often confused with size, but carat weight refers to the weight of the diamond when it is measured on a scale.

Familiarize yourself with stone cuts: Although you do not need to know exactly which stone you want, it helps if you have some idea of diamond shapes and cuts before you go stone shopping. Some stone cuts might be too cumbersome on the ring and setting that you choose, and other might be too difficult to accommodate. Knowing which stone you prefer (say, an emerald cut over a pear shaped diamond) will also cut down on the stone you have to pick through, and should ensure your shopping experience is a pleasurable and easy one.

Understand how a diamond is graded: Just like in school, diamonds get assigned a grade based on their color and clarity. Color grading is determined by comparing the stone to a pre-determined group of "control" diamonds whose definite color is noted. The gemologist examining and grading the stone will then assign a color grade based on how it compares to the control diamonds. The clarity is figured out by looking at the number of inclusions on the stone and noting their size, location and how many there are.

Beware of sales: This is not suggesting that you can't find a loose diamond at a great price, but beware of deals that seem to good to be true. They probably are.

Create a budget and stick with it: While you definitely want to make sure you are getting the right diamond for your ring setting and lifestyle, making a budget and adhering to it will make you feel good about your purchase without breaking the bank.

Compare, compare, compare: It will be a lot easier to compare and contrast diamonds of a similar size, cut, shape, weight and color. That way you can have an easier time finding the best deal for the exact diamond you want.


Anonymous said...

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