As I mentioned previously, there are many shapes to chose from when it comes to a diamond for your engagement ring. Diamond shapes are not only expressions of the diamond cutter but also a statement from the person wearing it. The following are associations people make to certain shapes. Maybe you can relate to a specific shape because of the reasons mentioned.
- Round Brilliant Cut: This is the most popular shape and it is very conservative in nature. People who chose this shape are often very into traditional romantic things and are honest and faithful.
- Oval Brilliant Cut: Although similar in shape to a round diamond the elongated nature of this cut suggests that people who prefer it are a bit less conservative and more open to new things. Because it looks a bit like an egg some say it may represent fertility or love for life and children.
- Marquise Cut: This diamond has a very opulent look and people who chose are larger than life and want to have all that is fine and extravagant.
- Pear Shape Brilliant: This shape is often selected by people with strong independent characters and while thought of as a trend setter, still has a soft side for romance.
- Heart Shape: True romantics chose this shape. It is the quintessential statement of romanticism and love. A very happy and loving perspective on life is shared by those who adorn their finger with this shape.
- Emerald Cut: A very traditional and old fashioned person usually choses this shape. They have a set vision of themselves and are very clear and precise on what they want and how they want it.
- Ascher Cut: A variation on the traditional emerald cut, this shape appeals to sophisticated palates and individuals who value tradition and honesty.
- Radiant Cut: This very lively cut is chosen by those flamboyant and sparkly personalities who like to shine as much as their diamond.
- Princess Cut: This cut like the radiant is full of life and is chosen by those people who like to be in the limelight and the center of attention. Beautiful and full of scintillation it refracts light and has a definite presence.
The most important thing when choosing a diamond for your engagement ring is that the choice be yours and that the choice makes you happy. You are going to wear that engagement ring for a very long time so make it something you love.
The next step, once you have selected shape is to figure out what is the best value you can find. There are many ways to shop for a diamond and certainly online diamond sales have become a sizeable market in the last couple of years. Online sources for diamonds are mostly reputable and most have a good return policy. Keep in mind however, that there are many shady deals out there and always make sure your diamond comes from a reputable source. The problem with online sales is that you only get to see your diamond in person after you have paid and then you only have 24 to 72 hours to return it for full refund. This gives you a very small window of time to have your purchase evaluated by anyone with some real knowledge. And even then, when you try to return to some of these online companies, you find a very complicated and troubled path to follow.
My suggestion is that you shop around locally for a diamond which is a good value. A good value in a diamond means that the diamond is all of these:
- Has a Grading Report by the Gemological Institute of America. Any diamond larger than .50 carat of any worth is sent to the GIA for grading. If the diamond does not have a GIA report there is something wrong with what you are being offered. Either the diamond has something which will make it less valuable or it is not what the person who is selling it to you says it is.
- Diamonds which are being offered without GIA reports are often cut poorly and they lack life or luster. Poorly cut diamonds are sometimes dull and lack scintillation.
- Diamonds which are of a clarity or color less than what you are being told. These diamonds may look similar to a diamond of better color due to fluorescence or may have clarity enhancements such as fillers or laser drills.
- Diamonds which are synthetic and are being sold as natural. The GIA tests all of the diamonds sent to them to make sure they are natural. If the diamond is synthetic its value is significantly less than a natural diamond as demonstrated by Debeers the world’s largest diamond producer and marketer, when they announced they will offer one carat colorless and clean synthetic diamonds for $800 a carat. This shows how little these synthetic diamonds are worth.
- The diamond is being sold by a jeweler you can trust. They have been in business for a long time and have reputable backgrounds selling diamonds and jewelry. If you can visit them in a brick and mortar store which has plenty of other jewelry in it, at least you know they are in the business. Some of the online sellers are only online and lack the stability and history to be able to back their sale and make sure you are happy with your purchase.
- A warranty and return period is clearly specified by the jeweler. A reputable jewelry store will offer at least a one year warranty on the ring and offer to extend that warranty every time you bring the ring in to be cleaned, inspected, and if required repaired to maintain its structural integrity. If your jeweler does not offer to repair the ring at no cost for the first year, the jeweler does not value your business.
- A diamond which is priced right. This means that you do your research and find comparable diamonds you like and factor in things like the four C’s and also the demand for what you are looking for. For example, if you want a diamond which is in high demand you may have to pay a premium for it. If however, you chose something less popular and more unique, you may get a better value and a lower price.
Once you have selected your main diamond you can now concern yourself with side stones. I will talk about your choices on my next article.
As always, you can feel free to stop by and talk to me about designing your engagement ring during store hours.
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Also in Should you design your own engagement ring or buy one already made?
There are two types of synthetic diamonds, Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) and High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT). Each one of these create a specific type of tell tale sign and the GIA is very good at detecting and classifying diamonds. Synthetic diamonds which are grown by either method differ greatly in their growth patterns from those who are natural and grow inside the earth’s crust. Synthetic diamonds usually exhibit some kind of patter which is obvious and divulges their true origins.
The fluorescent component of a light may be something you never thought about, but if you own a diamond with fluorescence graded and medium to very strong, you may want to explore this. Currently, diamonds which have a fluorescent component of strong or very strong are heavily penalized by the industry as their prices are greatly reduced.
The Four C’s are all equally important when defining a diamond in an engagement ring. The carat weight of a diamond is the first factor describing a diamond. Diamonds are priced based on weight. It is important that you realize this and see how a diamond that is .96 carat can be significantly less expensive than a 1.05 carat. This is not just because of the added carat weight but also because the pricing scale jumps up at the one carat increment.