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Buying A Diamond Engagement Ring

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The Jewelry Hut Diamond Engagement Ring Galleria Boutique

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Buying a diamond engagement ring can be a scary thing. You will be shelling out big bucks for a shining little ring filled with such portent and symbolism.  What if the rock is really made of glass?  What if it’s fatally flawed?  What should you know before you buy the ring?  The information below will send you out into the diamond buying world armed with all you will need to make the right choices.

  • Where to start.

As with any important purchase, it’s best to gather as much information as possible before you begin to shop.  We will go into details of just what makes a good diamond, but first, it’s a good idea to decide where you are going to buy the engagement ring.
Maybe the best point to start with is with a trusted friend or family member who has recently gone through the process. There is good chance that someone you know has a relationship with a reputable jeweler and will send you there with a greeting and a recommendation.  If you ask around and can’t find a recommendation, try to find a local store or online store where you can speak with a Certified Gemologist Appraiser or graduate Gemologist. If the store does not have such a person, then move on.
Here, at The Jewelry Hut, a trusted online jewelry Boutique, customer education and satisfaction is of paramount important to us.  We have gone out of our way to provide you with the best diamond tutorial, to make it easy and comfortable for you to select and purchase a diamond engagement ring that best suit your taste and budget. To make your shopping experience with The Jewelry Hut an enjoyable event.

  • How much to spend.

The diamond industry came up with a formula  designed to encourage customers to spend without going bankrupt.  Generally speaking, they advise you to spend the equivalent of two months salary on a diamond engagement ring.  Don’t worry, if your salary is not in the upper brackets, jewelry dealers (even Tiffany’s), including The Jewelry Hut, have rings in your price range. And remember, this is a somewhat arbitrary amount of money.  It’s up to you to decide the amount you can afford.

  • Rule of Thumb.

Jewelers and your dad alike will know about the 4 C’s. Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat weight.  These are the criteria generally used to define the gem’s value and quality.

  • Cut.

The cut the only factor that has been determined by human being. A skilled diamond cutter can bring the brilliance of a stone, making cuts that reflects the maximum amount of light inside the the stone and up through the face of the diamond.  The cutter aims to produce a perfectly symmetrical stone whose right and left sides are mirror images of each other.  A wonderful stone can be ruined by an unskilled cutter. An “Ideal Cut Diamond” is the term used to describe a round, brilliant diamond with 58 precisely placed cuts proven to reflect the greatest amount of light.  A “Premium Cut Diamond” is highly prized, symmetrical and reflective, but is no quite as perfectly cut. An “Inferior Cut Diamond” has been cut to retain the maximum weight of the original, uncut stone since this yields a higher carat weight. Cutting may either be too deep or too shallow, causing light to reflect out the bottom of the stone and reduce its brilliance.  Polishing of the diamond is also grouped under the “Cut” heading and can affect the grading scale of the cut. A well cut, symmetrical diamond can be downgraded if poorly polished.  The American Gem Society, AGS, Diamond Grading Scale grades diamonds from the rare ideal cut which score a 0, to the most inferior cut which scores a 10.

  • Color.

Reputable jewelers keep a set of Master-stones in their store. This is a set of real diamonds displaying the full range of stone color. It is difficult for the untrained eye to tell the color of a particular stone, and the Master-stones can help.  Again, the AGS ranks the stones from 0 - 10, in 0.5 increments with 0 representing the most highly prized colorless stones, and 10 labeling the inferior quality diamonds which posses hues of yellow or brown. The Gemological Institute of America, GIA, ranks stones with letters from D - Z, D being the most highly prized.  The ranking works as follows:

0 - 1.0

D - F

Colorless

1.5 - 3.0

G - J

Near Colorless

3.5 - 4.5

K - M

Faint Yellow

5.0 - 7.0

N - R

Very Light Yellow

7.5 - 10

S - Z

Light Yellow

  • Clarity.

To the general public, the idea of “flaws” in a diamond determine its value. However, the word “flawed” implies certain deficiency in the diamond, which are actually naturally occurring features within the stone. It is more accurate to discuss the number of “inclusions” within a certain stone. Almost every stone, even those of the highest quality, has some inclusions. The clarity of each stone is ranked either on a 0 -10 scale by the AGS or a more complex scale by the GIA.  The scales are listed below:

0

FL, IF

Flawless

No inclusion visible by an expert using a magnification of 10X

1 - 2

VVS1 - VVS2

Minute inclusions

Very difficult for an expert to see using magnification of 10X

3 - 4

VS1 - VS2

Minor inclusion

Difficult to find using a magnification of 10X

5 - 6

SI1 - SI2

Noticeable inclusion under 10X Magnification

Few or no inclusion to the naked eye

7 - 10

I1 - I2

Obvious inclusion under 10X magnification

Some inclusion visible to naked eye

  • Carat.

Carat weight is the final criteria used to determine the value of a diamond. Jaws drop when people brag about the 2 carats diamond they purchased.  In reality, the stone’s value is determined by its color, clarity, and particularly its cut. as well as its carat weight.  An inferior cut 2 carats diamond with a color rating of 7.0 and clarity rating of I2 is worth much less than a colorless, ideal cut diamond with no inclusions.  The carat weight of your diamond should be of less concern than the other factors influencing its quality.
That said, the carat weight of the diamond does have a considerable effect on the price you will be charged. It is important to be sure that the weight the jeweler quotes you is accurate.  Reputable jewelers such as AGS and GIA members will use electronic scales capable of determining weights as small as 0.002 Carats. Naturally, they should weigh the diamond that has not been fixed into a ring. Ask your jewelers to show you how they weight diamonds. If they are reluctant to do this, consider this as another red flag and move on to another dealer.

  • The Setting.

Ask your jeweler to discuss the prong setting with you.  Prongs are the metal brackets that hold the diamond securely in place once it’s been set into a ring. Badly formed prongs can cause a host of problems,  from the diamond moving around in the setting to the outright loss of the stone.  It is important that each prong is tightly and securely formed over the crown of the stone, so the metal is flush against the stone.  Be sure that the thickness of the prong is adequate, particularly at the “heel” or the point where the edge of the stone cuts most deeply into the prong.  It is at this point that the metal is at its narrowest.

  • The Shape.

There are many shapes available on the market today. Jewelry designers frequently experiment with new shapes, the most classic cuts are Round Brilliant, Emerald, Oval, Pear, Marquise, and Square(Princess).  The shape you choose generally does not affect the cost or quality of the stone.  Instead, it is more a reflection of the natural shape of the rough diamond before it was cut.

  • The Paperwork.

Your diamond should be delivered to you along with a Lab report certifying its authenticity.  It will state the quality, weight, and cut of the stone.  It is a very good idea to take out an insurance policy on the ring you decide to buy.  These policies are generally not offered through your diamond dealer, but fall into the category of Home Owners Insurance. Consult your Insurance Agent or Broker for details.

Congratulations on your engagement!  The very best of luck in finding the engagement ring that is just right for you at The Jewelry Hut.

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