A diamond ring is a milestone purchase, whether you’re buying one as a wonderful present to yourself, as a reward for a promotion, or as a special gift for someone else. Diamonds often come alongside some of life’s most important moments, like engagements, birthdays and anniversaries, so it’s important to make your purchase carefully and get the best diamond for your money. With the right purchase, you will have a special piece of jewelry that you, or the person you’re gifting it to, will treasure for years to come.
The Four C’s
Diamonds are categorized by cut, color, clarity and carat. The four C’s impact the look and value of a diamond. The best stones will have a good balance between the four, making a good quality stone that will look beautiful and brilliant.
The cut is the geometric proportions of the stone. The cut of the diamond affects its sparkle and brilliance. Cutting a diamond takes great skill and workmanship, and a well cut diamond will have better proportions, symmetry and polish. The cut will help to determine how much light the stone reflects, making it look more brilliant.
The color of the diamond will also affect its appearance. Color ranges from “D”, which is colorless, to “Z”, which is a light yellow. The closer a diamond is to colorless, the more valuable it will be. Colorless diamonds are more brilliant and reflect light better, whereas a colored stone will struggle to reflect light properly. For a high quality stone, go no lower than an “I” on the color scale.
The clarity scale has 11 grades, which start at “I-F” (internally flawless) to “I-3” (included grade 3). Almost all diamonds have some ‘inclusions’, which are small flaws or imperfections. Diamond rings with fewer inclusions or other blemishes visible are more valuable. Don’t go below an “S-I” in clarity for a good stone.
The carat weight of a diamond is the measurement of how much the stone actually weighs. 1 carat is 0.2 grams. A higher carat diamond is usually more valuable.
If you’re on a budget, you can prioritize one of the C’s. If you want a large ring, prioritize carats, and work the other Cs around this aim to get to a ring that’s of an acceptable quality but one you can afford.
Top Tips For Buying A Ring
Always choose a reliable jeweler. If you’re buying a ring in person, look for a business that has been going for a long time, as this is a good sign that they are reliable. There are lots of online retailers now too, but always check the reviews before parting with your money for something as important as a diamond ring.
If you’re making such an important investment, you also need to check that the stone is certified, so you know for sure what you’re buying. Each stone should have a certificate from a third party diamond grading board. Certification is given by an expert board, who examines the stone by eye for cut, color, carat and clarity.
As well as the stone itself, you need to pay attention to choosing a quality setting (ie. ring or pendant). Even the best stone won’t look good in a poor quality setting. A poor setting also won’t wear well over time. Too fine a setting means the stones may fall out, whereas too heavy a setting stops much light from getting into the stone, which won’t show it off to its full potential.
The way a diamond is mined is very important for many buyers. If this is you, ask questions to ensure that your stone is ethical. There is an international standard of responsible practices for diamonds, which covers human rights, labor rights, environmental impact, mining practices and other factors. Shop with jewelers who are happy to answer questions about where their diamonds are sourced from and how they abide by these ethical practices. This means you can avoid buying a conflict stone, sometimes known as a blood diamond.
A diamond ring is a big investment and you need to be sure you’ve made the right choice and invested your money wisely. If you can, get a recommendation from someone you trust for a good jeweler to shop with to make sure you get the best stone for your money and all the help you need to choose the right one. Buying a special piece of jewelry is often overwhelming and can become confusing, so you need to make sure you’re shopping at the right place.
With this brief article you’re now ready to start your own happy process. Good luck on this important step in creating your future!