A diamond engagement ring is one of the most important - and often one of the largest - purchases you will make in your life so you will want to be sure you do it right. For many, the choice of a diamond is the most difficult part, but with the help of the information provided here, you will be much more informed and hopefully more confident about the process.
Step 1 - Set a Budget
While there is much reason behind the old adage that a diamond engagement ring is the ultimate symbol of enduring love, the guideline of two (2) month's salary, it is just that, a guideline. But a diamond engagement ring is one of the most important - and often one of the largest - purchases you will make in your life so you will want to be sure you do it right. For many, the choice of a diamond is the most difficult part, but with the help of the information provided here, you will be much more informed and hopefully more confident about the process. Throughout the process, keep in mind that if you do it right, it's the only one you will ever have to buy and it will never wear out, never lose its sparkle, and always be a family heirloom to be passed down from one generation to the next.
Step 2 - Choose a Shape
The shape of a diamond reflects it character and different people are attracted to different shapes. There is a common misconception that all diamond rings look good on all fingers, but that's not quite true because some diamond shapes look more striking on some fingers than others.
Step 3 - The 4C's
The quality of a diamonds are evaluated using 4 primary characteristics known as the 4C'S - cut, color, clarity and carat. There is a wide range of diamond sizes and qualities available within any given budget. The challenge is to determine which of the 4C's is most important to you in order to narrow this range so you can make the best choice.
Diamond Cut The cut of a diamond determines its brilliance and sparkle. Cut is important because it is a direct indication of the brilliance and sparkle of a diamond. Diamonds with perfect clarity or color but which are badly cut can appear dull and lifeless, but finely cut diamonds can in many cases be brilliant even if with average or below average color and clarity. The better the cut, the more rare and the more valuable is the diamond.
Diamond Color The color of a diamond results from light passing through chemical impurities and/or defects is the crystalline structure. These inclusions alter the amount of light absorption pattern so that color is visible to the human eye. While diamonds come in many colors and many hues, the most common color and hue is yellow. The amount of yellow hue is graded according to a scale which ranks rewards the lack of color with the highest letter grades and which ranges from D (colorless) to Z (heavy yellow). Diamond whose color is beyond Z are denoted as "fancy" diamonds are are graded using their own scale and terminology. The purer and more intense the color, the rarer and more valuable is the diamond.
Diamond Clarity The clarity of a diamond is a measure of the number and type of inclusions within the diamond and on its surface. The fewer the inclusions visible under a 10X magnifier, the higher the clarity grade which ranges from flawless to heavily included.
Diamond Carat Weight The term "carat" refers to the weight and size of a diamond. The value of a diamond rises exponentially with its size. Most diamonds fall in between 0.01 carat and 1.00 in size. Put another way, that range is between a hundredth of a carat and a full carat in weight.
Step 4 - Other Characteristics
Fluorescence is another characteristic of the diamond that should be considered before buying. It refers to the blue light, which is emitted by some diamonds under black UV lights. Some diamonds emit blue glow while others emit moderate glow, some don't even glow at all. Fluorescence is a complicated characteristic as it can either decrease or increase the worth of a diamond. For the colorless diamonds from the scale of D, E, F. Fluorescence is not that beneficial but for the stones that have yellowish tinge as J, strong or medium Fluorescence help in making it appear white. Consider all the above stated factors and have a happy diamond shopping experience.