Archive for Buying Diamonds
When it comes to precious gems for jewelery one of the most popular choices by far are diamonds. Diamonds are precious gems that ooze class, beauty, sparkle, romance, and elegance, making them the ideal choice for all sorts of occasions.
It is important to ensure that you choose your diamond carefully, as it can be an expensive purchase – and depending on the item of jewelery a very important purchase as well. Learning more about what to look for when choosing a diamond can help to steer you in the right direction when it comes to making your final choice.
The Four Cs
You may have heard of the four Cs of diamonds, and these will collectively determine the quality of the gem that you get as well as the price that you pay for it. These are:
* The cut: The cut of a diamond will determine its brilliancy and sparkle. The cut refers to the proportions of the stone and not to its shape. A well cut diamond will disperse the light far more effectively, which gives the gem its brilliancy and sparkle
* The color: Whilst diamonds come in different colors most people who want to buy white diamonds. When it comes to white diamonds the colors can vary from completely colorless – which is the most expensive range of the scale – to a light yellow in color. The gems are therefore graded between D and Z, with D being the colorless ones.
* Clarity: This is something else that can affect the beauty and fiery sparkle of a diamond. The number and location of flaws in the gem is what determines its clarity, and of course the higher the clarity the higher the cost.
* Carat: This refers to the weight of the gem, which is measured in carats. The higher the carat weight the higher the cost, so this is something that can really affect the price you pay.
It is important to bear in mind that it is not just one of the four Cs that will determine how much you will pay but a combination of all of them. It is also important to ensure that you work out how much you can afford to spend before you start looking for the perfect diamond, as you can then focus your efforts on finding a diamond that is within your price range rather than those that will be too expensive based on their clarity, cut, carat, and color.
Buying a loose diamond or any kind of diamond jewelry is always a considerably expensive endeavor. A smart person, however, makes sure that he gets his money’s worth or more, when purchasing something, regardless whether it is cheap or expensive. After all, nobody wants to get swindled, right?
It’s well and good to do some pre-purchase research before heading to your local jeweler, but as they say, when you are n the thick of it, everything goes out the window. Shopkeepers can talk fast and talk sweet, and while you can certainly bring your own diamond tester, you won’t easily find a jeweler who will allow you to toy with his merchandise.
Or say you came into possession of a piece and want to make sure if it is of any value, what would be a couple of good ways to put your mind at ease and perhaps, save you a trip to the local jeweler or appraiser?
While nothing will be able to replace the opinion of a trusted jeweler, here are some quick but reliable ways you can resort to.
1. The Dot or Newsprint Test – This can only be done on loose diamonds since you will need to lay the stone on its table, which is the largest flat surface of the diamond. Table face down, put the diamond over a dot made by a marker, or over some print. You’ll be able to read the print through a fake diamond, but it will look like a blur in a real diamond.
Beware of moissanite though; of all diamond stimulants, moissanite imitates real diamonds the closest. If you see signs of double refraction, that is, a distinct doubling of images through the facets, then most probably is moissanite.
2. The Fog Test – This is a good test to use on diamonds which are already mounted. Breathe on the stone as you would to fog glass. The fog should go away almost immediately on a real diamond. Heat disperses a lot quicker on a real diamond because of its unique molecular structure.
3. Check for inclusions – Inclusions are flaws, either internal or external, which occur naturally in a diamond. Although there are flawless and internally flawless diamonds, these are very rare, and inclusions are difficult to replicate in a synthetic diamond. While you are under the loupe, you might want to check the facets as well. The facets of a real diamond should be straight and sharp, not dulled or chipped.
4. Check the metal it is mounted on – A real diamond will only be mounted on metal which is comparable to its value. Only 18k gold, white gold, 900 and 950 platinum is good enough. Check the inside of the ring for stamps which indicate the purity of the metal used.
5. Ask for the Certificate – Why bother with hit and miss methods when you can ask for the diamond certificate? Also known as a diamond certificate, this is the best proof of your diamond’s authenticity. There are a number of gemological labs which issue diamond grading services but your best bet would be to look towards GIA and AGS certified diamonds.
Perhaps you are considering purchasing a piece of jewelry at an antique store or estate sale. Or, perhaps you are considering purchasing a cubic zirconia engagement ring instead of a true diamond? You might be wondering, how can you tell the difference between cubic zirconia and diamonds, just by looking at them?
First of all, to understand how to tell the difference between cubic zirconia and diamonds, you need to know what the difference between them is. A cubic zirconia is essentially a man-made version of a perfect diamond. In fact, it is this perfection that allows you to be able to spot the difference between a cubic zirconia and a diamond. All diamonds have flaws in one way or another. Cubic zirconia gems do not.
Another difference between the two is how the light shines off them. Cubic zirconia jewelry will, when held up to a light source, flash bits of color. A true diamond will flash white reflections more than color. This is the easiest way to tell the difference between the two by simply using the naked eye. Also, cubic zirconia is cut and polished much differently than a true diamond.
Bottom line, if it looks a little too perfect, it is probably a cubic zirconia.
Yellow diamonds have the ability to reflect the most delightful light and many claim that this light magnifies the aura of the wearer. Maybe this is one of the reasons why yellow diamonds are increasing in popularity.
Not so long ago the yellow diamond was considered less pure compared with white diamonds, however, the market has shifted and yellow diamonds are now highly sought after. It just takes a few celebrities to wear something and a new trend starts and prices begin to escalate.
However, some yellow diamonds are not so expensive as the price totally depends on the intensity of yellow plus the modifying color. If your budget is low then you could actually find a reasonably priced yellow diamond among the lighter colors. See the below chart to get a better understanding of the color grades.
Note that the lower the grade the lower the price tag and that 1 = low and 8 = high.
1. Very Light (Y-Z)
3. Fancy Light
5. Fancy Dark
6. Fancy Deep
7. Fancy Intense
8. Fancy Vivid
You can save even further if you buy your fancy color diamond directly from the wholesaler instead of buying from a retail store. Obviously stores have their own massive overheads and they must add these expenses to the price of the jewelry they sell.
Returning to the color, it should be noted that Fancy Intense Diamonds and Fancy Vivid Yellow diamonds possess much more of the yellow color and therefore they become much more expensive. Some of you may have heard the term Canary Yellow Diamonds. Some of the Fancy Intense Yellow and Fancy Vivid Yellow are given this name due to their spectacular color. If you have the budget and you want the most spectacular yellow diamond then you would definitely want to look for a Canary Yellow Diamond.
If you are planning on having your yellow diamond set into a ring it is very important to remember that no matter which color metal you prefer, the border of metal surrounding your diamond should be in yellow gold. This will make you diamond appear bigger and more spectacular.
So in short, in order to buy a yellow diamond within your budget you should aim for a lighter shade of yellow and buy your diamond directly from the wholesaler.
They say that knowledge is power. When making an important diamond purchase, such as an engagement ring, knowing a few key pieces of information before you shop can truly get you the best deal. Here’s how to save money and get the best deal on an engagement ring.
Know Before You Shop
To get the best possible deal on an engagement ring, you will want to know exactly what you are looking for before you begin to shop. Determine a setting, diamond cut, metal type, and other details first. If you walk into the store blindly shopping for a ring without making any of these decisions first, you are setting yourself up to pay too much on a ring that may not be the best choice.
Have Your Budget in Mind
Before you begin shopping for an engagement ring, you need to determine how much you can afford to spend on it. Decide whether you want to finance the engagement ring or whether you can afford to pay cash for it. However, it is also important to remain realistic about what you can afford to pay. If you know your budget, you can determine whether you are getting a good deal for what you are looking for.
Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate
Many consumers are quite trained to automatically pay the price for something based on a sales sticker. Instead, consider negotiating with the jewelry store sales staff on the price of the engagement ring. Most stores have the ability to take of 10% to 40% if you simply ask. Keep in mind that no matter what, you are buying an engagement ring. It is up to the jeweler to show you how badly they want your business.