Diamonds are forever – so they say. And if this is true, you need to make sure that you select the right diamond for your timeless engagement ring.
The Pursuit of the Perfect Diamond
Some would say that there’s no such thing as a perfect diamond. Others would disagree. Your version of perfect may differ from the next individual’s definition of the word, but that’s insignificant. As long as you find a diamond that you’re happy with, that’s what matters. Here are a few suggestions:
Get Familiar With the 4Cs
The first step to buying a diamond ring is to familiarize yourself with the 4Cs of diamonds:
- This is arguably the most important of the 4Cs. The way in which the diamond is cut impacts the physical appearance of the diamond, as well as how light is refracted. There’s a myriad of popular cuts – make a list of the ones you like.
- Next comes color. While all diamonds may look translucent when viewed in isolation, you’ll notice that most have some color when compared to each another. The less color, the better quality the diamond. The more color (typically present in a yellowish hue), the lower the grade.
- This is probably the least important element to the average diamond buyer – though it makes a big difference in value. Clarity refers to the tiny imperfections that can be seen through a microscope.
- This is the one you hear people talk a lot about. Carat refers to the total weight of the diamond – not the size. (Though size is typically proportional to weight.)
Resist shopping until you grasp these four concepts and how they work together. As you learn about each of them, you’ll feel empowered. No longer is shopping for a diamond ring a confusing endeavor. You have the language to understand what you’re looking for.
Purchase from the Right Jeweler
You can find jewelers anywhere. The key is to only buy from a jeweler that you can trust. You can evaluate trustworthiness based on the number of years the jeweler has been in business, the online reviews they have, and the promises and guarantees they offer.
In today’s industry, it’s important to look for jewelers that offer ethical and conflict-free diamonds. Ashley Douglas, for example, provides beautiful rings that fit this description. This means their diamonds are sourced free of unsafe work practices, child labor, and inequality.
When you find a jeweler that sells conflict-free diamonds, this automatically tells you a lot about their character and priorities.
Never buy a diamond that’s uncertified. Furthermore, you need to look for diamonds that have a certain type of certification. GIA is widely considered to be the best.
As industry expert Michael Fried explains, “GIA has no financial stake in the sale of the diamond and evaluates diamonds on a variety of qualities and elements.”
AGS is also a respected grading system. It’s been around longer than GIA and takes pride in using what they feel like is a more refined approach. (Though there really aren’t any huge difference in the processes GIA and AGS use.)
While IGI, EGL, and HRD certifications are better than nothing, they aren’t nearly as trustworthy.
Choose the Correct Setting
While not necessarily part of the diamond itself, it’s important to think about the setting when choosing your center diamond. This will help you select a diamond that’s stylistically consistent with the finished look you’re seeking.
Sparkle and Shine
A diamond represents so much. It’s about love, trust, and dedication. It’s also a symbol of success and prosperity. It’s a physical representation of life lived well. Buying the perfect diamond is only the start. Make sure you’re caring for it, too.
“Insurance is necessary to protect your financial investment in the event that something gets lost, stolen or damaged,” Brides.com explains. “It is also important to have your jewelry appraised every five years as the cost of diamonds and precious metals go up. If you were to lose something which was appraised 10 years ago, the insured value would be far less than the actual replacement cost.”
It’s also wise to regularly clean your ring. While you can do this at home, this isn’t recommended. Take it to a reputable jewelry store and they can properly steam clean it.