*How To Buy A Diamond.....

Popping The Question

Some of the best deals for wedding rings are on ebay. Gosh, you can save a ton by cutting out the middle man. Sadly, with that deal, you will not be able to see the ring in person before you buy, so do look for the return policy.

Ebay is filled with local jewelry and antique stores who are listing their inventory on ebay as a chance to expose their product to a larger audience. Others are regular people who are looking to liquidate their possessions, and ebay is the easiest way to do it. Who knows, maybe you might buy a ring previously owned by a couple who had walked together for 60 +years. Ebay makes it interesting because there is a little bit of mystery of having an antique piece. Why not stay home to shop if you can.

There are a couple educational points to consider. Remember there are tons of good deals on ebay, so if you don’t get the ring you were bidding on, don’t worry about it, (don’t worry) because another great ring is just around the corner. Any woman would go a little nuts looking at the variety of engagement rings that she could have off of ebay.

One piece of advice is true……….find out all the questions you have for the seller before comitting to buy. Request extra pictures if necessary. If you purchase a ring, be sure to know you could return it, just in case there was something you missed on the listing.

Another consideration from our own experience is to factor in the duty tax if your ring is crossing borders. We purchased a ring from the US, and the cost of duty at the border was $1000.00. Quite a dent….right? So, if you are shipping it across the border, do prepare for that extra cost.

When you start looking for a ring, decide what shape of stone you are after. We go through several shapes later on in the article. There are many lovely shapes any girl would appreciate.

Diamonds are rated in four areas, also known as the four C’s: cut, clarity, color, and carat weight.

CLARITY and COLOR is most important. From experience, it is better to buy a smaller sized diamond with a whiter color, than sacrificing the clarity or color just for a larger stone. From my own experience, we bought a 2.5 ct diamond, and it is way to big to wear. Remembering back to selling diamonds, many brides who were shopping with their boyfriends, would all gravitate towards the larger stone. Stones to consider are .50, or .75, or .80, or even 1 ct are pretty easy to manage, and still look nice on the finger. After talking with brides who wanted the larger diamonds, a couple years down the road, most of them don’t wear them. They all commented, that they attract too much attention, and most often are not worn because the ladies are afraid of being mugged. Your better off getting the smaller stone, and the brighter color, or the better clarity, and having your bride wear her ring than it being saved in a jewelry box. I sat in the bank one time, waiting for the consultant, and her ring just sparkled! It was if the diamond was screaming and dancing … “LOOK AT ME…I am BEAUTIFUL! ” It was about a .60 ct diamond, and did it ever catch the light. Don’t under estimate the color of a diamond. Her diamond was bright white, and wow, was it a beauty!

Diamond ratings were established by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). When you buy a diamond, you should also receive a GIA certificate from the seller which details the ratings for the stone. AGAIN, remember, sometimes the seller on ebay will evaluate their own stone, which is not certified by the GIA. Immediately after purchasing our stone, we took it to get certified, and it was worth much less. Depending upon the person who evaluates your stone, there is some give and take with the worth of the stone. BUT a GIA certificate is a must when looking at buying a diamond.

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Clarity

Clarity describes the presence of inclusions and blemishes on a diamond. Inclusionscan be caused by tiny cracks or non-diamond material or flaws in the stone. Blemishes can be caused by bad cutting or polishing, or simply just from the diamond forming. The fewer inclusions a diamond has, the more valuable it is. The GIA has six categories and eleven grades of clarity: flawless (FL), iInternally flawless (IF), very very slightly included (VVS1 and VVS2, depending on the kinds of inclusion), very slightly included (VS1 and VS2), slightly included (SI1 and SI2), and included (I1, I2, and I3).

The 4 C's Buying a Diamond Ring

Types of Diamond Inclusions:

Included Crystal- A mineral crystal contained inside of a diamond, which could be any size, or color, and could appear alone or in groups. Dark included crystals are often called “carbon spots”.

Needle Inclusions- Needle inclusions appear in long appearances which can be white, bright, or dark.

Pinpoint Inclusions- These inclusions are small crystals that looks like a tiny dot.

Cloud Inclusions- A group of pinpoints which appear like a cloudy or gray patch. Some clouds look like a haze, and others are almost impossible to see through.

Twinning Wisp Inclusions- A series of pinpoints or clouds that appear flat and ribbon-like.

Graining Inclusions- Graining inclusions appear in the form of lines, angles, or curves. They appear to be white, colored, or reflective.

Diamond Inclusions- Feather- A feather is a nice term for any break in a diamond.

Diamond Inclusions- Bearded Girdle- A bearded girdle consists of minute feathers that extend from the girdle surface into the stone. This is a result of shaping the diamond during the cutting process.

Diamond Inclusions- Bruise- A bruise is a tiny area of impact accompanied by small root-like feathers. A bruise is sometimes called a percussion mark and is cause by a hard blow.

Diamond Inclusions- Knot- A knot is an included diamond crystal that extends up to the surface. With magnification and proper lighting, you can see the boundary between a knot and its host diamond.

Diamond Inclusions- Chip- A chip is a shallow opening on the surface that is the result of damage that occurs after cutting.

Diamond Inclusions- Cavity- A cavity is the space left when a surface-reaching crystal drops out or is forced out during polishing.

Diamond Inclusions- Indented Natural- An indented natural is a portion of the original rough diamond crystal surface, or skin, that dips below the polished diamond’s surface. The original surface of the diamond’s skin might have growth markings that look like triangles (trigons) or parallel grooves.

Diamond Inclusions- Laser Drill Hole- The laser drill hole is a tiny tunnel produced by a laser beam. The tunnel extends from the surface to what was a dark included crystal. GIA’s Gem Trade Lab will issue a diamond grading report on diamonds that have laser drill holes because the holes are permanent features and notes the laser drill holes under the comments area.

Diamond Inclusions- Fracture Filled- Laser drill holes and surface-reaching feathers are sometimes filled with a molten glass type substance in a clarity enhancement treatment called fracture filling.- GIA’s Gem Trade Lab does not issue diamond grading reports for fracture filled diamonds because the treatment is not permanent.

Color

Pure diamonds are referred to as white; other colors include steel gray, blue, yellow, orange, red, green, pink to purple, brown and black. The famous Hope Diamond, for example, is a gray-blue diamond. The GIA rates the color of white diamonds from D, meaning the diamond is pure white, to Z for yellow or brownish-yellow. These designations are made by comparing a stone to a set of masterstones, or stones chosen specifically as representative of colors. Stones darker than K quality are designated by the grade and the color–“N dark brown,” for instance. Colored diamonds are rated from Very Light to Fancy Dark, depending on the saturation and tone of the color of the stone. Colored diamonds, often shunned in the past, have recently become more popular, according to the GIA, and can be just as valuable as white diamonds.

The 4 C's Buying a Diamond Ring

Cut:

Cuts include brilliant (round), fancy cut (round), king (round), magna (round), princess (mixed), square, baguette (rectangular), marquise (square), emerald (square), oval, pear, triangle, lozenge, kite, and obus (a semi-circular shape with squared-off corners). According to the GIA, cut is the hardest thing to determine when assessing a diamond; different standards are used in different countries, and it is often hard to tell how a diamond has been cut when it is evaluated while still in its setting. GIA cut ratings are excellent, very good, good, fair, and poor.

The 4 C's Buying a Diamond Ring

The 4 C's Buying a Diamond Ring

Carat

The term carat refers to the weight of a diamond. One carat is 200 milligrams or approximately 0.0007 ounce. The term point means one one-hundredth of a carat (0.01 carat, or 2 mg). Carat is used to refer to diamonds equal to or bigger than one carat, and point is used to describe the weight of diamonds smaller than one carat. Carat weight is abbreviated t.c.w. (total carat weight) by many jewelers and the GIA.

Diamond Shapes

We hope this helps when shopping for your diamond. It is a fun process, so enjoy every minute of it~

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