Education Center for Engagement Rings
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Buying a Diamond
There are many things to consider when purchasing a diamond.
Preparation for Buying Diamonds
Before Buying a Diamond Ring
Step 1: Establish Your Budget
Step 2: Educate yourself about Diamonds
Step 3: Know what “Shape” center stone you or your fiancée wants
Shapes of Diamonds
Round Brilliant Diamonds
This shape has set the standard for all other diamond shapes, and accounts for more than 75% of diamonds sold today. Its 58-facet cut, divided among its crown (top), girdle (widest part) and pavilion (base), is calibrated through a precise formula to achieve the maximum in fire and brilliance.
An even, perfectly symmetrical design popular among women with small hands or short fingers. Its elongated shape gives a flattering illusion of length to the hand.
An elongated shape with pointed ends inspired by the fetching smile of the Marquise de Pompadour and commissioned by the Sun King, France’s Louis XIV, who wanted a diamond to match it. It is gorgeous when used as a solitaire or when enhanced by smaller diamonds.
Pear Shaped Diamonds
A hybrid cut, combining the best of the oval and the marquise, it is shaped most like a sparkling teardrop. It also belongs to that category of diamond whose design most complements a hand with small or average-length fingers. It is particularly beautiful for pendants or earrings.
Heart Shaped Diamonds
This ultimate symbol of romance is essentially a pear-shaped diamond with a cleft at the top. The skill of the cutter determines the beauty of the cut. Look for a stone with an even shape and a well-defined outline.
Emerald Cut Diamonds
This is a rectangular shape with cut corners. It is known as a step cut because its concentric broad, flat planes resemble stair steps. Since inclusions and inferior color are more pronounced in this particular cut, take pains to select a stone of superior clarity and color.
Princess Cut Diamonds
This is a square or rectangular cut with numerous sparkling facets. It is a relatively new cut and often finds its way into solitaire engagement rings.
This may be a traditional triangular shape with pointed corners or a more rounded triangular shape with 25 facets on the crown, 19 facets on the pavilion and a polished girdle. It is definitely for the adventurous.
Radiant Cut Diamonds
This square or rectangular cut combines the elegance of the emerald shape diamond with the brilliance of the round, and its 70 facets maximize the effect of its color refraction. Because of its design, this cut requires more weight to be directed toward the diamond’s depth in order to maximize brilliance.
Cushion Cut Diamond
An antique style of cut that looks like a cross between an Old Mine Cut (a deep cut with large facets that was common in the late 19th and the early 20th centuries) and a modern oval cut.
The Four C’s of a Diamond
The four factors that influence the value of a diamond:
Color Grading Scale
Describes the amount of color the diamond contains. Ranges from colorless to yellow, D being colorless and as you go down the alphabet the color value decreases. Good color means no color.
Clarity Grading Scale
Describes the purity of the diamond. Most diamonds contain tiny natural marks called inclusions or flaws. The number of inclusions or flaws, their size, their nature and location all affect the diamond’s clarity grade. The more imperfections the less valuable the stone is.Clarity grading chart
Refers to the proportions, finish, symmetry and polish of the diamond. (Marquise, Princess Cut, Round, Cushion, Emerald) These factors influence the fire, brilliance, sparkle and beauty of a diamond. This is the only C controlled by a person, how well the cutter has perfected the cut.Diamond cut chart
Diamond Weight is measured in carats. Every carat is divided into 100 points. For example, a 125 point diamond is 1 1/4 carats.