If dogs are man’s best friends, than surely diamonds are women’s most cherished assets. It’s not unusual for a woman to have dreamed about her diamond engagement ring long before finding her future husband – perhaps while casually window shopping at jewelry stores or glancing through bridal magazines. But when you do find Mr. Right and start the exciting process of shopping for engagement rings, if possible, try not let your emotions influence your decision.
Jewelry salespeople mostly work on commission and their job is to appeal to your emotions, like showing your fiancé diamond rings beyond his budget and saying, “Isn’t she worth it?” If you fail to do any research about diamonds prior to shopping for an engagement ring, chances are you won’t really know what you’re paying for.
Diamonds are valued according to four attributes called the 4 C’s: color, clarity, cut, carat weight. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) developed the 4 C’s to create a universal language when determining diamond quality, as well as an international diamond grading system. First, GIA tests all diamonds to find out whether they are natural or lab grown – synthetic diamonds are subject to a different procedure. Natural diamonds are tested for the 4 C’s.
Diamond Color: Less color equals a higher grade. The GIA color scale rates diamonds from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow).
Diamond Clarity: The absence of inclusions and blemishes under 10x magnification. The GIA clarity scale includes 11 grades, ranging from flawless (FL) to diamonds with inclusions visible to the eye (I3).
Diamond Cut: The angle and number of facets on the stone, which is the greatest factor in a diamond’s brilliance. The GIA cut scale is used for round brilliant diamonds and consists of five grades, from excellent to poor. A diamond cut has three attributes: brilliance, fire and scintillation.
Diamond Carat Weight: A unit of measure used to weigh diamonds and other gemstones; the name is derived from carob seeds used by early gem traders as counterweights. 1 carat = 200 milligrams.
Decide what diamond quality is most important to you or search diamonds with relatively balanced qualities. If the carat weight is more important, then you might have to sacrifice on the color or clarity scale. Expect near perfect diamonds to cost much more because rarity is a factor in determining value.
For more tips on understanding diamond terms, visit Brides.com.
Advantage Bridal offers a large selection of bridal jewelry and bridal headpieces to complement your engagement ring and wedding gown, whether you prefer an elegant, understated look or unique couture jewelry. Bridal jewelry is like icing on the bride. You can sparkle from head to toe, but your engagement ring is the real showstopper.