Tag Archives: Buying Diamonds

Diamond Rings – Which is Better: A Larger Diamond Size or a Clearer Diamond?

Posted on Oct 28,2014

There are four basic parameters that diamond buyers must take into consideration when choosing a diamond, these are: cut, clarity, color, and carat weight. While all these factors affect a diamond’s appearance, most people don’t mind sacrificing one or two qualities in exchange for a bigger diamond.

For instance, some buyers might not mind a diamond that shows a visible tinge of color as long as it is bigger in size. However, when it comes to clarity vs. carat weight, the decision might be harder to make. This is because visible inclusions can tarnish a diamond’s overall appeal especially if it is a big stone.

When cutting diamonds, diamond cutters try their best to conceal any inclusions and blemishes. Inclusions are tiny defects or imperfections found inside the diamond. Some diamonds might also have some imperfections on the surface; these are called blemishes. Both inclusions and blemishes affect a diamond’s brilliance (i.e. how much light they reflect).

When it comes to diamond clarity, the size, number, and position of inclusions are all taken into consideration and affect a diamond’s value. This is why diamond cutters make it a point to hide them in strategic areas like the girdle or under the facets in the bezel where they won’t do much to affect a diamond’s visible appearance.

How Much Clarity Can You Sacrifice for Carat Weight?

If there were no budget constraints, anyone would be happy to receive a flawless diamond that is bigger than 1 or 2 carats in size but since diamonds in the flawless range can be incredibly expensive, sacrifices must be made to suit one’s budget.

Ideally, you shouldn’t settle for a diamond lower than VS2 (very slightly included). Diamonds in the VS1 to VS2 range normally have several inclusions that are visible under 10x magnification. Since you won’t be staring at your diamond under a magnifying glass all the time anyway, you’ll hardly notice the existence of these inclusions at all. It usually requires a skilled observer to view these inclusions even with magnification. Most diamonds sold in the market are of the VS1 to VS2 range.

However, if you are very particular about clarity, you might want to go a little higher by getting a diamond from the VVS1 to VVS2  (very, very slightly included) range. Diamonds in this range often appear flawless to the naked eye and even under 10x magnification, only a skilled observer should be able to notice the inclusions.

If you prefer a bigger carat size and you don’t mind sacrificing a bit of clarity to get the size you want, diamonds in the SI1 range should be ideal. Diamonds in this range have inclusions that may be visible upon close inspection even without magnification but the defects aren’t severe enough to affect the diamond’s overall appearance.

If size is your priority and your goal is a diamond that is bigger than 1 carat, a clarity value of SI1 should be your limit. This is because diamonds in the SI2 range tend to have visible inclusions for stones that are 1 carat and above. SI2 clarity is only ideal for stones that are less than 1 carat in size.

You should keep in mind that inclusions become mush more visible the bigger the diamond is. This is why it’s challenging to get a good balance between clarity and carat weight.

Most diamonds in the market are priced on a per-carat basis. The price of diamonds that are of the same cut, clarity, and color tend to double as you go up a carat. If for instance, the price of a diamond is $2,000 per carat, then you should expect to have to pay $4,000 for a 2-carat diamond of the same quality.

It’s okay to sacrifice clarity for carat weight just as long as you still find a good balance between the two. Diamonds, after all, are meant to be admired and it would be a shame if you cannot fully appreciate its beauty because you sacrificed too much clarity for size.

On the other hand, clarity is still a subjective matter. So if you do not mind a lower clarity range, then by all means go for that bigger stone. It’s your diamond to enjoy after all.

Posted in  Buying a Diamond, Cash for Diamonds, Diamond Colors, Diamond Cuts, Valuing Diamonds |   Tagged 

 

Diamond Wedding Bands – Guide to Buying and Selling Diamond Bands

Posted on Jul 29,2014

There is perhaps no other piece of jewelry that will hold as much importance to you as your wedding ring. It is something that both you and your spouse will likely wear for the rest of your lives. As such, it should not only carry a design that you love but it should also be able to withstand daily use. Choosing wedding bands for your special day should be a mutual decision between you and your spouse. While you can choose different styles for your wedding bands, it is still recommended that you choose them together to make the bands even more special.

Guide to Buying Diamond Bands

Diamond wedding bands are a very popular option, especially among women. But many men are also choosing to have their wedding bands embedded with diamonds. A diamond wedding band can provide a sparkly backdrop for your engagement ring. A pave wedding band, for instance, can add more emphasis to the center stone on your engagement ring. If you have your heart set on a diamond wedding band for your special day, these useful guidelines will certainly help you when you start shopping around for the perfect diamond wedding band:

Choosing the Metal

Modern wedding bands come in a wide array of metals. While the most common options are gold and platinum, many other options are available in the market that suits different styles and budgets.

For instance, titanium is slowly gaining popularity among many couples. While an unlikely option for wedding bands, titanium is a durable and aesthetically pleasing material for rings. It is resistant to scratches and can withstand wear and tear from daily use.

Of course, traditional options like white gold, yellow gold, and platinum will never go out of style. For gold wedding bands, 18 carats and below is recommended because anything above 18 carats tend to be too soft for daily use and is prone to scratches (e.g. 22 carat gold).

Platinum remains to be a prime option for many couples. While much more expensive than gold, platinum is prized for its durability.

Other options for metals used in wedding bands include palladium (notable for its similarities with platinum and its cheaper price), zirconium, tungsten carbide, and of course, rose gold.

Choosing the Style and Setting

When choosing a diamond wedding band for women, make sure to consider the style of your engagement ring. Some couples choose to buy the engagement ring and wedding band as a set to ensure similarity in style, setting, and material but this isn’t necessary especially if the engagement ring is intended to be a surprise.

Since the engagement ring and wedding band are traditionally worn on the same finger, you might want to consider a curved diamond wedding band. Curved diamond wedding bands give extra space for the central diamond on the engagement ring. This is a good option not only in terms of aesthetics but especially comfort.

The setting is one of the most important aspects to consider when choosing diamond wedding bands. Since you are going to wear your wedding band everyday, you have to make sure that the setting offers security for the diamonds and comfort for the wearer. Popular options include pave, bezel, channel, and prong.

Choosing a prong setting for a diamond wedding band ensures safety for the diamonds but may pose some inconveniences for daily use (e.g. the stones are more likely to get caught on clothes and other materials). The pave setting is perhaps the most superior when it comes to aesthetics, as the diamonds appear as if they are floating on the surface. The bezel and channel setting, on the other hand, offer both comfort and added security for the stones.

Setting is purely subjective so you should go for the setting that best suits your personal style.

Choosing the Stones

Since diamond wedding bands carry very small stones, you can get lower grade stones without having to sacrifice how it looks. Most stones used for wedding bands are round brilliant cuts and princess cuts because they offer the best fire and brilliance but there are also some diamond wedding bands that feature unique diamond shapes like emerald, pear, asscher cut, and heart. However, since these shapes are not commonly found, you may choose to have your diamond wedding band custom made to include your preferred diamond shape.

Guide to Selling Diamond Wedding Bands

Many people choose to eventually sell their diamond wedding bands for various reasons. If, for whatever reason, you are in the process of selling your diamond wedding band, the following tips will help you ensure that you get the best price for your ring:

Have it Appraised

There are several factors that can affect the selling value of your wedding band. This includes the style, number and quality of stones, and the type of metal. If you are unsure about the current value of your wedding band, it is best if you have it appraised beforehand. Knowing the appraisal value of your wedding band will not only ensure that you get a fair price when you sell but will also help you set realistic expectations for the price. You can have it appraised by a local jeweler or a pawnshop for easier access.

Have it Cleaned Before Selling

Before selling any piece of jewelry, it is best if you have it professionally cleaned beforehand. Go to your trusted jeweler and have it cleaned. If you have a white gold wedding band, you might want to have the surface of the metal plated with rhodium to get rid of scratches and other imperfections. Most white gold bands are coated with other metals like rhodium to enhance their durability and appearance.  The diamonds will also be cleaned to give them optimum sparkle and brilliance.

Consider Selling Online

When selling diamond wedding bands, it might not be such a good idea to sell to an individual especially since many consumers would not want to buy a used wedding band. This is why most people who sell their wedding bands opt to sell to jewelers that buy used diamond jewelry or pawnshops. If you want a relatively hassle-free selling experience, you might want to consider selling your ring online. Online diamond buyers are perfect because they offer some of the highest prices for second-hand jewelry and they can also offer you the privacy you need since you won’t have to meet with them in person and the entire selling process is accomplished online.

Posted in  Buying a Diamond, Cash for Diamonds, Diamond Buyers, Sell Diamond Rings, Sell Engagement Ring |   Tagged 

 

Diamond Heart Necklaces – Jewelry for Women

Posted on Jul 03,2014

Diamond heart necklaces are a popular jewelry choice among women. As one of the most popular symbols of love, heart shaped jewelry like diamond heart necklaces are also a popular go-to gift for women during special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, and Valentine’s Day.

Buying Diamond Heart Necklaces

If you are in the market for a diamond heart necklace, there are many options that you can consider. Whereas large diamonds are traditionally used for engagement rings, diamond necklaces are more versatile when it comes to the size and number of diamonds used on the pendant.

Most diamond heart necklaces available in the market do not showcase actual heart shaped diamonds, instead you might find a round brilliant diamond or several diamonds set on a heart shaped silver or gold pendant or a cluster of diamonds set in a pave heart shaped setting. However, the option to purchase an actual heart shaped diamond pendant is always available, although a lot more expensive and not as common as round diamonds set on a heart shaped setting.

Choosing Heart-Shaped Diamonds

The heart shaped diamond is a modified brilliant cut. Heart-shaped diamonds are popularly used in solitaire pendants but they are also used in engagement rings. If you want a solitaire diamond pendant for your diamond heart necklace, you might find the following tips useful when choosing the ideal stone:

Symmetry and Cut

Symmetry is one of the most important characteristics of a heart shaped diamond.

A well-cut heart shaped diamond should have a sharp bottom and rounded edges where the two halves meet. If you prefer a classic heart shape, look for a length to width ratio of  .95 to 1.02 but if you prefer a more elongated, narrow cut, look for a LW ratio of 1.05 to 1.15. Slightly elongated and narrow cuts are preferable when used for solitaire pendants.

Carat Size

Heart shaped diamonds that are smaller than .50 carats are not recommended especially when used for solitaire pendants or rings because the heart shape is not very distinguishable for small stones. However, if you are buying a small heart-shaped diamond, it is recommended that you set it in a bezel setting instead of a prong setting to emphasize its heart shape. You can also choose a three-prong setting for smaller diamonds.

Color and Clarity

Since heart shaped diamonds are a modified brilliant cut, they are more forgiving of inclusions and flaws. It is also not as easy to spot color in such cuts compared to step cuts. If you want a colorless heart shaped diamond for your necklace, set a minimum color of G. It is also recommended that you set a minimum clarity of SI2 for stones less than .50 carats and VS2 for stones that are larger than 1.0 carat.

Setting

Heart shaped solitaire pendants will look good in either a bezel setting or a three-prong setting depending on your preference. However, for larger stones, a four-prong setting is recommended for extra protection.

Other Options

Pave heart diamonds pendants are also a very popular option among consumers. They are easier to find and are generally cheaper since the pendant is made up of several small round diamonds instead of one large heart-shaped diamond. You can also consider a heart-shaped gold or silver pendant embedded with one or several round diamonds.

Where to Buy

Whether you want a solitaire heart shaped diamond necklace, a pave diamond heart necklace, or a heart shaped pendant with diamond accents, there are many options available in the market.

Amazon

Amazon also carries several diamond heart necklaces ranging from heart shaped lockets embedded with diamonds to pave diamond heart pendants. Below are some notable pieces from their available selection:

Blue Nile

Blue Nile offers a wide selection of heart shaped loose diamonds as well as several pendant settings so you can create the perfect heart shaped diamond necklace. We’ve preselected a few options below for your consideration:

Build a Diamond Pendant

Posted in  Buying a Diamond |   Tagged 

 

Best Place to Buy Diamonds

Posted on Jun 16,2014

Before the Internet, the only option for the diamond buying public is to buy their diamonds from a jeweler especially since there was no way to directly access diamond suppliers and diamond wholesalers. The Internet has made it possible for the average consumer to access a wide-selection of diamonds at better prices because diamond suppliers and wholesalers are now just a few clicks away. Wholesalers don’t just cater to jewelers these days; they also cater to the end-user, blurring the lines between what is considered wholesale and retail.

Buying Online vs Buying from a Retail Establishment

While many people still prefer buying diamonds from a jeweler, as they want to be able to physically examine the stone before making such an expensive purchase, more and more people are also choosing to purchase loose diamonds online to get better deals.

While it’s certainly easier to make a decision when you can see and touch the stone, jewelers have very high mark-ups on diamonds and other precious gems because they also have higher overhead costs so expect to pay more when you purchase from a chain store. Most jewelers also have a limited selection of diamonds so if you’re looking for something very specific that’s not too commonly stocked in jewelry stores (i.e. fancy shape diamonds), you might have to place a special order from your local jewelry store and have to pay extra for it.

Buying diamonds online will not only give you access to thousands of options but you’ll also be able to compare prices faster and easier as you can access everything from the comfort of your own home. While you have to exhibit some extra precautionary measures when buying a diamond online, as long as you purchase from a reputable seller, you’ll definitely find a better deal.

So Where is the Best Place to Buy Diamonds?

If you’re looking for a wide selection and good prices, you’ll definitely find what you are looking for online. The best place to a buy a diamond is from a buyer who has low overhead costs as they can pass on the savings to the consumer. Online diamond retailers and sellers are able to offer better prices for their diamonds because they have lower overhead costs, as they don’t have to maintain a brick and mortar establishment.

Most retail chain stores have very high profit margins so you’ll likely end up settling on a lower-grade stone to fit your budget. Buying loose diamonds online is ideal, provided that you purchase the stone from a reputable source. For good measure, never buy a stone without a GIA certificate.

If you’re buying straight from a supplier, you can just buy the diamond and take it to your local jeweler to have it set in your ideal setting. Most online retailers, however, also offer a varied selection of settings alongside thousands of diamond options so if you prefer having everything done online, there are many options available to you.

Buying from an established online diamond retailer or seller is just as safe as buying from a jeweler. Most jewelers over value their diamonds anyway so unless you know how to value diamonds, it can be difficult to tell slight differences in color, clarity, and cut quality even if you physically examine the stone.

Additional Tips for Buying Online

Aside from making sure that you purchase your diamond from a reputable seller and that it comes with a GIA certificate, you should also review their after-sales policy just in case you want to return the stone or you are delivered the wrong piece. Mishaps happen even when you buy from a physical location so it’s best that you know the seller’s policy before making a purchase so you’ll know what to do just in case you have to return your diamond.

While buying something as precious and expensive as a diamond online can be nerve-racking at first, you’ll find that the experience is relatively smooth and hassle-free with most reputable online sellers.

Posted in  Buying a Diamond, Diamond Engagement Rings |   Tagged