Table Of Contents
Yes, the budget! That’s where we’re going to start before you decide the Best Place To Buy An Engagement Ring Online. You will find lots of advice and calculators to determine your budget for purchasing an engagement ring. It is only you who knows your finances the best. I have offered this suggestion to my customers; if you have the cash, then well and good. If not, go for interest-free financing options. Most of my dealers offer financing options. Some of them may be with some money down and some, 100% financing. Decide the monthly amount you can easily afford. Just make sure you pay off the entire amount by the end of the time period and also make your monthly payments on time. If you don’t, the interest will hit you pretty hard.
Find Out Her Ring Size
A very important step in your purchase before you find the Best Place To Buy An Engagement Ring Online. I’ve given a couple of options below, but the best is to go to the website of one of my dealers and follow their instructions, just to make sure you’ve got it right.
Option 1: Printable Ring Sizer
NOTE: This scale is approximate and not 100% accurate.
PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR PRINTER IS SET TO 100% PRINT SIZE.
1. Print out this page.
2. Cut out your Ring Sizer as shown on the diagram.
3. Insert the sharp end marked “A” through the slot “B”.
4. Place the Ring Sizer over your finger and pull the tab till it’s a comfortable fit.
5. Read the size from the scale.
If not sure about your printer setting, do the following:
After going to: File – Print Preview – Print Size = 100% – Print Document
Note: To verify that the printable ring sizer has printed correctly, measure the ring sizer as shown above. It must be about 3 1/2 inches.
Option 2: Ring Size Chart
To find the approximate ring size, measure the width (inner diameter) of a ring she currently wears. You can also measure the circumference of your finger with a strip of paper or a string. Find the nearest measurement on the chart. If unsure between two sizes, choose the larger size.
Anatomy Of A Diamond
Your journey to find the Best Place To Buy An Engagement Ring Online begins with understanding the attributes of a superior quality diamond. Before we even start grasping the 4 C’s, let’s take a close look at the anatomy of a diamond. Knowing the anatomy is the first step that makes life simpler when it’s time to purchase your perfect diamond. The chart below shows the different facets of a diamond.
History of the 4 Cs
Here’s a short and interesting video by GIA, the creator of the 4 Cs, showing how this system was born.
Diamond Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat Weight are collectively termed as the 4Cs – these factors when combined,
define a given diamond’s quality, ultimately determining its value. GIA is the institution that created the 4Cs of Diamond Quality, which has now become the universal method for assessing the quality of diamonds all over the world. The creation of the 4Cs means that diamond quality is now communicated in a universal language so that diamond purchasers know exactly what they are buying.
GIA’s diamond color grading system measures the absence of color, starting with D as colorless and continuing
to Z representing light yellow or brown. So subtle are the distinctions between color grades that they are often
invisible to the untrained eye but can make a huge difference in determining a diamond’s quality and price.
Here’s something very interesting in the world of diamonds. In the GIA scale of Color, the lower we start getting from (D), the price keeps going down. When we grade color and we grade the color as (Z+), bam, the price starts going up because now the diamond falls in the category of Fancy Colored Diamond. I’ll share with you more about fancy colored diamonds in another article.
The ‘Rarity’ factor: “Rarity” is the biggest factor in all the 4Cs. It is easier to find a (Z) color diamond than it is to find a (D) color diamond, therefore a (D) color diamond is more expensive than a (Z) color diamond.
Natural diamonds are formed from carbon exposed to tremendous heat and pressure deep inside the earth. Diamonds often contain clarity characteristics, called inclusions or blemishes. Inclusions are enclosed within the gem and blemishes are on the surface of the diamond. If all else is equal, the closer a diamond is to flawless, with no inclusions or blemishes, the higher its value.
– Flawless (FL): No inclusions and no blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification
– Internally Flawless (IF): No inclusions and only blemishes are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification
– Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS): Minute inclusions that range from extremely difficult to very difficult to see are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification
-Very Slightly Included (VS): Minor Inclusions that range from difficult to somewhat easy to see are visible to a
skilled grader using 10x magnification
– Slightly Included (SI): Noticeable inclusions that range from easy to very easy to see are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification
– Included (I): Obvious inclusions are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance
The ‘Rarity’ factor: “Rarity” is the biggest factor in all the 4Cs. It is easier to find an Included (I) diamond than it is to find a Flawless (FL) diamond. Therefore a Flawless (FL) diamond is more expensive than an Included (I) diamond.
A diamond’s cut determines its sparkle. Fashioning a diamond with proportions, symmetry, and polish worthy of an excellent cut grade requires artistry and detail oriented workmanship. The finer the quality of the cutting, the more sparkle the diamond has.
Below is a description of assessing cut quality, pretty much the way GIA would explain it, without getting too technical.
Cut quality is determined by a diamond’s Brilliance, Fire and Scintillation. The beauty and allure of a diamond depends more on cut quality than anything else.
The GIA Diamond Cut Grading System for standard round brilliant diamonds in the D-to-Z color range is based on the assessment of seven components. The first three aspects, namely, Brightness, Fire, and Scintillation are appearance based. The other four aspects, namely, Weight Ratio, Durability Polish and Symmetry are directly related to a diamond’s design and craftsmanship.
GIA overall cut grades are: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor.
Brightness: The total light reflected from a diamond.
Fire: The dispersion of light into the colors of the spectrum.
Scintillation: Scintillation is the pattern of light and dark areas and the flashes of light, or sparkle when a diamond is moved.
Weight Ratio, Durability, Polish, and Symmetry:
In GIA’s cut grading system, each of these is assessed individually. Each cut grade is based on a relative scale from Excellent to Poor, representing a range of proportion sets and face-up appearance. When we look at a side view of the standard round brilliant, the major components, from top to bottom, are the crown, girdle, and pavilion.
A round brilliant cut diamond has 57 or 58 facets, the 58th facet being a tiny flat facet at the bottom of the pavilion, known as the culet. The large, flat facet on the top of the diamond is called the table.
The proportions of a diamond refer to the relationships between the table size, crown angle, and pavilion depth. It is very important to note that a wide range of proportion combinations are possible. These ultimately affect the stone’s interaction with light and how attractive the diamond is to the person viewing it.
It seriously takes a lot more expertise and years of experience before a diamond cutter is allowed to work on superiorly cut diamonds.
The ‘Rarity’ factor: “Rarity” is the biggest factor in all the 4Cs. It is easier to find a (Poor) cut diamond than it is to find an (Excellent) cut diamond. Therefore, it is more expensive to buy an (Excellent) cut diamond than it is to buy a (Poor) cut diamond.
Cut Vs. Shape
Please do not get confused between cut and shape. ‘Cut’ relates to the way a diamond has been cut as explained above, whereas ‘Shape’ refers to the shape of a diamond. Round Brilliant is the shape most commonly used in diamond jewelry. All other shapes are known as ‘Fancy Shapes’. Some examples of different fancy shapes are Marquise, Pear, Oval, Heart, and Asscher. I’ll be talking about Diamond Shapes And Ideal Cut Proportions later on in the article.
Diamond weight is measured in carats. One carat is equal to 0.2 gram, about as heavy as a paperclip. Since larger diamonds are rarer, they will cost more than a smaller gem with the same color, clarity and cut grades.
The ‘Rarity’ factor: “Rarity” is the biggest factor in all the 4Cs. It is easier to find a small diamond than it is to find a big diamond. Therefore, a bigger diamond will cost more than a small diamond having the same color, clarity and cut grades.
Summarizing The 4 Cs
In conclusion, it is a combination of Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight that determines the final price of a diamond. Each one of the Cs is important.
I will definitely lay a very strong emphasis on ‘Cut’ among all the 4 Cs. Very simply putting it, diamond is all about the play of light. That is, light enters from the top, bounces around inside and then comes back out the top. If the diamond is poorly cut, the light enters inside but escapes from the side or the bottom and that my fellow snobs is called light leakage. You can give me the topmost grade in ‘Color’ and ‘Clarity’, but try selling me a poorly cut diamond and I won’t take it for free because it’s a ‘dead diamond’.
With the basics of understanding the 4 Cs, we can now shift our focus onto the other aspects while choosing to buy a diamond. You are well-nigh on your way to becoming a ‘Diamond Snob’.
Fluorescence is the visible light some diamonds emit when they are exposed to invisible ultraviolet (UV) rays.
On a GIA diamond grading report, fluorescence refers to the strength, or intensity, of the diamond’s reaction to longwave UV, which is an essential component of daylight. The light emitted lasts as long as the diamond is exposed to the ultraviolet source.
What is diamond fluorescence? Is it good or bad? Should you buy (or not buy) a diamond because of it? These and other similar questions are often raised as diamond shoppers seek answers in making an informed buying decision.
In this post, we answer the most frequent questions about diamond fluorescence to help you choose your perfect diamond.
1. What is diamond fluorescence?
Fluorescence is the glow you sometimes see when an object emits visible light. Some diamonds fluoresce when they are exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays from sources like the sun and fluorescent lamps. This can cause them to emit a bluish light or more rarely, a yellow or orangy light. Once the UV light source is removed, the diamond stops fluorescing.
2. Do all diamonds fluoresce?
No. Only about 25% to 35% of diamonds exhibit some degree of fluorescence.
3. Is there a diamond fluorescence grade?
GIA considers diamond fluorescence an identifying characteristic. It is not a grading factor like the GIA 4Cs (color, clarity, cut, and carat weight). GIA Diamond Grading Reports and Diamond Dossiers describe a diamond’s fluorescence by its intensity (None, Faint, Medium, Strong and Very Strong) when compared to masterstones used in the lab. If the fluorescence is Medium, Strong, or Very Strong, the color of the fluorescence will be noted.
Diamond Fluorescence Simplified
Some diamond buyers absolutely love fluorescence. If you are one of them, or even if you don’t want fluorescence in your diamond, read through.
Many people have written long articles and tried explaining fluorescence in diamonds. While all the technical information is good, it mostly leaves you more confused than anything else. Here are a few facts I’ve picked up during my studies and also coming across many fluorescent diamonds in my career. I am in agreement with the most reputed dealers on the points mentioned below.
Fluorescence in a well-cut diamond can make it seem to have more fire, brilliance, and scintillation than a diamond without fluorescence.
Slight/Faint Blue Fluorescent diamonds do not have a hazy appearance. Choosing a diamond with Faint fluorescence may help you in saving quite a bit of money and not compromising on the brilliance.
Medium Blue Fluorescent diamonds may rarely have a hazy appearance. When buying a diamond graded H or lower in color, choosing a diamond with Medium Blue Fluorescence can actually help you save some money as Medium Blue Fluorescence makes the diamond look whiter, improving the color grade one step higher and also increasing the appearance. Also, the lower you go in color grades, the less milky the diamond.
Strong/Very Strong Blue Fluorescent diamonds most often do have a hazy, cloudy or oily appearance when you look at it face up, impacting the overall beauty of a diamond. This does not happen in all cases.
Finally, it’s your decision if fluorescence in a diamond is good or bad for you. Always make sure about the dealers return and exchange policy while shopping for fluorescent diamonds. Let’s say if you don’t like the look of the diamond when it arrives.
I highly recommend buying your Fluorescent Diamonds from Brian Gavin Diamonds, who is an authority and King of Fluorescent Diamonds.
Diamond Shapes History And Ideal Cut Proportions
Round Brilliant Cut Diamond
An ageless cut that looks lovely on almost all hand shapes, round diamonds are favored for good justification- they display the ideal total fire and brilliance. The faceting diagram of a round brilliant is maximized for dazzle and fire, containing 57 or 58 facets. With research study and meticulous mathematical calculations, modern round diamonds are cut to provide exceptional distribution of light. When all 4Cs aspects are evenly matched, round diamonds are much more precious than any of their fancy shape comparable versions.
The ideal cut round brilliant was created in the early 1900s by Marcel Tolkowsky, a mathematician and is the indisputable front-runner of brilliant cuts. With 57 meticulously situated facets, it can attain the finest level of brilliance and light distribution as opposed to any other shape. When buying Ideal Cut Round Brilliant Diamonds, these are the proportions I follow.
Table: 54% to 57%.
Depth: 60% to 63%.
Princess Cut Diamond
A modern cut launched in the United States in 1980, princess cut diamonds are square with four individual 90-degree corners. Princess diamonds are brilliant cut and contain facets which are positioned in a much the same technique to round diamonds for optimum sparkle. The most exemplary princess diamonds are flawlessly square in shape, with more rectangular versions diminishing in value.
When deciding on a princess cut diamond for the best possible brilliance, as a rule, bypass stones that feature a table percentage higher than the depth percentage. When buying Princess Cut Diamonds, these are the percentages I follow.
The most Ideal Cut Princess Diamond ratio is 1:1 or a perfect square.
Table: 63% to 70%.
Depth: 67% to 76%.
Cushion Cut Diamond
This traditional cut has been around since the early 1800s and is additionally referred to as a pillow cut. Cushion cut diamonds feature wide facets with rounded sides and corners and are available on the market in rectangular or square contours. For the first century of its presence, the cushion cut was the most preferred diamond shape (equivalent to the modern round cut today). Classic cushion cuts have a more refined shimmer compared to a modern cushion cut, and both are favored in vintage-style rings.
Vintage cushion cuts have wider, larger facets, whereas modern cushion cuts have smaller, and more facets. This technique of cutting results in a stone that bears resemblance to modern round diamonds, with added brilliance. I rigorously follow these percentages while choosing a Cushion Cut Diamond.
Table: 56% to 63%.
Depth 58% to 66%
Emerald Cut Diamond
Emerald cut diamonds are rectangular in form with beveled corners. The pavilion– the lower half of the diamond– is comprised of consecutive parallel broad flat facets referred to as the step cut, considering they remind one of stair steps. It is an incredibly sophisticated cut, although not as intense or brilliant as round diamonds. As the large table (the widest flat facet on the top of the stone) gives prominence to the stone rather distinctly, it is most ideal for diamonds with greater color and minimal to no inclusions, as those are more noticeable in this specific cut.
The scintillation pattern of an emerald cut diamond is unique from brilliant cut designs such as rounds. Instead of little dazzles of light jumping from the facets, the step-cut facets in emerald cuts appear to blink “on” and “off”. I’ve never gone wrong following these percentages.
Table: 61% to 68%.
Depth: 60% to 65%.
Oval Cut Diamond
The innovative oval cut observes a cutting technique comparable to the round brilliant cut and displays the same fire and brilliance. The facets are extended out, taking full advantage of the effect of its carat weight. When measured up to round diamonds with the equivalent carat weight, this lengthened cut produces the impression of increased size. Thus, this lengthened out stone shape is complementary on smaller hands as it elongates the appearance of one’s fingers.
Ovals can be slim and long, or compact and broad. Ovals, similar pear, and marquise shapes can generate a “bow-tie” impression- an adverse dark area around the center of the diamond. This is normally more noticeable in shallow or exceedingly deep stones. When buying Oval Cut Diamonds, these are the percentages I follow.
The most pleasing length-to-width ratio is around 1.3 to 1.4.
Table: 54% to 58%.
Depth: 62% to 66%.
Pear Cut Diamond
Simulating a drop of crystallized water, with a rounded end and a tapered point on the other; the pear cut is a combination of the round brilliant and the marquise. It is a cut abundant in legacy, designed in the 1400s by Lodewyk van Berquem, a famous diamond cutter in Belgium. Comparable to ovals and marquises, pear shape diamonds possess a lengthening impression when worn in a north-south alignment.
For an optimal pear cut diamond, the point should align up with the apex of the rounded arc, with both sides of the arc proportional. When buying Pear Shaped Diamonds, these are the percentages I stick to.
It is advised to select a Pear shape falling within 1.4 to 1.6. Length-to-width ratio.
Table: 57% to 62%.
Depth: 58% to 64%.
Radiant Cut Diamond
A more recent cut developed in the 1970s, radiant cut diamonds are a combination between round and princess cut diamonds. They can be rectangular or more square, with distinctive trimmed corners. This shape is emphasized producing a more brilliant and sparkly diamond and has more facets than a round stone. Resembling in outline to an emerald cut, radiant cut diamonds are more forgiving to inclusions and lower body color.
A radiant cut diamond may appear comparable to a princess cut, however, their interior facet arrangements are entirely different. A princess cut is more linear, creating a cross arrangement in the center; while a radiant cut diamond features concentric circles emanating from the center. When I need to pick a well-cut Radiant Shape Diamond, I remain within this range of percentages.
Table: 60% to 69%.
Depth: 59% to 68%.
Marquise Cut Diamond
According to folklore, the marquise was appointed by King Louis XIV of France, to complement the smile of his mistress, the Marquise de Pompadour. Comparable to ovals, it is another lengthened out design, arriving at two stunning points on both ends. Also termed the navette (meaning “little ship”), this football-shaped cut has one of the greatest surface areas of any diamond shape, appearing larger when measured up to another diamond cut of equivalent carat weight.
This is another design where the length-to-width ratio is vital, although it is always up to personal preference. When purchasing Marquise Cut Diamonds, I always stick to these criteria.
The most attractive ratio for Marquise is between 1.7 to 2.0.
Table: 55% to 63%.
Depth: 58% to 64%.
Asscher Cut Diamond
First presented in 1902 by Joseph Asscher in Holland, the Asscher cut diamond is a step cut comparable to the emerald cut. Even so, Asscher cut diamonds are cut in a perfect square with cropped corners, and a unique “windmill” or X geometric arrangement. An authentic Asscher cut diamond frequently appears like an octagon, with higher crowns (the top half of a diamond) and smaller tables when contrasted to emerald cut diamonds.
Faceted with step cuts similar to an emerald cut, Asscher cut diamonds are a luxurious and undervalued shape. The “X” pattern in the center is very identifiable. These are the proportions I follow when purchasing Asscher Cut Diamonds.
The stone should essentially be cut to a 1:1 ratio.
Table: 59% to 65%.
Depth: 60% to 66%.
Heart Shape Diamond
The heart-shape cut is a romantic one, as it is often affiliated with love and sentimentality. It is also a shape immersed in bygone times, with the earliest acknowledgment originating in back to the 1400s as an icon of nobility. A customized brilliant cut, the heart shape is one of the most daunting shapes to cut, as it demands exceptional expertise and mastery from the cutter.
One of the most complex designs to cut, the best-cut heart shape diamonds are symmetrical with proportional lobes. The cleft in the center must be distinguished, if not, it may mimic a trilliant (triangle) cut diamond. These are the ideal proportions whenever I buy Heart Shaped Diamonds.
Table: 56% to 62%.
Depth: 58% to 64%.
These are the most sought-after shapes that we’ve covered and their ideal cut proportions. Which diamond shape is your favorite?
The GIA does state these percentages on their certificate. I have always stuck to these proportion guidelines and I and my customers have always been happy with the diamond’s beauty and excellent craftsmanship. All the same, please check the dealer’s Return and Exchange Policy before making your purchase because, ultimately, Beauty Always Lies In The Eye Of The Beholder.
You’re now getting closer to becoming a Diamond Snob and on your way to laying your hands on your perfect diamond.
Why Ask For A GIA Grading Report?
There are many companies that issue diamond grading certificates. Without naming any of them, all I can say is that the less said the better. Grading a diamond one notch higher in color and/or clarity is not the ethical way of selling a diamond for its true value. I simply call it blatant cheating.
I only purchase GIA graded diamonds for my personal needs and suggest the same for you.
A diamond grading report is the scientific blueprint of a stone’s quality characteristics. A GIA diamond grading report is your assurance that your diamond is a natural diamond, with disclosure of any treatment to enhance color or clarity. The report provides clear evidence that is vital to a confident purchase.
GIA Diamond Grading Report not only provides expert analysis of Color, Cut, Clarity and Carat Weight, it also contains a plotting diagram that clearly shows a diamond’s inclusions and clarity characteristics. The GIA Diamond Dossier® includes these without the graphical representation of the clarity characteristics. All GIA reports contain security features to prevent them from being forged or duplicated. GIA does not buy or sell diamonds, making an independent diamond grading report from GIA an unbiased assessment of the diamond.
Choosing A Precious Metal For Her Ring
|PLATINUM||18K WHITE GOLD||14K ROSE GOLD||18K YELLOW GOLD|
|APPEARANCE||Platinum by nature is lustrous silvery white, it’s beauty being past compare and being hypoallergenic is a very sought after metal for fine jewelry.||18K white gold is similar in appearance to Platinum, which makes it another stunning choice for fine jewelry. It is definitely not suggested for those that are allergic to nickel.||Rose gold is an alluringly beautiful alloy of gold and copper, having a blush-pink tone luster.||18K yellow gold has the richest hue for which gold is famous. Its luster sends your head spinning.|
|DURABILITY||Platinum requires hardly any maintenance because it doesn’t corrode and never tarnishes. It is less malleable than gold.||Because it has to be rhodium plated, white gold has to be re-plated with some regularity to maintain its color.||The copper in the alloy gives extra strength to 14K rose gold, which makes it a durable choice and does not require any extra maintenance.||18K yellow gold is 75% fine gold and 25% alloy which is added to strengthen the gold, thereby making it suitable and very durable for everyday wear.|
|PRICE||Platinum is the most expensive of precious metals because of its stunning appearance and superior durability. It is a very dense and heavy metal.||While less expensive than platinum, white gold requires more maintenance, so consumers may end up paying more over time.||Rose gold has approximately the same price tag as white and yellow gold and therefore, is also more affordable than platinum.||18K yellow gold is less expensive than platinum, and has the same price as white gold and rose gold of the same karatage.|
You Are Now A Certified Diamond Snob!
If you have read through the entire article, you are now a “Certified Diamond Snob”. Being armed with all this information, it’s time to go ahead and grab your perfect diamond. Whenever you have any questions or need any assistance in making a choice, please feel to send me a message in the box below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Go forth and be her Knight In Shining Armor!
All the very best from the bottom of my heart!
Here are the links to the top online dealers in Diamonds, Colored Gemstones, and Fine Jewelry. I hope one of them is your Best Place To Buy An Engagement Ring Online.
- Blue Nile: By far the top dealer.
- James Allen: James Allen is in the top list along with Blue Nile.
- Brian Gavin Diamonds: Best dealer for “Super Ideal Cut” Diamonds and King of Fluorescent Diamonds.
- Abe Mor: This is the dealer to go to for any diamond purchase over $50,000
- Leibish & Co: The one-stop dealer for Fancy Colored Diamonds.
Please note that all my diamond dealers sell only “Conflict Free” Diamonds.