If you are planning on getting married – or at least, getting engaged – there are some factors you have to take into consideration. Considerations, that is, that are quite aside from the question of whether they will say yes or not, and whether you can live with your partner’s parents as in-laws! One of the main factors in any wedding is the cost: and your diamond engagement ring is almost sure to be one of the highest single costs. Let us take a look at the points of consideration when it comes to buying a diamond.
Will it Be Loose or Mounted?
Buying a loose diamond has its advantages, including the main one, which is that you can have the diamond – for example – a 2 carat diamond – set into a band (or other piece of jewelry) of your own design, customized to your own tastes and preferences. It can also be cheaper – but that will be the cost of the diamond only, you will still have to purchase the metal for the band and pay a jeweler to put them together in your chosen configuration. Deciding to go for a ready-made ring can be an ideal solution for budget conscious shoppers – many jewelers exercise great creativity and imagination in creating their ready to buy engagement rings.
As soon as you start looking into diamonds, with an eye for making a purchase, you will be bombarded with information about the quality of diamonds and how to ascertain it! In short, you will learn all about the four Cs of diamond grading! They are, as follows:
- Cut – This is done later in a diamond’s ‘life cycle’, just before the diamond is put out for sale, but it should be your first consideration. This is because the cut of a diamond can instant boost its value or not, let you know if your diamond is a quirky and personal choice or something that will retain its resale value or not. Most diamonds will retain their value, rising in line with inflation so you always stand a good chance of getting proportionally an equal value back when you resell your diamond, should you need to.
- Clarity – The clarity of the diamond is vastly aided by the cut, as the cutter aims to slice the raw diamond into as big a shape as possible while removing as many diamond flaws (inclusions) as they can. The clarity should not be confused with the color (see below) and is a measure of how well light can flood into the stone’s interior and be released through the table. Poor clarity means the light will be broken or disrupted, creating odd patterns of dark in the shimmering brightness.
- Color – the color of a diamond is how clear or transparent the stone is. This is also called ‘white’ but this is something of a misnomer as truly white (milk-colored) stones would be poor color diamonds! Diamonds may contain yellow or brown hues. The ‘best’ color for a diamond is a D-rated one, which means there is no trace of color in the stone at all, it is as clear as water.
- Carat – the carat weight is a feature that many people consider first, when in fact it should be considered last. A carat is 200mg, or one fifth of a gram, in weight, and the size of your 2-carat diamond will vary along with the cut. Its value will vary according to the other three variables: there is no standard price where X-carats of diamond equals so many dollars.
So, What’s the Range?
A very good quality loose diamond that scores highly on color, clarity and cut, weighing two carats, will cost you as much as $60,000, while a lower quality stone that still looks good once set into a ring can be as little as $6,000 – as you can see, the difference is considerable! Balance the quality against your budget and find a place where there is a reasonable measure of both to find your perfect diamond.