Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Choosing a ring is not a task to be taken lightly. So many Grooms head off to their jewellers and choose something that is merely visually appealing without considering what contributes to its actual value.

We thought it might be helpful to give you a lesson in what contributes to the value of a woman's best friend (Yes, diamonds) so that you can become familiar with not only their different shapes, but also with the terms jewellers may use to describe them.

There are many different diamond shapes available and the one you choose will depend on your personal preference. Keep in mind the shape you choose to wear for the rest of your life should be a statement of who you are not just your style or the fashion trend of the moment.

Remember this will probably be sitting on your finger staring at you every day for the rest of your life.

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When shopping for your diamond there are a few things you should always keep in mind: After choosing your desired shape, the four C’s are most important: cut, colour, clarity and carat.

Cut: the cut does not refer to the shape of the diamond, but to the way in which the diamond has been shaped and polished. A well cut diamond is symmetrical and well proportioned, where as a diamond which has not been cut well will be less luminous compared to the visual brilliance of one that has.

Colour: Diamonds are found in a variety of colours with some of the rarest having a colourless grading our in vibrant colours such as red, green, pink or blue. Colourless diamonds are those which are graded in the D to F range (see chart), these are the rarest and most valuable.

Those diamonds within the K to Z range have a yellow like shading which can be detected with the naked eye whereas those diamonds in the colourless to near colourless range can be very hard to detect with an untrained eye and we recommend you check this with your jeweller.

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Clarity: The clarity of a diamond is determined with the help of a 10x loupe magnification. The diamond is graded ranging from flawless (the diamond has no blemishes) to I3 (the diamond has large blemishes). The diamonds value is largely affected by its clarity, not by its visual appearance. The following grading explanation is derived from
  • F
    Flawless: No internal or external flaws. Extremely rare.
  • IF
    Internally Flawless: no internal flaws, but some surface flaws. Very rare.
  • VVS1-VVS2
    Very Very Slightly Included (two grades). Minute inclusions very difficult to detect under 10x magnification by a trained gemologist.
  • VS1-VS2
    Very Slightly Included (two grades). Minute inclusions seen only with difficulty under 10x magnification.
  • SI1-SI2
    Slightly Included (two grades). Minute inclusions more easily detected under 10x magnification.
  • I1-I2-I3
    Included (three grades). Inclusions visible under 10x magnification AS WELL AS to the human eye. We do not recommend buying diamonds in any of these grades.

Carat: The carat of a diamond is determined by its weight (see chart). The carat cannot be determined by its size but instead by the density of the stone. The rings carat will depend on whether it is set with a single diamond or multiple diamonds. The letters “ct” refers to the carat of a single diamond whereas the abbreviation “ct TW” refers to the total carat of all diamonds set within the ring. Choosing a carat will depend on your budget and the personal preference of the person who will be wearing the ring.

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Knowing the four C's helps you to make an educated choice on which ring is right for you whilst also ensuring you are not paying too much. Don't be afraid to ask your jeweller questions relating the the diamonds cut, colour, clarity and carat, and if they are unable to answer these questions then it may be in your best intrest to find a jeweller who can.

A ring is an expensive and treasured investment and therefore you should be certain of its value before you purchase!

The Wedding Gurus