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Buying a diamond is almost like buying a car – you need to look at more than just the size and color, and you better be ready to drop a decent amount of cash. After all, the jewel you pick may literally be one in a million: Only one in 1 million diamonds are quality 1-carat stones.
Therefore, before plucking a gem out of a pile of loose diamonds, you should know the basic ways to evaluate your purchase – and where you can save a bit of money. Even considering a site like www.shaneco.com to select a diamond can help you cut costs and find a top quality gem.
The cut of a diamond is what determines its brilliance – basically, it gives it that million-dollar sparkle. Some people consider this to be the most important characteristic of the rock, as the cut has the greatest overall influence on beauty. A cut that is too deep or too shallow does not allow light to pass back through the top of the gem. Cut ratings are basic: excellent, very good, good, fair and poor.
Ideally, you do not want to cut corners on the cut. A quality cut can make even small, slightly flawed diamonds shine brilliantly. Look for a stone that ranks in the very good or excellent range. They will cost slightly more – usually about 10 percent more than other cuts – but it is worth it to spend your money here and save on the other areas.
It is no surprise that the bigger the diamond, the more expensive it is. A 1-carat diamond can easily average $2,500 to $4,000. With that in mind, you might take a look at gems that weigh less. In fact, cut the size in half and you can stand to save thousands of dollars. In the right setting and with the right cut, a 0.5-carat diamond can look just as brilliant, and you won’t have to take out a loan to afford it. For good measure, always have a jeweler place a diamond at least 0.1 carat smaller than the jewel you are considering in the same setting for comparison. You may be surprised at how low you can go without compromising on the look you want.
There is a general 11-grade scale that quantifies how clear of blemishes a diamond is both inside and outside. An “F” means the diamond is flawless – which is incredibly rare. Scratch that off your list if you want to save some money. Generally, people choose a diamond somewhere in the top four grades. However, an even lower clarity stone can still look great and save you a bundle. Look for a rating of SI1 and SI2 – which means “slightly included.”
If you threw a bunch of loose diamonds in a bowl, you might be able to tell that some are slightly tinged, usually pale yellow. Stones that are white receive the highest grades, with premium rocks ranging from grades D to F alphabetically (the lowest grade is Z). However, a “J” or better means the gem is colorless or near-colorless, and an H, I, J or K stone can save you as much as 35 percent.
You purchase a diamond because you want quality jewelry. Whether it is an engagement ring, anniversary present or charm, you can get more for your money if you understand the ways diamonds are rated. When evaluating loose diamonds, be sure to gauge the carat, clarity and color wisely, and keep in mind that the cut is what makes or breaks the piece.
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