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The moment you mention that you will soon be buying a diamond ring, whether it is for an engagement, a special gift, or simply as a token of affection, everyone you speak to will have a story about diamond rings. Depending on their personality – it could be a story about a terrible trick played on someone they know, or it could be a wonderful heart-warming tale of true love and clever investment. Here is how to make sure yours is one of the latter!
‘Everyone knows that the best shape is x, y or z,’ ‘Everyone knows the right diamond color is…’, ‘Everyone knows that the value of diamonds is artificially inflated…,’ ‘everyone knows’ – an amazing variety of factoids, which often are based on rumor and with just the merest grain of truth to them – just enough, in fact, to make sensible people doubt their decision to buy a diamond ring in the first, which is usually what the naysayers are after, for reasons only they know!
The truth is that the best shape for a diamond depends on the diamond in question, and which size and shape you like is unique to you: there is no rule stating that you ‘must have’ this many carats, or that cut. Choose the diamond that you love and go with it! And as for the price of diamonds being artificially inflated, while there is certainly monitoring of the diamond trade to prevent the occasional glut from crashing the market, in general, commercial quality large diamonds are rare enough to keep their value very well, especially in the long term.
A lot of people have their own methods of identifying a good diamond from a bad one – but most of them simply do not work! Good quality moissanite and cubic zirconia can pass for diamonds according to some layman tests, and some poorer quality, but still real, diamonds can fail them! The best way to be sure of getting a good quality diamond at a reasonable price is to find a reputable jeweler and ensure that they offer you a certificate with your diamond.
In the US, there are two main diamond accreditation boards: AGS or the American Gem Society, and GIA, the Gemological Institute of America. Any diamond over a certain size that is sold commercially within the USA should have been certified through one of the two, either, immediately after cutting or upon the stone’s entry into the country. Bigger stones will sometimes have the certification number etched onto the girdle – the ‘belt’ that forms the widest part of the diamond – and this can be read under 10x magnification and the certificate called up from the online database. Stones without the laser etched number will have paper certificates that accompany them with every change of hands.
When it comes to buying a diamond ring, even though the need for the purchase is romantic, the actual business transaction should be practical, hard-headed and take place in the knowledge that, unfortunately, there are people who are less scrupulous than they should be, and given the chance they will take full advantage of a romantic who does not want to be seen to quibble too much over price!
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