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Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Saving Money Buying Diamonds
There comes a time in just about every man's life where he has to consider taking out a loan in order to show his significant other that he cares. This is known as buying an engagement ring. Here are some of the things that I've learned as I've been looking for this very thing.

The important thing to know is that there are four "C"s to consider when you are purchasing a diamond. They are:
A) Color - How white the diamond is,
B) Carat - How big the diamond is,
C) Clarity - How many physical flaws there are to the diamond, and
D) Cut - What shape the diamond is.

I will cover the little bit that I've learned in that order.

A) You color my world. Diamond colors are grouped together, with D, E, and F being the most white, G, H, and I being a slightly yellower, and J through the rest of the alphabet getting substantially yellower. Because the first group is the clearest and most dazzlingly white, they are the most expensive. However, the differences between letter grades are very small visually, but they can have a substantial difference in price.

The moral? A G rated diamond will look just about as clear as an F diamond, but it will likely cost hundreds of dollars less. It should also be noted that the color diamond you get can depend on the color gold of the ring you get. A white gold or platinum ring will demand a more pure white diamond, while you can afford to go further down the scale with a yellow gold ring because the yellow from the ring will make the diamond look yellow anyway, and so even a beautifully clear diamond will appear yellow with that gold ring.

B) Size matters. As the size of the diamond gets bigger, the price grows exponentially. However, because a diamond is rated in the four different areas, you may be able to afford a larger diamond if you give up on some of the other areas.

Also, as is the case with two of the three other areas, if you go slightly below the size that you want, you can save money. For example, the price difference between a 0.98 carat diamond and a 1 carat diamond is, oddly enough, substantial.

C) Clarity is important. The grading scale goes Flawless, Internally Flawless, Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and 2), Very Slightly Included (VS1 and 2), Slightly Included (SI 1, 2, and 3), and Included. This measures how many imperfections or scratches there are on the diamond.

As was the case with the previous two, the last rung of one tier is virtually indistinguishable from the first rung of the second tier, but the price is much better.

It should be noted, however, that the Slightly Included grouping is where the imperfections may be visible to the naked eye. However, you have to be looking pretty closely to see them. Therefore, if you encourage your soon to be wife to gesticulate a lot when she's talking, no one who sees the ring will be the wiser. I am joking, of course, but seriously, Slightly Included defects are difficult to see.

D) Cut makes it sparkle. There are many different shapes that you can get your diamond cut into. There is the princess cut, which is square, heart shaped, round, oval, among many others. However, what is important to know here is that part of what makes a diamond sparkle is the number of sides that it has. Round diamonds tend to sparkle the most because, due to how they are cut, they have the most sides. In fact, some stores, like Robbins Brothers, offer specially cut diamonds with extra sides that are especially brilliant due to the extra faces to reflect light off of. However, these diamonds are very, very expensive due to the fact that people like shiny things.

So, if you're like me, and you don't have a lot of money, but you want to impress and dazzle your fiance, I would suggest getting a round diamond that is G in color that is around 3/4 carat with a clarity rating of VS2 to SI1.

However, at the end of the day, you just have to decide which of these areas are most important to you. Do you just want a huge diamond? Then get a big diamond with a slightly yellower color on a yellow gold ring. Is the diamond's beauty most important to you? Splurge and go for the VVS with a D or E color, but go for a smaller diamond so that you don't break the bank.

In the end, it really is (or should be) the love that matters most, with the ring being just an expression of your commitment to that love. With that in mind, choose a good diamond, but remember, as you're pinching pennies to get there, why you're doing it in the first place.
posted by shamedsteven @ 10:08 AM  
  • At 5:42 AM, Blogger John said…

    See Diamond engagement rings, earrings, bracelets pendants 40-60% less than wholesale and retail jewelry stores.

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Name: Steven shamedsteven
Home: San Diego
About Me: Well, boys and girls, I, like a whole bunch of other people, made a series of "conscious, deliberate mistakes" and have ended up with a buttload of debt. What is chronicled here are some musings about the journey out.
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