We are frequently asked this question – “What should I know before buying a diamond?”
First and foremost I would get an idea of what diamond shape your future fiance prefers. For instance, is it the traditional Round Brilliant shape? Or perhaps a fancy shape like the Princess-cut, Oval, Cushion or Asscher?
Why is it important to ask your future fiance? Because you want to get it right the first time! You certainly do not want to have to return the diamond and have your feeling hurt. And all because you didn’t get her input. Get use to it. Your future spouse will appreciate you asking for her input on many other decisions. You know the old cliche’ “Happy Wife – Happy Life.” It’s true!
The next thing you should do is educate yourself on the proverbial. The Four C’s are diamond grading characteristic created in the middle of the twentieth century by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). The GIA is known as “the worlds foremost authority on gemology.”
Once you have read up on the 4C’s you will need to determine which of the 4C’s is most important to you. Is it Color, Cut, Clarity or Carat Weight? Once you have decided which is most important to you, then begin your loose diamond search. Notice that I stated “loose” diamond search. In my opinion, a diamond should be viewed out of its ring mounting where you are able to see the diamond in its full beauty and unobstructed.
Lastly, you should shop with a trusted local jewelry professional. You will know the jeweler you have chosen is “trusted” because of their reviews and testimonials. Also, look for a qualified jeweler with credentials such as a “Graduate Gemologist.” A Graduate Gemologist is an expert in the field of gemstones – this includes diamonds and colored gemstones. Think about it. When your sick and go the doctors office you want to see the doctor. Right? The doctor is a trained professional and knows what he or she is doing. So, why should seeking out a jewelry professional be any different?
Now I know that some jewelry retailers out there may disagree with me on this and say something like “ I have been in business for many, many years, you can trust me.” However, to that I say, just because someone has been in business for years doesn’t necessarily mean they have been doing things the right way. After all, your diamond engagement ring purchase is usually a costly purchase. You work hard for your money. The bottom line is, use good judgement, ask allot of questions and do some research. In the end you will be much more confident with your purchase.
Joseph R. Villarreal, G. G. (GIA)