How to Buy Diamonds
The First Important Thing - A Diamond is Not a Necessity
The first thing that you need to understand is that a diamond is not really a necessity. No matter how beautiful a diamond is, how brilliantly shiny it is, the first thing you need to remember when you buy a cheap engagement ring is that a diamond is luxury. In several countries around the world, thousands of couples get engaged with just a simple engagement band. In the U.S. too, there are many couples who choose to get engaged without a stone or with a ring of a basic, inexpensive stone to symbolize that they are engaged. Even before you think about investing in a diamond for your engagement, what you would have to understand and ask yourself is whether or not you really want one. It is not a necessity for getting engaged and once you have that fact clear in your mind you can decide whether you want engagement ring for your partner to be luxurious by selecting a diamond engagement ring or you can go for simple band.
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Diamonds are Rare and that is Why They are So Expensive
This statement is absolutely false! There are more than enough diamonds out there in the world. They can provide a lot of diamonds for every single individual on earth. If you are still wondering why they are so expensive then you should know that there are very strict criteria and controls which are exercised for quality of these stones that are produced for sale across the world. Control and criteria are what make the diamonds so expensive.
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Why Should I Really Invest in a Diamond?
There are more reasons than can be listed here to explain why someone should buy a diamond. Diamonds are the perfect symbols of love and commitment and a diamond ring can last you for a lifetime if you care for it properly.
Keeping the emotions aside, if you have decided to go ahead and pop the question to the woman in your life and purchase a diamond, you should approach the process rationally and methodically. Ensure that you have enough time on your hands since you would definitely need quite a lot of time. You should have around one to three months on hand for researching, checking all your options and evaluating them and then purchasing it finally. According to various researches, a diamond engagement ring is the 3rd most expensive thing that they would purchase in their life. Your home and car count for the first two. Consider this one important fact and realize how important this decision is. You should handle this purchase with much care and seriousness and to help you with your quest for the right diamond ring, this Diamond Tutorial has been designed.
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There are two main purposes of this tutorial:
1. To provide you a solid but quick education about the basics of diamonds
2. To provide you a guide that you can refer to as you go through the process of selecting and purchasing the diamond.
Spend around half an hour to 45 minutes on this tutorial. While reading a bunch of material might sound like a boring prospect, this would be a wise thing to do if you are planning to invest a majority of your life savings on a diamond ring.
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One of the most important concepts related to the quality of diamonds is the concept of the four Cs. The quality of the stone is determined by these four factors which are- the Cut, Color, Clarity and the Carat weight of the diamond. The latter three Cs are actually quite simple to understand and straightforward, these would be explained below. However, the Cut is a little tricky. "The difference between a bad cut, a good cut and a great cut is very subtle for the untrained eyes but they can be huge in terms ofbeauty and value of the diamond. A sly jeweler would be able to sell you a big stone with great color and clarity for a very low price and he would still be able to make a lot of profit, if the Cut of the stone is inferior!"
This tutorial will explain you each of these factors in complete detail, paying extra attention to the cut of the diamond. If you need to refer to any one of the topics at a later stage, you can just use the tabs in the pages to go directly to the page where you would find the information that you require. To begin with, we would first learn a little more about the Carat Weight.
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Simply put, "Carat Weight" is just the weight of the stone.
According to the definition, one carat equals to 200 milligrams. However, because most diamonds that we find in this industry and mostly being sold in stores are less than one carat, it is again subdivided to points. 1 carat has 100 points so when a diamond weighs ¾ carat, it would be a diamond with 75 points.
1 carat= 100 points= 200 milligrams
Do not get confused between the size of the diamond and its weight. This concept is quite similar to the potato chips and cereal boxes where the contents of each are sold not by volume but by weight. Also, you should not confuse the carat of another stone with the diamond's carats. All minerals would have different densities and so 1 carat ruby would have a different volume or size when compared to 1 carat of a diamond. There is also another form of confusion which normally exists. Karat had been used to measure gold's purity but this has nothing to do with Carat which is used to weigh diamonds. The spelling is different and so is the meaning.
When you go out to shop for a diamond and if you are not too sure about its carat weight, you can just ask that jeweler to weigh it in front of you. Ensure that the balance where it is being weighed is on a "0" first and then the stone would be placed on that balance. The milligrams that would be reported on the balance would be taken and then divided by 200 to arrive at the carat weight of that diamond.
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Do not ever fall for the statement "get the biggest possible diamond at the lowest price". You would just be ending up with a diamond of inferior quality in terms of its cut, color and clarity which would just look cheap and low quality. When a stone like this would be compared to a good quality one, the differences would be apparent. This would be quite like purchasing, say a car by only considering its size and not thinking about its styling or features. If the size or the carat weight of the diamond is the most important factor for you, there is nothing wrong with it. However, do consider the other three factors to ensure that you get yourself a good deal.
The clarity of the diamond is measure of the extent and the number of flaws that are present in a diamond. Simply put the lesser number of flaws that are present in the stone, more valuable it would be. It is extremely rare to find a diamond which is totally flawless. These diamonds are known as "FL" diamonds and only a few hundreds of such diamonds are produced in the world every year.
There are different grading systems which are used today to measure and describe clarity. One of the most popular grading system is the G.I.A scale, i.e. Gemological Institute of America scale that ranks the diamonds as I- Imperfect, SI- Slightly Imperfect, VS- Very Slightly Included, VVS- Very very slightly included, IF- Internally Flawless and FL- Flawless. Given below is the complete grading scale for your reference.
Although it might seem to be a little subjective, this scale has very specific criteria which are used in order to decide which grade a diamond would belong to. There are quite a lot of differences between various grades, as you can see from information given below.
FL- Completely flawless
IF- This type of diamonds would only have external flaws. These flaws can be removed if the stone is further polished.
VVS1 and 2- in a diamond of this scale, the flaws can only be detected by an expert with the help of a 10X microscope. If the expert would be able to see the flaw from top of the stone, it would be a VVS2. If the expert can detect the flaws only from the bottom of the diamond, then it would be a VVS1.
VS1 and 2- The flaws can be seen through a 10X microscope but it would take considerably long, i.e. more than 10 seconds to detect them.
SI1 and 2- The flaws can be seen with the 10x microscope.
I1 to 13- The flaws can be seen with the naked eye. It is a good idea to avoid these diamonds.
Pinpoint - there would be a tiny white dot present on the diamond's surface. This is one of the most common flaws in diamonds.
Carbons - there would be a tiny black dot on the diamond's surface; less commonly seen than the white dots.
Feathers- the diamond would have small cracks inside which are similar to broken glass. A few of these internal feathers, if they are small, are harmless. However, if they reduce the clarity rating they should be avoided. However, large feathers should be avoided since over time, the cracks could grow and harm the diamond.
Clouds - there would be small hazy areas inside the diamond. These are actually a result of small crystals which cannot be individually seen.
Crystal growth - there would be a tiny crystalline growth inside the stone. It would look more like a smaller diamond inside a bigger one.
Unfortunately, it is quite difficult for an inexperienced individual to judge the clarity of a diamond accurately. The best thing to do is to first get some information on the topic and then some education on it. Take a look at as many diamonds as you can, and try to judge the clarity of the stone before you buy your own diamond. If you approach a good jeweler, he would be happy to educate you and spend time with you so that you would be comfortable getting to know clarity of the diamond that you wish to purchase. You can approach various jewelry stores and ask them to show you the flaws in various diamonds till you, on your own, can detect the flaws.
One major factor that you should remember when purchasing your engagement ring is to avoid a diamond that is "clarity enhanced". This is basically a process which is artificial and is used to fix some of the flaws on the diamond. A diamond that has been clarity enhanced would not be flawless and in various cases, it would even not be possible to detect that it has been enhanced. A diamond like this would be worth almost as much as a flawed diamond. Also, its durability would not be that great. Ensure that you confirm with the store that the diamond that you are planning to purchase is not a clarity enhanced stone. Also ensure that you check the diamond's G.I.A certificate and check this fact on the certificate. If you would not be receiving a certificate when you purchase the diamond, you should either avoid purchasing the diamond or you should ask that jeweler to provide you an appraisal on which it would be specified that the stone is not clarity enhanced.
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Quite a lot of people think clarity is the least important from among all the factors when they purchase cheap engagement rings. The reason for this is simple for most- when you gift engagement ring to your partner and when she shows it off to her friends, it is quite rare that any of them would observe it under a microscope to study its flaws. It does not make sense to purchase a diamond that is VVS1 when it would look the same as an SI2. However, if you would be purchasing any step cut diamond like an emerald cut, it is wise to purchase a diamond that has more clarity than SI1. The flaws would be more visible in the step cuts compared to the brilliant cuts.
Degree of the tint of yellowness present in the diamond is known as color of the stone. An ideal diamond would be absolutely colorless. Therefore, it would also be the most expensive among all of them. The G.I.A grades color of the diamonds alphabetically starting from D which is absolutely colorless to Z which is yellow:
For the stone to be considered absolutely colorless, it is required that it should be D, E or F as per the G.I.A. However, this is a continuous scale and so the differences between, say, G and H are actually quite small. The average color grade of the diamonds that are purchased in the U.S for engagements is G to H.
The jewelers normally have the tools to check color of the diamonds. They would have something like a reference set of diamonds to check the diamond against. The jeweler would compare a diamond to this set of diamonds of the known color. Actually, this set would normally be made with cubic zirconium! The jeweler would then make a determination as to the grading of that diamond after thorough comparison. There is also another method for determining color of the diamond which is more accurate. A calorimeter is used for this purpose which is just an electrical device which measures characteristics of the diamond and then reports its color. The results would normally be within 1/3 of the grade. You should keep in mind that the jewelers would normally round up color test results. For example, if a diamond is slightly more than the F grade, then it would automatically be considered as an E and so it would be more expensive to you when you purchase it.
When the color of the diamond is judged, it is very important to have an unmounted diamond. You can ask the jeweler to show you a printout of the results from the calorimeter. If you want, you can also ask the jeweler to show you the reference stones so that you can compare it to your diamond on your own. You would need to place your diamond next to that reference stone on a plain white paper sheet and then compare the color till you find the closest match.
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Summary One of the most important things to remember when you purchase a diamond and check its color is the kind of setting that you wish to use. If you are planning to get the stone mounted on a white gold or a platinum setting, then it is best to invest in a diamond within the D to G range. If your diamond is less than that color grade, you should stick to a yellow gold setting as the color flaws would not be seen. However, no matter what setting you use, if the diamond is lower than J, the yellowness would be visible.
One of the most confusing aspects of choosing cheap engagement rings is understanding its cut. The cut could refer to the workmanship of the diamond, the actual process of diamond cutting, its proportions, the shape of the diamond like heart shaped, square or round or the cutting style of the stone. All of these characteristics are quite important when you evaluate the diamond so we have to discuss each of them separately here so that you can understand them all better.
As you might know, diamonds are transparent crystalline carbon as they are crafted by nature. If the rough outer layer can be peeled away, the stone would be very smooth, just like glass. However, if this would be done, it would not be very aesthetically pleasing since it would just resemble a glass crystal piece. The job of the diamond cutter is actually an art. The diamond cutter would be responsible to transform the crystallized carbon chunk into a beautiful stone which can then be used in jewelry.
There are basically two different kinds of cuts that can be used by a diamond cutter: a step cut or a brilliant cut. There are also a few hybrids of these two main cuts like an emerald cut or you would also hear about a few older style ones like the old mine cut, the old European cut and the rose cut. If you are planning to purchase modern cheap engagement ring, then you only need to think about the two main basic cuts. A step cut would have parallel facets which would usually span the width or the length of the diamond. Check the picture which has been given here and see how the steps lead from the outer edge towards the top of the stone. When the diamond has facets which are rounded off, then it would be a variant, which is known as an emerald cut.
A brilliant cut would have triangular facets which would surround the stone and this would generally culminate on the flat top which is referred to as the table. Check the picture given below and see how the triangles neatly fit together. The popular and modern brilliant cut round diamond would have 58 such triangular facets. There would be 25 below the middle of the diamond and 33 above.
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Deciding between a step cut and a brilliant cut is actually very simple. If you want to have the shiniest possible cheap engagement ring, then go for a brilliant cut diamond. If you want an elegant, glassy diamond, then a step cut diamond is suitable.
One important fact that you would need to know is that you cannot really go to a store and just purchase a brilliant cut or step cut stone in cheap engagement rings. You would have to select a diamond with a shape which would be then created by using brilliant cuts or step cuts or even a mixture of the two cuts. Read the tutorial further to learn about various diamond shapes.
As it can be understood from the name, the shape of the diamond is just the intrinsic shape of that stone. When seen from the top, some of the most common shapes of diamonds are:
Except for the emerald cut, some of the most popular shapes in cheap engagement rings today are hybrid cuts or brilliant cuts. Hybrid cuts are step cuts but not very strictly followed. When it comes to the cost, a round brilliant is the costliest while the square cuts would normally cost around 10% less than the round one if the quality and the weight are the same. If you are planning to purchase cheap engagement ring as an investment, then you should certainly invest in a brilliant round diamond. If not as an investment, you can select the shape that you find the most appealing. SaulSpero, a diamond appraiser from New York had spent around 25 years of his life to interview more than 50,000 people to understand the relation between preference of shapes in diamonds and personality. Diamonds, Love and Compatibility, his book states that when a woman has a very strong liking for any of the shapes given below, she could be characterized as below:
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If you are not purchasing the diamond for investment purpose, then select any shape in cheap engagement rings that you like. It does not matter what its relative value is or the relation to the Spero Study and the personality of your future bride as discussed above. The only other characteristic, other than your personal preference that you should consider while choosing the diamond shape is the fire and brilliance. Read on to learn more about these two factors.
In an ideal diamond, proportions of the diamond would be such that light that enters through the top of the stone would bounce inside the diamond and then would be reflected back from the top. This would give the diamond maximum fire and brilliance. When the diamond is too deep or too shallow, some of the light would escape from the bottom of the diamond. This would make it appear as if there are shadows when the diamond is seen from the top.
As it can be seen in the deep cut stone above, the carat weight might be higher of these stones, but it would certainly be a diamond which is less desirable! Most jewelers would not tell you about the cut proportions of the diamond unless you specifically ask for it. A diamond which is high in carat but is poorly proportioned might be offered at a good discount which can give the buyers an impression that they are getting a good deal.
To understand how well a diamond has been cut for ideal proportions, you would first need to measure that stone. If that diamond has a G.I.A certificate, then the measurements would be mentioned on it. If not, you can ask your jeweler to measure it for you when you are present.
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Depth percentage - c x a = 100 (%)
This is the most important metric for maximum brilliance. Diamonds that have too small or too large depth percentages will be too deep or too shallow, and will have shadows when observed from the top.
Table percentage - c x a = 100 (%)
The bigger is the table percentage, the greater brilliance and lesser fire, and vice versa. The ideal table percentage strikes a perfect balance.
Crown height percentage - d x a = 100 (%)
Deviation from the ideal will cause reduced brilliance and fire.
Pavilion depth percentage - e x a = 100 (%)
If significantly greater than ideal, the diamond will have a dark center. If it’s significantly less, the stone will look watery and lifeless.
Girdle thickness - Qualitatively look at f
Numbers are not used to measure the girdle thickness - the girdle is judged from extremely thinto extremely thick. Thin girdles tend to chip; thick girdles "hide" extra, unnecessary weight. An even, medium girdle is ideal.
Crown angle - g (degrees)
Another way to measure Crown height percentage
Pavilion angle - h (degrees)
Another way to measure Pavilion depth percentage
Length/Width Rati0 - (a' x a) : 1
By definition a' is the longest side, and a is the shortest. For round and square stones, the length/width
Proportion metrics which are ideal might vary according to the various shapes like oval, hearts, rounds etc. Read on to the next chapter to know more about the ideal metrics which would provide you the most brilliant stone for the shape that you choose for cheap engagement rings. Ideal proportions for a round diamond had been empirically calculated by Marcel Tolkowsky for his Mathematics Ph.D. thesisin the year 1919. According to him, the ideal cut would have the characteristics given below:
- Brilliant cut with 58 facets and a round shape
- Pavilion depth percentage would be 43%
- Crown height percentage would be 16%
- Table percentage would be 53%
- Table percentage would be 53%
- Depth percentage would be 59%
- The girdle thickness would be even and medium all around the stone
- Perfect symmetry
- Perfectly formed and aligned facets
- Absent or very small culet
It should be said that finding a diamond as has been written about above would be quite an expensive task. To make it even more complicated, some of the recent G.I.A studies have shown that a 59% table would yield a more brilliant stone as opposed to 53% that had been specified by Tolkowsky. Most jewellers tend to have versions of their own ideal cut which would confuse you even more. Their version of an ideal cut would vary daily as they try to sell their inventory. So how would a consumer make the right decision when it comes to the cut? What type of a diamond can you select which would be as close as possible to an ideal cut stone? And what should you do if you do not want to go for a shape other than the round?
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Non-Round Shapes and Proportions
According to the laws of physics that had been applied by Tolkowsky related to light, the laws remain the same for every shape of diamond. If you decide to go for a stone which is not round, you would be sacrificing on fire and brilliance since you would be going for a diamond which is inherently asymmetrical.
Two side slices and the top view for a princess cut stone have been shown in the above picture. One side slice has been represented by the horizontal red line and the other by a diagonal green line. Since the diamond would not be symmetrical at its centre, it would not be possible to have a Tolkowsky cut. When the diamond has a cut such that the horizontal slice would have the 59% depth percentage as given by Tolkowsky, the diagonal slice would have a 42% depth percentage. All other shapes like hearts, marquises and ovals can be analyzed similarly. This does not show that any shape other than the round is inferior, even a stone which has a fancy cut would be distinctive and beautiful and perfectly fit for cheap engagement rings. However, the fact remains that if you want the most brilliantly sparkly cheap engagement ring, then a round diamond would be the best choice.
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Considering the fact that you read all the information that has been given above, you would appreciate that it is quite important to evaluate the proportions of the diamond before you purchase your engagement ring. Cut is one of the most important but the least understood among the four Cs. If you select an inferior cut, you would have a dull and lifeless diamond. If you are interested in getting a very sparkly stone, then you should purchase the round diamond. The other shapes would not be as sparkly because of their asymmetry. In the next section, a few tables are presented which would summarize the important dimensions in all the popular shapes with a few guidelines.
The tables given below had been created from various different industry sources which have sometimes been conflicting. These tables can be used as a guide to find the ideal cut for any given shape. It is quite vital to visually examine the stone before you purchase it. The numbers given here can be used as a guide when you first start screening various stones or when you are purchasing a specific diamond. However, for your final selection for your own engagement ring that your partner would be wearing when you present it to her on your engagement, you would let your eyes and your heart to do the judgment. Notes on how to use these tables: 1. The tables here have only listed the most important dimensions and characteristics of a cut for every shape. Ensure that you read through the next chapter for the other things that you need to consider. 2. The terms that have been used in the tables have been explained and defined in the sections above. If you still find it hard to follow this information, read the tutorial on cut again. 3. Bowtie is not actually a measurable metric. Rather, it is an optical effect which is undesirable which can be observed in few pears, ovals and marquises. A bowtie looks like this:
4. Do not look for perfection in cheap engagement rings. It is quite acceptable to purchase cheap engagement ring with a stone which rates fair/poor or good in any category. If you are aware about what you are purchasing and if you understand the tradeoffs in quality and costs, it is more than enough.
One of the final things that you need to understand about cut of a diamond is the workmanship quality that is involved when a diamond is cut. Read the tutorial further to learn more.
Other than the right proportions and the shape of cheap engagement rings that is suitable for the one who would be wearing the ring, the intrinsic beauty and value of the diamond would also be decided based on the aspects of workmanship of a diamond cutter.
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When you observe a diamond under any microscope you should compare the facets and their forms with their ideal versions that have been provided below. For example, any round diamond would have 58 facets exactly, 25 below the girdle and 33 above.
When you look at the actual stones, you should refer to this diagram given above and then try to rate and identify each of these facets. Deformed, absent or extra facets would reduce the value of that diamond. You can also view the top views of each of the diamond shapes in the diagrams presented in Cut 2 Tutorial.
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Girdles that are thin are quite prone to chipping. Girdles that are extremely thick would hide quite a lot of weight. For this reason, you would be paying for a diamond in cheap engagement rings that is heavier but does not look quite big. A medium, even girdle is ideal and it holds true for all shapes except for the pear shape tip where a thick girdle would be preferred since it would make it less susceptible to damage. Ensure that the girdle is well polished and faceted when you examine it. Quite a lot of diamond cutters would neglect this step so that they can avoid removing the weight from that diamond and to save time.
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The bottom part of a stone is the culet. This is the part where the pavilion would come together as a point. The diagram shown under facets will show you this aspect. Culets are rated normally as large, medium, small and none. None is ideal but if a diamond is otherwise perfect but has a large or a medium culet, it would still be worth purchasing it.
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- Ensure that the culet is perfectly in the middle of the diamond when you view it from bottom.
- Check that the crown and the pavilion have the same angle all around the diamond and are not concave or bowed out.
- If you are planning to purchase engagement ring in a fancy shape like the heart shape, ensure that there are absolutely no deformities. Some of the heart shaped stones would have lobes that are unsightly asymmetrical. Some of the radiants and princess shape are not really square. Check the diagrams given in Cut 2 Tutorial to check the right proportions.
- Check the table to ensure that it is symmetrical and flat.
There are not absolute rules to check the finishing of a diamond in cheap engagement rings. However, you should understand that the more the diamond cutter would polish the stone, the more weight in carats it would lose. Its value would thus diminish and so the goal of any cutter would be just to polish the stone enough to satisfy a customer. When the diamond is polished, the surface flaws would be removed in terms of clarity. An IF stone can easily become an FL just by polishing it well.
Congratulations on completing the entire diamond tutorial! We hope that you haven't directly jumped to this page!
However, your work is far from complete. In fact, there is much more to the selection of cheap engagement rings than you would have thought earlier. Once you inspect a diamond and evaluate it based on all the information that has been given in this tutorial, you would then have to follow various steps and make plenty more decisions to ensure that you get the perfect engagement ring for the woman in your life. Your work has only begun. You would now have to decide about what type of diamond you would want to purchase. You would also have to decide about the ring itself. These are the decisions that only you can make and cannot rely on anyone else. However, we can still help you make plenty of other decisions like how to find a good jeweller, negotiating the price, caring for your cheap engagement rings and other things.
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Finding a Jeweller
There are plenty of ways in which you can find a jeweller for an engagement ring of your dream. However, one of the most reliable and the easiest way to find is by submitting a request to a website like FindMyJeweler.com. Once you submit a few details like your phone number, name and the type of cheap engagement ring that you are looking for, this service would match up the details with a consultant who would then help you find a reputable and trustworthy jeweller in your city.
One of the benefits of going for a service like this is that it is completely free of charge. Another benefit is that the website rates plenty of jewellers all across the country. They use various factors for rating the jewellers like shopper tests that are secret, records from Better Business Bureau and surveys of customer satisfaction to find jewellers that offer high quality cheap engagement rings and other types of jewellery. Your privacy would of course be very important so websites like these would ensure that it is not disclosed or shared with anyone else other than the consultant that would be assigned to you. While you can always find a jeweller on your own, a service like this would make it easier. If you are planning to find a jeweller on your own, ensure that you check a few details about the store like the number of years that they have been in business, their reputation, feedback from customers who have earlier bought diamonds from that store, any records at the Better Business Bureau etc. If you check all of these details, you would certainly be able to find a jeweller that is reliable and trustworthy.
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Local Stores or the Internet
If you think that you can find a trustworthy local jeweller and are not in hurry, then a local jeweller might be a good choice for you. However, much cannot be said about the value that the local stores would be able to offer you. Considering the fact that the local stores have to deal with plenty of overhead costs like their lease, utility bills, salary of the employees etc. you can be sure that these costs would be added to the basic cost of the cheap engagement ring that you would be purchasing from that store since they too have to make profits.
Finding a local jeweller can be quite tough. The first fact is that there would only be a few in each city and the jewellers that are really good would not really advertise themselves much. Such jewellers would only rely on business through client referrals. If you have a friend or a family member who is absolutely trustworthy and can refer you to their trusted jeweller, then it can be a good way to go ahead. If not, then you can find plenty of jewellers on the internet.
After you have found a good jeweller locally, ensure that you:
- Know what cheap engagement rings cost. You can refer to a database for prices.
- Ask all the right questions. Ensure that you examine the stone yourself.
- After you make the purchase, get the cheap engagement ring immediately checked by a third party, an unbiased one, to ensure that you have bought a genuine stone. Keep in mind that a second jeweller would not count as an unbiased party. There have been various cases where consumers have purchased their diamond at one shop and have been made to believe that their purchase has been of an inferior quality by a second jewellery store. A second jeweller would always want to push their own cheap engagement rings to the customer and would condemn purchases made from another store in hopes that you would return your purchase and instead purchase something from their store.
A good approach would be to first visit a few local jewellers because they would be willing to spend some time with you and try to educate you. You can then talk to a few wholesalers and then visit a few online jewellers. Do not believe that wholesalers would price their cheap engagement rings lower than the retailers. Your goal should be to find the best possible value which means trying to find engagement ring that would be the highest possible quality along with convenience, selection, service and cost that meets with your expectations.
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Negotiating the price
Do not believe that cheap engagement rings are not negotiable. The first thing that you should keep in mind is that you should learn how to negotiate. The key to negotiate effectively is to first know how much you are actually willing to and would be able to pay before you even walk into a store. Get an idea about the existing prices for cheap engagement rings and then set up a budget so that you would know just what price range you would like to stick to.
Like all other types of jewellery and stones, even cheap engagement rings have to be regularly cleaned. The basic thing to remember is that the more often you wear engagement ring, the more regularly you would need to clean it. Rings normally tend to collect more dirt and grime than any other type of jewellery. When you select jewellery cleaner, ensure that the solution they would be using on your ring would be suitable for diamonds and for platinum or gold jewellery. Silver jewellery would need a special cleaning solution.
Once you have found a recommended cleaning solution, ensure that the container comes with a brush and a dip tray. This would make it easier for you clean your cheap engagement ring and it would also make the process less messy. You would need a lint free, soft polishing cloth and a paper towel to clean the ring. Dip the ring in the solution and keep it there for around 20 seconds. After you remove it, brush it properly to ensure that all the oil and dirt is removed. When you do this, check to ensure that the stone is tightly secured and prongs have not been bent.
The next step would be to rinse your ring with lukewarm water. Dry it with the lint free soft cloth. This would ensure that no particles are caught in the prongs when you dry it. You can use any polishing cloth to buff up the ring so that it maintains its lustre. If you maintain the ring regularly and clean it at regular intervals, you would be able to spot if the diamond is loose or the prongs are bent before it is too late. Ensure that you get the ring checked at least annually by a professional.
One of the most important things to consider is to insure cheap engagement rings. Most renter's and homeowner's insurance policies would exclude all expensive jewellery and none of them would cover for a theft or loss if it occurs outside home. You should also consider the fact that losing the diamond can easily happen if one of the tiny prongs holding the diamond in place break or bend.
Finding cheap engagement rings is all about personal style and preferences. A simple, beautiful ring with just one diamond is known as a solitaire. This can be perfect for an elegant, beautiful ring for the engagement. If you are someone who likes a little more decoration, then there are plenty of rings with baguettes or side stones that can add to the beauty of the ring and also to its final price.
Cheap engagement rings would consist mainly of two parts which would now be discussed here individually:
- The band which would surround the finger
- The setting which will hold the diamond.
The settings for diamond rings are normally made with platinum, even for a gold ring since the durability and strength of platinum is perfectly suited for a diamond ring. If you are selecting cheap engagement rings, make sure that the setting is made from platinum. The other decision that you will have to make is whether to go for a ring with 6 prongs or 4 prongs. With four prongs, you would be showing off the diamond more but for security, six prongs are always better. If the ring would be worn on a regular basis, it is recommended that you select six prongs so that you do not lose the diamond.
There are a few settings in which no prongs are used. Some rings are such in which pressure is used in order to keep the stone in place while in others a channel is used where the stone would be inserted. Use your own personal style to judge which type of setting you would like to purchase.
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When deciding on the band, the first and the most important decision is the size. There are two ways you can decide which would be the right size for you: Go to a jewellery store and take your partner along with you. Have the ring finger sized up.
If you plan to have the ring as a surprise, you can take your partner's current ring with you to the jewellery store to get it measured. Ensure that it is a ring which is currently the right size for your partner. Make sure you return the ring back quickly before she finds it missing!
Another decision that you will have to make about the band is the material which would be used. One of the most common materials which are used for rings for engagements is platinum. Gold is also quite commonly chosen for rings. Ultimately, it would again be about your personal choice and style. Given below are some facts about each of these metals so that you can decide which one would be best for you.
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Since centuries, gold has been very popular in jewelleries. However, gold does bend quite easily and so it is generally alloyed with zinc, copper or nickel or a mixture of all. Karats are the measure used for checking the gold's purity. A 24 karat gold ring would be made of pure gold while in a 14 K ring, 58.3% gold would be used. Outside of the US, 18 K jewellery is popular while 14 K is more popular in the US.
Gold tends to dull when it is worn regularly. To brighten it up, you just have to soak the ring in lukewarm water and use soap which is detergent-free. Scrub it gently using a brush with soft bristles.
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Platinum is known to be a very hard metal and so it is not quite popular for jewellery when compared to gold. Platinum is rarer than gold. It would cost around four times the price of the same amount of gold. However, if you are looking for a silver band that does not ever tarnish, then platinum is a good choice. If your partner is allergic to metals, then you should only select platinum since it is hypoallergenic and would not irritate her skin. Platinum is measured as a 3 digit number as far as its purity is concerned. If the band that you select is marked as 950, it means that is has 95% platinum and 5% iridium or palladium.
Selecting the Setting
There are quite a lot of contemporary, magical and innovative settings available along with ageless classics and traditional ones. If you cannot really find something that you like but you do have a design in your mind, then you can just find a design group or a jeweller and get it made for you. However, with the large number of settings that are available today, it would be hardly possible for you to not find something that you like.
You should select the setting depending first on the individual taste and personality of the one that you are purchasing it for. When purchasing the ring for yourself, you should go through a few magazines for jewellery and look at a few advertisements to get an idea about what you would like. If you would be purchasing the ring along with your partner, then you can both look through the designs together and then decide.
Given below are some tips that will help you decide what type of styles would complement which hand and finger types. Again, this is subjective and just an opinion.
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If you have muscular hands or bony and long fingers, then a thick ring with a prominent diamond would suit you. Those with long fingers and large hands are the only ones that would look good in a pronged large setting where the diamond would stick out. These are the simplest styles and they show off the diamond be best. However, a ring like this would not always suit your personal taste. Also, if your work involves a lot use of hands, then a setting like this would not be suitable. The diamond would get damaged in the process. You can select a style like antique, minimalist modern or 20th century modern to make it better suitable for you. Keep the ring large and the setting thick.
If you have short and wide fingers, then cheap engagement rings of a medium size with a larger diamond would look beautiful. Ensure that it stays flat on your finger and do not go for a pronged setting. The style would be entirely up to you for selection but select something that would look good with evening as well as casual clothes.
Those with delicate and thin hands and small fingers should select delicate and thin settings. Those with shorter fingers can select smaller stones. Keep the ring simple so that it would complement your hand and not overpower it.
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Selecting the Ring Secretly?
Those who are selecting a cheap engagement ring for their partner secretly would have to face a few difficulties. The first thing that you will have to do is to find out what your partner wears and what type of jewellery she normally likes. Find out what style the jewellery can be categorized as and if it looks antique or modern. Does she normally like silver or gold or both of them? Does she like modern jewellery or does she buy it from museum catalogues? If that is the case, then you can search for a jeweller who makes antique feel pieces and something that is delicate and magical. You can find such jewellery at plenty of places.
If your partner doesn't wear much of jewellery then you would want to purchase a ring that is elegant and simple like a small diamond in a very small setting. Think about the colour of metal that you would purchase and if it would match with the type of clothes that she normally wears. If you partner dresses extravagantly in velvets and silks then a pave ring would be the right thing or an early 20th or 19th century style ring would be suitable. If her dressing style is more modern, then you would want to choose something that is a mix of gold and platinum.
If you are still confused about what kind of setting would be the best for her dressing style then there is one more way of finding out- decorating! Check how she decorates her room or her house. If she has something like minimalist furniture that is sleek and modern or Japanese vases, then choose a ring that is simple and minimalist, particularly something that is nature inspired. Those with a liking for flea market finds, shabby chic, vintage appliances or European prints would normally like something with an Art Deco style like rectangular or square diamonds or a funky vintage design. Those who like refurbished antiques, chintz and country house feel would like something that is timeless and classic. If she likes magical fabrics, rose petals and baroque candlesticks would like something that is more elaborate and imaginative with curlicues and swirls. If your partner likes something from all over the world would like a design that is culturally inspired.
You should know that there would always be some risk when you purchase jewellery secretly for your partner. Ensure that there is a return policy in place at the store from where you are purchasing the ring in case you have to exchange it for something else.
The one common thing between a home, new car and expensive jewellery is the heavy price tag. For transactions like these, it is always worth it to try and negotiate with the seller. The sellers too try to get as much money as possible out of you if he/she detects:
- Strong emotional liking for the product
- Desperation- when you have no time at all before the engagement to purchase the ring
- Insensitivity to price
- Less knowledge about the product that you are about to purchase.
There are basically three steps in a negotiation process which have been discussed here. Each step is described in detail for your reference. Remember, you should not visit a jeweller like you would approach a typical salesman. Most jewellers would depend on repeat business from their existing clients and so they would normally treat you quite well. However, like in any other industry there would also be a few unscrupulous ones in the jewellery industry as well. If you are planning to spend a good amount of money on a ring that you don't know much about, you should definitely be careful.
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Prepare- Step 1
In any type of transaction, the party that has the most amount of knowledge on the subject would always be at an advantage. Even if you consider yourself to be charismatic or aggressive, you would not really be at an advantage if you don't know much about cheap engagement rings. What you would definitely think about is how you can gain advantage over someone who is a professional and has a lot of experience. Well, you cannot. However, you can definitely make yourself a good player. Given below are few steps that will help you:
- Other than this tutorial, read a few others on the internet to learn as much as possible on diamonds.
- If you can manage, try to find a database for consumer prices and the Rappaport Diamond Report which has a price list that is used by the dealers. However, you should know that the actual prices would vary greatly.
- Visit a few jewellers in your area and check the cheap engagement rings, if possible, under a microscope and ask plenty of questions. However, do not purchase anything yet.
This is basically a preparation process where you would start figuring out what kind of diamond you are looking for and what kind of setting you would like along with the amount of money you can spend.
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Set Limits- Step 2
If you have ever faced a situation where you were casually strolling around a mall and you come across a ridiculously expensive item but were attracted to, you would know how difficult it is to resist it. You might have been unable to resist the item and end up spending somewhere around $10,000 on it where you have to pay instalments that would stretch out for eternity. It is only later on when you closely inspect the item that you purchased that you will begin to notice the flaws and realize the mistake you made. And there are still quite a lot of instalments that have to be paid! This is impulse shopping and it is something that most of us regret doing later on. Discipline is something that you must exercise when you are purchasing something that is as expensive as a diamond. Realize that you would be spending a huge amount on it so make an informed decision.
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1. Set a limit
The first thing that you should do is to set a limit for yourself. Decide how much you can spend on the ring. First, think about your current financial situation and think about how much exactly you would be able to afford on the ring. The next thing to consider is how much you would be comfortable spending on the cheap engagement ring. Your goal would be to find a balance between quality and price. Though it is a luxury, it would symbolize your commitment to each other. This decision should be made before you visit any of the jewellers.
The next sets of limits that you have to set are related to the ring. What carat weight maximum and minimum do you want? What about the cut, colour and clarity? These are all the limits that you would have to decide upon before you purchase the ring.
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2. Stick to these limits
This is a critical point though it might be harder to follow. You would be totally in love and would want something spectacular for her, to top it off the jeweller would try to take advantage of the situation and try to make you believe that the more you would spend, the more you would be showing your love to her. However, if you feel that you are being pushed you should just walk away. Just remember that there are too many jewellers in this country. There are around 40,000 jewellers that you can select from in the U.S. If you do realize that you are not able to find rings in your limit consistently, then you might have to reconsider changing your limits. However, ensure that you make this decision when you are not being pressurized by a salesman.
3. Closing the deal - without emotions
When you purchase engagement ring, it should be a decision that is made unemotionally though it might sound ironical to you. If you have read the tutorial and you know about the four Cs, then you would know much about how much the ring should cost you. You would have set the limits based on this information so purchasing the ring should be quite simple. However, jewellers often use plenty of tactics in order to push you and get you to increase your limits:
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Flippant sellers- such jewellers would be the ones who would be overly passionate, emotional and would scream a lot. He might pretend to be upset with you if you ask a lot of questions or are not willing to buy a diamond that he suggests. The best thing to do is to talk to another salesman at that store or come back later when that seller is not around.
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Today's Special- this is a very common attempt of closing deals used by many sellers. Do not be pressurized by a time limit when you are purchasing a diamond. The today specials would always be available even tomorrow and for plenty of days after that as well.
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Good cop and bad cop- a very effective technique which is very often used by plenty of sellers in all industries is the good and bad cop. There would be two salesmen who would be working together. The first one would be the bad guy who would be overly aggressive and might be rude to you. The second one would be the good cop who would then walk in and try to be your friend by defending you or protecting you from the bad guy. During the negotiations, you would definitely be inclined to accept the advice given to you by the good guy.
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I don't have the authority- in this tactic, the person you would be negotiating with might say that he/she would have to talk to the manager as he/she does not have the authority. In some cases, there might not even be a manager or would not be seen. The best thing to do is to first insist that you only negotiate with someone at the store who has the authority and who would be able to close the deal with you.
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Persuading your partner- if you are bringing along your partner with you or a friend, do not give him/her the right to make the actual decision but only for browsing. The salesmen at the stores would try to do everything to convince you through the partner. If your partner or your friend has a taste for expensive jewellery or keeps commenting how beautiful it looks, then he salesman would always try their best.