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Every year many couples become engaged and find themselves shopping around for a diamond engagement ring. Many times this search turns into a confusing task. One simply cannot look to a Consumer Report to find specifics on a diamond ring. However, this process can be made quite simple if the prospective buyer follows a few simple guidelines. First, he should know the three C’s of a diamond; secondly, find a respectable jeweler; and thirdly, choose a style that his fiancée will be happy with for many years to come.
First, the prospective buyer should familiarize himself with the three C’s of a diamond. Every diamond has its own characteristics which determine its value. Most important is color. Every diamond possesses color, but it is the absence of color that increases the value of this gem. Second only to color is the cut. How the fifty-eight facets are cut in relation to the weight determines the value of the diamond. On an ideally cut diamond, 53% of the weight is at the girdle or middle part of the diamond. Clarity is less important than cut and color. Clarity is a value based on the number of inclusions that a diamond contains. An ideal diamond, sometimes called a “perfect diamond,” would be one without any inclusions. The least important characteristic of a diamond is its weight; that is, the number of carats it contains. A diamond that ranks high in color, cut, and clarity but weighs only .50 carats is worth more than a 1 carat stone with poor color, cut, and clarity.
After the buyer has become familiar with the three C’s of a diamond, he should find a reputable jeweler to do business with. The majority of jewelers in business today are reputable. The buyer should find out if the jeweler offers a bond that states exactly what the customer is buying. The buyer should request an appraisal and have the jeweler sign it. The customer should also find out if the jeweler offers some sort of guarantee in case the diamond comes out of the mounting. In addition, the buyer should inquire about whether the salesperson or someone within the store is a graduate of the Gemology Institute of America or certified by the Diamond Council of America. If any doubt remains, he can check with the Better Business Bureau.
Third, and equally important, is finding a style the buyer’s fiancé will be happy with for many years to come. Today, diamond rings come in such a variety of styles that the buyer can easily be confused. He should always consider the type of hand on which the ring will be worn. If his fiancé’s fingers are short and stubby, he should avoid styles that have wide bands. Not only do wide bands accentuate short fingers, but also they often detract from a pretty diamond. Furthermore, the buyer should keep in mind that simplicity is elegance in fine jewelry. Traditional mountings are always in style, and the wearer won’t likely become bored with them. In general, the buyer should choose a band that will complement his fiancé’s engagement ring since both rings are frequently worn on the same finger.
If the above process is followed, buying a diamond ring need not be a confusing task after all. If the buyer knows the three C’s of a diamond, finds a reputable jeweler, and considers the style of the ring, he more than likely will choose--with the help of his fiancé, of course--a beautiful ring that will last a lifetime. Such a ring will definitely enhance a couple’s engagement.