If you’re a diamond lover, perhaps it’s time to join the growing number of women who are treating themselves to a diamond ring for their right hand.
In fact, buying your own diamond ring can be one of the most empowering purchases you make. This indulgence may also be one of your most expensive ones. To select a ring that meets your budget and reflects your taste, keep these tips in mind as you shop.
Work with a reputable jeweler
Jewelers who are members of the American Gem Society (www.ags.org) have to sign ethics agreements. In addition, jewelers who are certified gem appraisers can answer in-depth questions.
Look beyond carat weight
For many years the goal was to retain as much of the stone as possible. Now [we] see that weight retention isn’t as important as the beauty of the diamond.
Match your ring to your lifestyle
Your jewelry has to be as appropriate as anything else you put on. If you’re in a creative field, you can get away with something louder. If this will be your one ring, go for something classic.
Stay within your budget
Although you’re spending anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, a diamond ring isn’t an alternative to a savings account.
A diamond ring is an investment in your pleasure. And it can be an investment if you’re thinking you’ll give the ring to your daughter or granddaughter. But don’t expect to be able to sell back a diamond and get the value or a profit.
The four Cs
The “four C’s” of diamonds can help you purchase a stone you’ll love:
Carat is the unit of measurement for a diamond’s weight. Each carat is divided into 100 points, so a 50-point diamond is half a carat.
Cut refers to the stonecutter’s mastery that allows the maximum amount of light to be reflected through the stone.
Clarity indicates a diamond’s flaws, also called inclusions, which a gemologist should point out. Most diamonds range from VVS1, which means very, very slightly included, to SI1, for slightly included.
Color is the shade that even colorless diamonds can have. The diamond color grading scale starts with D-F for colorless, which is perfect or near perfect. A G-J rating means near colorless and K-M indicates a slight color, usually yellow or brown.