Sunday, July 18, 2010

know your stuff

Hi loves!
I hope you are all enjoying your July. Ours has been fun filled and I am loving every minute of it!
Every summer we go up to New Hampshire at least once to visit family, this is where we will be next weekend. NH is a shop-a-holics dream, as they do not have any sales tax YAYYY!!! We will be buying my wedding band in NH to take advantage of the lack of sales tax, and because they seem to have more jewelers than Rhode Island so they are all willing to beat the other guys prices. Next weekend we plan on spending some time wedding band shopping to get a better idea of prices and options. This may not come as a surprise, but I already know what I want...... 1 carat, 5 stone, white gold, prong setting, G/H color and VS1/VS2 clarity...try saying that 5 times fast. I think it will look perfect with my engagement ring, and I am secretly pulling for a match to my dream band for our first anniversary (fingers crossed). 

One thing any couple or soon to be engaged young man should have before stepping foot in any jeweler is a diamond education. Not knowing what you are looking at or paying for can be the biggest downfall of any engagement ring or wedding band purchase. At first glance any diamond ring looks perfect and sparkly and like something you should already own. To the untrained eye, every diamond looks the same. However, like people, no two diamonds are ever the same, and you want to know what you are paying for before you make a purchase.

Diamond education 101:
The Four C's - Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat
Cut - almost every woman has a cut that she prefers and one that is a close second. It is best to check with her, and this can easily be done through the best friend. (get her phone # ASAP). The cut that will sparkle the most and look the most brilliant is the brilliant cut, also known as round. There are 7 basic cuts with many variations.
brilliant/round cut                princess/square cut

princess/square cut                        emerald cut  

 marquise cut                           radiant cut

        pear cut                               oval cut diamond   

Color - "Although most gem-quality diamonds when seen alone appear to be colorless to
the untrained eye, there are subtle differences in shade. Color in diamonds results from 
traces of other elements which mix with carbon during the diamond's formation. 
Diamonds with no traces of color are extremely rare."  The best diamonds available will be 
colorless, or categorized as either D E or F, with D being the most perfect. Next, we have 
near colorless or G H I J, with G being the most perfect in this category. Faint yellow 
would be K L M, very light yellow would be N O P Q and R. And light yellow would be S T 
U V W X Y and Z. Most jewelers are going to carry a range from G-N/O, with the better 
color being more expensive.

Clarity - "Most diamonds develop inclusions during their natural formation deep within 
the earth. Diamond clarity is determined by the position, color, number, nature and size 
of these inclusions. The fewer the inclusions, the rarer the diamond and the greater the 
value." The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) Clarity Grading Scale:
FL - flawless
IF Internally Flawless - minor surface blemishes
VVS1 - Very, very small inclusions, extremely difficult to locate
VVS2 - Very, very small inclusions
VS1 - Very small inclusions, very difficult to locate
VS2 - Very small inclusions
SI1 - noticeable small inclusions, somewhat easy to locate
SI2 - easily noticed small inclusions
the following are visible to the naked eye
I1 - eye visible inclusions
I2 - obvious eye-visible inclusions
I3 - lacks transparency and contains dark inclusions easily visible to the naked eye that 
may affect durability.

Carat weight - "Of the four C's, carat weight is the simplest factor used to determine the 
value of a diamond. As with all precious gems, the weight of a diamond is expressed in 
carats. One carat equals one-fifth of a gram or 1/142 of an ounce. One carat is divided into 
100 points, so a diamond weighing 3/4 carat has 75 points or .75 carat. As diamonds 
increase in weight, their price per carat usually increases geometrically, not arithmetically. 
Thus, a two-carat diamond will usually be more than double the price of a one-carat 
diamond of the same quality."

Now that you are a diamond expert, you can go shopping with ease. You will know what
you are looking at and what the jeweler is selling.

I will keep you posted on our luck in NH. Off to see some fireworks, hope you all had a 
great weekend!


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