What to look for in a wedding bandTip submitted by: renees
So you’ve found the man of your dreams, now it’s time to find the ring you’ve always dreamt of.
However, this very important investment means getting that head out of the clouds, as being in the know may mean the difference between getting what you want at a great price and getting taken.
First of all, finding a good reputable jeweler is of the utmost importance in finding success in your search. Trusted jewelers are typically members of the American Gem Society (ags.org), the Gemological Institute of America (gia.edu) and/or Jewelers of America (jewelers.org), all of whom have a strict code of ethics, designed to give the consumer peace of mind in their purchase. GIA even provides an online tutorial to help you with the process step by step.
Once you start looking, chances are you’re going to be hearing a whole lot of jewelry lingo that you may or may not be hip too—unless you read up and take notes.
Starting with the basics is the four Cs—a diamond-grading system created by the GIA in the 1940s and based on the four most important aspects of diamonds.
The “4 C’s”
Cut: This is what gets all the oohs and ahhs more than anything else. With extreme precision, the facets and angles that are created when an artisan transforms a rough stone into a diamond, give it three attributes: Brilliance (how it reflects light), Fire (how it flashes color) and Scintillation (how it sparkles).
Clarity: The amount of inclusions (naturally occurring internal blemishes) within a diamond determines its clarity grade. Inclusions disrupt the flow of light, detracting from a diamond's brilliance so of course you don’t want too many of these, although a microscopic inclusion or two can actually be a good thing, as like fingerprints, they make your stone unique and can help identify it.
Color: There are two categories: Colorless and Fancy.
Colorless or “white” diamonds are considered to be the most beautiful and prized gemstones and are graded on a universal scale from D (completely clear) to Z (traces of yellow, gray, and brown), with a letter grade for each shade. However, since the stones remain near colorless all the way to “J,” most diamonds sold in jewelry stores lie in the D to L range, as variations can be indiscernible to the untrained eye.
Fancy diamonds (yellow, pink, blue, and other naturally colored stones) are rarer than white diamonds, often putting them at a higher price point than colorless ones. Although the GIA doesn't have a rating system in place for fancies, a more saturated shade of stone is generally more expensive.
Carat Weight: Contrary to popular belief, carat refers to a diamond's weight, not its size. If a stone weighs less than a carat, your jeweler will assess it in terms of points. Just as a dollar contains 100 pennies, each carat comprises 100 points. For example: a 75-point diamond weighs 0.75 carats.
Renee Sande, Marketing Correspondent