- 6 years ago
- Wedding: April 2014
Thought I could share some knowledge after driving myself CRAZY! 🙂
So, my wonderful future fiance decided to include me in the ring buying process (bet he’s regretting it now! ha) We currently are designing the band, but have purchased the diamond. I figured I’d pass on some of the things I learned during the diamond purchase.
1. SHOP AROUND!!!! Blue Nile is a great place to research how much a diamond in the cut, color, clarity, and size you want will run. I’ve had jewelers tell me to buy on Blue Nile because they can’t match their prices. My future fiance and I went to five local jewelers, two large retail jewelers, and spent countless hours researching online. We ended up getting the stone of my dreams right in our price range! 🙂
2. Educate yourself on cut, color, and clarity!!! In my opinion, you will find your BEST deals in the G-F and SI1-VS2 range. Your cut is crucial… try to max this out with triple x or as high as it goes since the diamond’s sparkle will rely on the cut. I’ve seen BEAUTIFUL G, SI1, triple x’s for THOUSANDS less than the higher grades. My diamond ended up being an E, SI1 but with a completely clean table (top, center of the diamond – cut like a square). There are small twining wisps located on the side, but nothing visible from the top. My table is also at 60% which still falls within triple x for the highest light reflection but also makes it resemble a 1.2 since it’s slightly bigger than the 57% norm.
3. GO LOCAL! I went to 5 local guys and was able to find two who had comparable prices to Blue Nile but had the added perk I could see the stones in person before deciding! Retail stores wanted 2 to 3 times the amount for the SAME GIA graded stones that a local jeweler priced. Some of these stores appear “cheaper” but in actuality, are just selling you an inferior stone. The best way to judge a stone is to view it from underneath. That’s how they are graded and that’s how you should shop them. The top could look clean and beautiful but if there are clearly visible spots visible when the stone is upside down, it could save you a lot of $. I actually printed several certs from Blue Nile and brought it to the local jeweler. I told him that those stones were what I liked and I wanted them in that exact price range. He was able to match them and we got a GREAT deal! Oh – and if you do decide to go retail, make sure they give you the EXACT diamond size. By law, these places can ROUND UP. Easiest way to catch this is if everything is marked 1 ct, 1 1/4 ct, 1 1/2 ct). In my experience, there are very few true 1.00 or 1.25. Ask to see the cert with the true weight – ex: 1.03 or 1.14 or 1.23. You’re paying by weight so don’t let them round up!
4. Don’t always disclude EGL or other labs as long as you can view it in person. My stone just happened to be GIA, but an EGL actually came in a very close second. People warn against that gem lab because they are a “for profit” grading lab. If the diamond dealer doesn’t like the cert, they don’t have to pay EGL. GIA is non-profit and has one of the best reputations, but the diamonds certified by them have the price to match. What I learned… one GIA G is not comparable to another GIA G. If you’re picky… you HAVE to view them in person. Look at diamonds with all different certs… if it’s a “less popular” lab like EGL but looks comparable to a similar graded GIA.. you can save BIG money. AND GIA makes mistakes too… make sure to view several diamonds of similar grading side by side before making a decision!
5. Stay clear of medium to strong flourescence… it can make a diamond appear “milky” in color. A certificate will tell you if it’s there 🙂 I chose a diamond with none, but have heard faint shouldn’t affect appearance much. Other jewelers told me they steer clear of any in diamonds under 3 cts.
6. Keep shopping! You’ll eventually find exactly what you want in your price range 🙂 We even had a jeweler tell us he gets estate jewelry in at times and could call us if we were willing to buy a diamond from a used piece. We weren’t that lucky to find what we wanted in an estate piece, but it is a really good option if you can! 🙂
Now if that didn’t drive my future fiance crazy enough… on to custom designing my setting!