Today we have something different, non-style related. At some point in a man’s life, he’s tasked with picking out the perfect diamond for that special someone. And so when Ira Weissman and his team over at Diamonds Pro reached out to me with this guest post idea, I thought it could be of value to you, and so here we are.
Take it away Ira…
HOW TO BUY A DIAMOND
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and love is in the air! Yes, it’s that time of the year again when men scramble to buy their sweethearts gifts to show their undying love and commitment. And diamonds top this list of gifts because well, diamonds are a girl’s best friend! So, you may find yourself in a fix whether you are trying to purchase a diamond to propose to your girlfriend or just want to surprise her with a pair of dazzling diamond earrings.
Yes, it can be challenging for a first-time diamond buyer to understand the intricacies of procuring a diamond. Do they all look the same to you? Do you feel like you have no idea of why you are paying so much for a piece that is substantially similar to everything else you’ve seen? Firstly, don’t feel overwhelmed. Keep reading, and you will find an answer to all your questions with details on what you should look for in a diamond and what scams you could fall prey to if you don’t watch what you’re doing.
What to keep in mind when purchasing a diamond
Proposing to your sweetheart should be one of the most memorable events in your (and hopefully her) life. You must have envisioned pulling the ring out and asking her to be your wife many times. You may have even wished that buying an engagement ring was that simple. It can be if you understand these basics of purchasing a diamond engagement ring. Here goes.
Create a budget
When it comes to buying a diamond for an engagement ring, it is recommended that you go shopping for it with a specific amount in mind. Discussing your budget with the jeweler can help them to pick out the right diamond that falls within your price range.
Understand the basics
Do your homework before you set foot in a jewelry store. There’s a lot that you can understand about diamonds before venturing out to purchase one. You can start by educating yourself about the 4 Cs of diamonds-Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight. Learning about these parameters can help you understand how each factor can impact the value of a diamond. You can also decide which metrics are essential to you, and where you are willing to compromise to stick to your budget.
Learn about her taste in diamonds
Try to pay attention to the kind of jewelry your partner already wears. Are her tastes more contemporary or classic? Does she like chunky or sleeker pieces? Make sure that you understand her preferences and keep these in mind when looking for a diamond.
Understand her preferred shape and cut
Chances are she’s already voiced her opinion on her choice of shape or cut, either directly or by admiring someone else’s ring. You need to remember that your partner will be wearing this ring for all your married life, morning and evening, and with different kinds of attire.
If you aren’t sure about what kind of shape or cut to purchase, it’s best to stick to the classics such as square or round shaped diamonds. These cuts appeal to most people, that’s why they are considered classics!
Diamond scams targeted at new buyers
The probability of being scammed while buying diamonds is high because most people have no idea of what they are getting. It’s a good idea to look at some common ways that you can get scammed on your first venture into purchasing a diamond.
The “Blue-white” diamond
This is an old term that is now strictly monitored by the FTC because it has been used in scams in the past. This term refers to a play of light on the diamond rendering it a different color than it really is. If any jeweler uses this term during your interaction with them, avoid buying from them as it could indicate that may still be involved in nefarious practices.
Carat Total Weight (CTW)
If you are buying a diamond that is already set in the ring, chances are that the tag only states the CTW and not the weight of the center diamond separately. This can make it hard for you to compare prices with another ring because you don’t know the weight of the main diamond individually. It is essential to understand the weight of the diamond because a more substantial piece is worth a lot more than, say, eight smaller pieces. Smaller diamonds can also be inferior in quality to one large diamond.
To counter this, make sure that you ask for the weight and quality of the central diamond in writing. If the jeweler refuses to do this, then you’re better off buying from somewhere else.
50 percent off sale
If you see massive sales signs at a store or in a newspaper, you may be tempted to purchase your diamond at such a significant discount. If a dealer can afford to mark it down so much, then chances are that they massively hiked the price, to begin with.
You will most likely be better off at an honest jeweler who has already marked the stones at proper rates at the onset. This advice goes for “liquidation” or “going out of business” sales as well.
Two month’s salary-still standard?
The price of an engagement ring is enough to instill fear in the hearts of the most earnest savers. Have you also been confused about how much to spend on an engagement ring?
Going back to the origins of this tradition, it all started with a De Beers 1930 campaign recommending a two month’s salary to be spent on buying a ring for the future missus. Years of marketing and promotion has ensured that this initiative found roots in American wedding conventions.
The effect of the “Salary” tradition is challenging to discuss because salaries (especially with younger men) can fall below the average amount spent on a ring. Presently, Americans spend close to $4000 on an average on purchasing an engagement ring. If we consider $37000 as the average US salary, then proposers are actually spending just over a month’s salary on diamond engagement rings.
But the good news is that as the number of months of salary expected to go into an engagement ring has increased with societal pressure, younger people are increasingly turning away from these salary-based engagement ring tradition. In fact, today, there is no average price tag for buying a ring, and it can range from $200 to $20,000.
The number of months notwithstanding, you should buy an engagement ring that best reflects your partnership with your future spouse, both emotionally and financially. It is best not to get pressured into exceeding your established budget just because someone thinks that a two or three month’s worth of salary is the way to go.
Diamonds without certification
A diamond certificate is a document stating the attributes of a diamond by a third, neutral party. The labs most commonly providing these certifications are GIA, GSI, HRD, IGI, and EGL). You should take a look at the lab review of any diamond that you are considering to purchase.
Not every diamond comes with a lab certification. Comparable diamonds look similar whether or not they have certifications. A diamond is probably one of the most significant investments that you’ll ever make. So it is essential to understand why buying a diamond without a certification is not advisable.
Independent laboratories scientifically measure and evaluate a diamond for the 4Cs and various other attributes. These labs used highly trained gemologists and high-tech equipment to determine the qualities of a diamond, even its flaws. This ensures that you will know in-depth about the diamond that you are buying.
Many times, diamonds are not certified for various reasons. Some jewelers do not want to incur the extra expense of getting a diamond certified. Merchants also avoid getting low-value diamonds certified as they feel that the certification would not make much of a difference to the buyer. Certain sellers also avoid getting certification to present the stones in the best (albeit not entirely honest) light possible.
Without certification, you can never be sure of what you are purchasing. In the case that a diamond is uncertified, you only have the merchant’s assessment to go by which is not always objective.
You could end up paying more for a diamond that may be put at a lower certification level with lab testing. It is recommended that you see the certification of any diamond that you are considering.
Gold standard in diamond certification
Various certification entities have a wide range of their accuracy and grading methods, GIA is considered the most precise. A crucial factor that makes GIA certifications is that they are a completely independent, non-profit organization. The GIA certification is issued after each diamond is independently evaluated by four different experts.
Jewelers have no say in the certification process, and they source and ship the diamonds to GIA. A few weeks later, the diamonds are sent back to the merchant with certifications.
Buying a diamond ring for your loved one isn’t as daunting as it seems. Ensure that you are cued to the details of purchasing a diamond. For even more information, you can reach out for free with all the information that you have, you should be able to select a diamond that your sweetheart will simply adore while making sure that you are getting the best value for your money!
Ira Weissman, founder of the Diamond Pros (Diamonds.Pro), with the assistance of his team of experts have helped over 42,717 shoppers find the right diamond with their comprehensive guides and honest and unbiased advice. This help is always 100% free too.
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