Want Know How on solitaire Ring like an expert?
Why Women Love Solitaire Rings?
Women examine each and every aspect of the ring. Women will freely ask “What’s the carat size/weight of the diamond of the solitaire ring? Or whether their best friend’s new engagement ring is a platinum solitaire ring, gold or something else.
We like to think that there are a few different reasons why women go gaga over the diamond solitaire ring.
Solitaire rings put the emphasis on the diamond. Taken from a rough mine and turned into something to awe at is no small feat. Maybe women like it because of its stunning natural beauty.
When creating a ring the diamond cutter takes hours to make a great diamond. The more expertly it is cut, the more the value of a diamond can increase.
Diamonds are not cheap. Some of the most expensive matter on earth is diamonds and most of those diamonds are seated comfortably in diamond wedding bands and platinum rings.
Solitaire rings are expensive. The bigger and better the diamond, the more expensive they are and in many societies, it is an indication of a person’s status and wealth. The prestige that comes from wearing a solitaire diamond ring is unlike any other. Knowing when you walk into a room that all eyes are fixated on your fingers is a feeling you cannot put a price on.
Everyone loves solitaire diamond rings. There are now men’s solitaire rings in the marketplace as well. So whether you love them for their beauty, craftsmanship, or the prestige they bring when wearing, it is important to pay attention to the 4 Plus 3C’s of Diamonds.
SOLITAIRE RING BUYING GUIDE
A diamond solitaire ring is arguably one of the most important purchases that you will make during your lifetime and it’s also one that many people find daunting. It is important that you are educated in all the facets of diamonds and the creation of a solitaire ring prior to making such a purchase. This guide will help you get that expertise.
What is diamond education?
A proper diamond education addresses the common questions involved in purchasing a diamond, as well as provides helpful tips involved in maintaining the beauty of the diamond after purchase. Customers who are new to purchasing diamonds should learn the 7C’s (4C’s plus 3C’s): carat, clarity, color, cut/performance, certification, cut/shape, Cost and the curious case of Fluorescence.
Why is diamond education important?
It is important to become educated in diamonds before purchasing a solitaire ring to guarantee that you are getting the highest quality diamond for the price. A common mistake of first-time diamond purchasers is that they have a "bigger is better" mentality. First-time buyers do not always know that the beauty of a diamond is determined by not its carat size alone other parameters like cut/performance also is important . So when you are searching for the perfect diamond spend more time asking questions about its cut and other parameters, not just its carat size. It will help you choose the most beautiful diamond for your budget.
A. SET YOUR BUDGET
Ask around and you'll hear a variety of answers; from two to three months of one's salary or more. The truth is that you should set your own budget. Don’t go over your budget. Don’t let anyone tell you what you should spend.Only you can make that decision.The price of a solitaire ring is determined by a variety of factors from the cut and carat of the diamond to the design of the ring setting. If there's a ring design you love, that's the best place to start.
B. THE 4C (In a different light)+ 3C (Insider Tips)
DIAMOND BUYING GUIDE
Little research for Diamond basics on Google and you will be loaded with the basic 4Cs of Diamonds i.e Carat,Cut,Colour & Clarity, but if you want to be an expert we are going to reveal in this guide the other 4Cs which no one else told you. Also the basic 4Cs is good for information but one needs to understand how to interpret them and use our tips while making a well informed and wise buying decision.1) Carat
Instead of grams or kilos, diamonds are weighed in carats (not to be confused with gold’s Karat which signifies purity).
This simply denotes a measuring scale where each 1 carat = 0.2 grams (0.50 carat = 0.1 gram and 5 carats = 1 gram).A carat can be divided into points, where one point is equal to 0.01 carats so one carat has 100 points. The larger a diamond the more rare but it is important not to confuse crate weight with size, as the cut and shape of a stone can also alter the carat weight.
SO HOW BIG IS A BIG DIAMOND ENOUGH?
The truth is that manufacturers know diamonds sell for more when they go pass certain sizes. It is no coincidence that the majority of diamonds in the market are cut to retain as much as possible at the expense of brilliance and beauty.
How often have you seen stones that weigh 0.48 or 0.99 carats exactly? By design, such stones are rare because they fall below the “magic sizes” that can fetch more money. Instead, what you would observe is that the bulk of the stones would usually be cut to nice figures like 0.50 or 1.00 carats. Most of the time, this is done by compromising cut quality as the cutters strive to keep as much weight as possible.
Choosing the biggest stone that you can buy within your budget is one of the most common and yet, gravest mistakes that first-time buyers make. What precedes how many carats a Diamond possesses is also a consideration of its cut, colour and clarity. We will be covering some aspects of that with detailed examples in the following guide.
Expert Tip - Certain diamond sizes are highly sought after (e.g. 0.50ct, 0.75ct, 1.0ct) and prices can vary dramatically depending on the carat weight. A 0.90ct diamond can be 10-20% better value than a 1.0ct diamond of the same quality but can appear almost identical in size but very different in price.2) Color
For white or colourless diamonds (as opposed to coloured diamonds, which is a whole different story), the diamond industry has adopted an alphabetical colour scale from D to Z, with D as the highest grading. As you go down the scale, the diamond starts to develop a yellow or brown tinge.
Experts in the world of diamonds determine the colour by comparing a diamond against a master set of diamonds of different colours. Without comparing diamonds side by side, it is very difficult to see the difference between a D and a G. Completely colourless diamonds (such as D and E) are much rarer than others which is why they come with a higher pricing premium.
Expert Tip 1
For colourless diamonds the differences between D to G are barely visible but can offer 20 to 40% better value. D is generally more for the investor or diamond collectors.
Expert Tip 2
I and J colours will generally face up look white from the top, but you will be able to detect slight yellow or brown tinge when viewed from multiple angles.
Expert Tip 3
H graded diamonds are often considered on the border between premium colourless and tinted diamonds, and therefore offer great value without any visible yellow or brown tint unless compared side by side with a whiter diamond.
Expert Tip 4
K and L are acceptable in terms of yellow tinge if that major compromise is needed to reach size within a budget. We strongly recommend setting these diamonds in Yellow or Rose Gold jewellery to blend with the tinge in the diamond.
Illustration of real diamond images below will give you a better idea.
I-Near Colourless Tinge
J-Near Colourless Tinge
K- Faint Yellow
When diamonds are formed, deep underground and under extreme pressure and heat, imperfections in the crystal structure can form and mineral impurities become trapped inside the stone. The size of these impurities and imperfections determine the clarity grading of a diamond. Diamonds without such impurities are very rare. The greater a diamond’s clarity, the more brilliant, valuable and rare it is.
The grading scale starts from Flawless / Internally Flawless (FL/IF), Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1/VVS2), Very Slightly Included (VS1/VS2), Slightly Included (SI1/SI2) to Included (I1, I2 and I3). Generally, diamonds below a VS2 grading are likely to have visible inclusions to the naked eye however this is on a stone by stone basis.
The grading process involves a skilled gemologist who examines the diamond under a 10X powered microscope and subsequently classified into its clarity rating based on its inclusions.
FL (Flawless): No inclusions or visible blemishes under 10× magnification.
IF (Internationally Flawless): These rare high clarity diamonds are 100% flawless inside the diamond with no blemishes or inclusions.
VVS1 & VVS2 (Very, Very Slightly Included) – Inclusions are extremely hard to be detected using 10× magnification.
VS1 & VS2 (Very Slightly Included) – Inclusions are fairly hard be detected using 10× magnification but generally do not impact the visual beauty of the diamond.
SI1 & SI2 (Slightly Included) – Inclusions are easily noticeable using 10× magnification and they are sometimes visible to the naked eye.
I1, I2 and I3 (Included) – Inclusions are very obvious using 10× magnification. Besides potential durability issues, they can also adversely impact the diamond’s transparency and brilliance.
How Inclusions Are Represented in a Grading Report
You might have come across a clarity plot that indicates the locations and types of inclusions found in the diamond. In essence, the plot functions like a map and you can see an example in the Diagram
Expert Tip: So,What is the Best Diamond Clarity Rating?
If you are on a budget and want to get the biggest bang for your money, the best diamond clarity grade for you is Vs2 or SI1. As long as you eyeballed the diamond and it is eyeclean, there’s really nothing to be worried about.
If you are buying a large sized diamond (bigger than 1.5 carats), the best clarity rating for diamonds of these sizes will be Vs2 or better. This is because inclusions become more obvious when carat sizes increase.
If you are shopping for investment grade diamonds (larger than 5 carat, D color), the best diamond clarity grades would be IF or FL if you can find them.
A Comparison of SI1 vs. IF Ideal Round Brilliant Cuts
Both diamonds will look similar when mounted on a ring, but one costs almost twice as much!
Is it worth it to fork out double the amount for an internally flawless diamond? Ultimately, that’s a question only you can answer. As long as the diamond is eye clean and you aren’t making a purchase for investment purposes, the SI1 option is hands down the better choice in our opinion.
There is nothing wrong with going for a higher clarity rating as long as you know that you can get a similar looking stone at significantly lower costs. In the example above, we were able to make an educated judgement to pick the SI1 diamond with the use of 360° videos and grading reports. You too, can do the same.4) Cut
Often confused with a diamond shape, the cut is actually the grading that determines how well the diamond sparkles. It encapsulates Brightness (white light reflecting from the top surface), Fire (flares of colour) and Scintillation (flashes of light).
Cut grades range from Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor.
The cut grading currently only applies to Round diamonds as they are technically easier to measure in terms of light performance. Other shapes – such as Princess cuts, Cushions cuts, Emerald shapes, do not have a cut grading.
A well cut or faceted diamond scintillates with light, offering the greatest brilliance and value. So ask yourself when you choose between a larger Diamond that is a fair cut vis-à-vis comparatively smaller Diamond but excellently cut and is more sparkling.
Expert TIP : We recommend you try to stick with an Excellent or Very Good cut, but if needed to fit the budget, a Good cut can offer an excellent-value alternative without any major compromises. Just make sure you are not on the "Deep" side or you will end up with a diamond that looks smaller than the actual carat weight.
- Gemological Institute of America (GIA) - http://www.gia.edu/
- American Gemological Society (AGS) - https://www.americangemsociety.org/en/agslabs
- Diamond High Council (HRD, which is an abbreviation of the Dutch “Hoge Raad voor Diamant”) - http://www.hrdantwerp.com/en/home
- International Gemological Institute (IGI) - http://www.igiworldwide.com/
- European Gemological Laboratory (EGL) - http://eglindia.com/
- Gemmological Institute of India (GII) - http://giionline.com/
Certifications matter genuinely when you are purchasing solitaire rings or any diamond jewellery. Your 4 C’s will be meaningful only when you have a certificate from one of these institutions. When you want to buy or resell a particular diamond or solitaire diamond ring then it is strongly recommended that you get the stone certified by one of the above gem laboratory.
The 5 leading diamond certification organisations issue a unique number for every diamond, to protect the consumer. On most new GIA certificates and selectively on some other certificates, this number is laser inscribed in the diamond’s girdle, and can be easily verified with a magnification loop. This assures you the diamond you are buying is the actual one.
GIA Certificate & Laser InscriptionExpert TIP 1
Even amongst the 5 internationally recognised certificates, there are differences. In fact, the diamond industry benchmarks every diamond against the GIA’s (Gemological Institute of America) strict standards. Comparing a diamond with a GIA certificate against an IGI or the weaker EGL is not an equal comparison. So like-for-like colours or clarity grading on EGL would be graded 2/3 grades lower if sent to GIA and therefore should reflect lower prices. As subtle differences in diamonds can have a massive impact on price, if you are offered self-certification or certifications from less stringent local grading bodies, it is generally because the seller can improve their margins by doing so. Please remember the comparison of such diamonds would NOT be like for like. Always demand a recognised international certificate to create a level playing field.Expert TIP 2
What a Lab Report Won’t Tell You!!! We recommend a third party checking or an appraisal of the diamond is also prudent even if you have a certified diamond to ensure that you account for the diamond’s overall characteristics. The reason is that very often, grading reports for diamonds with carat weight less than 1.00 do not show a reference plot for its inclusions. Instead, the clarity features of the diamond are indicated under the “comments section” with a couple of words. That’s a big problem because it is impossible to judge a diamond’s appearance accurately based a few descriptive words.
If you are considering buying diamonds based on a certificate, you are taking a huge risk with “blind shopping”. For people with the budget to purchase stones with top clarity grades like IF, VVS1 or VVS2, you probably don’t have to worry about clarity issues.
What about consumers who intend to value shop and go lower in clarity requirements? How would you be able to select diamonds within the VS2-SI1-SI2 clarity range when you don’t know if the inclusions would impact the diamond’s overall appearance?
If you are buying an engagement ring in a physical brick and mortar store, request to see the diamond under a loupe or a microscope. You should get the jeweler to show you where the diamond’s inclusions are and check to see if they are eye-visible without any magnification aids.
If you are shopping online, you MUST ALWAYS request a photograph or a video of the diamond. This will not only help you determine whether the stone is eyeclean, it will also help reveal other aspects of cut quality.
Never Buy Blind! You Are Only Playing With Luck.
As an illustration, let me show you 2 GIA grading reports for diamonds with the same color, clarity and cut grades. Feel free to download the reports and verify them yourself by clicking the links below.
Having seen photographs of these two diamonds, which one would you, choose now? I guess it is pretty obvious the 2nd Diamond has a dark inclusion right on the center of the table while the 1st one is a nice clean stone so the 1st one is hands-down the better choice!
These Aren’t Isolated Cases.…
Even if you are looking at a full grading report with an inclusion plot, there are details that aren’t revealed without closer inspections. Sometimes, harmless looking plots can actually turn out to have unsightly inclusions!
Crystals can exist in different colors depending on the type of embedded mineral. In this particular example, the crystal takes on an awful opaque appearance.
In this example, the crystal inclusions at the center of the diamond aren’t visible to the naked eye since they are transparent. However, the real concern is the cloud located at the 5 o’clock position.
As you can see, the lab report only shows you the type and location of inclusions in a diamond. In the grading report, there is no indication about the intensity of cloud particles or the coloration an inclusion has.
In the E-commerce space A Grading Report by Itself Isn’t Sufficient!
Did you know that most online stores WILL NOT provide any further details (like photographs or videos) beyond a grading certificate? Seriously, there’s no way you can make rational buying decisions with such limited information. If reading this article doesn’t change your mind about buying blind, our safe suggestion is to stick with a minimum clarity of VS1 or better.6) Cost
It is important to buy a diamond that offers the best features but with a good mix of the first five Cs.Cost is often the first thing that is thought about when looking at purchasing any form of diamond.Across the various specifications for diamonds you will see that there are ways in which you can get the best value for your budget.
Understanding the factors that influence price and what they are in reality is essential and allows you to make the best informed decision about what criteria offer the right compromise for your budget, setting your own personal levels of compromise within the scales. While the choice of diamonds may at first glance appear overwhelming and while there are many more specifications that can be taken into account the choices needn't be perplexing – and remember, ultimately, you're buying something that is a great vessel of value, and can be passed along for many generations. If the same quality – the better value stone is always recommended!
CARAT WEIGHT & PRICE
Carat weight is one of the fundamental factors in determining the price of a diamond. As a general rule, the heavier the diamond, that is, the larger the carat weight, the more expensive it becomes. Price per carat is one of the best ways to compare the cost of similar diamonds. To calculate this, simply divide the cost of each stone by its carat weight. Because they are more scarce, larger diamonds are in much higher demand than smaller stones and therefore command much higher prices per carat. A diamond that is double the size of another can be up to four times the price. For example, a one carat diamond solitaire ring is nearly always more expensive than a diamond ring made up of smaller multiple diamonds whose total weight is one carat.
Undersize and oversized diamonds
Diamonds are usually cut to a rounded number in their carat weight, for example 0.70ct or 1.00 carat, rather than 0.69 or 0.99. Because of this, diamonds weighing just under the weight ‘barrier’ (e.g. 0.68ct or 0.69ct.), are scarce but highly recommended as they cost less than diamonds whose weight has been rounded up. Similarly, diamonds whose weight slightly exceed the barrier are referred to as “oversized” (e.g. 1.10ct or 1.21ct.) and also offer great value for money as they have not been rounded up.
Diamonds that are said to be fluorescent contain particles that emit a visible (usually blue) glow when exposed to UV lighting. In rare cases, high levels of fluorescence can make stones appear milky or hazy, although for the most part fluorescence does not generally impact beauty or sparkle and can even make some lower colours (J, K, L, etc.) appear more colourless or white. In most cases, prices are lowered when a colourless (D,E,F) or near-colourless (G,H,I) diamond fluoresces under UV light. Nonetheless, fluorescent diamonds are usually cheaper and provided the effect is not readily visible may offer good value for money.
WHY DO DIAMONDS FLUORESCE?
Diamond is crystallized carbon. This process occurs about 75-125 miles below the surface of the earth, usually where volcanic or ancient volcanic sites exist. A diamond will become fluorescent if there are traces of the mineral boron present in the earth during the crystallization process.
Diamonds can fluoresce in a variety of colours – blue, yellow, green, orange and white – but blue is the most common. It is estimated that around 50% of all diamonds have fluorescence that can be seen in special conditions e.g. under a short wave UV lamp, while around 10% fluoresce strongly enough to make a noticeable difference to the colour of the diamond when viewed in sunlight or incandescent (low UV) light.
There are five levels of diamond fluorescence described by the GIA: None (i.e. no fluorescence), faint, medium, strong, very strong. According to the GIA Gem Trade Laboratory, strength of fluorescence does not directly correlate to either colour or clarity. In other words, it is possible for two diamonds with completely different clarity and colour grades to exhibit exactly the same strength of fluorescence.
Figure A & Figure B show the varying levels of fluorescence on diamonds viewed table-down and table-up. The levels are as follows: 1. Very strong, 2. Strong, 3. Medium, 4. Faint, 5. None.
HOW DOES FLUORESCENCE IMPACT DIAMOND PRICING?
Historically, strongly fluorescent diamonds have been marked down in price next to their non-fluorescent counterparts. Typically, higher colour (D-H) non-fluorescent diamonds will sell for 10-30% more than similar stones that exhibited very strong blue fluorescence. However, lower colour (I–N) diamonds with very strong fluorescence were priced up to 5% higher than similar non-fluorescing stones. This is likely due to the perception that blue fluorescence can mask the undesirable yellow tones found in some stones.
In most cases, prices are lowered when a colourless or near-colourless diamond fluoresces under UV light, due to a common perception that fluorescence has a negative effect on the appearance of diamonds. However, there are many who believe that fluorescence has no adverse effect; some even contend that it enhances colour appearance.
The negative image of fluorescing diamonds can be attributed to the following theories and factors:
- Non-fluorescent diamonds are regarded as ‘purer’;
- Strongly fluorescent diamonds can emit an opaque ‘cloud’ which affects the clarity and brilliance of the diamond;
- GIA lab grading lights emit a small amount of UV radiation, therefore fluorescent diamonds might be assigned a better colour grade than they deserve.
Those who refute the notion that fluorescent diamonds are less desirable argue that:
- UV light is not present in many viewing environments, so it makes sense to grade colour in realistic lighting;
- The haziness found in highly fluorescent diamonds is extremely rare;
- In some cases, fluorescence can lift colour to the naked eye, enhancing the beauty of the diamond.
A 1997 study conducted by the GIA concluded that, in most cases, fluorescence does not impact the face up appearance of a diamond. In fact, they found that “strongly blue fluorescent diamonds were perceived to have a better colour appearance when viewed table-up” compared to non-diamonds. (Source: A Contribution To Understanding The Effect Of Blue Fluorescence On The Appearance Of Diamonds, by Thomas M. Moses, Ilene M. Reinitz, Mary L. Johnson, John M. King, and James E. Shigley)
SHOULD I BUY A FLUORESCENT DIAMOND?
It’s important for you to be happy with the diamond you purchase. As shown, fluorescence can greatly enhance the colour and appearance of a diamond and shouldn’t be looked upon unfavourably; only in exceptionally rare cases will fluorescence cause the diamond to look milky, oily or hazy. It always comes down to a subjective decision, but best practice would be to consult a diamond specialist before purchasing to ensure you make the right choice.
C. RING STYLE
The style and setting of the engagement ring’s band is just as important as the stone that will be set on it. The ring should reflect personal style: you may want to choose something that matches the jewellery you already wear.
It should also suit the shape of fingers. As a general rule, smaller rings are more appropriate for younger people, while larger rings look best on mature hands. Rings with wide, horizontal stylings are well–suited to long, slender fingers, while shorter fingers call for more vertical designs. An elongated ring can also flatter more generously-proportioned hands.
SOLITAIRE RING SETTING
There are many makes and settings for solitaire rings. You can buy just about any and most of it will be a matter of preference. Here are the details of each of the settings you can get on your diamond rings.
|Similar to a tiny claw the prong setting is the way you see traditional diamond ring. They come in different shapes; a prong can be round, shaped like a V, flat or even pointed. This prong generally has 4 or 6 claws clasping the diamond; it is a minimalist’s dream-come-true. There is very little metal presence on the ring and the star of the show is the solitaire diamond itself in a prong and solitaire setting.|
|This setting gives a hug to your diamond instead of clasping it. The bezel is a placeholder for the diamond so you get a little bit more of a metal presence. It is an ideal setting for those looking for a solitaire diamond ring with more protection of the diamond.|
|The bar setting is similar to the channel in that the diamonds are all set independently on metal but the bar setting leaves two sides of the diamond exposed, thereby giving greater visibility and sparkle.|
|The French have come up with the pavé setting which encircles the diamond band in tiny diamonds, each with tiny prongs that secure them in place and add a greater sparkle to the overall diamond ring. This setting is also known as a bead setting. If the diamonds contained within the ring are especially small, you will notice jewellers labeling them as micro-pavé settings. This is a great setting for making the centre stone of your diamond solitaire ring be the star.|
|As its name suggests, this setting gives a halo effect to the centre-stone. Ideal for lower-carat sized diamonds, a halo setting makes the centre diamond look larger by having carefully placed smaller diamonds all around it. Many prefer to have the centre stone as a diamond and choose different gemstones to add the halo effect. A double-halo setting means that instead of just one circle of diamonds you will have two circles around the primary stone.|
|Great arches of cathedral were the way this setting received its name. It uses cathedral like arches to protect the diamonds of the ring. The arch look adds greater height to the solitaire diamond ring thereby making the ring itself look larger than it is.|
|After the classic solitaire setting, the three-stone setting is one for lovers. Each stone represents the past, present and future of the couple. Each with a different diamond. Sometimes you may put in different gemstones to signify each precious moment of life. Stone sizes can be the same or different. A very playful and romantic setting for lovers of diamonds.|
D. COLOURS - YELLOW, WHITE & ROSE GOLD
An engagement ring is traditionally made from gold, although it doesn’t necessarily need to be yellow gold in colour:
White gold is just as popular for its understated, elegant appearance. Rose gold is also very attractive and lends the ring a unique look – or for an engagement ring that almost seems to glow from within, consider platinum.
White (colourless) diamonds are the traditional choice for the stone, but again you should be happy with your choice of metal colour so feel free to let your own instincts – and her style – influence the final decision.
E. RING SIZE
While it’s easy enough to have a ring adjusted if you don’t get it the right size the first time, it adds a special something if you can wear it right after your purchase.
RING MEASUREMENT TIPS
- Measure fingers at the end of the day when they're largest
- Don't measure cold fingers - lower temperature make fingers smaller
- Measure finger size 3 to 4 times for the most accurate reading
Buying Solitaire Ring on Jewel Rich
The basics of purchasing an expensive and meaningful diamond solitaire ring are now embedded in your mind. On Jewel Rich (www.jewelrich.com) you can purchase a platinum diamond ring, gold diamond ring or any solitaire ring without having to pay the full amount right now.
Jewel Rich has teamed up with trusted jewellers across India that offer certified gold and certified diamond rings. The process is quite simple. If you know you will be purchasing a diamond ring in the next year or even the next 10 years, it is smart to start saving right now.
Select a monthly jewellery scheme from one of our partners, shop for the perfect diamond ring or shop by price and start owning a beautiful, diamond ring today.