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Choosing The Perfect Ring
By Lesley-Ann Graham
Choosing a ring isnít really as simple as pointing to the one in the
window that looks prettiest. Jewelry, especially a diamond is a major
investment just like buying a house or a car. There are a few things that
you need to know so that you get a stone that is not only beautiful to
look at; it is also a true gem of value beyond sentiment.

Just like you may need the assistance of a good mechanic to help you
check out a car before you buy it, you may need the help of a good
gemologist or an honest jeweler to help you find your special gemstone from
among the many pieces out there. Like any industry they have their own
jargon. You donít need to learn all their terms but you do need to
become familiar with the four Cís of a diamondís quality.

Cut is the first and most important C in choosing diamonds. There are
two aspects that determine a diamonds"); cut. The first of which is the
shape of the stone. This aspect is quite literally the geometrical shape
that the artisan has chosen for the stone in order to bring out the most
of its inner beauty. The stone can be shaped into your basic round or
into fancy ones such as the oval, marquise, pear, emerald, princess,
asscher, radiant, heart or triangle.

The artisan creates facets as they shape the diamond. The facets are
flat faces that reflect light off of each other, creating the sparkle
that women love, which jewelers call brilliance. If youíre lady is one who
looks for brilliance, check out the round, princess or radiant pieces.

As the artisan shapes the stone, his skill shows the quality of the
gem. A truly skilled artist will bring out the true beauty of the piece
with precision and careful crafting. The highest grade given is ideal.
Next is very good then good then fair and lastly poor. The difference in
the grades translates to thousands. Unless you are filthy rich, you can
actually select a stone ranked good that will look as beautiful as an
ideal to your lady; the difference after all isnít visible to the naked

Next C is Clarity. Every diamond has imperfections. Imperfections are
called inclusions if they are within the stone and blemishes if they are
on the outside. The fewer imperfections there are in the stone, the
higher its grade. The rarest are the flawless (FL) diamonds"); which have


imperfections whatsoever. Aside from flawless diamonds"); can be
internally flawless (IF), very, very slightly imperfect (VVS-1 or VVS-2), very
slightly imperfect (VS-1 or VS-2), Slightly Imperfect (S-1 to S-2) down
to imperfect (I-1 to I-3).

To see the imperfections, you need to use a 10x loupe, a tool that your
jeweler should have ready just for this purpose. Finding a gem without
any imperfections is not only difficult, itís expensive. You can get a
VS-1 and save yourself a lot of money and still have a rock that your
girl will love.

Most ladies like the pale colored diamonds, the kind theyíve always
seen in the movies. Lately though, thanks to Hollywood celebrities, there
is a demand for Diamonds"); in pink, red, even blue. The real question
here is: what would your lady like? Is she a traditionalist or a
non-conformist or a fashionista? That may tell you what shade to get.

Generally speaking though, the more colorless the stone the more
expensive it will be. Gemologists grade the color by letter, the highest
being D. The differences in color of stones that are graded from D to H are
barely noticeable to the naked eye. Again, you can have major savings
from getting a lower grade.

Now, they say bigger is better. In diamonds, this may not always be
true. Each diamond is weighed in a metric system called Carat Ė the 4th C,
which is measured by 100 points. This is the least important of the
4Cís. No matter how big a stone is if it isnít well cut, it will still be
less beautiful and less valuable than a diamond of lower carat but
better crafted and more brilliant. The most popular is still the one carat
diamond. After all, not everybody needs to have a ring like Catherine
Zeta-Jonesí 10 carat gem.

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This page was updated on Nov 2009 and is Copyright © 2003 by Global Com Consulting Inc.