What should I consider before buying an engagement ring?
Determine her style. If you have no idea where to start, you could ask her friends or family. Is she a Pinterest user? If so, take a look at her Pinterest boards for clues. In some cases, her lifestyle may be a factor in what styles may work best for her (for example, if she likes to rock climb and never takes off her jewelry, a delicate ring may not be the best choice). If you are willing to lose a bit of the element of surprise, you could ask her about her preferences. If you would rather keep it hush-hush and you just don’t feel comfortable picking the ring out yourself, then consider choosing the diamond, having it set in a simple temporary mounting, then picking out a permanent ring together after you propose.
Determine your budget. The age old 3-months-salary rule has fallen by the wayside. Pick an amount you are comfortable with. If you’re not sure what your money will buy, sit down with your jeweler and discuss your options. A good jeweler will help you make the most of your budget – whatever it may be, and many jewelers offer financing or layaway options.
Find out her finger size. Most people’s finger sizes vary from hand to hand, so if you plan to borrow one of her rings to have it measured, make sure you know which hand and which finger she wears it on. Even if it’s a ring she wears on her right hand, you can use that to estimate her finger size and get pretty close. If the ring needs to be resized later on, you won’t have to size it much. Much like question number one, it never hurts to consult with a friend or family member. She may have tried on their rings!
Diamonds are a miracle of mother nature, formed over the course of billions of years, under extreme pressure and temperature conditions. Like anything formed in nature, no two diamonds are alike, so the Gemological Institute of America created a scale to grade each individual stone as subjectively as possible. This scale is referred to as “The 4 C’s” – a term you will likely hear frequently over the course of your shopping and research. What are the 4 C’s? Let’s break it down.
Color: Diamond color is graded on an alphabetical scale from D to Z. D represents a total lack of color, and Z is faint yellow. Each increment is subtle, and barely distinguishable to the untrained eye, however we strongly encourage our customers to compare a variety of colors to see what suits their taste and budget. The whitest of diamonds are the most rare, and thus, the most valuable. Diamonds that fall outside of the D to Z range are considered “fancy color”, and are commonly yellow or brown, but can exhibit other unusual colors, such as pink or blue.
Clarity: Like anything formed naturally, diamonds can exhibit internal blemishes, typically referred to as “inclusions”. Inclusions vary in size, color and placement within the diamond, so GIA created a 11 point scale to rate the visibility of these natural inclusions. Diamonds are always graded using 10x magnification because many inclusions are too small to be seen with the naked eye. Placement of the inclusion within the stone can determine how much it impacts the brilliance, which is why we always show our customers examples of different clarity grades of diamonds. We are extremely selective when choosing diamonds to sell in our store, so we compare several stones of the same clarity rating to be sure we select the best.
Cut: To many, diamond cut is considered the most important of the C’s. Cut refers to the proportions utilized when cutting the stone. An ideal cut diamond will have the proper proportions to maximize brightness, fire and scintillation. A poorly cut diamond may appear to be a lower color grade than it actually is, could have a dark spot in it, or may appear lifeless when compared to a well cut stone. A diamond that is not cut to the proper proportions could also appear smaller than its carat weight might suggest. We are sticklers for cut, and because our family cuts diamonds, we get first pick of freshly cut stones and select only the best cut for our customers.
Carat Weight: One carat is a unit of weight equivalent to 200 milligrams. In diamond speak, one carat is divided into 100 points. For example, if you hear a diamond referred to as “50 points”, that stone would weigh half of one carat. All other factors being equal, the more a diamond weighs, the more rare it is, and the more valuable it will be.
Not all diamonds are certified, and not all of the diamonds we sell are certified. The two laboratories we utilize are the Gemological Institute of America, or GIA, and European Gemological Laboratory, or EGL.
How do I buy a diamond from you? Send us an email outlining what it is that you are looking for in a diamond. If you’re not sure, just say so, and we’ll guide you. Once we know exactly what it is that you want, we will have our liaison in Israel compare dozens of diamonds to find the best stone or stones for your needs. We will send you pricing information, and a copy of the certificate, if applicable, and once you approve the stone, we will collect a 50% deposit. Upon receipt of the deposit, we will have the diamond securely shipped from Israel to our door. If the diamond is to be set into a piece of jewelry, we will proceed with setting the stone before collecting the balance due and shipping the piece to you. You will be working one-on-one with one of us the entire time, and we will be here to answer any and all questions you may have. It is our goal to make the process as simple and comfortable for our customers as possible. While we do not accept returns or give refunds on diamonds, we guarantee your 100% satisfaction. We take pride in the diamonds we import, and our customers take pride in wearing them.
Why are diamonds the most popular choice for jewelry and engagement rings?
History and tradition aside, the easy answer is that diamonds are durable. There is truth to the DeBeers slogan, “Diamonds are Forever”. The durability of diamonds is unparallelled, and compared to many simulants or other gemstones, the ability of diamonds to remain sparkly and brilliant over decades of daily wear is clear.
What is the difference between white gold and platinum? What is the difference between 10k, 14k, and 18k gold? What is the best metal for my jewelry?
A karat is a measurement of the purity of gold. 24k is pure gold, but because gold on its own is extremely soft, it is mixed with other metals, making it more durable for daily wear. The metals it is mixed with determine the color, which is why we have rose gold, white gold and yellow gold. 18k is 75% pure gold, 14k is 58% pure gold, and 10k is 41% pure gold. So which is the best choice? That really depends.
14k white gold is the current most popular metal for most fine and bridal jewelry. 14k maximizes durability, is more resistant to scratches than platinum, and white gold is a popular choice due to the fact that it matches just about anything. White gold can also emphasize the whiteness of the beautiful diamonds in diamond jewelry. 18k white gold is commonly used as well, although there is no visible difference between 18k and 14k white gold. In yellow gold jewelry, 18k can have a richer, more yellow appearance, so different purities can change the look of a piece of jewelry.
What is rhodium? Most white gold jewelry is plated with a white, hard metal called rhodium to make it appear as white as possible. Over time, this rhodium plating can wear off of the portions of a ring that receive the most wear and tear, showing a faint yellowish tinge. Rhodium wears off faster when it is subject to chemicals such as hand sanitizer or chlorine, which is why we always recommend taking off jewelry before swimming, cleaning or applying hand sanitizer. In most cases, jewelry can be re-plated for a small cost.
Platinum is another popular choice for fine and bridal jewelry. The first thing most people will notice when comparing platinum and white gold jewelry is that platinum is significantly heavier. Unlike white gold, platinum will retain its white color, and will never require any plating, however it is a soft metal, so with daily wear, it will ding and scratch more easily. One benefit to platinum is that it is hypoallergenic, so it is a great choice for people who react to metals.
How do I care for my jewelry?
Diamond rings: We recommend all rings be brought in every 6 months for complimentary cleaning and prong inspection. Diamonds are held in by tiny prongs, so in order to properly maintain your ring, these prongs will occasionally need to be tightened or retipped. If a prong ever feels rough, or seems to be catching on things, discontinue wearing your ring until you can have it inspected and repaired. In between visits, you can clean your jewelry at home with warm water, dish soap and a soft toothbrush. You can also purchase home jewelry cleaning machines. Never let your jewelry soak for long periods in harsh chemicals.
Gemstone jewelry: Different gemstones have different properties, and require different types of care. Harder gemstones such as sapphires, rubies and topaz can be cleaned in ultrasonic jewelry cleaning machines, but softer gemstones such as opal, emerald and tanzanite cannot. When in doubt, ask your jeweler how to clean your jewelry.
Silver jewelry: Sterling silver jewelry may tarnish and darken over time. The simplest method for cleaning plain silver jewelry without gemstones is a solution that you can dip the jewelry in. This method is not recommended for jewelry with stones or with dark, oxidized finishes. The safest method for cleaning jewelry with gemstones is a soft toothbrush, warm water and dish soap. Exercise extreme caution when cleaning jewelry with any sort of inlay. Silver polishing cloths work well for polishing jewelry with inlay.