November 05, 2008
by Peter Reines
Selecting a diamond should be exciting and fun, not mystifying or nerve-wracking.
If you’re about to get engaged, buying a ring may be your first fine-jewelry purchase. You may be tempted to buy online, but experts agree that it’s best to buy from an established, local, family-owned jeweler for two very important reasons. First, the once-in-a-lifetime experience of engagement ring shopping simply cannot be duplicated on a computer screen. And, since each diamond is unique, it´s virtually impossible to compare diamonds online. What you think you´ll save by buying online, you could easily lose in quality and peace of mind.
What should you look for when choosing a diamond?
Whether you´re buying your first diamond or have purchased diamond jewelry before, it’s important to understand the Four Cs of diamonds: Carat Weight, Color, Clarity and Cut.
Carat Weight is the diamond’s size by weight. A carat is a small unit of measurement equal to 200 milligrams. Because larger diamonds are found less frequently in nature, they are more valuable. Therefore, a one carat diamond will cost more than twice as much as a half carat diamond if other characteristics such as color, clarity and cut are similar.
Color refers to the degree to which a diamond is colorless, with colorless diamonds being the rarest and most valuable. Diamonds are graded on a color scale that ranges from D (colorless) to Z. Icy white diamonds (D-I) look stunning in white gold or platinum. Warmer colored diamonds (J-Z) are more desirable when set in yellow gold.
Clarity refers to inclusions—natural identifying characteristics that appear in most diamonds as they are formed. The position of inclusions can greatly affect the value of a diamond. Inclusions are ranked on a clarity scale that ranges from F (Flawless) to I (Included) and is based on the visibility of inclusions at 10X magnification.
Cut refers to the exact proportions, quality of polish and arrangement of a diamond´s facets. Facets allow light to enter the diamond, become refracted, and exit in a rainbow of colors. While nature determines a diamond´s clarity, carat weight and color, the hand of a master craftsman is necessary to showcase its fire and sparkle.
In addition, there is a very important fifth C: Confidence in the qualifications of the jeweler with whom you choose to do business.
Family-owned Reines Jewelers is Charlottesville’s engagement rings specialist. Since 1975, we’ve built a reputation based on quality, honesty, integrity and personalized service. In our Shopper’s World store, we offer an extensive collection of handcrafted designer engagement rings, wedding rings and anniversary bands, as well as custom-designed original jewelry set in platinum or gold.
As a member of Polygon, the jewelry industry’s largest business-to-business global e-marketplace, we have access to more than three billion dollars worth of polished, certified loose diamonds at the most competitive prices anywhere. You can narrow your choice from this enormous selection, then see the diamonds in person at our store, along with friendly, expert service to help you choose just the right one. With more than 120 years of combined experience, our staff understands that an educated customer is a satisfied customer.
At Reines Jewelers, we will gain your confidence by providing all the information you need to make the best choice. You’ll benefit from our tradition of quality and reliability as we remove the mystery from buying fine diamond jewelry and make it an experience you’ll enjoy.
To learn more about our collections and services, go to
www.reinesjewelers.com or call 1-877-853-8450.