Engagement Ring Shopping Part 1: The Cost

Engagement Ring Shopping Part 1: The Cost

Engagement Ring Shopping Part 1: The Cost

Yes, it is true…an engagement ring can cost just as much as a European vacation. But what really affects the true cost of the ring? While there are several factors to consider, for the simplicity of this blog, we will be focusing on two topics: the 4 C’s, and real diamonds versus lab diamonds.

 

The 4 C’s

Say what? There are how many C’s to consider while choosing a diamond? Yep, four of them…Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat-Weight. Each of them affecting the cost of your overall engagement ring.

 

Cut: In reality, when we refer to the "cut” of the diamond we are talking more about the proportions of the diamond as opposed to its shape (round brilliant, marquise, pear, princess, emerald, etc.) The reason cut is so important is that it plays a huge role in how the diamond reflects light (aka how shinny it appears to the eye). If a diamond is cut to shallow or too deep, the light entering through the top of the diamond is allowed to escape through its bottom and does not allow the maximum beauty of the diamond to be realized.

 

Color: The color of a diamond is graded from totally colorless (D) to light yellow (Z). The grades are:

·      Colorless (referred to as D, E, F)

·      Near Colorless (referred to as G, H, I, J)

·      Faint Yellow (referred to as K, L, M)

·      Very Light Yellow (referred to as N, O, P, Q, R)

·      Light Yellow (referred to as S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z)

The best color for a diamond? No color at all – as it allows light to pass through it easily, resulting in the light being dispersed as the color of the rainbow. The less color in the diamond – the more expensive a diamond becomes.

 

Clarity: The amount and location of flaws, and/or blemishes in the diamond is referred to its clarity. Generally speaking, the clarity ratings vary from Flawless to Imperfect 3 (I3). Take a look at the clarity chart below:

Category

Grade

Flawless

FL

Internally Flawless

IF

Very Very Slightly Included

VV1, VV2

Very Slightly Included

V1, V2

Slightly Included

SI1, SI2, SI3

Included

I1, I2, I3

 

 

An inclusion (birthmarks within diamond) can interfere with the light passing through the diamond. Most diamonds contain these very tiny blemishes. Obviously, the fewer the inclusions, the more beautiful the diamond appears – thus the more expensive a diamond becomes.

 

Carat-Weight: Diamonds are measured in carats. As the weight of the diamond increases, so does its price and rarity. Two diamonds can be of the same weight; however, their value can greatly differ due to the differences in their cut, color, and clarity.

 

Real Vs. Lab Diamonds

The difference between the two is quite obvious in explanation – but not always as obvious to the eye. A real diamond is formed one hundred miles below earth’s surface up to 3 billion years ago – making it unique and rare. They are like miracles of nature, as they undergo an extraordinary environmental circumstance – bursting towards the earth’s surface through volcanic eruptions.

 

Lab grown diamonds, while just as beautiful, is a stone that mimics the optical and chemical properties of a natural diamond. Lab diamonds are produced in a factory in a matter of weeks.

 

Like natural diamonds, lab diamonds have flaws / inclusions as well. They have metallic inclusions caused from the molten metal solutions from which they are created. They even have their own grading system, call the Synthetic Diamond Grading Report. It takes into consideration the color zoning, metallic inclusions, weak strain patterns, and colors of ultraviolet fluorescence to differentiate them from natural diamonds.

 

So, this brings us to a question most will ask, are they worth the same? To best explain the answer, first know that natural diamonds have an "inherent value.” While lab diamonds can be mass produced by man – which can cause the price to go down due to competition in production. Also, remember that selecting a natural diamond based off your 4 C’s, is more difficult to find than a lab made diamond that fits your request. Thus, making the natural diamond worth more because of its rarity.

 

Ending Tip: Want real diamonds, and a lower payment plan? View our Kim International Romance collection. It features clusters of diamonds as the center stone, helping to reduce the overall cost of the ring – without giving up the style you like. We also offer 0% APR for 60 months! Just give us a call today to set up an appointment (228-875-4842).