“Reserved for a Nervous First-Time Engagement Ring Buyer,” reads a sign in one of our parking spots in front of our jewelry store, Roman Jewelers in Flemington, NJ. I am not kidding; we actually do have such a sign. We installed it because we wanted to eliminate one more stressful moment in the engagement-ring -purchaser’s life – looking for a parking spot.
There is a lot of anxiety associated with an engagement ring purchase. Well, let’s face it, diamonds are expensive. And what about the setting for the diamond? Shape, style, price; these are just a few of the decisions to be made.
Where does an engagement ring purchaser usually start? Years ago, the answer would have been “New York, 47th Street (if you live on the East Coast). Today, it is the Internet (regardless of where you live). When it comes to diamonds, education is the key. How you acquire the knowledge about diamonds, is up to you. Libraries, bookstores, numerous web sites, retail jewelry stores, or friends who already went through a diamond-search process. From all of these sources you can find enough information about diamonds to become a gemologist!
So, now you are ready, you are prepared, you acquired enough knowledge, right? The jeweler places the diamond for you under the microscope and… everything you learned about diamonds and thought you understood simply evaporates. Where is that inclusion? Why can’t you see it? And the girdle, where is the girdle? Facets; there should be fifty-eight of them. Are they all there?
Of course, the lab grading report is a tremendous help. Highly trained professionals did the homework for you and listed the color grade, clarity, polish and symmetry, diamond proportions, culet and girdle description, and diamond fluorescence for you.
However, diamond grading reports don’t tell you the whole story; they simply cannot. Two diamonds with very similar grading grades will look different. Just like two people with similar physical characteristics; hair color, eye color, height, weight, and age might be the similar, but do they indicate that we are talking here about twins?
Your biggest help will come from the knowledgeable, talented, and passionate about diamonds staff of a retail store. Ask questions, listen carefully to explanations, look at the diamond under the microscope, compare diamonds with similar grading characteristics, and pick the one that “speaks to you”.