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Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” Marilyn Monroe made this saying famous in 1953, and for many, it’s as true as ever. Diamond rings are among the few jewelry pieces you wear all the time. No two diamonds are exactly the same, so each one can represent unique love… and a man’s love certainly makes a woman feel better. A rose may be a rose, but women still prefer bouquets. So too with diamonds — they have beauty, and also represent status and love. They’re a metaphor for how valuable and rare true love is. So where should you start when buying diamonds, whether for yourself or your significant other?

Diamond studs are among the most fundamental pieces of jewelry, so they’re usually the first item you should buy. They work with nearly any outfit, from evening dresses to tanks with jeans. When buying diamond earrings, it’s worth considering your options with care. As a rule, a smaller, high-quality stone is a better choice, rather than opting for a large but poor-quality diamond. Your diamonds ought to sparkle, which highlights your style and taste. More on choosing the stones later.

Another good place to start is the pendant necklace. This slender chain with a hanging gem represents a subtle way to accent, whether on the weekend or at work. It also usually ends up becoming a very personal item, which you never lend to anyone else.

Choosing A Diamond

Finding the right diamond for you among all the different options can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, there’s a fairly simple series of steps you can follow to end up with the diamond that fits you best.

First, identify what shape the diamond should be. If you’re buying for someone else, it’s crucial to ask them for their preferences — the shape of the diamond should always be determined by the person who will wear it. In the event you don’t know and can’t find out, round or princess cuts are a safe choice.

Next, decide the minimum carat weight you’d like to buy. Again, when buying for someone else, remember that if they’re set on owning a full-carat diamond, then the most beautiful half-carat diamond in the world will still leave them disappointed.

Now you can start trying to find a diamond that fits your budget. Start out with the highest-quality stone that fits the criteria you’ve set in the first two steps, and make concessions in clarity, color, and cut until you find one that fits the amount you’re willing to spend.

In general, the best place to start making concessions is the clarity. You can go all the way down to VS2 clarity before you move on to other areas. If that isn’t enough to bring it in budget, lower the color rating (to as low as H if needed be) and finally compromise on the cut (generally a “very good” or “good”). Finally, if you’re just outside your budget, think about reducing the carat weight by 10% — the difference is slight enough that most people won’t detect it.

If this still isn’t enough, you can reduce clarity even further (as far as SI1), then color (to J, or, if you’re planning to set it in yellow gold, as far as K), and cut (to “good” for round diamonds or “fair” for fancy cuts).

Guest Post by: Ivana Craft

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