Shopping for diamonds really means business. This is a task hardly anyone can say they do on a day to day basis, and if you’re budget is tight when you are looking for that engagement ring, it helps to know what you might be in for. There are so many messages and sales pitches out there that are targeted at the common folk who know very little about diamonds, but what on earth do they all mean? When someone says, “remember that the setting is what really matters”, or “Look for the best shape”, you want to know what these things mean when you walk into a jewelry store for the very first time. Even if you have shopped for diamond rings before, it is always helpful to brush up on your terminology.
When someone refers to the setting of a ring, they are generally talking about a lot of separate pieces that all make up the overall look of the ring. Some rings will have a precious stone or gem set on top of the band. This causes the stone or gem to appear more elevated and this also means the the gem will have to be sitting inside of something to keep it in place. Usually, an intricate little basket made of precious metal will suffice. On the other hand, a stone can also be set within the band of the ring, giving it the appearance of being nestled in with the precious metals of the band. The more quality set stones and gems will have a flawless look about them.
When someone is referring to the shape of the diamond, they are also talking about the cut. Certain cuts for a diamond ultimately determine the shape. You can have pear shapes or heart shapes, round or square. There are many choices to choose from and each cut creates differences in the way a gem will appear on the ring. It will also make a difference in how the gem is set on the ring.
There are also a great number of certification and qualification standards for a diamond to be inspected by, which can sometimes sound confusing. When a jeweler starts throwing out terms like EGL, HRD and GIA, you are going to want to know what is being discussed.
EGL – Stands for European Gemological Laboratory
HRD – Stands for “Hoge Raad voor Diamant”, which in English translates as the Diamond High Council
GIA – Stands for Gemological Institute of America when talking about diamond rings.
All of these certifications essentially look for the same or similar things when it comes to the quality of a diamond. In the end, it all comes down to whichever certification carries the highest reputation. From a global standpoint, the HRD is generally the most recognized. But if you are shopping in the states, be sure to look for GIA certifications in jewelry stores. The only time to really be concerned if a diamond ring you are looking at does not carry any kind of certification. This means it could be an imitation and not actually worth as much as the jeweler is saying its worth.