We've been doing this for over half a century and know that it can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. We will educate you and guide you through the diamond buying process in a relaxed, no-pressure atmosphere.
We'll give you an in-depth ``Diamonds 101`` and will make complete sense of everything you've read on the Internet. You'll get hands-on knowledge of the four C's: cut, color, clarity and carat weight. Using a loop that is 10x your eyesight, we'll examine loose stones for their unique characteristics. Once you've passed ``Diamonds 101,`` you'll understand how the four C's determine diamond pricing. We'll never start out asking the dreaded question, ``What's your budget?``
No one buys an engagement ring in one day. Now that you have a feel for pricing, you can get a sense of what kind of ring your budget* will create. This is when we will meet again, and show you diamonds and settings that are tailored to your taste and wallet.
*with respect to your budget, everyone has one. Don't underestimate yours - a beautiful ring can be created at any price point.
A mounting is the actual ring itself. Once you choose your stone, our diamond setter will set the diamond into whichever mounting you select. There are virtually thousands of different styles of mountings. Mountings can be plain, or have stones. They can be made of 14K, 18K or platinum.
Yellow Gold – The natural color of gold is yellow, and in its purest form is defined as 24 karat. Gold can easily be formed into various shapes, which is why it has always been the choice for jewelry manufacturers. Pure gold, however, is too soft to use for making jewelry so it is alloyed or mixed with other metals. When mixed, 14 karat gold is 14/24 parts gold whereas 18 karat gold is 18/24 parts gold. There are various colors of gold as well; yellow, white, pink or “rose” gold, and green.
White Gold – As mentioned above, gold for jewelry making can come in different colors. Today, white gold is extremely popular and is made when pure gold is alloyed or mixed with other white metals.
Platinum – Platinum is naturally gray or silver in color. Unlike gold, platinum is used in a nearly pure alloy when making jewelry. Because it is a much heavier metal than gold, platinum will cost approximately 3 times as much as the same piece of jewelry made in gold.
The weight of a diamond is measured in carats. One carat is divided into 100 points. A diamond weighing 50 points is a half-carat diamond. A diamond weighing 150 points is a one and a half carat diamond. Carat weight is not the diameter of the diamond, although there are guidelines as to what the carat weights and their corresponding sizes should measure. For example, a 1-carat diamond, if cut correctly, should measure 6.5mm.
Weight and Price -The rarity of a diamond greatly affects it price. Larger diamonds are statistically more difficult to mine and therefore more rare, making larger diamonds more expensive. Most people would reason that a 2-carat diamond would be double the cost of a 1-carat diamond because it is double its weight. Yet it does not work like this. Because the rarity of the 2-carat is SIGNIFICANTLY greater than that of a 1-carat, the cost of the 2-carat is much greater than twice that of the 1-carat diamond.
The color scale for diamonds begins with D and continues through the alphabet ending with Z. The finest diamond carries a rating of D, which is colorless. As diamonds descend through the color grading system, they will begin to exhibit tones of yellow or brown, and will be classified as either colorless, near colorless, faint, very light, or light.
The difference between two color grades, let’s say G and H, is so fine, that most people can not see the shade difference unless they are comparing two diamonds whose color is two to three shades apart. Most diamond engagement rings fall between the ratings of D and J.
Almost all diamonds contain inclusions or “flaws”. Clarity refers to the size, location, and visibility of these inclusions as seen when using 10 power magnification – 10 times your eye site. The fewer the imperfections found in a diamond, the more expensive the diamond will be.
The most popular clarity grades for engagement rings are from VS1 to SI2. Certain stone shapes, however, demand a higher clarity than others.
Cut is probably the most important “C” as it can enhance or diminish the brilliance of a diamond. Diamonds are cut with facets, placed in such a way as to allow a diamond to reflect light, which determines its brilliance. For round diamonds there are particular guidelines as to the way a diamond should be cut. This involves the proportions of the two main parts of a diamond; the table and the depth.
The table is the top portion of the stone, with the depth being the bottom half. In the simplest terms, a diamond that is cut too shallow or to deep will allow light to escape making for a stone that lacks brilliance. An improperly cut stone will also have an affect on its size. For example, a 1-carat stone that is cut too deep carries the majority of its weight in the pavilion, or bottom half, therefore making the diameter smaller so that this 1-carat diamond appears the size of a three-quarter carat.
A well-cut stone can enhance the beauty of a diamond that may not be the highest color or clarity by maximizing its brilliance.
This refers to a loose diamond that has been graded by a diamond laboratory. A certificate is a “blueprint” of a diamond, which tells you its measurements, weight, color, clarity, and specifics on its cut.
A certificate is NOT an appraisal. A certificate does not place a monetary value on a diamond, but simply states its quality. Likewise, an appraisal is not a certificate. It places a monetary value on the diamond but does not certify its quality.
There are many diamond labs that issue certificates, but not all certificates are created equal. Many are far too lenient in their grading. GIA is the most regarded lab in the world because of its strict grading system.
There really is a 5th C and that is cost. It doesn’t matter how beautiful a diamond is if it is not in your budget. At Santisi and Bove, we will never ask, the dreaded question “what’s your budget?” Until you have a basic understanding of how diamonds are graded, it is not a fair question.
At Santisi and Bove we would rather educate you as to how the 4C’s, metal choice, and mountings affect the overall cost of a diamond engagement ring and then let you decide where you want to be price wise.
It is our goal to advise you in selecting the best diamond for your particular budget.