Diamonds are still a girl’s best friend. However they do not have to be as costly as they once were. In the past few years the diamond market has loosened up somewhat. By this I mean that the stranglehold that De Beers once had is no longer the case. In the middle 1980s they sold off a majority of their reserve and now control app. 35% of the market instead of the larger margin they once had. The other reasons the market is looser is Russia, Australia and to a lesser degree Canada are producing gem quality stones and the Great Recession and the dramatic upswing in the price of precious metals has many folks selling off their gold, so the market is currently flooded with stones up to app.1 carat in size and these stones are not bringing the prices that they once were.
Please do not misunderstand, diamonds are still pricey and the best quality stones are still commanding a high price. But the other side of the coin is that stones smaller than a 1 carat can be a relative bargain compared to a few short years ago. Right now purchasing a loose stone from a trusted jeweler or diamond broker is the way to go, having it set is a whole different ball game. As I mentioned earlier there has been a big upswing in the precious metals market and of course this trickles right down to you. So what some folks are doing now is having there stones set in silver, sometimes with a gold head to help defray the overall cost of the ring. Silver is a softer metal than gold, so using a gold head for the stone or stones will make the setting much more secure. If you decide to go this route be sure to ask your jeweler to plate the ring in rhodium this stops it from tarnishing, the head will not need to be plated.
We all know most of the standard cuts for diamonds, round, oval, princess etc. The princess is now not as popular as it once was while the oval has recently gained favor. The marquee has been out of style for a few years and the round brilliant is still the top dog in cuts. If you take some time to educate yourself about the 4 Cs cut, clarity, carat, and color you will have a better understanding of what you are looking at, and a better understanding of its relative value. This can be done very easily with a simple Google search. There is a wealth of information available on the web to help you. Diamonds are a subjective thing and everyone has their own idea of what is perfect for them. So do not get anxious or nervous, just relax have a good time and find the perfect stone for you.