Table of Contents:
- Why Buy Diamonds Online?
- What to Look For in an Online Jeweler?
- Diamond Shapes 101
Why Buy Diamonds Online?
Purchasing a diamond or buying diamond engagement ring can be a daunting task. For most people it can be down right nerve racking. For this reason it is important to buy your diamond ring at a jeweler you can be comfortable and at ease with. Here we will share with you how to buy a diamond online.
Ideally you should go somewhere quiet, calm, trustworthy and a great inventory / variety of diamonds to buy a diamond. If you have a diamond jeweler near home that you are very familiar and comfortable with then he can be a great option. However most people do not have the pleasure of sharing a friendly relationship with a diamond jeweler.
A jeweler, unlike a regular sales person will be knowledgeable enough to really help you through the jungle of diamond cuts clarity, color and the diamond shapes and designs. Unfortunately a knowledgeable diamond jeweler is a rare occurrence so most of what people get is a pushy salesman at their local mall jewelry store. He may want to hurry you into a quick decision or there could be others watching you strain on deciding on which setting or diamond to buy. That can be tremendously discomforting. You owe it to yourself and future fiancee to buy the diamond engagement ring (diamond and ring setting included) properly and without additional pressure.
Additionally you want to avoid the person who gets paid on commission because they may be offering you a diamond that may not be in your best interest but will be for their interest. A local jewelry store inventories of diamonds or variety of diamond shapes and diamond grades may also be limited. I went through all these trials and tribulations. This is when I started looking for online diamond retailers.
If you don’t have a diamond jeweler to buy a diamond that you trust and are comfortable with a great option for buying the diamond engagement ring can be through an online diamond retailer. Some of the best online diamond retailers to buy diamonds from are Amazon.com, JamesAllen.com, BrianGavinDiamonds.com. These are all very reputable and some of the best online diamond jewelers in the world. The Editors choice for Best Online Diamond Retailer is JamesAllen.com. We really felt that the added features of JamesAllen.com were really something to write home about. Sounds childish but it really made the buying experience of a diamond engagement ring a lot of fun.
Online Jewelers are gaining a lot of ground these days over normal diamond jewelry stores. Nowadays the best place to buy diamonds online has much more to offer than most brick and mortar diamond jewelers. Below we will discuss the added benefits of buying diamonds online in more detail.
Contradictory to the regular diamond jeweler, and online jeweler allows for a pressure and hassle free way to browse for diamonds and buy the ideal diamond wedding ring that you have always dreamed of. There is isn’t a need to get in the car and sneak around town to a diamond jeweler to find the right one with a diamond ring that your fiancee will fall in love with. You simply sit in the comfort of your own home without the additional stress and you get to make the decision of purchasing a diamond with your heart at peace instead of racing with pressure from salesmen or bystanders interrupting you or your sales person.
Since online diamond retailers have limited storage space they can only have on hand a limited variety of grades and shapes. You really should have all the options in one place so you can compare diamonds to diamonds. If you buy diamonds online you will have a very large database of diamonds and engagement rings online to choose from. JamesAllen.com actually has over 1900 pictures of actual diamonds online that you can see and compare!
One Stop Shop
Online diamond jewelers like Amazon have many different services and options to offer. You definitely can go into an online diamond site and walk out with the engagement ring on its way. They can engrave, size and set the certified diamond on the setting of your choice. And because it is certified, the online jeweler will also send the diamond ring with the certificate. Some online diamond jewelers may even be able to offer you insurance for your new investment.
Save on Taxes
After all this is an important purchase and depending on how much your diamond ring is valued at you would normally have to pay hundreds or even thousands in sales taxes at your local diamond jeweler. You would normally have to keep this in mind for you budget but if you make your purchase at an online diamond jewelry store this is serious money you don’t have to lay out! This is all assuming that the online diamond retailer does not have its headquarters or an actual physical location in your state or country. Keep that money savings in your pocket for the honeymoon.
Shop on Your Own Time
You may not have all the time necessary to be running around town looking for the ideal diamond wedding ring. If you do your browsing online you can make your diamond ring decision whenever you have a few moments at work or home. Save the precious time to spend with family and your future fiancee.
What to Look For in an Online Jeweler?
Flexibility and Good Return Policy: After all you can change your mind even with the simplest of decisions. You want to rest assured that if your fiancee doesn’t like the engagement ring then you can return it and get back online with her to make sure you get it right together. The best place to buy diamonds online will offer a 30 day return policy but always read the policy before you buy the wedding ring at the online diamond site. You ought to do that anywhere you buy a diamond ring anyway not just at the online jewelry store.
Speed to Deliver: Once you have purchased the wedding ring the last thing you want is to be sitting for weeks with your fingers crossed. A diamond engagement ring is something you want to have in your hands as soon as possible to start planning your proposal. You may have an idea for a spontaneous getaway that would lead wonderfully into a proposal moment. If you don’t have your diamond ring has not arrived yet then you risk missing that moment. Make sure to get a confirmation from them as to when it can be delivered to your door.
Loose Diamond Search Tool: Not many online diamond jewelers have this tool. Its a great tool! A Loose Diamond Search Tool is one of my favorite tools that an online jeweler site can have. It allows you to search loose diamonds based on any and all criteria and grades until you have the perfect diamond. How impressive is that? To try a loose diamond search tool Click Here.
Design Your Own Ring Tool: This is another feature that not all online diamond jewelry retailers have in their arsenal of services. You could really sit down and spend all the time you like designing the perfect diamond wedding ring for your fiancee. It allows you to mix and match diamond shapes and sizes with the diamond ring setting designs that you can choose.
These points really are important for you to analyze and make sure that you you do go with someone that is going to give you the optimum service that you demand. Check The Ratings and Reviews Page of several online Jewelers and make a decision that best suits your needs. Some are stronger on price, others on search tools, or design your own rings programs. For an idea of what kind of investment you may be up against please reference the Diamond Price guide.
Diamond Shapes 101
By now hopefully you have read the Diamond Buying Guide that I have written to help you with the tough decision of buying a Diamond Engagement Ring. You should have a fair grasp of the critical aspect in choosing the right diamond. So now we can get into something a little more fun.
Choosing the shape of the diamond! Here is were we get creative and dream of the ideal diamond for your fiancees hand. Some diamond cuts are better suited for small hands while others are suited for long fingered hands and some are more universally suited. Once we have covered the main shapes as well as a few others you probably will have warmed up to a shape that will suit your fiancees taste and hand.
Below you will find descriptions of the variety of shapes.
Round Brilliant Diamonds
The Round Brilliant cut of diamond has lately become the default diamond shape that has been chosen for a diamond engagement ring. Due to its design in proportions and high number of facets (58) it achieves the unsurpassed brilliance and fire. Hence the round brilliant cut is chosen 7.5 times out of 10 when choosing loose diamonds.
This round cut is simply the most popular cut that is requested. It is preferred over 70% of the time when picking a diamond shape for her diamond engagement ring. Because demand is so strong for the round brilliant it is also the most valuable.
There is a reason for this. It is hands down the diamond cut with the most fire and brilliance due to its numerous (57-58) facets that force the light to reflect from many angles inside the diamond and back at the viewer. There are other diamond shapes with more facets but generally they are hybrids of the round brilliant diamond or a variation of a rectangular / square diamond that needs this many facets to be able to compete with the fire and brilliance of a round diamond cut.
Mounted, a round brilliant diamond ring will look dazzling in almost any setting and lends itself to many creative options from simple solitaire and solitaires with accents to the most contemporary of settings, the tension setting. Round cut diamonds excel beautifully in all these circumstances. In most instances when choosing a setting try to find one that allows for the most light to shine upon it. This will help maximize the fire and brilliance it was designed for.
Should you need any help choosing a setting to mount your loose diamond be sure to read our section on diamond ring settings as well as diamond ring trends.
When choosing a round brilliant diamond cut it is important to chose one with the ideal proportions as this is where the secret to its brilliance and fire lies.
We have included a loose diamond price guide based on round brilliant diamonds for your review as well as a diamond search tool to help you find the ideal round diamond cut for her ring.
The Oval cut is a design that is very well suited for women with smaller hands and fingers. Due to its oval symmetry it gives the illusion of elongating the wearers hands. Ideally should be used in a solitaire setting.
Oval cut diamonds have all the benefits of the round brilliant diamond but are Blessed with an elongated shape that is best suited for long, elegant hands. Although there is a slight difference between round brilliants and the oval cut diamond they share a high amount of facets that offer great brilliance.
Although it is well suited for small hands an oval diamond can be used for anyone who simply wants something different and unique than the regular round brilliant.
When choosing a setting for an oval diamond usually a setting with accents to its sides or as a cluster surrounded by accents is what may best suit this diamond cut. In addition make sure that the setting has six prongs to anchor the oval diamond. An oval diamond ring must have these additional prongs due to the shape of the diamond and the difficulty to hold the oval diamond in place.
Oval or oblong shaped diamonds can suffer from what is called the bow tie effect diamond cutters jargon. This refers to a diamond that is not well cut and shows a dark bow-tie like shape in the middle. Almost like and empty, life less section in the center of the Oval diamond.
For ideas on how to mount an oval cut diamond view the ring trends page or use the design your own ring tool available at JamesAllen.com, and Blue Nile (Our Editors Top Tier Online Jewelers). View our Online Jeweler Review section for other great online diamond jewelers.
Buy an oval cut diamond if you want the benefits and beauty of the round brilliant but would like the original shape of the oval cut.
Marquise diamonds, similar to the oval also are well suited for women with smaller hands and fingers. The difference with the Marquise is in the points at the extremities. This design was originally created to emulate the charming smile of the Marquise de Pompadour and hence the name Marquise. This diamond shape should also be used in a solitaire setting so as to not bulk up a small hand.
Pear Shaped Diamonds
Similar to a tear drop, The Pear Shape Diamond takes the best characteristics from both the Marquise and the oval. It is usually used for pendants or seen on dazzling dangling earrings but can also be used for a diamond engagement ring. It is also suited for smaller hands and fingers.
The Pear Shaped Diamond is an hybrid between the oval and marquise cut diamond. However the term that best describes the pear diamond cut would be tear drop.
Drawing similarities from two wonderfully brilliant diamond cuts, the pear shaped diamond doesn’t fall far from these. Having sparkle and the uniqueness of being a shape that is rare could be an enticing option of originality to combine into a pear diamond ring.
In choosing a diamond ring setting for a pear shaped diamond be sure to use one with 5-6prongs. The absolutely critical prong for a pear shaped diamond is the one that protects the point of the diamond. The additional pronge also serves as protection to the point of pear diamonds. See the pear shaped engagement ring to the right for an example of what I am referring to.
As discussed with the marquise cut diamond, the pear shaped diamond is also susceptible to the bow tie effect if not cut properly. The bow tie effect is when a portion of the diamond is cut in such a way that the facets don’t reflect properly enough to illuminate a bow tie shaped portion in the center of the loose pear shaped diamond. You do not need to worry too much about a bow tie sneaking on to your mount as it is a very visibly evident aspect.
Other very popular uses for the Pear diamond other than a pear diamond engagement ring is as pear diamond pendant or pear diamond earring.
Heart Shaped Diamonds
A heart Shaped diamond is a very rare cut and therefore is usually very difficult to find. This is mainly due to the difficulty in creating such a beauty. The heart shaped diamond is usually used for emotional or sentimental purposes other than a diamond wedding ring. Be certain to inspect this one for uniformity and well defined borders.
The Heart Shaped Diamond is a very unique diamond shape. If there is one way to really draw attention to a diamond ring it is with a fancy cut heart shaped diamond. The heart is a symbol of love and romance in any culture and giving it in the form of a heart shaped diamond would be unforgettable. As far as fancy cut diamonds go this is about as unique and original as it gets. Since it is a contemporary cut, the Heart Shaped Diamond was designed to have a lot of brilliance. Designed with the round brilliant diamond in mind to get as much brilliance out of a heart shape. With 59 facets you are getting a lot of fire and brilliance and will suit many uses. In many cases a diamond cutter takes diamond stone with a large inclusion and whittles away to eliminate the inclusion creating the cleft of the heart.
While the heart shaped diamond will look great on as a heart shaped diamond ring it can play a romantic role as a heart shaped diamond necklace or as heart shaped diamond earrings. Frequently you will see 2 carat heart shaped diamonds used for a necklace or a pair of 1 carat heart shaped diamonds used for earrings.
In the case of a heart shaped diamond it is important to review the overall quality of the diamond, including diamond color cut clarity and carat weight. I do suggest that you review proportions closely to make sure your diamond has great brilliance and fire. The proper depth of the diamond will give you optimal light reflection giving you all the sparkle that a heart shaped diamond ring deserves.
Use our loose diamond search tool to find your ideal diamond heart shape. For help finding the ideal diamond engagement ring retailer see our Retailer Ratings and Reviews.
Emerald Cut Diamond
The rectangular shape used to cut most emeralds is what gives this diamond shape its name. Aside from its rectangular shape the emerald cut diamond also has cut corners which in turn creates additional facets. This diamond shape has considerably fewer facets. This places a premium on superior clarity grades as inclusions become more visible. An emerald cut is considered a very traditional and elegant cut.
The Emerald Cut Diamond is one of the classiest diamond shapes you can buy. It is a step cut square or rectangular diamond with the corners cut. The name originates for the way that emerald are cut. Since emeralds tend to have more inclusions their resistance to breakage is greater. Thus the emerald cut was designed to minimize the quantity of cuts to prevent a breakage of the emerald.
By step cut I am referring to the technique that the cutter employs to give the emerald cut its long lines. The step cuts are actually large stair-like facets that give the air of class and elegance to a great Emerald Cut Diamond. The cut off corners allow for more light to reflect inward as well as frame the beauty within the diamond stone.
The emerald shape diamond was been worn for centuries by royalty and the upper class. An emerald shape diamond is often times in fancy colored diamonds or gemstones to really show off the quality of spectacular loose diamond. This type of diamond cut has also been seen pendants.
When choosing an emerald cut diamond it is important to select a diamond with high cut, clarity, and color grades. Since an Emerald shaped diamond has fewer facets to distract the eye sight and creating sparkle all imperfections in the loose diamond are going to be much more visible and evident.
Emerald Cut 9.78 ctw
Our recommended grades and dimensions to buy a loose emerald cut diamond are the following:
- Clarity: VS2
- Cut: Good
- Color: G
- Table: 58%-69%
- Depth: 58%-69%
Fortunately for any who want to buy loose emerald cut diamond, the good news is that the tend to be less expensive. This is due to the actual demand of people interested in buying them. More people are interested in purchasing loose round brilliant diamonds instead of the classy emerald cut. That bodes well when it comes to prices as an emerald cut diamond with the same quality and grades tends to be 10-15% less expensive.
Princess Cut Diamond
One of the more popular square or rectangular diamond cuts is the relatively contemporary Princess Cut Diamond. This Diamond Shape is frequently used in pave framed setting or accompanied by triangular gems or diamonds at either side. This cut is more suitable for women with long slender fingers and hands. To maximize brilliance on a Princess Cut Diamond a cutter will deepen the proportions of the diamond.
The Trilliant diamond is is a cut that offers an incredible amount of brilliance and fire. Not a shape that is regularly seen or used but can be adapted to many settings with accompanying stones. The Trilliant Shaped diamond can be found with rounded corners as well as with sharp corners.
A Trilliant Diamond is a very unique and rarely found diamond shape. Essentially trilliant cut diamond is a fancy way of saying triangular diamond cut. The trilliant diamond cut rivals many other cuts for fire and brilliance.
The spectacular fire and brilliance is due to its perfect triangular shape where all sides are equal. Moreover, the trilliant diamond has 50 facets to reflect light around to create an incredible prism. Due to its fancy diamond status this trilliant cut diamond is rarely seen but in high end luxury jewelry.
If you want to be unique and original, search our diamond search tool for a trilliant cut diamond. In selecting a trillion cut diamonds it is important to consider the depth of the diamond. It should be between 32 42%. However it is still a personal preference how you would like you diamond trilliant cut to perform. The depth is important because it will affect the degree of brilliance of the trilliant diamond (or any diamond).
The most common uses for trilliant diamonds are on the shoulder of a setting accompanying a rectangular diamond or a square diamond; possible an asscher or princess cut. When you are ready to buy loose diamonds be sure to view our diamond retailer ratings for Editors top choices.
Radiant Cut Diamonds
This diamond shape can also be found in square or rectangle. The difference with the Radiant Cut Diamond is that it has many more facets that the emerald cut which offers it much more brilliance. Therefore it has the elegance of the emerald cut with the added benefit the brilliance of the Round Brilliant. To achieve this the Radiant cut has 70 facets and it weight more centered towards the depth of the diamond to achieve this wonderful fiery brilliance.
Radiant Cut Diamond is a fascinating cut of diamond. Developed in 1977 by Harry Grossbard. His idea was to blend the brilliance and fire of the round brilliant with the elegance of the emerald cut. What you get in a radiant diamond is a square diamond (or rectangular diamond) with cropped corners and angles facets to optimize fire and brilliance. Truly the best of both worlds.
The ideal proportions and dimensions for a radiant cut diamond is a 1:1-1:1.05 for a square radiant diamond. The case of a rectangular radiant diamond the proportions could be 1:1.1-1:1.2. This cut of diamond also has large facets so it is important to choose a radiant diamond with good clarity and color. This is because the large facets don’t hide inclusions like a diamond cut with a higher quantity of small facets. The table should measure 65%-80% and table diameter should be 65%80.
When choosing a loose diamond for your radiant cut diamond ring you have a few options to consider for your setting. Radiant cut diamonds go well set as a solitaire or with a three stone radiant cut diamond engagement ring with accents. To design a radiant cut diamond engagement rings we recommend using the James Allen, Blue Nile or Amazon design your own ring tool.
While radiant diamonds make great diamond engagement rings, loose radiant cut diamonds make fabulous necklaces or pendants for necklaces. Be sure to use a four prond setting for either purpose you choose to use the radiant cut diamond.
Cushion Cut Diamond
The Cushion Cut Diamond is more of a classical antique type of cut. Some consider it a hybrid of an Old Miners Cut and a contemporary oval cut diamond.
Cushion Cut Diamonds are more of a classical square cut diamond that is starting to gain ground in popularity. The Cushion Diamond is a square diamond with rounded edges. It looks like a cross of designs between a round brilliant and a radiant cut or asscher cut. Other similar cuts that resemble a cushion diamond are the old miner cut and a modern oval.
Its rounded edges have earned it one of its more popular nicknames, pillow cut. Another yet more ancient nickname it has created is candlelight cut for its romantic sparkle next to the candle light of old times when the only light was candle light.
Ideal proportions for a cushion would be 1:1 to make the ideal cushion cut diamond ring. While rectangular loose cushion diamonds are available, it is definitely more popular to go with a square version. A square cushion as other square diamonds diamond allows for many accent options on a diamond ring setting.
Cushion Cut Diamond Ring
Your best best as far as diamonds grades go for a cushion shaped diamond is to forgo size for clarity. This is another diamond were there clarity grade trumps the size. This is thanks to the large facets that don’t camouflage as well as diamond cuts with many small facets.
A great size and grade for a cushion diamond sure to get the attention of your future fiancee is a 2 carat with a Good, Very Good or ideal cut and a clarity of VS1 or VS2.
Make sure when choosing a setting that it has a minimum of four prongs to hold cushion shaped diamonds. Feel free to try out the Diamond Search Tool or the Design Your Own Ring tool from Amazon.com.
Asscher Cut Diamond
The Asscher Cut is a square or rectangular shaped diamond cut. It has 74 facets and is considered a modification or improvement to the emerald cut it too is a stepped cut.
Consumer trends and the creativity of todays diamond cutters are yielding wonderful varieties of cuts. Thanks to marketing and consumer individualism we are finding increasing prominence in hybrids and variations like the hearts and arrows. Others are finding their own niche in the market place among the regulars by branding their type of diamond cut and charging a premium. Some of these new cuts can be hype and others truly are beautiful pieces that can prove to be true pieces of diamond cutting art.
Take the time to view the websites that I recommend. (Amazon, Blue Nile and JamesAllen.com). James Allen for instance offers real detailed pictures of a great variety of diamond shapes that you can buy. Now that I have shared with you the various shapes you are ready to buy go into their website and start to create your own diamond engagement ring.
The Asscher Diamond Cut is a winner of a cut. As far as square diamond or rectangular diamonds go this is one of the more beautiful diamonds and an excellent choice for a diamonds engagement ring, alone or with trilliant diamond accents or baguette accents.
Appearing like an Emerald Cut with pyramid shaped facets it actually has an octagon like figure with deep step cuts that draw the eyes toward the center. With its 74 facets it gives the illusion to be a room full of mirrors.
Due to its intriguing features the asscher diamond has been rising in popularity. Thanks to being featured in television programs like Sex in the City and being given to stars like Kate Hudson and Elizabeth Hurley who received and asscher diamond rings from their husbands.
Like most things when they get popular the ascher diamond is starting to be more prominent in jewelry stores along with greater selection for asscher diamond engagement ring settings. Prior to this rise, Asscher diamonds were only found in estate sales and rarely seen in retail locations. Most loose Asscher diamonds were cut on commission by special requests.
Due to their new prominence and still a little on the rare side the increasing demand and short supply keeps the prices for asscher cut diamonds on the high side. Additionally most of the stones that are seen in this cut are large diamonds up to 6.0 ctw since these are the types of stones that best suit the asscher cut.
When you buying asscher diamond engagement rings or the setting for an asscher diamond cut be sure to select a setting with four prongs to anchor the diamond. Although this cut of diamond has its corners cut it is always a wise tactic for setting a square diamond (or rectangular diamond). Ideal depth for Asscher diamonds is between 67%-71% and length to width ratio of 1:1 1:1.05.
To find your ideal loose asscher diamond use our diamond search tool or visit any of our top rated online diamond jewelers.