Here the main things you will need to know before you dive into buying a gemstone ring.
The quality of the gemstone has the biggest impact on the price you will pay for a ring, so having a basic understanding of what to look for will help you work out if you are getting a good deal or not.
There are different factors impacting the grading of gemstones depending on the type of stone; for example, emerald grading is handled differently to diamond grading predominantly because color is the key concern.
Furthermore the carat of a stone relates specifically to its weight, and does not have a direct bearing on its quality.
Natural vs synthetic
The next thing to consider is whether to opt for a natural gemstone ring, or one which has been made in a laboratory.
Natural gemstones are those which have been forged by Mother Nature and pulled from the ground by people, making them more valuable because of their relative rarity. They can also sport natural ‘inclusions’, which are usually other minerals present within the material, and should not be seen as a downside, especially if they are comparatively small.
Man-made gemstones are more affordable, and crucially a seller is required to tell you whether or not a ring is made with these synthetic elements, because obviously this will impact its resale value in the long term.
Gemstones are cut to alter their size and shape, although the primary reason that they are altered by skilled specialists is to change the way that light interacts with them. The glitter and sparkle of diamonds, for example, can be significantly intensified and minutely controlled depending on how they are cut.
Because of this, the cut also alters the price, with well-cut stones commanding a premium compared to their counterparts which have been less expertly altered.
From a purely stylistic point of view, the cut of a gemstone will alter its subjective appeal. A classic round or oval cut may be ideal if you want a more traditional look, while you could choose a more contemporary aesthetic if you opt for relatively recent designs such as the princess cut or even a heart-shaped stone.
The final point on the gemstone ring buyer’s agenda will be the material used to house the stones of their choice.
Gold, silver and platinum rings are available, with prices varying according to both the availability and the amount of material used. Custom designed rings will invariably cost more, while you can make savings if the ring is merely plated in a precious metal and has a more affordable material underneath, which could work out if you are on a budget.
Most importantly, remember that buying a gemstone ring is not something you should rush; take your time, compare the options and only commit when you are completely satisfied.
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