EILEEN: I'm Eileen Wu for howdini.com. Diamonds are a girl's best friend, but shopping for them, well you may need a tip or two. Here to help us with Diamonds 101 is Helena Krodel from the Jewelry Information Center. Hi Helena. Okay tell us about the bling.
HELENA: Well, the most important thing when shopping for diamonds is the, I'm sure you've heard, is the four C's. That's cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. Cut is arguably the most important because that's what unleashes the fire and the brilliance. Making them sparkly and that's why we love diamonds. And then we have clarity. Now clarity are the little imperfections, we sometimes call them nature's birthmarks. Those are what have little tiny marks, that could have little carbon fissures or little dark spots. Now it's okay if they have little spots, but they should be somewhat not visible to the eye. And then we have carat weight. Now for some carat weight is the most important because when you're looking at a diamond, size does matter. If you do buy a diamond over one carat, it should come with a warranty or certificate. And then the last C, that's color. Now the color is graded from D to Z and here I have a couple of examples of loose diamonds and the reason why we put them on a white piece of paper is because the closer they are to the white paper, the better. The better the color. Now we have two examples here, one is a round, and one is a princess cut. Now these are the two most popular cuts out there today.
EILEEN: And you mentioned earlier a certificate. What type of certificate?
HELENA: It should be by an indepedent laboratory and they look at the diamond and grade it. They actually grade those four C's so that you know what you're getting and you know what you're paying for and that you are getting the most for your money.
EILEEN: And what are some tips for getting the most for your money?
HELENA: Well, it's a subjective process. So some people like to look at cut because it's what makes it sparkly, but if carat weight is the most important, you can go a little bit less in terms of quality on the other three C's. So it's really up to you.
EILEEN: So tell me a little bit about these mounts. I see that you have loose diamonds and some that are mounted. Is it easier for you to save money if you choose loose diamonds?
HELENA: Not necessarily. Some people like to pick and choose the two separately so that they can pick their diamond and have it set into the mounting that they want. So here I have a couple of examples, I showed you the loose diamonds and here is the semi-mount which some stores actually sell them just like this. And you can have your diamond set right into it. And the we have three examples of preset diamonds. Now this is how most jewelry stores sell rings and that's great. We have one example of the round which is the most common. And then we have the princess cut which is the second most common; 24% of people choose this cut. And then in the center we have the third most common today which is a very modern cut. This is a pear. Now it's not so much the cut I want to talk about, but the pave diamonds which are set around the main center stone and makes it look larger, which of course we all like.
EILEEN: Helena, thank you so much for all of your helpful tips.
HELENA: You're welcome.
EILEEN: I'm Eileen Wu for howdini.com.