Quick and Easy Buying Guide

Carat weight: 1 carat = 200 milligrams = 6.5 mm diameter. Doubling weight doesn't double diameter.

Diamond clarity: FL/IF/VVS/VS = super expensive, near perfect. SI = best value if you can check a photo for obvious inclusions (defects).


Color: D-G = colorless, expensive, only if you have money to burn. H-J = best value. Can go lower in gold metal settings than white metal.

Cut: Better cut ratings let more light into a diamond, making it sparkle more. Very important property, don't skimp here.

Set a budget and minimum cut (Premium). Go J color for gold and I/H for white metals. Go searching for SI1/SI2 clarity diamonds at James Allen. Pick a diamond with small/no inclusions. Choose a ring setting and buy it risk-free (60-day returns).

Antique diamond rings

For some, antiques are old pieces of junk from dead people or sold by people that didn’t want them anymore. For many others, antiques are valuable pieces of history that have invaluable history attached to them. For this second type of person, you may want to consider an antique diamond ring.

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Antique diamond rings can be found in a few different places, such as deceased estates and antique stores. They’re also an attractive choice because typically, they’re a little more unique than the ‘mass produced’ rings you can find in normal jeweler stores today.

Of course modern rings can usually be customized in terms of metal and so forth, whereas with an antique ring you’re stuck with how it was designed, mostly.

When buying an antique diamond ring, the normal four Cs still come into play – color, clarity, cut and carats. You may also need to consider verifying the authenticity of the ring and its back story as provided to you by the seller. Old receipts or even photos can help in this regard.

If you’re planning to set your own stone in the ring, you’ll want to get a skilled jeweler to have a look to check that what you want to do is going to be possible – some combinations of stones will just not be possible on some old antique designs. Better to be safe than sorry!

And lastly, if you have an old antique ring in the family, it’s a great way of keeping the family tradition alive with new generations.