When you hear the word “diamond” you automatically think of fine quality. A diamond represents exquisiteness. It is the elite and most loved of all gems on the market. If you ask a woman if she loves diamonds you will almost always get a resounding “yes”. However, finding the perfect diamond can be a difficult job if you don’t know what you are looking for. Take my story as an example.

I consider myself to be a well-educated man. As a graduate of a prestigious business school, I had a great career as a senior financial manager in a well-respected firm. My career afforded me a great lifestyle. Although I was nowhere near Robin Leaches “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”, I was able to enjoy a life full of wonderful vacations, fine dining, and great friends.

When I was in my twenties, I thought I had found the one true love of my life and proposed to her. I presented her with, what I thought, was a great diamond ring. Actually, it was more of a diamond chip and not a good one at that. The relationship eventually fizzled and we never did get married but I did learn a valuable lesson when buying a diamond ring – only get the very best where a diamond is concerned. We’ve all seen the various commercials on television and we’ve seen the ads for various jewelers in magazines but how do we know that we are getting the finest diamond?

I made it the mission that I would learn all there was to know about diamonds so if I ever decided to get married again I would know that I was getting the finest diamond engagement ring for my future wife. This proved to be a great lesson for me. I never knew there was so much to know about buying a diamond. In fact, when we think of buying a diamond, we all get the same look on our faces. You know the look, the one of sheer terror and a bit of hesitation all rolled up into a happy face. Deep inside we want to make the moment as special as we can be but we also know that there is a fine price that can accompany that happiness.

So ask yourself, why do you want to buy a diamond engagement ring I wanted to present the love of my life with one, everlasting symbol of my love and affection. I wanted her to know that only the finest, superior quality diamond ring would be good enough for her. Even then, it wouldn’t match the love I felt inside but it would come close. I was amazed when I found out that over 1 million men a year set out on the great diamond hunt. Although I am a highly educated person, the sad fact is, there was more to know about selecting the right diamond then just how big it was (carat size) or how it how much it cost.

So with all of this ahead of me, I didn’t know where to begin. There were many jewelers and it was hard to know where to go. After all, buying a diamond was going to be one of the most important investments I would ever make. It ranked right up there with buying my home or vehicle. That is how important it was to me. I was so amazed at the information I needed to obtain to buy this one ring. I saw ads for designer diamond rings and diamond engagement rings but yet I still had no idea where to begin. I consulted my best friend who pointed me in the right direction. He told me there were several ways to obtain a diamond ring:

·Retail Jeweler – retail jewelers were just about everywhere. Each was quoted as selling the finest diamonds on the market. The advantage here was that I could develop a rapport, a one on one relationship with my jeweler. Many retailers offered a money back guarantees to back their products.

·Online Jeweler – then there was the wonderful world of the internet and with its endless opportunities to buy diamonds online. As a businessman, this seemed a viable option that would accommodate my hectic and very busy schedule.

·Estate Jewelers – for those ones of kind diamond rings, an estate jeweler was another way to go. This allowed the possibility of obtaining one of a kind, antique pieces that aren’t seen nowadays. However, I also learned that this can be a problem as well because these rings typically do not come with a certification and often determining the fair market value of these rings can be a difficult task.

·Wholesale Jewelers – these jewelers seemed to offer you a better price than buying from a retailer. However, they generally get their diamonds imported and can often contain some impurities. I was learning fast that there was more to buy the right diamond then just going to my local mall, picking one out and purchasing it. My best friend for more than ten years told me he bought a diamond engagement ring when he proposed to his wife. It was only later that he learned that it was an “enhanced diamond”. An enhanced diamond is a natural or synthetic diamond that is altered to enhance and improve the gemological aspects of the diamond. A diamond’s clarity can be improved through laser drilling. This can take an off colored diamond and enhances its color and makes it shiner and clearer. I had never heard of this before. I thought diamonds were just naturally beautiful. Truth is, most are and that’s what I wanted. I wanted the natural beauty of a diamond to come through not an enhanced version of it. So I kept moving forward. During this search is when I met the woman I knew for sure that I would spend the rest of my life with. Whereas the guy in his twenties was fine with giving any old ring, I knew now that nothing but perfection would do. This ring was my sign of commitment to her.

My sign of never-ending love. Just as a diamond would last forever, so would my love for her. I had learned a great deal over the years about finding that perfect diamond. Yes, we all knew to look for the 4 C’s of a diamond: Carat, Cut, Color,  and Clarity but there was so much more to it than that I had learned. I learned that in order to ensure that quality then I needed to make sure that I was buying a “certified” diamond. A certified diamond meant that there was written a proof that document the attributes of the diamond. Certification meant that the price I was paying for that diamond was back by a certification that meant this was of the highest quality. The certification broke down the actual grade of each of the 4 C’s and helped in determining the value of the diamonds easier. Certifications came from well-known labs such as the International Gemological Institute (IGI) and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) to name a few. So certification of a diamond is very important to look for when I went into the store. A friend of mine had bought an engagement ring for his wife that wasn’t certified and sadly it ended up being a fake. This is why I had dedicated the past few years to make myself knowledgeable about the world of diamonds. Naturally, it won’t take everyone a few years to understand all there is to know about buying a diamond but investing some time into research and educating yourself is something I can’t stress enough.

Now at 40, I was a lot more prepared than I was at 20 to make a real investment in a diamond engagement ring. I searched for a jeweler who had a great reputation, who had been in the diamond business for years, who sold certified diamonds, and who would give me the one on one I needed to ensure that the love my life would only get the finest. I learned you get what you pay for and the premium for a highly qualified, certified diamond was well worth it. After all, she was worth it and then some. I wanted to make her speechless. Well, just long enough for her to say yes but totally take her breath away when I proposed with the perfect diamond ring. For her, I chose a “princess cut” diamond rather than a designer diamond ring. This, I found out was the second most popular cut for a diamond. The princess cut has more of a pyramid shape to it. This cut would emphasize the diamond`s fire versus its luster. The fire of the diamond is that amazing flash of rainbow colors you see when the light hits it just right. This is seen well in limited light sources like candlelight or a dimly lit room. So it’s a good thing I was proposing to her in her favorite Italian restaurant. I had it all worked out. The table would contain a centerpiece of yellow roses which her favorite. We’d toast over her favorite bottle of wine. We’d enjoy a lovely dinner and dessert would bring her more than her favorite Cannoli.

I was nervous but confident in the fact that I had bought her a diamond that was as perfect as she was. My investment in the ring was as important as my investment in her. You’ll be happy to know she said “yes” and the diamond, well it took her breath away just as I hoped it would. Thanks to finding a reputable jeweler who sold certified diamonds, they helped me pick the perfect diamond engagement ring for the woman I’d spend the rest of my life with. The time and effort was well worth the wait and although I paid a good premium for the ring I learned the old saying was true “you get what you pay for”.