Friday, May 13, 2011

Know the Fifth "C"

When you first embark on Engagement Ring Shopping 101, the first thing you learn are the 4 C’s, which are cut, clarity, color and carat.

But over the last several years, several “fifth C’s” have been added to the aforementioned list. One example is “communication.”

“You should talk to your fiancee to find out what she wants,” said Michelle Adorjan, director of public relations and strategic planning for Tacori. “Women can help men understand what is important to them.”

Adorjan also stresses communication with the jeweler.

“Don’t be afraid to ask questions,” she said. “There is no poor question to ask.”

After all, this is one of the most important purchases you will make in your lifetime — perhaps second only to buying a house.

Another “C” that’s becoming common is “confidence.” It is imperative that you feel comfortable with and trust your jeweler. Ask family and friends for referrals, and check them out. Also, see if the jeweler is a member of a recognized jewelry association, such as Jewelers of America. In addition, if the sales staff cannot answer your questions to your satisfaction or seem uncertain about their merchandise, you may want to consider another jeweler.

Perhaps the most popular fifth “C” is certification, which has gained a lot of attention in recent years and with good reason. Diamond certificates, also known as diamond grading reports, are prepared by independent certified gemologists who determine the scientific facts of your diamond. These facts include the 4 C’s as well as such characteristics as shape, measurements and polish.

When shopping for your engagement ring, it is imperative that the stone comes with a diamond certificate.

“You want an outside source to confirm what the jeweler says,” said Doug McDowell, CEO of Memoire. Furthermore, he said to make sure the certification comes from a gemological laboratory, not a rating agency.

Recognized gemological laboratories includes the American Gem Society, the European Gemological Laboratory, the Gemological Institute of America and the International Gemological Institute.

Diamond Education