How to Select the Perfect Diamond Engagement Ring By Bill Boyajian

One of the biggest and most important decisions a couple will make is how to select a diamond engagement ring.  Such a memorable event deserves a lot of attention, and when the cost can be significant, allocating the time to do your homework is well worth the effort.  This holds true even if you are remounting an existing diamond with perhaps a more modern look.

Here are some things to consider for direction, information, and peace of mind when conducting your search:

Style #: ER12960R4W44JJ

1) Research Information Online:  There is no limit to the quantity and quality of information available to you at your fingertips.  Google “diamond engagement rings” to begin your search, and you will be supported with more data that you ever thought possible.  In the process, learn about the 4Cs: Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat weight in order to gain a basic understanding of the factors that contribute to a diamond’s value.  Regarding Color, most diamonds are very slightly tinted yellowish, and they are graded on a scale of colorless to yellow.  With Clarity, diamonds often have very minute internal or external characteristics, often called inclusions or blemishes, respectively.  Don’t be afraid to purchase a diamond that is very slightly yellowish or even slightly  included.  You can often get a larger stone by doing so, and as everyone knows, size does matter.  For Cut, round brilliant diamonds can now be assessed for the quality of their proportions, and categorized as excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor.  Cut is really important to maximize a diamond’s brilliance and sparkle, so don’t skimp on this.  Carat weight is simply how much the diamond weighs in carats.  For example a 1.15 carat diamond weighs one carat and 15 points.  There are 100 points in a carat.  With the 4Cs, just realize that you can’t do brain surgery by simply reading about it.  Your goal should be to arm yourself with enough good information to ask the right questions when deciding who to buy your diamond from.

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2) Establish a Budget:  You know your financial position and roughly how
much you are capable of spending.  That may change when you begin speaking with jewelers about your goal in selecting the right diamond, and the right mounting.  But in the meantime, it’s a good idea to know approximately how much you are prepared to spend on the diamond and engagement ring.  Often, a man is more concerned about the diamond, whereas a woman is more focused on the style of the mounting.  A tradeoff often exists between the purchase of each.  A couple should not shy away from the engagement ring mounting of their dreams because they cannot afford an exquisite center stone just yet.  They may opt to buy the mounting they love with scroll work and diamonds, for example, and obtain a “CZ” or synthetic Moissanite until they can afford the center stone diamond of their dreams.

3) Visit Jewelry Stores:  You’ve probably already seen some pricing online, and may have even changed your mind about what you want to spend on your diamond engagement ring.  Our advice is to visit stores with your newfound knowledge to get an idea of pricing and to search for that one store or salesperson you want to buy your diamond from.  We suggest selecting a 20161113-IMG_7816jeweler like you would pick a family doctor: someone who perhaps has been recommended to you and someone who was “there yesterday and will be there tomorrow.”  All Gabriel partner retailers are vetted as trusted jewelers and we at Gabriel feel confident sending consumers to those locations to purchase engagement rings and center stones.  Most of these jewelers also offer financing options.  Often people feel that a full-service jeweler will have a high mark-up because of their overhead, but you will be surprised at how well you can buy from jewelers today, especially those who want to be your jeweler for a lifetime.

4) The 5th C is Confidence:  There are a lot of people you can buy a diamond engagement ring from, but the one you want is the one who you have complete trust and confidence in.  That’s why this is known as the 5th C.  You are making a significant purchase in terms of a memorable occasion and in terms of value.  A diamond engagement ring can be a “blind item,” one that is very hard to understand and to know that you are getting the proper value.  But if you’ve found the right store and the right salesperson, the one who is knowledgeable and trustworthy, it makes all the difference in the world.

14k White Gold Infinity Engagement Ring – Style #: ER12959S4W44JJ

Safeguarding the Public Trust in Diamonds By Bill Boyajian

This recent series on synthetic diamonds was designed to introduce these products to the consuming public, and to identify the ethical issues surrounding accurate promotion and representation of them. In a world focused on transparency, social responsibility, and truth in advertising, it is vital that man made diamonds are properly identified and accurately represented to the jewelry-buying public.

To facilitate this transparency and to eliminate the possibility of ambiguity, leading members of the diamond and jewelry trade have developed elaborate systems to clearly identify DSC_0733their gems and jewelry, and to safeguard the public’s trust in their products. For example, Gabriel & Co., a leading designer-manufacturer and supplier to thousands of retailers, assures its clients that the diamonds mounted in their jewelry pieces are compliant with the Kimberley Process, which ensures they are conflict-free. In addition, all natural diamonds that Gabriel & Co. uses can be verified through its stringent sourcing and tracking processes, ensuring proper identification.

Many retailers are hesitant to offer synthetic diamonds to their customers as a less expensive alternative to natural diamonds. A big part of their concern is whether increased production of manmade diamonds will drive the price (and the value) of the product down, and not serve the long-term interests of their customers. Time will tell whether synthetic diamonds will make a significant impact in the marketplace. For now, manmade diamonds represent only a fraction of 1% of the total diamond jewelry market, although that percentage is growing annually.

The Ethics and Transparency of Manmade Diamonds By Bill Boyajian

Growth in the production of synthetic diamonds in recent years has heralded new considerations for an industry focused primarily on selling natural, mined diamonds. At least one synthetic diamond company, Diamond Foundry, also supported by movie star Leonardo DiCaprio, is claiming that manmade diamonds are a more ethical alternative than natural diamonds.

Such claims raise questions about the way synthetic diamonds are currently marketed and whether it is misleading to present them this way to consumers.  Staunch supporters of “fair trade” diamonds and the millions of artisanal diamond diggers, whose livelihoods depend on natural diamond mining, take serious issue with such claims.

Notwithstanding the need for accurate promotion and marketing of synthetics, an even more fundamental issue is one of proper identification and transparency of the product itself. The natural diamond industry has throughout history been challenged by manmade look-alikes, numerous treatments and deceptions of the gem, and, more recently, the scourge of “conflict diamonds,”

To facilitate greater transparency, leading members of the diamond and jewelry industry have taken specific steps to protect themselves and the public. For example, Gabriel & Co. has maintained a serialized tracking system for all of its fine diamond jewelry pieces throughout its many years of doing business.

It’s a new dawn, and ethical issues need to be managed properly by every member of the jewelry industry. Every dealer, designer, and retailer must be responsible and accountable for the use of clear and unambiguous nomenclature with synthetic diamonds. Ultimately, it is the consumer’s opinion that counts, and that is why the trade must disclose properly, describe accurately, and demand equity and ethical behavior in order to maintain the public’s confidence and trust in diamonds.

An Introduction to Manmade Diamonds By Bill Boyajian

Introduction to the series. A note from Gabriel & Co.:

Gabriel & Co. has long supported clear, accurate, and unambiguous disclosure of natural mined diamonds as well as all man-made and treated gem materials. In support of full disclosure, Gabriel & Co. has chosen to use only natural diamonds that can be verified through our stringent sourcing and tracking processes. 

This series of articles on synthetic diamonds is designed to educate and inform readers on the importance of proper knowledge and disclosure of man-made diamonds. The diamond industry has long strived to create an industry standard for natural diamonds formed over millions of years and are now mined with conflict free processes, transparent sourcing and valid tracking principles – the same industry standards should be created for man-made diamonds that support full disclosure.

Gabriel & Co. has invited Bill Boyaijian, graduate gemologist, former president of the GIA, and founder and CEO of Bill Boyajian & Associates as a guest blogger to write a series of articles for  “Are Diamonds Forever” blog. This blog’s intention is to inform consumers on what they are actually purchasing to better suit their needs. You can also find more on the subject by going to

When Mary Frances Gerety of the advertising agency, NW Ayer, famously coined the slogan “a diamond is forever,” she may not have imagined that diamonds would one day become manmade creations. But progress and technology wait for no one. And so it is with even the hardest – and arguably one of the most beautiful – substances known to humankind.

In 1954 Tracy Hall of General Electric Corporation created the first industrial-quality synthetic diamond. Since then, the wheels of heavy machinery (and even delicate tools and equipment), have rolled on the massive production ofiStock_000061720418_Small synthetic diamond. Yet the human quest to create larger and better quality manmade diamonds began, and though it has taken decades to perfect their gem-quality production, they are now a factor to deal with for the natural diamond trade, and an emerging alternative for the diamond buying public.

Diamonds are made up of almost 100% pure carbon, and under tremendous heat and pressure form diamond crystals of potentially great value. So for years these precious stones have been copied in appearance by numerous “look-alike” gem materials, some natural, but most manmade. Many people are familiar with the common imitation, Cubic Zirconia (also known as CZ), a manmade product that looks like diamond, but doesn’t replicate the unusual and lasting qualities of a true diamond. CZ is best referred to as an “imitation” of diamond.

Manmade diamonds (synthetics) have essentially the same optical, physical, and chemical properties as their natural counterparts. To be sure, they ARE diamond, yet made by man. Perhaps even Mary Frances Gerety would appreciate that.

About Bill Boyajian:

Bill is a Graduate Gemologist and expert in the diamond and gemstone trade.  He is the former long-time president of the Gemological Institute of America, and is currently founder & CEO of Bill Boyajian & Associates, Inc. His company consults for a wide variety of businesses in the gem and jewelry industry, specializing in leadership, business management, organizational development, family transition, and succession planning. Bill is the author of Developing the Mind of a Leader – Your Path to Lead and Inspire People. He is a sought-after business coach, advisor, and speaker, and can be reached at