Bridal|Diamond Buying Guide
Ahee is honored to help clients select their ideal keepsake. Their GIA Graduate Gemologists only choose diamonds that meet the strictest of standards.
Celebrating life’s special moments has been at the heart of Edmund T. Ahee Jewelers since we opened our doors in 1947. Ahee Jewelers was born out of a love of making people happy, and three generations later, being part of life’s celebrations is a privilege we still embrace and hold dear.
The shape of a diamond is purely a reflection of your taste and style.
A diamond’s carat weight is simply its weight as measured on a scale. One carat is equivalent to 1/5 grams. Points are equivalent to 1/100 of a carat. Thus, a 1/2 carat diamond weighs 50 points or .50 carats. Diamonds of equal carat weight may vary significantly in brilliance depending on their symmetry and proportions. Because larger natural diamonds are found less frequently than smaller ones, diamonds get exponentially greater in cost as they increase in size. Therefore, a two-carat diamond costs exponentially more than a one-carat diamond of equal quality.
All diamonds have subtle differences in shade. The rarest stones have no color in the body and are termed “colorless.” Most near-colorless diamonds, when viewed with the naked eye, appear very similar to colorless diamonds. The color of a diamond is best determined by comparing it to diamonds on a pre-determined scale developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
Nearly all diamonds have inclusions, or natural identifying characteristics like minerals or fractures, of some kind. Inclusions appear during a diamond’s formation in the earth, and many can only be seen with a 10x magnifying loupe. Clarity refers to the ranking of a diamond’s inclusions on a scale of perfection established by the GIA.
While nature determines a diamond’s color, clarity and carat weight, a craftsman determines the angles and proportions of a diamond’s cut, a skill that releases brilliance, sparkle and fire. A “well-cut” diamond reflects internal light from one mirror-like facet to another, dispersing and reflecting that light through its tip. A diamond cut too deep or too shallow loses or leaks light through its side or bottom, resulting in less brilliance and therefore, less value. To release a diamond’s dazzling radiance, it must be well cut.
Most diamonds find their way into stores by way of a diamond broker, a professional buyer and seller of diamonds. Like any middleman, brokers purchase diamonds at wholesale prices, then sell them for a profit to jewelers and other retailers. In 1987, Ahee Jewelers was given the unique opportunity to partner with the Pluczenik Group, one of the largest diamond sightholders in the world.
Our 35-year partnership has allowed us to purchase diamonds directly from the source, which is why we’re able to offer our customers some of the world’s finest diamonds at exceptional values.
No matter where you purchase your diamonds, do your research. Knowing a diamond’s 4Cs is just a small part of a diamond’s full story. For starters, not all lab reports are created equal. Make sure your diamond has been graded and certified by the GIA.
A lab report, albeit essential, doesn’t tell you if the diamond sparkles with fire and brilliance or if it’s hazy, milky or dull, nor if it has green or brown undertones. It’s important to be able to see a diamond in person, not just on paper or a computer screen, before making your final decision. Two diamonds with identical reports can look very different in person. A trusted expert will be able to help you avoid making the wrong decision.
There’s a lot of information out there. An experienced, reputable jeweler can help you cut through the noise and take the guesswork out of the selection process. Ahee Jewelers has been providing exceptional customer service for over 75 years. We pre-scan every diamond that comes into our store to ensure it meets our strict quality standards before presenting it to our clients. We pride ourselves on our curated collections and industry expertise, and we look forward to making your shopping experience an easy and enjoyable one.
* Diamonds are older than life on Earth— a true miracle of nature.
* The first diamond ring to signify an engagement was from the Archduke Maximilian of Austria to Mary of Burgundy in 1477.
* The annual recovery of diamonds 5 carats and larger would fill one basketball.
* The diamond industry supports the livelihood of over 10 million people globally and provides funding for schools and hospitals across Africa and India and access to healthcare for more than 4 million people.
* 99% of “waste” from diamond recovery is actually rock, kept on site and reclaimed as part of the natural landscape.
Your Questions Answered
Q What’s all the hype around lab-grown diamonds? Are they here to stay?
A Diamonds created in laboratories have become popular due to their ability to look like the real thing, but cost a lot less. Unlike natural diamonds, which take billions of years to form, lab diamonds can be grown in a factory in under 10 weeks. Whether or not they’re here to stay is anyone’s guess (remember the cubic zirconia fad in the 80s?), but the more they’re produced, the less valuable they become.
Q I can’t tell the difference between a natural and a lab diamond, so why does it matter which one I buy?
A Although you may not be able to spot differences between a natural diamond and a lab diamond just by looking at them, there are many differences you should be aware of. The values of laboratory diamonds have been consistently declining, whereas natural diamonds appreciate in price by about 3% each year. Additionally, many people simply don’t like the idea of wearing a diamond that was created in a lab. Make sure your loved one is comfortable wearing a lab diamond before gifting one, and know that a quick trip to a jeweler can confirm whether a diamond was naturally or chemically made.
Ahee Jewelers believes in the superiority and integrity of natural diamonds and the natural diamond industry, and as such, we do not carry lab diamonds of any kind. To learn more, please contact us.