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CHOOSING THE PERFECT DIAMOND

First and foremost; trust your taste. This may sound flip, but many people have purchased diamonds according to fashions or someone's advice only to regret it later. There are no rules. You may like a heart shaped diamond even though they are the least common shape sold today.

Look at the top. After all, this is the view you will have of the diamond for the rest of your life. Of course you need to inspect the entire diamond, but give the "face-up" its due. Well cut rounds, pears, ovals, hearts and marquise will display more brilliance than will radiant, emerald or princess diamonds. Although, to some shoppers, emerald cuts display a unique elegant look.

What shape is best for your hand? Certain cuts can either lengthen or widen the look of your fingers. A long looking diamond (marquise, emerald cut) set lengthwise will make your hand look longer. A longish stone running across your finger creates a wider and shorter appearance.

Shape does affect clarity. Certain shapes, like emerald, princess and radiant, will highlight imperfections, making them easily visible to the naked eye; even those that would require magnification in other shapes. When considering a low clarity diamond (SI2 and under) beware of these shapes, unless the imperfection is well to the side of diamond. Clean diamonds can, of course, be purchased confidently in any shape.

Investment diamonds. Unless you are a diamond expert, we highly recommend that you do not buy diamonds for investment. Even skilled diamond dealers have difficulty predicting market fluctuations. Unless you have access to true wholesale prices and can gauge value like a pro, you'll likely lose money in the diamonds for dollars game. If you still have your heart set on diamonds as a hard asset, re-sale is a crucial consideration. At this point, round diamonds demand the highest prices, and are easiest to re-sell.

The availability of shapes. Although jewelers may tell you otherwise, all diamond shapes can be found with relative ease. Jewelry stores don't wear all their diamonds on their sleeves. They can access huge diamond databases, so you can be as particular as you like. Some sizes may be harder than others to find, but give them a few days, and you can have the exact diamond you desire.

For more information you may visit diamond-heart.com.

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