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When you are shopping for an engagement ring and jewelers start talking about certified loose diamonds, what does that mean? Essentially, it means that the diamonds have been examined and graded by professional gemologists working under laboratory conditions, then are turned over to independent appraisal firm at which a final monetary value is determined. Ideally, these examinations and appraisals have been performed by firms that operate independently of a particular diamond merchant or retailer for reasons that should be obvious. Read on and find out how these gems become certified loose diamonds.

The Gemologist's Job

A gemologist is someone who is typically trained and has a degree in geology, or rock science. As such, this person is quite knowledgeable about minerals of all kinds.

The job of the gemologist is not to place a monetary value or price on gems. It is to assign a grade. To do this, the gemologist must evaluate, measure and grade diamonds in objective terms, examining it for:

- Carat - Clarity - Color

Carat is a unit of weight and mass, roughly equivalent to 0.2 grams. Clarity and color also determine the diamond's grade; a diamond with visible flaws will receive a much lower grade than one that is crystal clear, and some diamond colors " such as pink and purple " are exceedingly rare. Some diamond colors such as pink and purple are much more valuable that white or bluish diamonds.

The Appraisal

While the gemologist only assigns a grade to the diamond, the appraiser uses this information in addition to some more subjective criteria in determine the gem's monetary value. One of the qualities that determines this is cut.

Princess Cut Diamonds

Princess cut diamond engagement rings have been a popular choice for many years. This is an oval cut that is used to accentuate the diamond's fire and brilliance " in short, to make it sparkle. Princess cut diamonds have many facets to reflect the light and require a great deal of skill to do properly. Incidentally, despite the name you'll find these cuts mounted on men diamond rings as well as women's princess cut diamond engagement rings.

Emerald cut diamonds are quite different from those used in princess cut diamond engagement rings and other pieces. Emerald cut diamonds accentuate clarity more than fire; they do not sparkle as brilliantly. One can however peer into the very depths of emerald cut diamonds. These are actually more popular for mens diamond rings than princess cut diamonds.

When the mens diamond ring or women's engagement ring is mounted with certified loose diamonds, you are assured of maximum value. Certified loose diamonds come to the jeweler with a certificate of authenticity, which you have a right to examine when considering a jewelry purchase.

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