Diamond rings are nowhere in the range of cheap. Owners cherish diamond rings not only for their sentimental value but also for their price value. In the U.K. like most anywhere, the cost of a diamond ring can be extremely high. Of course, there are also diamond rings that are very affordable, but that can still be expensive for certain people. For this reason, there are those who prefer buying a second-hand diamond ring instead of a new one.
Practical men proposing to their girlfriends find comfort in the knowledge that they can buy a used or pre-loved diamond engagement ring and use the saved money for other plans. There are other reasons for buying second-hand diamond rings, but the leading reason is lowered price. A discussion about diamond rings, as well as the advantages of buying a second-hand diamond ring is needed to guide buyers in making the right decision.
Factors That Affect the Price of a Diamond Ring
There are five factors that determine the price of a second-hand diamond ring or any diamond ring for that matter. Four are about the diamond itself, and the last factor concerns the metal band on which the diamond is mounted.
Cutting a diamond is a crucial process to make a diamond attain the ideal sparkly state. The cut of the diamond refers to the symmetry of the gemstone. The purpose of cutting a diamond to an optimal symmetry is to allow absorbed light to disperse evenly back to the diamond's top facets. A diamond with a shallow or deep cut only allows the light to escape through the diamond's bottoms, wasting good light that could have been used to illuminate all the top facets of the diamond.
It can be quite surprising to some that there are pink, blue, red, orange, blue, or green diamonds. But the most popular choice is the white or colourless diamond for second-hand diamond rings. Not all white or colourless diamonds are purely transparent. Some have a yellowish tinge, and when the yellows are more noticeable or darker, the diamond decreases in value.
Just like a blemish-free face is much preferred, a blemish-free diamond is a mark of quality gemstone. Diamonds that have no surface blemishes and inclusions or birthmarks are rare, and therefore, very valuable. For the rest of the diamonds, the amount of inclusions and how visible they are under 10x magnification determine their price. More value is given to diamonds with fewer inclusions. The Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) has devised a grading system called the Clarity Scale that classifies diamonds according to quality.
Carat refers to the weight of a diamond and not its size. Carat came from the word carob, a seed that has uniform weight, which early traders used on a counterbalance to get the weight of precious stones. Carat weight is usually expressed in fraction. So for instance, a diamond with 0.50 carats is 1/2 carat. Buyers should not confuse carat and karat; the latter is used to measure the purity of gold.
Gold is a very popular choice for metal bands because it is durable and easy to notice. It also provides a nice contrast of colour with a diamond. Gold, which can come in yellow gold, rose gold or white gold is used as a metal band for diamonds since ancient times, but people today are exploring more options on where to set their diamonds. Platinum is a great choice. Not only it is durable, but it also develops a patina film that adds to the beauty of the metal. Silver is another popular choice because it is cheaper and less expensive.
Advantages of Buying a Second-Hand Diamond Ring
A second-hand diamond ring is still a diamond ring, sparkling in all its magnificence. There are a number of benefits to buying a second-hand diamond ring.
The significant amount saved from buying a second-hand ring is the most important reason people prefer to do so. For a man buying a second-hand diamond ring as an engagement ring, the money saved can be used towards the wedding expenses, a house deposit, or any other expense related to having a family. The saved money from a second-hand diamond ring can also be used to buy other jewellery. If buyers are careful enough and have enough knowledge on how to choose the right diamond, they can find a second-hand diamond ring that is as good as new.
Value of Having an Old Look
It is not true that a second-hand diamond ring looks less superior to a new diamond ring. Careful attention when buying a second-hand ring and overall taste in jewellery are enough to find a second-hand diamond ring that is on par with a new one. Furthermore, people get added value from old jewellery with a vintage look. There is beauty in a second-hand diamond ring with a platinum band that has developed a pleasant patina colour over time. It has a vintage appeal that new diamond rings do not have.
Choosing a Second-Hand Diamond Ring
If a diamond ring is a gift, a buyer must first consider the shape of a diamond that the recipient likes. But perhaps the recipient does not have any idea what shape he or she likes, a buyer can opt for the round or princess cut because they are safe and popular choices. A buyer must also think of the preferred carat weight of the recipient, who may not be thrilled in having a diamond below one carat. Of course, budget is an important consideration when buying a second-hand diamond ring, but the preference of the recipient is of equal importance.
Buyers can still save money when buying a second-hand one-carat diamond than buying a new one-carat diamond ring. Diamond rings with one carat or lower are cheaper because they are of a less-preferred weight, and sellers offer discounts for such jewellery. If buyers want the diamond to look bigger despite its weight falling below one carat, they can choose a marquise cut. Such a diamond appears larger than other shapes because of its elongated shape.
Caring for Second-Hand Diamond Rings
Diamonds, whether new or second-hand, are the hardest substance on earth. However, they are not indestructible. One good tip is to not wear a diamond ring when doing work that put the diamond at the risk of scratching or chipping off from the band.
It is important to clean a diamond regularly because dust, particles, and even the natural oil in the hands, can cloud a diamond's brilliance. When a diamond becomes dirty, soak it in an ammonia-based household cleaner, and let it stay there for at eight to twelve hours. After soaking, remove leftover dirt using a toothbrush with soft bristles. The bottom part of the diamond collects the most dirt, so pay particular attention to it when cleaning. The next step is to rinse the diamond with water and wipe it with a soft cloth.
Buyers can clean their diamond rings once or twice a week to make sure that the diamond remains sparkly. An ultrasonic cleaner can also do the job effectively. It uses ultrasound to clean delicate items, and is very good in removing grime from a diamond to bring back its radiance. This method of cleaning, however, is best left to professionals, especially if the connection between the diamond and the metal band of a ring is fragile.
Buyers who opt for second-hand diamond rings save a significant amount of money, which they can use for other things. When buying a second-hand diamond ring, buyers must carefully look into its colour, cut, clarity, and carat weight to make sure they are getting the best deal. Colourless diamonds are the most preferred and most expensive type, and diamonds having even a slightly yellow tinge decreases in value in the eyes of a connoisseur.
Careful buyers should choose a diamond with little or no blemish inside and on the surface. The more weight a diamond has, the more expensive it gets, but buyers who are planning to buy a diamond with less than one carat could choose a marquis-cut diamond that looks bigger because of its elongated shape. Aside from the value for money, buyers can also get the value of a vintage look when buying a second-hand ring. A diamond ring is dazzling to the eyes, whether it is new or used, but a second-hand diamond ring not only dazzles the eyes but also satisfies one's wallet.