Engagement Rings Boca Raton & the Four C’s
When you’re shopping for engagement rings Boca Raton, there’s only one thing you really need to know: that Diamonds by Raymond Lee in East Boca and Raymond Lee Jewelers in West Boca are the absolute best places to go.
Our family business was founded more than thirty years ago with the intent of building a brand around our gorgeous selection of estate jewelry. We watched the city of Boca Raton grow and flourish around us, and we’ve been blessed enough to grow and flourish right along with it. In the past three decades, Raymond Lee Jewelers has become internationally known for our rare and important diamonds, our selection of antique and vintage luxury goods, our exceptional pre-owned luxury watches and – of course – our designer estate jewelry. But beyond that, we’ve dedicated so much of our livelihood to buying and selling the best engagement rings Boca Raton demands. High end, estate, vintage, antique, and even private label engagement rings all shine brightly in our showcases, and we’ve become a household name for fabulous engagement rings in Boca Raton.
Because our engagement ring business continued to grow and evolve, we wanted to provide even more luxury, even more options, and even more diamonds. Enter Diamonds by Raymond Lee! This East Boca Raton showroom was built and designed to cater toward the next generation of bridal jewelry shoppers. We proudly opened our doors at the beginning of 2016, and we couldn’t be more thrilled about the way East Boca has embraced us. We offer the same jewelry buying, trading, and repair services at this location as we do in our flagship showroom, but one quick glance around the store will show you our goal is to showcase the best engagement rings Boca Raton has to offer.
Thanks to both locations, we have all of Boca covered for stunning engagement rings of every variety.
But beyond that, buying engagement rings in Boca Raton means you have access to the very best selection and the very best experts right in your own sunny backyard. We firmly believe that the happiest clients are the most informed, and we never hold back our trade secrets for getting the best deals on engagement rings. It’s part of our mission with this blog to provide you with expert engagement ring and diamond buying tips, and today we want to share – in one handy place – the very best of our insider info.
How to Use the 4 C’s to Your Advantage
As soon as you start engagement ring shopping, you’ll start to hear a lot about the 4 C’s. These are the basic building blocks of diamond shopping, and they are vital for any informed clientele. If you trust your jeweler (and you should!) you can just walk through the door, say “This is my budget, please give me the best diamond I can afford,” and be good to go. We help clients like this every day! But in general, most engagement ring shoppers want to know something about the investment they’re making. And that’s where the 4 C’s come in.
The “C” everyone wants to start with! But there’s so so much more to what makes a diamond beautiful, and more to what determines its price. However, we understand that this is the primary concern of most engagement ring buyers, where the focus is all on that center stone, so let’s dive right in.
Carat is a unit of measurement for weight, not size. Yes, a higher carat weight typically does indicate a larger diamond. The demand for bigger diamonds is higher, and they’re more rare, so the prices rise exponentially at certain carat weights. So a 2 carat diamond won’t be twice the price of a 1 carat stone, even if they are identical in color, clarity, cut and certified by the same lab. The best way to save here is to purchase a stone a few tenths of a carat away from your desired weight. So if you’re shopping for a 3 carat diamond, open your search up to everything between 2.80 – 2.99 carats to maximize your budget. If you find a 2.80 carat diamond with good “spread” it means it looks bigger than it weighs. So you’re paying thousands less for a stone that looks exactly like a much more expensive 3 carat.
The color grade of a diamond rates its absence of color for white diamonds. They’re graded on a scale of D (colorless) through Z (very obviously colored.) Color grades are remarkably hard to gauge, even for trained professionals, who conduct the grading under rigorously controlled settings. In a natural environment, with other colors surrounding the diamond – everything from your nail polish to the blue sky – most diamonds are going to appear very, very white. You’ll note the distinction between very different diamond color grades when they’re side by side, but otherwise it’s pretty difficult to guess a diamond’s color.
However, just like carat weight, color grades jump exponentially at certain points. Diamonds in the colorless range (D-F) command a premium. Diamonds that are near colorless (G-J) are the perfect mix of value and beauty. For an even better deal you can go up to the faint color category (K-M) and still have a beautiful stone with very light color – this looks especially good with yellow gold and rose gold engagement ring settings.
Practically every diamond has some sort of internal or external characteristics. Those marks are called inclusions (internal) or blemishes (external.) The very rare, exceptionally expensive diamonds that have neither are graded as Flawless. And they will only remain Flawless as long as they’re not set, because even a diamond engagement ring’s prongs render it merely Internally Flawless!
For the average engagement ring shopper, a diamond with a clarity grade of VVS – Very, very slightly included – will be breathtaking. You can even expand your parameters to SI1 as long as the diamond appears “eye clean”, which is jeweler lingo for a diamond that hides its inclusions well. They might be very light in color, hidden by facets, or (the best) expertly hidden by your engagement ring setting.
A diamond’s cut grade is probably our highest priority, and we always encourage our clients to make it theirs too. Cut makes a diamond beautiful or flat. It gives a diamond its fire, its life. If a diamond has excellent credentials all around, but a poor cut grade, none of the other factors matter. It will still appear lifeless and dull. We simply encourage all of our engagement ring shoppers to look for the very best diamond cut grade they can afford.
Do You Really Need a Certificate?
Now, there is a 5th bonus C when it comes to getting the best engagement rings Boca Raton has to offer: the diamond certificate. In recent years, the certificate has climbed higher on our clients’ priority lists. But we aren’t sure it needs to.
A certificate refers to the “report card” of a diamond that clearly states how it scored in each of the above categories. The strictness and scrupulosity of different grading labs greatly affects the certificate. You can see how this presents a problem. If one lab’s G color is another’s J, or one’s VVS1 clarity is another’s SI1, it creates big differences in price. But it also creates confusion for the shopper.
Jewelers understand this, and know that the industry standard for diamond certifications are from GIA – the Gemological Institute of America. Their labs are highly consistent no matter the location, and their standards are very strict. Diamonds with a GIA certificate are priced appropriately for their grades, whereas a diamond with the exact same credentials from a less strict lab will be priced lower to account for those quality differences. It’s frustrating, because with different labs shoppers can’t compare as easily.
This is why we value certificates…to a point. We firmly believe that an informed client can see for him or herself when a diamond is attractive. When you place two diamonds next to one another, a shopper has no problem deciding which is their favorite, whether that choice is motivated by appearance or price. Certificates are useful, of course, but the only opinion that really matters when it comes to a diamond’s appearance is the client’s.
Buying Engagement Rings Boca Raton
This is why we think it’s so important to shop with a jeweler you trust. One who will take the time to show you a certified diamond vs. uncertified. A designer engagement ring vs. a custom option. A D color grade vs. a J – as many variables as you want to control for, your jeweler should be happy to take the time with you, to come alongside you and forge a partnership. Even if you’re shopping online, your jeweler shouldn’t hesitate to communicate openly and quickly to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. A ring you love is also a purchase you feel informed about, and that’s what makes us happiest at Diamonds by Raymond Lee and Raymond Lee Jewelers. It’s what we’ve staked our name on, and we’re proud to have a reputation for the very best engagement rings Boca Raton has to offer.