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Diamond Ring Buying Guide: How to Evaluate, Identify, and Select Diamonds & Diamond Jewelry (Newman Gem & Jewelry Series) Paperback – May 15, 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"A wealth of information..." -- Booklist

"Highly recommended! Excellent photographs. Another easily read and understood guide by a respected gemologist" -- Library Journal --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Renée Newman, GG is a respected gemologist with broad experience in pricing and evaluating gemstones and jewelry. Her gem and jewelry books are used throughout the world as consumer buying guides, sales-training tools, and references for jewelry professionals.

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Product Details

  • Series: Newman Gem & Jewelry Series
  • Paperback: 156 pages
  • Publisher: International Jewelry Pubs.; 7 Updated edition (May 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0929975405
  • ISBN-13: 978-0929975405
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,068,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is definitely a great resource to have when you're buying a diamond. I picked this up near the end of my search, so I had come to know most of the basic diamond information like acceptable table ranges, clarity and color ranges. The photos were extremely helpful because no other source I have come across provides you with full color close ups and defections of inclusions. What's a knot, feather, facet? What do they look like? Are they bad?
*Princess Cut*
I was looking for a princess cut diamond (the square one) and unfortunately this book mostly focuses on rounds. That's important insofar as the acceptable table and depth proportions are slightly different for princess cuts (FYI-get below 80%, around 70% is even better). Don't disregard the dimensions! At first I only judged size by carat weight, but a lot of that weight can sit below the diamond-hence you want a lower depth percentage. For example, a 2.0 carat princess cut that's 7.11 x 7.14 will look bigger than a 2.30 carat that's 6.69 x 7.30. With princess cuts, you also want to be as square as possible-anything with a length to width ratio bigger than 1.04 starts looking rectangular.
Another thing to keep in mind is the difference in Gemological Certificates. I found out early that an EGL G SI1 is just not the same as a GIA G SI1. Make sure you're comparing apples to apples here. There should never be a $1000 difference in price for the same cut, color and clarity. I found GIA much more consistent and rigid than EGL and eventually just ruled out the EGL certified diamonds. Try it yourself: ask to see the same size, color and clarity in GIA and EGL, 9 times out of 10 the GIA is more colorless and has fewer inclusions.
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Format: Paperback
Unlike diamond websites, this book isn't trying to sell you diamonds. It just lays down the facts about what to look for when buying diamonds and rings.
Newman's book is loaded with color pictures and info that you won't find on the Internet. For example:
1. Lots of close-up photos of diamonds with different clarity grades to help you learn to judge clarity yourself
2. Microscope photos of diamond inclusions.
3. Close-up photos of diamonds with a variety of cutting defects as well as examples of well-cut round and non-round diamonds. These pictures are far more helpful than diagrams I've seen on the Internet.
4. Diamonds of different colors and color-grades
5. Pictures showing how to detect diamond imitations along with tests for spotting fakes
6. Close-up photos of fracture-filled and laser-drilled diamonds and good info about diamond treatments
7. A wide variety of settings and ring styles from basic solitaire rings to unusual designer styles
Thanks to Newman's book, I was able to understand what I was looking at when jewelers showed me diamonds through their microscopes. And contrary to what one reader wrote, Newman doesn't make it sound like every jeweler is out to cheat you. She just helps you know when you've found a good jeweler and a good diamond. This book is worth far more than it costs. Don't go diamond shopping without it.
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Format: Paperback
My fiance and I had searched out jewelery stores and were looking for an engagement ring that was unique. We finally found one, purchased it and started having problems with the jewelery store (the store had ruined my ring 3 times before I demanded a brand new one). I should have read this book before we bought my ring.
The book is written in an outline style, a very easy read. Pictures of actual diamonds and flawed diamonds are pictured in full color, so you know exactly what to look for and what to look out for. Photos of diamond inclusions are described, I always knew that a VS2 diamond had 'inclusions' but 'what' exactly IS an inclusion? Newman has large close-up photos of the inclusions and describes them, and how the inclusions are graded.
Metal selection and comparison is also included as well as short 'chapter quizzes' so you can see if you are up to par with the jewelers that you will soon be dealing with.
All photos of jewelery designs are credited to the designer, so if you see a piece you like, you will be able to locate them easily.
I would reccomend this book to any couple or individual that is thinking of making a diamond purchase, because it is an investment that will last a lifetime.
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Format: Paperback
My story:

First I went into a half-dozen different retail jewelers. For a $15,000 price point I knew they were showing me a bunch of overpriced but mediocre diamonds. I knew I needed a different plan.

So I bought this book and read it. I learned something that saved me ten-thousand dollars.

Everybody knows size matters, but read this book and you'll get that it is also exceptional sparkle and brilliance that matter as much as the stone's size, because these are the only qualities that catch the eye at typical viewing distances. When you buy great sparkle and brilliance you guarantee that over the years, countless thousands will notice, and compliment your SO on the diamond, and with each compliment your SO will think of you and the relationship.

Second key point: within reasonable ranges of these characteristics, most people will not (with unaided eye) discern the quality of the cut, color, or clarity. Not unless they have a jeweler's experienced eye, and/or are using a 10X triplet loupe (or unless one of those qualities is grossly out of acceptable range). So do not get caught up by trying to force all three cut, color, and clarity into "perfection" ranges.

Third and MOST IMPORTANT point: while people CAN notice if cut/clarity/color act to reduce brilliance / sparkle....it helps to know that of those parameters, it is in fact CUT that has by far the STRONGEST influence upon brilliance, with clarity being a very distant second in its influence. Ideal cut is a matter of optics, which is a matter of ideal geometric shape. You must carefully read the sections of the book that explain the tight ranges on geometric relationships of cut (such as depth percentage) that greatly help ensure a diamond has good brilliance.
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