From the time I have been very small, I have always been enamored by all things sparkly! It didn't matter if it was a crystal, a rhinestone, a prism, or just a piece of shiny glass... if it caught the eye, reflected the light, and sparkled... I was hooked!
My husband and I were very young when we got married, and we didn't have much money; so the only diamond we could have afforded would have been a tiny little chippy. I decided to hold out and wait until we had enough money to buy a diamond big enough to be seen without a loupe ;o) -- so I wore my mother's tri-color gold wedding band happily (and alone!) for many years.
Flash forward in time... we had a significant anniversary coming up... the kids were educated and (mostly!) grown and the house was (mostly!) paid off... and it seemed like the time had come to finally get that Ultimate Sparklie that I always dreamed of.
So, I began to look around, research and learn all I could about those glorious chunks of carbon we so lovingly call diamonds. And believe me, there is a LOT to learn!
First of all, most people seem to think that "a diamond is a diamond is a diamond..." and really, nothing could be further from the truth! There is so much to consider... the Famous 4 C's of course (color, cut, clarity, carat weight) --but so much more!
I knew I wanted a round diamond... timeless, classic, and beautiful -- rounds never go out of style. And I knew I wanted at least a full carat... but the more above that I could get, the better! (Yes, I admit... I am a shameless lover of diamond SIZE!)
My research took me to every jewelry store in the tri-state area (and I'm not kidding!) ... and I was surprised to keep seeing the same two things over and over: exorbitant prices and the mediocre *sparkle* and beauty of most of the stones. I did not want a dull, milky-looking stone, or a yellow(ish) one... I did NOT want a diamond with visible inclusions... I wanted a big, bright, white, lively, sparkly diamond at a reasonable, "do-able" price. Was that asking too much?!
Then I found Pricescope.com . Who knew that online, internet vendors had gorgeous stones at much lower prices than B&M (brick and mortar) jewelry stores?! But wait... wasn't making such a HUGE purchase "sight unseen" awfully risky? Stupid, even?! *Nope!* Come to learn that reputable internet diamond vendors offer very personalized service, all sorts of information and images, copies of the grading report ("cert"), and very reasonable no-questions-asked return policies. Not to mention that most reputable vendors also offer a full lifetime trade-up policy (which means that you can upgrade any time to a larger or more expensive stone, and get your initial purchase price fully credited to your new purchase.) WooHoo, I was in Diamond Heaven!
So... I finally found my diamond -- a gorgeous 1.53 round brilliant (that's just a nudge over 1 1/2 carats). I had it set into a custom diamond and platinum setting... and it made my heart sing!
And I wore it happily for... awhile! There was just one small problem... the darn thing kept shrinking right before my eyes! When I first got it, it looked HUGE... but every day, it looked a little smaller than the day before. (I have since learned that I was afflicted with an insidious syndrome called DSS, "Diamond Shrinkage Syndrome"!)
There is apparently only one cure for DSS... and thanks to that handy, dandy trade-up policy I mentioned earlier, I was able to upgrade to a KILLER (hearts and arrows, AGS-0) 2.36 (that's just a bit under 2 1/2 carats) round brilliant, set in a new custom (fishtail pave) diamond and platinum mounting.
Let me just say that I LOVE my beautiful little piece of carbon and wear it happily every day! (Yes, yes... it still tries to shrink on me, too... but the next truly significant/noticeable jump would have to be to over 3 carats... and even at the best internet vendor prices, well... realistically, that probably just ain't EVER gonna happen!)
So, it's the biggest "extravagance" in my otherwise quite practical and simple life... but OH! I do so LOVE and enjoy it!
Here are a few pictures of my little bauble...
And here are some of my favorite internet vendors (some of them also maintain a physical store, as well): Diamond Ideals, Quest, Whiteflash, Brian Gavin Diamonds, Good Old Gold, Wink Jones and High Performance Diamonds.
Tell them Lynn sent you! ;o)