After a diamond is mined, it will be cut and polished into a sparkling stone. Some of the cut diamonds are set in jewelry, but not all of these are. The ones that are not mounted on a jewelry metal, like an engagement ring’s platinum band, for instance, are known as ‘loose diamonds’.
Some individuals invest in affordable loose diamonds because fewer things affect the value of these stones. When a diamond is not put in jewelry, the value will be determined by its characteristics, and perhaps by market factors/external things affecting the demand for the stone. For instance, a celebrity owning a certain diamond makes its pattern or cut more in demand.
However, by purchasing a loose diamond, you will have to go through the hassle of finding a jeweler to have it set in your preferred piece. Both options have advantages and disadvantages, so let us analyze this more deeply and find out what the major considerations are when picking between them.
The Benefits and Relative Disadvantages of the Mounted Stone
The biggest benefit of choosing it is the ease and convenience of the purchase. All you need to do is visit a jewelry store or two, browse through each jeweler’s collection and purchase what you like more. The fact that it is an off-the-shelf product will make your purchase that much easier and quicker compared to a loose diamond. Because of its form, you will not have to spend just as much time as choosing an unmounted diamond.
Still, there are downsides to choosing a mounted gemstone. The biggest one is that you cannot always evaluate the gem’s quality in the right way. It may be mounted in such a fashion that the setting type hides inclusions, or imperfections present in the stone. For instance, if the gemstone has imperfections along its edges, holding it with the metal elements of the bezel setting or halo setting can conceal these flaws. When the stone is set in this way, it stays imperfect, plus the setting may compromise its brilliance.
Another possible issue with mounted gemstones is the setting tends to make it tough to properly evaluate the color and clarity. For instance, the setting’s color can affect how the gemstone looks. A setting made of yellow gold can reduce the yellow hues of your diamond, but white gold ring mounting can make the stone look whiter, more brilliant than it is. This is to say, your engagement ring setting may cause the stone to look better than actual, which can lead to an overpriced stone.
A Loose Diamond’s Pros and Relative Cons
It takes much more work to purchase an unmounted stone. Firstly, you need to purchase it, and then you should have it put in a well-suited setting. However, purchasing it tends to be a safer option. Here is why that is the case.
You Can Assess the Diamond
The biggest benefit of going down the loose diamond route is this: thus, you can inspect the whole stone before the purchase. Having this ‘preview’ can be a crucial factor which decides whether it will perform well/up to your standards or not. You can check to see whether there are imperfections, and thereby, arrive at a more informed decision than what you otherwise would. Standard flaws may not be concealed from your eyes, because of the way in which it is set as in the case of a mounted diamond.
You can also look at how the diamond performs under different lighting with no hindrance. Flush and bezel settings can hinder the light performance of the stone, plus it can make it tricky to see the way in which the stone interacts with the light. When purchasing a loose gemstone, you are unlikely to face that problem, plus you can evaluate the four characteristics of it more easily.
Provides You with More Choice
If you choose to purchase a diamond and engagement ring’s setting separately, then you will have more options than when you are to just choose a readymade ring. Purchasing a preset piece will result in a situation where you will not have a lot to pick from.
You can browse through numerous diamonds and pick a setting which complements the stone. Thus, you can stick to your engagement ring budget while finding just what you or your future spouse would like to have.
Mounted or Loose Diamonds: Which One Should You Select?
Now that you have gone through the good things and relative negatives of both, it boils down to the final choice. Which one you should choose is a matter of your specific circumstances, including your budget and time available to make the purchase. If you want a ring on short notice, your safest bet may be to go for a preset ring. Your choices may be rather limited in that case, but you can find a fantastic piece. The most significant thing is to buy from a trustable seller or jeweler.
If your engagement is months away from now, your best choice may be a loose stone. In this case, you will have all the time in the world to shop around and choose between many affordable loose diamonds.