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FOR THOSE IN THE MARKET FOR THE PERFECT DIAMOND or custom engagement ring, it’s often the first significant jewelry purchase of their life. And for most first-time buyers, the price of a diamond can be incredibly daunting. That’s why it’s become increasingly common to see consumers purchase diamonds from big-box national chains or online retailers.

Unfortunately, from hastily chosen diamonds and poor craftsmanship to mediocre customer service and a wildly impersonal experience, there are several reasons why buying diamonds from a national chain is ill-advised. However, we feel nothing is more ill-advised than buying your diamond from a website. While there are some things that should be bought online sight unseen, at Adolf Jewelers we believe strongly that diamonds are not one of these things. Buying a diamond is an exciting opportunity, and seeing a diamond with your own eyes is an invaluable part of the process that simply cannot be replicated online.

At Adolf Jewelers, we take pride in ensuring each diamond is hand selected, exquisitely cut, and competitively priced, and the reason why is pretty simple: it’s easier for you. That’s the Adolf Jewelers Difference. Our experienced sales associates can help you create a uniquely beautiful custom engagement ring by selecting your diamond, design, and setting without you having to worry about quality, because the quality of our diamonds is unquestionable. We’ll guide you every step of the way, from choosing the perfect diamond at a price that fits your budget, to finding the setting that’s destined to wow that special person in your life.

By purchasing your diamond through a family-owned store like Adolf Jewelers, you can trust and rely on our decades’ worth of honesty, integrity, expertise, and quality. And to us, that peace of mind makes all the difference in the world.

Discover today why Adolf Jewelers remains a Richmond institution after 50 years.

Relax. We’ll make you happy.

Buying A Diamond – What To Look For

THE 4 C’s


The cut, or facets, of a diamond is created by artisans. Well-cut diamonds let the maximum amount of light in and reflect it back to the eye. The better the cut, the more sparkly the diamond. Cuts are graded as ideal, premium, very good, good, fair, or poor. Generally, you should seek an ideal to very good grade.

diamond cut


All but the rarest diamonds have small flaws, air bubbles, scratches, or other minerals. The fewer the flaws, the more valuable and beautiful the stone. Diamonds graded VVS2 to IF are rare and expensive. Most couples opt for ratings between SI2 and VS1. Clarity is nearly impossible for a layperson to evaluate, so it’s important to get an EGL or GIA certificate verifying diamond quality. A clarity grading scale has been established by the world’s foremost authority on diamonds, the Gemological Institute of America.

diamond clarity


The less color a diamond has, the more valuable it is. Diamonds are graded on a scale from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow).

diamond color chart


A diamond’s weight is measured in carats. Carat weight and diamond size aren’t the same because cutting a diamond to different proportions affects its weight. Remember, carat weight alone doesn’t determine a diamond’s value. Bigger does not necessarily mean better. Instead, consider all four C’s to determine value.

diamond carat weight


Cut is nearly impossible for a layperson to evaluate, so it’s important to get a GIA or EGL certificate from your jeweler to verify the quality of any diamond before you purchase it. A vast number of diamonds sold at Adolf Jewelers include a report from well-known independent gemological labs, such as the world-famous Gemological Institute of America’s Gem Trade Laboratory and the European Gemological Laboratory.


Some settings are more appropriate than others for a specific diamond shape, but personal taste is what matters most.

Four to six various-shaped prongs secure the diamond

A channel setting allows for stones to be set side by side

A rim holds the stone and completely surrounds the gem

Diamond is held in place from the pressure of the band’s metal

Intricate setting surrounds the stone, making it appear larger

Surrounds a larger center diamond with smaller diamonds

diamond ring settings


The most popular shape is the round stone, but just like choosing a setting, the best shape to select depends on personal taste.

How to Care For Your Diamond


To keep your diamonds sparkling, it’s important to clean them periodically. Here are some recommended methods:

This is the best option, and no, we’re not saying that so you spend more money at Adolf Jewelers. Free, professional cleaning and setting-integrity checkups are included with every diamond purchase, for as long as you own your diamond.

Soak in a small bowl of warm, sudsy water made with any mild liquid detergent. Gently brush the diamond jewelry with a soft toothbrush. Cover the drain, then rinse under warm running water. Pat dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.

To keep your diamonds safe and beautiful, we strongly recommend that you:
Don’t wear diamonds while doing housework, yardwork or other kinds of rough work.
Don’t let your diamond come into contact with chlorine bleach.
Don’t store your diamonds unprotected. They can scratch other jewelry and each other, so store them in a fabric-lined case when you’re not wearing them.
Don’t clean your diamonds over an open drain or leave them on the edge of a sink.

Engagement Ring Buying Tips

  1. Observe – Start noting the kind of jewelry she wears. What metal color does she wear? How about the style? Pay attention when she admires someone else’s ring.
  2. Hint, Hint – Has she ever pointed out a certain ring when you’re shopping together? If not, mention you’re looking for a new watch and bring her to a reputable, family-owned jewelry store. Bet she’ll pause by the engagement rings!
  3. Kiss Her Hand – Keep your eyes opened! Women with long fingers can easily wear bold ring styles. Extremely delicate settings tend to get lost on large hands, over-emphasizing their size and making the ring look smaller.
  4. Shape & Setting – Round is the #1 diamond shape chosen by most brides, but maybe not your bride. She might prefer an elongated marquise, an oval- or pear-shaped stone, or a square- or emerald-cut diamond. Find out more about shapes and settings.
  5. Lifestyle – How will the ring fit her lifestyle? Does she have a job where fussy jewelry would look out of place? Does she work a lot with her hands? Is she an outdoorsy type, or does she prefer a night out on the town? Lifestyle matters. A lot.
  6. Size – If she wears a ring on her engagement finger, you’re in luck. Just “borrow” the ring, slip it on your finger, and make a mark on your finger where her ring stops.
  7. 50/50 – If you know which shape she loves, buy a loose diamond to present to her when you ask the big question. Then, the two of you can shop together for the perfect engagement ring setting.
  8. In-Town vs. Online – Experts agree it’s better to shop at a family-owned, local jeweler, and try to avoid the national chains, online-only jewelers and auction websites. Find out why here.
  9. Plan Ahead – If you want to propose on a certain date, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to shop. Depending on what you order, it could take a couple of weeks to set the stone or have the ring engraved.
  10. Report Card – Don’t buy a diamond without first seeing an independent diamond-grading report. The report should include the four C’s of color, cut, clarity and carat, as well as the diamond’s shape and size. Be sure to get the ring insured!