Dear Abby and diamond rings: What affects cost?

Today "Dear Abby" had a letter from a woman whose fiancé had given her yellow gold jewelry, which she does not like--she is asking if it is OK to return it because she has always preferred white gold. For some reason, her finacé got the impression that he could save money by buying yellow gold instead of white gold! I was trying to figure out how that could be possible. One possibility is that his jeweler was pricing the white gold stuff higher than yellow gold--however, most pieces at Viridian Gold, if available in both colors, are priced the same (there are a few small exceptions). Is there maybe another reason, other than just pure fraud on the part of the fiancé's jeweler?

Well, you probably already know that for a gold, diamond solitaire engagement ring, the biggest cost swinger is the diamond itself (unless it is a very small diamond). And, diamond cost goes up as the quality goes up. One big measure of quality in a diamond is its color. It is well-known in the jewelry trade that in a yellow-gold setting, a diamond can be a little less white (that is, a J color rather than F color, for instance) and still look white. That's because the yellow gold color is very similar to the slight brown tint in an off-white diamond, so the gold "conceals" the diamond's tint. The savings could be realized because a 1/2 carat SI1 diamond with a good cut could retail for around $3,000 in an F color, but around $2,200 for a J color--a difference of about $800! The two diamonds would appear identical in a yellow gold setting, so that would be a huge savings for the fiancé if he opted for the lower-quality diamond, hoping she would not notice! Our Diamond Solitaire Engagement Set, #1230, pictured here in white gold with a 1/2 Carat diamond, is also available in yellow gold (with white gold setting).

At Viridian Gold, you can see the diamond quality right on the item's page. And, most of our diamonds are mounted in white gold settings, even if the rest of the ring is yellow gold, so that we can show off the whiteness of our diamonds!

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