Finally! The time has come to spoil yourself with a beautiful diamond piece to add to your jewelry collection. Or you might even be buying diamonds for someone special in your life. I don’t own any diamonds I have to say. But I bet you have quite a number of questions regarding diamonds, I have. What exactly do you need to know before buying diamond jewelry? With a high-value purchase, it’s important to understand certain aspects of shopping for diamonds, before making your final choice. Here are a few quick tips to get you started.
Understand the 4 c’s of diamonds and how these affect the price.
The 4 C’s of diamonds are important to know before buying diamond jewelry. But what’s even more important is how they affect the price of diamond jewelry. This is particularly helpful if you’re hoping to save money on your jewelry. Here’s everything you need to know.
The Carat is the measure of the weight of the diamond. It is correlated with the size of a diamond. The higher the carat size, the more expensive it is. If you’re looking for a beautiful diamond piece, it’s important to understand these certain aspects of the Carat weight.
- A larger diamond may possibly be cheaper because its clarity, color, and cut are poor in quality.
- A smaller diamond may be expensive because its clarity, color, and cut are of the best quality.
- A diamond that reaches a full carat weight is a lot more expensive than a diamond that’s just a little short of the same carat weight. For example, a 1carat engagement ring is significantly more expensive compared to a 0.95carat engagement ring, even though they are almost identical in weight.
- If you are buying a diamond piece that includes smaller accent diamonds, be aware of the total carat weight compared to the carat weight of a center diamond. For example, a halo diamond ring may be advertised as a 2Ct diamond ring, but this is its total carat weight, including the accent diamonds surrounding the halo diamond. The center diamond may only be 1Ct in weight.
The Clarity of a diamond is the measure of how many (or how little) blemishes, cloudiness, and inclusions. The fewer blemishes a diamond has, the clearer it is, and therefore, the more light it is able to reflect. This results in a brighter shine. Diamonds that do not have any inclusions or blemishes are described as flawless. Diamonds naturally form with inclusions. It is rare to find diamonds that have perfect clarity and therefore, flawless diamonds are more expensive.
If you’re looking for a relatively affordable diamond, that still looks and shines beautifully, you can choose an eye-clean diamond. These are diamonds that have minimal inclusions; small enough that they are not visible to the naked eye. In fact, it takes a magnifying tool to see their blemishes.
Look for VS2 to VVS1 clarity graded diamonds for eye-clean clarity. You’ll find that these are significantly more affordable than flawless diamonds.
The big misconception buyers have regarding diamonds is that the diamond cut is simply its shape. The cut is actually a combination of the way a diamond is shaped, its depth, the quality in which it is polished, and its symmetry. All of these factors affect the selling price of a diamond.
What You Need to Know Before Buying Diamond Jewelry
Popular diamond cuts
- Round Cut
- Princess Cut
- Cushion Cut
- Oval Cut
- Emerald Cut
- Pear-Shape Cut
You’ll find that certain cuts, such as the Princess Cut and Cushion Cut are a little more affordable than an expensive cut, such as a Round Cut diamond. The Round Cut Diamond is a more difficult cut to accomplish. But it does have its rewards. It is the cut that reflects the most light, and therefore, shines with more brilliance.
Similar to the Clarity of a diamond, the Color of a diamond is also graded from colorless to Yellow. Diamonds that are colorless are the most expensive on the grading spectrum.
Diamond Color Grading
- Colorless – D, E, F
- Near Colorless – G, H, I, J
- Faint Yellow – K, L, M
- Very Light Yellow – N, O, P, Q, R
- Light Yellow – S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z
The more affordable choice of diamond color, without sacrificing that colorless look, is the Near Colorless grading choice (G to J). These diamonds will look colorless to the untrained eye.
Know that GIA is Not the Only Diamond Certification Available – GIA is the most expensive
A diamond’s legitimacy needs to be certified by a laboratory. The certification not only confirms if a diamond is real, but it also grades the 4C’s of a diamond, confirming its value in the market.
Unfortunately, the industry has led us to believe that a diamond can only really be considered a legitimate diamond if it is certified by GIA. In fact, you’ll find that when shopping for diamond jewelry, you will be encouraged to purchase a GIA-certified diamond above any other certification.
The truth of the matter is, that there are numerous other diamond certifications that are reliable and are also far more affordable than GIA. GIA is merely the pioneer in diamond certification, therefore it is regarded as the one that matters the most.
Diamond certification laboratories to choose from:
- GIA – Gemological Institute of America
- IGI – International Gemological Institute
- GCAL – Gem Certification & Assurance Lab
- AGS – American Gem Society
- SGL – Solitaire Gem Labs
- DGC – Diamond Gemological Certification
- HRD – Diamond High Council
- GSI – Gemological Science International
- EGL – European Gemological Laboratories
- HRD – International Gemological Institute
These are just a few of the hundreds of diamond certification laboratories around the world.
Another important factor to take note of is that different laboratories measure and grade diamonds using their own standards. For example, a certification laboratory with higher standards, such as GIA, may grade a diamond’s clarity is VS2. On the other hand, the same diamond may be graded as VS1. Neither one is wrong. They just have different standards of clarity grading.
Know that you can work with a minimal budget
Another big misconception buyers have about diamond jewelry is that you have to have a lot of money in your savings to buy one that you absolutely love. This is not true. The truth of the matter is that there is quite a wide market for diamond jewelry and many jewelers online cater to affordability. If you’re hoping to save money on a diamond piece, look for smaller jewelry brands that aren’t household names. Do a little extra research and you’ll most definitely find a jeweler that caters to your price point.
Additional Tip: Ask for financing or layaway options. In most cases, jewelry brands that provide affordable diamond jewelry will also give you alternative payment options to help you purchase their product.
Conclusion: you should take your time and enjoy the shopping process
With all these helpful tips on what you need to know before buying diamond jewelry, it’s time to truly enjoy the shopping experience. There’s nothing quite wonderful than looking for the perfect diamond piece to add to your collection, without worrying about what you might be missing when you purchase. Have fun! You deserve it!