how to buy diamonds

If you choose the diamond first and have the setting made later, you can include her in selecting the style and final details of the ring (always a good idea) and avoid the awkwardness of choosing a ring that's more to your taste than hers.

In this Diamond Buying Guide you will find the information you need to learn how to buy a diamond, including an engagement diamond buying guide and a step by step guide to buying diamonds.
Also visit our diamond education guide to learn more about the cut, color, clarity, carat weight and certification of diamonds.
In nature, diamonds are found with a wide array of color — from colorless, to faint yellow or even brown, to rare pinks, blues, greens and other colors known as "fancies." Selecting a diamond color is a matter of preference.
Poorly cut diamonds have less fire and brilliance, because light enters through the table, hits the facets and is ultimately lost out of the diamond’s sides.
Is clarity more important than carat? Is carat more important than color? Only you can decide what combination makes up the perfect choice for your diamond jewelry.
In addition, we’ve put together a list of diamond jewelry trends and unconventional jewelry trends to help you chose the perfect piece.
When you are shopping for a diamond and find one you like, here’s a helpful hint: ask your American Gem Society jeweler to show you how the diamond performs (or sparkles) in a range of lighting conditions.
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• In the $500-to-$750 price range, the diamond quality will still be unknown, but the carat weight will be slightly larger than the lowest price range.
Colorless diamonds, which get the highest grades of D, E, and F (Z is the lowest grade on the scale), are considered premium because they allow for the greatest reflection of light and, therefore, emit the most dramatic sparkle, according to the Diamond Buying Guide.
Combine that with jewelers who will fudge on factors such as clarity and color (mostly, as it is harder to disguise carat weight and cut), and you are likely to overpay by twice or more for decent diamond jewelry.
Recently, I’m going through the shortage of money, few days later I decided about selling my old diamond ring through online, but over the course of time decided about not sell it, heard lot about loans on jewelry through my local Banks.
• The minimum price you can hope to pay for a diamond engagement ring is between $125 and $500.
And if you really want to save big, an I1 diamond is likely to cost a quarter of the price of a top-quality diamond, he says.
Whatever the occasion, if you’re looking for a diamond ring at a good price, your time has come.
What’s more, once the diamond is mounted, the difference between a 0.5 carat diamond and a .44 carat diamond, for example, will be negligible in terms of looks — but it will be notably less pricey, Shor says.
• The $750-to-$1,000 range is where "you start to see value for your diamond dollars," the report says.
The Four C’s refer to carat, color, clarity and cut, the four characteristics that determine a diamond’s quality.
"Most consumers have little or no knowledge about a diamond — its characteristics, the ‘right’ price," he says.
Instead of going for a cheaper certified diamond that is below 1 carat and and a not-so-pretty color and clarity grade, I would go for a GIA certified HPHT diamond instead.
I’ve been comparing diamond prices online and found that the Blue Nile diamonds were rather overpriced compared to some of their competitors.
Shop for your diamond ring at a well-known jewelry chain, such as Kay Jewelers (SIG) or Tiffany & Co.
"You don’t compromise on the cut; it’s what really makes the diamond look good," Shor says.
• Finally, in the the $2,000 to $3,500 price range, you can snatch up "absolutely exquisite quality diamonds," according to the report, which recommends that buyers stick with a low-carat ring at these prices.
The Diamond Buying Guide’s Diamond Price Guide estimates what you can expect to pay, and what you’ll get for your money.
The average cost for a diamond engagement ring is $3,250, according to Gassman.
"A lot of women buy diamond rings for themselves," Russell Shor, senior industry analyst for The Gemological Institute of America, tells DailyFinance.
A good cut makes a diamond sparkle and gives it its brilliance, he says.
The average price for all diamond rings, not just engagement rings, is $1,050.
To get a good deal on a diamond ring, remember the letter "C." Four C’s, actually.
When purchasing a diamond, you’ll typically buy it with the complete ring, although some independent jewelers might market them separately.
But, in this range, the diamond quality will be a mystery, because it won’t be GIA or AGS certified, according to the guide.
But if you go down the scale and pick a ring with an H, I, J or K rated stone, which will still look good, the price will drop between 25% and 35% from that of a D, E or F rated stone, Shor says.
Generally speaking, "If you’re on a tight budget, a one-carat diamond will be out of your [price range]," Shor says.
During the shopping process, if you’re interested in a particular stone, ask the retailer to see a diamond-grading report, such as one from the GIA or the American Gem Society, which includes an assessment of each diamond’s four C’s.
We seek to … strengthen the tradition of the diamond engagement ring — to make it a psychological necessity capable of competing successfully at the retail level with utility goods and services…." It defined as its target audience "some 70 million people 15 years and over whose opinion we hope to influence in support of our objectives." N.
He has traveled the world buying and selling diamonds and now dedicates his time to helping consumers make the most of their diamond buying decisions.
If you hang around a group of diamond dealers for a day, there’s a word you’ll hear passed around quite a bit — "illusion." As in "I lost my illusion in that diamond." "He wouldn’t sell me the diamond at my asking price because he still has tons of illusion in that stone." It’s diamond dealer jargon for a projection of high value onto something.
I have consciously left out of this list any arguments about immoral practices in the diamond business (i.e., blood diamonds, unfavorable working conditions, and child labor).
Considering my deep personal involvement in the diamond business, my opinion might surprise you — diamonds are a terrible waste of your money.
I don’t believe the diamond business is any more guilty than any other industry that does most of its production in poorer countries on the other side of the world.
When you "have illusion" in a diamond, it means that you still believe you’re going to sell it for a great price because it’s such a knockout stone.
People explain away spending thousands of dollars on a little stone because they mistakenly believe that the diamond is a solid investment.
Guess who invented the concept? Not surprisingly, it’s the same people who mined the diamonds — the De Beers diamond syndicate.
This short tutorial explains the Four C’s- cut, color, clarity, and carat weight – the most important characteristics of buying a diamond.
As the largest online diamond retailer, Blue Nile offers the largest collection of the world’s finest cut diamonds.
Unbiased diamond grading reports are offered with every Blue Nile diamond.
Also, each loose diamond is accompanied by a grading report from either GIA or AGSL, independent diamond grading labs with the most stringent grading scales of all labs.
Blue Nile’s diamond education is designed to answer all your questions.
Pre-selected for exceptional quality, the cut, color, and clarity of our loose diamonds are evaluated based on a standardized grading scale.
Diamond jewelry can be found in an almost unlimited number of styles, so after determining your desired jewelry type and budget, it's wise to develop a solid understanding of the styles you prefer.
To maximize the pleasure of your purchasing experience, it's helpful to develop a broad understanding of diamond jewelry, which includes a brief history and the basic questions you should answer before beginning your shopping trip.
Confronted with the nuances of contemporary styles and budgeting, not to mention personal tastes, it's no wonder how diamond jewelry shoppers can feel overwhelmed when trying to find that perfect set of wedding bands, a ring or bracelet.
The event that awakened the world's appreciation of diamond jewelry was the 15th century wedding of Maxmilla of Austria to Mary of Burgundy, where the groom gave the bride a brilliant diamond engagement ring .
Until that time, the arduous processes of mining, cutting and polishing diamonds followed by crafting diamond jewelry was not actively pursued, but Maximilla started a trend that continues to grow in popularity today.
The first step in understanding how to buy diamond jewelry is the consideration of a handful of basic questions that should guide you through the purchase process and make your search much easier.
Traditionally only available to the rich and famous, diamond jewelry has become an aspirational item that is as important for the message it conveys as its brilliant appearance.
Diamond jewelry is available in a variety of forms and it's important to understand the occasion to select an appropriate piece of jewelry.
Frequently buyers start their search without a budget, which forces them into making a difficult decision when confronted with a beautiful piece of diamond jewelry that captures their imagination.
For those that appreciate the elegant look and brilliance of diamond jewelry, a pendant, a bracelet or a 3 stone diamond ring often makes an excellent .
Selecting a budget for buying diamond jewelry is deceptively easy; simply evaluate your finances before starting the shopping process to determine the amount that can be comfortably spent.
Afterward let's look more closely at diamonds themselves with a review on the 4 Cs of diamond quality and conclude with a diamond jewelry glossary that will educate you on all the terms you need to know when researching your purchase.
Arming yourself with details about the preferred style and any related characteristics will give you necessary information to save time and effort when looking for the perfect piece of diamond jewelry.
As a result, Zales has prepared this Diamond Jewelry Buyers Guide to give you a sound understanding of what to look for when making a purchase.
A diamond engagement ring, wedding band set or some other form of bridal jewelry is appropriate for engagements and weddings, but for little else.
Eye-Clean: A jewelry industry term to describe a diamond with no blemishes or inclusions that are visible to the naked eye.
Semi-Mount: A jewelry setting that has the side stones already mounted, but which contains an empty set of prongs which are intended to mount a diamond center stone that the customer selects separately.
Although owning diamond jewelry has historically made an inference about the class and social stature of the wearer, today it suggests emotional themes of commitment, durability and beauty commonly associated with romantic relationships.
Understandably, when shopping for diamond jewelry, it's important to make a sound choice.
Depth Percentage: On a diamond grading report, you will see two different measurements of the diamond's depth-the actual depth in millimeters (under "measurements" at the top of the report) and the depth percentage, which expresses how deep the diamond is in comparison to how wide it is.
Components of light are broken into spectral colors (for example, red, blue and green and appears as a play of small flashes of color across the surface of the diamond as it is tilted.
Normally most consider the actual shape and appearance of the stone itself, rather than its ability to shine, but the Cut refers to the symmetry, proportioning and polish of a diamond and impacts its brilliance; this means if it is cut poorly, it will be less luminous.
Clearly, this process is much less complicated for those that are shopping for themselves, but for those buying diamond jewelry as a gift it can be much more difficult.
Heart-shape Cut: A type of fancy diamond cut, which is cut to resemble the popular Valentine's Day shape.
Marquise Cut: A type of fancy shape diamond which is elongated with points at each end.
Lastly, consideration should be given to when and how the jewelry will be worn to ensure that any piece of diamond jewelry can be worn in the way in which it was intended.
Pear Cut: A type of fancy shape diamond that resembles a teardrop.
Oval Cut: A type of fancy shape diamond which is essentially an elongated version of a round cut.
They allow light to both enter a diamond and reflect off its surface at different angles, creating the wonderful play of color and light for which diamonds are famous.
Color Grading: A system of grading diamond color based on their colorlessness (for white diamonds) or their spectral hue, depth of color and purity of color (for fancy color diamonds).
The key to assessing the value of diamond jewelry is understanding the principles of diamond valuation itself.
Naturals: Small parts of the original rough diamond's surface which are left on the polished diamond, frequently on or near the girdle.
Diamond jewelry has charmed generations of people across the world for centuries.
Culet: A very small flat facet that diamond cutters commonly add at the base of a diamond's pavilion.
Diamond jewelry is among the most popular forms of jewelry.
Single-Cut: A very small round diamond with only 16 or 17 facets, instead of the normal 57 or 58 facets of a full cut round brilliant.
But that doesn’t mean you should limit yourself to only purchasing diamonds for an engagement – from promise rings and birthday gifts to anniversary bands and fashion pieces, diamonds have the power to enhance any look and make you feel loved.
Ever since the first diamond engagement ring was given to a 15th century bride, diamond has been the stone of choice for professing your love.
A special diamond purchase requires extra special care – let us help you keep that diamond looking perfect for years to come.
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Home     Engagement Ring Guide         Diamond Grading         Diamond Shapes         Recommended Stores     Tweet About Diamonds Does the thought of purchasing a diamond ring overwhelm you? Maybe you think you don’t know enough about certificates, cuts, shapes, grading scales, or colors to make a well informed buying decision.
Klein says, when buying a diamond, you first need to get your hands on the diamond’s Gemological Institute of America report, that’s the nation’s foremost quality gem certification company, though others like the American Gem Society and EGL USA are also in the business.
In Leviev’s manufacturing facility, where they use high-tech gadgetry like lasers and 3-D imaging to maximize the number of stones and quality, a rough cut diamond typically looses 50% or more of its original carat weight, as they slice and dice it into multiple diamonds.
The clarity scale starts with “Flawless,” then “Very Very Slight,” “Very Slight” and “Slight Included.” Price ranges, for a five carat diamond, can vary from, say, north of $500,000 for a flawless rock, to about $50,000 for a stone with slight inclusions, according to a quick search on gem retailer Blue Nile.
Colored diamonds, like yellow, pink and blue, are rarer and graded on a different scale using nine descriptors of color saturation—the top three being “Fancy Vivid,” “Fancy Intense,” then “Fancy Light.” Just as the symmetry of the diamond’s cut is important in a specialized shape, the intensity of color is paramount when assessing colored diamonds.
Helena Krodel of the Jewelry Information Center will show you what you need to know to make a sparkling choice when you buy diamonds.
If you're buying a diamond, youd better know your four C's: carat, color, clarity, and cut.
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So now that you know why you are buying an engagement ring made with a diamond, you can familiarise yourself with the "Four Cs" – cut, colour, clarity and carat.
Do you really want a ring set with a diamond if the money you have paid for it is helping to arm a rogue government, or a militia group with a questionable human rights record? Unfortunately, the locations of some of the planet’s key diamond mines happen to coincide with the locations of some of the world’s bitterest conflicts, and those in control of the gems don’t always invest their profits ethically.
Legend dictates that in 1477, a lovestruck Austrian, Archduke Maximilian, came up with a gem of an idea: why not give Mary of Burgundy a diamond ring to celebrate their imminent engagement? He placed it on the third finger of her left hand – the finger believed by ancient Egyptians to have a vein that led straight to the heart.
· Will the salesperson let you examine the diamond through a loupe and on a white background? If diamonds are viewed on a black background, the eye’s perception of colour is hindered.
She will probably prefer a classic diamond solitaire – which account for 76% of all sales of engagement rings – but there are many ways to present a quality stone on a ring.
Does she prefer modern or traditional? Does she favour white gold, yellow gold, two-tone (white and yellow gold) or platinum (currently the most popular metal for engagement rings)? Also, how does she react to other women’s engagement rings? Does she ever express an interest in a particular style when flicking through fashion magazines? The chances are, however, after a quick consultation with her girlfriends and female relatives – if you can trust them with your secret – that you will glean a fairly accurate picture of her likes and dislikes.
If you are planning to join the 75% of British men who buy their "special lady" a diamond engagement ring, you will want to pay close attention to the following advice.
Sierra Leone is perhaps the most infamous hot spot at present, but the diamond trade has been linked by the UN to troubles in other African states including Rwanda, Angola, Liberia, the Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Uganda, Ghana, Namibia, Mali, Zambia, Burkina Faso, Guinea and the Ivory Coast.
Buying diamond rings via the internet is not recommended because you should view the diamonds in person so that you can cover all of the above details.
All must be considered equally when comparing diamonds, but more than any other factor, according to Tiffany and Co, it is how the diamond is cut that will determine its defining characteristic.
The UN has also criticised Switzerland, not a diamond-producing nation but a diamond free-trade area, for its role as a transit point for almost half the rough diamonds entering Britain.
Antwerp, the "diamond capital of the world", is also criticised for "facilitating" the trade in so-called "blood diamonds".
But if you don’t wish to place your trust entirely in a jeweller, you should request a "cert stone" – a diamond that has been assessed, graded and coded with a laser by an independent gemmological laboratory.
Perhaps the most important piece of advice is never to surprise her with a diamond ring, and not to buy something according to your own taste.
A retailer can mark up a new diamond ring by up to 100%, and it could lose half its value the moment that you leave the shop.
All Brilliant Earth diamonds come with a certificate guaranteeing the conflict free origin of the diamond.
Brilliant Earth provides a diamond origin certification and can track our diamonds back to their source.
Trained gemologists with specialized equipment measure the weight and dimensions of the diamond and assess quality characteristics such as cut, color, and clarity.
Colorless diamonds allow more light to pass through than a colored diamond, releasing more sparkle and fire.
Cut is considered to be the most important diamond characteristic because a well-cut diamond can appear to be of greater carat weight and have enhanced clarity and color.
Inclusions can hinder how the light reflects, lessening the brilliance and prismatic effect of color in a diamond.
Once cut, color, and clarity grade have been determined, the carat weight of a diamond can easily be established to fit within a budget.
For example, a 2-carat diamond of a given quality is always worth more than two 1-carat diamonds of the same quality.
The number, size, color, relative location, orientation, and visibility of inclusions can all affect the relative clarity of a diamond.
Symmetry grades of Good or higher have the least effect on the brilliance of the diamond and are suitable for the finest quality jewelry.
Polish grades of Good or higher have the least effect on the brilliance of the diamond and are suitable for the finest quality jewelry.
The measurements determine the length to width ratio and can indicate the quality of cut of the diamond.
Only miniscule traces of color can be detected by an expert gemologist – a rare, high quality diamond.
The cut grading scale of diamonds is based on the reflective properties of the diamond according to the calculated diamond measurements.
You may not mind seeing an inclusion or two, or you may find low color diamonds "warmer".
If magic weights do not impress you, search for undersize; but they are rare, there are about 5% as many .99ct diamonds as 1.00ct stones.
Princess cuts have more small sparkles than round diamonds; but below 1ct, as we age, our ability to discern those tiny more frequent sparkles reduces.
Sharp eyed younger or "fussy folk" might prefer higher clarity, but smaller size.
You can live with a yellowish diamond with a few black spots! The cut should be in the 54% to 60% total depth range with a thin to very thin girdle (this can still rate well on the Cut Adviser).
Religion or culture may be important; clarity in some cultures = purity = divine powers bringing good luck.
When you leave your new diamond purchase at the store to be set in your chosen ring, the jeweler might switch it and set a cheaper stone.
Every jeweler hides flaws under the prongs if he can Although you will probably choose to do the same after you have examined and purchased your diamond, you should be aware that all jewelers will place any flaws under a prong in the ring if possible.
(Structural flaws like feathers and cleavages can be damaged by the high pressure exerted by the prong on the diamond to hold it snug in the ring.) Solution: Always look at a stone loose, out of any kind of ring or setting if you want to examine it properly.
Solution: If you are suspicious about this possibility (the diamond looks better than any other diamond with this color grade that you have seen so far), the only way to guard against this little trick is to have the diamond washed before your eyes in an ultrasonic cleaner.
For instance, it is a major scam when a jeweler switches a large loose diamond worth thousands of dollars for a cubic zirconia for five dollars, like what happened to my father.
Bright lights make every diamond look better Of course, every jeweler wants to show his or her diamonds in the best light, but there are some lighting tricks you should avoid.
The FTC says that a jeweler must be accurate within one grade of color and one grade of clarity on a diamond.
A jeweler tells you, “This is a blue-white diamond.” This is a very old term that is now carefully controlled by the FTC because of misuse and scams in the past.
You can’t compare prices with another ring if you don’t know the weight and quality of the main diamond.
Certainly you can find good prices at honest stores, but any retailer will appraise each diamond in the showcase for more than its selling price to make you feel good about his prices.
And always insist that the store write down the exact measurements (WxWxD), shape, weight, color and clarity of the diamond on your agreement form.
(except the jewelers I have tested for you, which are true exceptions) You may have heard that the major diamond trading center in the U.S. is located on 47th Street in New York.
These places have lots of dealers that take advantage of the “reputation” of the diamond district, and charge as much or more than the best stores we know online or in smaller localities.
Solution: If the store will not give you the exact weight of the center diamond, leave the store.
Although outlawed by the FTC, it still happens because it is hard to monitor 25,000 stores in the U.S. Bait-and-Switch is when a store advertises a diamond at a great price, but when you arrive to buy it, it’s already sold.
So we got the ring, the boat sailed, the onboard marketer contacted us told us the jeweler wanted his ring back, he had put the wrong diamond in the ring.
Solution: In any case, ask if the diamond has fluorescence, and ask to see it without the bright lights in another part of the store before you agree to buy.
So… many jewelers can legally bump the color and clarity of a diamond by 1-2 grades, at least.
Solution: If you are looking for a fine-quality diamond, insist on a recent certificate from a respected gemological lab, such as GIA, AGS, or EGL-USA at the least.
The grade of the diamond is altered on the certificate This can happen, although it is difficult to do because all reputable gem labs laminate their certificates to prevent alterations.
This counters the yellow tint in lower color grades, making a diamond look like a more expensive, colorless grade.
I don’t want the jeweler to take the diamond out of my site.
I bought a diamond in the NY wholesale diamond center and after taking it to an appraiser recommended by a friend, found out it was treated (it had cracks that were filled with glass so that you wouldn’t see them)! The appraiser ordered me not to buy any more diamonds, or any other gem, until I went out and bought a book called "Jewelry & Gems: The Buying Guide." If I had read this book BEFORE I purchased the diamond, I would never have made such a mistake.
Jewelry & Gems – The Buying Guide: How to Buy Diamonds, Pearls, Colored Gemstones, Gold & Jewelry with Confidence and Knowledge: Antoinette Matlins P.G., Antonio C.
On the other hand, if you’re like most of us, you want to get the best value for your money, and this book will definitely help by giving great tips when buying diamonds and other gems.
I never knew there were so many ways an unsuspecting consumer could make a mistake when it comes to buying jewelry, but after reading this book (I even took it with me to refer to it as I shopped) I really found the confidence I lacked, and the perfect gift.
High quality diamonds should be clear (or deeply colored is you’re looking for fancy diamonds), free of inclusions and blemishes, and, most important, sparkly! The more shimmer and shine, the better cut a diamond is.
It can include information about diamond quality, validation that a diamond is organic, and the serial number on the girdle of laser-inscribed diamonds.
Fancy diamonds are highly valued and can be even more expensive than a clear diamond with a D color grade rating.
Moissanite, a diamond look-alike created from silicon carbide, has properties similar to diamonds, including brilliance, extreme hardness, and inclusions.
When diamond experts discuss diamonds, they are typically referring to the stone’s lack of color or transparency.
Whether you’re buying a diamond as an engagement ring or as a special gift for a loved one, diamonds are a classic look for any jewelry piece.
If you are looking for a big diamond that isn’t too sparkly, Fair and Poor Cut diamonds are acceptable and cost-effective routes.