How To Choose A Diamond?
Are you in the process of buying a sparkling diamond for your spouse?
You may be scratching your head thinking about how to choose a diamond or how you’re going to buy the perfect stone.
There’s so much information out there that you might not have a chance to read it all.
But it’s important to know all you can about diamonds and the trade before you buy one to avoid markups & counterfeit products.
So if you want a short guide on how to buy the perfect diamond then take a look at the following five tips.
They will give you the information you need to buy a beautiful diamond for your spouse at the price and quality you’ll be happy with.
1. Selecting Your Diamond Shape and Weight
Weight of the Diamond
The most important aspect to consider when you’re purchasing your first diamond is the weight of the gem.
Carat weight will affect the price of the diamond and it will determine the size of the gem you purchase.
You will have to decide what carat you prefer but the average diamond carat is between 1.00 and 1.2.
The higher the carat the pricier the diamond will be because of the weight and size.
For aesthetic purposes select the shape that will appeal to your spouse.
Look at the contours of her hands and think about which diamond shape would complement her the most.
The shape of the diamond will also determine the way the stone is cut and how it reflects light.
Here is a list of common diamond shapes to pick from:
Square or cushion
The most common diamond shape is round because it reflects, refracts and disperses almost all the available light due to its symmetry.
If your round diamond has an exceptional cut and polish you may hear the term ‘round brilliant cut’ when someone talks about it.
This diamond cut has 58 facets that reflect and refracts the most light.
2. Picking Your Diamond Cut Quality and Color Grade
Cut and Polish Quality
A diamond’s cut and polish are crucial in terms of aesthetics & how the diamond sparkles with each movement a hand makes.
The sparkle or flare comes from light reflecting off of the diamond’s surface and light entering the diamond & refracting outward from the internal parts of the gem.
The way a diamond sparkles is called “light return”.
The different colors you see are called dispersion.
A diamond with a quality cut and polish will have better light return & dispersion.
To see the polish grade of your diamond you should first view the cut and polish certificate.
This certificate is issued by an accredited lab that shows the diamond’s cut, carat, color and clarity grade.
But some sellers only offer certificates on their round diamonds and don’t issue reports on fancy cuts.
The jeweler won’t offer a cut grade on elaborate shapes because they’ll use their own template based on the diamond’s measurements.
Color Grade of the Diamond
The color of the diamond will have an impact on the gem’s price and aesthetics. Different diamond shapes reflect various colors.
Depending on the diamond’s cut it can display small color differences.
For example, a square diamond may show color in the corners of the gem.
There are degrees of color in a white diamond so the top gradings go to colorless diamonds.
Lower-grade diamonds have noticeable color which shows as yellow tints.
A diamond with more pale yellow tints will be considered cheap.
So remember that the less color a diamond possesses the brighter it will be and it will have a spectacular light return.
3. What Clarity Grade Should You Select?
When buying a diamond be sure you’re purchasing a product that holds its value over time.
That’s why you should always check the clarity grade of the diamond you want to buy.
A clarity grade is the assessment of small imperfections inside the diamond and on its surface.
Imperfections inside the diamond are called inclusions and surface flaws are called blemishes.
These imperfections are microscopic so they won’t affect the aesthetics of the diamond but it can affect the durability of the gem over time.
Diamonds with the least blemishes and inclusions have a higher clarity grade.
The minimum clarity grade should be no lower than SI2 on the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) scale.
This GIA scale is also referred to as a diamond grading chart and it’s divided into six categories & 11 diamond clarity grades.
4. Diamond Fluorescence and Symmetry
Fluorescence of a Diamond
The fluorescence and symmetry will affect the diamond’s value but not the aesthetics.
Fluorescence refers to a diamond’s tendency to emit a soft color glow when it’s put under ultraviolet light.
It’s said that 30% of diamonds fluoresce to some degree.
Colorless fluorescent diamonds are sold cheaper because the fluorescence is considered a defect.
But faint to medium fluorescence in a diamond can only be detected by a gemologist using an ultraviolet light.
The glow of fluorescence is typically blue which is a more complementary color to yellow.
So fluorescence can make diamonds between I and M color grades appear whiter.
Diamonds with a color ranging from I to M are more expensive because they possess medium to strong fluorescence.
Medium blue fluorescence is more popular as it’s considered more valuable.
The diamond’s symmetry simply refers to how precise the facets of a stone align.
It’s the exactness of shape, outline, alignment and precision of each facet of the diamond.
A diamond with poor symmetry will have visible defects which will reduce brilliance as it will misdirect light transmission and make the gem appear dull.
So ensure that when you purchase your diamond that you check the gem’s certificate.
The grade of the symmetry should read as either ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent’ on the document.
5. Additional Tips You Should Know Before Buying your Diamond
Always Get a Diamond Lab Report
As mentioned before a high-quality diamond will come with a lab report that will give you information on the 4Cs: color, clarity, cut and carat weight. This report will also give you information on whether the diamond has been laser drilled to decrease the flaws of the stone.
Check the report on whether the diamond has undergone HPHT (high pressure, high temperature) treatment to raise the color grade of the gem.
The laser drill and HPHT treatment doesn’t affect quality but it’s simply used to increase the aesthetic appearance of the diamond. But the certificate will also help you avoid counterfeit diamonds so always ensure you check the report thoroughly.
You should examine loose diamonds against a white background and away from any spotlights that are in the store you’re buying from. Vendors like diamonds that fluoresce blue because it masks yellow tints in the stone. This may give you the perception that the diamond has a higher color grade than it has.
Bright lights are used to showcase a diamond’s radiance but in low light scenarios, the stone may appear milky which decreases the value of the stone. So when you’re in the process of purchasing your diamond ensure that you examine the gem thoroughly in other lighting conditions.
Have you Heard of Buying Shy?
A smart diamond purchase is when you buy shy. This refers to purchasing a diamond under the carat weight of one or more carats. A quality 1.00-carat diamond can cost more than a 0.96 carat gem with a size difference that isn’t noticeable except under a microscope.
Some cutters will cut a diamond poorly for the sake of keeping the weight of the diamond. So selecting a diamond with a lower carat may help you avoid a stone with lower quality cuts.
How to Avoid Markups
Before you make your purchase you should first check the weekly Rapaport Diamond Report. This sheet will give you a list of diamond market wholesale asking prices.
The report will give you extensive information on the prices of diamonds according to clarity, cut, color and carat. To calculate how much the vendor paid for the diamond, multiply the carat weight by the price of the stone shown on the report and add two zeros at the end of the number you get.
Knowing what vendors paid for their diamonds before you buy from them will help you avoid unnecessary markups on their stones.
We bet you didn’t know there was so much information you needed to know before buying a diamond. But it’s important to know as much as you can because you don’t want to pay more than you should for your stone and you certainly don’t want a counterfeit diamond.
So now that you know what aspects to look for when you purchase your diamond, you can budget accordingly and select the gem you know your spouse will love.