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Diamond Buying Tips- The 4 C's

Diamond is purely made of carbon, which is one of the Earth's most common elements. The diamond is the hardest known substance in the world that is uniquely resistant to damage by heat or scratching, and can be cut or polished only by another diamond.

You buy diamonds or diamond jewelry either for yourself or for your loved ones and usually your decision of buying a diamond is based on some emotions. Buying a diamond or diamond jewelry is certainly an expensive purchase and it is advisable to you to get some knowledge about diamonds and their characteristics. You can get detailed information on each and every aspect of diamond in our diamond guide.


Diamond Buying Tips

These below mentioned diamond buying tips will certainly help you in finding the most suitable diamond, you are looking for.

When we talk about diamond cut by depth, ideal cut is considered the best cut as it reflects most or all of the light that enters the diamond back to the eyes. Whereas diamond cut by Shape describes the outline of the stone and pattern of the facet arrangement. You can find a diamond in various Shapes like Round, Princess, Heart, Oval, Pear etc. Polish and symmetry are also important for a well cut diamond. The diamond polish expresses the smoothness of the diamond's facets whereas the symmetry refers to alignment of the facets.


Buying Tips for Diamond Cut

You should always go for the ideal cut diamond with the desired shape.
You should also ensure that the diamond is properly polished and is with perfect symmetry.

Diamond shape is a matter of personal choice.
Brilliant round shaped diamond is one of the most desirable shapes and offers maximum brilliance.


Diamond Color

Diamond color is also a vital factor to look for as diamonds are found in almost all the colors. Most diamonds appear white to the naked eye, but they all include trace amounts of yellow or brown color. Slight difference in diamond color can make a substantial difference in value. A truly colorless diamond is extremely rare and considered the most valuable. It allows most light to pass through the stone and create the most brilliance.

The diamond color scale goes from D to Z, with D being the most white and Z being the most yellow.

Diamonds are also found in various intense colors like pink, greens, brown, red, orange, blue, etc. These intensely colored diamonds, known as fancy colored, are very rare, attractive and desirable. A deeply colored diamond can cost more than its colorless counterpart.

In fancy colored diamonds, Z+ grade is used for color grading.

Fluorescence up to some extent is common in majority of diamonds but it remains unnoticed by human eyes in ordinary light. Fluorescence is a form of illumination that is created when a diamond is exposed to low or high wave ultraviolet radiation.


Buying Tips for Diamond Color

The best way to see the true color of a diamond is by looking at it against a white surface.

Even though stones in the D-F color grades are the most valuable, you can still obtain great value and save substantial money with diamonds grades G-J and K-M, since no color is visible to the untrained eye. Even stones in the N-R range have a very light hint of yellow, which is visible to the untrained eye, can appear colorless in the right jewelry setting.

Usually yellow metal (gold) hides traces of color in a colorless diamond, while white metal (white gold, platinum, silver) enhances it.

While buying a fancy colored diamond, you should look into the basic hue and intensity of the color.

Faint or medium fluorescence will rarely affect a diamond's appearance.
 

Diamond Clarity

Clarity is a term used to describe the absence or presence of flaws inside or on the surface of a diamond.

When flaws occur internally, they are called inclusions and the most common types of inclusions include crystals, needles, knots, chips, cavities, cleavage, feathers, etc. On the contrary, when these flaws occur on the surface, they are known as blemishes and the most common types of blemishes include polish lines, naturals, scratches, nicks, pits, extra facet etc.

Diamond’s clarity is based on the number, size, nature and location of imperfections on the finished stone.
The clarity of a diamond affects the beauty and value of the diamond.

Diamond with higher clarity is more valuable in comparison to diamond that contains numerous inclusions because it is less brilliant due to inclusions interfering with light passing through it.
 

Buying Tips for Diamond Clarity

While buying a diamond, you can compromise a bit on clarity aspect as most diamonds contain imperfections which are not visible to the naked eye. Choose a diamond with its imperfections hidden deep in the stone or hidden by prongs or bezels.

You can use a jeweler’s 10X magnifying glass or microscope to examine the diamond’s imperfections.

F (flawless) and IF (internally flawless) are rare and beautiful diamonds and exceptionally high price. Diamond, with clarity grades VVS1-VVS2, is always an excellent quality diamond. Whereas you can also buy diamonds with clarity grades VS1-VS2 and SI1-SI2 as imperfections in these grades are not visible to the naked eye and you can save huge money.
 

Diamond Carat Weight

The term "Carat" refers to the weight of a diamond and 1 carat equals 0.2 grams or 1/142 of an ounce.

A carat may also be displayed in points and 1 carat is divided into 100 points.
Therefore, 1/4 carat diamond is considered as 25 points and ½ carat diamond is considered as 50 points and so on.

The price of a diamond rises exponentially with its size.
So, a 2 carat diamond of a given quality is always worth much more than two 1 carat diamonds of the equal quality.


Buying Tips for Diamond Carat Weight

The carat weight of a diamond will always depend on your budget.

You must buy an average sized diamond with a good cut, color and clarity instead of buying a larger diamond with not so good cut, color and clarity.

This term ‘Carat’ is different from the term ‘Karat’ which is used to describe the gold's fineness or purity.


Diamond Certificate

A Diamond Certificate or Diamond Grading Report is a statement, issued by an independent Gemological Laboratory, that at the time of evaluation, the Diamond in question has been examined, measured, and scrutinized by experienced Diamond Graders, using various gemological instruments, and determined to contain the characteristics as stated in the Certificate or Report.

There are many reputed laboratories available for diamond certification, which are known for their consistency and unbiased diamond grading systems. For example, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the American Gem Society Laboratories (AGSL).


Buying Tips for Diamond Certificate

When you buy a diamond, you should always ask for a diamond certificate. It may cost you a little more money, but it will provide you a much-needed peace of mind knowing that you are getting your money’s worth.

A diamond certificate gives you the exact details of the stone and on the basis of this information you will be able to do some comparison-shopping before making the actual purchase.

A diamond certificate allows you to pay the money on the basis of stone’s characteristics.
Your jeweler won’t be able to charge you more and there are very good chances to get the best deals.

On re-sale of diamond along with its certificate, you will get a better price for the diamond.

To get insurance for your diamond, you also need to produce the diamond certificate.


General Buying Tips

You must set your budget for buying a diamond and then explore all your options.
By this way, you'll find a wide range of diamonds with different carat weights and qualities in your price range.

Always buy a diamond which fulfills the basic criteria of the 4Cs and is suitable to your budget.

You should give priority to diamond cut, color and carat weight over diamond clarity. Imperfections are almost always so small that they have no measurable effect on the diamond's brilliance. Brilliance is almost entirely the result of the cut and proportions of the diamond.

When you are buying a diamond for your loved ones, always keep their personality and preferences in mind.

You should ask your jeweler to give more information about the origin of diamonds available with him so you don't end up buying a conflict diamond.

You should also ask your jeweler, if the diamond you are considering buying is treated to enhance color or cover flaws.
A treated diamond should cost less than a natural diamond.

Always buy a diamond from a reputed and known jeweler.
If you don’t know any good jeweler then you should ask your family members or friends for their recommendations.

Beware of jewelry store lighting which usually consists of quartz or halogen bulbs.
These can deceive as they blast high-intensity streams of light into goods to make them look like the crown jewels.

While buying a diamond, you should not be in a hurry or in pressure. You should buy it at your convenience and at your own pace.

Now you can go ahead to buy a diamond with more confidence and always remember that ‘Diamonds are forever’. They won't depreciate or wear out like a car or a computer in a few years. So enjoy buying the world’s most exceptional item by keeping the above mentioned buying tips in mind.