When it comes to purchasing diamonds online or at a physical store, most people are clueless about the things that they should look out for and how to protect themselves from making a bad purchase. You can’t really blame them.
The thing is, diamond buying is probably something you won’t do regularly unless there’s a special occasion coming up. And like you, I had been through the same experience.
I understand how it feels to be spending money on a big purchase that is hinged with uncertainty. Chances are, when you landed on this website, you are probably trying to do your own research and looking for tips/advice before you hit the stores.
And that’s what I am going to show you here.
To be a smart shopper, you need to know the essential elements that go into the process of selecting a good diamond and the critical pitfalls/scams to avoid. At the end of the day, if I had helped you achieved that, then I’m glad that the knowledge you had picked up here had accomplished its goal.
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So, why is research and education required when shopping for diamonds? Beyond the listed price tags, there are alot more factors to consider when selecting a diamond. For example, there are a number of reasons why a diamond can be pricier or cheaper when compared to another diamond with similar specifications.
Many times, it is the subtle differences between diamonds that can mean a huge difference in optical performance and appearance. And these are the reasons that you need to understand if you want to make the best possible purchase for a given budget.
In a nutshell, there are 4 main characteristics to look for when you are searching for a diamond. These are; Cut, Clarity, Color and Carat. Each aspect of the 4Cs can greatly change the price and the technical qualities that the stone possesses. And truth be told, each of these characteristics requires a deeper knowledge than what is usually told or shown to you by a sales assistant.
In the essential diamond education section on our website, I will teach you how to take a deeper look at each individual feature and how you can use the knowledge to your advantage. With a combination of these factors, you will be able to make educated and rational decisions when looking at diamonds that you are interested in.
The cut determines how well a diamond absorbs and reflects light. The better the cut, the more sparkle the stone will have. Note: Cut does NOT refer to the shape of the stone.
The clarity of a diamond refers to the amount/type of inclusions present in it. A diamond with lesser flaws inspected under 10X magnification receives a higher grade.
The color of a diamond is rated on a scale of D – Z, with D being totally colorless and Z being a noticeable yellow. In the market, the range of D-F is highly sought after.
The carat weight refers to a specific measurement of how heavy the diamond is. Note: By itself, carat weight is not an indication of the stone’s physical dimensions.
Traditionally, the round brilliant cut is the most popular shape found in jewelry due to its versatility and excellent light properties. In present day, a more affluent consumer base has fueled an increasing demand for diversity in jewelry design. As a result of changing demands, the jewelry market had also seen the introduction of new cuts and the revival of vintage diamond cuts.
If you are interested in getting a fancy shaped diamond, you need to understand that the selection processes for each different shape will not the same. For example, in an emerald cut, the presence of inclusions will be more readily observable by the naked eye due to lesser scintillation and brilliance of the step cut. Hence, in order not to compromise eye cleanliness, a higher clarity grade is usually preferred.
The point to take back is; the criteria for selecting different shapes will vary from one to another. If there is any particular shape you are interested in, it makes sense for you to take some time to read and understand the inherent characteristics associated with the shape. This will help you greatly in your selection process.
Once you are armed with the necessary knowledge, you can shop with confidence from anywhere you are comfortable with. Whether you want to shop locally or buy online, the choice is really up to you. However, if you want to get a better bang for your buck, my advice is to make your purchase online instead of buying from a local brick and mortar store.
For online stores, these are a few places that I highly recommend: James Allen (top choice for fancy cuts) & Brian Gavin (top choice for super ideal hearts and arrows). The rationale of going online is simple: You’ll avoid paying the expensive overheads that physical stores pass onto you and you don’t get pressured by sales people into making a purchase.
Apart from getting a better deal, online stores offer a HUGE selection of diamonds and this allows you to cherry pick the best possible diamond. In contrast, when shopping in a physical store, you are only limited to a few choices from the store’s available inventory.
The majority of consumers have very little or no knowledge about diamonds and usually end up paying twice of what a gemstone is actually worth. Don’t you find it weird that people spend thousands of dollars on a purchase without knowing what makes it a good value?
High quality diamonds are never on sale. Forget about all the advertisement hypes that constantly scream 50%-75% off. If jewelers can sell top notch inventory for more, what do you think the reasons behind the “massive discounts” are?
Less than 10% of the diamonds in the market are cut for optimal light brilliance. Instead, the majority of them are cut to maximize the jeweler’s profit margin by retaining “dead weight”.
Buying based on the 4Cs isn’t enough. Most jewelers would simply repeat and regurgitate to you the same old information without telling you the real insights to choosing the perfect stone.
The fact that you are reading this right now will help you avoid making bad decisions.
All in all, shopping for a diamond can be a very time consuming process and it does require you to put in some effort in educating yourself.
A high quality stone isn’t cheap and, it may take some time before you come across the right gemstone for your needs. By being clear on the 4C’s of diamonds, you should have a better idea on how to filter your selections for your own needs and budget.
Remember, everyone has their own tastes. Some people may prefer stones that sparkle more while others might prefer diamonds that look bigger to the eyes. Some people might prefer a fancy shape or prefer stones that come with a warmer color. So, if you plan on buying a piece of jewelry for someone else, make sure you figure out what they like beforehand.
After all, diamonds are forever. When you make a purchase, you want to make sure that you do it once and do it well. You (or your partner) won’t want to be stuck with something that you wouldn’t enjoy wearing and end up with buyer’s remorse.
Lastly, if you need advice in choosing a diamond or require a second opinion on a pending purchase; please feel free to contact me via email. I will usually reply your email within 24 hours.
All the best in your shopping experience!
GIA Diamonds Graduate
paul [@] beyond4cs.com
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