How to Choose a Diamond

your guide to picking the perfect diamond

Diamonds In White Gold Setting

Choosing a diamond has been likened to choosing a life partner: one must tread with care. It’s true that most guys sweat over the task of selecting a perfect proposal ring. However, it can be a fun and enjoyable process if you take the correct approach.

First and foremost, getting educated is the key to choosing diamonds rationally. Now, I am sure most people have heard of the 4 Cs while doing their research or during a casual visit to a jewelry store.

Sadly, the majority of the people who think they fully understand the 4 Cs after an hour’s research or via a 5 minutes presentation in a jewelry store are WRONG. Likewise, if you think that you are able to choose a great looking diamond online just by looking at a GIA or AGS certificate, you better keep your fingers crossed when the package arrives.

You see, buying diamonds is easy. Anybody can buy diamonds as long as they have the money to afford it. However, if you want to select the best diamond possible for a given budget, you need to go beyond the 4Cs and start looking at indepth details.

To get the best value out of your engagement ring purchase, I highly recommend online vendors like James Allen, White Flash and Brian Gavin. Not only do they offer an impeccable shopping experience, they also provide in-depth details of their listings to help you make educated decisions.

A Short Introduction of Myself And Why I’m Qualified to Offer You Advice

My name is Paul. I used be to a research officer in a top government manufacturing research institute. During my 2 years stint of being a researcher, I developed scientific and analytic skills that enables me to examine any given data with a critical viewpoint.

While I am not a professional jeweler by trade, I became an avid gem collector by accident. The passion for diamonds ignited when I had to purchase a proposal ring for my girlfriend. And like most guys shopping for an engagement ring, I started out with zero knowledge. I begun my diamond buying journey at the local stores and did my own research online.

Very quickly, the desire for knowledge grew. Before long, I found myself immersed in gemological textbooks purchased from GIA and even took up professional courses to enhance my knowledge. In early 2013, I completed GIA’s Graduate Diamonds diploma program and topped the class in the practical examination module. This came as a surprise to many people since the course was attended by professionals who had years of experience in the trade.

Now, I’m not telling you all this to brag about my accomplishments. Instead, the point I want to bring across is that I have the credentials and background knowledge to offer advice from both gemological and consumer perspectives.

how to choose a diamond with best value and optics

I’ll show you how to pick the best diamond within your budget!

Whenever I examine diamonds, my analytical skills would always be put to use by questioning and dissecting information that was presented to me. There is really so much more that jewelers never reveal to you when it comes to making such an important purchase.

It doesn’t matter if you had never step foot into a jewelry store before or whether you had some prior experience in purchasing jewelry. The information that I am going to share with you on the following pages will definitely be an eye opener.

The Essential 4Cs – How to Choose a Diamond

Before I continue, you need to have a basic grasp of the 4Cs in order to understand some concepts found on later pages. If you have no idea what they are, click the links below and read up on the corresponding topics before returning here again.


While the basic definitions of the 4 Cs are pretty straightforward and clearly indicated in a diamond’s grading report, most consumers fail to realize one thing:

  • The grading report alone Does Not tell you the full story of a diamond’s physical beauty without doing some further analysis…

    Paul Gian


    So, how do you bring all of these factors together and utilize them in your decision making? The good news is that it isn’t rocket science. I’m going to arm you with the necessary knowledge to help you make the best of your diamond shopping experience.

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    1. Peter-
      March 6, 2015 at 2:30 pm

      Thank you for this post. It is very useful and enlightened me a lot in choosing a engagement ring. Do you have recommendations on where I can get my diamond without getting scammed?

      Would you know anything about the diamond district? Are their pricing fair and the quality of goods decent? Do I have leeway in negotiating prices? Any advice would be very much appreciated.

    2. Paul Gian-
      March 18, 2015 at 2:38 am

      Yes. You can refer to this article for a list of vendors I highly recommend:

      In terms of shopping at the NYC district, I urge you to exercise extreme caution and do your research first before heading out. It’s a shark tank there and a place where many consumers get ripped off. In fact, I wrote an article about this last month:

    3. Lisa-
      April 8, 2015 at 9:25 am

      I think a mix of shopping online and also visiting a few stores when buying a ring is a pretty good way to shop. You get the best of both worlds by seeing and trying some rings as we did with my partner. It’s nice to try a few rings and look at the diamonds close up. We were quite new to all this so we studied up online first about diamonds and the properties, features to look out for, the free eBook was helpful for learning the ins and outs of diamonds too.

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