How To Buy Loose Diamonds
It doesn’t matter whether you’re buying a diamond for a ring, a pendant or a pair of earrings, what matters is the buying aspect, and if you’re reading this then you’re possibly looking for guidance on how to go about buying a the perfect gemstone.
Hopefully this overview, which will cover the basics, will help you to go an and purchase a diamond that’s perfect in every way that counts – type, cut, color and clarity.
Let’s Get Started
The fact that there are so many diamonds to choose from is quite possibly the hardest part of the whole buying process. Diamonds come in such a varied range of color and size, and let’s not get started on the imperfections that can change a stone from perfect to imperfect in a snap.
However, providing that you’ve got yourself a starting point you shouldn’t experience any major problems in locating the right stone for you.
Budget – the first port of call. How much can you realistically afford? Make this the first thing that you nail down, and stick to it, otherwise you’ll find yourself staring the most beautiful diamond right in the facet, knowing that to afford it you’ve got to either re-mortgage the house or get on your knees and pray for a miracle.
Jeweler – find one. Preferably one that possesses a solid reputation, as opposed to one that promises to find what you want despite the self-imposed cap on your budget. A reputable diamond dealer that provides you with the stone to finish off your bridal jewelry or eternity ring is a far better bet than a dealer that offers vague assurances and lightweight deals.
Ask Questions – don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as necessary. Remember – you’re not a diamond dealer or a jeweler and yet you still want the right stone for the price you want to pay. Picking the brains of those that do know is a fair exchange when you factor in that you’re going to be buying diamonds from your chosen jeweler.
Diamond Weight – otherwise known as the ‘carat’ (see below). A diamond is judged according to its cut, color and clarity. It’s wrong to assume that a larger diamond is of a better quality than a smaller one. It’s all about the Three C’s. Assuming a diamond has been inspected, it is then awarded points accordingly.
Diamond Carat – all diamonds have a ‘carat’ classification, and for every one carat that a diamond possesses, it’s been granted 100 points. Diamonds are listed by their points, so now you know that if a diamond is listed with 100 points and the carat says that it’s 0.75 then you know something doesn’t add up. As an example, see the chart below:
The Shape – which one will best suit your purposes? There are enough to choose from, but knowing what they are will help you to make your final choice. Bearing in mind that diamonds are found in all shapes and sizes, and never look like they do once prepared for sale or mounted onto a piece of jewelry, there are currently enough ‘cuts’ (designs) to give you plenty of choice:
Marquise – elongated and pointed at both ends
Princess – rectangular or square in shape
Pear – a combination of the Marquise and the Oval, a diamond that is shaped like a teardrop
Emerald – similar to the Princess, but only found in the rectangular shape, with level cuts that are stepped
Oval – a beautiful, symmetrical shaped favored by many women
Heart – a sought after cut due to its romantic connotations
Radiant – square or rectangular, 70 facets, a superb cut and highly prized
Trilliant – triangular in shape, multifaceted to the extreme, simply stunning
Cushion – a slightly ‘squared’ oval style, traditional
Round – most diamonds bought today are round cut
Now that you’ve got the basics under your belt, you’ll have more of an idea of what to ask, what to look for, and don’t forget the most important aspect after the ‘sticking to your budget’ part … cut, color and clarity.