So you would like to buy diamonds? Ask yourself honestly, how much do you know about them? no really, we aren’t taught this in school. Is your diamond information coming from your parents? or Your friend who told you all about them who in turn was told from another friend who thought he was a diamond enthusiast?
“Do your own research, after all diamonds are expensive. Would you buy a brand new car that you didn’t know anything about? Probably not. However this is where I can help, if you don’t have time or can’t be bothered in becoming a diamond expert, I’ll find you a diamond that fits your budget!” just ask me, by filling out my ‘Find My Diamond Form’
If you are looking for cheap diamonds or affordable diamond engagement rings, allow me to share some sensible guidance that will assist you in your quest for a good buy. The first and fore mostly piece of advice that I can give you is to think about your budget. If you stay within your means this will assist you to prioritize what’s important to you. In addition this first step will probably take away a considerable amount of stress and anxiety from the decision. In this buying guide I will take you through the big bright world of Diamonds.
We have all heard of them before, the 4 C’s as it affectionately called to grade diamonds. The GIA ‘Gemological Institute of America’ actually created this now globally accepted grading system. With the help of this grading system you can empower yourself with some vital diamond knowledge. I’m not going to tell you one is arguably more important than the other because one’s own personal preference comes into play. The 4 C’s consists of the following;
Determining the best diamond color range to stay in is a very individual matter. People vary widely in their color acuity. Some people can immediately detect a diamond color that is outside the colorless range (DEF). Other people cannot distinguish between colors several grades apart, even in controlled conditions.
Most shoppers are mainly concerned that the diamond does not look yellow to the casual observer. Diamonds in the near-colorless range (GHIJ) generally fit this criterion. And since near-colorless diamonds cost far less than colorless ones, many people find their best value in this range. When visiting a jewelers ask to view different colour diamonds next to each other. Sitting a D Color and a J colour diamond together will be noticeable. However a J color diamond can often look very white when set into the right ring.
Selecting the clarity of a diamond is the second most important stage in choosing your diamond. Let’s look at the grades first;
FL – Flawless in everyway
IF – Internally Flawless in everyway
VVS1 & VVS2 – Slight Inclusions only detectable by a skilled Gemmologist and Diamond Grader.
VS1 & VS2 – Minor inclusions are noted by a Gemmologist and Diamond Grader.
SI1 & SI2 – Noticeable inclusions are readily detected by even the untrained Grader.
I1, I2 & I3 – Obvious to very obvious inclusions are seen and can affect brilliance and the correct refraction of light.
(Using a 10 x Magnification eye loupe)
The grading scale above is also indicative of the pricing structure of those clarities. Let’s consider the two top clarities FL & IF, both of these clarities are extremely rare and attract a high price point. Both of those Clarities are often purchased as Investment Diamonds. Most discerning diamond buyers are more interested in what is called “eye clean” stock. There is some logic to selecting those clarities that exceed “eye clean”, simply because the presence of some inclusions can occasionally impact the refraction of light within the diamond. Even if these inclusions such as SI Clarity diamonds may impact your diamonds fore and brilliance.
A diamonds cut is often confused with a diamonds shape, but the Cut is the proportions and facets that make our diamonds sparkle and dance. Cutting the perfect diamond takes extreme precision, which is often dictated by the overall rough diamonds shape. Throughout our history diamonds were cut in similar styles however the number of facets varied often making a great diamond look dull. It wasn’t until 1919 when a keen gem cutter and mathematician Marcel Tolkowsky developed the most appropriate angles that a diamond should be cut based on its Refractive Index. This cut is now known as the ‘ideal cut’ for Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds. Each round diamond has a total of 58 facets around its exterior. Although some cutters cut facets into the girdles, this does not count towards the standard 58. Read more about Diamond Cuts.
Cutting diamonds in this manner allow the stones actual brilliance to sparkle with fire that we all have grown to love. Some diamonds with much lower color and clarity’s have been cut with high precision can look considerably more spectacular compared to diamonds with perfect color and clarity but inaccurate cut quality.
Diamonds cut with shallow or deep culets can and will detract from the overall sparkle and brilliance, see below
Cut Grades based on a Round Brilliant Cut Diamond:
IDEAL – perfect symmetry and faceting – Often described as ‘hearts & arrows’
EXCELLENT – excellent symmetry and faceting
VERY GOOD – very good symmetry and faceting
GOOD – good symmetry and faceting tend to be shallow or deep cut
FAIR – fair symmetry and faceting are usually shallow or deep cut
POOR – poor symmetry and faceting are definitely shallow or deep cut
Hearts & Arrows is where the diamonds table facet is in perfect symmetry and perpendicular to the culet. With the use of a gem scope, hearts and arrows can actually be seen.
The forth vital part to your diamonds quality, the carat weight of a diamond is a measurement of how much a diamond weighs in Metric not Imperial measurements. A metric “carat” is defined as 200 milligrams. Each carat can be subdivided into 100 ‘points. For example a 1 carat diamond weighs 100 points.
This not only provides a very accurate way to universally grade but to be within a hundredth decimal place. Jewelers will usually give the weight of a diamond below one carat by its ‘points’ alone. For example, a diamond that weighs 0.50 carats would be described as a ‘fifty pointer’. Some jewellers will also describe this weight as a ’half carater’.
This is what I like to call the 5 C’s. In combination with the 4 C’s the fifth element definitely comes into play -COST. With a knowledge you will get from my pages imparted on you, you should be able to understand what diamonds for sale should cost the most and what diamonds should cost the least. Price increases not only with size but a combination of the C’s grading system. Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight.
Hang on it doesn’t finish there, this is just the start! Buying a diamond with a reputable certificate.