You’ve probably heard the cliches about diamonds: they are forever; they speak louder than words and they are a girl’s best friend. They are all true! And this not only holds true for grateful solitaire pendants or diamond-covered cocktail earrings, but also for the queen bee of them all – the solitaire ring! Whether it’s your latest self-indulgence treat or a symbol of lifelong commitment from your beloved, shopping for diamonds involves a lot more than just having a sizeable credit card limit. It also takes research, understanding, and finding a reliable seller.
What to Know About Diamonds Before Buying a Ring?
Diamond quality and value are graded based on four factors, often called the 4C’s – cut, colour, clarity and carat. Identifying these factors is one of the most important things to do when shopping for diamonds. Make sure to never compromise any of the 4Cs in favour of another. For example, never buy a larger sized diamond without considering the colour, clarity or certification of the stone.
The cut describes the shape of the stone and the quality of its precision and workmanship. Technically speaking, the quality of the cut is what determines a diamond’s sparkle (a precise, even cut allows the facets to interact with the light). The higher the grade of the cut, the more light will be transmitted by the stone. The most popular diamond shape is the Round Brilliant followed by Princess Cut. These shapes allow the maximum amount of light to be reflected. Pear and oval diamonds are also common options, but more than anything else, your choice will come down to personal preferences.
The colour of the diamond is what dictates its value. The more colourless it is, the more value it has. But there are some exceptions like the “fancy” coloured stones, which can be extremely valuable. If the stone has a noticeable yellow tint, the sparkle is diminished, which reduces the stone’s value. Colour becomes even more important as carat weight increases as it’s easy to see colour through larger facets.
This is what describes a diamond’s internal flaws and surface imperfections. In most cases, average consumers can’t notice these flaws, which can be evident only to a jeweller with a microscope.
Carat is a term used to determine how much a diamond weighs. A carat equals 200 milligrams. The average diamond on solitaire rings weighs slightly less than one carat. The main reason for this is that the price of diamond jewellery increases greatly at the one-carat mark due to the high demand. You can save money by purchasing a diamond in the 0.9-carat range.
Insist on Certification
If you’re wondering how to tell if a diamond is real, certification is one of the answers. The increasing number of players in the market and the possibility of foul play make certification a must. Although you can research the 4 Cs, you can’t determine the colour or clarity of the stones you are getting, which means you can easily overpay for the jewellery. Certification prevents fraud and helps you understand the intrinsic value of the stone you are actually purchasing. Look for certifications issued by the DCLA or another highly respected diamond grading laboratory. Note that DCLA is the only diamond grading laboratory worldwide that offers a full-replacement Diamond Grading Guarantee.
Find a Reliable Jeweller or Online Retailer
Whether you’re shopping online or offline, buy diamond jewellery only from a reputable jeweller. Don’t get attracted to heavy discounts. Look for jewellers and retailers who have been in the market for a long time. Also, check if they have active social media profiles and reviews. In addition to certifications, also consider their returns and refund policies before making your final decision.
How Much Is a Diamond Worth?
The easiest way to figure out the price of a diamond is the same way you do with anything else – by shopping around. Remember that physical stores are almost always more expensive than what you can find online, but make sure you figure out the right baseline and then decide if it’s worth paying more for the added value you feel you’re getting from the store. Use this calculator to calculate the expected range of prices for different diamonds.
When buying diamond jewellery, if you have to cut expenses somewhere, skip on the piece (the ring for example) and not the diamond. A diamond can last forever while trends are constantly changing. If you get tired of the look of the piece, the diamond can be replaced.
Don’t look at diamonds as an investment. Unlike gold, they don’t qualify as a financial investment, which means there’s no universal world price per gram as is with gold, and resale value can be disappointing. The real return you’ll get by purchasing a diamond is the experience of owning it!