Guide to Buying DiamondsLes Olson Jewelers »
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, indeed. While these gemstones can be one of the most popular choices in jewelry, they can also be tricky to understand. Diamond purchases are big investments, so before you get into any purchase, get to know these important points to make more informed decisions.
Diamond Buying Tips
Whether you are buying an engagement ring or a loose diamond on its own, you must consider different factors to narrow down your options. To give you a quick overview, here are some diamond buying tips to consider in any purchase:
- Select a Shape. Your diamond’s shape will be one of the main design considerations, so knowing what you are looking for can make the search easier. There is no fixed way of choosing this as it is ultimately a matter of preference. Round cuts are often a classic for engagement rings, but you may also find more unique shapes like the marquise, oval, or princess cuts.
- Decide on Weight. How many carats are you looking for in your diamond? This is perhaps one of the most familiar questions buyers might have, as well as a good starting point. If you are still unsure, you can opt for a carat weight range to widen your options, but remember that the higher you go, the more expensive it gets.
Four C’s of Diamonds
The 4Cs of diamond quality are global standards used to assess any diamond. These consist of the following:
Your diamond carat weight can determine the stone’s size and rarity. The greater the carat weight, the more valuable the diamond is. Generally, higher weights also correspond to higher prices, but you might find two diamonds with the same carat weight having different prices due to the other Cs.
A diamond’s cut refers to its proportions and symmetry, which can affect the brilliance and shine in your stone. Ideally, the best cut is considered to be one that allows the maximum light to reflect through the top. Diamond cut grade can range from Excellent to Poor, and this element is not to be confused with shape.
When it comes to diamonds, “color” is often measured based on the absence of color. It may sound counterintuitive, but the idea is that the less color a diamond has, the rarer and more valuable it is. To assess color, diamonds are graded from D to Z, though some may also go beyond Z if they have a fancy yellow color. However, these tend to be much rarer than the others.
Clarity measures the amount of inclusions and blemishes in a diamond, which results from the heating process they are subject to during formation. Similar to color, clarity is also assessed through a grading scale, with the highest grade being Flawless or essentially no inclusions and blemishes to eye-visible inclusions.
- DO clean gently. Always apply gentle pressure to avoid ruining any part of your diamond jewelry.
- DO pick up through the band. Any time you pick up your diamond ring to clean it, make sure you hold it by the band and avoid the stone or setting. Natural oils from your hands can transfer to the stone, so you want to avoid this as best as possible.
- DO NOT use harmful solutions. Avoid using solutions like household cleaners or chlorine bleach to clean your diamonds since these can damage the metals in your jewelry. For the same reason, it is also best to avoid hot tubs and chlorinated pools.
- DO NOT wear while doing rough work. If you need to do any rough work at home or anywhere else, make sure to remove your diamond jewelry and store it somewhere safe.