The Savvy guide to buying diamonds

Every diamond bought will always be a considered purchase whatever the intended use but there are ways to buy the best gemstone you can for the budget you have. Whether it’s for an engagement ring or to keep as a future investment, buy wise and you’ll have an item of beauty you can look at and admire and know that you didn’t overpay.

The 4C’s

Before buying a diamond, do a bit of research and learning on the grading standards which are used across the majority of the industry. Knowing what each means and how you can use the information to your advantage when choosing one of these exquisite naturally occurring precious stones will save you a great deal of cash. The 4C’s are:

  • Color
  • Clarity
  • Cut
  • Carat

Every ‘C’ has a grading scale and those who certify the diamonds will carry out a grading for each of the four areas and then produce a quality report along with a financial value. Whist everyone wants a diamond which is of the highest grading possible, budget may affect this and the reality is that some slightly lower grade stones will look just as wonderful as the premium choices because of the way the stones are examined for the report. Engagement rings in Houston all have certified diamonds so you’ll know exactly what you are buying.

Color

The more colorless a diamond, the higher grading it will receive. Stones which have small amounts of brown or yellow will mean that the quality is less and in turn the grading will be lower. Color is graded on a letter scale from D through to Z with D being absolutely colorless. Those stones which have a Z grading will have obvious color in them. For excellent value, look for ones somewhere between G and J on the scale; they are called ‘near colorless’ and to the naked eye will look as perfectly clear as one higher on the scale but will cost quite a bit less.

Clarity

Clarity means how many blemishes are in the diamond; the term ‘inclusions’ is also used. Those gems which have absolutely no imperfections are the most desirable but also have the highest price tag.

The grading scale used for clarity starts with Flawless for the absolutely perfect diamonds through to three categories of ‘Included’. Those at the lowest end of the scale will have inclusions which can be seen to the naked eye but nicely in the middle of the clarity scale are those graded SI which means ‘Slight Inclusions’ and whilst they will have blemishes they can only be seen under a powerful microscope and in turn are much more affordable.

 

Cut

The diamond cutter working with the rough stones will shape, facet and polish the gem to give it the best look they can to maximize the fire and brightness. The finished cut diamond will then be graded with a scale which ranges from Ideal to Poor. Every stone is different because of the way they are cut; to hide inclusions perhaps or to make the most of their carat weight.

Carat

The term carat in diamonds is often misunderstood in that many believe it to be in relation to size; in fact it’s the weight of the stone. Every diamond will have a very exact weight attributed to it and the ones with the highest price tags will be those which have the ‘magic number’ attached to them of exact weights such as 1, 1.5 or 2 carats. Buy one which is very slightly under these weights such as 0.8 or 1.9 and you’ll see the comparative price really fall and when set into a ring, nobody will know the difference other than you knowing how clever you’ve been with finding a stunning diamond which hasn’t cleared out your bank account.

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