Buying a diamond can be a difficult process for most people. Evaluating a diamonds grade takes a trained eye that most people don’t have. This means that a lot of people don’t know where to start searching for a diamond. This is especially true for people looking to buy a diamond online. Luckily, the process doesn’t have to be nerve wracking. Follow these four steps to put yourself in good position to select a stone that will last a lifetime:
Step 1: Understand How Diamonds are Graded
Diamonds are graded using the 4 C’s of Diamond Quality. Knowing about these factors will clarify how diamonds are valued. The four C’s refer to a diamond’s cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. Each of these factors interact to grade a diamond’s overall quality.
Cut: The cut of a diamond consists of five grades, which range from excellent to poor. While we often consider cut to be the shape of a diamond, such as a princess or round cut, the GIA Cut scale is actually about how a diamond’s proportions and facets interact with light. The diamond cut proportions directly affect a diamond’s ability to reflect light and provide brilliance.
Color: Most diamonds are evaluated based on the absence of color. A perfect diamond is completely clear, like a drop of water. The less color in the stone, the more desirable and valuable it is. The D-to-Z color-grading system measures the degree of color by comparing a stone to masterstones of established value in the color scale. “D” on the scale represents the highest quality, while “Z” represents the lowest diamond color quality.
Clarity: The clarity of a diamond is measured with eleven clarity grades, ranging from flawless to I3. Diamonds are created under intense conditions which will generally lead to internal characteristics known an “inclusions” as well as external characteristics called “blemishes”. A diamond with high clarity has little to no inclusions or blemishes. Evaluating the clarity of a diamond involves determining the number, size, and position of these characteristics.
Carat: The carat weight of a diamond measures the diamond’s size. Specifically, carats measure how much a diamond weighs. Larger Diamonds are more rare and sought after. Prices generally increase as diamond carat weights increase.
This system is the standard method of grading diamonds, and understanding the 4 C’s will help you understand the true value of a diamond. This helps make an informed decision about how much value you’re getting for your money, allowing you to compare diamonds more effectively.
Step 2: Choose a Jeweler Carefully
As important as it is to choose a great diamond, it’s just as important to choose a great jeweler. This will help the process go much more smoothly, and help you feel confident about your diamond buying experience.
The right jeweler will be a diamond expert who is highly trained, experienced, and easy to talk to. Find a jeweler that is open to questions and is able to give answers that you understand. If they seem more interested in simply making a sale and aren’t actually trying to help you, they aren’t the right jeweler. Make sure you find a jeweler who will work with you, is willing to answer questions in simple language, and won’t provide extra pressure to your diamond buying experience.
You can identify an expert jeweler by looking at their professional training. Most diamond experts will have been trained by internationally accredited programs. The most prestigious programs are the GIA Graduate Gemologist (GG) and the AGS Certified Gemologist (CG) diploma programs. Both of these are top-of-the-line, and certify that the jeweler is highly knowledgeable about all aspects of grading and selling diamonds. An educated jeweler is important because they can further explain concepts such as the 4 C’s of Diamond Quality, help point out differences between similar diamonds, and point out why these differences are important. Diamond experts from these programs have the knowledge necessary to help you find the highest value diamonds for your price range.
Step 3: Utilize the Diamond Grading Reports
A diamond grading report contains a lot of valuable information about the diamond. It is important to ask for the grading report, as it is proof of what you’re purchasing and will help you see how much value you’re getting.
Grading reports are valuable because they will usually come from sources that are unbiased. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and American Gem Society (AGS) provide the most trustworthy and accurate grading reports, as they are totally independent of diamond sellers. You can rest assured that the report has been created under strict standards, and is an accurate representation of a diamond’s grade.
The grading reports are not only valuable to you, they’re also valuable for the jeweler. Even experts won’t be able to see some differences between diamonds, and having lab verification is necessary to identify precise grades for some factors. Insist that any diamond you buy comes with a verified lab report from GIA or AGS.
Step 4: Protect your Diamond Purchase
People often wonder if diamond insurance and appraisal is necessary. I highly recommend having your diamond appraised and insured. This will prove beneficial if something were to happen to your stone. Both insurers and appraisers rely on a grading report to evaluate the value of diamond, so be sure to keep your grading report in a safe location.
These steps will help you throughout the process of purchasing a diamond. The process may be stressful, but the right jeweler can make it much easier. They will help you find the best value diamond in your price range.
For further help, let RH Bockstruck help guide you to the diamond of your dreams. Contact Rob today to find out how he can help.