10 Quick Diamond Buying Tips

September 12th, 2017 | Ali Brownrigg


You’re on a need-to-know basis with diamond education. That means we’re here to tell you exactly everything you need to know about buying the right diamond for you.

Read on for an overview of some top terms and concepts you’re likely to encounter as you peruse our site.

What is Brilliance?

Brilliance is the technical term that refers to the diamond’s sparkle. Some shapes—round, pear, oval, square, and marquise—are actually called brilliant-cut, which refers to their mirror-like facets, cut to reflect the most light.

Step-cut, Explained

Step cut diamonds, such as emerald and Asscher, are designed with rectangular facets that emphasize clarity over brilliance. We recommend purchasing a step cut diamond with a clarity grade of VS1 or better to ensure the inclusions, or microscopic imperfections, are less visible.

Consider Fancy Shapes

Such as emerald, princess, cushion, and heart. They are generally less expensive than a round cut of the same carat weight and sometimes even appear larger.

Keep in mind that carat weight alone doesn’t tell you all there is to know about a diamond’s size. Consider it along with the diamond’s table measurement and cut grade. A high carat diamond with a small table and poor cut grade can appear glassy or dull.

Get the Most Out of Carat Weight

Consider a diamond slightly below a whole number carat weight, a .97-carat rather than a 1-carat, for example. The size difference is imperceptible, but your savings can be significant.

Color Clues

When it comes to the 4Cs, color is defined as the absence of color. White diamonds graded Colorless appear icier, while Near Colorless diamonds are a warmer white.

The visible difference between color grades, from G to H or I to J for example, is very minor and difficult to detect with the unaided eye. Your savings, however, can be significant.

J-color fancy shaped diamonds with squared-off points (i.e. emerald, pear, etc.) are a tempting value, but keep in mind that they may have a slight yellowness in their corners

The Question of Clarity

Most clarity characteristics, or inclusions, are impossible to see without magnification. Consider an average clarity grade, such as SI, to stay within your budget. After all, no one will know what your diamond’s clarity grade is unless you tell.

Any color and clarity issues might be slightly more visible in large diamonds (over 2- or 3-carats), and less apparent in smaller diamonds (under 1-carat).

Eye-Clean, Defined

A diamond is considered eye-clean when no inclusions are visible when viewed 6-12 inches from the face, using 20/20 vision, in daylight. Most SI quality diamonds are eye-clean to the layperson. Select VS2 or higher to appease a more discriminating eye.

Deciphering Fluorescence

Some diamonds emit a soft blue or yellow glow under ultraviolet light—a phenomena known as fluorescence. In strong sunlight, some very fluorescent diamonds have a slight sheen to them and tend to be priced lower than diamonds with weak or no fluorescence.

Sometimes, when an I or J color diamond shows blue fluorescence, it helps mask any yellow color in the diamond, balancing out the tone and creating more value in a lesser priced gemstone.

Count on Customer Service

Can’t find the diamond you’re looking for? Let us know what you want and we’re happy to broaden our search and help you find it.

See a diamond you like, but need a day or two to mull it over? We’re happy to have the diamond reserved and removed from our Diamond Search for 48 hours while you make a final decision.

Common Sense Tip

Invest in jewelry insurance through Jewelers Mutual. Protect your valuable investment.

September 12th, 2017
Ali Brownrigg
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