DIAMOND BUYING GUIDE
Buying a Diamond is an intimate and a personal decision. A lot of thought process goes in making the appropriate choice and since a diamond is an expensive investment, it goes without saying that an informed approach goes a long way in making the right choice. It might seem like a difficult task but it need not be.
With so many diamond shapes to choose and with so many different attributes purchasing a diamond buying requires a little planning. But don’t fret over it. Follow these guidelines and you will be able to select a perfect diamond without experts.
1. Have a budget: The first step to purchasing a valuable thing like diamonds is setting a budget so that you would not get carried away and end up paying a lot more than you expected. Your budget should be realistic. As a rule of thumb – never exceed the budget. Remember that diamonds particularly the diamond engagement rings are an emblem of your love and commitment and not a measure of wealth. One shouldn’t feel pressurised to spend more than one can afford. To set a budget, start with in-depth research of the approximate value of diamond engagement ring in the industry. Get a general idea of the size of diamond you would want to buy. You need to establish a preliminary baseline and then set your budget relative to it.
2. Timing: It is true that some research is required before you consider buying a diamond but don’t overdo it. No on expects you to be an expert. All you need is enough time and knowledge to get you the best value within your budget. Give it a month maximum. The more you research the more confused you’ll get and start doubting your own decision. But don’t make an impromptu decision either. Cut it too close and you might end up stressing yourself.
3. Shape first: Now that you are ready with budget and research, you need to identify the diamond shape that is most desirable. Consider factors like:
- are you looking for a visually larger diamond size then diamonds with wider spread like marquise, radiant or pear shape are your best choice. If you do not know or cannot decide a shape, consider round or princess cut the most neutral and widely popular shapes.
Give exclusive comprehensive details about Diamond Shapes here
4. Consider the 4C’s:
Set a carat weight minimum based on the preference. Bigger the carat the larger the diamond but it is not always true if you compare different shapes of diamonds. Hence it is first recommended to decide a shape of the diamond. Start with the highest quality diamond of the shape and carat weight and then begin making concessions in the following order until you arrive at the diamond with best value within budget:
- First, lower the Clarity. If you are selecting a brilliant cut diamond the brilliance and sparkle are enough to mask minor inclusions. Go as low as VS2 before making concessions in other areas. However if it is a step cut diamond like emerald cut or asscher cut diamond then make sure you have the highest clarity as these shapes then to show inclusion rather than hide it.
- Next, lower the Color. Go as low as H before making concessions in other areas. In some diamonds colour look even more beautiful so choose those that appeal you eyes.
- Finally, lower the Cut. One can go as low as Very Good in brilliant cut diamonds like round and princess cut diamonds, and Good in other shapes before making concessions in other areas. However remember a good cut will always make add brilliance and fire so you don’t want to compromise a lot here.
To know more about the Cut, Clarity, Colour and Carat to make a more knowledgeable decision click here.
Now you have a diamond that will fit your criteria and budget. It the cost is a bit higher you may consider cutting off a bit more carat to bridge the gap between your budget and the price. A carat weight difference of 10% or less will be very difficult to detect visually.
If you are still outside the budget range, consider bit more concession on clarity, colour and the cut till you reach your budget.
5. Finally Selecting The One: Once you've determined the right combination of the 4 characteristics of diamond, you'll probably notice that you still have several options remaining. Don’t go for the least expensive one because even if you might not notice it, if your deal seems to be too good to be true, there is always a catch. Diamond jeweller after all know their stuff and would want to sell. So after the 4c’s consider other attributes of a diamond like the fluorescence, length to width ratio, table, depth, polish and symmetry. Also check the GIA certificate to know the attributes. These factors will help you. But if you are still confused it I always recommended to consult a certified gemmologist or an expert.
Diamond Pricing Value – Online and Offline
The most important factor in buying a diamond is trusting your diamond supplier, whether online or in store.
Pros and cons of buying In-stores:
You can evaluate and see the diamond. One factor that people are often afraid of while buying a precious object like diamonds is that they have to see it and assess it before buying it. In-store gives them the peace of mind one gets through the look and feel. However, purchasing in store, you can expect to pay a larger premium than when purchasing online. One can expect a premium of 20% - 50% margins on diamonds, depending on diamond size and selection. Jewellers have multiple overheads to pay off like rent of the store and such other factors. These get included in the cost and hence the premium.
Pros and cons of buying online:
Today online is the way of life and it has infused its culture even in jewellery industry. With assurances through GIA diamond grading certificates have made customers very comfortable with buying online. Though people are still quite uncomfortable without the actual look and feel of the diamond, online has become a huge market and one of the reasons is discounted rates. Buying online gives you exponentially more selection, major pricing benefits (markups between 5% - 15%), generous return policies, and convenience without sales pressure.
Confused what to do? We recommend take a combined approach. Use online information to do your research, compare prices and get assurance. You may as well walk into the store and have the look and feel of the diamond to get an idea say how big 1 carat diamond in round would look as compared to 1 carat princess cut or other fancy cut diamonds. I will help you decide on the shape of the diamond. However one thing to realise is not to get bullied or influenced into buy they diamond in store. Take time to evaluate and make a wise and informed decision.
Do's and Dont's of Diamond Buying:
A quick glance and recap of what to do and what not to do while buying a diamond:
- Do your research and get informed
- Set a budget
- Save up to purchase your ring
- Consider other financing options to buy the ring if it goes beyond your savings
- Compare prices from online and offline stores
- See the GIA certifications and grading
- Insure your diamond ring after purchase
- Balance the 4 C's to get the optimum value
- Never get influences into a buying decision
- Don’t exceed your budget
- Don’t rush into decision making. Take at least 3 weeks to make a wise choice
- Don’t stick to just one buyer. Explore options.