Diamond Buying Guide
Nobody would like to dissent from the fact that “Diamonds are forever.”
But as much as we love to treasure Diamonds for that, their buying process can certainly leave anybody overwhelmed. Concerns, dilemmas, and confusion come in a free package when you set out to buy a Diamond jewelry.
We know how you’re not only looking to strike the perfect balance of quality, but are also wishing to get your hands on something that resonates with your kind of style. The pressure of getting it all right must be real. And since you’re splurging big bucks, making it worth every single penny is not too much to ask for. Worry not- we’re here to take you a step forward to finding the most perfect and worthy Diamond jewelry with this go-to guide. Hop on!
- Decide on a Budget:
Financial decisions are never easy. Especially when we speak of arriving at a monetary figure of the amount you’d actually like to spend on your sparkler. We wish to put a little extra emphasis on the term ‘like’ here because that is what is paramount.
Yes, we’re well aware of how budget has been home to a number of traditional adages with the most common one of them being- spending three months worth of salary on the engagement ring. But we’d recommend you not to break the bank in an old school attempt to abide by a convention that doesn’t take your comfort into account. Remember- Diamond is much more than some measure of the financial strain that you’re willing to endure.
Having said that, there are no hard and fast rules for finalizing a budget. Just make sure to keep your priorities straight. Gather all the necessary information you need to decide what factors (among the shape, style, 4 Cs, etc.) are more valuable to you (so that you don’t regret splurging more money on them later on.) Accordingly, you can optimize and choose the best diamond that fits within the price range you can afford. And don’t worry, we’re here to facilitate you with all the necessary advises throughout so that you know what to keep in mind while budgeting.
- Be well versed with the 4 Cs and Shop Smartly:
The 4 Cs (cut, color, clarity, and carat) make the Diamond what it is. They not only impact the diamond’s beauty and desirability but (in turn) also have a considerable influence on its price. So to start off, let’s breakdown the 4 Cs to you:
Technically, Cut refers to the proportions, symmetry, and polish of the Diamond to determine how well its facets interact with the light. On the sparkle quotient, they are graded from ideal to poor. Its sole purpose is to maximize the sparkle and in turn, the beauty of the Diamond.
We cannot stress the importance of investing in a higher graded cut enough. That’s because- not only does it optimize the brilliance of the Diamond, but also masks the imperfections of the other Cs. So, we’d always recommend you to make splurging on a good cut your first priority (stick to ideal or very good grade), and then take other factors into consideration.
When it comes to color, it’s the other way around in the case of Diamonds (as compared to colored stones). In the sense that we speak of the color in the context of how absent the it is. That’s because- Less the color, more appealing and higher in value is the Diamond. The spectrum of color grades range from D (that is the most colorless) to Z (that possesses visible traces of yellow color).
See the thing is- if you can afford to invest in the perfect color grade (D for that matter), nothing like it. But there is always the scope to shop smartly. Let’s break the funda to you- if (say) you have decided on a round brilliant diamond, you should know that this shape masks the color imperfections of the diamond quite well.
So, you can move a grade down (from maybe colorless to near colorless) without much worry. But make it a point to note that if you go for the not so classic Emerald and Asscher shapes or even Oval for that matter, they are bound to unveil more color (comparatively). Color becomes evidently visible when the scale reaches I grade. So, even G and H grade diamonds are a good deal (if you’re comfortable).
Note: The ability to mask (or not mask) the color is determined by the facet arrangement and the overall cut of the diamond.
Flaws are natural and Diamonds (as a result of their natural formation) are not completely immune to them. On that note, we’d like to introduce you to another prominent C while buying Diamonds- Clarity. Clarity tells you how flawless, i.e., devoid the Diamond is of any inclusions and blemishes.
Clarity grades are assigned from Flawless (i.e., completely devoid of any inclusions, even under 10X magnification) all the way to Included (i.e., home to eye-visible inclusions). So, you can expect clarity grades. These grades take into account- the number, position, and intensity of the inclusions present. The simple rule of thumb is- higher the grade, lesser the inclusions and more valuable is the diamond.
Clarity again is something that you have a good chance budgeting in. You can save good bucks of money by simply knowing the clarity grade you need (not desire). That being said, a Perfect Diamond doesn’t necessarily have to come with the tag of ‘Flawless.’ If you’re prioritizing other factors, you always have the option to move a few grades down the scale of clarity and still be content. For instance, VSI and SI1 grades, though lower than flawless, are eye-clean too (just not under 10X magnification). But they are always a good bet to maximize your budget. Apart from that, remember that (just like in the case of color), Emerald and Asscher shapes are prone to making clarity imperfections more evident. So, try to prioritize clarity in their case.
Carat weight is simply the unit of measurement used for describing the weight of the diamond. Mathematically, one carat equals to 0.2 grams (or 200 milligrams).
The common rule of thumb to measure the price is: The higher the carat, pricier is the diamond and vice-versa. Lucky for you- Carats offer you a wide scope to optimize your budget. The funda is to ‘shop shy.’
By that we mean, don’t go chasing for Diamonds in the half and one carat marks only (referred by some as the magic carats). That’s because- Diamonds that strike the perfect half or one carat mark command significantly more price. And if you look at it, a one carat diamond doesn’t appear much different than 0.9 carat one. In fact, the difference is very hard to detect with unaided eyes. So, you can totally move a 0.1 or 0.2 down and still be content with the aesthetics of your Diamond.
Note: The biggest misconception you’ll get to hear is that the 4 Cs together need to strike a balance of perfection. That’s never the case because a set pattern of how the 4 Cs should be like can (and shall) never be followed. Be smart with your choices, compromise where you can, and splurge more where you find the need to. That would lead you to shopping the perfect diamond while getting the best value for money.
- Pick the shape:
Each Diamond shape brings something extraordinary to the table. Make sure it tick marks all the necessary boxes, i.e., your individual style and the kind of brilliance you prefer.
The round shape is one of the most widely preferred shapes all around the globe today. But lately, fancy shapes (i.e., all the shapes apart from the classic round) are also having a moment. See what each shape holds in store for you and decide ‘the one’ for yourself:
- Round Shape:
Hailed as one of the most sought-after shapes out there, Round shape carries a timelessly classic appeal. The reason for its popularity lies in the kind of unparalleled brilliance it exudes. So, if you’re into sparkles and wish to abide by conventions, this might be the shape for you.
- Oval Shape:
Oval has turned out to be the new go-to shape for diamond jewelry. You can also call it the elongated cousin of round shape. What sets it apart is the unique ability to deceive your eyes by making your fingers appear more long and slim.
- Emerald Shape:
A perfect mix of vintage and fancy- Emerald is a particular type of rectangular shape that has cut corners to create a distinctive octagonal or hexagonal shape. Emerald is the kind of shape you’d like if you place great deal of significance on the clarity of the diamond. With its large facets, it not only makes the stone appear larger but also showcases its clarity at its best.
- Princess Shape:
An interesting and more modern take to square shape- Princess Shape has proved to be the new favorite of modern brides. This shape features a pyramidal shape, cut corners, and a series of parallel facets that create a unique pattern of light and shadow. Like the round shape, it carries high brilliance and fire (which is another reason that works in favor of its increasing preference.)
- Cushion Shape:
Cushion shape is another fancy shape that fits the tag of timeless with a vintage appeal. It is characterized by rounded corners and a unique pillow-like shape. It creates a pattern of light and shadow that can enhance the diamond's brilliance and fire.
- Asscher Shape:
Preferred by Vintage lovers, an Asscher Shape is very similar to the Emerald shape, except the fact that it is more square-like and possesses larger step facets. The facets are arranged in a way that creates a "hall of mirrors" effect, reflecting light off each other. That in turn enhances the diamond's brilliance and fire. This shape exudes an Art Deco era vibe.
Marquise is the kind of shape that paves its way to grab attention with its unique, almost dramatic look. It showcases a boat-like shape, with pointed ends and curved side. If you look closely, you’d find it to resemble a smile. It is designed to maximize its carat weight and create the illusion of a larger stone.
You can call it an interesting and visibly feminine amalgamation of round and pear shape, with a tapered point at one end and a rounded end at the other. That makes it look surprisingly close to the drop of water. Hence, it is often referred to as ‘teardrop shape.’
- Opt for the right Setting:
Technically, setting is something that secures the Diamond at its place. It is typically made of metal, such as gold. Remember- something as simple as a Setting can prove to be a total game changer for your Diamond jewelry. Deciding on the setting eventually boils down to your personal preference and well, PRIORITIES.
Think through and make sure to consider the kind of style you want, security you require, and of course, the shape and size of your Diamond. For instance, if better security is on your list of preference, you may consider going for a Bezel Setting (since the diamond here is set flush into the metal of the ring). While if you wish to flaunt your Diamond as much as possible, you may go for a Prong Setting, since it basically grips the diamond from 4 sides with metal prongs or claws, allowing most light to enter the diamond.
On the other hand, if you’re too much into sparkles and stuff, Pave Setting is the one for you (it basically studs your ring with closely-knit small diamonds on the sides). The point that demands your attention here is that larger diamonds (and certain shapes) require more secure settings. For example, while Round Shape goes with practically any setting, but pear goes best with bezel or 5 or 6 Prong setting since it has a vulnerable point.
Though size of the diamond matters- it’s important for you to note that bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. A well-cut diamond may exude more sparkle and at times, even look larger than its not so well-cut counterpart.
The size would mostly be reflective of the kind of aesthetics you prefer. If you’re somewhat minimalist, you can go for a smaller size (less than 6 MM). But if over the top, flamboyant style and lofty carats resonate with your kind of aesthetics more, you always have the option to go for a larger size. But remember, if you’re looking for Diamonds on the higher side of the size, that may at times require you to compromise on the clarity and color.
As long as you’re smart with the compromise and following the advises we have suggested, nothing should be a problem.
- Verify the reliability of the seller:
Online shopping comes with its own set of pros and cons. You can make the most of the pros and get away with all the cons if you’re smart with your decisions. The most common con that most of you will report is- the lack of confidence (and unreliability) you feel in shopping something as precious as jewelry online.
Actually if you ask us, it is all about how well you have done your homework. Certification, for example, is the legitimate paper proof (from a reputable gemological laboratory) backing you up. It not just tells you of the quality of the Diamond that you’re purchasing, but also acquaints you to it with all the important details. So, it is essential that you go for Diamond certified by an authorized laboratory only. Apart from that, make sure that the Gold is hallmarked too.
In your interest, in an attempt to live by your standards of quality, Rosec Jewels sells IGS-certified Diamonds only.