A Diamond Buying Guide | How To Buy Diamonds
This Diamond Buying Guide is made to help my readers gain clarity and confidence in their purchase. Whether it’s buying a loose diamond or a set engagement ring, you will learn how to choose with confidence. Get ready to save money as well by avoiding unnecessary overspending. Buying a diamond can be tricky. And walking into a jewelry store with no education can be costly. Follow along with my Diamond Buying Guide and learn How To Buy Diamonds with confidence.
1. Set a budget:
The first rule of this Diamond Buying Guide. Let’s get rid of the old rule of 2 months of salary. No rule applies to everyone and their situation. This is a symbol of love and commitment not going above your means. With that said, it’s important to know your significant other expectations. Do they prefer dainty like this classic .96 engagement ring solitaire ring? Or do they like more flair and dazzle like this 1.54 carat on a stunning Cambridge Halo Platinum Ring? But learning you can adjust your search with small changes. As a start get a baseline.
My advice, compare pricing using these two top vendors to see what diamonds they offer and compare.
2. Pick a shape
The beginning of your search must be the diamond shape. Each diamond shape has different search criteria such as clarity, symmetry and color that works best. Each shape has a different cost so searching multiple shapes at the same time will leave you frustrated. For example, Take a look at this 1 carat SI 1 clarity H color Princess cut diamond for $3,340 vs this Round 1 carat SI1 clarity H color Diamond for $4,610. Each shape has there pros and cons.
Round is the most popular and is labeled the Cut King. If your significant other isn’t leaving hints of their favorite shape, take a look at their Pinterest or maybe ask a best friend to be sure you pick the diamond shape of their dreams. Round is the most popular following Princess, Oval, and Emerald.
3. Learn the 4 C’s and Narrow your search:
Once you have chosen the shape, it’s time to understand how the 4 C’s (Carat, Clarity, Color and Cut) interact with it. The 4 C’s represent the most important definitive characteristics of a diamond.
I always recommend starting with your goal in carat weight. So when you go to search a site like James Allen, you can specify only to choose to see 1-carat diamonds. See below a sample of what the search sliders look like.
Start at the goal carat weight. You can then adjust the values to see where the prices is in conjunction with your budget. A quick tip. Shopping for a .90 can yield a deep discount versus a 1 carat. Typically, every .50 of a carat means a jump in price. Sometimes you find a rare 1.85 at a great deal.
Next is Cut Grade. If you are searching for a round diamond, I suggest you search for an ideal cut. A fancy shape(any other diamond other than round) does not come with a cut grade from GIA. Too many variables at play so the cut is left for the viewer to decide. I have two articles that I will list showing how to find the right cut grade in both sites. Follow those guide lines if you need a fancy cut.
Color is the next choice to make. You do not need to pick a D or E color. The human eye can’t typically even see the difference between a D or an H-F color. Depending on the shape of stone you choose, a G-I color is a perfect range to shop for. Round diamonds hide color very well and a H-I color works perfectly.
Clarity is your next option to choose. The main criterion is to make sure the diamond is eye-clean. If I show you a Flawless diamond next to an eye-clean SI1 Diamond, is there a benefit to the flawless other than bragging rights? Save money and choose an eye-clean SI1 if possible. Diamonds like emeralds typically require a vs1.
If you are under budget, congrats! Feel free to go for a heavier carat weight. If it’s over budget, keep adjusting the parameters of clarity and color to see how close your budget is reached. Hopefully, you have found this Diamond Buying Guide helpful thus far. Reach out and email me if you need help navigating these sites. To go deeper in this How To Buy Diamonds Guide, Click on this article to learn more about the 4 C’s.
Once you have found some options, go even deeper and check their length-to-width ratios, fluorescence, table percentages, etc. Feel free to reach out to me, A GIA trained Diamond Expert to help How To Buy Diamonds.
4. Choosing your engagement ring:
What I love about the different engagement ring options is they can help with the visual tremendously. Let’s say you were shy about reaching a certain carat goal. A ring choice like a Halo, Vintage style, or 3 Stone ring will give it the extra size to appear much larger. So a .80 carat diamond on a beautiful Halo diamond engagement ring setting can be a stunner.
Again personal engagement ring preference of your significant other is important. If you are unable to find any information, you can always go by what’s popular. Click on this link or banner to see an article from Blue Nile on their Top 20 Engagement Ring Styles. This will give you an understanding of what engagement rings are popular. You can also go to recently purchased rings from clients, filter the shape, price, and style to see what others are doing and get inspired.