Insider Tips for Purchasing a Diamond

By: Mark Allen

For many people, a diamond is the largest purchase of their life. With that consideration, we recognize the importance of understanding exactly what you are buying. This guide simplifies the four Cs - cut, color, clarity, and carat weight, as well as diamond shapes and certifications. After reading this guide, you will be better prepared to choose the diamond that is right for you.

The cut of a diamond determines its brilliance. There is no single measurement of a diamond that defines its cut, but rather a collection of measurements and observations that determine the relationship between a diamond's light performance, dimensions and finish. Most gemologists consider cut the most important diamond characteristic because even if a diamond has perfect color and clarity, a diamond with a poor cut will have dulled brilliance. The width and depth can have an effect on how light travels within the diamond, and how it exits in the form of brilliance.

Too Shallow: Light is lost out the bottom causing the diamond to lose brilliance.
Too Deep: Light escapes out the sides causing the diamond to appear dark and dull.



Acting as a prism, a diamond can divide light into a spectrum of colors and reflect this light as colorful flashes called fire.

Just as when looking through colored glass, color in a diamond will act as a filter, and will diminish the spectrum of color emitted. The less color in a diamond, the more colorful the fire and the better the color grade:

Other Tips:
Ã?â‚?? The five most common settings for precious gems are prong, bezel, channel, pave, and invisible.
Ã?â‚?? Diamonds are graded by four characteristics: Carat, Cut, Clarity, and Color.
Ã?â‚?? Like diamonds, other gemstones are also evaluated by carat, cut, clarity, and color.
Ã?â‚?? Gemstones are priced and sold by weight, calculated in carats, which are 1/5 of a gram.
Ã?â‚?? When buying a diamond be sure the color and clarity are the same quality as the side stones.
Ã?â‚?? Round brilliant diamonds usually contain 58 facets.
Ã?â‚?? Look for diamonds that have no dark areas but an even brilliance throughout.
Ã?â‚?? If a gemstone has been treated to enhance color or cover flaws, it should cost less than a "natural" stone.
Ã?â‚?? The Moh's Scale is used to measure a gemstone's hardness. A diamond is 10. Sapphires and rubies are 9. Topaz is 8.
Ã?â‚?? Choose diamonds in the SI range rather than flawless to save money. The SI flaws (inclusions) are not visible to the naked eye.
Ã?â‚?? Choose a bezel setting for your diamond to make it appear larger.
Ã?â‚?? Consider the size and shape of a lady's hand when buying her a ring.
Ã?â‚?? All rings should be stamped with a Hallmark (PT, 18K, etc.) indicating the purity of the metal used.



When choosing a metal it really has to do with your tastes in that department. Yellow gold is more traditional but white gold and silver are becoming vastly more popular. Each metal shows off a diamond brilliantly in its own right. A two-toned banned can be the perfect setting for a diamond as well. White diamonds, in my opinion, seem to pop out more in yellow gold and colored stones seem to pop out more in silver or white gold settings. But, it is really your choice when choosing the perfect diamond ring.

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