No matter if you’re buying an engagement ring or upgrading a stone for your anniversary, going into your diamond buying experience with the right knowledge can ensure that you end up with the perfect diamond for you. Luckily, there are only a few fundamentals to research before starting your buying journey. You’ll find them all within this guide. Let’s dive in!
The 4 C’s and Diamond Fluorescence
The most fundamental diamond characteristics that any buyer should know can easily be remembered as the “4 C’s.” However, there’s a fifth element that some individuals hold just as important — diamond fluorescence. Here’s everything you need to know about all five.
- Cut: A diamond’s cut refers to how it has been cut by a professional to maximize brilliance and physical appearance. Not to be mistaken for diamond shape, which refers to the outline of the diamond’s silhouette.
- Color: Some diamonds feature color, though it’s measured through a diamond’s lack of color. The grading system for diamond color is simple from D-Z, with D meaning colorless and Z meaning significant color.
- Clarity: Diamonds are rarely flawless, meaning that most diamonds display some degree of physical blemishes on the surface or inclusions within. The highest diamond clarity grade is Flawless, meaning no visible blemishes or inclusions under 10x magnification. The lowest is I3, with significant flaws.
- Carat: Diamond weight is measured in carats or 200-milligram increments. That said, a diamond’s cut and shape will significantly impact the appearance of its physical size. For example, an emerald cut diamond would generally appear larger than a cushion cut diamond, even if they are the same weight.
- Diamond Fluorescence: When a diamond is placed under UV light, it may emit a glow that is blue, orange, or yellow. This characteristic is unique and only affects up to 35% of diamonds.
Lab vs. Mined Diamonds
When purchasing a diamond, it’s essential to understand all your options. This means researching mined diamonds and their alternatives, specifically lab-grown diamonds.
Mined diamonds are considered “traditional” diamonds in that they are the most common diamonds on the market. These are the diamonds retrieved using traditional diamond mining methods that include extracting diamonds from deep within the earth. Mined diamonds are billions of years old and are used in jewelry, industrial machinery, and mechanical components.
Lab-grown diamonds are those that have been created in a lab setting. These are 100% real diamonds created from carbon that has been exposed to extreme heat and pressure. They are chemically, physically, and visually identical to their mined counterparts. Consumers have been increasingly drawn to lab-grown diamonds as they offer the opportunity to purchase a real, ethically sourced diamond at a steep discount.
Buying Online vs. In-Person
Diamond buying can be done safely, both in-person and online. The same rules apply to diamond buying regardless of the method in which you choose to purchase them. Here’s what you need to know.
- Choose an Established Vendor: Not only will this help you avoid being scammed, but it will also ensure that you get a diamond that has been graded by a reputable lab to guarantee its quality. Be sure to read third party reviews and ensure that their diamonds are certified.
- Get Help From Experts: Speaking with experts before making your purchase can make it easier for you to choose a diamond that meets all your needs. One upside to buying online is that many eCommerce websites have chat features that allow you to discreetly talk with a diamond expert.
- Know Your Stuff: Knowing the fundamentals of diamond buying, including the 4 Cs and diamond fluorescence, is a great way to ensure that you get the most out of your diamond purchase. However, it’s also important to comparison shop and get a feel for prices and availability across multiple stores — not only in regards to savings, but also pertaining to policies such as shipping and returns.
Buying a diamond can be challenging, especially if you are a first-time buyer. However, coming into the experience with strong knowledge of diamonds and their characteristics can help you find the diamond of your dreams.