The circumstances of buying a diamond are well-known by all of us. First of all, since buying a diamond is a rather serious investment, people want to make sure that they are getting good quality for good money. Apart from quality, fitting your special needs is also something a jeweler should be capable to do.
Being cautious never hurts, especially in the case of purchases where a lot of money is in question and the subject of the purchase is part of a long-term plan. Therefore, do not be afraid to ask your jeweler any question that might pop into your mind – after all, the foremost thing is that you feel satisfied with your new diamond at the end of the day. Here is an easy guide on how to choose a diamond at the jewelers.
Inquiring regarding the quality of the diamond
Always be prepared to ask counter-questions regarding the quality of your diamond-to-be. The price of a diamond is defined by its qualitative measures like cut, color and clarity and its size, measured in carats. Since diamonds are mined and cannot be melted, price per carat also varies heavily. That is, if four independent variables would not have been enough, a fifth variable above them all enters the equation.
Needless to say, diamond price calculation is not based on elementary mathematics. We did not even mention that in some cases you can save a lot of money by wisely choosing combinations of the main characteristics.
Asking for a proper certification
General recommendation is that you should always try to avoid buying uncertified diamonds. Stones that have not been certified by trusted institutions like the GIA or the AGLS are quite likely conflict diamonds or victims of grade bumping. Conflict diamonds – or blood diamonds, how most people call it – are diamonds mined in war zones usually sold in order to fund terrorism, civil wars, insurgencies or other unethical activities.
You ought to inquire regarding the diamonds origin and whether the vendor is able to provide proof of the claimed origin. Even if you have no ethical problems with such stones, you should still remember that blood diamonds are very hard to sell and are usually sold much below standard market price.
While blood diamonds are cheaper than similar certified diamonds, in the case of the other group of typical uncertified diamonds you are usually getting a lesser stone for your money. Grade bumping is an obviously unethical, but, unfortunately, still not illegal method using which some vendors intentionally misinterpret color and clarity values of diamonds. This is a rather widespread practice that aims to scam the inexperienced buyer.
Asking for permission to examine the gem stone
Nothing can beat the experience of seeing your next diamond under a magnifying glass. Asking for a jewelers’ loupe and closely examining your diamond can reveal or put into limelight a lot of characteristics that you will not notice with bare eyes but might come to surface in some settings or in special light conditions.
Even though most buyers are no diamond experts, this simple measure could give you a good reassurance that the stone you are about to buy indeed has the qualities described in the grading report. Apart from magnified examination, you should also ask the jeweler to allow you to see how the diamond performs in natural light conditions.
While all of the above things are recommended, the best thing to do is to hire an independent gemologist to associate you during the purchase. On the first hand, seeing that you are with a professional the jeweler will probably treat you with more respect and will give you more accurate data.
On the other hand, compared to the price of the diamond, the fee of your chosen gemologist will probably be rather tiny, especially taking into account that he will know the best questions to ask the jeweler, customized to the situation.