Tips for Purchasing a Diamond

Buying a diamond engagement ring is a symbol of your love and commitment, and shows you are invested in a shared future. Diamonds are expensive, and the buying process can be daunting and a bit overwhelming. Finding the perfect balance of cut quality, color, clarity, and carat weight without going over budget can be stressful, but it does not need to be.

After a decade in the diamond industry, here are my expert tips to help you choose the best diamond for your budget:

  1. Know Before You Buy: It is imperative to research the 4 C’s (carat, clarity, cut and color) so you have the knowledge needed to negotiate and leverage the best deal.
  2. Set a Budget: Just like planning a wedding, there should be a specific planning process that goes into buying a diamond, or steps to be taken prior to meeting with a diamond dealer or retailer.
  3. The old school of thought was to sock away two months’ salary, but that’s no longer the case. Only you can set your budget, and a good diamond dealer will work within your budget.
  4. Select the Shape of the Diamond: There are 12 common shapes into which diamonds are cut for use in engagement rings. The most popular is the round brilliant-cut, which also is the most expensive. If you choose a “fancy shape” such as a Princess, Marquise or Pear, you could save as much as 25% from a round brilliant-cut diamond of comparable size, color and clarity.
  5. The Quality of the Diamond: No two natural diamonds are alike. In fact, they are as unique as fingerprints. To get the best quality for the price, the next step comes down to choosing between the size (carat weight) versus the quality of the stone. If your goal is to buy a larger diamond, the quality of the stone will decrease. Bigger is not always better. Larger diamonds may show inclusions, for example, whereas a smaller stone of higher quality will not. A diamond professional can help you choose an “eye clean” stone, meaning that inclusions in the diamond are not visible to the naked eye. The further the inclusion is from the table (center of the diamond), the better its quality.
    Color Hack Tips:
    1) Purchasing a lower color grade diamond (i.e., I-Z) can offset the true color of the stone depending on the metal that it will be set in. For example, if the diamond is set in yellow gold, the stone will take on the hue of the metal.
    2) You could purchase a lower color grade if your diamond is higher in fluorescence.
  6. Design – After the budget, diamond shape and qualities have been selected, you should assess for metal sensitivities, and ensure you know the finger size for your significant other… and for the correct finger . Then you can get creative with the design search and stay patient as there are thousands of settings to choose from.
    It is easy to get lost with a large selection and so much variety. At the end of the day, make your decision with confidence. Once you have all the information on hand, you can go to your trusted jeweler to format a plan together and let the action begin!

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