Diamond Buying – Basics

diamond rings

A good working understanding of the factors used in the pricing of diamonds will be necessary before you begin your diamond buying quest. I am including a quick list here which has links to full pages that explains each of these properties in greater detail.

Starting off with a brief overview of diamond’s 4Cs…. Diamond Grading.

Diamond Cut – The biggest of the Cs!

Diamond Color – Determining the presence (or absence) of body color.

Diamond Clarity – What’s going on inside and outside of a diamond.

Diamond Carat Weight – Bigger is better?

Here is a very interesting 10 min. video from GIA explaining the 4Cs and following a diamond through GIA’s lab on its journey to receiving a diamond grading report.
Please click here and a small pop up window will show you the video.

Diamond FAQS

Q- How do I know if I’m getting a properly cut diamond?

A- This is where a diamond grading report will be the “disinterested third party” by placing a Diamond Cut grade on a diamond that you are considering.

While the diamond grading labs are not 100% perfect without a diamond grading report you will be buying a diamond based only on the salesperson’s opinion of the diamond’s qualities. Remember, Jones Jewelers “Ideal Cut” diamond could end up being Smith

The diamond grading labs have worked on making their diamond cut grades as consistent as possible but they do take different approaches on how they reach a Diamond Cut grade. For a more detailed overview go to Diamond Grading Reports.

Q- Why are some diamonds colorless and some yellow?

A- Diamond is made of one element, carbon. Most other gemstones are a mixture of different elements. Yellow diamonds get their color from having a bit of nitrogen in their structure.

Actually the most common color of diamond is brown but most of these diamonds are of very low quality and are used for industrial purposes. Diamonds come in many different colors….. some natural, called Fancy Colored Diamonds and some that are altered in the lab, called Color Enhanced Diamonds.

Q- What the heck is an “eye clean” diamond?

A- According to their diamond clarity definitions, diamonds with clarities of Fl, IF, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, SI2, are all eye clean. This means that you should not be able to see anything in the diamond when you view it in normal light, at a distance of 8 to 10 inches without any magnification.

This is more normally used when people talk about the clarity of colored stones (all gemstones other than diamonds). When used with diamonds it is used for diamonds with borderline clarities…. trying to decide if a diamond is an SI2 or I1.