Buying Diamonds Safely

When you start to think about buying a diamond, you naturally will want the best diamond that you can afford. Diamonds can be found in a range of shapes, sizes, qualities & prices. If you are about to buy a diamond for an engagement ring, you may want to consider spending the commonly accepted guideline of two months’ salary. Diamonds are a symbol of love and eternity. Diamonds ARE forever.

In order to buy the best quality diamond, there are things you must know and understand. Do not rush in and buy a diamond on an impulse because it is advertised as a ‘good deal’ or is ‘discounted’. There are no bargains in diamonds and diamonds that are of excellent quality,¬†cut and colour are not sold off cheap! Always make sure you buy a loose diamond that has been independently certified and compare diamonds before making any decision.

Do not confuse a diamond’s carat weight with the size of a diamond. Even though two diamonds may have the same carat weight their appearance in size and diameter measurements can vary greatly. A poorly cut 1.00ct diamond may look like a 0.75ct diamond from the top because they have the same diameter measurements even though their carat weights are different.

Diamonds are sold by their carat weight. A diamond cutter always tries to retain as much carat weight and as few inclusions when cutting a diamond. Sometimes the cut of a diamond might be sacrificed in order to produce a diamond with higher carat weight. Excellent, Ideal and Very Good cut diamonds will sparkle with more brilliance and fire than diamonds which are poorly cut with a lower cut grade.

Buying a loose diamond for an engagement ring is a daunting task with so many jewellers, diamond dealers and diamond internet websites these days. There is an abundance of information available to consumers, but not all of it is accurate. This is probably one of the most important considerations to make when buying a diamond.

There is a lot more to diamonds and their prices than just learning about the diamond’s cut, colour, clarity, and carat weight. All diamonds are unique, no two diamonds are exactly the same which is why it takes years of experience, training and learning to fully understand them.

Buy your diamond from a reputable diamond dealer. Most diamond buying guides advise you on the 4 C’s and suggest that you only shop at honest, reputable diamond dealers, but how does the average consumer determine this?

We always advise you to make sure that the diamond is certified and ask to see the actual certificate or diamond grading report to verify the diamond details and to see which laboratory graded the diamond. The quality of the certificate, or lack thereof, goes a long way towards telling if you are dealing with someone reputable and professional.

A diamond certificate or grading report is only as good as the laboratory that issued it. A diamond certificate is only useful if it is reliable and has been issued by a reputable independent laboratory which has no financial interest in the stone. If you’ve never heard of the institution that is offering a grading report, don’t hesitate to ask about its credentials and that of the people who graded the diamond.

A diamond certificate or grading report is a blueprint of a diamond which documents the details and statistics about a loose diamond such as the shape, colour, clarity, carat weight, proportions and finish of the diamond. A diamond certificate also confirms that the diamond is natural and is not synthetic or man-made.

There is also the undeniable fact that some diamonds are treated or enhanced in some way, and these diamonds are very difficult, and in some cases impossible to identify, without the correct laboratory equipment.

Synthetic diamonds are the latest threat to the uneducated consumer. If you are buying a diamond without a recognized certificate (IE; a certificate recognized by either the WFDB, IDC, or CIBJO) it is possible that it may not be a Natural diamond at all.

Diamond certificates from respectable labs, meaning GIA, HRD, AGS or DCLA, are totally necessary if you want to compare diamonds intelligently. Laboratories such as GIA, HRD, AGS and DCLA issue grading reports of the highest international standards.

All of these diamond grading laboratories utilize strict procedures and have the most advanced equipment and affiliations which meet the strict requirements for recognition by international trade organizations.

It is up to you, the consumer, to verify the credentials of the diamond grading laboratory and the diamond merchant, wholesaler or jeweller you are dealing with when buying diamonds or engagement rings.

Be even more cautious of website dealers who issue their own ‘in-house diamond certificates’ or ‘manufacturer’s grading reports’ as these simply are NOT independent certificates and they are NOT from a compliant laboratory.

Every diamond grading laboratory has a different set of parameters and specifications that which they grade diamonds and not all laboratories are as strict as each other.

In fact, some laboratories are popular with certain diamond dealers because they have a reputation for being generous with grades and are known not to be as strict as others. As a leading diamond wholesaler, we choose to only sell independently certified loose diamonds that have been graded by compliant, internationally recognized laboratories such as DCLA, GIA, HRD & AGS. This translates to Global Assurance.

Diamond grading laboratories which grade to IDC International Diamond Council rules, do not just use the opinion and expertise of one person. They must grade the diamond and have the opinion and consensus of three qualified diamond graders before the grade is applied to any diamond. In Australia, DCLA is the only IDC diamond grading laboratory.

Valuations or appraisals are NOT the same as a diamond certificate or grading report.

It is important to remember that a grading report or diamond certificate does not include an appraisal or any kind of statement about the monetary value of the diamond.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Diamond Imports

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