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Diamond Education

Buying a diamond can be intimidating, stressful, and difficult. After all, it’s an expensive purchase, and mistakes can be costly. At Ideal Diamond, our goal is always to make sure every customer feels good about their purchase for years to come. Here’s a quick education on buying diamonds. Whether you work with us or go elsewhere, these are the most important tips a buyer should know.

Don't ever buy a pre-set diamond.

Here’s why: A skillful jeweler might use the setting style to disguise a poorly cut diamond or hide inclusions and blemishes. Also, you won’t be able to judge the diamond color independently of the setting, because the diamond will reflect the tones of the metal, “whether it’s platinum, gold, white gold, or rose gold,” and impart a slight hue to the stone.


Don't ever buy a diamond without seeing it in person.

Here’s why: You can’t really judge the true color, amount of sparkle, or number and size of the inclusions from simply looking at a photo on a website. The chances of being disappointed are too great. In the long run, it’s worth the extra effort to see the stone in person and ensure that it meets your expectations.


Always remember, cut is more important than any of the other Four C's.

Here’s why: A diamond cut to the right proportions will showcase the most sparkle and bring out the best qualities in the stone. Experts agree that sparkle is what people want most from a diamond.


When choosing a diamond, always go for better color over better clarity.

Here’s why: When viewing a diamond, people often notice the color from a distance. It is much harder to see imperfections in clarity because most inclusions can’t be seen with the naked eye.


Keep in mind, if you can't see the blemishes with your naked eye, neither can anyone else.

Here’s why: It takes a trained eye and a jeweler’s magnifying loop to see most inclusions and blemishes. Plus, you have to know what you’re looking for. Unless there’s a visible crack or cavity in the diamond, small inclusions and blemishes will not detract from its aesthetic beauty to the casual observer.


If you want your stone to look bigger, choose a white gold or platinum six-prong setting.

Here’s why: Known as the Tiffany setting, mounting a diamond in a six-prong setting creates an optical illusion, making the diamond seem larger than the stone’s actual diameter.


Never buy a stone that isn't certified by a gem laboratory.

Here’s why: Without certification of the cut, color, carat, and clarity, there’s no guarantee of the true value of your diamond. A lack of certification also can make it difficult for you to re-sell your diamond in the future. Even if a diamond looks perfect, buying one without certification is risky. Why take a chance with such an important purchase? When you purchase an unset diamond from Ideal Diamond, we give you your certification. When you come to pick the diamond up after it’s set, we take it out of the setting to verify that the stone identification number etched into the diamond matches the one on your certificate.


Never buy a diamond from a jeweler who puts sales pressure on you or tells you the price of the diamond is only good for one day.

Here’s why: Diamond prices don’t change daily. Such individuals are just trying to make a sale. You should always be able to take your time and shop around. If the jeweler has the best diamond for you at the best price, they should be confident that you’ll come back and buy it.


You don't need to have the highest possible grades across all of the Four C’s.

Choose what’s most important and meet in the middle. This might be a diamond that is a little smaller but is of higher quality or a diamond that is a little larger but has a few flaws.

Here’s why: Diamonds are expensive, and getting caught up in buying the “best” one will drive even the most level-headed person to tears. Remember, no one is going to ask to see your certification papers before complementing you on your diamond.


Be realistic regarding your budget. Learn to compromise. Choose the diamond that sparkles the most for you.

Here’s why: There’s an old saying in the diamond business: “No matter how big the diamond you buy is, it’s going to look smaller over time.” It’s generally best to choose a diamond with great cut and color that you can afford. You can always upgrade in the future. When you buy a diamond from Ideal Diamond and bring it back to upgrade to a larger stone, we give back the full purchase price of the original diamond and deduct it from the cost of your new stone.


The Four C's

Carat, cut, color and clarity have long been the established standard in judging the quality of a diamond, and Sam agrees they provide a benchmark for anyone buying a diamond. He also says, however, to remember it all comes down to what qualities are most important to the buyer. For example, shape isn’t considered one of the Four C’s, but most people will decide the shape of the diamond they want before considering anything else. It is important to note that each diamond shape has attributes that influence the grade and cut of diamonds with that shape.


In Sam’s opinion, cut is the most important of the Four C’s because cut is what gives a diamond its sparkle. In determining the cut grade of a diamond, a gemologist does not consider the shape of the diamond but rather its symmetry, proportioning, and polish. When cutting a diamond, the goal is to maximize the amount of light retained in the stone and reflected back to the eye. Because round diamonds can be cut in such a way as to create the most facets, which reflect light, these diamonds always offer the most sparkle. As a result, round diamonds are known as having the “ideal cut”. Regardless of its shape, a poorly cut diamond will look dull.


The most commonly misunderstood C is carat, which is actually a measurement of the weight, not the size, of a diamond. Depending on cut, diamonds with the same carat weight can look very different in terms of size. It is a good idea to consider cut and carat together; a larger-carat diamond with a poor cut grade can appear smaller than a smaller diamond with a higher cut grade.


A diamond’s color grade is actually based on its lack of color. Diamonds range from white to yellow, and the standard opinion is that less color is better. Gemologists grade color on a 22-point scale, with D being the highest grade, or the whitest, and Z being the lowest grade, or the most yellow. Most jewelers, including Sam, point to color as being the second most important C because it is the second thing people will notice, after sparkle.


To determine a diamond’s clarity grade, gemologists consider the number of inclusions in the diamond, as well as their sizes. While inclusions look like tiny imperfections or blemishes on a diamond, the majority can’t been seen by the naked eye. As a result, clarity is considered the least important of the C’s. Sam says that to get the most from your purchase, the most important thing is to choose an “eye clean” diamond.