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Diamond Buying Advice

When buying a loose diamond, make sure you buy the best quality diamond that is within your budget. Do not buy a diamond just because it has been "discounted"or the diamond dealer is offering a "special price". These "sale" prices and deals are nothing more than marketing hype and will not result in any real savings to the price of a diamond. The price of diamonds is controlled by international market conditions and the availabilty. Unlike other jewellery items, diamonds do not go on sale because they do not have huge profit margins or over inflated prices.

Do not confuse a diamonds carat weight with the size of a diamond. Two diamonds that have the same carat weight could have very different diameter measurements and appearance in actual size. 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 a higher carat weight. Diamonds that have a higher cut quality, excellent, ideal and very good cut diamonds, will sparkle with far more brilliance and fire than poorly cut diamonds which have a lower cut grade.

 Buy Diamonds from a Reputable Diamond Dealer

What does this mean?

How do I tell if the diamond dealer is reputable or not?

Buying a diamond can be a scary undertaking 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 alot more to diamonds and their prices than just learning about the diamond's cut, colour, clarity, and carat weight. Every diamond is unique, no two diamonds are the same and to fully understand them requires lengthy study, specialised equipment and years of experience.

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?

Our advice is to ask if the diamond is certified and to see which laboratory issued the certificate or grading report. 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 who issued it.

 Diamond Certificates

A diamond certificate documents the complete quality and description of the diamond, it includes information on shape, carat weight, clarity, fluorescence, colour grade, measurements, proportions and finish grade. A diamond certificate also confirms that the diamond is natural and is not

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 with out a recognised certificate (IE; a certificate recognised by either the WFDB, IDC, or CIBJO) it is possible that it may not be a Natural diamond at all.

These are a couple of reasons to insist that your jeweller supplies you with a diamond grading certificate from a compliant laboratory.

 Diamond Certificates & Buying Diamonds

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 utilise strict procedures, have the most advanced equipment, and affiliations which meet the strict requirements for recognition by international trade organisations.

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.

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.

 Not All Diamond Laboratories Are As Strict

Not all diamond grading laboratories certify and grade diamonds with the same set of strict specifications, parameters and guidelines.

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. This is why at Diamond Imports we choose to only select and sell loose diamonds that have been independently certified by the following compliant and internationally recognised diamond grading laboratories - 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 is that a grading report or diamond certificate does not include an appraisal, or any kind of statement about the monetary value of the diamond.

  What Do Diamonds Cost?

Guys who are ready to ask for a woman's hand in marriage will inevitably attempt to figure out how much money they should spend on a diamond engagement ring, what the diamond will cost them and whether they will be able to afford a diamond engagement ring for their fiance. Most people have heard the expression that diamond engagement rings cost two months' salary.

Where did the two months of salary idea come from?

The origin of the two months' salary began with DeBeers, the largest diamond producer and diamond marketer in the world. In 1947, DeBeers decided to promote diamonds following the depressed wartime market. DeBeers launched a marketing campaign with a New York advertising firm. A copywriter penned the famous slogan "A diamond is forever" that is now synonymous with Diamonds

De Beers wanted to bring diamonds to the masses, make them seem more affordable, rather than just selling them to the wealthy and select few. Accordingly, the price of a diamond for an engagement ring was set at approximately two months of salary.

This was a concept that everyone could understand, it was aimed at the groom-to-be and therefore made buying a diamond for an engagement ring achievable no matter whatever his salary was. No longer did people think of diamonds as being something which they could never afford, they now had a figure to relate to in simple terms - two months salary.

The two months salary became the norm and in the mind of the groom it was the predetermined acceptable price for a diamond engagement ring. As a general guide usually grooms spend between 10 - 20% of their annual salary on a diamond engagement ring.

 What Influences The Price of Diamonds?

Diamonds can be found in a range of shapes, sizes and qualities all of which influence the price. Diamonds that have an excellent or very good cut grade will reflect maximum fire, brilliance and sparkle and the price of these diamonds will be higher than diamonds with a good cut grade.

The Shape of Diamonds

Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds are the most popular diamonds for diamond engagement rings followed by Princess Cut Diamonds. Any diamond that is not Round in shape is known as a Fancy Shape Diamond. Asscher, Cushion, Emerald, Heart, Marquise, Oval, Pear, Princess, Radiant and Trilliant cut diamonds are all fancy shape diamonds.

Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds are the most expensive mainly because when cutting a Round Brilliant Cut diamond there is a greater loss in rough which has to be factored into the price. Another reason why Round Brilliant Cut diamonds are priced higher is because they take longer to polish and cut than other diamond shapes and the demand for Round Brilliant Cut diamonds is greater than all the other diamond shapes.

Clarity Influences Diamond Prices The Most

The clarity grade of a diamond influences the price obtained more than any of the other factors. Diamonds that have high clarity grades of VVS1 or VVS2 have extremely hard to find inclusions even with a jewellers 10x loupe. These diamonds are almost pure and rarer to find than diamonds with lower clarity grades such as SI1 or SI2 and therefore command a much higher price. The rarest of diamonds have an Internally Flawless -IF or Loupe Clean clarity grade and these diamonds fetch premium prices.

Colour Influences Diamond Prices

Diamond Colour is another important factor that influences the price of a diamond. Diamonds are graded for their colour alphabetically starting at D colour going down to Z colour. Diamonds that are colourless or show the least amount of colour obtain the highest prices along with fancy coloured diamonds such as pink, red, green and blue diamonds. Diamonds that display the least amount of colour are known as exceptional white. Exceptional white diamonds includes D and E colour graded diamonds. Rare white is the next colour grade and this includes F and G colour diamonds. H colour diamonds are graded as white and I and J colour diamonds are known as slightly tinted white diamonds.

Cut Influences Sparkle, Shine & The Price of Diamonds

Did you know that if the diamond is poorly cut, the colour and clarity can not make up for it? The cut of a diamond is what makes a rough diamond sparkle and shine. If a diamond is poorly cut, the light that enters the diamond from above will leak out of the sides and bottom of the stone, and the diamond will not have the optimum amount of sparkle or fire—regardless of its colour or clarity.

Excellent and Ideal Cut Diamonds have been cut to precise standards to display the beauty of the diamond. Excellent and Ideal Cut Diamonds have pefection in proportion, symmetry and polish and they will always display the maximum brilliance, fire & scintillation.

Excellent and Ideal Cut Diamonds have properly proportioned facets, excellent symmetry & polish. Since 97.5% of a diamond's brilliance is controlled by the quality of the cut Excellent and Ideal cut diamonds obtain higher prices. The Diamond Cut Grade is made up of three main controlling factors - Proportion, Symmetry and Polish. The light return of the diamond more commonly known as sparkle or brilliance is also an important factor but it is governed by the proportions and symmetry of the diamond cut.

Diamonds with a Very Good cut grade reflect most of the light that enters them, dispersing a good deal of brilliance. Very Good cut diamonds have proportions which often overlap and are comparable to Excellent cut diamonds but just differ slightly in one area or measurement. Very Good cut diamonds are also highly valued.

Diamonds are Sold By Carat Weight

Carat is a unit of measure not size. Two diamonds that have the same carat weight may appear to be different sizes depending on how the diamond is cut. Some diamonds will have extra weight on the bottom part of the diamond, the pavilion, or a thick girdle and therefore will appear smaller visually.

Diamonds are sold by their carat weight. The heavier a diamond weighs once it is cut the higher the price per carat. A diamond cutter always try to retain as much carat weight and as few inclusions when cutting a diamond in order to obtain the best possible price per carat. Sometimes the cut of a diamond might be sacrificed in order to produce a diamond with a higher carat weight. Hundreds of tons of rock and ore must be processed to uncover a single one-carat gem quality diamond.

4C's - Cut, Colour, Clarity & Carat

After diamonds have been sorted into their different shapes they are then assessed with what is known as The 4C's- The Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat weight - Diamond Education. These individual factors are all combined resulting in the price of the diamond. The price of diamonds is also influenced by international market conditions such as exchange rates, supply and demand, fashion trends as well as inflation.

Diamonds, just like your marriage, are an investment, and have been an investment device for several thousand years. Diamonds are a symbol of love and commitment so buying the perfect diamond for an engagement ring or that special occasion is a crucially important decision.

Read Next  Buying Diamonds

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