When investing in something as special as a diamond, you want to make sure you’re getting the best quality possible for your money.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case, with some people unknowingly buying diamonds that are below the standard they should be for the price paid.
In 2019, around 142 million carats were estimated to have been produced from mines across the world, showing just how sizeable the industry is.
With this in mind, it helps to do a little research yourself so you can look out for the signs to ensure they’re you’re buying from a respectable and reliable supplier. Here are a few pointers to help you get started.
Having a budget in mind for your purchase, whether you’re buying a gift or a treat for yourself, is key.
And having an expert on-hand to show you options from a suitable price range can be a helpful way to navigate this.
This again, means you can seek out the best piece for the price range you have in mind.
You’ll find that multiple factors come into play when it comes to pricing a diamond, which will be explored in the following sections.
If you have a reduced budget when shopping for a diamond it’s important to consider which factors are most important to you and, if you’re gifting one, the recipient.
Large diamonds can appear and give an air of luxury but can often be unpractical if you work a job that requires you to use your hands a lot, and can often get easily caught on clothing- making them a source of anxiety for the wearer.
A smaller diamond, with a higher graded clarity is often a far better choice for an everyday ring or jewelry piece.
Diamonds come in various shapes and sizes. The shape of a diamond links to its geometric characteristics.
You can get round diamond shapes, also known as brilliant cuts, which tend to be the most popular choice.
Fancy shape diamonds are the other shape. These types of diamond come in a variety of different shapes, including oval, marquise, princess and pear shapes, amongst others.
Sometimes, how the diamond is cut can dictate the type of jewellery it’s suited to.
For example, princess cuts are popular for diamond earrings, so having an awareness of this may help you choose a particular type of diamond jewelry and appreciate the pieces in question.
Very few diamonds are colourless, with most displaying differing shades of yellow or brown.
Experts grade diamonds using the GIA scale once it’s been mined. The less colour a diamond has, the more expensive it will be.
It can be helpful to have an understanding and appreciation of the diamond colour chart to get an idea of what to expect.
On top of this, if you are concerned about the quality of the diamond in question, you can raise this with the supplier.
How many imperfections or blemishes a diamond has is referred to as it’s clarity.
These imperfections are created over time as the diamond is formed under the immense pressure underground.
If the diamond has small flaws on the surface these are known as blemishes, whereas those inside are known as inclusions.
As these are often thought to give the diamond more character, they’re sometimes referred to as ‘internal characteristics’ rather than flaws.
There are 11 gradings that the clarity of a diamond can receive, but these are defined into 6 specific categories- Flawless (FL), Internally Flawless (IF), Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS), Very Slightly Included (VS), Slightly Included (SI) and Included (I).
The carat of a diamond is how much the gem weighs. Due to the minute nature of most diamonds used for jewelry, finding the carat out requires a precisely calibrated digital scale to ensure an accurate reading.
Carat is the most subjective of each diamond grading category as a large diamond isn’t always worth more, as the clarity and colour may be lower than that of a much smaller diamond.
The diamond industry is vast, operating across the globe. But with this, as with many global supply chains, comes the possibility for exploitation.
Researching the supplier you’re looking to buy from can help prevent you from supporting unethical diamond mining practices.
To prevent accidentally buying from an unethical supplier, search for accreditations such as those by the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) so that you can buy your diamonds knowing that they meet social and ethical standards in the industry.