Diamond Buying Tips
There is a science to buying diamonds. Everyone calls it the "4 C's". Go to any jewelers’ website and you'll find the same boring "4 C's" information - in fact there are companies that sell the same text to loads of different people to use the same canned information on their websites.
Maybe there's a better way. Maybe it's time we move past this and focus on two things. We'll call it the "QV Guide to Buying Diamonds" - Quality and Value. To get a better understanding, let's translate those 4 C's into those terms to see how you can get the most out of it.
When approached holistically the 4 C's come together to give you a good sense of the Quality of the diamond. There is a reason why they exist, after all. Simply put, these characteristics give you a sense of how much light a diamond will reflect out of itself.
First up is Color - colors can range from "colorless" to "yellow". It starts with "D" which means that the diamond is colorless. It goes from there to a "Faint Yellow" at K - M and then all the way on to "Z" which is a light yellow. After Z, diamonds move into "Fancy Yellow" which is rare, so the value of the diamond goes up.
Next is Clarity, which tells you how many blemishes or internal flaws a diamond may have. Note that, for grading purposes, diamonds are reviewed under 10x magnification and graded by skilled diamond graders.
- F - No inclusions or blemishes are visible.
- IF - No inclusions and only blemishes are visible.
- VVS1-VVS2 - Inclusions are difficult to see.
- VS1-VS2 - Inclusions are clearly visible but can be characterized as minor.
- SI1-SI2 - Inclusions are noticeable.
- I1-I3 - Inclusions are obvious and may affect transparency and brilliance.
The Carat Weight tells you the weight of the diamond – not necessarily the size when viewing a diamond in a setting – however there is a direct correlation, obviously. Today, a metric carat is defined as 200 milligrams.
The term “carat” originates from an Italian term “carato” which originates from a Greek term. The Carabo seed was used to weigh jewelry because it was believed that the Carabo seed had little variance in its weight. This was an incorrect assumption, however, and today we have it defined very clearly as 200 milligrams.
Finally, we move on to Cut, which truly gives a diamond its brilliance. The term “cut” is a somewhat inaccurate term. In fact, diamonds are “polished”, and during this polishing process the actual shape of the diamond is formed. “Diamond Cutters” will put diamond dust on a wheel that spins and create a sort of “diamond sand paper” on the wheel. They then polish each facet of the diamond to create its shape.
What does this diamond mean to you? Is it marking a special event? A marriage proposal maybe? Or is this diamond a fashion piece of jewelry to be worn for a night out on the town?
At Jewelry Creations we believe that the real value in all jewelry is what it means to you or the person receiving it. We mark special occasions, such as a marriage with an accessory that can be worn every day to show our love. We remember loved ones by wearing a piece that they may have worn in the past so that we have a constant reminder of that person. A diamond is handed down through generations.
In as much as the value of a diamond is a direct reflection of you, how does it make you feel? Look at more than one diamond side by side and you’ll start to see the difference that those diamond qualities can make to how that diamond makes you feel. People often note how one diamond “speaks to them” more than the other.
The Jewelry Creations Difference
How do you ensure that you get the best quality for the budget you have in mind? How do you even know where to begin figuring out a budget? It’s complicated. We help people sort through all this information every single day and would love the opportunity to help you.
There are people that spend years in higher education becoming a master gemologist so that they can fully understand the Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat Weight. If you’re a “diamond nerd” like we are then bravo! Let us know and we’ll help you pick the right courses to take.
If you’re not interested in going down that path, then know that Jewelry Creations has a master gemologist and certified diamond experts on staff to help you wade through those 4 C's.
We’re a local jeweler that has been doing this for nearly 40 years. We travel to Antwerp to buy diamonds directly. We have quality diamond vendors with whom we’ve had decades long relationships. We belong to buying clubs to help us find the best diamonds at the best prices.
We do this to run a business, of course, but also because we take seriously our commitment to our community as a trusted advisor. We strive every day to be thoughtful in our approach and help you get the best value for your budget.