Important Things To Look For Before Buying A Diamond?
Insider Tips To Buying Your Perfect Diamond
Shopping for the perfect diamond is no simple task, you’ve scoured the diamond boutiques in your city, perused online catalogues, and studied the 4Cs like an ace, but there still doesn’t seem to be a diamond that matches what you’re looking for.
With so many options to choose from, finding a diamond that gives you the best value for money can be an overwhelming task, so we’re here to help you with some insider tips on selecting the perfect diamond.
We’ll be covering:
- Diamond certificates and why they are not all made equal
- How same clarity grade diamonds can look very different
- Diamond fluorescence
- Perfect diamond proportions beyond the “triple excellent” grade
- Diamond shapes, beyond the round brilliant cut
Not All Diamond Certificates Are Made Equal
‘You should only buy a certified diamond’, is what you’d usually read or hear when researching buying a diamond. There are many certifying bodies that issue grading reports so it’s common to come across diamonds in the market that have been certified by different labs, and certified diamonds are more expensive than uncertified diamonds.
However, more often than not, you might come across two diamonds graded the same quality by two different labs, and the price is completely different! If you take a closer look, you might also notice how one is significantly inferior to the other. That is because most labs don’t have the same standard of quality.
Here at Gemdaia, we only recommend buying diamonds that have been certified by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), and we only stock GIA certified diamonds.
While it is true that certified diamonds are more expensive, especially if they come with a GIA report, a GIA certified diamond guarantees the most stringent grading standards and is recognized globally.
For example, a diamond certified as D color from another lab might only fetch an F or G color grade from GIA. With a GIA report, you can rest assured that the diamond you are buying was certified properly and actually matches the quality grade it was given.
In addition should you ever decide to invest in a diamond or resell a purchase in the future, GIA certified diamonds have a higher appraisal value than non-GIA certified diamonds.
How Same Clarity Grade Diamonds Can Look Very Different
The biggest mistake when buying a diamond is to base your decision solely on a gemstone grading report. Many diamonds will have the same grading on lab reports from the same lab, but are priced completely differently.
If same clarity grade diamonds are certified from the same lab, the difference in pricing is mainly due to the type and placement of its inclusions.
A diamond does not necessarily need to be internally flawless (IF grade) or even very slightly included II (VS2 grade) to look brilliant on your finger. A slightly included (SI grade) diamond with a clear inclusion on the side can look just as beautiful and cost a fraction of a VS2 diamond.
It is possible that two diamonds, both graded SI by GIA will look different because one has a transparent inclusion, while the other has a black inclusion. A general rule of thumb is to avoid black inclusions or inclusions that are visible when the diamond is facing up. Here at Gemdaia we only stock diamonds without black inclusions, and source stones that look brilliant face-up.
Fluorescence Isn’t All That Bad
It’s common to hear that you should avoid diamonds that fluoresce, and while that is generally true, it really depends on the type of fluorescence and the color grade of the diamond.
When looking at colorless diamonds in the D to F color grade, a strong fluorescence can make the diamond appear cloudy. However, a strong fluorescence in lower color grade diamonds below the colorless F grade can actually improve its appearance.
A strong blue fluorescence can cancel out the more yellowish tone of a lower grade diamond such as J color, making it appear to be higher quality.
At Gemdaia we stock diamonds that are graded I color or above, and we generally don’t recommend anything below I color grade diamonds, but if you want to go for something in the very light (N-R) or light (S-Z) ranges, looking for a diamond with a strong blue fluorescence is worth considering.
Perfect Proportions Beyond The “Triple Excellent” Grade
When it comes to smaller diamonds, a triple excellent grade of cut, polish, and symmetry is the way to go. However, if you’re considering larger diamonds above 1.5 carats, it might be worth considering diamond proportions.
If you think that a diamond graded excellent three times for its cut, polish and symmetry would look absolutely flawless on a larger diamond you’d be mistaken. Even triple excellent cut diamonds are not all equal. Instead of only focusing on the cut, polish, and symmetry of a large diamond on a lab report, look at the diamond proportion percentages for a truly perfect diamond.
The round brilliant cut was mathematically designed to maximize the brilliance and sparkle of a diamond by Polish engineer Marcel Tolkowsky. He studied the precursor of modern round brilliant diamonds, the old European cut, in order to improve the way diamonds are cut. His calculations became the standard for round brilliant diamonds today.
An ideal cut diamond ensures that all the light that enters the diamond is reflected back, creating the fiery sparkle that diamonds are known and beloved for.
- The total depth of the gem should be 59.3% of the diameter.
- The diamond’s table should measure no more than 53% of the diameter.
- The height of the diamond’s crown should be 16.2% of the diameter.
- The depth of the diamond’s pavilion should be 43.1% of the diameter
- The diamond should have a crown angle of 34.5 degrees.
- Lastly, the diamond should have a pavilion depth of 40.75 degrees.
When examining a lab report, pay close attention to the percentages illustrated in the diamond chart. The percentages should stray no more than 1-2% from Tolkowsky’s ideal numbers.
Diamond Shapes, Beyond The Round Brilliant Cut
Diamonds come in all shapes and sizes and the perfect diamond for you doesn’t necessarily have to be a round brilliant cut. Other diamond shapes are referred to as fancy cuts. Of course, no other cut can match the intense sparkle of an excellently cut round brilliant diamond, however fancy cut diamonds offer an attractive alternative for those looking to add a more personalized style. Fancy cut diamonds can also be a great way to get the best value out of a diamond.
Fancy cut diamonds can be up to 30-40% cheaper than round brilliant cuts of the same quality and carat weight. Some fancy shapes such as cushion or radiant cuts also appear larger when you look at them face-up. Pear and oval cut diamonds, on the other hand, give the illusion of slimmer, more elongated fingers.
What’s important when looking for a fancy cut diamond is the depth. The stone should of course not be too shallow, but try to avoid stones that are too deep. The depth of a stone affects its face-up appearance, so a deeper stone will appear smaller when set in jewelry. Unlike round brilliant diamonds, fancy cuts are not graded on cut quality; instead, they are only graded on polish and symmetry, so when choosing a fancy cut stone, make sure that both criteria are graded excellent.
Finding the perfect diamond is no small task, and hopefully our insider tips can help you make informed decisions to get the most value for your money when purchasing a diamond.
At Gemdaia, we only stock diamonds that are GIA graded, triple excellent, and free from black inclusions. We believe that each stone is unique and there is a perfect gem for everyone.
If you’d like to find out more about diamonds or other gemstones we source, check out our gemstone guide and blog