This is the simple and easy way to buy a loose Diamond or Engagement Ring.
If you want to buy a Diamond, but don’t want to rack your brain learning all the intricate details about Diamond Education and Terminology, then this post is for you.
Everything you will really ever need to know about Buying a Great Quality Diamond all fits into 5 Easy Steps.
These 5 steps will keep you from Buying a Crappy, Low Quality Diamond and getting Ripped Off by Jewelers.
Here they are:
- Set a Budget
- Buy GIA or AGS Certified
- Buy SI1 Clarity or Higher
- Buy H Color or Higher
- Buy Very Good or Excellent Cuts
You could stop right there with that information and go out and buy a great Diamond right now, but DON’T!!!! You want to know why? :) Read on…
1) Set a Budget
First and foremost, figure out what you want to spend. The average Engagement Ring Sale is usually between $1,500 – $5,000 (see some examples here). Decide what feels comfortable for you and strive for that figure.
If you have no idea how much you’d like to spend, Jewelers usually say “Use Two Months Salary as a Guideline“.
If money is no object, great. Buy the best Diamond you can find. But for most, see what you can afford and stay within your limits.
I will also advise you to pay for it in full versus putting the ring on a finance plan with high interest charges. Those can kill your pocket book and pretty much take away any good deals you can find.
2) Buy GIA or AGS Certified
I can’t stress this enough. Make sure if you’re buying a Diamond for an Engagement Ring, that the Diamond is Certified. And not only Certified (any company can do that), but Certified by the best in the industry.
GIA (The Gemological Institute of America) is the tops. They wrote the book on Grading Diamonds and are the king when it comes to Diamond Evaluations. They made the 4C’s that everyone across America uses to Grade, Buy, Sell and Price Diamonds with.
I would recommend GIA hands down. They are very strict, highly advanced and highly admired in the field.
AGS (The American Gem Society) is the next best in the Country. I also trust them to give you great accurate results as well.
All the other Certificate companies out there are questionable and I’ve seen a lot of Certified Diamonds graded higher than they really are (which means you are spending way too much money for that Diamond).
That’s why I say “Buy GIA or AGS and forget the rest!“
You’ll be glad you did.
3) Buy SI1 Clarity or Higher
SI1 (which is at the high end of the SI Clarity Range), is the most popular Clarity in the U.S. because of Price and Quality.
With SI1, you won’t see any Inclusions or Black Spots in the stone with your naked eye (like you would in lower qualities like I Clarity Diamonds).
These Flaws are Small and Microscopic (under 10x magnification – using a 10x Jewelers Loupe or a Microscope). So when you compare an SI1 Diamond up against a VS or VVS, or even a Flawless Diamond, they will ALL LOOK THE SAME!!! – This is also saying that all the other aspects of the Diamond, Cut, Color, and Carat Weight, are alike.
SI1 Clarity has small Inclusions, VS Clarity has very small Inclusions, and VVS Clarity has very, very small Inclusions. They all all tiny and all invisible unless you Microscope them.
All 3 of these Clarities will give you Awesome Results. They really are that good.
Myself, I prefer VS Clarity, but I’m also a sucker for high quality. :)
4) Buy H Color or Higher
H Color or higher is the Color range to be in. H and up are considered White Diamonds. G-H is Fine White (Near Colorless). D-E-F is Pure White (Colorless).
These top 5 Colors (D-H) are White and will look great and really make any stone POP.
I love White Diamonds and I especially LOVE any Diamonds in the Colorless range (E is my all time favorite Color).
Pure White Diamonds are Stunning and look like they have a Spot Light on them. Very Bright, Very White… You can’t get any better than that.
Buy H or higher and you’ll get a great White Diamond.
If you choose I Color or lower, you may notice a Yellow Hue (or even a Brown Hue) in the stone. Yellow is NOT Pretty, even though some people like the warmth it adds to a Diamond.
Most just think they look Dirty, Old and Stained! :(
Plus, if you have a Yellow Diamond and set it in a White Gold Mounting, that Yellow Diamond will stand out like a sore thumb and make it look even more yellow. Read: Hide Yellow Diamond Color.
Stick with White and you’ll never notice the Color in the Diamond (which is a good thing). Color should not be obvious, only beautiful!
5) Buy Very Good or Excellent Cuts
Cut is Extremely Important and Complicated with all it’s Angles, Proportions, Percentages, Table, Depth, Crown, Pavilion and Facets to consider. It can quickly become very overwhelming.
Do note that CUT does NOT mean Diamond Shape, as in Round, Square, Rectangular, Heart, Pear… like some stores say. Cut is all about Proportions.
This can make things difficult, and since this is a simple step post, I’m going to make this simple as well…
Don’t worry about it, don’t even try to make sense of it.
Just do one thing…
Look at the Diamond Certificate (remember you are buying a Certified Stone). The Cut Grade is listed on the Diamond Certificate. Look to see if it says “Very Good” or “Excellent“. That’s where you want to be. That’s what you want. Very Good or Excellent.
Easy as that!
Let GIA do all of the hard work for you. They put together tons of complicated info and criteria to arrive at their final Cut Grades.
So if it says Very Good or Excellent, the Diamond will give you lots of Brilliance and Sparkle. Because, if you don’t know already, Cut is what makes the Diamond Sparkle and Shine. If it’s Cut well, it will sparkle like a thousand stars in the sky. It’s all about the Cut.
Look at the Cut Grade. Look for “Very Good” or “Excellent” and your job is done.
If the Cut is listed as Good, Fair or Poor, then pass it up.
These 4 Tips (minus your actual budget) will get you a GREAT looking Diamond. Not just an okay stone, but a GREAT one!!!
- GIA Certified
- SI1 or Higher
- H or Higher
- Very Good or Excellent Cut
Other Points to consider
1) Check the Symmetry and Polish on the Certificate. They should also be “Very Good” or “Excellent” as in the photo below… This helps the Diamond Sparkle more! :)
2) Make sure the Diamond doesn’t have Strong Fluorescence (“none” is best). I don’t care for a Diamond with Fluorescence. It can make a High Quality Diamond look dull and milky.
4) Check to make sure the Jeweler has a Return Policy, just in case. You never know what will happen in life.
5) Get your Diamond insured and covered for Loss, Theft or Damage (have it added to your Home Owners Policy).
Most Jewelry Stores only carry a small selection of stones. Usually between 20-50 Certified Diamonds at any given time. That’s only a couple of Diamonds to choose from in each category: Color, Clarity and Carat Weight.
So if you’re looking for a particular quality, a local Jeweler may only have one Diamond in stock (not a big choice). You might have to drive all over town to compare even a couple of them…
This can get very tedious and very time consuming.
If you want to shop quickly and efficiently (simple), buy online!
James Allen has a HUGE selection of Diamonds in stock. Plus, each Diamond is magnified and scanned so you can view the actual stone online. You can also use their Super Zoom to see what’s inside the stone. See below…
James Allen has an excellent selection and excellent quality.
AND… because they are online and don’t have the overhead that most Jewelry Stores do, their Prices can pretty much beat any Jeweler out there (sometimes by Thousands of Dollars!).
Take a look below at some of the Awesome Diamond Deals I’ve found. I have listed these Diamonds from SI1 and higher, H and higher, GIA & AGS Certified, and stones with “Very Good” or “Excellent” Cuts. :)
I think you’ll be surprised and pleased at what you see. No one beats them… Especially since you can get an additional 10% off the mounting price by using my code “RINGSUM” at checkout. Now that’s impressive!!!
Certified Diamond Prices from James Allen are taken at the time of this post!
|CARAT WEIGHT, CLARITY, COLOR, CUT, CERTIFIED||PRICE||VIEW|
|.70, SI1, H, EXCELLENT, GIA||$2,290||VIEW|
|.76, SI1, G, EXCELLENT, GIA||$3,130||VIEW|
|.76, VS2, G, EXCELLENT, GIA||$3,620||VIEW|
|.72, VS2, E, EXCELLENT, GIA||$3,500||VIEW|
|.80, VS2, F, EXCELLENT, GIA||$4,190||VIEW|
|.90, VS1, H, EXCELLENT, GIA||$4,670||VIEW|
|.96, VS1, G, EXCELLENT, GIA||$6,340||VIEW|
James Allen also has a Full 100% 60 Day Money Back Guarantee. You’ve got nothing to lose. I wouldn’t believe in them if I didn’t trust them immensely. Their quality and prices speak for themselves.
The Bottom Line
Buy a Diamond in just a couple of easy steps AND save money at the same time! You can’t get much better than that… Unless you owned your own Jewelry Store.
If you have any questions about a particular Diamond, let me know.
I’ll be glad to help you out. :)
Top Recommended Vendors:
James Allen is a leader in diamonds. Their real time interactive diamond inspection is the best in the industry. View and rotate any diamond under 20x magnification. Their prices, selection, lifetime warranty, 24/7 customer support and hassle free returns are unbeatable. Visit James Allen today.
Blue Nile is the largest and most well known respected diamond dealer online. They are highly trusted, have a huge inventory, and low low prices (compare anywhere and see for yourself). If you want to save money, or build your own ring, this is the place to shop. Visit Blue Nile today.