Should you buy a Diamond Loose, or should you purchase a Diamond already set in a mounting?
I’m sure that you know by now that I’m going to say:
“Buy your Diamond Loose!”
…(which I am), but what you don’t know is this:
This is NOT what the majority of Engagement Ring Shoppers do (and that’s a crying shame).
But it’s true…
Most Buy a Mounted Diamond
Most people just buy a finished ring, which is a Diamond that is pre-set into a mounting or wedding set.
They go from store to store and find a beautiful Diamond ring that they love (at the right price), and they buy that ring.
In fact, I would bet that at least 75% of all the guys (and even some shopping with their Fiancees) buy rings with Diamonds already set in them.
They do this because the ring is finished and they don’t have to guess what it will look like on her finger. It’s quick and painless.
Plus, Diamonds already set in rings often are cheaper than buying a Diamond Loose. Fancy that!
This is because people that buy Diamonds preset are generally looking more at the design and price than they are the quality of the Diamond. Not to mention the fact that you’re getting the entire ring… You don’t have to buy the Diamond and then buy the Mounting!!! 2 separate purchases usually cost more.
And one more great reason why they like to buy Diamonds already mounted: She can wear the ring right here, right now! It’s good to go and that’s a huge selling point.
If you give her a Loose Diamond, she’ll look at you like “What do I do with this?” lol Yes it is hard to picture what a ring will look like when you’re staring at paperwork and a loose diamond rolled up in a Diamond Parcel.
But, there are some very good reasons why you should buy your Diamond loose (even though it’s harder to visualize, takes multiple purchases, and generally costs more…).
Reasons to Buy Diamonds Loose
- The Mounting Adds Color
- The Mounting Hides Inclusions
- The Mounting breaks up the Carat Weight
- The Diamonds aren’t Certified!
Now let’s take a closer look at all these awesome reasons…
The Mounting Adds Color
It’s very difficult to judge the true color of a Diamond once it’s been mounted. The Diamond pulls the color of the mounting into the stone and can make a Diamond look yellow or even dark.
This is also why I advise setting a Diamond into a White Gold Mounting. White Gold doesn’t add Color! (unless you want to buy a Diamond of lower Color to save money – read more about Hiding Color in Diamonds)
Mountings Hide Inclusions
If you buy a Diamond preset, you won’t know what the Mounting and Prongs are hiding.
They could be hiding Flaws, Inclusions, Black Spots, Nicks, Cracks, Fractures and more…
If you’re not concerned about these Flaws, then buy the ring and don’t worry about it. But if it makes you stop and think twice, it should make you stop and take a closer look.
With a Loose Diamond you can see exactly what it is you’re buying without any of the Diamond being obscured or hidden.
If a Flaw is hidden, it could make the Clarity of the Diamond appear better. Which in turn, means the Jeweler could say it’s better and CHARGE you MORE!
…And you thought you were saving money!!!
Mountings Break up Carat Weight
The Mounting really can break up the Carat Weight of the stones.
When you buy a Diamond preset, you’re either going to buy one single Diamond (like in a Tiffany Style Band), or you’re going to buy a Diamond surrounded by other Diamonds (Diamonds down the side or side stones, like the Cool Halo Here).
Generally, when the ring has more than one Diamond in it, you’re buying the combined total Diamond Weight (Combined weight of all the Diamonds added together), versus all the Carat Weight being in just one solitaire Diamond.
Read more: Carat Weight Versus Carat Total Weight!
This makes the ring WAY Cheaper, but you end up with smaller Diamonds (and Diamonds that aren’t Certified!).
The Diamonds aren’t Certified
This is a BIGGIE!
Most Diamonds that are already mounted in Rings or Settings are NOT Certified!
Well, I should clarify myself and say, they aren’t Certified by a trusted Diamond Certification Company. The 3 big ones are: GIA (Gemological Institute of America), AGS (American Gem Society) and AGL (American Gemological Laboratories).
GIA is my favorite and in my opinion, the best of the best. After all, GIA wrote and devised the 4C’s of Diamond Grading!
If the Diamond is not certified, you’ll never really know what the quality truly is. You’ll never know if you got what you paid for, and you’ll never know if you got ripped off or not.
What does Certification do?
It will tell you if the Diamond is Cut Good (like an Excellent Cut), or even if the stone is Cut Bad (Fair or Poor Cut).
Certification can tell you all of this. A Diamond preset in a Mounting can’t!
Even if the Jewelry Store tells you what the Clarity, Color and Carat Weight is of the Diamond, and even if the Diamond comes with a Jewelry Appraisal (which has the Replacement Value of the Ring), it still isn’t good enough.
You won’t know WHO graded the stone (unscrupulous store owner with bad eye-sight)… Which means, you won’t know how accurate the information really is.
Some Jewelers could Grade Bump the Clarity and Color up a notch to make it seem better than it really is (perfectly legal). You could be paying a lot more for that stone.
Is this a risk you’re willing to take?
If you buy a Diamond Loose and Certified (it MUST be Certified), then you can easily shop and compare prices to see which store is giving you the better price (Online it’s usually James Allen).
But if you buy a Diamond pre-mounted, you’re taking your chances.
It’s your money!
Mounted or Loose?
Now you know the differences, now you can make a better buying decision.
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About the Author
Author Richard Scott. Certified Diamontologist and Gemologist. 30 years of experience.
Let Richard help you choose the best diamond, the most dazzling engagement ring, and save as much money as possible. Read more about the author here. Follow Richard on social media; Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest. Contact Richard Scott here.