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Tips for Choosing Diamonds

Learn how to purchase diamonds based on the 4Cs of diamonds

Owing to the nature's lengthy process of creating diamonds out of carbon, most diamonds are much older than one would think. It is estimated that most of the diamonds we find today are at least 900 million years old. Experts believe that the oldest known diamond is around 3.2 billion years old.

But it took a while before people started mining diamonds and realizing their intrinsic value. It was more than 2800 years ago that the first diamonds were mined in India. Since then diamonds have been found in many different countries. Major diamond mining countries are: Australia, DR Congo, Botswana, South Africa, and Russia. Annually, some 130 million carats of diamonds are mined worldwide.

Examining diamonds with magnifying glass
The process of choosing diamonds involves many factors, but the most
important ones are the 4Cs: cut, clarity, carats and colour.

Each diamond is unique

Each mined diamond is completely unique. To the trained eye, one can find that there are no two diamonds that are precisely the same. This is what makes each diamond so unique and valuable.

When learning how to purchase a diamond, there are many things to consider. Until you know more and have done your research, you should never rush into buying a diamond. It’s especially important to learn how diamonds are priced.

What the “4 C's” mean for the value of a diamond?

When buying a diamond, you have to consider many different factors. Throughout the world, though, there is an established method that jewellers use as a way of defining the value of a diamond. The method is known as the “4 C’s”. If you are interested in understanding how to buy a diamond, it would help to know exactly what the 4 C's are and how each aspect of the diamond contributes to its value.

The 4 C's represent Cut, Clarity, Carats and Color

Based on the 4Cs of diamonds, the value of a diamond is determined by its: cut, clarity, carats and colour. We'll go in more detail on each of these value measures for a diamond.

1. How to Buy a Diamond based on CUT:

The cut of a diamond is a description of how the diamond maker angles the gemstone in such a way as to best reflect light through the diamond, resulting in the diamond’s sparkle (sometime referred to as diamond's brilliance). A high quality cut enhances the innate beauty of a diamond and increases its value. A poorly cut diamond isn't as brilliant or shiny and, therefore, will be less valuable.

2. How to Buy a Diamond based on CLARITY:

The clarity of a diamond involves looking at how clear the diamond is when you look through it. Most diamonds have inclusions and flaws and it is rare to find a perfect diamond. Flaws, however, cannot usually be seen without magnification. When purchasing a diamond for clarity, look for the presence of dark spots inside the diamond. Although flawless diamonds are naturally of the highest value (all else being equal), buy those with flaws that can't be seen by the naked eye, if you are looking to purchase a diamond that looks good, but costs less.

3. How to Buy a Diamond based on CARATS:

Carat defines the size of the diamond. Larger diamonds (those of a higher carat) will cost more than a cluster of smaller diamonds, even if the total carats of the diamond cluster are the same. This means that a single one-carat diamond will cost you more than three diamonds set in a ring that add up to one carat. The reason behind this is that larger diamonds are rarer than smaller diamonds, thus more expensive. This is also unfortunately impacted upon by the fact that diamonds lose about half their size during the process of cutting.

4. How to Buy a Diamond based on COLOR:

The colour of diamond you choose is entirely based upon your personal preference. Diamonds that are colourless, however, are the rarest and therefore cost more than other diamonds. Colourless diamonds are also known as white diamonds. There are also fancy colour diamonds. These come in a variety of different hues, including yellow, green, blue and pink. There are even diamonds known as “black diamonds”. It's all to do with how the light is reflected through a diamond.

Certificates and Appraisals

While understanding the 4 C’s in determining how to buy a diamond, you should also learn how to read diamond certificates. These certificates describe in detail the facts about the diamond in its unmounted state.

Perhaps you have a specific diamond you want to have professionally appraised by an independent organization. This is probably not best done by the jeweler you are buying the diamond from, because they are often biased and may appraise the diamond at a slightly higher value than what it’s actually worth in order to receive more income from the sale of the diamond.

  What to Know When Buying Diamonds
Guide to the 4Cs of Diamonds
Guide to the 4Cs of Diamonds
Tips for Choosing Diamonds
Tips for Choosing Diamonds