As customers, we only want to buy the best. This expectation is especially reasonable when you are buying something as expensive as a loose diamond. However, it's tricky to buy the best loose diamonds without knowing where and how to look for them. Needless to say, a conquest of this nature requires you to have a handsome budget.
All you need is the right guidance and knowledge to buy beautiful diamonds that are not only great value for money but also within your budget. It is all about understanding the basics of buying a diamond and using money-saving tricks to beat two birds with one stone.
There are many customers who prefer to buy these precious stones for their collection or investment purposes. So if you are someone who is looking for value for money investment opportunity, then this guide will help you buy the best diamonds.
Characteristics Of Loose Diamonds
Diamonds come in various shapes, sizes, colors, and cuts. With so many varieties to choose from, it can be a difficult task for an amateur to know which loose diamonds will give them top value for their dollar. Since the diamonds are expensive, it is your right to demand the quality you have paid for. According to expert jewelers, it takes years of experience and complicated grading systems to know the exact worth of a diamond.
However, laypersons can still protect themselves against fraud by knowing a bit about the loose diamonds before making a purchase. Luckily for you, you can also use the same grading system as used by professional graders to assess the quality of the diamond you want to buy. These are known as 4Cs. When all these elements are taken together in the evaluation of a diamond, it can give a fairly accurate picture of its true worth. That being said, let us discuss the 4Cs–carat, clarity, cut, and carat weight in detail to understand these basic characteristics of loose diamonds.
Of the 4Cs, carat weight is the most aim characteristic of a loose diamond. It can be measured on a standardized digital scale. The weight of a diamond is often associated with its value and quality. The carat weight of a loose diamond is measured in decimals and even a single point can have a significant impact on its price.
The retail stores usually use the standard rounding off practice that makes the value of the diamond higher. However, a one-carat diamond in the store may not always be a true carat. It is possible that its actual weight is no more than 0.92 which ideally makes the diamond much cheaper than what you are paying, assuming that all the other characteristics are equal.
It is also important to understand that the weight alone does not determine the loose diamond’s quality. A two-carat diamond with lesser clarity will still be cheaper than a higher quality one-carat diamond.
The color of your loose diamonds can have a huge impact on its price. The finest quality diamonds are usually colorless. Any trace of color in the diamond can reduce its price and quality. If you notice shades of brown or yellow in your diamond, then you should know it is of inferior quality. It is also important to note that most of these color variations are so subtle that they are invisible to the naked eyes. However, even the slightest difference can influence the cost and quality of your loose diamonds.
As has already been explained, a colorless diamond is of the highest quality and value. But did you know the color of your surroundings can influence the color of the diamond? Therefore, it is crucial to assess your loose diamonds in a well-lit room on a white sheet of paper, face down. This simple trick will make a change in color more apparent and help you make the right purchase decision.
The diamond clarity is another important factor in judging the quality of your loose diamonds. They consider a diamond with no surface flaws or imperfections as high-value. However, a poor quality diamond has inclusions or aberrations visible to the naked eyes. According to experts, clarity is an important factor in judging the quality of diamond because flawless diamonds are rare. Professionals determine diamond clarity by examining it under 10x magnification to spot surface blemishes. Stones that lack clarity are not only less dazzling but also vulnerable to damage by chipping or cracking.
For an unprofessional, the best way to judge the clarity of loose diamonds is to ask for the jeweler’s loupe to examine it under magnification. You should also avoid assessing the diamonds in the harsh store lights as they are designed to increase the stone’s brilliance and mask visible clarity defects.
The diamond cut is not so much a natural quality as it an aesthetic feature. A well-cut diamond is brilliant from all angles that engage the light strikingly manner. It is easiest to assess round loose diamonds as their evaluation is fairly straightforward, unlike fancy cut diamonds that are a little more subjective.
Just remember that a well-cut diamond will dazzle more brightly as compared to the ones with poorer cut quality. However, don't confuse diamond cut with its shape. While the two are definitely related, they are not the same. We all know about the round diamonds. But there are many shapes available these days that can make the scrutiny of loose diamonds more challenging. The best way to judge a diamond’s cut is to observe it under different lightings.
Try an indoor light and natural light and observe how it reacts to it. If the lighting is poor, don't expect the stone to shine brightly as they do not have a light of their own. They reflect the external light.
How to Choose?
Before you invest your money in diamonds, it is important to first understand how the certification works. A certified diamond is the one that has undergone the evaluation process by an unbiased third party. This examination puts its stamp of approval on the loose diamonds in terms of quality and characteristics, giving the buyer assurance that their money is in the right place. These certifications help loose diamonds retain their value. However, not all labs are trustworthy. Only certifications from trusted labs such as GIA, AGS count.
Know What You Want
When you want to buy these precious stones, it really helps to know what size and quality you are looking for. Many people falsely believe it is better to buy bigger diamonds. However, the bigger a diamond is in size, the harder it is to find it in top quality? You should know which of the four characteristics is of the most significance to you. This will not only help you choose well but also keep you within your budget.
Take Professional Help
If you are facing a hard time in choosing the right loose diamonds for your investment, then take help from professionals. They know exactly what to look for and help you choose the right stones that offer the right value.
Where To buy?
Before you go out to buy diamonds, you must know realistically the amount you will spend. Having a budget will help you decide on the key characteristics you want in your loose diamonds. Besides, diamonds are an expensive commodity and not knowing what you want makes you an easy target for salespeople to upsell.
That being said, you can either shop for diamonds in a local retail shop or buy from an online store. No matter where you get it from, it is important to ensure that the seller has a reputation and the certification that authenticates its products. Check each of your loose diamonds down to the smallest details. Do not feel pressured into buying a substandard diamond because of a pushy salesman.
If you are buying from a physical store, then perhaps you are no stranger to blinding lights in the showroom that make every stone look brilliant. You always have someone breathe down your neck as you examine the diamonds.
This is the reason many people prefer to buy online as there is no pressure from overzealous salesmen. You can get the same loose diamonds at a discounted price. In fact, you can take your time in cherry picking the diamonds without compromising the specifications or your budget. While online purchases offer you a complete guarantee of their products, you cannot get the transparency of checking it out firsthand like you do in a retail store. At the end of the day, it is all about finding the right diamond for the right price, no matter where you buy it from.
Once you have chosen the loose diamonds you want to bring home, then the next natural step is to complete the purchase. Some experts even recommend you insure your investment to protect yourself against theft or damage. However, if you insure your purchase, then be sure to check the jewelry coverage policies before committing yourself to it.