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What You Need to Know When Talking to a Jeweler Before You Buy Diamonds

Updated on March 7, 2013

Brilliant Cut Diamond

Diamond Ring
Diamond Ring | Source

How to Buy Natural Diamonds

Buying a natural diamond can be an unnerving endeavor. Unless you are a professional diamond purchaser, you must rely on others to help you select and purchase your diamond. Unfortunately, the diamond world is filled with unknowledgeable and unscrupulous individuals waiting to sell you what they have to offer. Don’t be misled. Ask questions about the diamond you are considering purchasing. Ask questions about the weight, the size, where the diamond was extracted, whether or not the diamond has been appraised, and if so, by whom and when the diamond was appraised. An honorable jeweler will be happy to answer every question you have about the diamond you are considering purchasing.

The Sales Sheet
You may ask the jeweler to provide you with what is called a sales sheet. The sales sheet is simply a sheet that documents your questions and the jeweler’s answers, plus you want to make sure basic information about the diamond is on the sales sheet, too. Do not be intimidated by jewelers who do not want to provide you with a sales sheet. This is a sign that the jeweler is either unknowledgeable or unscrupulous. In either event, walk away from the transaction; do not do business with this jeweler.

Diamonds Have Natural Flaws
Since diamonds are a natural stone, extracted from the earth, they generally contain natural flaws. In fact, it is rare to find a flawless natural diamond. And, if by chance you were to find a flawless natural diamond, the cost of that diamond would be priceless. In the diamond world, when flaws are found inside the diamond (internally), they are called inclusions. When flaws are found on the outside of the diamond (externally), they are called blemishes. Many flaws from a diamond that you would consider purchasing cannot be seen by the naked eye. To see these flaws, a jeweler uses what is called a loupe. The loupe is a type of magnifying instrument which allows a person to view the diamond under 10x magnification or more, depending on the magnification setting.

Quality is Based on a Diamond Grading System
The important thing to know about buying a diamond is that the diamond you buy is likely to be flawed in one way or another, either internally or externally. Resting on that fact, you want to buy a diamond that is flawless to the naked eye and one that, when seen through a loupe is negligible. Professional jewelers have a grading system that is used for grading diamonds, so you know the quality of your diamond before you purchase it. For uniformity in the appraisal of diamonds, the Gemological Institute of America developed a grading system which grades diamonds based on certain criteria. There are other, lessor known organizations that are also involved in the diamond grading process; they are the American Gemological Laboratory and the European Gemological Laboratory. All of these institutions use the same criteria to grade diamonds.

The Sales Certificate Authenticates Your Diamond
When you get ready to purchase your diamond, make sure the seller provides you with a sales certificate, authenticating your diamond. This is standard procedure, and if your diamond is over one carat, it is also standard procedure to provide you with a diamond grading certificate issued by one of the gemological institutes mentioned above.

Think of your diamond as an investment. Prior to going to the jeweler’s, spend some time investigating what a diamond would cost for the style and size you are considering. There is an abundance of companies and organizations on the internet which lists diamond price trends of all shapes, sizes, and color.

Mined Diamond Versus Manufactured Diamond
Technology has allowed us to enjoy the beauty of diamonds at a fraction of the cost. Diamonds can be manufactured in a lab to the quality that you, the average buyer, and most professionals cannot see the difference between a “real” diamond and a manufactured synthetic diamond. Both mined diamonds and synthetic diamonds are real. In fact, there is no difference in the chemical makeup between the diamond extracted from a diamond mine and a diamond created in a lab. The most commonly recognized synthetic diamond is known as Cubic Zirconia. A diamond, whether mined or manufactured is inscribed with marks which identify the diamond. Be aware that there are unsavory individuals who buff away identifying marks in order to sell synthetic diamonds to unwitting buyers. Be leery of deep discounts, because the diamond you are purchasing may not be authentic.

You can receive just as much enjoyment from a synthetic diamond as you can from a mined diamond. The critical point to note is that you know exactly what you are spending your money on. If it is your intention to buy a mined diamond and you end up with a synthetic diamond, it would be distressing upon the event that you should have your diamond appraised. On the other hand, if your intent is to buy a synthetic diamond, and you are pleased with the quality and the price, then you will receive full enjoyment of your diamond.

Diamond Appraisal
After purchasing your diamond, have your diamond appraised by a professional who has been certified by the American Society of Appraisers, the American Gem Society, or the Independent Gemologist Appraisers. Appraisers provide an unbiased study of your diamond. An appraiser will identify your diamond and provide a full report, including pictures of your diamond, along with an estimated value for your diamond. When searching for an appraiser to use, your best bet is to commission an appraiser who is an independent expert. In-house store appraisers and pawn shops, for example will quote a price for which they are willing to purchase your diamond so that they can make a profit. It is not necessarily the true value of your diamond.

The Four C's of Diamonds
Be as knowledgeable as you can about the four C’s of natural diamonds. The four C’s are Carat, Color, Clarity, and Cut, which are standard platforms of knowledge for diamonds sold throughout the world.

Talk to Your Jeweler with Confidence
When talking to a jeweler about diamonds, be sure to get your questions and answers in writing. Make sure you receive a certification with the purchase of your diamond. And, have your diamond appraised after you purchase it. With just a little bit of knowledge and caution, you will be able to buy your first diamond with confidence, enjoying its beauty for a lifetime.

Watch this video to learn how a diamond is graded based on the 4 C's created by the Gemological Institute of America

I Recommend the Following Information and Tools to Help You Buy Your Diamond

Diamond Ring Buying Guide: How to Evaluate, Identify, and Select Diamonds & Diamond Jewelry (Newman Gem & Jewelry Series)
Diamond Ring Buying Guide: How to Evaluate, Identify, and Select Diamonds & Diamond Jewelry (Newman Gem & Jewelry Series)

Don't get ripped off when buying diamonds. Before you buy your diamond, become familiar with basic terminology and what to look for in a diamond.

Aketek - Loupe Set - Dual 10x+20x, 10x, 30x, 3 Pc - MJ361830C
Aketek - Loupe Set - Dual 10x+20x, 10x, 30x, 3 Pc - MJ361830C

This set of professional jewelers eye loupes will help you view your diamond with magnification.



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    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Thank you for reading, Rajan. I wish I was still in the jewelry business. It was rather fun.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      This is awesome and useful information for me even though I'm not in the process of buying a diamond right now. I now know what to look for and how to go about talking to the jeweller before I buy a diamond.

      Thanks for sharing this useful info Marlene.

      Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I don't know that I would feel confident buying a diamond on my own. I think you'd need to find a jeweler you trust and after you make your purchase, get another jeweler to appraise it and see if it matches the original specifications. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 5 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Hi tirelesstraveler, thank you for commenting. I know what you mean by being giddy. It is exciting to look at and buy rings. My husband and I use to own an online jewelry store and it was a lot of fun. Just looking at all the gems kept us excited to be in that line of business.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      When we were looking for engagement rings I was so giddy I made bad jokes about carrots and not being able to see any orange. Nice hub. I am looking for another one.