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Guide to Buying Diamonds

How to buy a diamond is a guide to help you learn more about diamond shapes, cut, color, clarity, and carat weight.

Popular Diamond Shapes

The most popular shapes are asscher, emerald, heart, marquise, oval, pear, princess, radiant, and round. Simply ask the bride or soon to be bride what diamond shape she prefers.


Photo credit: BlueNile.com

Diamond Cut

Beauty of a diamond depends on the quality of the cut or make. As a guide:

Ideal Cut - The best, when price does not matter.

Excellent Make - Good balance between beauty and quality.

Good Make - You get a larger stone for your money.

Poor Make - Not recommended.
 

Choosing a Color

Diamonds have a range of color, from colorless to shades of yellow. As a guide:

Colorless - Most precious and rare.

D - The best, when price does not matter. Colorless.

E, F - Less expensive but still colorless.

G, H - Less expensive with good color.

H, I, J - Larger stone for your money. Near colorless appearance, almost white.

K, L, M - Faint yellow tint color.
 

Diamond Clarity

All diamonds have flaws called inclusions. As a guide, the following clarity grades:

Internally Flawless (IF) - The best, when price does not matter.

VVS1 and VVS2 - Cannot see the flaws even under a loupe.

VS1 and VS2 - Flawless to the naked eye, and very little flaws seen under a loupe.

SI1 and SI2 - Flawless to the naked eye.

I1 - Still sparkles.

I2 and I3 - Lowest clarity grade. Fragile and lacks sparkle and beauty.
 

Carat Weight of Diamonds

Popular diamond sizes are 1/2-carat, 1-carat, and 2-carat diamonds. Size is an important factor in the price of a diamond, but not necessarily in determining the beauty of a diamond stone.

When buying a diamond, focus more on beauty than size. As a buying guide:

  1. Use the factors such as shape, cut, color, and clarity to decide on the quality and beauty of a diamond.
  2. If buying for an engagement ring or for a girlfriend, it is best to find out what she prefers in terms of size, color, etc.
  3. As a guide, budget 1 to 3 months' salary for a diamond engagement ring.

Buy Diamonds Online

This section features companies that sell diamonds online.

 

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