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How to Buy Diamonds

Posted on 10th Jul 2012 @ 1:40 PM

If you’re astute enough to be in the market for buying diamonds or good quality diamond jewelry, you should make a point of learning what you should be looking for.

Top of the list are the four Cs, or five if you add the all-important certificate.

Top of the list are the four Cs, or five if you add the all-important certificate.

  • 1. cut,
  • 2. clarity,
  • 3. color,
  • 4. carat weight.


The four Cs are the criteria that jewelers use when they grade the diamonds that they buy and sell.

Cut. While every single C is vitally important to diamond buyers, the cut is considered to be the most important. It is also hugely challenging (another C), because the brilliance of any diamond relies largely on the cut.

Many people get confused between the shape and the cut of a diamond. The two are not the same. Sure a diamond is cut to a shape, but “cut” as described on a diamond certificate refers to the reflective qualities of the diamond, which of course is determined by the way the diamond has been cut.

Clarity. Diamonds are formed in nature, and so it’s not surprising that most diamonds contain some sort of flaws. One of the skills of a good diamond cutter is to get rid of the flaws, but it is a fact that totally flawless diamonds are very rare.

If you are buying a diamond, the more flaws it has, the less it will cost. If you’re chasing a budget, then look for what are often referred to as “eye-clean” diamonds. They do have flaws, but you can’t see them with the naked eye. They are cheaper than higher grades, but still have good value. If you want a good investment, you won’t want to buy a badly flawed diamond.

Color. If you consider that various types of cut glass are sometimes used to make cheap fake-diamond effects you will realize that the cheap trick is to imitate transparency. The best diamonds are actually colorless! This allows them to refract or change the course of light, causing the stone to sparkle beautifully.

Carat Weight. Like gold, diamonds are weighed or measured by carats, but it’s not at all the same, which is why karat (K) is commonly used in relation to carat when dealing with gold.

Diamonds carats equal 0.2 grams or 200 mg, and there is sophisticated equipment that can ascertain the carat weight of a diamond – big or small.

Then there’s the certificate that you will get that records the value of your diamond. This will be completed by a professional using specialized equipment. If you are buying a diamond or good quality diamond jewelry, ask for a diamond certificate.