Guide to gemstones or how to buy diamonds
In this guide, we will introduce diamonds and reveal several secrets how to avoid making a mistake when buying these amazing gemstones. Usually, diamond value and beauty is graded according to 4C’s rule: Cut, Clarity, Colour, and Carat. These main 4 characteristics describe diamonds and help choose desired jewellery with a gemstone.
Diamond carat weight
The weight of a diamond is measured in carats, however, this is not the most important characteristic when choosing a diamond. Please note that carat is a unit of weight instead of a size of a diamond. Professionally cut diamond, even small, may appear much bigger than poorly cut diamond with a larger carat weight. Very good diamond cut allows larger amount of light to go through the table facet of the gemstone, therefore, it appears optically bigger, unlike poorly cut gemstone that can optically reduce the actual weight of a diamond.
Thus, when choosing diamonds, we recommend paying attention to cut, colour and clarity foremost, and then decide on carat weight taking into consideration available budget.
Diamond brilliance is obtained through polishing and cutting. There are 5 cut types:
- Excellent cut
- Very good cut
- Good cut
- Fair cut
- Poor cut
The proportion of excellent cut diamonds on the market is very small – only 3%. Fair cut diamonds (approx. 35%) are most-purchased diamonds. 25% diamonds on the market are poor cut gemstones. This means that such diamonds poorly reflects light, don’t sparkle, therefore, their value is significantly lower.
After polishing a diamond, a brilliant is obtained. Brilliants come in various shapes, however, the most popular and most common shapes are as follows:
Diamonds come in a variety of colours from white to yellow or even brown. Untrained eye can find it difficult to determine diamond shades, therefore, it is best to consult diamond specialist-gemologist before purchasing diamond.
Normally, diamonds are white, but more rare coloured diamonds are also found in nature. The value and beauty of these diamonds depend not only on 4C’s but also on the intensity of colour. The brighter and more intensive the colour, the more valuable and exclusive the diamond is. The rarest colours are red, blue and pink. The value of coloured diamonds is significantly higher than that of white diamonds. Recently, the demand for coloured diamonds has been steadily increasing. Unfortunately, natural diamonds with artificially changed colour also enter diamond market.
The value of such diamonds is fairly low as only naturally coloured diamonds are valuable. Diamond characteristics and naturalness are verified by diamond certificate issued in internationally recognized gemstone laboratories. In Lithuania, this function is performed by Lithuanian Chamber of Assay. It is not recommended to purchase jewellery that does not have the certificate issued by a competent authority.
It is very important to understand that each diamond is unique and imperfect but these flaws create its exceptional beauty and individuality. Diamond flaws are called inclusions. Diamond value depends on such inclusions and blemishes in the gemstone. Of course, particularly clear and transparent diamonds are the most valuable diamonds. One should know that this property is difficult to be verified when buying diamonds online.
Tips for buying diamonds
If you are considering buying a gemstone, we recommend consulting professional gemologist or well-trained specialist in the store. This will help understand the quality or size of a diamond that fits your budget. In addition, you will get helpful insights how to avoid making any mistakes. However, a large number of synthetic or poor-quality diamonds are placed on the market and are sold by deception for higher prices than they are worth. In order to make a smart purchasing decision, always ask the seller for diamond certificate, which would indicate the most important characteristics, and for the receipt. Even though the certificate includes most important characteristics of the diamond, the buyer can get a certificate that would exactly match the properties of a particular diamond only by purchasing it from reliable sellers. It is also very important for the stone not to be treated using laser, silicone or to have artificially enhanced colour. Essentially, it is important that the diamond would have never been touched by a human hand to improve its quality.
Remember that all diamonds are uniquely beautiful, only their value differs! After learning about diamond characteristics, you will be certain that the price you paid for jewellery matches its value.