Step by Step guide to Diamond Mastery.
If you, like most guys, know nothing about diamonds and this whole purchasing thing is really confusing - you're not alone!
But let us tell you, a basic understanding of diamonds will keep value in your pocket and get you a jaw-dropping stone that doesn’t break the bank.
Our 6 steps will free you from the fear of getting it wrong and of overpaying, but diamond mastery and getting-it-right.
Control what you can control.
Diamond buying success is a matter of 'smart asset allocation'
Buying a diamond is all about trade-offs. Unless you’re one of the lucky few where budget isn’t an issue, the rest of us have to figure out what matters most! For your pocket and your future-fiance's dreams and ring desires.
For example; would she prefer you go 'big' but isn’t obsessed with perfect clarity? Would a small but totally perfect diamond be a better bet?
Get a diamond that fits your budget and your sweetheart's finger.
1. Figure out your Budget.
First, allot a budget and decide what you can afford to spend. This will help narrow down your 'smart asset allocation' for the more technical trade-offs to make a right decision.
For example, a two-carat diamond could cost anywhere from a few thousand pounds to over £30,000 +. But what determines the price?
2. Diamond Size or Diamond Quality. (size being important for many women)
Once you’ve put together a budget, decide how important size is. For her - is a bigger diamond a better one? Or a smaller stone totally sentimental. Does she ogle over celeb rings and would love a bigger rock she can show off to all her friends? Or would she hate the attention that comes with a big ring. In which case, and smaller but better quality diamond is your best bet.
3. Figure the Diamond Quality You Need.
Once you've decided bigger is better, or smaller is best, the next thing to decide is the diamond 'quality' you want. This is a clever balance between aesthetic, and expense. Get this trade-off right and you can nail your smart asset allocation. Do you really need a perfect gem or are you ok with small flaws if it helps the budget.
Tip: (After size) There are three things to consider here that drive price up - or down. Colour clarity and cut.
4. Colour – How 'WHITE' is your diamond.
To avoid any noticeable yellow in your forever gem, stick to the near colourless category and above. That's I colour at it's lowest. Faint yellow is okay if you're looking to max out on size - afterall, once a diamonds set in a ring, she won't be comparing. Between the whitest colour, D and a near colourless H - you can save £1500 on a like-for-like 1 carat diamond.
5. Clarity – How 'UNFLAWED' is your diamond.
Clarity refers to how flawed the diamond is under magnification. To max out on budget, you can compromise here. Afterall, it's not something you're ever going to see unless your putting a magnifying glass to your diamond ring. Anything SI2 and above is great. Avoid anything really included though, as no one wants to see big black marks in their forever ring.
Tip: To avoid getting screwed over make sure you check your diamond loose under magnification. That's a diamond out of a ring. Jewellers tend to hide visible flaws under the claws, which is fine if the price is right - but a great bargaining tool for you. Between an almost flawless and a slightly included but-not-visibly flawed stone, you can save almost £5000 on a like-to-like 1 carat diamond.
6. Cut – AKA how sparkly is your diamond.
This is important but hardest to measure. Cut refers, in layman's terms, to how sparkly a diamond is. Simply some diamond material is just nicer than others. A cut grade of 'excellent' helps, but is no guarantee that your diamond has maximum sparkle. And that's where traders make their money.
Tip: We can't measure sparkle, but a trick of the trade is to rub your finger prints on the diamond and see how sparkly it stays. If the diamond material is great, it'll still stay super sparkly. If it's on paper an 'excellent' cut but goes pretty dull, you'll know that that isn't your best gem. The key here is to look and compare against various stones.
When buying, make sure to ask for AN INDEPENDENT DIAMOND GRADING REPORT - a certificate.
A diamond grading report is an unbiased assessment of the diamond’s quality. It provides a description of the diamond’s quality and cut and confirms that the stone is a natural or synthetic diamond. Look for independent boards like GIA. Don't accept a retailers own certification.
When a person with experience meets a person with money, the person with experience ends up with the money, and the person with money ends up with an experience.
So lock it down. The number one trick is to figure out your 'smart asset allocation'. Once you've done this, look and compare at least 3 diamonds side-by-side. Diamond masters and diamantaires alike will die over the beauty of a flawed stone but can easily be indifferent over a D Flawless - often choosing the former for their own engagement rings. Price point, beauty and sparkle. The most expensive isn't always the best!