In order to move into the next phase in learning about buying diamonds, a trip to a local jewelry store will be your next step… consider this a little field trip that will help with the homework that you will needed to do. Please don’t be intimidated!… the people in jewelry stores are some of the nicest people I know!
Click here for some guidelines in what to look for in a buying diamonds at local jewelry stores.
You are going to need to look at some loose diamonds, these are diamonds that are not in a mounting. When a jeweler is buying diamonds, they will almost always buy loose diamonds, unmounted diamonds. The jeweler will then set the loose diamonds into mountings (diamond rings, diamond earrings, etc.) for their inventory or as customers buy diamond jewelry.
Studying about diamond’s grading factors, the 4Cs, is definitely a good thing. But what is really going to help you is when you can actually see what a 0.75ct. looks like, or a SI1 Clarity, or a G Color, along with seeing an actual Diamond Grading Report from a gemological laboratory.
A few things to keep in mind…
– Be up front with the salesperson….see engagement ring at this point you are just checking pricing, qualities, and availability of various diamonds. You are there to look at the 4Cs and get diamond pricing info for right now.
– For now, don’t give them an idea of what you are thinking of spending. Your not playing games with them, you are just gathering information.
– You should try to get into the right frame of mind while you are looking at diamonds. You will need to bring your “poker face”, just like the poker players you can see on TV… cool, very controlled body language, etc. If a salesperson shows you a $25,000 diamond, please don’t start rolling your eyes and proceed to exclaim that it’s way out of your price range…. just ask them to explain why this diamond would have such a price tag…
After all you are there to learn.
– Look at round diamonds only. Most jewelry stores will have a wider selection of loose round brilliant cut diamonds on hand. Fancy shaped diamonds have their own pricing structure and are a bit of a different animal at this point.
– Take notes! You’ll need to write down what you have seen in order to compare one jeweler to another or to some of the online retailers. I made a simple worksheet that might help you, round diamond worksheet.
You should understand everything on the sheet except for the line that is the “per carat price,”per ct.”…. it’s pretty easy to understand the idea of per carat, it is the cost of the diamond divided by the weight…. $1,508 for a 0.52ct. works out to be $2,900 per carat.When buying diamonds the per carat price is useful when you want to compare several different diamonds or the pricing from one source verses another source. We will be using it later.
– Make sure that you look at some lower Clarity stones using the microscope… some of the inclusions are really interesting to look at! The high Clarity stones are kind of boring to look at! And on my part they are always much more difficult to grade! One tiny little included crystal can mean the difference between IF or VVS1 and VVS1 or VVS2… and these differences in a Clarity grade will affect the price accordingly!
– Make sure that you get side by side comparisons between a higher color (D-E-F-G-H) and a stone with a touch of warmth (I-J-K-L). And don’t forget to see a diamond with a top Diamond Cut (Ideal Cut) along with a good Diamond Cut to a poor Diamond Cut.
– You don’t want to spend all day with one jeweler… they are busy and you are still just looking at this point.