Four tips for picking the perfect diamond

It usually starts like this: “Hey, Christian, can we sit down together sometime this week? I have something I’d like to talk to you about.”
My close friends’ unusually formal invitations for meals and drinks tip me off every time. They’re planning to pop the question, and they’d like to talk through the ring-buying process with me.
It’s a fun perk of being in the jewelry business: I’m usually the first to know my buddies are planning to get engaged. We talk about style, budget, what she’d like, and what he thinks would look good on her finger. We go through metals and settings and discuss widths and sizing. We get pretty deep, too — getting engaged is so significant, the ring so full of meaning. No question, the easiest part is picking the diamond.

While it can seem daunting, educating yourself about the diamond-buying process can be a pretty quick task. Here are four tips to keep in mind:

Tip #1: Pick the size of the stone last. This advice often surprises my friends: They often have a size in their head when they walk in the store. A diamond’s beauty comes from its color and clarity (two of the 4 c’s you may have heard about). Nail color and clarity first, then pick a size that matches your budget. 

Tip #2: In terms of color, F is the sweet spot. As you move along the spectrum of diamond color from D to (gasp!) Z, diamonds become more and more yellow. You don’t want a yellow diamond.  But you don’t want a perfect diamond, either – no reason to blow the budget by buying a completely colorless, top-of-the-range D. Unless your friends are all gemologists, they won’t be able to tell a difference. The way diamond grading works, the top three grades – D,E, and F – are all considered colorless. G,H and I are the next category and are near colorless. J, K and L follow, and trust me, you don’t want to go there. Forget the gradings for a moment and ask yourself what you want. The answer should be a colorless diamond. At the tail end of the colorless spectrum, F is a beautiful white that doesn’t break the bank.

Tip No. 3: Leave the binoculars at home. Walk into your neighborhood jeweler and they likely have a high-powered magnifying lens that you can use to look at diamonds. My advice: Don’t look. Here’s why. Imagine if I were to offer you two cars. The first is in immaculate condition. The second is 25% less because it has a scratch you can’t see. Not only can you not see it, you need a magnifying glass to see it. I think I’ve made my point. A diamond purchase is about knowing which aspects of the stone are really worth investing in. Just like you don’t really need a D color, you don’t need to purchase a flawless or internally flawless diamond for it to look fantastic on your partner’s hand. In the language of gradings, a good jeweler should be able to find you an eye clean SI1. Sure, if you turn the stone over and look at it upside down under a microscope, there might be constellation in there. But what’s important is that when you look at it from the top down –  the way diamonds are set – with no magnification – the way your girlfriend’s eyes work – it will look great. And thats the goal.

Tip #4: Two words: round diamond.
 Tread carefully when buying any of the alternative cuts, and only do so if you’re sure — sure — that the recipient will love it. Round diamonds sparkle more than the other cuts and are generally the way to go. If you’re set on an alternative cut, go with a hexagon cut. Feel free to try your best – I promise you won’t find one anywhere. More on this later (link to hexagon cut story)

What was most surprising to you about the diamond-buying process? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

6 Replies to “Four tips for picking the perfect diamond”

  1. Huh, I never knew that one should choose a diamond on its color and clarity first and size last. This reminded me of my brother who wants to give his wife a diamond jewelry set this Christmas. Any tips on where to find a place to get it from?

    1. Hi Tim, Thanks for your comment. We always prioritize color and clarity first because it means you’ll have the most beautiful diamond within your budget. If you go for carat weight alone, you’ll be sacrificing a lot of the brilliance and beauty that pepole love about diamonds. We have lots of beautiful diamond jewelry sets at Vinca, from earrings and necklace combinations to matching bracelets, rings, and pendants. If you’re in Kansas City, stop by, or if you’re out of town, give us a call. We’d be happy to help out.

  2. To choose right diamond ring for your partner you need to know what type of pattern your partner wish to wear in her finger moreover you can also look for stone how much carat of diamond you wish to choose for the ring.

  3. I like how you suggest picking the size of a diamond according to your budget. My brother told me that he would like to get a nice piece of jewelry for his wife but he does not know how to choose it. I will recommend him to visit a jewelry shop so that he can get better advice.

  4. Now it is difficult to select real natural diamonds .we are seeing lots of cvd/HTHP diamonds in the market .Traders are exploiting people by showing all synthetic stone/ synthetic diamonds though they are chemically optically physically same as diamond . It is like artificial vegetables and fruits ,egg, chicken etc . Thanks.

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