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Bargain Diamonds

How to Bargain Diamonds from RingsHUT.com

Welcome to RingsHUT information Center.

Diamond shopping guidelines have been devised to be of use to a wide array of diamond-curious people.

DOCUMENT CONTENT:
Short overview of the " 5 Cs "- the 5 main Characteristics of the diamond gem; * diamond Shapes & Styles ; *How are diamonds priced ?

The purchase of a diamond is a seldom event for the majority of diamond buyers. For many about to be married it is a first-time or unique experience.

Almost by definition, giving a diamond represents the celebration of a special occasion. And as special as the occasion may be so also is the extent to which the diamond, itself, is special in its embodiment of this event. This rarest and most precious of gems has come to symbolize the milestones of our lives.
It is fitting that the purest and most brilliant of all the worlds stones should also be the most enduring. These qualities have rendered the diamond a perfect symbol of engagement and love.

This guide is aimed at helping the one-time or rare-occasion buyers. They may have learnt from them all there is to know about the "birds and the bees"; but, dad (and even grandpa) are generally (and equally...) at a loss for words with respect to diamonds! At this crucial point in ones life they are as helpless as the buyer...

Learning about the diamonds unique characteristics is an invaluable asset when the time comes to purchase one. We hope that this page will be helpful to you in making the proper choice when you shop for a diamond. Understanding the trades terminology as reviewed here may prove essential to that choice: your purchase will be an educated process instead of a blind guess.

All in all, shopping for a diamond is similar to shopping for any other quality product of great complexity. The more you know, the easier it will be to distinguish the ordinary from the exceptional when it comes to value for your money.

The qualities that make the diamond so special -- purity, brilliance and the effect of color-- have been translated, to an extent, into a grading system that corresponds, interestingly enough, to their rarity and determines therefore the diamonds price.

As you might know, if you already started your shopping process, the quality of a diamond is measured by five different criteria. The five attributes in question happen, all, to start with the letter C and are known as "The Five Cs":

 

  1. The diamonds CUT namely, the quality created through the cutting of the raw crystal by respecting certain proportions, angels and positioning of its different facets relative to each other. These characteristics are created through cutting the diamond crystal into traditionally developed shapes, proportions and styles. The Gemological Institute of America (the "GIA") has set grading standards, albeit somewhat cumbersome to the novice, for the 5 Cs. The diamonds cut is classified by the GIA as Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor (Recut).
  2. The diamonds Clarity- the term used when measuring what was described above as "purity" of a diamond. It consists of the measurement of the diamonds unadulterated, complete transparency and clearness from blemishes. To what measurable extent it is free of elements such as mineral inclusions, impurities, cracks, scratches etc. that may affect the "purity" of its transparency, namely, the diamonds clarity. The GIA grading standards for clarity start with the extremely rare [F]lawless ("F"), proceeding to the still very rare [I]nternally [F]lawless ("IF") which are followed by the rare "VVS1 (or: 2)", high quality "VS1 (or 2)", good and acceptable "S1 (or 2)" and, finally "I1 (or 2 or 3)"--where the letter "V" stands for the word "Very", "S" for "Small Inclusion (or: "impurity")" and "I" for "Imperfection" (or, "Impurity" or "Inclusion).
  3. The diamonds Color whereby complete colorlessness is the rarest and most sought after . Fancy, natural colored diamonds such as Canary Yellow are coming now into vogue . The GIA Grading system marks diamonds coloration level in alphabetical order from "D" for Colorless to "Z" for prominent hue.
  4. The diamonds weight in Carats - a traditional measuring unit derived from the weight of the Carob seed (used in antiquity as the weight standard) ; Today the Carat is defined as 0.2 of a gram.
  5. The universally accepted units of measurement of these five respective qualities of the diamond were set by the G.I.A- The Gemological Institute of America.
  6. Some of these units are coded in letters which constitute acronyms (e.g., "VVS2" for "Very-Very-Small Inclusion-Level 2" ) or stand for an order (e.g., "D" is better than "E" etc.) .

 

Thus 5Cs - Cut, Colour, Clarity, Carat weight or Cost are your guidelines. These five characteristics determine the value of a diamond. As well as learning as much as you can about the five Cs, remember the fifth C which is Confidence in your jeweller . He will help you choose the right quality stone. He will realise this is a very important purchase for you and that you will want to buy the best quality diamond you can.

There are a great many things to know about Diamonds and the Diamond Industry. By reading books and the information available on the Internet, you can learn a lot, but that still doesnt help you much in physically grading a Diamond or going through the Diamond buying process.

Nonetheless, if you know the right things you can have better success rate in buying a Diamond for a fair price. Here is a shortlist of the things you need to know.

But beware, just as it can be very tough to buy a new or used car, Diamonds are a complicated business and its not an easy process. Diamond Buyers Checklist

  1. Learn as much as you can about Diamonds. Unless you feel that Dollar Bills are like so much paper, I can think of several thousand motivations to "know your stuff" about Diamonds.
  2. Decide which properties of Diamond are most important to you. Write down, in order of importance, which of the 5Cs you care most about: Cost, Carat, Color, Clarity or Cut. Most people want BIG. Theres absolutely nothing wrong with that. But wed like you to be aware of what you may be giving up in exchange for a big stone. Very often, when we show people two stones with similar properties, one a bit smaller with a better cut and the other a bit bigger, but not as good a cut, they will prefer the better cut. If you find a Jeweler who will be willing to show you the difference, it may be worth your time.
  3. Go to Jewelry Stores and get the market price for the type of Diamond you are looking for. Look at the quality of the stones they are quoting you. Note, please make sure when comparing prices that you compare apples to apples. This is actually very hard to do. For example, minor differences in cut, in proportions can have a severe impact on a stones price and beauty. A most important point to remember is not to compare the price of a certified Diamond with a price of a Diamond which is not certified, or is only certified by a no-name brand Laboratory. Ask for a certificate. There are several Independent Laboratories out there. The most well-known is GIA, the Gemmological Institute of America. GIA has done a great service by providing the public a metric to compare Diamonds and Diamond prices from different suppliers / jewelers / dealers. Nonetheless, if you dont know the rules of the game, even this wont help you. For example, you should be aware of the differences between an appraisal by a G .G. (GIA Gemologist) as opposed to a GIA GTL Certificate beware-name brand Laboratories, no-name brand Certificates and no-name brand Appraisals. You may wind up with something "less" than agreed upon. There are respectable non-GIA Laboratories out there. For example, EGL, the European Gemological Laboratory. Please note that EGL has several Labs all around the world, each is independently owned, and may have different procedures and even grading out.
  4. Look for corresponding Color and Clarities. In other words, dont buy a High Color/Low Clarity or High Clarity/Low Color Diamond. In a similar vein, why pay a premium for an Ideal Cut Diamond, and then accept a lower color and clarity? You pay a serious premium for getting say an E Color Diamond. Whats the purpose of paying that premium and then buying an SI2 Diamond? Why not go down a color or two and increase one or two clarities? This is a very common practice.
  5. Is it safe to buy a Diamond on the Internet? Good question. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. If you make sure you know who youre dealing with, it can be. Just because you found a good supplier on the Internet, it doesnt mean you cant make an effort to visit them in person. Of course sometimes distances make it impractical. In those cases you have to judge for yourself if its safe to do business with them. If you do decide to take the risk, make sure that you only buy a certified stone, and make sure they offer a guarantee that if you dont like the stone after viewing it, that you can return it. By the way, buying a Diamond "off" the Internet is not necessarily safe either.
  6. We also offer the E-Diamond Buyer, where you can have a Gemologist help you buy your Diamond. We will guide you through the process and help you get what you want. Our only fee is as your consultant. As with all our services to the public, we will only bill you if you are happy with the service.

  

© 2007, Prabhakar Djewels Pvt. Ltd.