How to choose and buy diamonds on a limited budget
Pearls Of Wisdom
Yes, we get it, diamonds are a girl's best friend – we've all heard this before and so have jewellers around the world drummed this into our collective consciousness ad nauseum. These beautiful little rocks never fail to make our hearts skip a little, whether as a brilliant-cut gem perched high on an engagement ring or cut in a luscious pear shape and set alongside different coloured stones. The world's best jewellers never seem to run out of ideas and designs. And we just love them all. Buying them, on the other hand, is a different matter altogether, which can range from mildly stressful to downright nerve-wrecking.
When you're buying diamond jewellery, it certainly helps to have good knowledge not just of the product but also the industry that deals in it. This is because whether you end up with the best stone for your budget or an overpriced dud depends nearly entirely on how wisely you choose. Exhibiting at the recent Singapore Jewellery and Gem Fair 2018, local bespoke jeweller Infiniti Jewels shares 10 diamond-buying hacks and tips that you won't get from just any jewellery merchant. Want to be a savvy jewellery investor? Keep reading.
#1 The number of facets has very little impact on the ultimate value of a stone
It's a sales gimmick to market a stone as having a lot of facets but while more cuts simply make a stone sparkle more, it's just maybe three to four per cent more. More importantly, having additional facets doesn't mean better sparkle because if the facets are not cut in the right proportion, ultimately it sparkles less.
#2 Value depends on the best balance of the 4Cs.
You can't just go for carat or colour, or clarity or cut. A 3 carat stone suggests high value but it could be a very low colour and just average quality. It will be far less valuable than a 2 carat D flawless diamond. You have to assess all the variables together and get a balance of what the stone offers.
#3 You'll get the most bang for your buck by knowing what variables affect you the most
If you want the best of the 4Cs, prices can and will skyrocket. To work within your budget, you need to decide which of the four Cs matter most to you. For instance, clarity may be less critical because no one can tell with the naked eye of a stone is VVS1 or VS1. On the other hand, carat may be more important in some cases because just by looking, you will be able to estimate the size of the stone.
#4 Certification is important
The most prestigious certification body is GIA. You'll know that a diamond has been GIA certified when you examine it under the eye-glass and you see its GIA number which has been lasered onto the surface. No two stones have the same GIA number.
#5 Carat refers to the weight, not the size
A stone can look larger because it has been cut better but weigh slightly less. It's not always the bigger the weight the bigger the stone.
#6 Prices jump significantly from category to category
There is one pricing bracket for stones under 1 carat, and that makes a big jump when you go into the 1 to 1.5 carat category. Then when you go into the 1.5 to 2 carat category, expect another big jump, and so on. Thus, for maximum savings, what you can consider are stones that come in just under. For instance, instead of a 2-carat stone, go for 1.9 carats.
#7 If you're not buying to invest, G coloured stones are the worthiest buys
DEF coloured stones are the best, followed by GHIJ. But people in the trade do often group G stones in the colourless category because they're practically colourless and there's minimal difference between DE stones and FG stones.
#8 If you're buying to invest, go for DEF coloured stones
But if you're getting a stone as an investment, then it makes sense to get the very best that you can, which means DEF colour
#9 It's a misconception that the more inclusions, the worse the clarity
Clarity is how deep or obvious the inclusion is. There could be just one but really deep, and the stone becomes an SI quality diamond. Compared to a VS2 diamond that could have had several light dots on the surface, the SI stone may not offer poorer clarity even though it's graded lower. But very often you can't see these with the naked eye, so it may not matter so much. However, if you're buying as an investment, it makes sense to aim for as close to D flawless as possible.
#10 If the cut grade is poor or just good, even D colour flawless diamonds will not sparkle well
This affects the ultimate sparkle of a diamond. Experts will be able to tell if a stone has been cut well in the way that highlights its best qualities.
Infiniti Jewels is located at 101 Cecil St, Tong Eng Building #15-07, Singapore 069533 Tel. +65 9237 0031
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