Purchasing a diamond is exciting – after all, such a significant investment is momentous and always holds deep meaning. However, diamond shopping can also feel overwhelming and even confusing. When you feel like you’re in over your head, don’t worry! We’re here to help. From our online diamond resources to our incredibly experienced staff who have been in the business for 50 years, we have everything you need to feel confident about your diamond purchasing decisions.
To help you as you begin your search for the perfect gem in 2020, here are four things you may want to consider.
1. Ensure that your diamond is GIA certified.
GIA, or Gemological Institute of America, is the country’s foremost expert on all things relating to gems, particularly diamonds. The institute established the “4Cs” and the International Diamond Grading System in the 1940s, both of which remain the worldwide standard for evaluating diamond quality 80 years later.
GIA is an independent, non-profit organization that offers objective and unbiased diamond quality assessments, issuing graded reports that describe each diamond evaluation in depth. This report, or “certificate”, should accompany your diamond at purchase.
2. Pay attention to your diamond’s natural birthmarks.
As you evaluate your potential diamond using the 4Cs, you should take into account the gem’s clarity, taking note of any inclusions it may contain. Diamonds are formed under extreme heat and pressure, and when a crystal grows rapidly it can trap other material – gas, liquid, solid matter or liquid with a gas bubble – within itself. This forms small imperfections within the diamond known as inclusions.
Most diamonds contain imperfections of some kind, and many jewelers will never see a truly flawless diamond in their lifetime. Many inclusions, however, are only noticeable under 10x magnification and so will not be seen by the naked, untrained eye. But some inclusions may lead to an eventual compromise in a diamond’s durability.
This is where having a GIA report on your stone comes in handy – gemologists include the number, size, relief, nature and position of each inclusion and an evaluation of how these affect the overall appearance of the diamond. The closer a stone comes to being perfectly pure, the greater its value.
3. Find out if your diamond “glows” under UV light.
Up to 35% of diamonds exhibit fluorescence – they emit a soft colored glow when exposed to ultraviolet light. Only 10% of those, however, show a fluorescence strong enough to affect a stone’s appearance, so most diamonds that exhibit fluorescence have no noticeable difference in appearance. For those that do, it often makes yellowish diamonds appear white or colorless.
Some buyers even prefer the appearance of diamonds with medium to strong fluorescence. Whether or not you purchase a stone that exhibits fluorescence is completely up to you – you’ll know its levels by looking at the diamond grading report.
4. Determine the diamond origin that is right for you.
Not long ago there was only one option when it came to a diamond’s origin – you purchased a gem that had been formed deep within the earth and then mined. With today’s technological advances, the choices have expanded a bit. Many jewelers are now offering lab-grown diamonds as an alternative to traditional stones.
These newer jewels, which are formed in labs over the course of about 8 weeks, are identical to their mined counterparts in chemical, optical and physical properties. They have the advantage of being conflict-free and they are generally about one third less expensive than mined diamonds. Both mined and lab-grown stones are stunning and special – it’s just up to you which route you’d like to take!
One of our favorite things about being in the jewelry business is the moment when a customer finds the perfect piece, and it would be our joy to help you find a diamond that you love. Give us a call or come in today and we’ll be happy to assist you in finding the diamond that is right for you this year!