Become a diamond expert in just 5 minutes!

If you’ve never bought a diamond before then all you need is this guide and you too can be a diamond expert in 5 minutes!
So, before you spend any money, what are the most important aspects you need to know about a diamond? You need to know what shape of diamond (the Cut) you like; but more fundamental is that you need to know the quality of the stone - the Clarity and the Colour. You will also need to know the size of the stone (the Carat) – but when it comes to buying diamonds, the old adage ‘size isn’t everything’ could not be more true. Crucially you also need to know that the stone you are buying has a certificate and that it has been certificated by a dependable, independent, conscientious agency so you can trust the certificate and you can trust the quality of your diamond. After all, Diamonds ARE forever.
So the first consideration is what shape of diamond are you looking for? The most popular cut is the Round Brilliant cut; its 57 finely polished facets ensure this shape of stone has enduring sparkle. Also popular is an Oval cut, the square shaped Princess cut, or a rectangular Emerald cut as well as all the fancy cuts such as heart shaped, pear or the three sides trillion cut. There is no ‘correct’ cut for a diamond; it is entirely up to you whether you want a traditional cut or something more unusual.
Both the Colour and the Clarity of the diamond will make a huge difference to its price. Diamonds are graded on a colour scale from D which is the finest totally colourless white diamond (and must be verified as such by four different gemmologists!) through to Z which are the fancy obviously coloured stones. The subtleties of colour are so small that looking at a diamond with the naked eye you won’t be able to tell the difference across three adjacent colours. So a D, E and F will all look the same as would for example an E, F and G. A diamond with a colour lower than a G or H will start to look slightly less white in comparison than a higher grade stone. Always ask what colour a stone is, and compare it next to a stone of a higher colour grade - you will soon start to see how sallow an inferior diamond can look compared to the brightness of a higher grade.
The other aspect that really affects a diamond’s price is its Clarity. Diamonds are a natural material formed deep within the earth millions of years ago from carbon but during that creation tiny particles of carbon are left in the diamond and these little flecks (called ‘inclusions’) affect the clarity of the stone. Rarely a diamond will have no inclusions and will be referred to as IF – Internally Flawless however most stones will have either VVS (Very Very Small), VS (Very Small) or S (Small) inclusions and these will be noted after the stone’s colour grading. They are not always visible to the naked eye when they are small so this can sometimes be a trade off when buying a diamond. Inclusions and their position in a stone will be shown on the certificate.
So finally, size. The size of a stone will not affect its price as much as the colour and clarity does so if you want a bigger stone you may need to balance the colour and clarity to afford the size that you are looking for. Or, you might decide to go for a smaller stone that is colour D and clarity IF – the most perfect diamond it is possible to purchase. The size of a diamond is measured in Carats, but this is actually the weight of the stone and diamonds will not always look larger because they are heavier. All of these aspects need to be weighed up when you are looking to buy.
So to re-cap, when you go diamond shopping, you now know to ask:
1. What colour is the diamond you are looking at?
2. How many inclusions does it have?
3. What size is the stone?
4. Which cut/shape of diamond is available?
5. And the most important factor does the stone have an independent certificate so that you have proof that what you are buying is the real deal?