Assessing the Value of a Diamond

What You Need to Know

Getting the Value You Want in a DiamondCredit:

Diamonds can be a very expensive purchase and if you're shopping for one you should take care to factor in all aspects of the stone you want to purchase. Use the tips below to help you get the value that you're paying for when it comes to a diamond:

* Shop around for diamonds by looking at different diamonds available within your price range. You'll get an idea for what's available. If you see a stone that looks similar to one you've seen or that you have an advertisement for, ask the person whom you're addressing in another establishment about the differences that account for price differentials. In this way you will begin to be able to compare the look of the diamond, with its description as provided by the seller, as well as understand some of the terminology used by sellers to explain the diamond's price.

* You will also want to research the individuals, or companies from whom you plan to purchase your diamond. If you find trustworthy individuals, you can also choose your diamonds based on criteria used in valuing diamonds. These basic features together known as the 4Cs (cut, color, clarity and carat weight) of diamonds include information that you can use in choosing your diamond. 

* There are color grading scales for diamonds that are based on the letters of the alphabet, with letters closer to the beginning of the alphabet being closer to colorless. Many quality diamonds fall into the G, H, I or J categories. Some retailers state that they don't carry diamonds that are of a color that falls into certain color categories, that rank lower on the color grading scale. Such representations in writing or in a company's advertisement can be reassuring to customers when buying a diamond. 

* Another scale system used for diamond jewelry is the assessment of clarity of the diamond. ClarityThe 4 Cs of DiamondsCredit: ratings range from F which stands for flawless and rare, to I3 which has what are called inclusions which are features that negatively impact clarity.  There are some who advise that the upside of having a flawed diamond is that you will better be able to identify your diamond through its flaws. 

* There are resources for researching how carat is calculated, and how diamonds of different sizes might reflect carats. Size is based on the surface of the diamond and carat is a weight measure. The size of the diamond does not always indicate a greater carat value. Many diamonds are cut to maximize the size in order to make the diamond appear to have a greater carat value. This is actually something people look for to get the biggest-looking diamond for the price. 

* The shape of a diamond is also visible to your eye, and is a very helpful standard to use in narrowing down your search. If you know you are looking for a particular shape, you can exclude diamonds that are of other cuts or shapes.

* In addition to the 4Cs of diamond shopping, it's useful to add another two. Cost and Certification are valuable standards to use when you're shopping for a diamond. Establish your budget and compare prices for diamonds within your budget. Certification is an extremely useful document to have for your diamond. There are several certification companies that provide documentation about your diamond. This certification is helpful in establishing and recording the identity of your diamond. Similarly, laser ID numbers put on diamonds today can be helpful for identifying your diamond. Certifications are different from store warranties for your diamond which are sometimes not helpful. If the diamond retailer claims the diamond is certified, ask for the certification. You can call the certification companies to verify the certification.

* The value of your diamond is determined by independent appraisers. There are specific credentials that people are advised to look for in a diamond appraiser. Rates for an appraisal can be high, from about one hundred dollars for an appraisal to two hundred dollars. There are also appraisers who charge more for special kinds of appraisals such as those for insurance, estate sales, or even divorce proceedings.

When you buy your diamond jewelry, you want to be certain you're getting the best diamond you can. Use the above tips to outline considerations for your next diamond purchase.