General Question

simplyasking's avatar

What suggestions do you have for buying a diamond?

Asked by simplyasking (52 points ) February 18th, 2010

What are some of the most important things to consider when you buy a diamond for an engagement ring? I always hear “know the 4 Cs” or something to that effect, but how do you really know what they are if you’re not even close to being a diamond expert? What should you ask your jeweler about the diamond when you go ring shopping? Anything else I’m missing here? Chime in with whatever you know or have heard about this…anything helps! :)

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26 Answers

EmpressPixie's avatar

Honestly, I think the most important thing is to find a jeweler that you feel comfortable with. They are the expert, they should be able to steer you towards happiness, you just need to find a good one first. There are lots of ways to do that including using Yelp!. Don’t be afraid to visit a lot of jewelers to find someone you feel most comfortable with.

Do you already have a ring that just needs a stone set in it or are you getting an entire ring? Do you care if the stone is a conflict stone?

If you already have a ring, then some of the Cs are taken care of—you can’t stick a trillian cut diamond, for example, into a ring meant for an emerald cut. So you have to go with the cut your ring requires or you’ll need to rework the ring. At the same time, if you have a ring there is a limit on how big or little your stone can really be. After all, it’s gotta fit.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Might I suggest that it come from our friends in Canada? Thank you.

MissAnthrope's avatar

My suggestion is to buy a lab-grown diamond and avoid financing the appalling mistreatment of human beings.

ucme's avatar

HOPE it’s not cursed,if you know what I mean!

Cruiser's avatar

Get whatever you can afford! You know your gal and whether she is stone envious or not. If she is stone crazy than size and the 4 c’s quality will matter a lot! If not you could go for a bigger stone with less clarity or color. If money is an issue buy small upgrade later. Pawn shops can carry great diamond rings for great prices you can have reset and some will sell loose diamonds to! Buyer beware there though some will issue certificates on the stones as well.

dpworkin's avatar

Don’t bother with diamonds. There is a huge overstock of diamonds in the world, and the market is artificially manipulated by de Beers. That can’t last forever. That’s called a bubble. Remember the housing bubble?

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

The 4 C’s is a guide you can look up and familiarize yourself with, it’s basic and just about every jewelry store will put you through the paces based on it. First, figure out what shape of stone you want then spend an afternoon cruising a shopping mall for that shape of stone in each store. After about 3 stores, you’ll start to get a feel for what size stone in the shape you wants is going to cost and what color and clarity it will be. Also, don’t be afraid to ask to look at the stones through the jeweler’s loupe at 10x (10 power), because your brain will catch on to slight color differences and fineness of cutting. I love the idea of people buying from pawn shops once they’re comfortable with what they’re looking for, most have a diamond tester on sight and you can buy a ring for the stone and then have it reset or if you’re lucky, you’ll come across a ring that seems just right the way it is.

galileogirl's avatar

Don’t buy it at Walmart.

dpworkin's avatar

Why not? Cheaper than Kay’s and just as good.

galileogirl's avatar

I hate WALMART and have no prejudice against Kay’s.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I agree with @MissAnthrope – consider an artificially made diamond – they’re cheaper, no one can tell the difference and you’ll feel better.

dpworkin's avatar

Oh. I guess I’m an equal opportunity hater. I’d rather buy a good emerald in a vintage setting at Sothebys than throw my money away on any diamond.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

The synthetic diamonds can be a marvelous value compared to stones found in nature.

Decide in advance what you are prepared to spend and then decide whether you can live with inclusions and of what size and quantity. Is VS1 acceptible or would you prefer VVS2 or VVS1?
An inferior cut may be more of a problem that one or two letters lower on the colour scale.
Your love should not be measured by the quality of the diamond.

My wife did not want a diamond at all but proudly wears her sapphire engagement ring and our simple Walmart wedding rings. I’ve never had a love so pure in any previous relationship and I was married 3 times before!

njnyjobs's avatar

QVC Diamonique set in 14K gold or platinum-clad will WOW everyone seeing the mega-carat stone on her finger. If she’s the type who won’t settle for anything other than the real D, then they have that too. If you happen to catch the rings as their featured items, you can expect greater savings.

Plus they have a great return policy, in case you need to.

dpworkin's avatar

Mmmmmm, classy!

editingdiva's avatar

For the most wonderful diamond buying experience: Visit the Diamond District in Antwerp, Belgium. Fly into Amsterdam (Schiphol Airport is fab) and take the train to Antwerp, or fly into Brussels and take public transportation the short distance. You will find gorgeous rings with the highest quality diamonds. I understand the prices are good right now. Go during the week, though. I believe the District is closed on weekends. If you are going to spend that kind of money, might as well do it up right and make a pre-engagement holiday of it! Drink some Duvel while you are there.

dpworkin's avatar

@editingdiva Now that’s a great answer. If you have to buy a diamond.

editingdiva's avatar

@dpworkin Personally, I prefer spending money on other things, but, if you feel required to buy a diamond, then why not get some mileage out of the experience.

YARNLADY's avatar

Buy from a reputable dealer and if you are concerned about the human rights issue, be sure to state you want a non-conflict diamond. You might get some ideas and tips from this wikipedia article. I enjoyed reading it.

simplyasking's avatar

@EmpressPixie and @YARNLADY I agree that finding a reputable jeweler is important. But what if you’re thinking about buying online? If the diamond is certified and the four Cs match up to something you’ve seen instore, would that be a viable option?

YARNLADY's avatar

@simplyasking I would never make that important of a purchase sight unseen.

EmpressPixie's avatar

You can buy it online, but with something this important, I just wouldn’t. There is a limit to what I’m willing to trust to the Internet. My ring looked verrrry different online from how it ended up looking in real life. Similarly, I’ve never seen a photograph that has really captured the color, depth, and sparkle of my stone. You will know exactly what you are getting into if you see it in person and honestly, don’t you want to know that you’re getting a good stone for something this important?

simplyasking's avatar

@EmpressPixie That’s a good point. I agree that this is one of the most important purchases a guy will ever make and the best way would be to see it in person…I certainly made sure to check out my flat-screen TV and laptop in store before getting those. :)

So who all got certified diamonds with their ring? I’ve been looking around online just to get an idea of what’s out there and I noticed most stones come with a GIA cert or some other kind. I figure even in person, I’m probably not going to really be able to know if a diamond should be a SI or VSI2, G or H, etc., and that sounds like the only way to really know for sure.

thriftymaid's avatar

Being that I don’t like jewelry, I don’t get such an investment.

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