Shrewd Diamond Buying Tips

Here are our top tips for maximizing your diamond budget:

Select a non “magic” diamond

One notable anomaly in the pricing of diamonds is what is called “magic sizes.” Some weights are considered “magic sizes” – half carat (0.50ct.), three-quarter carat (0.75ct.), and one carat (1.00ct.) for example. They are called "magic sizes" because the price "magically" jumps up once it gets to 1 carat and other distinguished fractions. Why? Because people love being able to say their diamond is “a carat.” 0.96 carats just doesn’t have the same appeal as “a carat.” This desirability makes these diamonds with weights of half, three quarter, or one carat increments sell faster and as a result more rare. But this anomaly presents an opportunity for those looking to maximize their budget. If you can live with a “non-magic” size diamond, such as the aforementioned 0.96 carat - which is virtually indistinguishable from a 1.00 carat diamond, by the way - then you will enjoy significant savings on your center stone.

Tame the 4 C’s

Excluding Carat, because it is subjective, Cut is the most important of the 4 C’s because it has the biggest impact on the beauty and brilliance or your diamond. Next is Color, followed by Clarity. Therefore, when sticking to a specific Carat weight and trying to whittle down the attributes to fit in your budget, you would start by lowering the Clarity Grade.

We suggest following this protocol to find the best diamond in your budget: First, choose your shape and preferred diamond carat weight. If the price of the diamonds available to you with optimum characteristics are over your budget, then begin lowering the Clarity grading as low as SI1. If you reach SI1 and you still have not fallen within your budget, start lowering the diamond’s Color as low as H. The last resort is slightly lowering the diamond’s Cut, as this will begin affecting the overall brilliance of the stone. Start by searching for diamonds with Very Good symmetry, and your absolute final effort will be selecting a diamond with an overall Very Good Cut grading. Once you have exhausted these efforts and there are no diamonds available within your budget at the SI1 Clarity, H Color and Very Good Symmetry and Cut ratings, then we suggest alternative solutions, such as purchasing a diamond that has a little Fluorescence or is a bit shallow. If that doesn’t work, you may have to settle for a smaller diamond my friend.

Buy with some fluorescence

As mentioned before, fluorescence is the visible light some diamonds emit when they are exposed to invisible ultraviolet (UV) rays. On a GIA diamond grading report, fluorescence refers to the strength or intensity of the diamond’s reaction to long-wave UV, which is an essential component of daylight.

Although the visible effects of faint to medium fluorescence are perceptible only to a gemologist using a special UV light source, any amount of notable fluorescence in a diamond is perceived as a defection. For this reason, diamonds that exhibit some of this attribute can be up to 10-20% cheaper than those that do not, due to market forces and demand - making this a great hack for stretching your budget. Just make sure to steer clear of those with ‘strong’ or ‘very strong’ gradings and always have it reviewed in person by either yourself or a diamond expert.

Choose a fancy shape

Round brilliant diamonds are the most expensive shape because of their demand and low yield from the rough which they are cut. Generally 15-30% more expensive than other ‘fancy’ shapes, depending on current market conditions and demand, you may want to consider alternatives to make your budget go further. Princess or Oval cut diamonds both offer similar amounts of brilliance, fire and scintillation, but will allow you to purchase a larger diamond for the same price as a round brilliant, or increase the budget for the ring.