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For most, a diamond will be one of the biggest investments that you will make during your lifetime, next to a house and car. Despite this, the majority of people will purchase a diamond with very little, if any knowledge about diamonds. In most cases, the consumer will end up paying double the price that they need to, because they aren’t focusing on the right elements when shopping around.

There is a lot that you need to look out for when buying a diamond, or any kind of diamond jewellery, to protect yourself from making a bad purchase. The process can be made even harder when buying a diamond online, so you need to understand the essential elements of buying a quality diamond, including common pitfalls and how to avoid them.

First of all, you need to choose the perfect stone. A common mistake that people make, is choosing a diamond that is already set, either in a ring, pendant, or earrings. If the quality of the diamond is important to you, you wont be able to see the full features when it is pre-set, as the prongs may be disguising flaws. Always select your diamond, then have it set afterwards, so you know exactly what you are paying for. Buying a loose diamond almost always comes in cheaper than buying something pre-set, so it is worth shopping around before committing to something of lower quality, for less money.

When buying your diamond, there are four main factors that will affect how much you pay. These factors are known as the 4C’s.

Cut

diamond photo

The cut of a diamond is not the shape; these are two completely different things. The cut is the facets, proportions, symmetry and polish of a diamond, which also determines how well the diamond reflects and absorbs the light. A well cut stone will interact better with light, allowing it to sparkle more.

Clarity

Arguable one of the most important of the 4C’s, clarity asses the number of inclusions and blemishes present in a diamond. There are there main brackets for diamond grading, when inspected under 10x magnification; which are Flawless, Slightly Included and Included. A diamond that is internally flawless will come at a much higher cost than one that is included.

Colour

Diamond colour is graded on a scale ranging from D, which is completely absent of color, though to Z, which appear more a more yellow tone. Colorless diamonds in the scale of D-F are much more highly sought after, therefore more expensive.

Carat

diamond photo

A lot of people mistakenly believe the carat is an indication of the physical size of the diamond, but this is false. The carat is actually indicative of of the weight of the diamond, rather than its dimensions.

If you can get your head around these four main characteristics of a diamond, it will make your purchases much more straight forward and stop you from paying more than you need to, for what is essentially a low grade stone. Whilst it may seem like a risk, buying a loose diamond online is incredibly safe if you go to an established and verified online diamond store. You can often get a better price on your diamond if you buy online, when compared with going to a physical store.

As the saying goes, diamonds of for ever, so ensure that when you purchase your diamond, you take your time and do it properly.

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