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Diamond Buying Guide

Diamonds are a huge investment. Not only do they come with a pretty hefty price tag, but they’re also something you likely intend to have in your collection for many years to come. You want to ensure you made the right decision when it comes to your diamond jewellery purchase, particularly if that diamond signals a bigger commitment such as an engagement. Find out all you need to know in our diamond buying guide.

Diamond Buying Guide Overview:

How To Pick A Diamond: Diamond Buying Advice

When picking out the perfect diamond to add to your jewellery collection, the most important factors to consider are the 4C’s of diamonds, the setting and of course your budget. These will all affect what you ultimately end up spending on your diamond.

The 4C's Of Diamonds

When taking the plunge and buying a diamond, it’s important to understand the 4C’s; cut, colour, carat and clarity.

Diamond buying guide: the 4c's

Cut

The cut of a diamond refers to the shape a diamond is polished into, rather than its actual shape. The cut of a diamond will determine its symmetry and ability to shine, ultimately affecting its value. 

diamond buying guide: cut

Colour

A diamond’s colour is a huge factor in determining its value. Stones that are practically colourless or vibrantly coloured tend to be more valuable than those with only a small amount of colour. At Grahams, we stock a range of coloured diamond jewellery. This includes black diamond jewellery, white diamond jewellery and pink diamond jewellery.

diamond buying guide: colour

Carat

Derived from an ancient measuring system that was used to measure the volume of seeds within a carob tree. The carat of a diamond refers to the stone's size and weight. This is also a major factor in determining a diamond’s value as diamonds are priced on a per carat basis with 1 carat being divided into 100 points, while anything under is known as a 'pointer'. 

diamond buying guide: carat

Clarity

The clarity of a diamond refers to its imperfections or lack thereof. Although generally not noticeable to the naked eye, most diamonds have tiny flecks and cracks known as ‘inclusions’ that formed during the crystallization process. The lack of inclusions a diamond has and the more valuable it will be. 

diamond buying guide: clarity

The Setting

Picking out a setting for your diamond is a process that is just as important as choosing the diamond itself. This is because a diamond’s setting is what will ultimately determine whether you will get a lot of wear out of your piece or not. It will also help determine your piece's value. So, when you pick out a setting, ensure you choose something that fits your everyday style. If you wear a lot of yellow gold jewellery, aim for a setting that is yellow gold. If you’re a minimalist who prefers understated pieces, look at diamonds with a pave or bezel diamond setting. You should also consider whether you want any other embellishments in your piece, such as additional diamonds or gemstones, something that will greatly affect the price of your diamond.

diamond buying guide: know your setting

Know Your Budget

Before you even set foot in a jewellery store and browse the glass cabinets, you first need to understand what your budget is going to be. It doesn't matter if you're looking for diamond chains, diamond necklaces or diamond bangles, your budget will ultimately tell you what the 4C’s of your prospective diamond will be. The most important thing to remember when choosing a budget is to spend within your means, as you don’t want to be in debt for the next 20 years. 

Once you have picked your budget, you should browse online and in-store to gain an understanding of the quality and the style of diamonds that are in your price range.

How To Pick A Diamond Cut

When it comes to choosing a diamond cut, usually the buyer will make a decision based on their style and what shape they generally prefer. Some of the most popular diamond cuts currently on the market are round cut, princess cut, cushion cut, emerald cut and marquise cut. 

There are, however, buyers who will choose a particular diamond cut as they give off the most sparkle, or because they look bigger than other diamond cuts that are the same size.

Diamond buying guide: how to pick a diamond cut

Which Diamond Cut Gives The Most Sparkle?

A diamond’s sparkle will depend on its ability to take in light and then reflect out again. The more light that is reflected from a diamond’s facets, the more sparkly it will look. A diamond’s facets act similarly to a mirror the way they reflect at you. Not all diamond cuts have the same number of facets, meaning that some cuts will sparkle better than others. Diamonds with a near-perfect cut and shimmer are known as ‘brilliant cut’ diamonds. 

It doesn't matter if they are featured in diamond bracelets, diamond pendants or diamond engagement rings, the following diamond cuts are renowned for the amount of shimmer that they give off:

Round Cut Diamonds

With around 58 facets, round cut diamonds are arguably the sparkliest of the bunch. This diamond cut was specifically engineered to have the most sparkle when it was initially created. So if you’re on the hunt for the sparkliest diamond to add to your collection, round cut diamonds are the way to go. 

Princess Cut Diamonds

Princess cut diamonds are known for their ability to chop up and reflect light. With between 50 and 58 facets, high-quality princess cut diamonds will give off a beautiful sparkle from all angles. Princess cut diamonds usually feature two chevron patterns, allowing the diamond to reflect bolder flashes of white and coloured light.

Radiant Cut Diamonds

Crafted to combine all of the best aspects of a round cut with an emerald cut diamond, radiant cut diamonds have around 70 facets and reflect off a great deal of light. This means that this diamond cut can give off a great sparkle.

Cushion Cut

Cushion cut diamonds are great at reflecting light, allowing them to give off brilliant shimmer. And while the cushion cut doesn’t quite hold a candle to round cut diamonds, it still lets off great sparkle at a significantly lower price point. 

Which Diamond Cut Looks The Biggest?

While they may contain the same number of carats as other stones, certain diamond cuts can give the illusion that they are larger than others. This is because a diamond’s width and shape can play a major role in determining how big a particular stone looks.

diamond buying guide: which diamond cut looks the biggest?

The following diamond cuts will give you the appearance of a bigger stone without you having to splurge on something with more carats:

Emerald Cut Diamonds

Emerald cut diamonds have a rectangular shape, meaning they appear almost elongated. How the facets are arranged on this diamond cut gives the illusion of a “hall of mirrors”. These two factors give the impression that an emerald-cut stone is bigger than it is. Due to their lower price point compared to other diamond cuts, emerald cut diamonds are popular among those who want a larger stone without breaking the bank.   

Pear Cut Diamonds

Valued for their ability to bring a level of femininity to your jewellery, pear or teardrop cut diamonds feature a pointed end which makes the stone appear longer than it is. If you wear a pear-shaped diamond ring, this design quirk will also help elongate your fingers if the pointed end of your ring is faced in the direction of your fingernails. 

Oval Cut Diamonds

Due to their elongated shape and larger table, oval cut diamonds tend to look longer and wider than they are. At a much lower price point than their round counterparts, oval cut diamonds are a popular choice among shoppers who want a larger look for less.

Marquis Cut Diamonds

The shape of a proper Marquise diamond is like that of an AFL ball, oval with sharp points at either ends. This shape helps the diamond to appear larger than it actually is.

More About Diamonds:

Diamond Buying FAQs:
How much should I spend on a diamond?

The amount you choose to spend on a diamond should come down to what you can afford and what is in your budget. You should also consider whether you want your diamond to be an investment rather than just another piece of jewellery in your collection. 

Find out how to buy a diamond ring without getting duped in our blog.

What to know before buying a diamond?

Before purchasing, you should first learn the 4C’s of a diamond and the role they play in determining a stone’s value. This knowledge will help you find a stone that is good value for money. Find out more in our diamonds guide

Should I buy a clarity enhanced diamond?

Clarity enhanced diamonds are natural stones that have undergone treatment to remove any visible imperfections such as inclusions. Clarity enhanced diamonds offer a high-quality look for less and are therefore great value for money if you don’t mind not having a naturally flawless stone.