The mere thought of buying a diamond ring is enough for many men to start shaking. Once you’ve made that decision, you think you’ve done the hard work. Wrong. Buying a diamond is a far more detailed purchase than you might ever have thought possible. This article aims to facilitate.
The 4 Cs:
“Diamonds are forever”, after all and there is no such thing as a cheap one so make sure you know a bit about what you’re spending your money on. Jewellers grade diamonds against the following scales:
Pay attention, because this is not as simple as just what shape your diamonds are, although many lower end jewellers might think so. A specialist retailer such as Marlows will help explain the difference. The cut is a specific reference to the reflective qualities of the stone and it affects the overall appearance. If a diamond is cut well, it has a particular brilliance that seems to come from within.
This essentially covers any flaws or blemishes on the stone. If you think you don’t want to buy it because it’s ‘flawed,’ reconsider; virtually all diamonds have some sort of identifying mark. The key is finding a stone where the flaws are so slight and not visible to the naked eye. Experts at Marlows will be able to help you with this.
This refers to how much light travels through it. The less ‘colour’ in a white diamond, the easier it is for light to make the stone sparkle. Naturally, the closer you get to colourless, the more valuable it becomes. This is for ‘white’ stones only. If the diamond has a very visible colour (perhaps green or blue) they are incredibly valuable because of their rarity.
This is a measure of size, not of love. Remember that. Consider what is important to the intended wearer of the ring before you jump in asking for the biggest diamond in the shop. Slender fingers make a stone look bigger anyway and if you’re spending a lot of money on a ring, you don’t want it to appear so huge that people think it’s not real, or that your fiancée got it in a cracker! If you chose something smaller, you might be able to go higher on the clarity or colour scales.
Increasingly, there is also a fifth C-Certificate. This outlines all the information relating to the grading on each of the scales outlined above. It also proves the identity of your stone and its value. It looks at the quality but does not appraise monetary value.
Buying diamonds can seem like an overwhelming prospect, but a little preparation beforehand so you know what you’re looking for can make all the difference. Beware the jeweller that tells you that you must spend a month’s salary on a ring, too! Spend what you can comfortably afford. A specialist jeweller, such as Marlows, will take time with you to make the right decision, not one based on how much you will spend.
Catherine Campbell writes regularly on design topics for a range of jeweller’s websites, such as Marlows. She believes they are among the best at helping their customers find the right diamond for them.