There are countless factors that influence the pricing of a diamond. It can get easy to lose yourself in all those papers and numbers. If you’re looking to purchase a diamond or two, you will want to know all the details regarding the transaction before you spend a large amount of your money. Buyers are often confused by all the different numbers and attributes that surround precious gem appraisal. It can get pretty overwhelming at times. Selling a diamond isn’t a cakewalk either. Knowing how much a diamond is worth requires quite a bit of research into the topic, which is why it’s good to get all your bases covered before you decide to enter into the market. Whether you’re using the diamonds for jewellery or as an investment, you want to be able to say for certain that such an important purchase was done properly. Here are some pointers that you should consider before even setting foot in a jewellery store or auction.
Price per carat
Everyone has heard of the measure known as the carat. Every time you hear someone talking about diamonds, carats are certain to be mentioned. However, rarely will you hear someone explain how carats come into play when it comes to measuring the actual worth of a diamond.
Carats are a measure of weight for diamonds. When you hear someone mention that their diamond is twenty-four carats, that means it weighs a certain amount. The weight of one carat is defined as exactly two hundred milligrams. Each carat can be divided into one hundred equal parts, which allows jewellers and diamond enthusiasts to get extremely precise measurements down to a thousandth of a gram.
Knowing what carats are isn’t going to help you sell or buy a diamond on your own. It’s important to know how much a carat is actually worth. The problem with this is that it’s a bit more complicated than just asking for the price of a carat. It’s a constantly shifting number that depends on who you ask. Pricing for diamonds works much the same way as the price of anything else. It’s only worth as much as people are willing to pay for it. Still, there are some well-established lists that come out on a weekly basis that can give you a rough estimate of what you can expect for a carat of diamond.
Once upon a time, the pricing lists for diamonds were only available to people in the industry, which made pricing them a bit difficult for laymen and people just setting foot into the market. However, nowadays you have sources like Rapaport and IDEX, which sell subscriptions for diamond price lists. Calculating diamonds from this pricelist is possible, but there are still a couple of hurdles to jump before you can get to an exact number.
Lists are only helpful tools
When you’re looking from the point of view of the average consumer, lists like the one Rapaport publishes are basically useless. You’re not going to see any of those prices in a practical setting because they are somewhat misleading. There are a whole bunch of complicated calculations involved when it comes to selling and buying diamonds and other precious gems.
The Rapaport and IDEX lists show the high cash asking prices of a carat. These prices aren’t applicable in a jewellery store setting. The rest of the characteristics of the diamond also significantly influence the price. A diamond can be sold at a much lower or higher price than its Rapaport or IDEX number, which means you’re not getting very accurate information from the carat alone. However, the weight is a very good start and carats are still considered a broad measure of the diamond’s worth.
Don’t trust salesmen
Tread carefully before you decide to purchase a diamond in a jewellery store. You’ve probably come across diamond dealers that start transactions by handing you a copy of the Rapaport report and letting you check the worth of their diamonds. Obviously, this is a bit deceptive as the carat weight of a diamond isn’t much of a measure of its true worth.
They might compare their own prices with the Rapaport report and demonstrate how much of a good deal you’re getting. They’re not giving you an awesome deal by showering you with giant gemstones which weigh several grams. You need to look at some more important aspects of these precious gems.
Do your research
The best way to avoid getting swindled by someone who knows more about diamonds is by narrowing the knowledge gap as much as possible. There are a bunch of websites and resources online that can help you get acquainted with the intricacies of diamond pricing.
It’s not all that difficult to understand how buying and selling diamonds works. They are an interesting investment because of their many attributes in the market. They cost a lot of money, but they’re pretty easy to sell if you know your way around an auction house. This makes them pretty liquid assets and that’s why a lot of people choose diamonds as an investment option.
Certifications are a big part of trading diamonds. You take the gem for appraisal and receive a paper that gives you concrete information about the diamond. Every attribute is looked at and you can say for sure that it is what you say it is. When you’re purchasing a diamond, professional certification is the first thing you want to look at. The second thing you want to look at is the diamond itself. The paper doesn’t mean much if the gem you’re looking at is ugly.
Diamonds can vary drastically
No two diamonds are the same. The material they’re made out of is identical, but that’s not what makes diamonds as attractive as they are. These lumps of carbon are made special by how they are formed in the earth and how people mould them into something worth looking at. The beauty of a diamond is also influenced by the things you add to it.
Pure, natural diamonds are mined across the world in rich diamond mines. They don’t come out looking like much, but they still have some characteristics that make them worth a lot of money even at this stage. Part of the reason you can’t compare artificial diamonds like cubic zirconium and lab-grade diamonds is that they don’t have the tiny imperfections that give authenticity to real diamonds. Laboratory produced diamonds are usually flawless and they all look the same, which isn’t much of a benefit when you’re looking to buy quality jewellery that is unique.
The four C’s
Any jeweller or diamond enthusiast will be quick to mention the four C’s of diamonds. They are the four most important characteristics by which you differentiate diamonds. They are made up of cut, colour, clarity, and carat. You’re already familiar with the carat, it tells you how much the gem weighs. The other three C’s are just as important, but there are some key differences involved. Any layman can take a precise scale and measure how much the diamond weighs, but the other three characteristics are a lot more difficult to measure. They require precise instruments and a keen eye for this sort of thing. This is why they are in the domain of jewellers and diamond collectors.
The cut of a diamond refers to its exact shape. Diamonds can come in many shapes and forms, which makes studying their cut particularly interesting. When you’re looking at the cut of a diamond, you’re checking out at a bunch of different geometrical attributes. It’s important to measure the angles, symmetrical facets, fire, brilliance, and a bunch of other attributes that are too numerous to list. All of these things influence its overall aesthetic appeal.
The Gemological Institute of America, or GIA, is an authority on precious gems which lists some ways to categorize the different characteristics of a diamond. They have a grading system for the quality of the diamond cut. The quality ranges from poor to ideal, where an ideal cut would represent the best possible shape a diamond could possibly have.
One of the many reasons the way the diamond cut is so important is because it influences how light scatters within the precious gem. You might think that bigger is better when it comes to diamonds, but that also depends on how well it’s cut. A huge diamond that isn’t properly shaped isn’t going to look all that good. Make it too large and it’s going to end up too deep for optimal light refraction. If it’s cut too much, it might end up being too shallow.
Best of all, the way you cut the diamond will also influence another one of the more important attributes of precious gems: clarity. If the clarity is improved by a brilliant-cut, you end up killing two birds with one stone and increasing the worth of your diamond significantly.
If you are purchasing or selling a diamond, you have to make the cut into account. Jewellers might tempt you with large stones that aren’t cut all that well. Take a look at how much it sparkles before putting it on a scale.
Clarity is what gives diamonds that clean and perfect look. It’s an extremely important factor in the visual appeal of diamond jewellery. When you have a diamond with very bad clarity, it’s going to be noticeable from a mile away. A diamond’s clarity grade tells if your precious gem is clean from blemishes and inclusions. These two issues can significantly influence how well light refracts through the gemstone. Too many blemishes and you’re going to have a muddy picture when you look through it.
No diamond is absolutely perfect, which is why clarity is measured by how many inclusions you find and where they are located. Centrally located inclusions that aren’t very uniform will have an easily noticeable effect. They will significantly take away from the brilliance and beauty of the diamond. Jewellers have special equipment and lenses that they use to determine the exact clearance of their gems. It takes a keen eye and lots of experience to notice differences between different quality gemstones.
Keep in mind that certificates don’t help you much when determining the clarity of a diamond. It’s a tiny bit subjective and the words on paper won’t tell you how your gem will look. You have to take a good look on your own in order to see its brilliance.
When you’re buying a diamond, you don’t have to find a flawless gem in order to create beautiful jewellery. In fact, the only real practical measure of clarity is how well you can see through the diamond. As long as it’s eye clean, you’re going to be satisfied with the results of your purchase. If you’re looking to show off among other diamond enthusiasts and collectors, you can always take a closer look at what you’re buying.
When you ask someone what colour a diamond is, the answer should be pretty obvious. We’ve all been taught the basic colours of the rainbow so it can’t possibly be too difficult to determine what colour a diamond is. As with many aspects of diamond grading, colour is a bit more complicated than it first seems.
The GIA grades diamonds in terms of how white or colourless it is. There are different scales of colour for diamonds which range from D to Z. D grade diamonds are the most colourless, they are called white but they’re actually transparent. Z grade diamonds have a very noticeable tint on them. Determining the colours in-between is incredibly difficult and it requires the eye of an expert.
The pricing of a diamond reflects these grades. It’s possible for two diamonds to look completely identical to the untrained eye, but the difference in their colour would make them miles apart in terms of pricing. The naked eye can hardly see the subtle differences in saturation between two precious gems, but it’s possible with certain instruments.
The most obvious problem when determining the colour of a diamond is figuring it out independently of the setting it’s located in. Considering the fact that diamonds are somewhat transparent, you’re going to be looking at the colour of everything that is located behind it. The colour has to be determined without taking into account colours from the surrounding area.
Colour significantly influences the price of a diamond. It’s almost as important as how well it’s cut. People like looking at brilliant fancy coloured diamonds because they look very exotic. Their brilliance is often complemented by the colour and it adds a certain kind of flair and personality. When you want to pick out a diamond, you must first take it to an expert and determine the exact colour. Even tiny variations in hue make for all the difference when it comes to a price tag.
The four C’s influence each other
Determining the worth of a diamond is both complicated and very simple. Even if you have a bunch of numbers that look good on paper, you could end up with a product that isn’t up to your tastes. The four C’s of a diamond could be very high, but they might not complement each other well.
The first thing you want to look at is the cut. If the cut isn’t right, something will probably feel a bit off. It’s recommended that you pay more for a good cut and make sacrifices in terms of colour and clarity. Most diamonds should look colourless to the naked eye. Make sure that if you can see the colour clearly, it doesn’t impact the clarity or brilliance of the gem. As long as your diamond is eye clean, you won’t have any complaints in the clarity department.
Weight is something to brag about, but it’s a non-essential part of hunting for the perfect diamond. You can have a huge gem that weighs a ton, but it’s not going to be worth half as much as a tiny diamond that is perfectly cut and brilliant. Don’t let the numbers fool you, sacrificing weight and size for a stunning precious gem is the best possible decision you could make.
Calculating the worth of a diamond can be pretty tough. There are so many variables that you have to take into account. There’s a reason jewellers aren’t just glorified diamond salesmen. They have the necessary knowledge to take all that information into account and come up with a reasonable price. However, if you don’t want to put your money or your trust into the hands of a stranger trying to make some money, you can always do a little bit of research and find out how much your dream diamond is truly worth. Keep some of these pointers in mind and you will be sure to avoid any kind of deceptive transaction. It’s hard to get tricked when you educate yourself on the tricks beforehand.