When making a large investment like purchasing fine jewelry, you'll want to be confident that you're getting the most out of your money. The best way to do this is to educate yourself on the diamond-pricing process.

What to Look for When Buying a Diamond

There are three standard rules to follow when considering your diamond purchase. Following these tips will help safeguard you and your investment.

Check for Certification

Your first step when you start looking for a diamond should be to check for certification. There are a few gem labs out there that do diamond grading and certification, but the reports compiled by the American Gem Society (AGS) and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) are regarded as the industry standard.

Not all diamonds are certified, so you may be wondering why this is important. A good general rule to follow is if you plan to spend a minimum of $1,000, then your diamond should be certified. Diamonds are required to go through a rigorous process to get a grade for certification, and this proves the value of the stone and provides you, the customer, the peace of mind that you are not overpaying.

Quality of the Stone

    The information needed to determine the quality of a diamond can be found in the certification report. The 4Cs (clarity, carat, cut, and color) are all tested and factored into the overall grade, giving you a clear and objective picture of your diamond’s worth.

    Your knowledge of the 4Cs coupled with certification from a licensed gemological laboratory will guarantee you have accurate details about your diamond.

    Price of the Stone

    There are certain formulas used to formulate the price of a diamond. The pricing mechanisms can be a little confusing to the average person, so the easiest way to start out is by comparing prices. This way you can have an estimate of what your baseline price should be for the diamond you intend to purchase.

    Once you're ready to further delve into cost, you should understand that the formula uses a price-per-carat structure. The price will climb as the weight category of the diamond increases. The formula is:

    Diamond Cost = Carat Weight * Price Per Carat

    There are two major charts where the price per carat derives from, Rapaport and IDEX.

    There are other considerations that can influence the price, such as diamond cut, brilliance, and color. Again, you can get a good baseline with your own research, but to get a true price you should have a professional help you along the way.

    Remember, all questions are good questions. There are many elements that factor into establishing a diamond's value. You can never be too prepared when making such an important purchase.

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