Buying Diamonds - Know the 5 C's

When buying diamonds, there are five (5) things you should consider - more commonly referred to as the 5 C's. Those are listed below with a brief description of each.

Cut - this is the shape and can affect the size and brilliance of the diamond. Typical cuts are: Round, Oval, Pear, Heart, Marquise and Rectangular / Square. When looking at cut you want to look for the proportions and finishing of the cut.

Carat - this is the weight of the diamond. Diamonds are measured as carats, grams or milligrams. A diamond weighting 1 carat would be the same as a diamond weighting one-fifth of a gram or 200-milligram. The term 'point' is also used to refer to diamond weight, with one point equaling 0.01 carats.

The carat weight is important because it has a direct affect on the value of the diamond. The higher the carat the higher the value, ie., price.

Color - you may think that diamonds are colorless, however, they come in many different colors - these are referred to as fancy - with the 'clear-colorless' one we see set in most jewelry being called 'white'. Other colors you might see are yellow, pink, black, green, orange, blue, brown and the most valuable - red.

Various Colored Diamonds
* - Blue diamonds do occur naturally in nature, however, you may find that most 'affordable' blue diamonds are eradiated.

** - Brow diamonds come in different shades and are sometimes referred to as cognac colored. And there are some retailers that refer to them as 'chocolate'.
Clarity - refers to the degree a diamond is free from external marks (blemishes) and internal flaws (inclusions). Most of the time you would think the buyer would want as flawless a diamond as possible, not true. A flawed diamond can represent a lower price, ability to identify your diamond, and sentimental reasons.

Common diamond flaws

Diamond with crackThese are four (4) flaws to avoid when buying diamonds -
  • Large milky or cloudy areas
  • Deep cracks
  • Large Chips
  • Big white, black or blotches that can be seen with the naked eye
Confidence - if buying from a retailer you want to know you are purchasing a certified diamond as well as having confidence in the seller.

Most people cannot tell the difference between a real diamond and an imitation. For that reason, you should only buy from a reputable, trusted retailer. And, if at all possible, always get a certification for the diamond.

If you are interested in learning more about diamonds, we recommend The Diamond Ring Buying Guide - How to Spot Value & Avoid Ripoffs by Renee Newman - available from Amazon at this link.

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