How to Buy a Diamond

By Erin MacNeil - 11:57

Every time I travel eventually someone asks whether or not I had visited any jewellery stores in the city I based myself in. The answer is always 'No' because I really don't care much about jewellery. I work in a jewellery store, but it's a rare day when I actually wear jewellery (even more rare when the jewellery I wear is worth more than $10). Genuinely, I don't really like jewellery.

That said, because I am surrounded by it constantly, I have had a fair few chances to think about the ideal things to wear, and how to pick out various pieces. And, because I've helped a few men pick out engagement rings over my year and a half at my job, I thought I'd help some people out.

So, if you're thinking of buying a diamond, thinking about hinting at someone to buy a diamond, or simply interested in the topic, I've got some handy-dandy tips for buying diamonds.

Have a Discussion
This does not help my sales in the slightest, but it's so much easier on everyone: if you are thinking about buying a diamond (getting engaged) have a conversation first. If you're both on the same page, if you both want to get married to each other, if you both think that this is a good time to start thinking about engagements and weddings and commitments you are ready to buy a diamond. I understand that it eliminates a small bit of spontaneity, but, honestly, would you rather have a total surprise and risk them saying 'No'? Probably not. Have a discussion before you step foot into a jewellery store.

Know What They Wear
Does your intended wear yellow metals or silver? Or pink? Is their usual jewellery flashy, sparkly, big? Or do they wear simple pieces? Are they allergic to any metals? These are all things that will make your selection process so much easier. If you have the answers to these questions you can tell the sales consultant and they can narrow down your search significantly. If you have no clue, ask their friends.

Choose Clarity over Carat/Take a Proper Look
I know it's fun to say things like "Oh, it's a full carat" but it's honestly not what I think people should be  focusing on. In my opinion you should be more focused on the clarity of the diamond(s) when you're buying. In order to get what I believe is the better diamond you have to take a good look at the stone. Can you see any black spots? Can you see anything that looks like a scratch*? The less you can see, the higher the stone's clarity, usually. Ask to use the jewellers loupe (a little magnifying glass) and look at the diamond. Ask the sales consultant about the stone clarity if you're really unsure. All diamonds have spots and imperfections, and I don't think you should necessarily pass up a design you like because you can see a few spots, but, yeah, I, personally, would prefer a smaller diamond with better clarity.

Ask About Sizing Options
Some rings are easier to size than others. Some rings can be sized easily, but only within a few sizes. Before you buy, ask about whether or not the ring can be sized easily, especially if you think your intended might have particularly large or small fingers. Also! Don't get it sized as part of the surprise. If you can, just let the recipient have it sized to what they might be most comfortable with - don't do the guess work.

Consider a Bridal Set
If you buy a bridal set, rather than two separate pieces, you know - without a doubt - that you will have a wedding band to match the engagement ring. Do you know how many headaches that will reduce?! That said, however, if you like a certain ring and it does not come with a band? Don't worry about it. There are different shapes and looks to wedding bands to match engagement ring trends, you'll find something. But the bridal set is definitely something you should consider.

And those, my friends, are my top diamond-buying tips. I hope that they make your process go a bit more smoothly, a bit more quickly. At the end of the day, though, follow your heart. The majority of people will love whatever you pick out. On top of that, they love you. Do what feels right for the two of you. But I am going to reiterate: have a discussion.

* It's probably not actually scratched, it's probably just a mark on the inside

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