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BuyingLoose Diamonds – What you should know.

Wondering how to buy loose diamonds?

Whether you’ve decided to purchaseloose diamonds for themselves or as part of a ‘build your own solitaire’ to beused in diamond jewellery like engagement rings or earrings ,here are a few tips to help you make a smart purchase.

What should I look for while buying diamonds?

Use the 4Cs wisely

While buying loose diamonds, caratweight is important – a slight difference in carat weight may not change howthe diamond appears to your naked eye, but may have a distinct effect on theprice.

While choosing the right colour orclarity grade that’s optimum for the type of jewellery you want, make sure tocheck out a few stones and to keep in mind the jewellery design that you want.Buying loose diamonds means you will have to keep in mind how the diamond willbe mounted – choose the right cut.

Go with a reputed diamond retailer

With loose diamonds, make sure yourjeweller provides you with the necessary certification and documentation alongwith your diamonds so that you can be assured of their quality.

Compare, compare, compare

When looking for loose diamonds,don’t be afraid to ask for different stones so that you can choose the one thatlooks best to you.

Buying a solitaire on abudget

Is it possible to buy asolitaire on a budget? Don’t let the price put you off! Gift yourself or yourloved ones a solitaire, here’s how you can make sure to buy a cheap solitaireand still get the best value at the price you choose.

Cut, Clarity, Color andCarat all contribute to how a diamond looks and how much it will cost.

Color

Diamonds are gradedbased on color. According to your budget, you can pick from different colorgrades. A pure white colour stone (Grades D-F), would be more expensive thanlower grades – diamonds with a brownish and yellowish tint. Most colourvariances are barely visible to the naked eye, so check the diamond you want tobuy to see how it looks on you.

Cut

if you prefer to buy alarger stone, you can choose to focus more on its cut rather than its color,for a less expensive option. Different shapes reflect colour differently, soconsider the appearance of the diamond and color with the shape you’ve chosenand the metal you want to mount it in – white gold and platinum tend to reflecttheir white colour onto the diamond, while yellow gold could lend a yellowishtint to the stone.

Clarity

Perfectly flawlessdiamonds are extremely rare and therefore can be extremely expensive. Mostnaturally occurring diamonds have some birthmarks or inclusions. Mostinclusions become visible under the microscope lens and cannot be seen by thenaked eye. Based on how flawless a diamond is, certain grades are assigned toit - VS1 and VS2 being acceptable grades. The grade you choose will alsodetermine the price you pay. Keep in mind that inclusions can also get coveredby the prongs or the way the diamond is set.

Carat weight and size

A diamond’s carat refersto its weight. While choosing carat weight, keep in mind that factors likedepth that affect the price. A diamond that’s deeply cut carries more of thecarat weight "hidden" in its depth as opposed to its width.

Your stone may lose someof its weight after it’s polished, so don’t forget to ask your jeweller for thefinal weight of your diamond so that in the end you will be paying for onlywhat you get.

When choosing the sizefor your stone, one money saving trick is stopping just short of major sizethresholds for example, choosing point differences like 1.5 over 2.0, may notmake much of a visual difference, but will certainly affect the price.

While purchasingsolitaires, regardless of the price you finally settle on – make sure that youlook at many stones before you set your heart on the perfect one that looks theway you want it to, within the budget you have chosen.

A Comprehensive Guide

In the word ofjewellery, there is nothing more sparkling than diamonds. Even the smallest ofdiamond trinkets – for instance,diamond nose pins or rings have a sparkle few other gemstones can match. All that sparkle ondiamond jewellery has a story to tell. Although most diamonds look the same,they are not created equal. In fact, gemmologists have classified these gemsinto different categories based on their chemical and physical properties. Toclassify them, gemmologists evaluate the stones for their atomic makeup. Thishelps them analyse their colour, their growth, and whether they are natural ortreated. In this article, we give you a comprehensive outline of differenttypes of diamonds and their features.

How Do We ClassifyDiamonds?

When buying diamond necklaces or rings or bangles, most people look for the cut,clarity, carat, and colour. (These features are called the 4Cs of diamonds. Wewill come to them later.) Seasoned buyers, however, also consider the type ofdiamond before they make a purchase. These sparkling gems are carbon compounds.They are basically made of pure carbon, but they often contain some traceelements such as boron and nitrogen. Such elements are acquired naturallyduring their formation. In some stones, they are intentionally added. This isoften done during the process of synthesis or treatment in a lab.

Trace elements are notthe only foreign bodies a diamond may contain. They almost always contain flawsin their carbon structure. Scientists refer to the presence of trace elementsand flaws as optical defects. These defects are also called lattice defects.The presence, or even absence, of lattice defects affects its properties. Theamount in which they are present also has an effect on the gemstones. Based onthese aspects, there are two ways to classify diamonds, namely the consumer wayand the technical way.

The Consumer Way ofClassifying Diamonds

Most consumers do notget into the technical aspects of gemstones when they buy jewellery. Consumersoften classify diamonds into four types based on their appearance. The fourtypes are as follows:

Natural diamonds What do you think of when you hear the word diamond? A whitesparkling rock found somewhere in the mines, right? That’s exactly what naturaldiamonds are! These naturally occurring gems are white or colourless.

Treated diamonds: These are artificially enhanced versions of natural diamonds. Thesegems are mined just like regular diamonds. However, we manipulate theirattributes through different kinds of treatments to make them look better. Oneof the treatments they are subjected to is inclusion filling. In thistreatment, special material is used to hide the inclusions in the stone.Another treatment is the colour enhancement. Treatments are usually done ondiamonds that cannot otherwise be sold in their natural form. Treated diamondsare sold for dramatically lower prices that their natural counterparts.

Man-madediamonds: They are also commonly known aslab-grown diamonds. Man-made gems have become a trend recently. And theirpopularity is on the rise owing to the fact that they are technologicalproducts. With the evolution of technology behind man-made diamonds, theirmanufacturing becomes cheaper. They are only going to become cheaper in thecoming years.

Natural coloureddiamonds: These are a rarity in the world ofdiamonds. They occur in a variety of colours, such as purple, blue, red, green,and black. The most common colours are, however, pink and canary yellow.

The Technical Way ofClassifying Diamonds

As a buyer, it’simportant for you to be aware of the technical information ofclassification.  Wondering why? It’s because the presence of traceelements, even small amounts of them, can impact the stone’s price drastically. They also cause the formation of impurities in the stone.

So what are impuritiesand how are they formed in a gemstone? In the carbon lattice structure indiamonds, nitrogen or other trace elements often replace carbon atoms. Thesecarbon substitutes move inside the structure and often cluster together. This constitutesfor chemical impurities, which are not visible to the naked eye. However, theyaffect the gemstone’s appearance to a considerable extent. So here are thedifferent types of diamonds based on their technical differences.

Type Ia: This type of diamonds has large clusters of nitrogen in the crystallattice. As a result, the stones emit a yellowish tint. The nitrogen atomaggregates, especially the ones in groups of three, absorb blue spectrumwavelength of visible light. Therefore, the light they reflect appears yellow.

Type IIa: These are the most valuable diamonds sought by investors andcollectors. They are rare and contain negligible or no nitrogen impurities.They form under high pressure for a long period of time. They have an unevenshape. The lack of impurities makes it reflect light as it is and gives it aspectacular appearance. Almost all of the world’s most popular diamonds fallunder this type. The Kohinoor is a famous example.

Type Ib: These are less common than the other types of diamonds. In type IIbdiamonds, single nitrogen atoms are scattered in the lattice structure insteadof clusters. This makes the diamond absorb blue spectrum wavelength of visiblelight. And therefore, these types of diamonds have an intense yellow, brown, ororange colour.

Type IIb: Diamonds classified as type IIb lack nitrogen atoms. Instead, theycontain boron as the trace element. The presence of boron makes type IIbdiamonds conduct electricity. It also makes them appear a shade of either blueor even bluish gray as boron absorbs red spectrum wavelength of visible light.This type of diamonds are also rare and, therefore, very valuable.

Types of Diamonds vs.the Four Cs

Read any write-up ondiamonds and you are likely to come across the term 4Cs. What are 4Cs and howare they different from gemstone types? Most people think that the type of adiamond depends on its cut, colour, clarity, or carats. These features thatmake up the 4Cs are qualities of diamond grading. They are not the types ofdiamond.

Round, cushion, emerald,princess, baguette, oval, marquise, trillion, etc. are some of the popular cutsused for shaping a diamond. Based on the colour, diamonds are gradedalphabetically such as D – F (totally colourless), G – J (near colourless), K –M (with slight tints), N – R (very light yellow), and S – Z (very light yellowor brown). Similarly, these gems can be divided into different clarity gradessuch as FL (completely flawless), VVS1 and VVS2 (very very slightly included),and VS1 and VS2. Stones of lower clarity come under the grades SI1, SI1, I1,I2, and I3.

As a buyer, collector,or investor, taking your diamond knowledge to the next level only hasadvantages. Knowing the different types gives you an upper hand to makeinformed choices. Being aware of both the physical and the chemical propertiesunderlying their classification will help you invest in the right stones.