If you are looking to purchase a diamond for an engagement ring or jewelry gift then I’m sure you’ve come across all different kinds of information from hard selling brick and mortar jewelry stores, to cheap chain stores located in malls, to diamond websites with various different types of search tools, not to mention educational articles and diamond forums that can make your head spin. There is a ton of information out there and sometimes it can overwhelm a newbie diamond buyer and make them want to give up even before they even get started.
I’m going to help you find your way out of this confusing fog and help make the process a little easier. Perhaps one of the most important things that any potential diamond buyer should know is that different jewelry stores sell different quality levels of diamonds. Your average jewelry store found in malls typically sell lesser quality diamonds that are usually already set in jewelry. These chain stores have a very high mark-up on their diamonds since they have to pay for staff salary, rent, lighting, etc. Despite this being one of the worst places you could spend your money, these jewelry stores are still the first place that many people go to when they first start shopping for diamond jewelry.
Eventually, some individuals realize that these chain stores probably aren’t the best value for money which prompts them to start searching online for various retailers. When Blue Nile launched their website in 1999, selling diamonds online sounded like a crazy idea. No one really thought it would work, but nearly 16 years later they are still the largest online jeweler. The reason their business model works is because people ultimately prefer convenience and lower prices. These are two very strong motivating factors to getting a small percentage of the population to pay for a diamond via the internet.
How To Buy Diamonds Online (The Easy Way)
Buying a diamond online is just like buying anything else via the internet. Retailers that provide good and valuable information with a good business track record garner the trust of any potential new customer. But buying diamonds is still somewhat complicated because most of the diamond search tools online still make the process confusing and clunky. How do you know if a particular diamond is a good one? Do you just look for the best color and clarity and trust that the GIA report says ‘Excellent’? Is that enough?
Thankfully there are much easier ways to purchase diamonds without having to scratch your head and overcomplicate things. All you need to know is four very simple things.
1. What is your desired diamond shape?
This is an easy question to answer and most people know what shape diamond they are looking for. 75% of all diamonds sold are round brilliant as they are the most popular shape.
2. What is your desired carat weight?
Most people have a sense of what carat weight would work best with their available budget. The most common carat weights are between .50ct and 1.25ct which means that most people tend to spend anywhere from a few thousand to approximately $15K on a loose diamond. There is no magic number and many factors go into this including the recipients age, personal preference, hand size, etc.
3. What is your desired metal setting?
This is one factor that many people don’t think about when considering what diamond to purchase. The purest diamond is colorless (D) which means it is completely translucent. Diamonds get progressively ‘warmer’ in hue since nitrogen in the crystalline structure affects overall color. If you were to set your diamond in a white-gold or platinum metal setting then you could choose a ‘J’ or higher color and still see a sparkling white diamond. On the other hand, if you were to set a ‘K’ or ‘L’ colored diamond in a yellow-gold setting you would still see a sparkling white diamond. Why? Well the warmth of the lower color grade is camouflaged by the yellow tones of the ring setting. Diamond’s tend to absorb whatever color they are near as they are generally colorless. To your eyes, a ‘K’ colored diamond set in a yellow-gold setting would still appear white and sparkly. Given these factors, you can then conceivably save considerable cash on your diamond if you go lower in color grade. It’s a personal decision, but definitely one that everyone should consider.
4. What is your loose diamond budget?
Your diamond budget will determine your overall carat weight, color, clarity and cut choices. Since everyone has different budgets and different tastes, there are different priorities given to a diamond’s characteristics. Some people want the largest carat weight but don’t really care if there is a small inclusion visible. Other people would rather sacrifice carat weight to get a pure colorless diamond. A diamond’s cut is the one characteristic that you don’t want to compromise on as this directly affects how the diamond will reflect light and ‘sparkle’. Knowing what your budget is will determine what kind of diamonds fit within your selection options.
Most Diamond Search Tools Add No Value
Did you know that most diamond search tools add no value? Almost every diamond search tool found on the internet has no diamond images. Some search tools include gem lab reports like GIA or AGS but a lab report cannot be used to determine the beauty, value, or quality of diamond. You must see the diamond via images/videos/ or in- person for this. That is why it is absolutely critical to view a diamond with magnified images as well as ASET, ideal-scope, and HD videos to make an informed decision.
As you may already know, ODBA has a diamond search tool where anyone can search through actual magnified images from various high rated vendors. As time goes on, more and more retailers will be added to this search tool making it a convenient one-stop-shop for searching all your favorite diamond websites in one convenient place. However, what most people don’t know is that once you can answer your four key questions above (shape, carat weight, metal setting, and budget) you can then input this information into ODBA’s The Diamond Genie for even better diamond search results.
How To Use ODBA’s The Diamond Genie
The Diamond Genie got it’s name because it grants any potential diamond buyer three main wishes: 1) Best Cut 2) Best Color and 3) Best Clarity for their budget. It’s a very important tool because the single most complicated aspect to evaluating a diamond is by far it’s cut quality. A diamond’s cut is what determines it’s overall brilliance; and everyone loves a super sparkly gorgeously brilliant diamond. However, most people don’t know how to evaluate a diamond’s cut and this is what makes them nervous about purchasing a diamond online. Thankfully, this is exactly the problem that The Diamond Genie can help you out with.
Whatever shape diamond you choose, The Diamond Genie will automatically populate ideal cut proportions to further streamline your diamond search. Why is this so important? Well, most people aren’t diamond experts and they certainly don’t know the best combinations of table %, depth %, crown angle, or pavilion angle in order to get search results for ideal cut diamonds. ODBA’s Diamond Search also has the ability to filter by advanced search criteria such as: length/width ratio, crown angle, pavilion angle, ideal-scope, ASET, Hearts & Arrows, and HD videos. You can even filter by GIA or AGS lab reports. This level of advanced search criteria complete with magnfied images does not exist anywhere else on the internet.
The Diamond Genie not only populates specific cut proportions but it also uses your personal preference for metal setting to populate diamonds with color grades that would compliment your setting. It recommends the best clarity range depending on your chosen diamond shape and carat weight. Additionally, many people don’t realize that all diamond shapes require extra consideration and that is why The Diamond Genie offers special notes for all diamond shapes. Finally, it also filters your results by the best recommended length/width ratio for your chosen shape.
By now you should be starting to see the immense value that ODBA’s The Diamond Genie can offer any newbie diamond buyer. All of this information is automatically filtered for you so that your search results show only the best top recommended diamonds for your given personal criteria. There is no other tool that can provide this level of simplification to a somewhat confusing and often times overcomplicated process of buying diamonds.
Of course nothing automated is 100% fool proof. You’ll still need to do some tweaking and be sure to review the magnified diamond images, HD videos, ASET and ideal-scope images to help you make your final selection. However, you are never alone in your diamond search process. I’m here to help you anyway that I can. If you aren’t shy you can always contact me and ask me my opinion on any diamond that you are currently evaluating. However, I know that many people don’t feel comfortable discussing a personal purchase like this and prefer to do it alone. If you fall in this category that’s ok because you can still get my advice. How? If you sign up to ODBA’s Diamond Deal Friday you will get my top recommended hand-picked diamonds from the past week based on your individual searches through The Diamond Genie. If you sign-up now, you will immediately get last Friday’s list sent directly to your inbox.
Like anything else, the diamond industry continues to evolve and ODBA will continue to provide accurate and up-to-date information for any and all diamond buyers. It is my sincerest wish that each and everyone of you finds your perfect diamond for a great price. 🙂
Happy Diamond Buying!
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