How to buy a diamond
Buying a diamond is always exciting, whether it’s for an engagement ring, a pair of cufflinks or a watch there is so much to consider. Whether you know your pave from your facets, our diamond expert Roland Noser tells all you need to know about investing in the world’s toughest stone.
THE INFAMOUS FOUR C’S
1) Carat, clarity, colour and cut are the most important factors to consider when buying a diamond. Carat, clarity and colour are created by the earth, while the cut is the only manmade part of a diamond. A diamond carat is the measurement weight of a diamond, each carat is subdivided into 100 ‘points’ allowing for a very precise measurement.
2) The clarity of a diamond refers to the lack of inclusions and blemishes. Diamonds are the result of very high pressure and heat deep from the earth; this process can result in characteristics called ‘inclusions’ and ‘blemishes’. No diamond is absolutely flawless but if there are no inclusions or blemishes visible at 10x magnification then it will be classed as so.
3) The colour of a diamond actually refers to the lack of colour; with white diamonds most sought after. A diamond’s colour is graded on a scale from D (colourless) to Z (light yellow).
4) The cut of a diamond is often associated with its shape; round, heart, oval, marquise, pear etc but a diamond’s cut is really about how a diamond’s facets interact with light. The stone’s proportions, symmetry and polish will all affect the sparkle of a diamond. Bucherer only have excellent and very good diamond cuts, the two highest cuts available.
It’s important to remember that a diamond’s value is determined by all 4C’s, not just one.
DO DIAMONDS COME WITH A WARRANTY?
Yes. Each diamond comes with a certificate often authenticated by an independent laboratory, typically the GIA (Gemology institute of America). Bucherer stones are sent to the lab where the four C’s are closely examined and any inclusions are recognised. The certificate validates the specifications of the diamond.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU GET A DIAMOND CLEANED AND POLISHED?
The diamond is the hardest material on earth and there’s not much that can damage it. If a diamond is damaged it needs to be recut and certified again as the nature of the stone has completely changed. Unlike our watches, diamonds don’t require a servicing outside cleaning and checking the stone hasn’t come loose in its setting.
HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU’RE BUYING ETHICAL DIAMONDS?
It is imperative to know you are buying from a trusted and ethical diamond dealer. Once a diamond has left the mine it cannot be determined where the diamond is from, while this rule doesn’t apply to emeralds and other precious stones, diamonds are made from pure carbon and there are no traceable elements. The diamond industry pays huge respect to the Kimberley Process which unites 81 countries to promote the responsible sourcing of diamonds and prevention of conflict diamonds.