Diamonds represent various things to different people. Diamond is the hardest known natural substance and the ultimate symbol of strength, durability, and love, as well as one of mankind's most treasured natural resources. To own a diamond is to hold all of that value in your palm.
A diamond can be purchased in a variety of forms, ranging from traditional engagement rings to diamond-encrusted watches, but the simplest and most direct method is to purchase a loose diamond. A loose diamond is simply a diamond that has not yet been set in jewelry. When you purchase a loose diamond, you can have it set into jewelry of your choice, or you can simply treasure it for its unique beauty.
Purchasing a loose diamond is simpler than most people believe. These seven tips make it simple and secure.
- 1. You set a budget before you even begin diamond shopping. Determine how much you can afford to spend on a diamond right now, based on your financial situation and the diamond's purpose. Include the cost of getting the diamond set or having custom jewelry made for it in your budget.
- 2. Ask around to find the best source of loose diamonds. Consult with friends or coworkers who have purchased diamonds in the past, and visit several online diamond forums to find the best loose diamond merchants. One friend may have had a positive experience at a local jeweler, while online reviews may direct you to an e-tailer with excellent prices and customer service. Some vendors may carry exclusive brands that are not available elsewhere.
- 3. Look for loose diamonds certified by a reputable gemological laboratory, such as the GIA or AGS, to ensure that you are shopping in a safe, secure, and trustworthy environment, whether online or in a physical store. Although in-house appraisals can be useful, your loose diamond should come with an independent lab certificate to ensure that you are getting what you pay for.
- 4. When you find a reputable vendor, request to see various types of diamonds within your price range. As you reduce one factor, such as carat size, you will notice that the diamonds in your price range will increase in other factors, such as cut quality. It is ultimately up to you which factors you emphasize, but loose diamond experts recommend always purchasing the highest quality diamond you can afford, even if it is slightly smaller than a stone or of slightly lower color or clarity. However, educate yourself thoroughly—sometimes increasing factors such as color or clarity results in no visible improvement beyond a certain point.
- 5. Aside from the four C's, diamond shape is an important consideration when purchasing a loose diamond. The classic round brilliant diamond is a best-seller for a reason, but you may decide that a princess cut diamond is more appropriate for your needs. Fancy shape diamonds can also be a good choice, depending on how you intend to use your diamond. When set in an engagement ring, an oval or pear shape diamond can appear slightly larger than its actual size, whereas a marquise or emerald shape can visually elongate the fingers.
- 6. Place your order once you have your heart (and mind) set on a specific diamond. Check that all of your questions have been answered and that you understand exactly what you are ordering. Your order should be delivered quickly because there is no setup required. You'll be holding your very own loose diamond in a matter of days!
- 7. Even if you intend to keep your loose diamond in a safe, you may want to insure it once it arrives. Some people prefer to insure their jewelry through their homeowner's policy, while others prefer to work with a personal jewelry insurance specialist. If you decide to insure your loose diamond, make sure you understand your coverage and any applicable deductibles.
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