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Written by Macy Taylor
In a world that is forever changing, one jewel has stood the test of time owing to its incredible and beautiful sparkle. Yes, the jewel we talk about is the everlasting diamond! There's no doubt that diamonds are forever. And there is possibly no other gemstone on planet earth that can compare to the radiance and beauty of a well-cut diamond. Diamonds have been popular since their discovery in the 4th century BC. They have become a gemstone that symbolizes the passion of romance. They have also become gemstones of absolute value and are considered great investment options.
Diamonds, although of value, are part of the supply chain that poses a threat to the very earth we inhabit. The diamond mining process has caused irrevocable harm to nature, leading to environmental degradation, including climate change and pollution. It is also a part of an industry that does not pay attention to human rights. It is a well-known fact that diamond mine workers get paid wages that are not conducive to appropriate living. Children are known for working in some mines worldwide, mainly in African countries. Many of these kids have died while working in mining pits. The pollution in the locations also affects air and water quality, making it difficult for workers to breathe good quality air or drink clean water.
Lab diamonds, environmentally conscious gemstones, are a solution to the growing demands of the diamond market. And besides having the same chemical and physical composition as a natural diamond, they also come at a more budget-friendly cost. They are grown in laboratories that follow stringent environmental measures. Lab-created gemstones leave a far less carbon footprint, making them an environmentally conscious and sustainable option compared to mined stones. Let us further understand lab diamonds and consider the budget-friendly tips when buying diamonds.
Created in 1926 by Dr. Willard Hershey, lab diamonds changed the whole game of the diamond industry. Not only are these lab diamonds reasonably priced, but they are considered a conscious buy as the industry is slowly and steadily moving towards protecting mother nature. Therefore, keeping the budget when buying diamonds and understanding the process of how to buy diamonds can save you a lot of money in the long run when out shopping for a loose diamond, a diamond engagement ring, or diamond jewelry in general. People often believe that the higher the value of a diamond, the better its quality. This is not always the case, as learning the art of buying gemstones, can lead to better-priced gems. Knowing how to buy diamonds ensures you get your hands on the best quality gem, even at a lower cost. Consider the following how to buy diamonds guide when buying diamonds.
Choosing the shape of your stone is the first thing to pay attention to when thinking of how to buy diamonds. Many people tend to confuse diamond shapes with diamond cut. Both aren't the same. They are entirely different. The shape of a stone refers to the outline or external figure of the rock, such as pear shape, heart shape, or round shape, i.e., the actual shape of the diamond's appearance. Cut refers to the diamond's symmetry, facets, and reflective quality.
Round brilliant stones are one of the most famous diamond shape choices today. But you don't always have to pick a round brilliant-shaped diamond, especially when you want to save money. An oval-cut stone or a heart-shaped stone can help you save up to 30%. Suppose you're the type of person who prefers fancy-shaped diamonds. In that case, the emerald, heart, cushion, and princess cut shapes are generally less expensive than round-shaped diamonds making it a budget-friendly buy when buying diamonds.
Diamonds became the choicest gemstone for engagement rings after a world-leading diamond company partnered with an advertising agency to create a powerful campaign that would change how the world saw diamonds. So how do you buy diamonds while giving some thought to the clarity of your gemstone? For that, you must refer to a GIA diamond clarity chart. Let's have a closer look at the each bracket
1. Flawless - F Clarity Grade F clarity diamonds have almost no flaws in them making them the most sought diamonds.
2. Very Very Slightly Included - VVS1 and VVS2 Clarity Grade VVS1 and VVS2 stones have inclusions that are barely visible.
3. Slightly Included - S1 and S2 Clarity Grade Slightly included diamonds have inclusions so small that they are not nearly as visible.
4. Included - I1, I2, and I3 Included stones and inclusions that are visible.
Opting for diamonds with SI1, SI2, or I1, I2, and I3 clarity grades will save you money when buying diamonds.
Just like a diamond's cut and clarity, its carat weight is also essential when looking for a stone you can afford. Carat weight is the measure of the gemstone's weight. One carat is equal to .20 grams. The carat weight does not decide the diamond's visual size. Diamonds are priced according to their quality and weight. This inevitably means that shopping for a lesser carat weight diamond shall save you a lot of money. Picking a lower carat weight does not affect the beauty of the stone; in fact, it depends on the shape you choose. Wearing jewelry is not always about flaunting a big-sized rock. In fact, most engagement rings purchased in the US have 1 and 2-carat diamonds and are worth flaunting.
Color is another essential characteristic, just like cut, clarity, and carat weight that influences a stone's value. The color grading of diamonds starts from D and ends at Z. By this, we mean D, E, F, and G till you reach the end of the alphabets; Z. As you may have already realized, D-grade gems are top quality, with the most colorless stones graded from D to E.
Colorless and nearly colorless stones always cost more when buying diamonds. As you go towards Z the diamonds shall the diamonds get a yellow color. From G to J the stones are almost colorless. From K to M the diamonds have a hint of yellow. From N to R, the diamonds have a little more yellow. And S to Z diamonds have a light yellow color. Gemstones in the K to R and S to Z range are far more affordable and also provide appealing visual aesthetics to your jewelry.
Diamonds tend to discharge glow under UV light. This discharge is called the fluorescence of the gemstone. If a diamond has more fluorescence, it will be priced lesser. So as a budget-friendly tip, shopping for a slightly lower grade gemstone with more fluorescence when buying diamonds will save you money.
When designing any jewelry, opt for a jewelry expert who is well aware of enhancing the potential of your stone. For instance, if opting for a small gemstone, and crafting a ring, go with a halo setting to significantly make your center diamond appear larger. If opting for a low-clarity stone, you can hide some of the inclusions and blemishes with a prong setting.
If crafting a small pair of stud earrings, using a prong or halo style shall make the earring appear more significant. The tips mentioned above give you a fair idea on how to buy diamonds. But we always encourage you to set your budget first as that is a great place to start when buying diamonds. Setting a budget when buying diamonds allows you to save on costs. And you can also consult with a gemologist and diamond expert at Friendly Diamonds to save more. You can avail of a free consultation at a time and date of your choice when buying diamonds so that you are equipped with all the diamond and cost-saving knowledge when crafting your engagement ring, earrings, pendants, and other jewelry pieces.