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10 things to know before buying a diamond

Shopping for a diamond? Here are 10 things you need to know before completing your purchase.

1- Diamonds are the hardest and most durable natural gem. You can’t go wrong with this stone that crosses generations better than its substitutes and imitations, such as synthetic moissanite and cubic zirconia. At the top of the hardness scale, only a diamond can scratch another diamond.

2- There are natural diamonds and lab grown diamonds. Lab grown diamonds are like clones; they are really similar to natural diamonds in all respects, but they sell 30% to 50% cheaper. Because they are practically identical, you will not be able to tell the difference, unless you have a great deal of diamond knowledge. Even if you bring it to a gemmologist, he or she may not be able to tell the difference. You have no choice but to trust the person or company that sells it.

3- You don't mind that your diamond is made in a laboratory and not natural? Do you even like the idea that they have a lower ecological impact?  Here's one more thing you might like about it: for the same budget as a natural, you could have a bigger and better quality diamond in the synthetic. It will go through years without scratches and will dazzle you just as much.

4- Be careful with diamond testers in jewellery; usually these machines can identify most imitations, but synthetic moissanite does responds positively to these testers. If the indicator light turns green, it is either a natural diamond, a synthetic diamond, or a synthetic moissanite. Some testers make the distinction between diamond and moissanite, but they are less common. Synthetic moissanite is sold for a fraction of the price of natural diamonds.

5- Diamonds are classified according to the 4Cs, that is to say the cut, the clarity, the color and the carat. Familiarize yourself with the different classifications in order to compare and understand what you are buying.

6- The cut is a very important element of the diamond. Not to be confused with the shape of the stone, round or square for example, the cut corresponds to the way the facets are cut. In my opinion, this is the most decisive factor in the beauty of your diamond. A bad cut makes the diamond darker and duller, no matter what its other properties are. Avoid weak or bad cuts. A good or excellent cut brings the light back to us and that is what makes the diamond sparkle.

7- For clarity, remember that I1-I2-I3 diamonds have inclusions that are easily visible to the naked eye, which sometimes makes them look dirty or darker. From VVS, the difference is impossible to see without a magnifying glass.

8- All diamonds are classified according to 4C, but some come with a detailed certificate. Those with a certificate have been studied under the microscope and compared in order to classify them correctly. For this reason, they are a little more expensive. Diamonds without a certificate are not necessarily of lower quality; they are classified more quickly and less severely. Choose diamonds with GIA, AGS or FGA certificates for the natural ones. If you buy a diamond with another certificate (for example, IGI or the seller’s certificate) be aware that it may actually be of lower grades than stated in the color, cut or clarity.

9- The certified diamonds have a laser inscription on the girdle, visible with a magnifying glass. This inscription is like a serial number, associated with your certificate. If your diamond has one, ask to see it and learn to find it. It is a unique code that allows identification.

10- Do you have a crush on a diamond? Don’t let yourself be too influenced by the 4Cs and buy a stone you love! Choose a stone according to your criteria and not those of others. Just make sure you pay the right price for the quality of stone you choose. Do not hesitate to ask questions. And buy from a trusted company.

Enjoy your shopping!

-Marie-Claude Décarie,jeweller

Jewellery designer MCDécarie, Marie-Claude is the founder of the company MCDécarie joaillerie. Graduated from a DEC in jewelry in 2009, she perfected her education at the School of Gemmology in Montreal to deepen her knowledge of stones and diamonds.

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