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Some Important Things to Consider When Shopping for a Larger Diamond

Buying a larger diamond is a major purchase. We categorize a larger diamond as anything above two carats.  As a discerning buyer, however, you’ll also want whatever carat (size) diamond you buy to be the highest quality and value. Many factors determine the total cost of a diamond, but nothing to the extent that size does.  The reason why carat size plays such a dominant role is due to how the price of diamonds is determined. Simply put, the rarer the diamond, the higher its price per carat. In fact, when you climb up past two carats, this jump is quite dramatic and nonlinear.  For example, (3) one-carat diamonds will cost much less than (1) three-carat diamond of the same cut, color, and clarity.   Due to the high price per carat of a diamond this size, slight variations in color, cut and clarity grades can alter the total cost of the diamond by thousands of dollars.  Buying a larger diamond is a complex subject, but we hope to cover some of the key points.

The first order of business is to dispel a myth.

Diamonds Are Not Commodities 

You shouldn’t purchase a buy in the same way you might shop for a car or home appliance.  With products like these, all you need to do is get the correct model number and specifications.  Once you know the product is authentic, you can confidently compare apples-to-apples. We strongly disagree diamonds can or should be bought this way.  Every diamond is unique, like a snowflake, and therefore they cannot be “commoditized.”

The 4C’s Are a Good Jumping Off Point, Just Not the Whole Story 

The 4C’s developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) have become the universally-adopted language for categorizing diamonds.  They are an excellent starting point and can help point you in the right direction, but they aren’t the whole story. There exists many subtleties within the 4C’s that affect a diamond’s value. Let’s take the example of two diamonds both with the same clarity grade of SI2.  One diamond received its clarity grade because of a black carbon spot in the center of the diamond, while the other diamond has a white inclusion on the outer border of the diamond. The two diamonds have the same clarity grade, but the value and appearance of those diamonds is very different.

Diamonds are Priced the Way They Are for Known Reasons

Ultimately, there are no free lunches when it comes to diamonds. As in our above example, diamonds are priced the way they are because of many factors, which extend beyond the 4C’s.  To really understand all these factors takes years of experience. For most of us, the amount of time needed to have a working knowledge of all these factors is not feasible for most people. 

The Most Important Recommendations

If you are in the market for a larger stone, the first thing we suggest is to learn as much as you can about diamonds, in general.  An excellent non-biased source is GIA’s website. After collecting information, find a knowledgeable, trusted adviser who has experience in larger diamonds and can guide, educate and clarify.   The second is to make sure you buy a large diamond, which has been graded using the strictest criteria.  We recommend GIA diamonds for this reason. Knowing how small variances in cut, clarity and color can alter the price of a large diamond significantly, it is vital to consider only the most strictly-graded diamonds.

Technology Has Made it Possible to Reproduce the In-Person Experience  

360 videos and images of certificates now available online provide valuable information, but you still will benefit from having expert guidance in advising you on what you are looking at.  As we mentioned, there are too many factors that cannot be gleaned from just using these tools. Each of our experts has a minimum of 20 years experience and examine hundreds of diamonds a month. 

The Importance of Comparing Different Diamonds

Regardless of size or shape, any quality diamond is beautiful when seen by itself.  Certain differences only become apparent when comparing that diamond with others.  Slight differences in the color, clarity and cut will become apparent to you, which cannot be appreciated when not seeing multiple (physical) stones.  Subjectively, every diamond has its own voice. Our experts can determine what you are looking for and then guide you on choosing the diamond that best suits your needs. Whether you are looking for a round ideal cut diamond, princess cut diamond, cushion cut or emerald cut.  Make sure you diamond expert has access to a large selection of diamonds, which you can see and compare.

The Frame Plays a Key Role in the Look Your Masterpiece  

Once you have chosen the perfect diamond, you will want to display it in a high-quality setting.  It doesn’t make sense to take a masterpiece and put it in anything less than the finest frame. A hand-crafted setting of platinum, white gold, yellow gold or rose gold with or without side-stones can bring out the best in her diamond, while expressing her sense of style. Another option is to create a one-of-a-kind, bespoke setting. Buying a larger diamond is not a purchase to be taken lightly.  It is hard to cover all the necessary information in such a short article.  We are happy to answer any specific questions you may have. Please reach out.

Find out more information about diamonds and diamond studs here.


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