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  Diamond Buying Advice
When you start to think about buying a diamond, you naturally will want the best diamond that you can afford and a beautiful stone you will treasure forever. Diamonds can be found in a range of shapes, sizes, qualities & colours. If you are about to buy a diamond for an engagement ring, you may want to consider spending the commonly accepted guideline of two months' salary. However you should spend as much as you can comfortably afford. Buying a diamond is not like buying a car which will depreciate over time, they endure generations and are passed down in your family as an heirloom. Remember, diamonds ARE forever.

When buying a loose diamond, make sure you buy the best quality diamond that is within your budget. Do not buy a diamond just because it has been "discounted"or the diamond dealer is offering a "special price". These "sale" prices and deals are nothing more than marketing hype and will not result in any real savings to the price of a diamond. The price of diamonds is controlled by international market conditions and the availability. Unlike other jewellery items, diamonds do not go on sale because they do not have huge profit margins or over inflated prices. Do not confuse a diamonds carat weight with the size of a diamond. Two diamonds that have the same carat weight could have very different diameter measurements and appearance in actual size. A poorly cut 1.00ct diamond may look like a 0.75ct diamond from the top because they have the same diameter measurements even though their carat weights are different. Diamonds are sold by their carat weight. A diamond cutter always tries to retain as much carat weight and as few inclusions when cutting a diamond. Sometimes the cut of a diamond might be sacrificed in order to produce a diamond with a higher carat weight. Diamonds that have a higher cut quality - excellent, ideal and very good cut diamonds - will sparkle with far more brilliance and fire than poorly cut diamonds which have a lower cut grade.

The value of a diamond is determined by its exact quality as defined by the 4C's: Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat-Weight. It is the sparkle or brilliance that gives a diamond its unique quality. Many people become overwhelmed when they start searching for a diamond. It seems that the fear of either buying a diamond that is not very good quality or paying too much can cause people to go on a quest to become a diamond expert overnight. Getting knowledge and educated about diamonds and the 4C's - Cut, Colour, Clarity & Carat Weight - is a big first step towards buying the right diamond. Before you start diamond shopping, it is best to have an understanding of what you are buying and the process behind buying a diamond. Today on the internet there is no shortage of information available, especially when it comes to learning about diamonds. Here are a few important steps when embarking on the purchase of a diamond -

Gain a basic understanding of the qualities of a fine diamond. Learn about diamonds, do your homework before you start looking. There are many good websites that offer comprehensive Diamond Education sections where you are able to learn about diamonds and The 4C's - cut, colour, clarity and carat weight. These are the criteria that diamonds are graded and valued upon.

Set a personal budget. This will dictate a lot of the parameters for the diamond you are searching for. Then obtain a realistic idea of what diamonds cost and the various diamond prices. Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds are the most popular shape of diamond for engagement rings however they also are higher priced than a fancy shape diamond. Setting a personal budget will save you a lot of time and it will help you to not over extend yourself financially.

Decide on the diamond specifications. What shape of Diamond do you prefer? Remember that diamonds are cut in many different shapes besides Round Brilliant and Princess Cuts. Fancy Shape diamonds such as Asscher, Cushion, Emerald, Oval, Pear, Marquise, Trilliant and Radiant Cut Diamonds all make unique engagement rings and create beautiful jewellery when set in individual designs. Once you have decided on the shape of the diamond you wish to buy then start deciding on your other preferences such as the carat size, the diamond colour, the diamond purity and the diamond cut quality.

Insist on a Diamond Certificate. A diamond certificate or diamond grading report documents the complete quality and description of the diamond, it includes information on shape, carat weight, clarity, fluorescence, colour grade, measurements, proportions and finish grade. A diamond certificate also confirms that the diamond is natural and is not synthetic or man-made. Diamond Grading Laboratories such as GIA, AGS, HRD & DCLA are all internationally recognised and compliant grading laboratories.

View the diamond in person where possible. Compare the quality of the diamond next to other diamonds before you purchase. Cut is the only factor that man can control. Cut refers not only to the shape and style of the diamond, but its proportions, symmetry, and finish or "make". Cut determines the brilliance and fire of the diamond and is actually one of the most important aspects to consider when choosing your diamond.

We understand that when searching for the right diamond the task can at times be daunting and very confusing. Just comparing diamonds on price alone is not nearly good enough, you need to be able to compare the diamonds next to each other to see which diamond is the better quality and appeals to you the most.