Buying A Diamond: Seeing Is Everything
I recently spent some time with a customer who participated in our Diamond Insight Session with me. He was interested in buying a diamond in order to make a diamond engagement ring and was referred to us by a friend. He visited our shop prepared with a few ring designs from the internet that he knew his girlfriend would like.
From his Internet research, he also had decided that the diamond shape should be round. He had determined a size range which would give him price options and the color, clarity and cut grade that he was interested in having.
I was curious to know how he had decided on the quality of the diamond that he was inquiring about - without having seen any. He told me that he figured it out on the Internet, reading articles and opinions and browsing online diamond selling sites. This research had led him to a decision about the kind of diamond he wanted, but apparently there was some reason why he didn’t purchase online.
Since he hadn’t seen a real diamond, I asked if he would like to learn how to look at some diamonds to make sure that those qualities would be right for him. He agreed. We started by looking at one of our demonstrating diamonds.
Entering the world of diamonds
That's when the world of sparkling diamonds opened up before his eyes. After a while I introduced a second diamond, and we discussed what he was seeing and what he felt about the differences. He was beginning to form his own opinions about the two diamonds.
The diamonds that we were looking at were placed in locking tweezers so that he could pick them up and check them out under various lighting sources. I could see that he was being drawn into the orbit of “high performance” diamonds.
The exacting proportions of high-performance diamonds reflect internal light out through the top of the diamond, creating a shower of rainbow-colored light. After a short while he was able to compare the light performance of various diamonds. He was able to observe minute differences of color and clarity and see how they affected value.
Buying a diamond: Seeing and comparing
One very cool thing that happened at the end of the session was when he was comparing two diamonds. Both had been graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) Laboratory and both had their cut graded as “excellent.” Without knowing the cut grade of the two diamonds, he was able to see that one diamond actually had better light performance than the other. It goes to show that a certificate doesn’t tell the whole story.
I asked him this question after he saw the difference: If you were buying a diamond sight unseen with an excellent cut grade, do you think that you would end up getting a diamond with the best performance possible? His answer: Probably not.
This makes the case that if you want to feel confident about choosing the best possible diamond that your money can buy, you need to learn how to look at real diamonds.
By the way, he did purchase his diamond from us. He ended up choosing a deeper color grade than the one he thought he wanted, because he couldn’t see the difference. He chose a different clarity grade because when he made comparisons under the microscope, the differences, in his opinion, were not worth the higher cost.
When it was all said and done, he had chosen the diamond that was perfectly right for him, we had made him a custom mounting from the illustrations that he brought to us, and we stayed within his budget.
Plante Jewelers is a family-owned Jewelry store located in Swansea, Massachusetts. It is owned by Pierre and Nancy Plante.
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