How To Buy Diamond Jewellery

There are many things to consider when buying a piece of diamond jewellery for yourself or a loved one. You may be spending a considerable amount of money so you want to be sure you buy what is right for you and your pocket.

I used to own a jewellers and have experience in advising customers in what to buy as well as a JET2 qualification in Jewellery Education and Training. In this post, I will consider what you need to take into account when buying a piece of diamond jewellery.

Buy from a reputable source

Firstly it is very important to buy from a reputable source. Buying from a company that adheres to the Kimberley Process ensures that your money does not go to fund arms and conflict in underdeveloped countries. A good jeweller will know where their diamonds are sourced from

I personally prefer buying diamond jewellery from small independent jewellers. By supporting the high street you are putting money back into the local economy. Independent jewellers provide excellent customer service and advice and will go the extra mile to make the customer happy. Look out for the National Association of Goldsmith's mark for jewellers that adhere to a code of practice.  

You may pick up a bargain buying a piece of diamond jewellery second hand but this route should only be taken if you are very experienced in buying diamond jewellery as there are plenty of pitfalls and you don't want to get ripped off.

You can also buy a piece of diamond jewellery online but only go to reputable jewellers which have a high street presence and are members of organisations sich as the National Association of Goldsmiths as mentioned before or the National Association of Jewellers. 

The 4 C's 

Credit: The National Association of Goldsmiths

Diamonds of above a certain size are graded by the 4 C's - Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat.

Cut - A well-cut diamond sparkles well and reflects light. Make the cuts too deep or shallow and the sparkle or its 'fire' will be gone. There are many shapes a diamond can be cut into but the most popular ones are round, emerald princess, marquise and pear shape. 

Colour - the most valuable and sort after colour is white, or should I say colourless. The best colour is graded as D, the worse Z. However, some naturally occurring diamonds with a strong and distinct colour can demand a lot of money as they are rare and are called fancy stones.

Clarity - the clarity of a diamond can greatly affect the price. If you look into a diamond with a jewellers eye glass you can often see inclusions - carbon deposits. The best diamonds are graded IF - Internally Flawless with no carbon deposits to the worse grade of diamonds that are graded Included3.

Carat - the weight and size of a diamond are measured by carat weight. A carat is divided into 100 smaller units and these are called points. If you are looking to buy a half carat ring you will be looking for a ring of 50 points.

There is also a fifth C - or Certification. The best diamonds are certified by an independent gemological lab. The certificate will note the four C's as above. Buying a certified diamond gives reassurance to the quality of the diamond but can also add to the cost.

One of the most recognised laboratories, for example, is the GIA (the Gemological Institute of America)

Type of jewellery

What type of jewellery are you going to buy? Are you looking to buy a diamond ring, earrings, necklace or bracelet? Are you looking to buy it for yourself, for a loved one or as an investment?

If you are buying a piece of jewellery for a loved one, think how it would fit into her lifestyle. Maybe she loves eating out and going on holiday, places where she can show off her jewellery, or maybe she likes small understated pieces of jewellery. Think about the jewellery she currently wears, and her own personal style and ask yourself, would she wear it?

Classic items of jewellery, such as a diamond solitaire ring, round brilliant cut diamond earrings or a diamond tennis bracelet are items every woman should have in their jewellery box. If cost is an issue consider buying a piece of jewellery with a cluster of smaller diamonds as this will be cheaper than a larger single stone. 

When thinking to buy as an investment then classic diamonds of a 1 carat single stone of the highest quality you can afford would be the easiest to sell in the future than something more unique and of course always buy the highest quality you can.

Metal choice

A traditional choice is a yellow gold, whilst white gold, palladium or platinum are the modern alternatives. Rose gold has a rich rose hue due to copper deposits in the alloy and is currently very fashionable.

The cheapest gold is 9ct gold, then 14ct gold, 18ct gold then 22ct gold. Gold is ultimately yellow and has to be mixed with a white metal alloy and coated with rhodium to make it white and to keep its shine. 

Platinum is the purest metal you can buy for jewellery, it is strong and stays true white so it is said to be the best metal in which to set diamonds. It is also the rarest and thus the most expensive precious metal you can buy. Palladium is the family of platinum but is much cheaper and less rare, it can have a slightly 'gunmetal grey' colour. 

Pin for later

When you are buying for a loved one, look at the jewellery she wears and the jewellery in her jewellery box to ascertain what colour metal she wears and go for that. If you are buying for an investment, buy the best you can afford, which is platinum, then 18ct gold. 

I hope you like this brief guide on buying diamond jewellery. There are masses of information out there, so I have just touched on some points. Good luck in buying and let me know how you get on.
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  1. That sounds like a lovely job you once had, thanks for sharing your tips.

  2. This is a great guide. I'll have to send it to my husband as an anniversary 'hint'!

  3. I am not sure I would even have a clue where's to begin when choosing to buy diamond jewellery so flanks for this informative post

  4. I had no idea that you used to own a jewelers although it makes sense why you are so knowledgeable about jewelery. I like the idea of choosing jewellery dependent on someones lifestyle x

    1. Thanks Ana. I did a JET2 qualification and had my shop for a number of years.

  5. Great post! I have never tried to buy diamonds so I didn't think to look for the 4 c's.

    1. The 4 C's can affect cost so you do need to think about this if you are ever lucky enough to buy diamonds.

  6. This is such a great guide and informative post for anyone who wants to purchase some diamond jewelry.

  7. This is a really interesting post as making sure things are ethically sourced is really important to me so learning about the Kimberly process was fascinating

    Laura x

    1. Have you watched the film Blood Diamond? It's an amazing film.

  8. I do love diamonds and wish I could buy more!! Being sourced ethically is very important to me too. Kaz

    1. If you go to a reputable jeweller then the stone will be. Be sure to check they are members of the National Association of Goldsmiths for example.

  9. Such an informative post, I wouldn't even know where to begin, we typically buy from high end high street