Whether you’re planning on designing your own diamond engagement ring or want to buy a loose diamond as a gift so that the recipient can design their own piece of jewellery, you’ll need the perfect diamond for the job.
And while many people think, all you need to do is focus on the 4Cs (colour, clarity, cut and carat), we’d argue that it’s about so much more than that.
We take a look at all the things you need to think about if you want to buy a loose diamond to create a stunning piece of bespoke jewellery.
1. Work out your budget
Before you even start thinking about the 4Cs you need to decide on your budget, as it’s very easy to get carried away in the heat of the moment.
The good news is you can buy a stunning diamond without breaking the bank. For example, if you definitely want a big diamond (more on that later!), then choosing a stone whose quality isn’t quite as good, is an option. Or maybe you will be happy to sacrifice colour for a better cut.
Either way, we’re here to advise you on the best options for your budget.
2. Think about possible jewellery design ideas
Having some idea of how the diamond will be incorporated into a design is important if you want to choose the right one. Obviously, if you’re buying it as a gift for someone this might be a bit more difficult, but if you know they love nothing more than big statement jewellery pieces, this will influence the final purchase.
We are more than happy to help explore ideas and concepts with you, so you have a better understanding of what type of stone would be ideal.
And if you are buying a diamond for a bespoke engagement ring, then remember to give some thought to how it’s going to fit with the wedding band.
3. Choose the shape of your diamond
Diamonds come in a variety of different shapes and which one you choose will act as the foundation for your jewellery piece’s design.
Round brilliant cut diamonds are the most popular choice for engagement rings, as they sparkle the most, but you could also choose from princess, cushion cut, oval, emerald, pear, marquise and more!
If you already have a design in mind, then this will inform which shape you should go for. If you’re buying the diamond as a gift for someone so they can design their own piece, we’ll happily show you the different options and talk through the pros and cons of each.
4. Decide on the sparkle factor
If you want the real wow factor, then you need a well-cut diamond that allows the light to be reflected around the facets. This not only makes the diamond look bigger but also improves its colour and masks any imperfections.
It’s one of the reasons why ‘cut’ is often considered the most important of the 4Cs. A diamond can be super high quality, but if it’s not cut properly, it will appear dull and lifeless.
5. Agree on the number of carats
Carat refers to the weight of the diamond and is equivalent to 0.20 grams. As carat weight increases so does the price and the size of the diamond.
While you may think bigger is better, always take into account your own personal style. If you never wear big and bulky jewellery, now is not the time to start! And if you have small hands, wearing a massive diamond ring every day could be a bit uncomfortable.
6. You don’t have to have a white diamond
While most people opt for white diamonds, especially for engagement rings, diamonds actually come in a variety of colours, including pinks, blues and yellow.
If you are after a white diamond and want that all-important sparkle, you want one that is as clear and colourless as possible. Even a slight yellow tint will prevent light passing through and make the diamond sparkle less.
And remember, different shapes reflect colour at different strengths, so that will also have an impact on how white your diamond appears.
It’s worth taking a look at the GIA Colour scale, which is the recognised grading scale for diamond colour.
7. Consider diamond clarity
Most diamonds have small imperfections that are visible inside or on the surface of the diamond itself. These are known as inclusions, and the purer and clearer the diamond, the more expensive it is.
The GIA diamond clarity chart is a grading scale which takes into account the number, size, colour, reflectivity and position of every flaw visible under 10x magnification. It starts at flawless (FL) and runs down to l1 where inclusions are visible to the naked eye.
Need more diamond buying advice?
Choosing a loose diamond is an exciting experience, but it can also be a bit scary! But don’t worry, as we are here to help you get it right.