Buying Diamonds Without Being Ripped-Off
by Sam Serio
Buying diamond jewelry can be fun, exciting and confusing.
Whether youre considering a gift of diamond jewelry
for someone special or as a treat for yourself, take
some time to learn the terms used in the industry. Heres
some information to help you get the best quality diamond
jewelry for your money, whether youre shopping
in a traditional brick and mortar store or online.
A diamonds value is based on four criteria: color,
cut, clarity, and carat. The clarity and color of a
diamond usually are graded. However, scales are not
uniform: a clarity grade of slightly included
may represent a different grade on one grading system
versus another, depending on the terms used in the scale.
Make sure you know how a particular scale and grade
represent the color or clarity of the diamond youre
considering. A diamond can be described as flawless
only if it has no visible surface or internal imperfections
when viewed under 10-power magnification by a skilled
As with other gems, diamond weight usually is stated
in carats. Diamond weight may be described in decimal
or fractional parts of a carat. If the weight is given
in decimal parts of a carat, the figure should be accurate
to the last decimal place. For example, .30 carat
could represent a diamond that weighs between .295 -
.304 carat. Some retailers describe diamond weight in
fractions and use the fraction to represent a range
of weights. For example, a diamond described as 1/2
carat could weigh between .47 - .54 carat. If diamond
weight is stated as fractional parts of a carat, the
retailer should disclose two things: that the weight
is not exact, and the reasonable range of weight for
each fraction or the weight tolerance being used.
Some diamonds may be treated to improve their appearance
in similar ways as other gemstones. Since these treatments
improve the clarity of the diamond, some jewelers refer
to them as clarity enhancement. One type of treatment
- fracture filling - conceals cracks in diamonds by
filling them with a foreign substance. This filling
may not be permanent and jewelers should
tell you if the diamond youre considering has
Another treatment - lasering - involves the use of a
laser beam to improve the appearance of diamonds that
have black inclusions or pots. A laser beam is aimed
at the inclusion. Acid is then forced through a tiny
tunnel made by the laser beam to remove the inclusion.
Lasering is permanent and a laser-drilled stone does
not require special care.
While a laser-drilled diamond may appear as beautiful
as a comparable untreated stone, it may not be as valuable.
Thats because an untreated stone of the same quality
is rarer and therefore more valuable. Jewelers should
tell you whether the diamond youre considering
has been laser-drilled.
Imitation diamonds, such as cubic zirconia, resemble
diamonds in appearance but are much less costly. Certain
laboratory created gemstones, such as lab-created moissanite,
also resemble diamonds and may not be adequately detected
by the instruments originally used to identify cubic
zirconia. Ask your jeweler if he has the current testing
equipment to distinguish between diamonds and other
About the Author
The Authors of the above Article, Sam and Tami Serio
have been passionately involved with Jewelry and Gemstones
for over fifteen-years. You are cordially invited to
visit http://www.morninglightjewelry.com for a wealth
of information about the fascinating world of Jewelry
and Gemstones. Together they also shelter 20 abandoned
and abused dogs & cats. A portion of their profits
goes to the care and feeding of the animals.