How Diamond Prices Are Determined
Pricing most products is quite easy.
Determine how much it costs to make the
item, how much it costs to market that item,
and then mark it up by 15 - 30% or more.
Simple, right? Well, pricing diamonds isn't
quite that simple. There are many factors
that are considered when diamonds are
Diamond prices are determined first by
adding the cost of the rough diamond, the
cost of cutting the diamond, and all other
costs necessary to turn the rough diamond
into a marketable diamond. Depending on
the importance of the diamond, an
independent company may be called in to
certify the grade of the diamond based on
color, cut, clarity, and weight.
At this point, the diamond becomes more
expensive each time it changes hands, until
it finally reaches a retailer, where the price is
raised a bit more. Before reaching the
retailer, however, the diamond must travel
from the mine, to the cutter and polisher, to
the independent grading company, and
then to the Primary market. Once it has
reached the primary market, it will be
purchased by diamond dealers and
wholesalers, and from there it will be sold
As you can see, the earlier you can purchase
a diamond in the process, the lower the cost
of the diamond will be - but not the value.
The value is based on what the diamond will
sell for in the market place - through a retailer.
If you own a diamond, and you have no idea
how much it is worth, you can have it
appraised, but the appraisal may not be
accurate. You will be better off obtaining a
certificate through GIA - Gemological Institute
of America. With the information on this
certificate, you can use a cutter's guide to
accurately determine what your diamond is
There are also many diamond price
calculators available. These can be found
on the Internet, and many diamond dealers
use these as well. You must realize, however,
that before you can accurately price a
diamond, without a Diamond Grade Report,
you need to know quite a bit about diamonds,
such as different cuts, clarity, color, and weight
- and how each of those aspects adds to the
value of a diamond, or decreases the value of
the diamond as the case may be.
Again, you will be better off if you get a
Diamond Grading Report on the diamond,
and use that information to look up the price
in one of the guides that the diamond cutting
industry uses. This will give you the most
accurate value of the diamond in your
possession, or of the diamond you are
Diamonds are graded for certification by
laboratories using grading criteria. Four of
these criteria are critical to understand when
making a diamond purchase or investment.
Known as the "Four C's" these criteria are:
color, cut, clarity and carat.
Color is the result of the composition of a
diamond and it does not change. When a
jeweler is describing the color of a diamond
they are referring to the presence or absence
of color in white diamonds. Because a
diamond with no color allows maximum light
to pass through, colorless diamonds are
preferred for their sparkle.
Cut refers to a diamonds reflective quality.
Most diamonds are cut with 58 facets. The
brilliance of diamonds is heavily dependent
on the cut. The different angles and the finish
of a diamond determine its ability to reflect
light and cause its brilliance and fire.
Remember that the cut of a diamond can
have an impact on its durability as well as its
beauty. Some cutting faults can make a
diamond prone to breakage. A diamond
that is cut too thin can also cause light to
leak out of the back and the diamond will
lose some of the sparkle and appear not
to shine. So, as you can see the Cut is
probably the most important of the Four C's.
During the formation process, inner flaws, or
inclusions occur in most diamonds. The
number and size of these inclusions
determine what is referred to as the clarity
of a diamond. Diamonds that are clear
create more brilliance and therefore are rarer
and highly priced. To be considered
"flawless", a diamond must have no surface
or internal imperfections visible upon being
viewed by a skilled diamond grader using
10 power magnifications.
Carat is the unit of weight by which diamonds
are measured. One carat is equal to 200
milligrams. A carat is divided into 100
segments called points. 150 points would
equal one and a half carats.
When you go to the store to make that all
important diamond purchase, do not be shy!
Ask questions, get the answers needed to
make an informed purchase. Shopping for
certified diamonds enables you to make an
informed selection. Knowing the "four C's"
allows you to comparison shop and purchase
the best diamond at a fair price. But, before
making a purchase, shop around and decide
what shapes and styles really appeal to you.
Enjoy your diamond for years to come!
All About The Clarity Of Diamonds
Clarity is an important aspect of a diamond,
and it is important to know how to grade the
clarity of a diamond before you buy one. It is
actually quite easy to learn how to grade the
clarity of a diamond. There are basically two
things that you must understand: Diamonds
with visual inclusions and blemishes, and
those that are 'eye clean' meaning that there
are no inclusions or blemishes that can be
seen with the naked eye. From there, the
clarity of a diamond is further broken down
Many people mistakenly think that diamond
clarity refers to how clear it is. This isn't so.
Clarity actually refers to the internal and
external imperfections of the diamond. The
best diamonds, of course get a grade of FL
or IF - Flawless or Internally Flawless -
meaning that it is perfect. A grade of I-1, I-2
or I-3 means that the diamond is imperfect,
with a grade of I-3 being the worst.
Other grades are VVS1 and VVS2, which
means that the diamond is very, very slightly
imperfect; VS1 and VS2, meaning the
diamond is very slightly imperfect; SI-1 and
SI-2, which means that the diamond is
What Are Dirty Diamonds
A dirty diamond is one of two things: a rough
diamond, or a diamond that hasn't been
cleaned in a while. Rough diamonds are
uncut and unpolished - hence, they are dirty.
But that type of dirty diamond will soon be
cut and polished and sitting in a beautiful
jewel box in a display case. Then someone
will purchase it, and before long, it will
become a dirty diamond once again.
Diamonds become dirty. When you wash
your hands with a diamond ring on, soap
scum clings to it. When you put on hand
lotion, it gets grease on it. Shower with your
diamond earrings or necklace, and again,
you get soap scum. In one short day, your
brand new diamond could be dirty!
Purchase an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner the
same day that you purchase your diamond
jewelry, and use it every single day, without
fail. The clarity of the diamond changes
when the diamond is dirty - it loses its
sparkle. By taking one minute each day to
clean your diamond jewelry, you can avoid
this, and your diamonds will never be dirty!
How To Sell A Diamond
There are many reasons why you may want
to sell a diamond that you own. Perhaps
you've gotten divorced, or you are strapped
for cash. The reasons why don't really matter
- getting the best possible price is what
counts! The way to obtain the best price
for the diamond is to not be in a rush. Slow
down, and carefully consider all of your
options - there are many.
First, have the diamond appraised. In fact,
have it appraised by two or three jewelers to
get an accurate idea of the diamonds value.
Tell the appraiser that you want the Rapaport
Value. This is the wholesale value of the
diamond, and it basically tells you the highest
price that you can sell your diamond for. If your
diamond has no certificate, you should
consider getting a certificate from GIA. This
may help you get a better price for the
diamond as well.
First, try to sell the diamond yourself, to
people you know. Friends and family
members may be interested. If you don't have
any luck with friends or family members, you
should turn to outside sources. Absolutely
avoid pawn shops! A pawn shop will only offer
you about 10% of what the diamond is worth!
Also avoid offers of selling the ring on
consignment. There are many things that
can go wrong, and there is no shortage of
diamond scams - even in well known
If the diamond is important, you should
strongly consider auctioning it off through
one of the famous auction houses, such as
Christie's or Sotheby's. If it isn't what is
considered an 'important' diamond or a
high-end diamond, you should try to sell it
to an individual using classified ads, or even
eBay. However, selling to an individual that
you do not know could put you in danger -
especially if the diamond is worth a lot of
Your final option should be a jewelry store. It
is vital that you not let your diamond out of
your sight while in the jewelry store - you
might find that the diamond you walked in
with is not the same diamond that you walk
out with! The jeweler will try to tell you that
your diamond is of poor quality or low
weight. Inevitably, there will be some
problem with the diamond. This is where
your appraisal and/or certificate will come
If the jeweler is fair, they will offer you
between 60% and 80% of the value of the
Rapaport Value. Do not accept anything less
than this. Again, do not let the diamond out of
your sight until you have been paid for it.
The first synthetic diamonds were produced
by General Electric in 1954. A synthetic
diamond is basically a rock that has the
durability, refractive index and hardness of
a natural diamond - but it is made by man.
A synthetic diamond should not be
confused with stimulant diamonds, such as
glass, cubic zirconia, or moissanite.
Although the technology for synthetic
diamonds came into play in 1954, no
synthetic diamonds were ever seen on the
market until the 1990's. This was due to the
fact that it took many years for General
Electric to produce a synthetic diamond that
could compare with the quality of a natural
diamond - and when they figured out how to
do it, they found that it cost more to produce
a synthetic diamond than it did to mine and
cut natural diamonds.
Finally, a small company by the name of
Gemesis Corporation figured out a way to
produce synthetic diamonds that were of the
same quality as natural diamonds, at a
cheaper price. Today, Gemesis produces
synthetic white diamonds, and colored
diamonds as well. These diamonds sell for
about 1/3 of the cost of a natural diamond,
but there is a shortage of them, and they are
hard to find. In fact, it seems that synthetic
diamonds are rarer than natural diamonds!
How To Clean Your Diamonds
Through our day to day movements our
diamonds get smudged and soiled. Even
when we are not wearing them, they collect
dust. Lotions, soaps, our natural skin oils,
can cause film and grime on diamonds
and inhibit their brilliance.
Want to keep that Brilliance and Shine?
Diamonds require cleaning so that maximum
amounts of light can refract fiery brilliance.
Remember that all it takes is a few minutes
and a little care to keep that diamond as fiery
as the day you first saw it.
You can use an small soft brush such as an
eyebrow or lip stick brush and soap and
water to clean your jewelry. Simply make a
bowl of warm sudsy water with a mild
detergent and place your pieces in the
mixture. Then brush the diamonds with the
soft bristles of the brush while they are in
the suds. You will need to make certain that
you rinse them clear of the suds after
cleaning them. You can use a small kitchen
strainer such as a tea strainer to contain
them while rinsing under warm water. Use
a lint free cloth, or a jewelry polish cloth to
pat them dry.
If your diamonds are in need of a stronger
cleansing, you may want to soak them for 30
minutes in a solution of half and half water and
ammonia. Once they have soaked for 30
minutes, remove them and gently brush the
mountings with a small brush. Then replace
the pieces to the solution and swish them
around in the mixture before removing them
to rinse and pat dry.
If you find your self too busy to be mixing
soaps and ammonias, many department
stores sell liquid jewelry cleaners. Most are
kits, with everything you need included. You
need to read the labels to determine the one
that is right for your diamonds and other
jewelry. Read the complete directions and
follow all the precautions.
And if you find yourself more the
"high-tech type", even in your diamond
cleaning routine, there are multiple ultrasonic
cleansers on the market. These machines
use high-frequency to create a cleaning motion.
All machines are not the same, so please read
the instructions before using.
Only you can choose the cleaning method
right for you. But, it is essential to keep
your jewelry clean to keep it brilliant and
sparkling. Between cleaning, try not to touch
your clean diamonds with your fingers or
handle your jewelry by its edges. This will
help maintain its shine and brilliance for
Before you start shopping for diamonds,
consider dealing with a bonded jeweler.
Bonded jewelers sell bonded diamonds,
and there are very few bonded jewelers in
the world. In fact, out of all of the jeweler's
in the world, only about 5% of them are
bonded. Buying a bonded diamond will
cost more than buying a non-bonded
diamond, but when you look at what you
get with the bonded option, you will see
that it is well worth the extra expense.
First, bonded diamonds have a buy back
policy for the life of the diamond. No matter
how long you have had the diamond, you can
take it back to the bonded jeweler and sell it
back to him or her, for a 100% refund. If a
jeweler does not offer a 100% buy back
guarantee, for the life of the diamond, then
you should take a closer look at the diamond
to see what is wrong with it.
Bonded diamonds also have a breakage
policy. If the stone breaks or chips, the
bonded jeweler will replace it with a new one
- one time. No jeweler would ever offer such
a policy on any stone that was not 100%
natural, so just the offer of such a policy
should give you piece of mind concerning
the quality of the diamond. Bonded
diamonds are natural and untreated.
Bonded diamonds increase in value, with a
fixed appreciation rate that is designed to
keep up with inflation. This means that a
diamond that is worth a certain amount of
money today will be worth more in the future,
as the price of diamonds continues to rise.
This generally does not apply to buy backs,
however. It typically applies to trade-ins.
Alternately, by purchasing a bonded
diamond, you are protected against the
possibility of a market crash. If a market
crash occurs, the value of diamonds will
drop. However, the bonded jeweler
guarantees to refund you the difference
between what the diamond is now worth
and what you paid for it before the market
It may be difficult to find a bonded jeweler in
your area, but if you can, this is who you
want to deal with, as opposed to dealing
with an un-bonded jeweler. Specifically tell
the jeweler that you are only interested in
bonded diamonds. You can find a bonded
jeweler in your area by using various online
resources, or by calling the local jewelry
Buying Diamonds Online
With all of the potential for scams concerning
diamonds, buying diamonds online almost
seems unthinkable! However, you actually
can purchase diamonds online, without any
problems - as long as you are careful.
First, think about your reasons for wanting to
purchase the diamond online, as opposed to
making a purchase from a local jewelry store.
The most common reason is price. Due to
low overhead costs, online jewelers and
wholesalers are able to offer lower prices.
However, you must be careful - sometimes
a price that is too low is a sure indication of
One of the best things about purchasing
online is the unlimited selection. When
shopping offline, you are limited to the
selection in the stores in your general area.
Online, there are no limits. But again, you
must use a great deal of care and
consideration before handing your money
over to someone that you cannot see and
have never met!
Before shopping, learn as much as you can
about diamonds - especially cut, color,
clarity and carat weights. When you are
knowledgeable about diamonds, it will be
harder for a con artist to rip you off. Once
you know more about diamonds, you will be
ready to start shopping.
Take your time. Don't purchase the first
diamond that you see that interests you.
Instead, look for similar diamonds for sale.
Do some comparison shopping to find the
lowest prices. Once you have found the
lowest price, start doing your investigation.
You know about diamonds, you've found a
diamond that you love, and you've found the
lowest price - but you are still quite a ways
away from actually purchasing that diamond!
Ask about the seller's credentials, such as
professional jewelry associations that they
belong to. View and print the seller's return,
refund, and upgrade policies. Also inquire
about additional services, such as settings
and mountings, sizing, and free shipping. Do
a search for customer reviews on this
particular company around the Internet. Also
check with the BBB Online to see if there have
been any complaints.
Ask for a diamond grading report from an
independent laboratory such as GIA, HRD,
EGL or AGS. You should see this before
making a purchase. Finally, use a reputable
escrow service for high dollar diamonds -
preferably one that will have the diamond
appraised while it is in their possession. The
seller sends the diamond to the escrow
service, and you send the money to pay for
the diamond to the escrow service. The
escrow service has the diamond appraised,
sends the diamond to you, and sends the
money to the seller. This is the surest way to
protect yourself...again, make sure that you
use a reputable escrow service!
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