A Short and Sweet Guide to Buying Diamonds
For many people, buying a diamond is one of the most important purchase you will make: it’s a symbol of love, commitment and your journey together. It’s worth your time to learn about diamonds and what makes one stone better than another!
The D.J. Bitzan team of highly trained, non-commissioned experts is right here in our St. Cloud, MN showroom to help you navigate. Because we have such an extensive selection of real diamonds in our showroom—diamonds of all shapes, sizes and price ranges, you will learn as much or as little as you’d like about this important purchase. Our goal is to make it easy for you to make a clear, informed decision that you can feel great about.
As you’re shopping for your perfect diamond, remember our generous trade in program allows you to trade your diamond toward a bigger, better, brighter diamond at anytime.
DIAMOND EDUCATION: The 4 C’s
A number of factors determine the rarity, beauty and ultimately the price of a diamond. We’ll help you discover which of these factors is most important to you.
Here’s a fact to consider: Two diamonds could have the exact same grading, but could look completely different. Every diamond has its own unique character. It’s nearly impossible to make a well-informed choice without seeing the diamond and comparing it to others before you commit to purchasing.
One more for you: We hand-select each of our diamonds directly from the diamond cutters, often looking through thousands to find the few that will be beautiful enough to be called a D.J. Bitzan diamond.
Here are a few things we look for:
Cut refers to both the shape of the diamond and how well the facets are aligned for optimum light performance (sparkle!). With regards to shape, the round brilliant diamond has always reigned supreme followed by princess shape. In recent years, demand for unique shapes such as cushion, oval, emerald, marquise and asscher have increased in popularity.
The most important factor in determining a diamond’s “play of light” and sparkle is how well the diamond is faceted. Using sophisticated cutting devices and measurement, a diamond cutter will cut facets on a rough diamond. If the facets line up “just right”, light refracts back to your eye in an “ideal” manner giving beautiful sparkle and radiance. Sometimes, to save weight, a cutter may facet a diamond to appear larger, and other times the diamond may be cut deeper. In either of these scenarios, a diamond could have the same weight but have a different appearance. The diamond’s “cut” grade is a reflection of the diamond cutter’s skill and craftsmanship. Cut is graded on a scale of 0-10, with 0, 1, & 2 being the most optimal and rare, are readily available in our showroom.
As a diamond is forming in the earth, it comes in contact with elements and minerals that will give it some natural color. While most people prefer a diamond without color, even a hint of color may be less noticeable depending on your setting. Diamonds are graded for color using a scale that goes from D (colorless and most rare) to Z (brownish yellow). Diamonds graded D, E, F, G, H are readily available in our showroom.
Internal characteristics that occur while the diamond is forming are graded on the clarity scale. Nearly all diamonds contain “birthmarks” or inclusions such as trace minerals, surface blemishes, feathering, and fissures. Diamonds are graded on how well someone could see these inclusions with 10x magnification and to the naked eye. “FL” refers to a flawless diamond, which has no characteristics even under magnification, and command top prices. Other grades include VVS 1&2 (Very, Very Slight), VS 1&2 (Very Slight), SI 1&2 (Slightly Included), I 1,2 &3 (Included). Diamonds in the VVS-SI all have characteristics of varying quantity only visible when you look at the diamond under magnification. Diamonds in the I1, 2, & 3 are more visible to the naked eye. Keep in mind, if a diamond has an inclusion that is near the surface, it is more likely to crack or break.
Carat weight or “ct” refers to how much a diamond weighs. Larger diamonds are more rare, so if all other qualities are the same, a diamond that is 1.00 ct is more expensive than (2) .50 carat diamonds.
Diamond Buying Tips
As we stated earlier, a diamond’s grading simply determines the rarity and likely the price. The best measure you have is your own eye. Our team of experts can help educate you and show you the options to make the best decision.
Also, have a budget in mind before you start shopping. Knowing ahead of time what will work with your finances will prevent you from overspending or feeling overwhelmed. Our expertly trained staff is non-commissioned and will help you navigate our incredible selection to help you find the most diamond for your budget.
As mentioned earlier, diamond pricing is determined by the cut, color, clarity and carat weight. The more rare a diamond is, the more expensive it will be. If you’re not particularly concerned about people examining the diamond under a 10x microscope, you can save a ton of money by choosing a diamond that’s graded an SI clarity rather than a flawless (FL) clarity—and that’s just one example.
The very best way to choose a diamond is to see several diamonds and compare the relative qualities and varying prices of each. Factor in the style of your engagement ring and you’ll find the right combination of qualities to fit your budget and make a stunning ring that will be cherished for a lifetime.