Saturday, September 30, 2017

How to look at Diamonds

Diamonds are pretty, yes!
However, I always thought that I would just have a symbolic 0.3 or 0.4 carat diamond ring for my proposal and that's it. No need to spend so much on a bigger carat isn't it, since diamonds are worthless and not as liquid as gold anyway.

Well, my mindset changed after a session with Gabrielle, the Sales Manager at Jumbo Gold & Diamonds.

They made me realise that the diamonds we get from the retail shops are marked up so high, that indeed, it seems like diamonds are worthless. If you know how to inspect a diamond properly and pay the correct price for it, diamonds are actually worth your every penny!

Every diamond would come with a piece of certificate, GIA certified. Other than the 4Cs, it states other things like the measurements, polish, symmetry, fluorescence, and clarity characteristics.

How do you tell whether the diamond you got is really the one stated in the certificate?

To see whether the diamond corresponds to the figures on the certificate, and that you are indeed paying for what you get, all you have to do is to have some equipments.

Let's go down the list in the cert.

GIA Report Number

You can actually see this number on the diamond itself. But of course, we need to have this instrument to be able to see it.

If you look at the side of the diamond like how I did below, you would be able to see that number!


You use something like a vernier caliper to measure the diameter (and height) of the diamond. Yep as easy as that.

Clarity Characteristics

If the cert states "cloud, feather", it just means that you can see something like a thin line in the diamond. To do that, you need some fancy scopes like these:

I placed the diamond on top of this device and then place the scope over it to see.

For the purpose of being able to see the characteristics of the diamond more clearly, I was given another diamond to do a comparison. Often, it is hard to tell whether the diamond is white or yellow unless you have another one as a base comparison.


So most people would have heard about the 4Cs of diamonds. If you have not, look further.


In this case, I am looking at round diamonds. My mum always tells me to get round diamonds as it will have the best brilliance and what not. However, Is that always the case? Not really; it just depends on what you really like and there are so many other factors to look at other than the cut.


Anywhere ranging from D, E, F, or even G, H is fine for the normal consumers like you and me. Unless you compare with another whiter diamond, one would not be able to tell if your diamond is yellow or not, just like that.


In my opinion, a clarity of VS1-VS2 or SI1-SI2 would be fine for normal consumers. This is because if the diamond is any better, the untrained person wouldn't even be able to tell anyway, yes even under a scope.

One example of a diamond I found online with a large feather:

Some inclusions wouldn't even be visible at all under the naked eye. 
I had a hard time finding the feather on the 0.9 carat diamond stated on the GIA cert (shown above) during my first try here. 


Carat weight is the unit of measurement for a diamond. 

The higher the carat, the more expensive your diamond. 

Which is why some buy these kind of diamond rings to make the diamond look bigger, but at a lower price:

That is, many small diamonds forming a big one. hahaha. 

Hearts and Arrows

Some people look at the "hearts and arrows" of a diamond to determine how good it is.
This scope helps you see this supposed "hearts and arrows" of a diamond.

One example I can find online is this.

Any untrained person would be able to see hearts and arrows easily with the scope.

Of course, I am guessing that most of us wouldn't buy diamonds that are totally perfect, so you would probably see something similar (but maybe a bit better) like the photos above - some misalignment in the shapes, yet still see the shapes somehow, depending on the grade. The 0.9 carat diamond Gabrielle used to share with me during the session had almost perfect hearts and arrows though.

I saw some interesting ring designs from Jumbo Gold & Diamonds and thought I would share them here:
Engagement rings that form a heart when you put them together!


My thoughts and opinions?

Buying a diamond really depends on the intention (and of course on how rich you are!). 

If you want a diamond just for symbolic purposes like marriage etc., then a decent color, clarity, carat would do. Never mind about it being grade G or H for color; never mind about having a small feather or inclusions in the diamond; never mind about it being just 0.3 or 0.4 carat. If you can't tell with the naked eye, then these should be fine.

However, if you are richer, it pays to top up a bit to get a higher carat? Say 0.5 or even 0.8.

Or, if you are one with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), and really need your diamonds to be perfect, sure you can get the highest grades.

IF you are buying for the intention of investment, then yes the better grades would do you good in future.

There is no one size fits all for buying jewellery, and the ultimate decision maker is yourself. 

The people at Jumbo Gold & Diamonds can help you make the best decision. so feel free to contact them the next time you need a diamond!

This post is really a very basic and my own layman way of looking at diamonds. If you want to know more, Gabrielle would be more than happy to share with you.

#33 Ubi Avenue 3, #06-50, Vertex Tower A Singapore 408868

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