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Guy’s Guide to Diamond Buying: How to Shop for a 1 ct Round Diamond

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Guy’s Guide to Diamond Buying: How to Shop for a 1 ct Round Diamond

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Old 03-13-2012, 02:06 PM
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Guy’s Guide to Diamond Buying: How to Shop for a 1 ct Round Diamond

I always remind clients when they are shopping for a significant diamond to remember that there is really no wrong choice – unless your lady is a gemologist and whips out a microscope upon receiving each gift, she will generally just be thrilled that it’s big, sparkly, and that it’s a real diamond. While this usually helps take away some stress, nobody buys a diamond without learning a little bit and understanding how the quality affects the value and how the value dictates the quality of the investment.

In order to really know you are getting the best value, it’s wisest to work with a jeweler you fully trust. The private clients that work with Sasha Primak salespersons know that we’re all non-commissioned and, therefore, instead of aiming to make the largest dollar sale, our goal is always to get them the best deal to make sure they come back each time they need something. For those of you who aren’t yet dealing directly with Sasha Primak or with another jeweler you trust, or if you just want to brush up on some basic diamond-picking know-how, read ahead to see how an expert navigates through the online seas of diamond inventories.

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1) Let’s simplify our task by saying we know we want a 1 ct round diamond. Opening up the inventory on sashaprimak.com, rounds are pre-selected and I edit the carat weight to only show me diamonds between 0.90 ct and 1.10 ct (TIP: once a diamond hits the 1 ct mark, it hits a higher price bracket – while the size difference is completely insignificant, the savings of going with one 0.99 ct or less could be big). The next thing I like to do is adjust the cut grade so that I only look at diamonds “Very Good” or better (TIP: cut is often overlooked but should be considered the most important of the 4 C’s – you can have awesome color and clarity, but if the diamond isn’t cut well enough, the rest won’t matter).

2) We now have narrowed the list down to about 260 round diamonds with the least expensive being about $4,800 and the most expensive over $27,000. Why such a difference? The diamond for $27,000 is D color (highest grade), VVS1 (second highest), is Triple-X cut (graded Excellent for cut, polish, and symmetry), and is 1.07 ct (as mentioned, over 1 ct so it jumps up). The one for $4,800 is J color (very, very faint yellowish color), it’s SI2 clarity (inclusions can be seen under magnification; this could be more or less important depending on the exact size and location of the inclusions), it is graded Very Good for cut, polish, and symmetry and is 0.93 ct.

3) Next, I decrease the options as I would if I was shopping for myself or a private client by limiting color grades from F to H and cut grades from VVS1 to VS2. The list now shows 74 diamonds with the cheapest option being about $7,200 (0.91 ct H/VS1 with Excellent cut, Very Good polish and symmetry). The least expensive option that is Triple-X cut is 1.06 ct H/VS2 and costs $9,968. It’s a pretty penny more expensive but has better Cut, is 0.15 ct heavier, and is about a 1/3 of a millimeter larger (6.6 instead of 6.3 mm). Personally, I don’t know if it’s worth the extra money, so I would settle for something in between, like this 0.91 ct F/VS2 diamond with Very Good cut, Excellent polish and symmetry, selling for $8,303. Carat and size wise, it’s about the same as the one for $7,200, however, this one is F color instead of H which kind of balances out the slightly lower cut grade, which in itself is also balanced out by having higher polish and symmetry marks.

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Depending on what your budget is, your decision could obviously be much different. If the quality isn’t so important to you, you could get a great 1 ct round diamond for about $4,800. If the quality is the most important and your budget is a secondary concern, you’ll be picking from the diamonds $20,000 and up (unless you decide to go with something smaller than 1 ct). If you’re like me, you want to get the best value and the strongest balance of quality and size that you can afford. Save yourself the head-scratching and wondering though and contact me when you’re shopping or find someone else that you can trust because the people, like our gemologists, who do this everyday for years and years are really the best sources to tell you what you should get. I’d go with the $8,000 one. What about you?


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Old 03-13-2012, 03:24 PM
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Awesome post Emil, thanks for this! Very Helpful!
 
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by DJ View Post
Awesome post Emil, thanks for this! Very Helpful!
My pleasure! If anybody needs help, feel free to contact me and I'll be happy to walk you through the process.
 
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