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What to avoid when buying a diamond

There are lots of articles written telling you what to look for in a diamond, but what should you avoid?...

What to Avoid When Buying a Diamond

There are countless articles online telling you what to look for when buying your engagement ring or diamond, but what about knowing what you DON’T want in your ring? Below are a few key factors to look out for.



A key characteristic to look out for in diamonds, and one that is often overlooked is Fluorescence.  Fluorescence is a negative characteristic in a stone and occurs when the diamond is being formed, due to a build up of excess nitrogen.

Fluorescence affects a diamond primarily due to the nitrogen within the stone reacting to UV rays. This means that, when the diamond has a medium or stronger fluorescence, the stone will fluoresce under UV light. The UV rays from the sun also impact the stone, and in bright daylight the diamond will look opaque and milky.

It is important to avoid any stone that has fluorescence stronger than ‘faint,’ and ideally opt for one that has ‘Nil’ fluorescence. This is to be sure that your diamond remains looking beautiful, clear, and sparkly in all conditions.

A high fluorescence greatly impacts the value of the stone, so if you come across a diamond that’s price looks too good to be true, be sure to check its fluorescence before purchasing. 


Non-Certified Diamonds

Having your diamond certified by a respected diamond certifying board is of the utmost importance. Certifying boards check each stone and confirm its colour, clarity, carat weight, and cut, as well as numerous other aspects of the diamond. The original certificate for your stone should be provided to you when you purchase your diamond and is invaluable, ensuring you can be positive that the diamond you have paid for is what you’re receiving, as well as making sure your diamond keeps its value should you want to resell, upgrade, or re-insure your stone in the future.

Buying a diamond without a diamond certificate is incredibly risky, as you cannot be sure that what you’re being told you’re receiving is in fact true. Becoming a diamond expert takes years of training, and a lot of companies may try to take advantage of this fact by selling you diamonds at a price they are not worth. Having a diamond certificate means being able to buy with safety and confidence. But do be careful, and make sure that the certifying board your diamond is registered with is well respected! Read on to find out more about the different certifying boards.


Certifying Boards

The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) is the industry standard, and the most well respected diamond certifying board. The company is a non-for-profit with no affiliations to any other company or diamond trading business. Additionally, all stones are sent to the GIA to be certified anonymously, so there is no grading bias. We always recommend going for a diamond with a GIA certificate, as they are the most trusted in the industry.  The GIA have incredibly high grading standards, and are particularly rigorous with their grading. This is how you can be sure that your diamond really is the classification and quality described.

However, there are a couple other grading companies who are also well known in the industry - HRD and IGI.

Though perhaps not as rigorous as GIA, these two companies still grade their diamonds to a good degree. A stone with a HRD or IGI certificate will, however, be of slightly lower value than one with a GIA certificate, so this is something to keep in mind.

Do beware of all other diamond certifying boards! Creating and setting up a diamond certifying board is incredibly easy to do, and often they are scams. Certain companies will pay an extra premium amount to these new certifying boards so that their stone is graded a higher quality than it actually is, which means they can sell their stone for more money than it is worth. Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it’s often because it is. Always buy a diamond with a certificate, and make sure that certificate is one of the these three detailed here.

GIA will always be preferable, but IGI and HRD are also safe to buy, though less rigorous in their grading.


Stick to High Quality UK Made Jewellery

Sometimes, companies are able to offer you diamond mounts and bands for an incredibly cheap price, and 9 times out of 10 that is because they have been cheaply manufactured overseas. Quality goldsmith work shows in your jewellery item, and pieces that are not made properly are prone to breaking, or looking less than desirable. Remember to ask if your jewellery item has been manufactured in the UK or overseas. A lot of cheap mounts shipped in from China or India are poorly made, and are more likely to break. Additionally, these rings are sometimes hollow, resulting in very low metal weight and contributing to this higher possibility of breaking.

Items handmade in the UK by expert goldsmiths are guaranteed to be better made, sturdier, and more able to stand the test of time. They will also simply look better; the difference between a cheap ring mount and a beautifully hand crafted one is clear even to the layman’s eye. Why spend your hard earned money on a beautiful diamond and then set it in a ring mount that is prone to breaking? Remember to choose UK handcrafted jewellery where possible.


If you have any questions or would like any further information on the above, or would like to book in to discuss designing your own diamond engagement ring then please get in touch. 

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