How to Choose and Buy an Authentic Diamond

There comes a time in one’s life when you may need to shop for a true diamond when preparing a special gift, or even for oneself. The point is that considering the luxury commodity status of diamonds, such moments don’t occur too often. This is why most of us are unprepared and don’t even know where to begin and how to look.

There may be several questions going on through your head when looking to buy a diamond. In this short guide for first-time buyers, we will try to briefly answer all of them, so that you may know what to expect when shopping for diamonds.


What Shape Should I Choose?

There are many possible diamond shapes, depending on the raw stone’s properties and on how the jeweler saw best to cut it afterward. The Diamond Authority says that only the round shape is considered objectively more valuable than others, and therefore gets the stone to be more expensive. This is because the light gets reflected better in round cut stone, making the whole diamond shinier.

But the other shapes are all pretty much equal as far as value goes and choosing among them should only depend on personal taste. Think about what you’d like best, or what the person you are buying the diamond for would.

The most common other shapes to choose from are:

  • Square (or cushion)
  • Princess
  • Pear
  • Heart
  • Emerald
  • Marquise
  • Oval


Is Shape and Cut the Same Thing?

No, they are not. We get why you might be confused. Most jewelry stores describe diamonds as having a ‘heart cut’, ‘princess cut’ and so on, when describing shape. But cut actually refers to the horizontal line that separates the symmetry of a diamond into a part above and a part below.

This is what we mean: the ideal proportions are pictured above, for the ‘ideal’ cut. There is also a fine cut which is credited as being almost as valuable, and the less valuable shallow and deep cuts.

The reason for these rankings is, again, the optimal structure for allowing the light to shine brightly back from the stone. The ideal cut and fine cut return a higher brilliance.


What about Clarity and Carats – Is This the Same Thing?

Again, no. You might have gotten this idea if you’ve bought gold jewelry before: when it comes to metals, carats refer to purity. Since for diamonds, clarity refers to the purity and transparency of color, you might have thought it is measured by carats.

In fact, diamond carats actually refer to weight. The heavier a diamond is, the more carats it has. The number of carats will be clearly stated in any proper jewelry description or appraisal certificate, but this is how to measure this for yourself.

First, measure the weight of the diamond in grams. You will need a very precise scale, preferably a jeweler’s scale. Then, divide it by 0.2. That is the number of carats the diamond has. For example, if it has 0.5 grams (that would be a pretty generous stone), 0.5 / 0.2 equals 2.5 carats.

Most diamonds you will encounter when shopping for decent diamond jewelry will probably more along with the range of 0.5 – 1 carat, however.

How About the Rest of the Jewelry Piece? Anything to Be Careful About?

When you find a piece of diamond jewelry that you would like to buy, you should also be careful that the diamond is set in precious metal, that will deteriorate very slowly. Gold and platinum are the obvious choices, even if they may add to the price tag a bit.

Finally, but most importantly, never buy anything unless it comes with a certificate of assurance or an appraisal certificate. You’re also safest if you only buy from sellers based in ‘safe’ countries, like the U.S. and those in the E.U or Australia and so on.

If there’s anything wrong with the jewelry you buy, you must make sure they are easily accountable, and you are likely to get reimbursed for the mistake. There are also diamond testing centers that you can go to if you’re not sure you made the right decision after you buy the jewel.

But, most of all, it’s important to really like the piece of jewelry you have chosen. Something so precious will last for a long time, so personal affinities should be the final deciding factor when it comes to choosing a diamond.

Picture sources: and

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