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Before even visiting a jeweller, it’s always good to know what you are looking for, which of the four C’s are important to you and what your budget is.  Are you willing to compromise on colour, in order to get a bigger stone?  Or is colour and clarity the deciding factor for you and are you, therefore, willing to settle for a smaller diamond?  Whatever your choices, always set out with those in mind.

Tricks of the trade

When you finally get to the jewelleryshop, you want to take note of the lighting system they have.  Many shops are fitted with fluorescent lighting.  The reason for this being that the blue in this type of lighting  cancels out or minimises any yellow in the stones, creating the illusion of a whiter (and better) diamond.

If you are buying a diamond as an investment and would like it to appreciate with time, you want to consider going with a round brilliant cut.  Another thing you might want to bare in mind, is buying the diamond loose, as opposed to in a setting.  Settings can be used to hide any flaws in a diamond.  Although there is nothing wrong with buying a flawed diamond (obviously dependent on the degree there of), rather know exactly what you are getting, so that you can pay a price that is market appropriate.  Being sold a stone when the flaws are hidden, and you are not informed will leave a bitter taste after the purchase!

Although they are cheaper, you might want to shy away from treated diamonds.  By treated , we mean stones that have, for example, beenlaser-drilled to fill a fracture.  The structural integrity of this kind of a diamond will  have been compromised, thereby  resulting in it becoming brittle, ruling it out as a long term purchase.  Instead, if possible, save a bit longer for your purchase or consider buying a better quality, smaller stone for the same price.

Nowadays, there are also such things as synthetic (lab-grown) diamonds.  This type of diamond does not appreciate in value (regardless of cut), and has no trade-in value.  It generally costs about two thirds the price of a natural diamond, but you can expect approximately only 10% of your purchase price back, should you ever decide to sell it.

Some jewellers advertise huge sales, offering sometimes up to 50% off.  Beware of this kind of marketing gimmick.  The reason they are able to do this type of “special”, is because they have marked up their purchase price by up to 400%.  Be cautious as a rule.

Lastly, with all the scams around, be weary of purchasing on-line unless the company has an office, or shop front, where you can actually view your purchase before they expect any kind of commitment / payment from you.