Buying diamonds - the secret to getting the best

Buying diamonds - the secret to getting the best

Published by Liz Marshall on 26th Oct 2020

Buying diamonds, particularly any set in a piece of jewellery, can be a little daunting. However, with the help of a reputable jeweller it can be extremely enjoyable and totally stress-free.

You may have already researched diamonds and looked at the 4C’s - the globally recognised term that covers different quality factors of diamonds. The 4 C’s are the combination of which determine the diamonds overall aesthetic and ultimately its price. These factors are Carat, Cut, Colour and Clarity. You can read about the 4Cs in greater depth in our buying guide.

However, there’s more to contemplate than just these four factors when buying a diamond. So what else should you consider?

1) Trust

Start with a jeweller with an excellent reputation. It’s so important to have trust in your jeweller when making an important purchase.

Here at Gatwards of Hitchin for example the entire team are qualified and have a combined experience of well over 100 years. Gatwards was established in 1760 and is now in its 8th generation of the same family, making us the oldest family run jewellers in the UK. 

Our reputation means everything to us and so our suppliers of diamonds are carefully picked for their quality and integrity. All our suppliers conform to the Kimberley process and belong to the Jewellers of Excellence group. Their diamonds are handpicked by experts and also assessed in house here at Gatwards before they reach our window displays. For extra confidence in what you’re buying, we only use the most trusted of laboratories for our diamond certificates.

It’s all of these things, plus exceptional aftercare, that make jewellers like Gatwards stand apart from other retailers.

2) Buying Blind

We often hear about people buying diamonds solely on their certificate details, without even viewing the stone first. This is something we really wouldn’t recommend.

It’s amazing how much variation there is within each factor listed on a certificate. For instance, inclusions are the natural features which occur inside a diamond when it is formed. Their position within the diamond and the type of inclusion can have a huge effect on the clarity grading. In some cases there may be a diamond with a small, dark mineral inclusion that is easy to see under magnification, which gives a diamond a higher clarity grading than one with a larger, but less obvious feather inclusion.

Without actually viewing the diamond ‘in the flesh’ you really can’t estimate the impact of these inclusions. In these cases a VS2 can actually appear to have more noticeable inclusions than a SI1. Gatwards diamonds are handpicked, both by our suppliers and by our qualified and experienced team here in house. We also welcome you to use a jeweller’s loupe (small magnifying glass) in-store so you can view any of our diamonds under magnification, so you can see first-hand what you’re buying.’

3) The Setting

When treating yourself, or a loved one to a piece of diamond jewellery you want to ensure that your purchase is set securely.

All too often we see diamonds come in for repair which are really vulnerable due to an inferior quality setting. The last thing you would want to happen after making your special purchase is to lose a diamond, so take a close look at the settings when shopping.

The terminology of mounts and settings are often used interchangeably to jewellers however there is a difference. The mount is the part of the ring that houses the central stone whereas the setting refers to the overall ring incorporating any side stones, a halo of diamonds or pave diamonds that may be set along the shoulders.

We are incredibly proud of the quality of our mounts and settings. We encourage you to take a look under 10x magnification and you’ll see that the attention to detail is second to none. The metal underneath the diamond is polished, ensuring a smooth finish and a high shine under the diamond, so that no rough, dull metal is reflected back into the stone. All the fine gaps within sides of the settings are polished by hand as well using an old threading technique. It’s these little things which have an impact on the overall look and are often overlooked by some retailers.

4) Keeping it a surprise

If you’re looking to buy diamond jewellery for a gift, and don’t want to ruin the surprise, get some advice in store. An experienced team will be able to help you find the ideal style based on your information of the recipient.

You don’t need to know finger sizes, or chain lengths, as this can all be sorted for you after presenting the gift. This means you can surprise your loved one and let us sort out any sizing requirements afterwards. We have a wide selection of chains in stock as alternatives in length and our new rings will be adjusted free of charge once you have gifted your surprise.

The best way of buying diamonds for your loved one’s present is to make an appointment with your preferred jeweller who can guide you through the whole process. We offer online consultations and personal appointments where you can meet the team and chat about that special purchase.

You might also like our article on Emerald Cut Diamonds showcasing some of our favourite pieces in store now.