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What to avoid when buying a diamond

We are used to advising customers what to look for when selecting a diamond, but equally important is what to avoid when buying a diamond. Our Sophie Mishiku has created her top 10 tips on what to avoid when shopping for your diamond.
  • Uncertified or self-certified diamonds – ideally go for GIA! They are the most accurate, world               standard in diamond grading. Your diamond must have a laser inscription, meaning you can always             identify it once it’s been set into your engagement ring or jewellery.


  • There is much more to diamonds than the 4 C’s. Fluorescence, polish, symmetry and more. Your sales consultant should be able to guide you through these extra details that contribute to the value of your diamond.


  • Unethically sourced diamonds are of course a big no-no! It can be difficult to know the true provenance of a diamond, so look out for diamonds traded under the Kimberley Process as a minimum.


  • Quality of the craftsmanship is as important as quality of the diamond – don’t get caught out by inexpensive rings that don’t wear well. UK manufactured jewellery is a good sign that your piece will be made well and is independently verified by the Assay office who are a government body designated to independently test the quality of precious metals. An in-house workshop is a plus as you know where and to what quality the ring has been made.


  • If the price is too good to be true, it probably is! Do your research and understand why a price seems very low or high. Things that can cause big differences in price are quality of craftsmanship, the business is struggling and may not be around for long, the diamonds are not ethically sourced, etc. as we alluded to earlier, there are specific details on the certificate. That also affect this. If in doubt, ask an expert!


  • “Carat” is a weight measurement, and diamonds of the same weights won’t necessarily look the same. Particularly when buying a fancy cut diamond, look at its ratios and measurements. Every fancy shape can have different proportions and, in the flesh, can look very different – even if they seem identical on the certificates.


  • Lab grown vs. mined diamonds – both are atomically the same, and lab grown diamonds are legally natural diamonds. It is a personal decision that should be discussed with facts, not opinions, and both are great!


  • Avoid brand cut diamonds- you’ll pay a premium, it won’t necessarily be more beautiful, and the resell value is lower.


  • Be wary of discounts offered if you pay in cash – you need to be able to trace your payment, and you need to know that the company is going to be around to support you in the long-term.


  • BGM (Brown, Green, Milky) which refers to visual traces within a diamond that look less appealing than a colourless diamond. It may not be shown on the certificate, depending on the provider. Treated diamonds are also undesirable, as your diamond can appear better quality than it is at first but will deteriorate over time.


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