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5 Steps to Take When Buying a Diamond 

Buying a diamond shouldn’t be stressful. If you’re buying a diamond ring, an engagement ring or diamond jewelry, it should be a celebratory occasion that begins the moment you start shopping. Get ready to enjoy the experience! 

Shopping for diamond jewelry rings in a jewelry shop display case.

Guidelines for buying a diamond

Buying a diamond is easier when you have some guidelines to follow. We’ve compiled five steps to take when buying a diamond, so you can feel confident and relaxed.

Step one: Set a diamond budget.

A diamond is an investment, so choose wisely. When shopping for a diamond, you’ll find the price can vary, depending on a variety of factors. One of the most important factors is your budget. Establishing a budget, based on your personal financial situation, makes shopping easier.

Some of the factors that affect diamond pricing are:
  • Diamond quality. This is most easily defined as relating to the 4 Cs (more to come on that subject).
  • Diamond size. While diamond size will obviously affect price, a smaller diamond is not necessarily of lesser quality than a larger one. The quality relates to inherent characteristics that credentialed jewelers can identify.
  • Whether the diamond is lab-grown or natural. Both types of diamonds are real diamonds. They have the same chemical composition. But since they aren’t as rare as natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds can be less costly. If you want a larger stone at a lower price point, a lab-grown diamond might be a good option.

Step two: Understand the 4Cs.

The 4C’s are integral to diamond grading, and therefore, diamond quality. The 4Cs are:

  • Cut: The more precise a diamond is cut, the more captivating it will be to the eye.
  • Color: Colorless diamonds are the rarest. But natural colors (pink, blue, yellow) also are popular.
  • Clarity: Internal characteristics known as inclusions affect quality.
  • Caret: The physical weight of a diamond is factored into the equation.

A credentialed jeweler can help you understand the 4Cs and give you detailed information related to any diamond you are considering. Read more about the 4Cs before you go diamond shopping.

Step three: Choose a diamond shape.

Diamonds come in so many different shapes. The shape of the diamond you choose to buy depends only on what you love! Some shapes are well known, such as the round cut. This is a traditional engagement ring choice for a reason – it’s a beautiful cut. But engagement rings, and other diamond rings, come in an ever-widening variety of shapes. Emerald cut, square cut, pear cut, oval cut and more are options. Explore different shapes of diamonds. Knowing what you prefer (or what your significant other prefers) can help find the right style for you.

Step four: Choose a jewelry style.

Diamonds can be set as a solitaire but that’s just the beginning. Diamonds complement many other gemstones and look amazing paired together. Diamonds can be grouped together to make something unique. Some options to consider:

  • A diamond halo ring – a diamond surrounded by other diamonds
  • A diamond solitaire with additional diamonds on the shank of the ring (the circular band that holds the main stone)
  • A diamond cluster formed by an assortment of diamonds, sometimes of different shapes and sizes
  • Moi et toi – a beautiful option that combines two main diamonds of different shapes

Spend time looking at diamond jewelry online to find the jewelry style you prefer.

Step five: Find a jeweler you can trust.

When shopping for such an important investment or momentous gift as a diamond, you need to know you have a jeweler you can trust. Finding an American Gem Society (AGS) jeweler near you will give you confidence in your diamond shopping experience.

AGS is the country’s preeminent jewelry trade organization, dedicated to consumer protection. AGS jewelers have been making jewelry purchases easier and safer since 1934. These fine jewelry professionals maintain and promote the highest ethical standards through education, accreditation, recertification of membership, gemological standards and gemological research.

Ready to shop for a diamond?

We hope this diamond buying guide is helpful to you. Now you can relax, follow the steps for buying a diamond and know you’ve made the right choices. When you’re ready to select a jeweler, finding an AGS jeweler is as simple as going to our Find a Jeweler tool.