As a gemologist and diamond salesperson, one of the most common mistakes I find clients making when shopping for diamonds is that they compare diamonds on the basis of the certificate ("cert"; grading report) alone. I tell my clients that, as cliche as it sounds, a diamond is more than the sum of its parts. Grading reports are a great assurance to the consumer of the quality and authenticity of the diamond that they are purchasing, but they are limited in their use.
Imagine for a moment that you are in a diamond showroom and the salesperson brings out ten diamonds of the same color and clarity and all with grading reports from the same laboratory. The carat weights are all quite similar, varying in only a few points, and all of them received Excellent cut grades. Each grading report you read seems to look like a copy of the last one that you saw. How are you going to choose which diamond is best buy for you when you cannot base your decision solely on the reports? You look at the diamonds laid out in front of you, and you see that they strike you differently. The store's gemologist shows you each stone under a gemological microscope and you see that although each is VS1-clarity, their internal characteristics look quite different. Some seem to have brighter, more white flashes and others are very fiery and colorful. What you have done now is you are looking into the heart of each diamond. You are buying based on which diamonds speak most to you. You have gone beyond the grading report.
Well, what does this mean for you, the consumer? It means that although there are many outlets for you to see scores of diamonds ranked by the details of their grading reports alone, you are missing the true visual element of each stone. Use those outlets to narrow your quality parameters to best match your price range. Decide on what approximate carat weights are most affordable for you. Then, bring this information to your trusted jeweler, and go beyond the grading report and into the beauty of the diamond. After all, when a woman wears her stunning new piece of diamond jewelry, it is this beauty you see, not the grading report.
Originally posted by me to LibertyDiamonds.com on 3/9/2010.