At Washington Diamond, we are committed to helping you find the perfect diamond to meet your personal preference and budget. We work one-on-one with you to select the most radiant diamond to share your love. Because you’re brilliant, you deserve the best. Here are a few tips to explore to help you make an informed decision about your diamond purchase.
Determine Your Budget
You want to be sure to find a professional that will respect your budget and help you select the perfect diamond.
When buying an engagement ring, tradition suggests two months salary. While this is a suggestion, it’s important to determine the appropriate budget that is right for you.
Remember bigger and clearer doesn’t always mean better. You could easily overpay for perfection that's not nearly as striking. You'll see the true differences during your personal consultation with a diamond expert.
Consult with a Diamond Specialist
Avoid the jewelry stores that sell everything. It’s highly unlikely that they will have a staff that is as knowledgeable as our diamond professionals.
As a reputable diamond dealer, we retain consultants who have proper diamond education and experience. These specialists will know everything from how diamonds are produced to showing you the flaws and imperfections of the diamonds they carry.
Nothing is more frustrating than knowing more about diamonds than "the expert" showing them to you.
Buy Your Diamonds Loose
Buying your diamond loose will give you the following advantages:
• Compare diamond cut, clarity, color, and size side-by-side.
Side-by-side comparison will show you differences in color, cut, and clarity, ensuring that you are selecting the right diamond. This helps reaffirm the diamond’s quality.
• See it in a laboratory environment.
Look at your diamond in a variety of conditions. Color is compared on white grading cards using master stones. Clarity is examined under 10x magnification and with your naked eyes. The proportions are analyzed with a specialized gemological equipment.
• Significantly lower the risk of fraud.
When the diamond is preset in a ring, it is simply too hard for an untrained shopper to see difference in cut, clarity, and color. Many times jewelers set the diamond in a way to cover-up or mask unsightly inclusions, chips or other blemishes they don't want you to see.
Visit the Store In Person
Viewing and handling a diamond in person is the ideal way to observe: the interplay of movement and light that makes every diamond unique.
We wouldn’t dream of buying diamonds and stocking them in our store before looking at and comparing each with our own eyes, even if they are certified by GIA. Each diamond is different, and while a standard certification is a great tool to measure value, it can't show you how beautiful and unique each diamond really is.
The photographs cannot represent the diamond’s beauty accurately; they will always be inaccurate due to lighting, shadows and editing.
If you schedule a personal consultation and visit our showroom, an educated diamond specialist can show you the subtle differences in quality using a specialized microscope and other advanced technology. The consultation will allow you to see diamond options tailored to your specific needs and desires.
Comparison Shop to Ensure the Best Price on Both the Diamond and the Setting
Once you have narrowed down your preference for a diamond, be sure to compare with other local jewelers to ensure you are getting a fair price. However, don’t forget to look at the setting as well. The setting also adds value to the complete ring. The following are tips for choosing a good setting.
• Which Metal Is The Best?
When buying a diamond engagement ring, show off your diamond with a quality setting. For engagement rings, we recommend platinum or 18 karat yellow gold. We generally don’t recommend white gold at all. Read more on platinum vs. white gold.
• Our Suggestion?
Go platinum. Our customers overwhelmingly choose it for themselves without us saying so. It's hypoallergenic, timeless, and impressive and doesn’t cost much more. It will look better, last longer, and require less money over time to keep your ring looking great.
• Check the Side Diamonds
On a ring, a side diamond of poor quality is enough to ruin the luster of the best settings and center diamond. Make sure the sides are of a comparable quality to the center diamond. Many national chain stores do not offer top quality side stones in their rings.
When You Find A Diamond You Like, Ask to See the Copy of the Certificate.
Always be sure the diamond has a grading report from the GIA, they are the leaders in independent diamond certification. Avoid diamonds with European Gemological Laboratory (EGL) and International Gemological Institute (IGI) reports – in the entire diamond industry, these labs are known to “over grade” their diamonds, and they trade at discounts up to 20% to make up for the over grading.
Washington Diamond does not recommend EGL-certified loose diamonds, nor do we sell them to our customers. We believe GIA certified diamonds are of higher quality and are graded with stricter standards and greater accuracy. This trusted process allows us to sell the quality diamonds at appropriate but fair prices, so the consumer is getting the best value. Don't hesitate to ask for education on how to read the certification, so you can make the right, confident decision for you, not them.
The Diamond is Only as Valuable as the Guarantee - Protect Yourself.
Before you agree to the purchase, be sure to ask about a return or service policy. If for any reason something were to go wrong, you want to ensure that you can bring the ring back. Lastly, be sure to walk out with an accurate and legitimate appraisal from the dealer, that is also backed by a GIA Diamond Grading Report.
Don't focus on just finding any beautiful diamond in your budget, consider all of the factors that go into it. Buying a diamond is an eye-opening and meaningful experience, and you owe it to yourself to find the right dealer. You’re not just buying the diamond, but deciding which store and expert you will trust and build a long relationship with for on going-care of the engagement ring and perhaps future jewelry purchases. These decisions will make the difference in your experience now and after the purchase and should factor heavily on where you buy your diamond from.
Some stores charge extra for everything from a new head for your setting, to setting your diamond into the ring, to sizing to appraisal, and the list goes on. It is important to verify that your dealer has the right experience and staff to execute your design or fit your diamond properly into the setting. Search online reviews and see what others have to say about the dealer.