Have you been eyeing every ring on strangers’ hands then looking down to envision it on your own finger? Did your boyfriend actually show interest in your friend’s recently received engagement ring? Are there pictures of diamonds taped to your bathroom mirror? Do you hear “Every kiss begins with k” being hummed, whether in your head or aloud?

If you have answered yes to any of the above questions, you or your significant other are probably in the market for an engagement ring.

And since the majority of engagement rings have a central diamond in their settings, you’re going to need to know how to shop for “the” diamond. If you answered no to all of the above, don’t stop reading! You may still be in the market for a right-handed ring, a pair of diamond studs, or a diamond pendant, so the following applies to you, too.

Shopping for diamonds is all about educating yourself. This way you get what you want and what you expect from your budget!

When shopping for a diamond of any kind you could walk up to a case, see something in your price range, hand the sales associate your credit card, and be done with it. You could do that, but as all diamonds are not created equal you may not have gotten what you paid for—or what you were expecting from your purchase. Walmart, for example, is the number one retailer of diamonds but carries a different quality of diamond than Tiffany’s. Both diamonds might be certified, meaning that investing in a certificate (not just an appraisal) will increase it’s value and customer confidence in stone, but they aren’t the same. Think about buying a diamond like buying a car. Would you walk onto a lot, drive off with anything for the sticker price without understanding the differences between the makes and models?

Wait, you say you got it marked down seventy-five percent? Spoiler alert, you are never going to get a great deal on a diamond. You get what you pay for. Granted, you can very easily overpay for a gem like this. Because there are such low margins on diamonds, especially with the increased competition, your discounted stone probably had a marked-up original price. So it’s worth taking the time to do a little research before you buy.

Considering you are reading this, you probably have all ready figured that out, though. I am going to do my best to boil down the buying process, but there’s a lot to go over to ensure you don’t end up with an unexpected lemon. The nuances to the diamond buying process are made easier if you know what you want to buy, what you are buying, and from whom you are buying.


Read on: Buying Diamonds 101 – Part II: What You Want to Buy

Read on: Buying Diamonds 101 – Part III: What You Are Buying

Read on: Buying Diamonds 101 – Part IV: Who to Buy From


Bye for now,
Alicia Gardner Kozikowski, G.G.