How to buy a diamond

There is nothing more beautiful than a high-quality diamond. It is a gem that speaks more to the heart than any other, and its brilliance has been sought after since the dawn of history. Jewelry that contains these precious gems sparkles with beauty like no other.

We at Leonardo Jewelers spend a great deal of time educating our customers about diamonds. Such education is necessary so the purchaser understands what he or she is buying and so that a proper decision can be reached when selecting the right diamond.

We strongly caution our customers that they should not purchase a diamond over the Internet, since nothing replaces visually inspecting diamonds first hand. For this reason our website does not offer these precious gems for sale.

No certificate or grading adequately captures the unique personality of each diamond. And it is this personality that usually makes a tremendous quality and price difference. Ultimately, it is the interaction of factors measured on the certificate that determines the beauty and value of a diamond.

The Four Cs

There are four considerations when purchasing a diamond. These have been referred to as the four Cs. They are carat weight, clarity, color, and cut. Each will be described below.

Carat Weight
Diamonds are not measured by size, rather they are measured by weight. Carat weight is an international measure of a diamond's weight. A one carat diamond equals 100 points, a three-quarter carat diamond equals 75 points, and so on. The larger the diamond, the rarer it is and, therefore, the higher its value. Yet, a diamond's value is not measured by carat weight alone. Weight is only one of several aspects of a diamond's value; other aspects to consider include a diamond's clarity, its cut, and its color. However, when all of these other aspects are kept constant, a heavier diamond is worth more than a comparable lighter one.

Clarity
A diamond's quality and value is related to its brilliance. The greater its clarity, the less inclusions are contained within the stone. Diamonds with few or no inclusions allow light to travel effortlessly through it creating a great brilliance. Flawless diamonds have no inclusions, and as we travel down the clarity rating scale, diamonds are rated internally flawless, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, and SI2. All of these clarity ratings are considered eye clean. This means that, to the naked eye, the inclusions are difficult to see. Ratings below SI2 have inclusions that can be seen with the naked eye and the brilliance of these diamonds is reduced.

Color
Color also affects a diamond's brilliance and its relative rarity. Colorless stones are more rare and brilliant and therefore more valuable. On top of the color scale is the rating of D, followed by E, and F. These three color ratings are considered colorless with D having the least color. Following these three ratings are the near colorless ratings of G, H, and I. As a diamond's color rating runs through the remaining letters of the alphabet, it increasingly has hues of color, therefore, reducing its value and appeal. To appreciate the differences among stones with varying degrees of color, one should compare them side by side. It is also important to note that there are "fancy" diamonds that have brilliant color, such as blue, green, red, pink, and canary. Although these diamonds have distinct color, they are very valuable and rare.

Cut
A diamond's cut also affects its brilliance and value. This attribute is the only one affected by human hands rather than nature. A stone cut very well and in the right proportions will reflect light dramatically, increasing the diamond's worth and its appeal (this is illustrated below as fine or ideal cut). A stone cut either too steeply or to shallowly does not refract light appropriately and even a good-quality diamond cut this way could loose its brilliance as well as its value.

Choose the Right Jeweler

One of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a diamond is the trust you have towards the jeweler selling you the stone. We at Leonardo Jewelers have worked very hard over the last 45 years to build that trust. We begin by understanding your needs so we could help guide you through the selection process. We also do our best to educate our customers on what to look for when purchasing a stone.

We at Leonardo Jewelers also offer you great value by purchasing most of our stones directly from diamond cutters. We also provide value by doing most of the setting work right in our own shop.

We will spend all of the time you need to make sure that your decision is the right one, and we will show various diamonds so that you can compare the relative beauty of these stones side by side as you make changes to color, cut, and clarity. Our mission is to make our customers long-term customers. We can only accomplish that if we treat you well, with honesty and respect. It is for this reason why we have been blessed with so many repeat customers over the past 40 years.

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