Diamond Clusters Flower Stud Earrings in 14k White Gold from Allurez.

Even the smallest variations in color, cut and clarity can cause significant differences to a diamond’s value and appearance, according to the Gemological Institute of America. Because of those facts, and many others, there’s a lot to know before choosing and purchasing a diamond.

For example, the clarity grade of diamonds are based on the number, size, relief, and positions of inclusions that can be seen under 10x magnification. And in terms of carats, diamonds are sold by weight and one carat is equal to 0.20 grams. Only one in 1,000 diamonds weighs more than a carat.

Whether you’re after loose diamonds, want to design your own engagement ring or something else, these are the three most important tips and tricks for buying diamonds according to GIA experts:

1. Make sure you get a diamond grading report.

“The differences in diamond quality can be so subtle even a trained jeweler can’t recognize them without lab verification. Insist that any diamond you buy comes with an indisputable verification of its quality from an unbiased source.”

2. An appraisal and insurance is a must 

“Have your diamond appraised and insured. Appraisers and insurers rely on diamond grading reports to accurately evaluate the value of gems.”

3. Search for a stone that weighs a “bit less” than the size you’re after.

“Prices per carat generally increase as the weight passes ‘magic numbers’ such as 1.00, 1.50, and 2.00 carats. A diamond that weighs 0.95 carat will cost less per carat than a 1.00 carat stone but look almost the same.”

Bar-Set Princess Cut Diamond Eternity Ring Band 14k White Gold (1.15ct) from Allurez.

Conflict-free diamonds

In 2000, a coalition of administrations, civil organizations and the diamond industry established the Kimberley Process (KP) to oversee the export and import of “rough diamonds” — meaning diamonds used to finance wars against governments —  and eliminate trade of conflict diamonds. Now, 99 percent of diamonds in the marketplace and featured in diamond jewelry are conflict-free, according to GIA. Eight-five countries around the world stand united in implementing the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) and KP observers include the World Diamond Council, representing the diamond industry.

“The KP enables nations, governments and organizations to share their expertise and insights, and to have a positive, long-term impact on the trade in conflict diamonds and the lives of people in genuine need,” according to the KP’s website.

Diamond Vintage Square Tennis Link Bracelet 14k White Gold from Allurez.

Online shopping

The first rule in buying diamonds online, according to GIA, is doing your research ahead of time to figure out exactly what you want. The institute explained that “as with any significant purchase, start by researching your options. Educate yourself about the 4Cs and determine which diamond qualities are most important to you. This decision, along with your budget, will help guide your diamond purchase.”

Insist on getting a grading report with any purchase and while some websites will show diamonds with a range in carat weight, color or clarity, look for specifics on its 4Cs.

It’s also recommended to find out as much as you can about the seller, to see if they’re trustworthy and reliable, and take into consideration the payment method.

Click here for a complete diamond buying guide, provided by Allurez.

Triple Heart Diamond Pendant Necklace in 14k White Gold from Allurez.

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