How To Buy A Diamond

Square-cut or pear-shaped, these rocks don’t lose their shape

By Astrid Taemets | 18th February 2021

In the market for a sparkler? Buying bling is a significant financial commitment, so it’s important to do your homework, to know what you’re investing in before handing over your plastic.

When it comes to choosing your gem, there are a number of important things you need to know (FYI – bigger isn’t always better). From cut to colour, carat size and more, we spoke to diamond expert, Stuart Bishop, Chief Executive Officer of Wallace Bishop (aka the guy in the know) and got all the insider details on how to buy a girl’s best friend.

What are the most important things you need to know about diamonds?

When looking to invest in a stone, it’s important to know the 5Cs: cut, colour, clarity, carat and confidence.

It’s the shape that brings out your diamond’s natural sparkle and brilliance. It’s the cut that has the greatest impact on a diamond’s beauty and allure. The more precise and skilful the cut, the more appealing the gem is to the eye.

For white diamonds, the less colour the better when it comes to shine. Colour is a very personal thing, and there are many details to consider when deciding on the right colour diamond for you.

It’s those tiny imperfections that make your diamond unique. The clarity of a diamond is most commonly known as ‘nature’s fingerprint’ or ‘birthmark’.

Refers to your diamond’s weight and indication of its scale. It’s a popular misconception, but the carat of a diamond is actually a measure of its weight, not size.

Knowing you’re being looked after by trusted professionals. With five generations of experience in the industry, our experts at Wallace Bishop are here to help you maximise your money, and find the perfect diamond for you. Our first tip is to purchase the highest quality cut diamond that your budget will allow. The quality of the cut has the biggest impact on its sparkle and can make your diamond appear larger than it actually is.

What are the more common mistakes people make when buying a diamond?

Sacrificing the cut for size can make the diamond appear flat or glassy, and in the worst-case scenario – dull. At the end of the day, choosing the perfect diamond is still an immensely personal choice. We have had customers tell us that the ring, ‘just felt like it belonged on their finger’, like it was just meant to be.

Let’s talk about cut. What is the most popular shape and why?

There are two meanings that relate to the cut of a diamond. The first is the physical shape of the diamond once it’s been polished, and the second refers to the quality of the cut. The most common cuts are round brilliant cut, emerald, princess, cushion, marquise, pear, heart, overall, assher and baguette.

The most popular is the round brilliant cut diamond. This cut provides more options when choosing a diamond to allow for the ultimate in fire and brilliance, while remaining flexible in size and weight. There’s a lot of expertise that goes into being able to distinguish these:

  • Brilliance is the effect that a diamond gives when it reflects light.
  • Fire is the effect caused by the dispersion of light as it leaves the diamond, causing the white light to separate into multiple colours of the rainbow.
  • Scintillation are the flashes of light or sparkle you see when a diamond is moved. This sparkle is caused by the returning rays of light bouncing back within the internal walls of the diamond.
Ok, so we’re ready to buy a diamond! Walk us through the steps…

Before even looking at the precious stones, place your confidence in diamond specialists. With over 100 years combined experience in the diamond, jewellery, and watch industry, Wallace Bishop are professionals who can guide you through the process with ease. Together, we can pick out the highest quality cut diamond your budget will allow. We’ll compare colours, then the clarity, and help you get the most beautiful diamond you’ll love for years to come.

When looking at bang for your buck, a great way to get maximum value is to look for diamonds just below either the half-carat or full-carat size. A 0.95-carat is significantly less in price than a full carat, and to the naked eye, you can’t tell the difference. Lastly, while it’s great to learn all about diamonds, don’t let it take the romance out of your decision. Trust that our specialists are here to help you every step of the way and are proud to help you with such an important decision.

This week, we launched our I Treasure series – a collection of natural white diamonds set in sterling silver rings, pendants, and earrings that are inspired by love. This collection is perfect for marking life’s special occasions and milestones, from a graduation to your first diamond purchase.

By Astrid Taemets An advocate for a dirty martini any day of the week, Astrid's life is equal parts cleaning crumbs off a three-year-old as it is enjoying a bump of caviar.




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