Blog by Dr. Lori

Three Tips about Diamonds

by Dr. Lori Verderame
Three Tips about Diamonds

I get a lot of questions about diamonds and people often take off their diamond engagement or wedding rings and ask for a value at my antiques appraisal events or even when they see me at the grocery store. The cut, color, clarity, and carat weight of a diamond are all important aspects to consider when assessing a diamond. It is a good idea to protect your expensive diamond rings and other jewelry with insurance coverage.

A certified gemologist with a lab can help you determine many important aspects relating to a specific diamond. Always be sure to have the prongs checked on diamond settings about once a year to avoid losing the stone because of a loose prong. While diamonds are a girl’s best friend, the following tips will help make you an expert.

1. Don’t Ignore the Cut

A well cut diamond is important to making a diamond look its best. Everyone wants a diamond that looks its best and sparkles no matter if the stone is big or small. The cut will impact both the shape of the diamond –round, oval, Ascher, marquise, princess, etc.—and the way it sparkles when worn. Diamonds that have the highest of cut grades often times are more expensive than those with lower cut grades since these grades directly relate to a diamond cutter’s skill. 

To cut a stone well takes more time and expertise than to rush through the cutting process. This time equates to cost. Why? A poorly cut stone will not show a diamond’s innate brilliance and it will look dull in the light decreasing its attractiveness. Watch me show you tips about determining value of colored gemstones using their color as a guide.

2. Full Carat/Half Carat Pricing

Diamond Ring

Many people do not know that diamond prices change a great deal once a buyer chooses between a full carat, from 1 carat to 2 carats for example, or half carat marks. Good to know when trying to value your antique diamond ring. So if you want to appraise a diamond that is just a bit smaller than 1 carat or just a bit smaller than ½ carat, it will be worth less. The values change when you reach the next ½ carat size or full carat size. So, not only will it be cheaper to buy a bit smaller diamond but a diamond that is .99 carats will not look all that different from a diamond that is a full 1 carat. Yet, in terms of price and appraised value, that .01 difference can be significant. Jewelry is one of the three most valuable types of antiques regardless of its carat size.

3. Money Saving Color Grades

Color is most noticeable in a larger diamond. While cost savings are big when color grades differs, most people can’t tell the difference from one diamond color grade to the next when looking at a diamond of 2 carats or smaller. So, when deciding on a diamond’s color, remember there isn’t much noticeable difference between one color grade to the next once you are in the middle to lower range of color grades (F to J). And, if you buy a diamond with a known imperfection, you may be able to hide an imperfection beneath a prong. Most imperfections are not visible by the eye. If you are trying to buy a piece of jewelry, I have suggestions on how to negotiate buying jewelry to get the best deal.

And remember that the settings for a diamond will matter when looking at the diamond in a piece of jewelry. The metal selected for the setting of your diamond will matter a great deal. For instance, white gold or platinum settings may make a small diamond look bigger in the setting. It can enhance the look of the diamond’s size and some experts feel that diamonds graded toward the I, J part of the scale look better in yellow gold.

Got a piece of antique diamond jewelry that you need to identify or value? Bring it to one of my antiques appraisal events.

Schedule a Dr. Lori Event

Dr. Lori events
Dr. Lori presents her popular Antiques Appraisal Comedy Show around the world at 150 shows a year entertaining audiences. Ask us how to book an event for you.

Dr. Lori's Blog

Dr. Lori reveals insider information and tips about the world of antiques. Subscribe here »
3 Online Research Problems

3 Online Research Problems

Are you getting mixed comments and information when researching your antiques online? Are you simply finding nothing about the antique? Ph.D. antiques appraiser Dr. Lori outlines three online researching problems as it relates to your antiques and flea market finds. Find out why you are having problems and make sure that you are getting correct research information about your painting, jewelry, furniture and other pieces.

Read More »