Monthly Archives: August 2009

What Makes a Diamond Pretty – Part 1



Hi again,

Are you are looking for that special diamond and want to be sure that not only does it have a good grade and certificate, but also that it is a Pretty Diamond? 

Not all certificated diamonds are pretty, including  diamonds with “ideal,” “excellent,” or “very good” cut grades.  The certificate is only the place to start from.  There is much more to understand.  Let me briefly explain, but please do not hesitate to call me if you would like to discuss this most important issue in greater depth.

What do we mean by a Pretty Diamond?

As you probably are aware, prices for diamonds of the same size and grade can vary substantially, sometimes by 20% or more.  Some of the best known on-line diamond retailers have many diamonds listed with the same grade and cut with substantially different prices.  When comparing a grade and a price it can often seem as if the lower priced “ideal” or “very good” cut diamond is a better “deal” than the higher priced diamond.  A closer examination will usually reveal that this is not the case.

When you consider purchasing a diamond you should be looking for a Pretty Diamond!  If the diamond is Pretty (as I am about to define that term for you), all the other factors of the certificate’s statistics will fall into place within the appropriate ranges.  But how can you tell if a diamond is pretty?  You can’t if all you have to rely on is the bare bones of the certificate.  You need expert guidance. 

Let me describe the the first of four major characteristics of a diamond which must be met  to consider the diamond a Pretty Diamond worthy of your investment and consideration.  (If you would like to read about these issues in greater detail, please go to Beyond the Four C’s: What you  should really know before you buy a diamond!)

1. The physical size of the diamond in millimeters has to reflect what a well cut diamond should look like.

For example, a 1.00 carat round diamond should measure approximately 6.5mm in diameter, a 1.50ct should measure around 7.5mm, a 2.00ct should measure around 8.1-8.2mm, and so on.  If you see a diamond listed on line in the 1.00ct size which only measures 6.2-6.3mm (or smaller), you should not buy it!  That diamond doesn’t look any larger than a well cut 0.80-0.90ct diamond.  This also applies to 1.50ct diamonds which measure 7.2 or 7.3mm.  These diamonds may have a good grade on paper, even a terrific cut grade and a “great price” but it is not a diamond I would ever recommend to my private customer.  The same factor applies to fancy shaped diamonds with the additional requirement that the diamond’s shape has to be right, not just its dimensions. Below is a photograph which will highlight for you what I am talking about.  A picture is worth a thousand words.


Coming soon: More factors which make a diamond Pretty.

In the meantime, until next time — Mind Your Diamonds!

Josh Fishman


Is a Diamond Just a Commodity? Is it really an E-commerce item?

Hi again!
There is so much diamond “education” available today that, after reading it, you may think that all diamonds of the same grade and size are identical and that diamonds are just like any other commodity. The lowest price is the best buy. “A rose by any other name…..”
It would be a mistake to purchase a diamond based solely on a certificate and place it in a “shopping cart.”

I don’t consider the purchase of a diamond to be an e-commerce item and I don’t recommend anyone just selecting a diamond and putting it into a shopping cart for purchase.

A certificate and statistics are only a clinical description of a diamond, and they do not necessarily reflect the beauty or desirability of a diamond. For example, two diamonds may have the same certificate grade of, let’s say, F color and SI2 clarity. However, they can, and often do, differ in the “quality” of their grades. One may be a strong F color — close to an E color — and the SI2 clarity grade close to an SI1, while the other can be much weaker in both categories. In fact, the nature of a diamond’s actual clarity, as opposed to its clarity “grade” may make a lower graded diamond more desirable than a higher graded diamond and save you money. This may be true even if both diamonds are graded by the same gemological laboratory (for example, both GIA) and especially true with diamonds graded by different laboratories (for example, GIA vs. EGL). Although cut measurements may also be similar, the intrinsic brilliance and beauty can, and often do, differ since each diamond has its own individual identity and character. The value and investment desirability will therefore vary.

The idea that a diamond is a “commodity” and that all you have to do is find the best grade at the lowest price to assure yourself of a great deal, is a recipe for the purchase of an undesirable diamond. In addition, the current wave of “branded” diamonds is nothing more than an advertising attempt to sell a diamond at a higher price. What counts is what the diamond really is, not what name you give it.

For generations, before the internet and grading laboratories, and still today, those who invest their own money in diamonds, understand what makes a diamond a pretty and desirable diamond worth investing in, and what diamond is not worth owning, despite what the statistics or advertising brand name may say.
Only a trained, experienced professional who invests his own money in these decisions is suitable to guide you. If that source also has an on-line presence, he/she should not be encouraging you to purchase a diamond without speaking with you and describing the diamond to you.
I am not saying that you should not search for and buy your diamond on-line. To the contrary, on-line sellers definitely do work on a lower mark-up than brick and mortar stores. What I am saying is that you have to find the right on-line seller to work with — one that puts their own money into their inventory and who can explain the differences in various diamond — so that you can assure yourself that you are not only getting a “good deal” but a desirable diamond as well. A fair price (not the lowest price) for a great diamond IS a great deal!!
More to come. In the meantime, Mind Your Diamonds!
Josh Fishman