It’s no wonder why we’re fascinated with diamonds. They have stood the test of time and continue to be the most dazzling and popular of all gemstones.
For guidance we asked Keith Saxe, a nationally known jeweler who is accredited by the Gemological Institute of America and the Fashion Institute of Technology and specializes in certified diamonds, to weigh in on the selection and purchase of diamonds, and how to navigate the complex world of these priceless stones.
As a GIA and FIT trained expert for over 34 years, Saxe has served as a trusted second-generation jeweler dedicated to educating consumers. He founded NYC Wholesale Diamonds Inc. His popular blog named “NYC Diamond Blog” can be found at www.NYCDiamondBlog.com and their social media tag “@NextDoorJeweler,” can be found on Instagram and TikTok. A recent post on TikTok attracted over 20 million views. Saxe is accredited by the Diamond Council of America and is also a member of the Jewelers Board of Trade and Jewelers of America.
When purchasing a diamond, Saxe suggests, that you consider the jeweler’s credentials and getting educated and informed. He stated, “I start all of my initial diamond appointments with customers, explaining the need to always protect yourself by following four simple but crucial steps for a successful diamond purchase which includes the following tips.”
Tips For Diamond Buying:
1. Only consider GIA certified diamonds which makes your investment verifiable. This is especially important for the integrity of the true value of the diamond as it’s valued over time, but also for reselling a stone at its proper worth and insuring it.
2. It’s also best to only consider diamonds with the GIA number inscribed on the diamond. This is a huge safeguard against a seller misrepresenting the diamond as matching a different GIA Report.
3. Always do your homework. Get referrals and find a jeweler who has a perfect reputation with trusted sources and if they are online, has all five star or near perfect reviews.
4. Secure some version of a full money back guarantee signed by the owner/manager of the business.
Next, regarding the 4 C’s which is how a diamond is evaluated, Saxe shared an easy understanding of how a diamond is graded:
The 4 C’s:
Color – The goal is finding the whitest diamond possible. D is the best color on the scale, but anything J or above is still wonderful.
Clarity – Find the cleanest diamond possible. Flawless is the best clarity, but SI1 or above is what I advise.
Cut – The trickiest of the four C’s is the cut since GIA only grades the cut for round diamonds. With all other shapes, there’s a concentration more on symmetry and to a lesser extent polish.
Carat Weight – This is also a C that confuses many as carat is measured in weight, not determined by surface area. More research and explanation are necessary to understand how that plays a role with larger sized diamonds.
Regarding certification, Saxe stressed the importance of the diamond’s credentials. He stressed, “In our world, the GIA certification is everything. Without a GIA report you will never know what you are purchasing. All too often, we see well-meaning, educated buyers not receive a fair deal without an initial GIA report. The GIA does not buy or sell diamonds. They do not price diamonds and has no relationship with any dealers or stores. They are painfully accurate and always err on the side of caution.”
Saxe agrees now is an excellent time to buy diamonds, as inflationary pressures domestically and around the world point to significantly higher prices ahead. He adds, “Prices are still below pre-COVID levels and always shop around to find the best deal and compare apples to apples (GIA reports).”
Lastly, when asked which shape of a diamond is most valuable and, if that should impact our decision, Saxe shared, “The most important fact to know before buying a diamond is the shape the recipient desires. Round diamonds are the most popular and continue to be the most expensive. All other shapes have lower, and equivalent pricing, but they are all still beautiful and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Your goal should be a quality investment that stands the test of time and most of all, lifelong enjoyment.”