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Diamond Buying Guide: How to buy a diamond online

May 28

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The first thing that you need to realize when considering how to buy a diamond online, is that the goal of most internet diamond vendors is to sell as many diamonds as possible, with the least amount of human involvement; thus the majority of web sites selling diamonds online, operate by republishing the hundreds of thousands of diamonds that appear within the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) that is available to the trade by subscription, and then have their supplier drop ship the diamond to whoever purchases it… that’s right, most internet diamond dealers never actually see the diamonds which they offer for sale.

Significantly smaller portions of diamond dealer’s online, work off of the diamond inventory provided by the MLS, and then bring the diamonds in for physical evaluation before shipping them off to their clients; however this level of service requires more of an investment of time and equipment if they happen to provide clarity and reflector scope images.

An extremely small portion of online diamond dealers, like Brian Gavin, inventory an exclusive collection of diamonds which they produce to specific standards, thereby ensuring that every diamond which they offer for sale provides the consistency that can only come from an established brand presence; these would be the diamonds featured within our Brian Gavin Signature and Brian Gavin Blue fluorescent collections of ideal cut diamonds.

How to compare diamond brands online:

Part of the process for determining which diamond vendor provides the best diamonds online, is to compare the level of detail which each vendor is capable of providing. Some vendors provide only the basic details, such as a copy of the diamond grading report and a price; other diamond dealers will provide a copy of the diamond grading report, and will provide a clarity photograph of the diamond upon request; while other dealers provide diamond grading details pages for every diamond that they offer, which are complete with clarity photographs, high resolution video of the diamond, and images of the diamond as seen through the various reflector scopes which are required to judge the degree of optical symmetry and estimate the volume of light return and sparkle factor.

Things to ask for before buying a diamond:

When people first begin the process of learning about diamonds online and conducting research, they usually believe that all diamonds are essentially the same, providing that they have been lab graded with the same carat weight, color, clarity, degree of fluorescence, and polish / symmetry rating.

If they are fortunate enough to run across some of the more detailed diamond grading tutorials that explain the importance of diamond cut quality and the effect that proportions and optical symmetry have upon the light return and visual performance, they might learn the importance of seeing how the diamond looks through reflector scopes, such as an ASET Scope, an Ideal Scope, and a Hearts and Arrows viewer.

You’ll notice that the diamond details page pictured above for this 1.237 carat, I-color, SI-1 clarity, BGD Signature round diamond, provides everything that you need to familiarize yourself with the overall quality of the diamond, identify the inclusions, and judge the cut quality of the diamond:

  • AGS Diamond Quality Document
  • High resolution video of the diamond
  • Diamond clarity photograph
  • ASET Scope image
  • Ideal Scope image
  • Hearts & Arrows image
  • Link to verify lab report details

Each of the reflector scopes is designed to provide you with insight as to how bright the diamond is going to appear, and how it is making use of the light that is available to it within the room; and the consistency with which light reflects and travels throughout the diamond as a result of the facet structure; and enable you to judge the precision of facet shape and alignment; all of which have a direct impact upon the brightness of the diamond and the intensity of sparkle.


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