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Buying a Diamond

Buying a Diamond

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Buying a Diamond

It's always smart when buying a diamond to visit a reputable gemologist. Although diamonds are valued using globally-accepted standards based on a handful of factors, prices can vary depending on who the seller is. Here are the main points to know when seeking a diamond to purchase and how a seasoned gemologist can help you.

Why You Should See a Gemologist

There are plenty of places to buy diamonds, but many of these outlets have set prices and do not negotiate. Gemologists are closer to the source of determining value, since they use standards set by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). You will get a more accurate and unbiased assessment of the fair market value through these highly trained professionals. The most knowledgeable gemologists have experience in tracking prices for a wide variety of jewelry.

Gemologists that are members of the GIA Alumni Association are globally respected for determining the real time value of various jewelry pieces. They use the latest equipment and apply years of knowledge and training. Ralph Mueller & Associates is a member organization and has been serving Arizona residents in the buying and selling of diamonds for over three decades.

How Are Diamonds Priced?

Diamonds are supposed to be priced based on objective analysis of the four main factors that begin with the letter C: color, clarity, cut and carat weight. When it comes to diamonds, the less color, the higher price it will command. Prices also rise the more clear the diamond is, the cleaner it's cut and the heavier the carat weight. Keep in mind that as little as one-hundredth of a carat can make a noticeable difference in price.

Another factor that comes into play is whether the diamond is natural, synthetic or enhanced. Synthetic diamonds, which are generated in a lab, have the same properties as natural diamonds created by the earth. Natural diamonds, however, are priced higher. So whenever a price for a diamond seems too good to be true, there's a chance it's synthetic. Other characteristsics of synthetic diamonds, that a gemologist can verify, are no clarity inclusions, lower hardness ratings and a very white appearance.

The primary benefit of synthetic diamonds is that you can buy them at lower prices and still get attractive jewelry. Most people probably won't notice or even question the value. The combination of wider supply and shorter supply chain between the manufacturer and consumer allow for more affordable pricing.

Market trends also affect diamond prices, as supply and demand inevitably can override all other factors at times. A gemologist that keeps up with market trends will be more helpful in advising you on the current demand cycle. Prices for high gem natural diamonds have steadily increased over the past century and have recovered from financial downturns.


Before you decide on buying a diamond, be aware that different places may have different prices for the same jewel. Long term certified participants in the marketplace will give you the best information on diamond pricing. Contact Ralph Mueller & Associates to learn more about finding the best prices on diamonds.