Diamond Buying Guide•
Posted on July 09 2019
Set a budget that works for you.
- Our diamond experts don't work on commission.
- The Blue Nile philosophy is to help you to make the most of your budget.
- We lovingly handcraft every ring that we make—regardless of the price tag.
Master the 4Cs: cut, clarity, colour and carat.
Think with your eyes.
- A well-cut diamond reflects maximum light—sparkle you can see across a room.
- To appreciate colour you need to get closer, roughly three to six feet away.
- The highest clarity grades are only noticeable from a distance of six to eight inches.
- We offer four cut grades: Good, Very Good, Ideal and Astor Ideal.
- 67% of our customers choose an ideal cut for maximum sparkle.
- A poor cut (too shallow or too deep) can make a flawless diamond appear dull.
Put clarity in perspective.
- Diamonds can have internal flaws and/or external flaws.
- The clarity grading scale runs from SI2-SI1 (slightly included) to FL (flawless).
- A good place to start your search and maximise your budget is with SI2 and SI1 grades.
- Weight affects clarity — if your diamond is under two carats, go with VS2.
Consider near-colourless diamonds instead of absolutely colourless.
- Diamonds at Blue Nile are graded from J (slightly detectable colour) to D (colourless).
- For a great value, start your search with a G or H grade (near-colourless).
- Different precious metals will affect the way your diamond's colour is perceived. Choose settings with this in mind.
Weigh the pros and cons of larger carat weights.
- Carat is about weight, not size.
- Prices increase exponentially as carat weight goes up.
- A good place to start your search is with VS2 (very slightly included).
- Carat weight is relative to finger size, setting size and diamond shape. Sometimes, smaller carat weights are the right choice.
Check out fancy-shaped diamonds.
- There are 9 fancy shapes: princess, emerald, asscher, cushion, marquise, radiant, oval, pear and heart.
- Why are rounds more expensive? It's complicated, but in essence it comes down to the established cutting standards. Round diamonds are the only shape with GIA-designated cut parameters. There are exacting standards for fancies, too, but these were determined by our own master craftspeople rather than the GIA.
Buy shy to save big.
- The visual difference between a .9 and 1.0 carat is slight.
- Blue Nile offers a wide selection of diamonds at non-traditional breakpoints—far more than you'd be able to find at a small, independent jeweller.
Look at the paperwork.
- The finest quality natural diamonds are always independently certified.
- Make sure your diamond comes with a grading report from the GIA (Gemological Institute of America).
Keep your stress level low with the right guarantees.
- Ask about our price-match guarantee.
- We pride ourselves on our low prices and high value, but if you find a comparable GIA-graded diamond at a lower price than ours, we'll match it.
- Can you return it? Blue Nile offers a 30-day return policy. no questions asked.
- Plus, Free shipping, of course.