Educating yourself about diamonds can make the experience of buying a diamond fun and exciting. M.J. Miller & Co. offers these essential guidelines designed to make you an informed consumer:
  1. Know the names of the shapes of diamonds and which “shape” you like best. Unbeknownst to most people, diamonds can be cut into any shape. The seven most popular cuts are: Round Brilliant, Oval, Pear (teardrop shape), Emerald Cut, Heart Shaped, Princess Cut and the Marquise (boat shaped).
  2. Familiarize yourself with the 4 C’s. We have all heard of the 4 C’s, but many people are not completely sure about what they are exactly. Color, clarity, cut and carat weight each affect the price of a diamond dramatically. Ask your jeweler to explain each area and it’s significance.
  3. Understanding carats and points. These terms are used frequently when purchasing gems. Both refer to the weight of the gem. There are 100 points in a carat. When a diamond weighs less than one carat it’s weight is referred to in points. Also, weight and size are two different subjects. Like people, diamonds can be different sizes and shapes but weigh the same.
  4. Understand the importance of cut and how it affects the overall beauty and value of the diamond. A diamond’s brilliance is dependant on how well the gem is cut. (Cut and shape are two entirely different subjects) The facets (or cuts) are like tiny mirrors and need to be angled correctly to be able to reflect off one another and create brilliance. Well cut, ideally cut and perfectly cut diamonds offer the greatest brilliance, but require the most time in the cutting process and the most diamond weight loss to achieve fine brilliance.
  5. Learn how to use a microscope and loupe. Most sales people are happy to show you a diamond under a loupe. What consumers don’t know is to be able to accurately see most inclusions (flaws) a light source is required. Using a microscope provides a light source, a steady view and the ability to increase the magnification to view the inclusion(s) closely.
  6. Recognize what a grading report is and how it is used. Many diamonds are now accompanied by diamond grading reports. A report simply provides all the technical information about a diamond. The information includes: color, clarity, carat weight, proportion, finish, symmetry and fluorescence. A diamond-grading laboratory does not provide a value of the gem.
  7. Be aware of why purchasing a diamond loose is the best way to purchase a diamond. When you purchase a diamond loose, you are able to view the entire diamond under magnification in many different positions. It is also a tremendous advantage to be able to compare multiple diamonds next to each other and see subtle differences. In other words, compare apples to apples. Many times an inclusion can be hidden under a prong once the gem is set in a mounting.
  8. Always ask for a referral from friends and family if you don’t have a jeweler. Word of mouth is the best referral when you don’t have a personal jeweler. People are happy to tell you about their own experiences, good or bad.
  9. Ask the sales associate about their education.  Sales associates who truly have your best interests at heart have a curiosity about diamonds that leads to their formal education about the gem.  An educated sales associate can assist you with their personal opinion in regards to a gem’s quality above and beyond what a grading report provides.
  10. Know your jeweler.  For most people purchasing jewelry is a major expenditure that can leave you feeling vulnerable.  When you know your jeweler you can feel free to ask questions and be confident that they have provided you with the very best quality, service and product knowledg
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E-mail: info@mjmillerjewelers.com
Phone: 847-381-7900
Fax: 847-381-5542
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