First things first, let’s agree on some terms:
Loose diamonds are cut diamonds (not necessarily rough diamonds) that have not been mounted on a setting, just like any diamond you see on sites like James Allen before picking a setting.
A setting is the rest of a piece of jewelry (i.e. the band of a ring, the chain of a necklace, or the metal of a pendent).
Diamond jewelry is, obviously, a stone or stones already set in a pre-made setting.
What’s the Deal in Getting Loose Diamonds?
Loose diamonds are quickly becoming popular because it gives you a complete control over how the diamond is used, when we hear diamonds, the first thing that pops to our mind is rings, but that’s because we see them on rings most of the time, but there is much beyond this.
Once you get your own loose diamond, you can set it on a ring, a bracelet, necklace, or earrings.
Some people use it on a ring for a couple of years then -for the sake of change- they unmount it and use it as a earring, which is a great way of following up fashion trends with lesser cost.
In this post, we will see how convenient is buying loose diamonds online, and what are the easiest & most affordable way to purchase a stone you like.
Read The Ultimate Guide to Buy Diamonds Like a Pro
How To Know What’s What?
The internet is powerful when it comes to buying commodities like diamonds that do not come cheap.
With a few clicks, you can find out if an online seller is reputable, what your best options are, how to make the right decision and what the best price you can get is.
Sure, there are scams out there that you need to be careful of, but it’s easy to find out how legit a diamond store is.
And don’t forget, lab created diamonds are becoming a popular option as well, so don’t listen to sites saying “run away from any store that sells lab-diamonds”.
If a site is selling synthetic jewelry and trying to pass them off as natural, you can bet you’ll find reviews online telling you to steer clear.
If a site is trustworthy and values its customers, the same customers will sing its praises, but don’t take the store’s word for that (reviews on their own sites), do some search (Reddit, Yelp, Trustpilot, Google reviews, etc..) and see what people are saying there.
And then of course, there’s people like us who can help you make the right choices.
Be sure to check out our take on the best places to buy diamonds, jewelry and engagement rings online.
Comparing Different Settings and Stones
You’ll need to do intensive research to find the perfect stone and setting, some people might take them months, some make it in less than a week.
Shopping for diamonds online allows you to compare different stores, their prices and the types of diamonds they have without having to be there physically, which results in saving you tens of hours, and offering you thousands of options at you fingertips.
That’s great for people not necessarily in metropolitan areas that don’t have the.. trendiest.. jewelry stores nearby.
Even if you do have lots to choose from locally, moving from a store to another can be time-consuming and exhausting, not to mention the price difference & profit margins between physical & online stores.
Let’s not even get started about shopping internationally – plane tickets ain’t cheap!
Keep in mind that most of the famous jewelry stores online will show you high quality images of the actual diamond you’ll be receiving, not just some stock photos.
That’s an important thing to consider, especially when you’ll be spending thousands of dollars on it (and showing it off to everyone).
Be sure to remember the 4Cs when buying diamonds – it will help you make the best choice for whatever budget you have.
Why Design your Own Diamond Jewelry?
Getting loose diamonds makes it easy to design unique jewelry according to personal taste and preference as opposed to buying ready-made jewelry which you are stuck with.
A buyer can choose a preferred stone type/cut, a completely unique setting and all the bells and whistles in the design they desire.
But.. you don’t even have to buy loose diamonds if you want to customize your own ring, because most major retailers, like James Allen, will allow you to design rings and other pieces right on their site in real-time.
Getting a loose diamond will give a great flexibility when you’re the type of person who likes to change their jewelry type often, so one year you’re obsessed with necklaces, next one it’s the bracelet hype, etc..
This will let you know “reuse” your loose diamond on different jewelry items, keeping it fresh & trendy.
Buying the diamond alone, as opposed to within a setting, is often cheaper as well. Without the labor of creating the jewelry, prices tend to remain reasonable.
You may end up picking up a HUGE rock you wouldn’t have otherwise been able to afford, had it been pre-placed into a jewelry setting.
Now a big thing about buying diamonds is knowing where they come from.
Yes, we love diamond jewelry. But we absolutely hate the barbarity and inhumanity involved with some aspects of the diamond mining process.
Saving a couple of bucks is not worth the human cost the world as a whole pays through the trade of blood diamonds.
Now, you can never be 100% sure unless you’re doing the diamond mining yourself. So we will have to rely on international certification boards like the GIA.
What is The GIA
The GIA is the Gemological Institute of America – a non-profit organization that researches diamond issues, educates the public, grades diamonds and issues certificates.
It was established in 1931 by Robert M. Shipley. Before the GIA , every jeweler had their own way of grading diamonds and there was no uniformity.
And it was often difficult to know exactly where your diamond came from.
This made buyers and sellers susceptible to cons which led to things like under valuing or over valuing stones, inadvertently dealing in conflict stones, and buying illegitimate diamonds.
Fast forward, with wars happened in many African countries, blood diamonds “invaded” the diamonds market, which is something took a lot to be regulated, gladly we now have the Kimberley Process which is adopted by major certification labs, like GIA & AGS.
The GIA uses the 4Cs (clarity, cut, carat and color) to evaluate and grade their diamonds for quality assurance and valuing. They also trace the origins of the diamonds to ensure they are conflict-free.
Most reputable retailers online (Whiteflash, Blue Nile, James Allen) only deal in certified conflict free diamonds that can be traced to reputable mines and mining companies.