How To Buy A Loose Diamond?

How To Buy A Loose Diamond?

Choosing a loose diamond can be an exhilarating experience, whether you're planning an engagement, marking a milestone, or simply investing in a new treasure. At Wm. Harold & Sons, located in the heart of Newport Beach, we understand the significance of this decision. We're here to guide you through the process with expertise and warmth, just as we have since our Midwestern beginnings. Here’s a detailed guide on how to buy a loose diamond that fits both your dreams and your budget.

Key Factors to Consider Before Searching for Loose Diamonds

Embarking on the journey to purchase a loose diamond is an exciting endeavor, whether for an engagement ring, a special gift, or personal investment. To make the process smoother and ensure you make an informed decision, it’s essential to have a few key factors clear before beginning your search. Here are the crucial considerations to keep in mind:

1. Budget

  • Define Your Budget: Establishing a clear budget before you start looking for a diamond helps narrow down your options and focus your search on stones within your price range.
  • Account for Extra Costs: Remember to factor in potential additional expenses, such as the cost of setting the diamond into jewelry, appraisals, and insurance.

2. Determine the End Use

Are you buying the diamond for an engagement ring, as part of a jewelry collection, or as an investment? The intended use can significantly influence the choice of diamond characteristics you prioritize, such as size, cut, or color.

3. Preferences in Diamond Characteristics

  • Understand the 4 Cs: Familiarize yourself with the basics of diamond quality—Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat—since these will guide your search and affect the diamond’s beauty and value.
  • Prioritize the Cs: Decide which of the 4 Cs are most important to you. For some, the cut and color may take precedence as they impact the diamond's brilliance most. Others might prioritize carat size for a more visible stone.

4. Type of Diamond

  • Shape Preference: Know what diamond shape aligns with your aesthetic preferences. Each shape has its unique characteristics and visual impact.
  • Color and Clarity Preferences: Some may prefer the flawless appearance of a colorless diamond, while others might find the unique characteristics of lower color and clarity grades more appealing and cost-effective.

The Importance of the 4 Cs When Buying Loose Diamonds

Before diving into the purchase, it's crucial to familiarize yourself with the 4 Cs of diamonds—cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. These are the global standards for assessing the quality of diamonds.


  • Importance: The cut of a diamond determines its brilliance and sparkle.
  • What to Look For: Look for a cut graded "Very Good" or "Excellent" for the best light reflection.


  • Scale: Diamond color is graded from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown).
  • Choice Tips: Opt for a diamond between D and J for a color that appears white to the unaided eye.


  • Clarity Grades: Clarity refers to the absence of inclusions and blemishes.
  • Investment Advice: Choose a diamond with at least an SI (Slightly Included) grade for a great balance between beauty and budget.

Carat Weight

  • Understanding Carat: Carat refers to the diamond’s weight, not its size.
  • Selection Strategy: Decide on carat weight based on personal preference and how it impacts the diamond's overall appearance and price.

Choosing the Right Diamond Shape for Your Jewelry

The shape of a diamond plays a crucial role in defining the aesthetic of your jewelry. Here's a concise guide to help you select a diamond shape that aligns with your personal style and the jewelry's intended setting.

Popular Diamond Shapes

  1. Round: Known for maximum brilliance, round diamonds are versatile and timeless, suitable for a variety of settings.
  2. Princess: This modern, square shape features sharp angles and is ideal for those looking for a contemporary look. It works best in settings that protect its pointed corners.
  3. Oval: An elongated shape that can make the finger appear longer, oval diamonds offer a unique twist on the traditional and are perfect for solitaire and three-stone settings.
  4. Cushion: Mixing a square cut with rounded corners, cushion diamonds have a soft, romantic appeal and are favored for their vintage look.

Selecting a Shape Based on Style and Setting

  • Personal Style: Choose a diamond shape that reflects your personal style. If you prefer classic and elegant jewelry, a round or oval diamond might be for you. For a more distinct and modern flair, consider a princess or cushion cut.
  • Setting Compatibility: Different shapes complement different settings. Round diamonds are quite flexible, while marquise or pear shapes might require specific settings to highlight their unique features.
  • Visual Impact on the Hand: Consider how the shape of the diamond complements your hand. Longer diamond shapes like oval or marquise can elongate the fingers, making them a popular choice for engagement rings.

Certification and Grading

Always ensure the diamond you intend to buy comes with a certification from a reputable grading body like the GIA or AGS.

  • Why It Matters: A certificate provides an unbiased assessment of the diamond's quality and ensures its value.
  • Certificate Elements: The document should include detailed information about the 4 Cs and possibly a plot of the stone's inclusions.

Budget Considerations

Setting a budget before shopping can help narrow your options and keep your search focused.

  • Cost-Saving Tips: Sometimes going slightly below a full carat size (e.g., 0.95 instead of 1.0) can reduce the price without a noticeable difference in size.
  • Quality vs. Size: Balance the size of the diamond against its quality based on what's more important for your needs and desires.

Where to Buy

Choosing where to buy your loose diamond is as important as the diamond itself.

  • Reputation and Expertise: Select a reputable dealer like Wm. Harold & Sons, known for our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.
  • Personalized Service: Enjoy personalized service that makes you feel part of our family. We guide you through each step, ensuring that you understand and are comfortable with your purchase.


Buying a loose diamond is a significant and exciting endeavor. At Wm. Harold & Sons, we’re dedicated to making this experience as enjoyable and informative as possible. Visit us in Newport Beach or schedule an appointment to discover why generations of customers have trusted us with their most precious moments. Start your journey to finding the perfect loose diamond today, and let us help you make a choice that you’ll cherish forever.

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