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How to Buy a Diamond

by Lucy Coleman
Last updated on August 20, 2023
How to Buy a Diamond

So, you’re wondering how to buy a diamond – that’s exciting! Are you in the market for a diamond but don’t know where to start? Buying a diamond is a huge investment, so you want to make sure you are well informed before making a big purchase.

Whether you’re shopping for an engagement ring or other diamond jewelry, our diamond buying guide will tell you everything you need to know before purchasing a loose diamond or diamond ring.

Start by Learning the 4 C’s

Clean Origin Lab Grown Colored Diamonds
Clean Origin Lab Grown Colored Diamonds

The 4 C’s are the most important thing to know about diamonds. It stands for cut, color, clarity, and carat weight.

Diamonds are graded based on these factors which determine their price and how they appear when in jewelry. The 4 C’s are what determines diamond quality so they also help you know how much your diamond is worth.


The Amelie Ring, multi stone engagement ring
The Amelie Ring

Cut refers to the craftsmanship of the diamond cutter and how well a specific diamond is cut. Diamonds are cut to a very specific shape to maximize the light that it reflects. If the cut on a diamond is poor, then it won’t be as shiny or brilliant.

The cut grades are ideal, excellent, very good, and good. The ideal cut is the best and maximizes scintillation and fire making the diamond appear bright and brilliant.


Color chart
Diamond Color Chart

When buying traditional diamonds, you want to look for colorless gems. They will shine the brightest and reflect the most light. True colorless diamonds, however, are rare and most diamonds have a slight yellow or brown tint.

This color is usually not noticeable to the naked eye to a certain extent so it is common to buy a diamond that is near colorless or has a slight tint that you can’t see.

Color is graded on a scale from D (colorless) to Z (light color). D, E, and F are the colorless diamonds, and G, H, I, and J are the near-colorless diamonds.


A diamond’s clarity grade is a measure of how pure and perfect it is. The number of blemishes or inclusions a diamond has will determine its clarity. Flawless diamonds are perfect and have no blemishes even when looked at under magnification.

Most inclusions on diamonds are not visible to the naked eye like color. If there are only a few small inclusions that can only be seen under magnification, then they won’t affect the diamond’s appearance.

Clarity has a scale from flawless to included. There’s flawless, internally flawless, very very slightly included 1 and 2, very slightly included 1 and 2, slightly included 1 and 2, and included 1, 2, and 3. The very slightly included and very very slightly included diamonds usually do not have any blemishes that can be seen with the naked eye so they are great choices for saving money and getting a brilliant diamond. Find out more about the diamond clarity chart, here.

Carat Weight

Carat Weight chart

Diamonds are weighed in terms of carats. One carat is one-fifth of a gram. Generally, the larger the carat weight, the bigger the diamond but there may be subtle differences in size for the same carat weight.

It’s important to know how big of a diamond you want and that is within your budget. The prices increase significantly for larger carat weight diamonds. A typical engagement ring has a diamond that is between 0.5 and 2 carats but there are no rules. If you want a larger diamond, then there’s nothing wrong with showing off a huge center diamond.

Understanding Diamond Prices

Three different carat weight pear-shaped diamond stud earrings
Carat weight comparison of Clean Origin’s Pear-shaped diamond stud earrings.

You will often see a diamond’s price listed as a number per carat. This means that this is the price for every carat of the diamond. Multiply that price by the number of carats to get the total price.

Sometimes you’ll also see the total price so it is important to make sure you know what price you’re seeing before deciding on a diamond.

A one-carat mined diamond can cost anywhere from $3000 – $18,000 in total. As the carat weight increases, the price increases as well. Higher-carat weight diamonds cost significantly more, though because it is rare to find a larger diamond.

Choose Lab Grown Diamonds

Lab Created Tennis Bracelets
Lab Created Tennis Bracelets

When shopping for diamonds, you can save 20-30% on the total price by choosing a lab grown diamond. A lab grown diamond is a real diamond cultivated in a lab instead of mined from the Earth.

Lab grown is the best choice for people who want to buy ethical diamond jewelry at affordable prices. By saving money on the diamond, you can buy a bigger diamond or splurge on a fancy setting. Since engagement rings are an investment, lab grown diamonds give you more freedom with your budget and choosing the best diamond.

A one-carat lab grown diamond costs anywhere from $1,200 – $4,000, significantly less than a mined diamond.

Choosing a Diamond Shape

Clean Origin Engagement Rings with different diamond shapes.
Clean Origin Engagement Rings with different diamond shapes.

Sometimes shape gets confused with a diamond cut. Cut quality depends on how well the jeweler or craftsman cut the diamond, and a diamond’s shape is the actual shape the diamond is cut into. You may hear terms like oval-cut or cushion-cut, even though they say cut, it is referring to the shape of the diamond.

Round diamonds, sometimes referred to as round brilliant diamonds, are the most popular shape for diamonds. Other diamond shapes include oval, pear, princess, emerald, Asscher, heart, marquise, and more.

Check out the different diamond shapes and see if you like any particular one. You can look at rings or jewelry with different shapes to see which one is best for you. There’s no right or wrong shape for a diamond engagement ring or any other setting. You can shop for diamonds of all shapes and create personalized and unique jewelry.

Buying Loose Diamonds

Loose diamonds
Loose Diamonds

Lots of retailers sell loose diamonds which makes it easy to get exactly what you want. You also have to think about how you’re going to wear the diamond and if you have a plan to have it set in a jewelry design.

If you buy a diamond from a retailer that doesn’t sell accompanying jewelry, you’ll have to find a jewelry store and see if they can set the diamond for you. This may be an additional cost so keep that in mind when buying a loose diamond.

If you buy a loose diamond from a jewelry retailer then it won’t be a problem to have it set the way you want. This makes it an easy one-step process so there’s no extra hassle.

Should I Shop Online or In-Store?

Clean Origin Wedding Bands
Wedding Bands

Shopping for diamonds in a jewelry store has many benefits. Now, many people can shop for diamonds online in the comfort of their own homes. This makes the process easier because people can browse styles and figure out what they want before talking to someone.

Going to a store can be helpful because there are people to answer your questions and you can see diamonds up close in person. There are also some disadvantages. You may get a pushy salesperson and the jewelry store may not have a wide selection of what you’re looking for.

Buying a diamond online, on the other hand, makes it easy for you to do research and compare prices with other retailers. You can start browsing online during the early stages and then ask for more help once you know what you want.

Clean Origin has virtual appointments with diamond experts to answer all your questions and help guide you in the right direction.

Diamond Engagement Rings

Clean Origin Diamond Engagement Rings
Clean Origin Diamond Engagement Rings

The diamond is the shining center of an engagement ring, but it is also important to consider engagement ring settings. This will greatly affect how the overall ring will look and often depends on the diamond shape.

There are different styles of setting like the solitaire ring, halo setting, or vintage setting. Then you can choose the metal you want. White gold and yellow gold are the most popular but rose gold and platinum are also great choices for engagement rings.

Clean Origin Makes Buying A Diamond Stress-Free

Ethically sourced lab created diamonds.
Ethically sourced lab created pink colored diamond engagement rings.

Clean Origin has resources to learn about the 4 C’s of diamonds so you can start your search the right way. Then, browse the many diamonds available on our website. We make it easy for you to find the best diamond and set it in a ring that is unique to you.

Our prices are competitive and since we sell only ethical lab grown diamonds, you can be sure to save money on a beautiful diamond. You also enjoy fast, free shipping on your order and 24/7 customer support.

Shop online for Clean Origin loose diamonds or build the perfect diamond engagement ring for your loved one.