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How to Buy a Diamond

Style  /   /  By Adam Kaslikowski

Things have been going pretty well with your SO. It feels like you’re ready to lock that down and get yourself hitched. But before you can pop the question, you’ve got to buy a diamond. For most of us, an engagement ring is the first time we’ll buy a decently sized gem. Like any other significant purchase, its important to go into the transaction educated and confident in what you’re looking for. And since not a single one of the FactoryTwoFour crew is married (ladies…), we called up Shane Co. for a quick bootcamp. Here’s what we learned:

Learn Your Alphabet

Mastering the 4Cs of diamond jewelry is like bench pressing the bar. This is base level, bare minimum stuff. Required knowledge to play the game. If you want to buy a diamond, you’ve got to know what Carat, Clarity, Color, and Cut each mean, and why you should care. Once you’re feeling good on this, you can move up.

Lab Grades Are Helpful – To a Point

Having an independent expert watching your back can be a big help. In this case, checking out what an independent lab has to say about a particular gem’s 4Cs and more. The piece of paper outlining the labs view of the diamond in question is like a helpful buddy leading you through the process. But you know who knows what you like better than anyone? You. Diamond and other gem beauty is subjective. Find something that speaks to you, and stick with it. This is for you and your SO, no one else.

Shop at the Right Place

I know the smooth-talking guy in tight vest at the strip mall jewelry store is promising you the deal of a lifetime but trust me, you don’t want to go there. Mr. too-much-cologne has no oversight, questionable experience, and no reason to form a lasting relationship with you. He’s in it for the quick buck. You want to shop at well-known brands and stores that have been around for years, and will to be around for decades more. This purchase will likely just the be first in series of interactions with your jeweler, you want someone you can trust. But that doesn’t mean you can’t practice your shopping skills on those no-namers.

A big way to test these sales people is to ask the questions. If your sales person is pushing a diamond on you instead of educating you on the differences in the stones you are picking out, it is probably time to find a new store. Commission focused sales reps have such a high quota to meet that they want to spend as little time working with you as possible before making that sale for their best return. Find a store that does not have this sales model and pay it a visit instead.

Practice

You don’t want to buy a diamond at the first store you walk into, for the same reason you wouldn’t buy a car at the first lot you visited. You need to see whats around town, you need to get into the rhythm of the buying process and practice your selection skills. Make sure to hit up several stores and find one that suits your budget, personality, and desires. Once you’ve found a store that treats you the way you want to be treated, and that has the diamond you’re looking for, the buying process becomes a whole lot easier.

For pro-level tips on diamond buying, you can check out these great reddit and Vice pieces. You don’t have to be an expert to buy a diamond, but a little education never hurt anyone. Come correct into the buying experience, and you’ll leave with a remarkable stone that maximizes your budget and will delight your sweetie’s heart.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shane Co. The opinions and text are all mine.

Adam Kaslikowski
About the Author

Co-founder and CEO of FactoryTwoFour. I enjoy writing about all factors of this lifestyle of ours. If I'm not writing or running F24, you can generally find me in the garage tinkering on a vintage car or motorcycle. If you need anything from me, try bribing with Randy's Donuts first.

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