Buying certified diamonds online seems like it should be a good deal. But maybe not.
Diamond certification began with a very good end in mind: to categorize gems by color, size and clarity, so that evaluations could be standardized and a gem’s worth can be identified.
However, certified is only a part of the story. It tells you the grade of the diamond, but it doesn’t actually show you the diamond.
If a H-grade diamond is well cut, it can out-sparkle a G-grade diamond with a mediocre cut.
To give a point of comparison, say for example you were buying a new car. A BMW is made from the same steel and aluminum as a Volvo, but the engineering values are quite different. Even if they each meet the same standards, have similar motors and transmissions, and even if a Volvo is more fuel-efficient and safer, mechanically, a BMW simply has more pizazz.
So if you aren’t able to hand-pick your own diamonds, or you don’t have time to learn a few of the nuances, it may be best to work with a jeweler who knows your price range and what you’re looking for than it is to buy according to a certain grade on the Internet, because what color-grading cannot tell you is what the diamond cutter was able to do with the raw material of the gem to downplay its faults and dramatize its brilliance.
A gem is not a bolt. You cannot grab one at random from a bin of identical bolts, all made from an identical machine press. A gem is a work of art from the very earth, carefully cut, shaped and polished by skilled diamantaires. And that’s the very thing that makes them one of a kind.