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No doubt about it, shopping on the internet is easy and fun. A couple of clicks and you can look forward to a package headed right to you. However, there are some things that you just don’t want to buy off of the internet and a diamond is one of them, especially if you are interested in making a wise investment that will increase in value through the years.

Diamonds are creations of nature – just like people, no two are exactly alike. And, like people, each diamond has its own characteristics – beauty marks, feathers, crystals, color, etc.

Diamonds are graded on the 4 C’s- Color, Cut, Clarity and Carat size. Grading is very subjective and depending on who is doing the grading, some diamonds are held to a higher standard than others.

The best color for a diamond is D. The best clarity is flawless. A D Flawless diamond looks like a clear drop of water. It also carries a hefty price tag.  On the GIA Color Grading Scale, letters D through J are colorless to near colorless respectively. Color is the most obvious in a diamond and staying in this range usually provides a bright stone. K through R brings grades of yellow and S through Z is darker yellow.

On the GIA Clarity Grading Scale, VVS1 and VVS2 are usually “eye clean” with very few inclusions. SI1 and SI2 are more slightly included. Here is where the cut comes in. A well-cut stone in the SI range can still be very dazzling.

Here is where buying on the internet gets tricky. Color isn’t always obvious in an on-line picture and depending on who is doing the grading, normally white stones and turn out yellow when they arrive.

When it comes to “internally flawless”, the stone may be clean in the center, but have big, glaring inclusions on the side of the diamond.

Then, there’s carat size to consider. One of our customers got a great deal that wasn’t a great deal on the internet when she bought a one-carat emerald cut. The entire weight of the diamond was in depth, so it looked like a half-carat in reality because the top of the diamond was small.

In summary, some great deals on the internet aren’t great deals at all. Learn as much as you can before purchasing a diamond and try to do it in person whenever possible.