Buying a loose diamond or diamond ring on eBay can be a very rewarding experience if the price is right!
First, you will undoubtedly come across language (terminology) that sellers may use in their listings. Many know that the fours C's of buying a diamond are Cut, Clarity, Color & Carat Weight. However, there are many other terms, which don't start with the letter "C" but are just as important!
A blemish can occur on the surface of a diamond. A Blemish will affect the clarity of a diamond.
This is the "heart" of a diamond. It's what differentiates a diamond from all other gems. Brilliance occurs when light passes through the table and bounces off the pavilion facets back up through the table creating the "brilliance" that diamonds display.
A Brilliant cut maximizes the "brilliance" of a diamond. Brilliant cuts which maximize the brilliance of a diamond are princess cut, oval, marquise, heart, pear, round and oval.
Carbon is a naturally occurring "black spot" that can be found inside a diamond. The industry will call them included crystals however, take any 10 times loupe and look at the diamond closely and you may see one or more carbon spots (which, when clustered together and/or found in numerous quantity) will just leap out at you! They will appear as black spots or specks. The industry will say that carbon spots do not affect the brilliance of the diamond, as they are not visible to the naked.
Look up into the sky (on a cloudy day of course) and you'll get the idea! Clouds when found in a diamond can come together to form a transparent cloud. Again, the industry will tell you (educate you) that clouds in a diamond do not necessarily affect the clarity of the diamond. Clouds can not be seen with the naked eye, they are found under microscope examination.
Another industry term, which basically tells you that a diamond is "eye clean". If you can look at a diamond with your naked eye and do not see any blemishes or inclusions, then diamond is described as being "eye clean".
A feather is basically a fracture. A feather (fracture) can run from one end of the diamond to the other and in other cases, the feather may be at the surface of the diamond but, never continue from the table on downward through the diamond. Again, a feather can be seen using a 10 times loupe and it will look like the feather of a bird (but in crystal form).
If the feather runs from the table downward in the diamond, it might be best to consider the possibility that the diamond could cleave itself (break). If you find an especially large diamond and it displays a feather running from top to bottom, you might want to consider in setting a large "feathered" diamond into a pendant setting for stability. If you set it into a four prong setting (and through normal wear and tear), the ring is subjected to a hard knock, it could cleave the diamond.
An inclusion affects the clarity of a diamond and can be one or more of the terms as described above.
Laser Drilled Diamonds
A Laser Drilled Diamond is a diamond which has had its inclusions drilled out of it. It may sound strange exchanging one inclusion for another, as a Laser Drilled Diamond is one of the few "man made" inclusions that a diamond can present upon close examination. In some cases, a diamond may have just a few inclusions, which detract from its clarity and brilliance. In such cases, drilling out the inclusion (only up and until the point the inclusion ends) and filling the hole with acid, will remove the inclusion thus creating a more brilliant and vibrant diamond.
Diamond Certificates & Appraisals
What's the difference between a Certificate and Appraisal? This is a question often asked of prospective buyers. You may come across eBay listings, titles and descriptions, which will state "GIA Certified Diamond" or "AGS Certified Diamond". GIA stands for Gemological Institute of America and AGS stands for the American Gem Society.
GIA is the most recognized diamond grader in the world today. AGS is also recognized as a respected grading organization as well.
A Certificate issued by either organization will provide you a "road map" of a diamond. Such a Certificate will map out the exact measurements of the diamond, it's carat weight, cut and clarity. While a Certificate assures you that you have a genuine diamond in your hands (and sets forth the "vital" information for that diamond), an Appraisal will include this information as well however, an Appraisal will also disclose the value of the diamond.
What is a Shy Diamond? A Shy Diamond purchase can work to your advantage or disadvantage. Shy Diamonds are termed "shy" when they're not quite a full half carat or full one carat diamond.
Let's say you're looking to purchase a one carat diamond however, you're on a budget and while a one full carat diamond of high quality is what you're seeking, you just can't afford a VS quality diamond that's one full carat.
Suggestion? Shop for a diamond which is 0.98, 0.97 or 0.96 carats. You should notice a price drop when going below one carat diamond (even by a few points).
On the other hand, let's say you're seeking to buy a one carat diamond and you find one which has been advertised as one carat diamond however, when you receive the diamond and have it graded or appraised and the diamond comes back as weighing 0.98 carats (and not one full carat) the diamond is "shy" by two full points and you paid for a one carat diamond.
If you buy a one carat diamond and it's "shy" send it back! Diamond prices and value increase at certain carat weights. If you wanted a half carat, full carat, one and a half carat diamond (and so on) make sure the diamond is not a "shy" diamond.
Handling & Restocking Fee for Returned Diamonds
Remember that yo should always read the fine print when purchasing a diamond. The terms and condtions of the puchase might disclose that there is a "Handling Fee" or a "Restocking Fee" associated with your purchase.
In other words, if you buy a one carat diamond and there's a Handling Fee or Restocking Fee based upon a flat return rate or a percentage of the sale, you would have paid for a "show & tell" sesson for the pruchase. If the total price of the diamond is $2,000.00 and you're subject to a 10% restocking fee, you will lose $200.00!
Other guides relating to jewelry and gemstone buying which you may find helpful are as follows: