How to Buy a Diamond

Where to Start

Start by asking questions of people you trust. That is why we encourage you to call us directly so that one of the professionals at Anthony Louis Ltd. can take the time to explain the characteristics of a diamond and how they relate to its value. Remember, it's your money and you're shopping for something that will last forever. If you don't understand, ask. If you don't feel comfortable buying from someone, don't.

Buying a diamond is an important purchase, and should never be pressured.

The key is understanding how the quality of a diamond is determined, and why some diamonds are more rare and valuable than others. For starters, value depends on quality, and the quality of a diamond depends on four characteristics called the 4Cs: Carat Weight, Clarity, Color, and Cut. We've all heard of them, but what do they mean when it comes to buying a diamond, and is one "C" more important than another?

To make it simple, the larger the diamond, the rarer it is (carat weight); the purer the diamond, the more valuable it is (clarity); the less color in a diamond, the more beautiful; and the more precise the cut of the diamond, the more brilliant it is. It is the combination of these individual factors that makes up the diamond's overall quality and determines its beauty. But how can you tell?

Every diamond is unique, and the best way to appreciate the difference is by understanding the 4Cs. The Diamond Quality Pyramid has been developed to help you make sense of the 4Cs, and understand why some diamonds are more valuable than others.

The most rare diamonds, and therefore the most valuable, are those of exceptional size that were formed without any trace of color or impurity. Within each of the 4Cs, diamonds are graded according to quality or size. The pyramid illustrates the relative rarity, and thus the relative value, of each grade of diamond.

  Points to Consider

Wholesale vs. Retail

It is not everyday that the customer is afforded the opportunity to buy a diamond directly from the wholesaler. As you are aware, the prices at any retail establishment must take into account massive amounts of overhead. This is always reflected in the final price. As an example; a leading retailer in the mall or freestanding store may offer you a one carat round diamond of higher quality for $7900.

You can purchase that same stone from Anthony Louis, Ltd. for $3200. By any standards, this is a significant saving and one that should not be ignored. Our company has been selling wholesale diamonds to the public for over 21 years.

We are all fully versed in understanding the intricacies of the diamond market. That is why you can be confident that when buying a diamond from Anthony Louis, Ltd., the savings are always measured in the thousands.

For a limited time, Anthony Louis, Ltd. is offering a $250 gift certificate to anyone who attends a one-on-one diamond education session. This certificate can be used for your initial diamond purchase or any future diamond purchase. Please be sure to mention this promotion at the time your appointment is set.

Carat Weight

A carat is the universal measure of weight for a diamond. It's the easiest of the 4Cs to determine, but two diamonds of equal size can have very different values, because the quality is still determined by the color, clarity and cut.

Larger diamonds are found relatively infrequently in nature, which puts them at the rarest level of the Diamond Quality Pyramid. For example, fewer than one percent of women will ever own a diamond weighing one or more carats.


Clarity is an indication of a diamond's purity. In all diamonds, except the most rare, tiny traces of minerals, gasses, or other elements were trapped inside during the crystallization process. These are called inclusions, but are more like birthmarks. They may look like tiny crystals, clouds, or feathers and they're what make each diamond different and unique.

Many of these birthmarks are not visible to the naked eye. The clarity of a diamond is graded by how many, how big and how visible the inclusions are. The fewer and smaller the inclusions, the more rare and valuable the diamond. Less than 1% of all diamonds ever found have had no inclusions and can be called flawless (FL) or internally flawless (IF).

Obviously, then, the larger, more visible and frequently occurring the inclusions, the lower the grade and the less rare the diamond. Diamonds with inclusions visible with the naked eye are graded I1 to I3.


While many diamonds appear colorless, or white, they may actually have subtle yellow or brown tones that can be detected when comparing diamonds side by side. Diamonds were formed under intense heat and pressure, and traces of other elements may have been incorporated into their atomic structure accounting for the variances in color.

Diamond color grades start at D and continue through the alphabet. Truly colorless stones, graded D, are extremely rare and very valuable. They naturally are at the top of the Diamond Quality Pyramid. The closer a diamond is to being colorless, the rarer and more valuable it is. A single change in color grade can significantly affect a diamond's value.

Although the presence of color makes a diamond less rare and valuable, some diamonds come out of the ground in vivid "fancy" colors - well-defined reds, blues, pinks, greens, and bright yellows. These are highly prized and extremely rare.


While nature determines a diamond's color, clarity, and carat weight, the hand of a master craftsman is needed to release its fire and beauty. The cut gives each diamond its unique sparkle and brilliance by allowing the maximum amount of light to enter and reflect back out of the diamond.

If the cut is too deep or too shallow light will spill through the side or bottom and be lost, resulting in a less brilliant display and thus, a less valuable diamond. The cut plays a big part in determining the value of a diamond. A well-cut diamond will be considerably more beautiful and valuable than a poorly cut stone of the same size, clarity, and color.

Cut also refers to the diamond's shape. Diamond shapes are known as Round, Oval, Marquise, Heart, Emerald, Pear and Princess.

Some Things to Know

Some things to know: a fully-faceted round brilliant diamond has at least 58 facets, which are important for the maximum sparkle and brilliance. Don't be misled by the setting or the gold around the diamonds - the whiteness should always be able to shine through. And avoid diamonds that are brown or yellow, which may hinder brilliance.

Look for clear diamonds - prominent birthmarks can impede sparkle and brilliance as well. And lastly, remember: she'll appreciate the difference high quality diamonds make. You'll know from her reaction.

Diamond Quality Pyramid

Remember, each "C" is important in contributing to a diamond's quality, but it is the combination of all of them that determines its value. For example, a colorless diamond is at the top of the Diamond Quality Pyramid in color, but if it lacks clarity, is small, or is not well-cut, it will be of lower value. The finest diamonds possess the rarest quality in each of the 4Cs, and are the most valuable.

Strive for a stone that offers the best combination of the 4Cs. The Diamond Quality Pyramid can help you decide which elements are the most important to you. Once you've educated yourself, visit Anthony Louis, Ltd. and see first hand the differences in side-by-side comparisons. Ask to see the Diamond Quality Pyramid to help guide you to a rare and valuable stone.

All that's left now is to surprise the woman you love with a diamond beyond all her expectations. She'll cherish it forever as a lasting symbol of your enduring love. And you'll always take pride in knowing you bought the best and rarest. Remember, she is one in 5 billion!

You want the diamonds you buy, no matter what the size, to dazzle her completely. But be careful. You see, not all diamonds are of the high quality you might want, especially in a piece with a number of smaller diamonds. First, find out what she likes in diamond jewelry. Only then can you focus specifically on the quality of the diamonds.

Maxiumum Quality is the Key

Many women prefer larger, better quality diamonds. But if the piece you choose for her has a number of smaller diamonds, the quality of the stones will be crucial to the sparkle and overall beauty of the piece. Finding fully faceted stones with maximum brilliance is key when determining quality in smaller diamonds.

If you live outside the Tampa Bay area and can't visit Anthony Louis, Ltd., you will soon be able to browse through our extensive inventory of fine diamonds and jewelry all at wholesale prices, including diamond rings, earrings, pendants, and more.

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