Quick and Easy Buying Guide

Carat weight: 1 carat = 200 milligrams = 6.5 mm diameter. Doubling weight doesn't double diameter.

Diamond clarity: FL/IF/VVS/VS = super expensive, near perfect. SI = best value if you can check a photo for obvious inclusions (defects).


Color: D-G = colorless, expensive, only if you have money to burn. H-J = best value. Can go lower in gold metal settings than white metal.

Cut: Better cut ratings let more light into a diamond, making it sparkle more. Very important property, don't skimp here.

Set a budget and minimum cut (Premium). Go J color for gold and I/H for white metals. Go searching for SI1/SI2 clarity diamonds at James Allen. Pick a diamond with small/no inclusions. Choose a ring setting and buy it risk-free (60-day returns).

Man-Made Diamonds

Man-made diamonds are artificially made in a laboratory. When people talk about man-made diamonds there is sometimes some confusion about two major types of diamond. There are diamonds which are chemically the same as naturally found diamonds. And then there are synthetic diamonds which actually quite different in composition.

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Two common man-made diamonds are cubic zirconias and Moissanite. Both of these materials used to be found naturally in the 19th century. However, due to the increasing rarity, both are now artificially manufactured in laboratories.

Man-made diamonds such as cubic zirconias will quite similar upon first glance. A cubic zirconia is quite hard (but not as hard as natural diamond), has no optical flawless and can be made in any colour. Although it is hard to tell, if you pick up a handful of real diamonds and a handful of cubic zirconias your notice that the cubic zirconias and almost twice as heavy as the diamonds.

Man-made diamonds provide the modern diamond buyer with an alternative to buying and naturally found diamond. The most obvious advantage is that these man-made diamonds are usually (or not always) significantly cheaper than a diamond of the same size.

That's not to say that these are ridiculously cheap however - the fake ring that Beyonce wears in public cost $5000 which is more than many people's engagement rings cost. Of course that fake ring had to look like a $5 million real ring so perhaps that was part of the reason why it was so expensive.