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).

Spence Diamonds

Spence Diamonds is probably Canada's largest chain of diamond retailers. It even has its own manufacturing facility in Canada.

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One of the unique things about Spence Diamonds is that they use prototype rings in their display cases. That doesn't sound so good you may think. But it has one very big advantage.

Many of the display cases at Spence Diamonds are completely open – there is no glass between you and the rings. This means you're free to browse through all the rings without even needing assistance from staff to open a case and show your ring.

For anyone who has spent some time shopping in jewellery shops, this is a very welcome novel experience. You can browse at your own pace without feeling any pressure from needing to ask a staff member to specially open a case just so you can look at one ring.

Spence Diamonds also makes things easy by providing an average ring price tagged next to each ring on display. This gives you a ballpark figure so you can work out whether the ring is remotely within your budget or not. Not that there is any pressure – you've been browsing the rings without needing to ask any staff remember?