Guide to Buying Diamond Jewelry

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What you should know about diamonds when you visit the jewelry store


Rare and fascinating, mysterious and magical, the diamond has ignited romantic passion throughout history. The word alone conjures up a thousand images of rare, precious, desirable, beautiful, sparkling tokens of love. This guide from Jewelers of America details what you should know when buying diamonds or diamond jewelry for yourself or someone you love. 

One of the most important aspects of buying quality diamond jewelry is where you shop. A trustworthy jeweler or jewelry store, like members of Jewelers of America, will walk you through the jewelry shopping experience and take you on an educational journey about diamond information. 

The information in our diamond jewelry guide is intended to help you browse for diamond jewelry in advance of your purchase and understand the basic diamond quality factors so you can feel comfortable starting a dialogue with any jewelry salesperson.

A Diamond’s Unique Characteristics

Diamonds might not be the rarest gemstone known to man, but they have a set of unique characteristics that sets diamond jewelry apart from other gemstones and gives them a value beyond price. When considering a diamond jewelry purchase, a jeweler might first inform you of these special features of a diamond:

Unique Beauty 

The beauty and inner fire of the diamond has made this precious gem prized for centuries. Each stone, like its owner, is endowed with a personality and character uniquely its own. 


A diamond is the hardest substance known to man (ranking 10.0 on the Mohs Hardness Scale) and is resistant to deterioration. When cared for properly, diamond jewelry can be worn every day and passed on as an heirloom to future generations. 

Enduring Value

Gem-quality diamonds have consistently retained their value, and most often have increased in value, after years of being worn and enjoyed. 

4Cs of Diamonds

There are four factors that determine the value of a diamond, collectively known as the 4Cs of Diamonds: CaratClarityCut & Color. The Diamond 4Cs are so important to selecting the perfect stone for you that we cover them indepth. Go to our guide on the diamond 4Cs >

Where to Buy Diamond Jewelry

Since expertise in the grading, selection and sale of diamonds takes years of training, always purchase diamond jewelry from a professional you can trust. Choose a retailer who has demonstrated a commitment to professionalism and has an established reputation. Ask if the jeweler is a member of Jewelers of America. Our members commit annually to a Code of Professional Practices, so you can buy jewelry with confidence.  Search our “Find a JA Jeweler” directory, or look for the “J” logo on company’s door or website. 

The jewelry store experience should be relaxed and fun. The best jewelers are passionate about their craft and love sharing their knowledge with customers. They will show you a selection of diamonds and be able to explain the subtle differences in grade and value. The knowledge and expertise you gain in the jewelry store will guide you in choosing the perfect diamond for a lifetime of wearing pleasure. 

A big plus of establishing a relationship with a jewelry store near you is that they will be there for your future purchases, repairs or custom design needs. 

Caring for Your Diamond

Diamonds may be the hardest substance known to man, but they still can be damaged, abraded or scratched. Use the following guidelines to ensure your diamond jewelry retains its beauty for years to come: 

  • Don’t jumble your diamond jewelry with other pieces, because diamonds can scratch other jewelry and each other.
  • Keep your diamond jewelry in a fabric-lined jewel case or in a box with compartments or dividers.
  • Don’t wear your diamonds when doing rough work. Even though a diamond is durable, a hard blow can chip and damage it.
  • Diamonds look best when they are clean, revealing the diamond’s fire and brilliance. Clean your diamonds regularly using commercial jewelry cleaner, a mix of ammonia and water, or a mild detergent. Dip the jewelry into the solution, and use a soft brush to dislodge dust or dirt from under the setting.
  • Keep diamond jewelry away from chlorine bleach or other chemicals that can pit or discolor the mounting. Do not wear your diamond jewelry in chlorinated pools or hot tubs.
  • See your professional jeweler (Gary’s Gem Garden) at least once a year to have your diamond jewelry professionally cleaned and checked for loose prongs and wear.

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