The process of extracting, cutting, polishing and selling diamonds is elusive to most consumers. Happy couples, wealthy shoppers and others rely on diamond experts to find diamond necklaces and rings that meet their needs. A diamond expert is someone trained by a retailer or university to assess the quality and value of diamonds for the benefit of consumers. Your pursuit of a career as a diamond expert starts with a detailed study of the "four Cs" of diamonds.
Things You'll Need
- Light box
- Grading loupe
Understanding the Four Cs of Diamonds
Break through the myth that a diamond's cut relates to the overall shape of the stone. Diamond experts know that a stone's ideal cut allows light to enter through the side, bounce off several facets and emerge through the top. A student of diamonds can use a small flashlight to determine if the cut is too deep, shallow or uneven.
Appreciate the importance of a diamond with a lack of color when studying to become a diamond expert. Diamond experts grade stone color on a scale of a colorless D to a yellowed Z stone. The rule of thumb in diamond selling is that the values of stones are proportional to the absence of yellows, browns and other colors in diamonds.
Purchase a diamond louper to study the clarity of a diamond. Diamond experts look for scuffs and internal pockets called inclusions that diminish the purity of stones. Hold stones to a light box and look through the louper to determine the depth and number of inclusions.
Invest in an electronic scale to accurately measure the carat size of a diamond. Diamond experts measure stones in carats with a single carat weighing 0.2 grams. Your electronic scale will help you accurately assess the quality and value of a diamond for customers.
Develop Expertise in Diamond Evaluation and Grading
Register for courses at an independent institute like the American Institute of Diamond Cutting to become a diamond expert. The American Institute of Diamond Cutting trains diamond experts on cutting, grading and evaluating stones in commercial settings. These courses can bolster a prospective diamond expert's chances at working with a retailer by reducing initial training requirements.
Apply for retail positions with international jewel companies like the De Beers Group to take advantage of company training. De Beers Group puts its retail representatives through Diamond Academy, an international training course providing essential information on diamonds.
Study the process that retailers and diamond sellers use to purchase diamonds from foreign suppliers. International jewelers like De Beers Group have agreements with local mines in Africa to cut out the purchasing process. The hierarchy of purchasing mines from independent diamond buyers starts with individual jewelers who buy with cash and continues to mall and online retailers buying on credit.
Tips & Warnings
- Conduct an informal study of diamond rings, necklaces and earrings among your friends and family to strengthen your diamond expert credentials. You can attend estate sales and auctions to conduct further studies into the four Cs of diamonds.
- Hold off on appraising the value of a loved one's diamond unless asked to --- avoid upsetting friends and family.
- Photo Credit Photo by Stephen Poff (Flickr)
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