Bluff diamonds – when size matters

Diamond expert Trine Lamm

Bluff diamonds, which are essentially diamonds that appear bigger and better than they actually are, have become quite the new trend.

They are the diamonds to buy when size matters but you will need to be willing to go on compromise with clarity and colour. But there are of course many different kinds of bluff diamonds. So what do you need to look for?

A bluff diamond will normally be SI (Slightly Included) or I (Included) in clarity. Remember, that when grading the diamond, the graders look at how many inclusions the diamond has, but not necessarily at where the inclusions are located. Look carefully at the diamond, you want to find a diamond where you cannot see the inclusions in the middle of the diamond. You don’t want a black spot right under the table facet (the biggest facet on the top of the diamond)

But diamonds graded SI or I can also have some smaller inclusions at the side of the diamond, and this is the diamond you want to buy. The goldsmith can always hide the inclusions when setting the diamond.

The colour of bluff diamonds, are also important. You don’t want a diamond which is too yellow or brownish, but you need to be willing to compromise on the colour of the diamond.  Look for a diamond which is graded J or K in colour, they are normally a little bit yellow, but it is hard to see without a whiter diamond one could use as a comparison to the bluff diamond. And if you set the diamond in yellow gold, it will hide the yellow colour of the diamond.

Another way to get a cheaper diamond, is to compromise on the certificate. Diamonds with a certificate from GIA or HRD tends to be more expensive than diamonds with certificates from IGI or other grading institutes. You will therefore be able to ask for a lower price if the diamond doesn’t have certificate from GIA or HRD. If the diamond doesn’t have a certificate at all, it will be much cheaper, as the quality of the diamond isn’t verified.

Another way to get a cheaper diamond, is to buy a diamond off size. This is essentially a diamond which is just below the magic price jumps, which are 1, 1,5 , 2, 2.5, 3,4,5 carats etc. So if you can find a diamond of 1.8 carats, the price per carat will be lower than the price per carat of a 2 carats diamond.

And finally, diamonds in a fancy shape are cheaper than round brilliants. Normally you will get a fancy shaped diamond 10-15 percent cheaper than a round brilliant cut diamond. Fancy shapes are ovals, marquise, cushion, radiant etc. Don’t go for an emerald cut; it is almost impossible to hide inclusions in an emerald cut diamond.

The “perfect” bluff diamond is a big oval diamond, SI3 in clarity, J colour and of a 1.8 carat, with a good cut. The cut can also make the diamond look bigger than it is; if it is cut wider than normally recommended, it will look bigger than it actually is. Remember that the carat, is the actual weight of the diamond.

When buying bluff diamonds, you need to be critical, but willing to compromise. Look for a beautiful diamond, with sparkle, brilliance and fire. You need to think that the diamond is beautiful, and that you only see the beauty instead of the flaws. Then you will love it forever.

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Diamond expert Trine Lamm

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