Do You Really Know Diamonds? A Detailed Guide

Leigha is a writer and artist living in Toronto, Ontario. She loves to mix and match…

What are diamonds? They’re sleek, they’re shiny, they’re beautiful – they’re the most popular gemstone in the world, and it’s not hard to see why. 

These sparkly gemstones look beautiful in any shape or size, from tiny diamond earrings to large diamond rings costing thousands of dollars. 

But what else do we know about diamonds?

We’ll tell you. Here’s a detailed guide to everything you need to know about diamonds – from how they’re formed to their monetary value to the pros and cons of owning one.

How are diamonds formed?

Diamonds are distinct, rare, and valuable. In fact, there are few other natural materials with as much history and mystique. 

But how do diamonds form? Where are they found? And what environmental conditions create these unusual gems? 

Where are diamonds found in real life?

Natural diamonds are found in several countries around the world, depending on their common uses.

For example, most gem-quality diamonds are found in South Africa, Botswana, and Russia. Industrial-grade diamonds, on the other hand, are mostly found in Australia.

However, many other countries produce industrial-grade diamonds, such as Brazil, China, Congo, India, Canada, and the United States.

​​What does a black spot in my diamond mean?

Diamonds are formed through the crystallization of carbon. And often, natural diamonds, like many other natural gemstones, will have impurities. 

💡 Have No Fear: Black spots in a diamond are natural imperfections formed during the hundreds of years of its creation. Carbon that hasn’t fully crystallized within a diamond will appear like a black speck or mark inside the clear gemstone – this is simply a part of its composition. 

Why do some diamonds glow in the dark?

Whether you’ve experienced this phenomenon firsthand or are just hearing about it now, you’re probably curious about why some diamonds glow in the dark. We definitely were!

It’s all caused by an event known as fluorescence. Fluorescence is when atoms absorb energy and then emit it at a different wavelength. 

This happens because these diamonds contain trace amounts of boron, nitrogen, or aluminum, which were present during the diamond’s formation. These elements absorb ultraviolet (UV) light and then re-emit it as visible light, creating a sort of glow. 

And it’s more common than you’d think; 35% of natural diamonds display fluorescence!

How much are diamonds worth?

Do You Really Know Diamonds? A Detailed Guide

Diamonds are among the most beautiful and sought-after gemstones in the world. These little pieces of brilliance come in a wide range of colors, clarity, cut, and carat weight. 

Depending on which type of diamond you have and its cut, clarity, and color, the cost of this gem can range from affordable to extremely expensive. 

But, how much are the different types and styles of diamonds worth? And why are they so valuable in the first place?

Why are diamonds so valuable?

The value of a gemstone is closely related to its rarity – among other things which we will outline later on. Because natural diamonds are so rare, their value is much higher. 

Since diamonds are the toughest gemstone out there, they are incredibly difficult to mine – this makes them precious stones

With such high demand and a low supply of natural diamonds on the market, their cost has increased exponentially, making them one of the most expensive gemstones a person can buy.

Are raw diamonds worth anything?

Raw or uncut diamonds are worth much less than any diamond you might buy from a jeweler. This is because the cutting process for gemstones is very expensive and time-consuming.

However, this doesn’t mean that raw diamonds are worthless. Their value relies instead on the other 3 C’s: Color, Clarity, and Carat. 

In general, a colorless diamond is much more valuable than a brown or yellow one. Those with a brownish or yellowish tint tend to be worth less. 

A raw diamond with no visible flaws is also more valuable than one with visible inclusions (imperfections), and a larger diamond is worth more than a smaller one.

Of course, you won’t find an enormous, totally transparent, colorless raw diamond anywhere. They’re much too rare.

But in determining how much value a raw diamond may carry, these are the areas in which any jewelry expert will determine its price.

Can diamonds become worthless?

Although some may disagree, diamonds’ aesthetic and sentimental appeal defines their value, not their intrinsic value. 

When they are used in jewelry, like in engagement rings, their value comes from what we give them as a society.

If people stopped valuing diamonds for any reason, then their worth would decrease significantly.

But how likely is that to happen? Their rarity and beauty have made them so popular throughout history. So while it is possible for diamonds to become worthless on the market, it isn’t likely anytime soon.

Lab Diamonds vs. Fakes and Simulants

With so many options available at a fraction of the price of natural diamonds, it’s not shocking that many fakes are popping up.

Because they are cheaper than natural diamonds, simulants and fakes might seem like an obvious choice for someone on a budget. 

And, because there are now many kinds of diamond alternatives and simulants, it’s important to understand exactly which types you prefer before making your final decision.

How long does it take to grow a diamond?

With new advancements in technology, diamonds can now be grown in any color, clarity, and carat. The best part? It takes significantly less time and resources.

While natural mined diamonds can take millions of years to grow, lab-grown diamonds typically take less than a month. 

The growth of lab-grown diamonds varies based on their clarity, carat, and color. Pure white diamonds will take the longest time to grow and, on average, need two or more weeks for 1 carat.

Alternatively, yellow and blue diamonds may take anywhere from 5-10 days for the same size carat.

Can you grow a diamond at home?

Unfortunately, as the name suggests, lab-grown diamonds cannot be grown in the comfort of your home. They can only be created in a laboratory-controlled environment.  

The process of growing diamonds in a lab is called chemical vapor deposition (CVD). It involves using carbon atoms (i.e., carbon) at high temperatures and pressure.

💡 Did You Know? While some people claim to have made diamonds from charcoal or graphite from a pencil in a microwave, real diamonds cannot be made from everyday household items.

What are fake diamonds called?

Fake diamonds are also referred to as diamond simulants. Common gemstones used as diamond simulants include cubic zirconia (CZ), moissanite, and white sapphire.

Simulants are cheaper than real diamonds, but they often have slight differences in brilliance or hardness. 

While they’re easily identifiable by trained professionals who have experience with real diamonds, some simulants are more difficult to spot than others. 

Which stone is closest to a diamond?

Moissanite is the closest gemstone to a natural diamond, other than a lab-grown diamond.

While there are slight differences between these two gems, such as in their refraction and hardness, moissanite is often entirely identical to diamonds to the untrained eye.

Moissanite gemstones have even been known to pass the diamond test. So if diamond alternatives are something you’re on the lookout for, moissanite could be a perfect choice!

How can you tell if a diamond is real?

If you don’t want or have the time to take your diamond to a jeweler for testing, you can try a few methods from home to test if your diamond is real or fake.

One of the simplest at-home methods is known as the Fog Test

Because of their chemical composition, diamonds disperse heat quickly. This means that when you fog up the surface of a diamond with your breath, it should dissipate immediately.

To test this, remove any dirt or oils from the surface of your diamond with a soft cloth. If you have an authentic diamond on hand, you can use it for comparison.

Fog up your diamond(s) with your breath and watch how quickly it clears up. If it takes a little longer than expected, it could indicate that your “diamond” is really a simulant.

Pros and Cons of Buying and Using Diamonds

When purchasing a diamond, it’s important to understand what you want and what you don’t want. 

The pros and cons we’ve outlined should help you make an informed decision as to whether or not natural diamonds are right for you.

Pros of Diamonds

  • Large Selection: With such high demand, diamonds have a much larger selection available. This applies to engagement rings and other pieces of jewelry, so you have a wider range of styles to choose from in cut, clarity, and color.
  • Timeless and Forever Valuable: Diamonds have stayed a popular gemstone for centuries – and for good reason! Their variety means they can match practically any style. Plus, because they are so rare, they will forever hold value not just in their worth but also in what they represent.
  • One of a Kind: Natural diamonds are like snowflakes; no one stone is exactly like the other. So when you’re buying a natural diamond, you can be sure you’re getting a stone that is as unique as you are.
  • Easy to Store and Maintain: Diamonds are the hardest-known gemstone, meaning they’re durable enough to last for decades. Its hardness also means it’s resistant to scratching, as long as there’s no contact with other hard stones and surfaces.

Cons of Diamonds

  • Ethical Issues and Sourcing: Many diamonds sold on the market are known as “blood diamonds.” These stones often originate from war-torn countries or are used to fund unethical practices. Before purchasing a diamond, check that it has been certified by an independent lab or organization that verifies its source (and its owner’s source), and always ask your jeweler if they guarantee a diamond’s origins.
  • Harsh on the Environment: The diamond industry has not been known to be the most eco-friendly. Even lab-created diamonds use large amounts of energy to create a perfect stone. 
  • Expensive: Because of their rarity and popularity, diamonds are costly. A round-cut, flawless, and colorless diamond can easily be sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

How to Choose a Good Diamond Ring

When you’re shopping for diamond rings, it’s always best to know what you like and what you don’t like, but another big component to choosing a good diamond ring is the “4 C’s.” 

💡 Know Your C’s: The 4 C’s of diamonds stand for Carat, Cut, Clarity, and Color. Each of these factors plays a role in determining the overall quality of a diamond and its price.

Here’s a quick rundown of each:


Carats are units of measurement equal to 200 mg. Carat weight accounts for the size of a diamond – and usually a large part of its overall price. 

The higher the carat of a diamond, the more expensive it will be. This is not just because of sheer size but also because larger diamonds are harder to come by.


The first thing that most people consider when choosing a diamond ring is its cut. 

The cut is how well the diamond has been proportioned and includes the height, depth, angles, and other facet qualities. 

A diamond’s cut largely determines its brilliance, or how well it reflects light, and the diamond’s symmetry, shape, and surface area.


Clarity refers to the number of imperfections present in a diamond. These imperfections may include things like cracks, inclusions, and blemishes. 

Clarity is judged on a 6-point scale from “included” to “flawless.” The closer the rating is to flawless, the better the quality of the diamond.


Diamond color is determined by the amount of yellow present in the stone and is judged on a scale from D (no hue) to Z (a yellow-hued diamond). 

💡 Expert Tip: White diamonds are usually the most expensive because they have no yellow content. Yellow diamonds are generally less valuable than white diamonds but still hold some worth. Brown diamonds are considered the least valuable of any color.

Always keep the 4 C’s in mind when shopping for your diamond ring, but also consider some of these other tips!

Know Your Budget

You need to know how much money you can spend before buying a ring. If you are unsure about what you want yet, take some time to consider your options. 

On average, loose diamonds cost between $1,500 and $15,000 and diamond rings can cost as much, although many cost less than $1,000. This price can depend on the caratage and the clarity or overall quality of the stone.

The cut can also affect the cost of your diamond and is an important factor to keep in mind while choosing an engagement ring. Popular, less wasteful cuts like the round cut and cushion cut typically cost less than others such as the Royal Asscher cut.

Know Your Style

When you are looking at different designs, try to find out what style you like. 

Do you prefer diamonds or sapphires? Are you fond of solitaires or do you prefer clusters? Which diamond shapes float your boat? Which settings appeal the most to you? 

These are some of the things that you should keep in mind when choosing a ring.

Consider How Often You Will Wear It

Different diamond cuts and ring styles require different maintenance and care. 

If you wear your ring often, you might prefer something much easier to care for, such as a round diamond on a solitaire. 

But if you know you’d rather have something a little more glamorous, be prepared to put in the work of caring for your ring so that it doesn’t become stained or damaged.

Where to Sell Your Diamonds

Diamonds have become one of the world’s most sought-after and valuable commodities. 

However, selling your diamonds is a daunting task. Because you want to ensure that you get the best price, it is crucial to know where to sell them.

This section will explore some of the best places you sell your diamonds and the benefits of each.


One option is to sell your diamonds to a jeweler or wholesaler. Jewelers often purchase diamonds from consumers and resell them to other customers.

💡 Selling Tip: A great thing about selling to jewelers is that there are typically many local stores or jewelry shops willing to buy diamonds and other jewels.

So, you won’t need to go out of your way when looking for a place to sell your gems! However, when you sell your diamonds to a jeweler, you will likely be paid less than the retail price. 

Jewelry stores still need to make money, so they may attempt to pay less for a stone than they would pay through normal trade.

Although the majority of jewelers are honorable, there may be some exceptions. So always do your homework to get background info on any business you are considering dealing with, and be sure you know your diamond’s worth.


A diamond dealer is a great option if you want to sell your diamond without the extra hassle of finding a buyer and going through the transaction process.

Dealers like these – also known as consignment dealers – act as the middleman. 

They usually have the resources and knowledge of the industry. They offer their services to find the best possible buyer for your stone, so you can be sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

💡 Selling Tip: One downside to consignment dealers is that they will typically charge a percentage of your earnings for their labor.

While you’ll be able to save time and find the best value for your diamond, you won’t be getting the full amount in this case.

Industry Specialists

If you find that some of your local options don’t have the expertise to offer a strong price for your diamond, you could seek an expert.

Industry specialists include certified gemologists, those with a background in gemstone education, and people associated with the American Gem Society or the Gemological Institue of America.

Often, industry specialists can provide you with more information about your diamonds, such as their cut, clarity, and color. This is especially true when selling colored diamonds. 

Gemstone color can impact the pricing of your diamond. This is one reason why it might be best to sell to an expert who thoroughly understands market trends and prices.

Some of the more rare colors, such as red and black diamonds, require specialist and in-depth gemological knowledge. 

Public Domain

Many sites offer a secure platform to sell your diamonds. This is especially helpful if you don’t have the time or means to leave the house.

Public domains can offer the highest payout as long as you know your diamond’s value and are willing to do a little bit of research. 

Online platforms such as Etsy and eBay allow you to have maximum flexibility while feeling secure in knowing that you get what you ask for.

However, if you do decide to sell on a public domain website, be cautious about who you get in contact with. Because these sites are open to the public, you may face online scammers, con-artists, or other unpleasant users. 

When using a public domain, always follow the site regulations and communicate to ensure potential buyers are genuine before going through with a sale.

Best Places to Buy Diamonds

If you are planning to surprise your partner with a diamond gift, then it’s time you start looking for the best places to buy diamonds.

No clue where to start? We have compiled a list of some great options where you can find high-quality and reasonably priced diamonds that will blow your partner’s mind away. 

Here is our list of the top 5 places to buy diamonds:

Blue Nile

Blue Nile has been in business since 1999, is one of the first-ever online diamond retailers, and is known for its high-quality, ethically sourced diamonds. 

It offers a wide array of diamonds and diamond jewelry, exceptional customer service from jewelry experts, and free shipping worldwide.

Each of its jewelry pieces is handcrafted. Plus, if you want something a little more unique, you can choose to customize your jewelry however you like!

James Allen

James Allen has been around since 2006. Since it began, its diamonds have been known for their quality and craftsmanship. 

This company is not only known for its high-quality diamond engagement rings, wedding bands, and fashion accessories but also for its excellent customer service.

It sells only certified, ethically-sourced, conflict-free diamonds. James Allen is the only online retailer to provide 360º footage of its diamonds. 

Brilliant Earth

Brilliant Earth is an environmentally-conscious company that started in 2005. It provides a huge selection of engagement rings, wedding rings, and fashion accessories made from recycled materials.

This company was the first to ever provide traceability of gemstone origin. Each of its products is independently certified to meet international standards.

So, if you’re looking for a diamond retailer that can guarantee that 100% of its stones come from conflict-free origins, Brilliant Earth is the place to be! 

Leibish & Co.

Leibish & Co. is a family-owned business that has been selling high-quality diamond jewelry for over 40 years. It also specializes in natural, fancy-colored diamonds – a unique offering in the jewelry industry. 

Leibish also promotes buying diamonds as an investment. Its investment professionals can provide educational advice to customers looking for industry expertise. 

Clean Origin

Clean Origin was established in 2017, and while it is fairly new in comparison to other sellers, it has grown into one of the largest online retailers for ethically sourced diamonds. 

Clean Origin stands out from the other retailers because it primarily sells lab-grown diamonds, rather than naturally mined diamonds.

Clean Origin promotes its lab-grown diamonds as being completely identical to natural diamonds, but without the extra baggage. 

How to Care for Diamond Jewelry

Diamond jewelry is beautiful and luxurious – it can be a valuable investment that can last lifetimes.

However, diamonds, as well as jewelry metals, are not indestructible and need to be cared for to remain in good condition.

Here are some of our top diamond jewelry care tips:

Try Not to Touch Your Diamonds

When handling your diamond jewelry, try to touch the metal rather than your gem. Oils and dirt from your fingers can build up on the surface of your gemstone and could cause it to look cloudy and dull.

Take Diamond Rings Off Before Working With Your Hands

Rough tasks such as heavy lifting or gardening could be damaging to your diamond jewelry and may cause scratching or chipping. Depending on the type of work, the metal of your jewelry could also cut or bruise your skin if you’re not careful. So it’s best to remove these pieces before initiating laborious tasks.

Remove Your Diamond Jewelry Before Using Harsh Chemicals or Applying Cosmetics

This is especially true if you plan on getting into the shower or swimming pool.

Abrasive chemicals such as ammonia, peroxide, sodium hydroxide, and even bleach can damage the surface of your jewelry. And cosmetics, such as hairspray or foundation, can stain your diamond and the surrounding metal. 

Clean Your Diamond Jewelry With Warm Water and a Mild Soap

You can use a soft toothbrush to gently scrub away any residue on your jewelry, then make sure to rinse it off thoroughly and dry it off with a soft cloth.

Be sure not to use any abrasive cleaners or polishes – these can scratch and dull the surface of your jewelry. Learn more about how to clean diamond jewelry.

Store Diamond Jewelry Safely

A jewelry box is a great way to keep your jewelry protected from dust and other debris. Individual boxes or pouches lined with soft materials like felt or velvet are other great storage options – these will help to prevent your jewelry from being scratched by rough surfaces or other gemstones.

Have Your Jewelry Examined By a Professional At Least Once a Year

Take care of your jewelry just like you would take care of your car – bring it to a professional yearly so they can examine your diamond and make sure it is in good shape. If something is damaged, a jeweler will identify and repair the area so that your jewelry stays in top shape.

Get Insurance

Theft is always a possibility when dealing with expensive jewelry. If your diamond ring gets stolen, not only could you lose thousands of dollars worth, but also something of sentimental value. By having insurance you can be sure your jewelry is covered if anything were to happen.

Diamonds Are Forever

It is easy to understand the significance of diamonds – their value goes well beyond their appearance. And the fact that this gemstone is rare and expensive doesn’t make it any less desirable. 

Every day we see more and more people wearing diamonds. People buy them for an occasion or as a gift to someone important in their life. 

A diamond is more than just a beautiful rock or a symbol of wealth: It’s a symbol of eternal love, commitment, and forever.

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