Quality and Value of a Diamond

Interview with Paul Jacobs [Founder of Ascot Diamonds]

Q: What is the single most important piece of advice you have for a potential buyer?

PJ: Two diamonds with the same certificate, weight, color and clarity are probably not equal in value.

Q: How significant could the difference be?

PJ: One could be worth twice as much as the other. A diamond cannot be valued correctly based solely on a laboratory grade. Critical examination by an individual with technical skills and market knowledge is essential to establish correct value.

Q: Does a GIA certificate guarantee you have a fine diamond and good value?

PJ: Not at all. Remember, diamond laboratories certify any diamond submitted for grading irrespective of whether the diamond is beautiful or not. The laboratory function is simply to record weight, measurements and provide an opinion on color and clarity.

The GIA does not comment on the brilliance or value of any diamond.

Q: Why are all diamonds not cut with perfect proportion?

The first priority of virtually all buyers is carat weight and cutters respond to this market reality by producing diamonds that are heavier rather than cut to optimize brilliance and face size. Unfortunately over 90% of all diamonds produced have undesirable additional weight.

Q: What color and clarity grades do you recommend to clients?

PJ: Diamonds in the near colorless range [G to I] make the best sense to me. However, if money is not an issue it is legitimate for a buyer to select D to F color. History shows that the higher colors and clarities increase in value more rapidly.

Diamonds with white inclusions toward the edge are more valuable than those with black center inclusions and with this in mind, I would recommend selecting a clarity in the VS1 to SI2 range in order to maximize value.

Q: Finally, what advice do you have for a person trying to make a choice?

PJ: Work with an experienced professional company that truly cares about the diamonds they own and sell… then enjoy the process, compare stones and trust your instincts.