Last updated: 09:15 / Thursday, 24 March 2016
New Book

Ever Wondered How to Purchase the Perfect Diamond?

Ever Wondered How to Purchase the Perfect Diamond?
  • GIA Gemologist explains it all in her new book, Perfectly Clear – Buying Diamonds for Pleasure and Profit
  • There is a fifth C, Character
  • Simmons gives do's and don'ts for diamond purchasing

Most people have at least one diamond. In 1477 A.D., Archduke Maximilian of Austria presented a diamond ring to Mary of Burgundy as a sign of their engagement.  They have since become the number one symbol of love and marriage around the world.

But what do we really know about them? Outside of being shiny, hard and expensive, very few people learn much about these stones. Be it for a gift, pleasure or as an investment, Karen Simmons a GIA Gemologist takes the mystery out of the topic in her new book, Perfectly Clear – Buying Diamonds for Pleasure and Profit.

“For decades”, Karen says, “people have been taught that the value of a diamond depends on how it is graded according to the 4Cs -- Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat weight. But there’s really a 5th C and it makes all the difference.  The 5th C stands for “character” which establishes and guarantees the integrity. And one of the best way to identify and establish the integrity of a diamond is to ask for proof that ensures the ownership of the diamond can be traced from its birth mine to the present owner or seller.”  

Perfectly Clear offers up the fascinating history and amazing ins and outs of the diamond trade. It provides crisp advice on how to navigate the complex world of buying a diamond and how to minimize paying too much and getting taken advantage of, as well as a special section on gems and their ties to superstition, medicinal uses, and spiritual beliefs.

Included in Simmons’ recommendations for anyone who is interested in protecting their investment in diamonds are:


  • Consider colored diamonds
  • Buy and grade diamonds as loose stones
  • Identify your diamond properly
  • Get to know your local jewelry professional
  • Determine a diamond’s real value
  • Learn the basics about diamonds
  • Broaden your diamond horizon
  • Enjoy the variety of diamond shapes


  • Buy a diamond without an independent grading report
  • Ignore pitfalls of buying diamonds online
  • Depend on only one source of information
  • Let politics punish your diamond’s polish
  • Take treated diamonds lightly
  • Overlook economic trends
  • Let Hollywood “bling” blind your true feelings
  • Automatically dismiss man-made stones
  •  Let a “rough” diamond rub you the wrong way