How to Buy a Diamond at Auction

diamonds

If you are in the market for a new diamond ring, whether an engagement ring or simply something special, auctions are an ideal resource to consider. Shapiro Auctioneers offer an array of styles of different ages, metals, designers and price points. With three curated jewellery auctions a year, there are many opportunities to find rings that suit any taste and budget. Shapiro’s jewellery specialists are always happy to assist you with information on the diamonds in any of our upcoming sales. This guide walks you through some of the things to consider when buying a diamond at auction.

.

.

Style

Shapiro’s sales always offer a wide variety of diamond ring styles, from the sophisticated geometry of Art Deco design to the delicate pavé settings popular today, and everything in between. The Art Deco period blends the stylised geometry of design and craftsmanship of the 1920s while also highlighting impressive diamonds. ‘Solitaire’ is a term describing a setting in which a single stone is centred and held in by three to six prongs. It is a design that is always popular, especially for engagement rings. Another classic setting is similar to a solitaire, except the centre stone might be flanked by two smaller stones.

.

lot93decodeco in box

.

Minimal styles are also popular, and a bezel setting can often provide the clean lines and security appropriate for a ring of daily wear. The bezel setting, also referred to as collet-set or a rub-over setting technique, is one in which metal completely encircles any one stone. Other setting style techniques include three-stone settings, in which three stones of similar size are set in one row; pavé settings in which there may be one larger centre stone, and the rest of the ring is covered in at least 3 rows of very small stones; and halo settings in which a centre stone is encircled by at least one row of small stones. There are many variations on all of the styles described above, and it is important to examine the ring in person to ensure that the style is in keeping with your vision and style.

.

.

The Four C’s of Diamonds

Arguably the most important part of the diamond-buying process, as it is often the main driver of cost, are the Four Cs. They were introduced by the GIA (Gemmological Institute of America) to produce a systematic protocol of measuring a diamond’s Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat Weight.

.

Cut

Cut describes the shape of a stone -- round brilliant, old European, old-mine, cushion, square, oval, marquise, pear, emerald, baguette, tapered baguette, and other shapes deemed ‘fancy’ because they are not as prevalent. The quality of the cut is also an important factor. A well-cut stone will appear more brilliant than one whose facets are not in proportion. The most popular cuts for engagement rings are round brilliant cuts, whose facets create the most brilliant appearance.

.

orange fancy

Colour

Colour is also an important consideration when buying a diamond. The GIA grades diamond colour on a scale of D to Z. Stones that are D colour contain no yellow in their appearance, and stones that are Z colour are very yellow to the eye. Colour is a key factor in establishing the value of a diamond, since it is more obvious to the eye than are an Excellent cut or Flawless clarity.

.

Clarity

Another visible characteristic of a diamond refers to the proportion of inclusions present in the stone, or its clarity. Diamonds can have a wide variety of clarity characteristics, such as crystals, feathers, clouds, twinning wisps, chips, nicks, graining and others, and their density and position within the stone determines their clarity grade. Clarity grades as established by the GIA range from Flawless to Included. It is important to inspect the stone in person, as clarity grades refer to the proportion of inclusions in relation to each other, and do not describe exact inclusions in each stone. Every diamond is unique!

.

Carat Weight

The weight of diamonds is measured in carats. The cut of a diamond can influence the perceived carat weight of the stone, and higher carat stones will appear larger on certain hands than on others.

.

5carat

And Lastly...

The Four C’s are important to think about in conjunction with each other when purchasing a diamond at auction. A higher carat size might suggest a simpler setting, or an E colour stone might be able to exhibit SI2 clarity if the cut is Good. The give and take of the Four C’s will help you achieve value while remaining in your budget. Shapiro’s auctions are an excellent choice to consider, as our Fine Jewellery sales offer many different diamond rings in a range of values. Our Jewellery Specialists welcome your inquiries, whether you are looking for a particular stone or if you have any questions about the diamond-buying process.

.

.

.

.

Specialist Enquiries

ALEXIANE HENRY

Fine Jewellery

ahenry@shapiro.com.au

.

MATTHEW ZAMEL

Diamonds and Timepieces, Consultant

info@shapiro.com.au

.

GEORGIA PAN

Luxury Design

georgia@shapiro.com.au