For aspiring jewelry designers, venturing into the world of diamond and gemstone buying can be an exciting yet intimidating experience…

There is a lot of technical terminology that can feel overwhelming. However, there is nothing to fear because we will be breaking down the basics of Diamond Buying that will empower you with the knowledge and confidence to make informed choices when purchasing precious gemstones. If you are a diamond in the rough lacking the confidence and sparkle when it comes to diamond and gemstone buying – keep on reading…

First things first – you are most likely familiar with the term “the Four C’s” also known as Carat, Cut, Color, and Clarity – the foundation of diamond and gemstone evaluation.

New York Jewelry Design Institute (NYJDI) The New York Jewelry Design Institute pioneers modern programming and methods in jewelry design education.

For those not familiar with the Four C’s, carat refers to the weight of the diamond, not its size, with larger diamonds generally having a higher carat weight. Moving on to cut, it determines how well a diamond has been shaped and faceted, affecting its brilliance and sparkle. Transitioning to color, the diamond color scale ranges from colorless to light yellow or brown, and personal preference and budget should guide your choice. Lastly, clarity relates to the presence of imperfections, with a range from flawless to included. Understanding how these four factors interplay helps you make an informed decision and find a diamond that meets your specific needs and desires! In fact, here at the New York Jewelry Design Institute, we like to call the 4C’s the 5C’s with Cost as the 5th C.

Emerging jewelry designers have become increasingly aware of the importance of ethical and sustainable practices in the jewelry industry.

If you have not yet already, familiarize yourself with ethical concerns surrounding diamond and gemstone sourcing. A great example is the Kimberley Process (KP), which ensures the trade of conflict-free diamonds. Learning about responsible mining practices and their impact on local communities and the environment can help you seek out trusted sources and suppliers that prioritize ethical sourcing. By aligning your values with responsible practices, you contribute to creating a more sustainable and socially conscious jewelry industry.

Remember, each gem tells a story, and as a jewelry designer by selecting diamonds and gemstones that resonate with your vision, you’ll create exquisite and personal pieces for your customer.

Another decision to consider is whether you want to source lab grown or natural diamonds. If you would like to learn more about lab grown diamonds, click here to read our blog post about the emerging hype around lab grown diamonds. Your journey into the world of diamond and gemstone buying is a crucial aspect of doing business in the jewelry industry. Being equipped with the knowledge when attending a trade show or visiting a gem dealer’s office can make a world of a difference in your confidence. Whether it be delving deep into the four C’s or educating yourself on ethical and sustainable practices – apply your knowledge and put yourself out there and network with industry professionals and colleagues. The best way to practice anything is by doing!

It’s an exciting journey you are about to embark on and if you would like to expand your knowledge even further in a classroom setting amongst like-minded individuals, check out the classes we offer here at the New York Jewelry Design Institute!

We would love to have you attend our Buying Gemstones and Practical Guide to Buying Diamonds Class taught by Creative Director, Jenine Lepera in the heart of New York City. These classes will teach you insider information on what to look out for and who to trust and how to negotiate the best costs… This is just a sneak peak into the extensive knowledge you will gain from NYJDI classes.

See what our student Bill Guy has to say about our Diamond Buying Class: 

“This course [Practical Guide to Buying Diamonds Class] encapsulated key information and in turn I gained a lot more confidence when it came to buying diamonds. I felt like a real professional networking with Diamond Buyers during the JCK Show in Las Vegas.” Bill Guy, 2023