How To Buy a Diamond Online

This guide will deal with buying Diamonds online. We will deal with light yellow ranging from S-T, right down thru Y-Z, Fancy Light Yellow to Fancy Vivid Yellow - what are known as Canary Diamonds. We will also touch upon Pink Diamonds and the other colors available.

This is not necessarily a "beginners" advisory. It is written for those people who've already decided things like a general price range, shape and general size of diamond.

How to chose a diamond?

Today, the range of possibilities open to consumers, and sellers are practically unlimited. 

Want to buy a book? We all know the myriad of places now available to shoppers.


You can build it online, and pick it up at the dealer in a month. Any dealer.

Diamond- hmmmm- that presents some unique challenges.

If you have decided a one carat diamond is the size you want, and start shopping you will find that there are sellers offering stones for as little as one dollar, and some over $10,000.

There are a lot of numbers, grades and other stuff that might seem complicated. Fortunately, it really is not.

Here is how to simplify this process. Instead of trying to become a diamond expert, use the knowledge of human nature you already posses, and pick the best dealer.

Here are some key ingredients I look for in picking a dependable dealer - of any item.

  1. Good reputation
  2. A large selection of items which are related to the item I want to buy.
  3. In diamonds, this is particularly important. A dealer with a good stock is more likely to have the resources to provide the service needed. The service might include eventual trade up, but the first service I want to feel comfortable about is my ability to get a refund in the event I don't like the item when I open the box. 
  4. High quality items which are honestly represented. The best quality diamonds are accompanied by GIA reports.
  5. Some red flags include items offered at well below market price or iItems "appraised" at 5-10 times the selling price.

GIA (Gemological Institute of America) never puts a monetary value on a diamond. Any "certificate" with a monetary value must be viewed with skepticism

The reason is that "value" is such a relative term - It is necessary to have context to establish the "value". An online seller might very well be able to offer a piece for $10,000 which is comparable to a $20,000 item in a very high priced jewelry store.

This same logic could be extended well beyond reason- "well someone somewhere might pay $10K for this one" then proceed to appraise some imperfect $500 diamond for $10k. Inflated appraisals are a HUGE red flag.

Bottom line is that you need to speak to the seller and get an idea of who you're dealing with. I don't see that buying a diamond online will ever be like buying a book.

What about a setting?

In the process of picking the dealer, you should consider exactly how you want your diamond set. A problem faced by some buyers of loose diamonds is that getting a correct setting may not necessarily be as easy as falling off a log.

For this reason I suggest picking a dealer that has the type of settings you love.

Natural Yellow Diamonds

Here is a look at the lower edge of the alphabet and then leading up to the deeper yellows. All these photos are of diamonds graded by GIA. All these photos are taken in natural lighting. The photos have NOT been edited to change the color in any way. Photos are property of Diamonds by Lauren.

Before considering any diamond online, insist on a series pf photos - this is particularly true in the case of Natural Fancy Colored Diamonds.

Make sure you have chosen a dealer wisely so you'll know the photos are legit.


If we are to assume a 1.00 carat well cut Radiant Diamond of SI or better, here is a rough price guide for the shades depicted above

  1. S-T, U-V, W-X: $1500-$3000+
  2. Y-Z: $3000-$4000
  3. Fancy Light Yellow: $4500-$6000
  4. Fancy Yellow: $6500-$9000
  5. Fancy Intense Yellow: $9500-$12000

The wide variations on this theoretical guide are due to the range of colors within each of the grades, and the diamond's cut amplifies the natural body color.

As in colorless diamonds, a great cut is essential to the appearance, and value of a Natural Fancy Colored diamond.

Pinks and Blues

After looking at the chart above this may shock you but a 1.00 Fancy Light Pink Diamond can be worth over $50,000. A 1.00 Fancy Light Blue? Over $100K! There are variations which are less, such as brownish pinks (sometimes seen), and grey blues (very rare). In general these diluted colors are a fraction of their pure counterparts.

Orange and Green are like blue- astronomical.

Treated Diamonds

I write this as a lover of natural fancy colored diamonds. In terms of value, and desirability irradiated diamonds are on the level of clarity enhanced diamonds. Irradiated diamonds look nothing like natural fancy colored diamonds - these stones are bright blue and green.

You will not find either in the finest store, nor at the finest online dealers.

Bottom Line

  • Get a general idea of what you want to make shopping more directed and easier.
  • Choose a reputable dealer with impeccable feedback, a good selection on hand and a money back guarantee.
  • Make sure you buy a diamond with a GIA report
  • Get actual photos to get a good idea of the personality
  • Consider the type of setting and the ability of the dealer to set your diamond you want when picking your dealer