What is a Loose Diamond

Diamonds are mined from within the earth in locations around the world. When a diamond is mined, it is called a rough. It goes through a mapping and cutting process in order to craft the best shape from the rough. Rough diamonds are cut expertly by machines to ensure that the best color, sparkle and facets shine through. Once this is done, they are polished to perfection and are ready to be used to craft jewelry.

Loose diamonds are sold by both wholesalers and retailers around the world. Loose diamonds are available in all difference carat weights and qualities. So when shopping for a diamond, it is possible to find a loose diamond for every budget and preference. Loose diamonds can be found in the classic white color as well as fancy colors like white, pink, yellow and even more rare and valuable colors like blue and red. Loose diamonds are often purchased to set in custom jewelry, engagement rings or even for investment purposes.

Popular Loose Diamond Shapes

Loose Round Diamond

Round Diamonds

The most classic and popular choice for jewelry, round diamonds are commonly purchased to be set in solitaire pendants, for earrings or in an engagement ring. Round brilliant loose diamonds are popular as their 58 facets allow for light to reflect light out and create dazzling sparkle. When selecting a loose round diamond, we recommend optimizing for cut as that is the characteristic that determines how much sparkle the diamond has. Apart from the popular brilliant cut, loose round diamonds can also be found in the old mine or european cut. These round diamonds have larger, more open facets. Some prefer the look of these diamonds, however they do not sparkle as intensely as brilliant cut diamonds. This style of diamond cutting is a bit older and was utilized more when diamonds were hand cut. Most retailers can find either type of diamond for you.

Loose Princess Diamond

Princess Diamonds

These square cut diamonds are the second most popular diamond shape. Typically these are in the shape of a perfect square but can also be found in a slightly rectangular shape. These diamonds are often purchased loose to be set in engagement rings or as a matching pair for earrings. The princess diamond also has 58 facets and sparkles are brilliantly as a round diamond. Other names for the princess diamond as a square modified brilliant or a rectangular modified brilliant. When purchasing a princess diamond, pay special attention to the length to width ration, especially if your desire a diamond that is a perfect square. When setting a princess diamond, ensure that you take into consideration the delicate corners of a square diamond and pick the appropriate type of setting.

Loose Cushion Diamond

Cushion Diamonds

Apart from princess and round, cushion diamonds are the next most popular shapes for diamond jewelry and especially engagement rings. Cushion diamonds are considered to be a beautiful blend of both the round and princess shape. The corners are rounded, but the diamond does have a squarish shape. Like the round brilliant diamond, the cushion diamond also has 58 facets. The cushion cut is also known as a pillow cut diamond. When purchasing a cushion diamond be sure to consider both the cut as well as the length to width ratio. Focusing on the cut will ensure that the diamond looks symmetrical and is crafted to sparkle brilliantly. The length to width ratio is the best determinant of how square the diamond is. These are important considerations to make if purchasing the diamond for an engagement ring or any other jewelry.

Loose Emerald Diamond

Emerald Diamond

An emerald diamond is a unique and striking diamond shape. It is cut in a step pattern, with symmetrical steps leading up to the table. The diamond still has 58 facets with three rows of top steps and three rows of bottom steps. With an emerald shaped diamond color and clarity should be the most important consideration. This is because a lower color and clarity are more easily visible in the larger top facet of the diamond. Emerald shaped diamonds are typically purchased for engagement rings. Also keep the length to width ratio, if you are particular about the diamond being rectangular or square.

Other less common shapes that are available are oval, pear, asscher, marquise, and radiant. These are less commonly purchased, but can also be used for engagement rings and other types of jewelry.

Loose Diamond Cuts

Diamonds have been cut in a variety of different styles over time. While diamonds were hand cut in the past, they are primarily machine cut nowadays. Loose diamonds can be found in three types of common cutting styles.

Round Loose Diamond

Brilliant Cuts

This is the most commonly found diamond cut on jewelry. In it, the diamond is cut to have more facets to allow for more reflection of light throughout the diamond. This enables any piece of jewelry to look dazzling from any angle. Brilliant cut diamonds are machine cut to ensure precision and symmetry among the many facets. The most common shape for the brilliant cut is the round diamond. In brilliant cut diamonds, more of the rough must be cut away to craft the diamond. Therefore, a brilliant cut diamond can be more expensive than those that are cut in other ways. The brilliant cut diamond, however has the most popular appeal and therefore the most resale value.

Cushion Loose Diamond

Modified Brilliant Cut

The modified brilliant cut is also known as a fancy cut diamond. This means that the cutting style is the same as in a round diamond, however the shape of the diamond can vary. Common modified brilliant shapes are heart, oval, marquise, oval and pear. With these types of shapes, not as much rough must be wasted as in the round brilliant, therefore they can be less expensive than brilliant rounds. However, it is important to consider diamonds with excellent or very good cut grades as the cutting style can determine the amount of sparkle in the diamond. Also consider that fancy shapes like princess and heart can be more delicate due to their pointed corners.

Emerald Loose Diamond

Step Cuts

Step cut diamonds are less popular but are unique in their look. They have facets that run parallel to each other and the edge of the stone. The facets are cleanly cut and precise, and the attention is drawn to the large facet at the topmost point of the diamond. This elegant and unique type of cut has scintillation and shine. The most famous type of step cut is an emerald shaped diamond. Step cut diamonds maximize most of the original diamond weight and carat size. Therefore, it can be more cost-effective to purchase a step cut diamond.

Rose Loose Diamond

Old World Cuts

Old world cuts are those which were crafted by hand for older diamonds. These loose diamonds are also known as European cut, Rose cut, and the Old Miner cut. Before the round brilliant cutting method was perfected and machines came into the forefront, this was the primary style of diamond cutting. Antique jewelry pieces, or those crafted before the 1900’s were crafted with this cutting style. These diamonds have larger more open facets, and are not always optimized for symmetry. Because of their large facets, they do not sparkle as much as the brilliant cut diamonds. Some prefer the intense sparkle of the brilliant cut, while others prefer the softer sparkle of the old cut diamond.

Why You Should Buy Loose Diamonds

Buying a loose diamond can be a great decision for a variety of reasons.

  • Diamonds are one of a kind and can be sold quickly. Therefore, if you like a diamond, purchase it sooner rather than later. Once sold, it is possible to find something similar but not necessarily exactly the same.
  • Loose diamonds may also be more reasonably priced than a preset jewelry item. There is more transparency as to the quality, and grade of the diamond and therefore, a greater need for sellers to price their diamond competitively. This enables you to get the best diamond price possible.
  • Additionally, once diamonds are set in jewelry, it can be hard to discern their quality. When looking at diamonds that are unset, it can be easier to see their color, cut and clarity.
  • Finally, purchasing a loose diamond provides you with flexibility. If you do not know exactly which type of jewelry you may want to set the diamond in, you can save it for a later date so you can get it just right. Overall, there are many benefits to purchasing loose diamonds.

Where to Buy a Loose Diamond

loose diamonds in round, cushion, radiant, oval and pear shapes, in hand

Loose diamonds can typically be purchased through different retailers both online and in stores. We also have an entire section dedicated to the difference between buying diamonds in store or online. There are benefits to purchasing diamonds in either location. Diamonds purchased in store can be seen in person.

In-Store vs. Online Diamond Buying

Be careful when purchasing diamonds in store. Retailers can markup diamonds by up to 30% to cover the overhead costs. You may also be faced with a limited selection to compare against one another. Shopping online will give you a wide variety of diamonds to compare against one another. Many online retailers also have great relationships with wholesale diamond suppliers and may be able to pass the savings onto the end consumer.

Shopping for a diamond online requires a bit of research, however most retailers are happy to share all the information you need as well as magnified images and video so that you can see the characteristics of the diamond very clearly before making your purchase. When purchasing online, be sure to only get a diamond that is certified. This will ensure that the diamond has all the same characteristics that the retailer is advertising.

What Diamonds are Best to Buy?

When purchasing, GIA or IGI diamonds are typically what we recommend and hold inventory for. Reasoning is, these are the most trusted laboratories with the strictest standards. Many GIA and IGI diamonds are also inscribed microscopically on the girdle so that they can easily be identified with 50x magnification. Learn more about diamond certification. Overall, wherever you decide to purchase, be sure that you can trust the retailer and that they have a return policy in the event that you are not satisfied with the diamond.


Where can I buy loose diamonds?

You can buy loose diamonds from wholesalers and retailers all over the globe according to your budget and preference. At With Clarity, we only sell GIA certified natural diamonds and IGI certified lab grown diamonds to ensure that our customers get what they pay for.

How much are loose diamonds worth?

It can be less expensive to buy a loose diamond rather than one that is set in jewelry. You can expect to pay around 30% lesser than retail store prices for diamonds purchased online. Loose lab diamonds are up to 50% less expensive than their natural diamond counterparts. Having said that, a loose diamond’s value depends on the size, cut and color selected.

Can I sell my loose diamond?

Yes, of course, you can sell your loose diamond and get the best value for your stone. Many jewelers will offer a trade in and upgrade program that will allow you to get a new diamond in place of your old one.

Should I buy a loose diamond or a ring?

While it is a little more effort to buy a loose diamond, it offers many advantages such as getting the perfect match for your budget and preferences. You can then design the ring according to personal tastes. Alternatively, you can also set the loose diamond in other jewelry like earrings or necklaces.
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