The secrets of diamond buying…


When, where, what quality, which design

Buying a diamond is one of the rare pleasures of mankind. The tiniest diamond in an engagement ring has the same magic as a great stone bought for a princess. Both are unique, both were formed billions of years ago by unimaginable pressure and temperature deep within the earth. Then brought to the surface by violent volcanoes, finally mined, cut and polished into the most beautiful of gems the ultimate symbol of love and appreciation. No wonder man is prepared to pay so much for a diamond.

However, few people can identify a diamond and/or know its real value. And how many people know the difference between mass produced jewellery and a handmade item specially made by a master craftsmen? Not many. You thus need an expert to guide you through pitfalls when buying a loose diamond or one set in jewellery.

Dr Petr Prins, owner of Prins & Prins Diamonds, a leading diamond merchant and goldsmith design atelier in Cape Town, offers the following advice:

When to buy:

Few people realize that, today, the price of our diamonds is unrealistically low. The world economic crisis has caused the dollar price of most diamonds to decrease. At the same time the rand is extremely strong which means that the rand value of diamonds is currently lower than 5 years ago. If ever there was a right time to buy a diamond it is now. Celebrate an important milestone in your life a diamond will serve as a lifelong memento with an appreciating value.

Where to buy:

You should only buy a diamond from a reputable source who is a member of The Jewellery Council of South Africa. Today it is possible to make diamonds in the laboratory and to change their colour artificially. Fortunately, scientists can tell them apart. There is, however, a vast difference in the price of the real thing and the price of the man made one. Don’t be caught- consult an expert.

What quality to buy:

Determine your budget and your need. There is a diamond for every pocket. Ask your Jeweller to explain how diamonds are graded (the 4 C’s), or learn from the internet. Then look at a number of stones to see if you prefer size, colour, clarity or a specific cut, and then buy the one that “speaks” to you. For engagement couples this is a wonderful exercise, the first major purchase they make together and a unique moment they can treasure forever provided they buy the right diamond – the one that is meant for them.

A specially designed handmade item should cost about R1000-R2000 more than a similar mass produced item. But the handmade item will look and feel different (normally heavier) and the stones may be set better. For economic reasons more than 80% of all jewellery sold in SA are mass produced, mostly imported from the East. The prospective buyer should ask his jeweller to show him/her the difference and then decide if his budget can afford a handmade piece. You will never regret paying that little extra for a unique item of higher quality.

Which design?

Every woman is unique and her jewellery should compliment her features and be compatible with her lifestyle. Our jewellery consultants will advise on a suitable style or even design something special to be made. Try on rings, look at them in a mirror, and see which style looks right on your hand. Engagement couples should choose a classic style, something that won’t date. You should be able show your engagement ring to your grand children- and still be proud of it!

Here is the answerPRINS & PRINS DIAMONDS– Your diamond experts.

In every industry there is one company that sets the standard:
for jewellery it has always been Prins & Prins Diamonds.


Dr Prins has recently written “GEMS & JEWELLERY – the South African Handbook”. It describes the secrets, the workings and pricings of the diamond industry, and is an invaluable guide to whoever is interested in Gems and Jewellery. You can buy the book from their offices at R265 –
contact Stacey at for orders.

Prins & Prins employs 4 graduate gemmologists who are able to
identify and value gemstone or jewellery item.



You can browse through their large showrooms and can see how diamond cutters unlock the fire and brilliance of a rough diamond.

Their goldsmith atelier designs and creates award winning pieces in
gold, platinum, palladium and gold. Repairs and restringing of pearls are also done on-site.


Their international reputation for expertise and service,
quality diamonds and gemstones, has been nurtured over 3o years.

You are invited to visit Prins & Prins in the historic Huguenot House, corner 66 Loop and Hout Streets, Cape Town.
Their building is a fine example of Early Cape architecture with magnificently restored wall paintings and an indoor garden. It is well worth a visit.


Wanting to custom design your own ring? Pop us a message below