When it comes to buying diamonds…do you know what to look for?
Here’s a hint.. the 4 C’s; cut, clarity, colour and carat weight. Each of these factors are important to consider when choosing your diamond.
The cut of the diamond is said to be the most important of the 4 C’s. The cut gives a diamond its brilliance; a brightness that appears to come from the heart of the diamond. Now, don’t confuse the cut of a diamond with the shape. Shape is referring to the outward appearance of the diamond (pear, emerald, round, etc.), whereas the cut refers to the diamond’s reflective qualities. The cut of a diamond is a hard formula to master, that’s why the Hearts on Fire diamond is considered the world’s most perfectly cut diamond.
When talking about a diamond’s clarity, we are referring to whether or not it has inclusions or blemishes. Inclusions are non-diamond materials that are within the diamond, whereas blemishes are describes as surface flaws (scratches, pits or chips). The fewer the inclusions, the more value the diamond has. Therefore, on the scale of clarity, the best choice for value and appearance are VVS and VS.
Did you know that the colour of white diamonds can range all the way from colourless to a yellow/brownish colour? What does that mean on the colour scale? The colour is referring to the presence or absence of colour in a white diamond. This does not include fancy coloured diamonds, such as blue, green or even yellow; these diamonds are valued higher due to their colour. When a diamond is colourless, it allows the most light to pass through; optimizing its ability to emit that sparkle and fire that catches your eye.
Colour rating for diamonds begin at D (colourless) and spans through the entire length of the alphabet:
D-F – Most valuable and desirable, rare
G-I – Virtually colourless to the untrained eye
J-M – A faint yellowish colour that can be minimized by the colour of the ring (yellow gold)
Is bigger really better? Of course…but don’t let that rule your budget when it comes to carat weight. The process in which a diamond is formed is a rare occurrence; usually the natural materials needed are only found in small amounts. This means that larger diamonds are discovered less often. For this reason, a larger diamond is considered a rarity and valued higher per carat. When choosing a carat weight be sure to consider the mount that the diamond will sit on, as well as hand size; smaller hands create an effect that causes a diamond to appear larger.
Buying diamonds SHOULD be a thoughtful process. Be sure that you are informed on the 4 C’s in order to purchase the best diamond for your dollar.