While there is much reason behind the old adage that a diamond engagement ring is the ultimate symbol of enduring love, the guideline of two (2) month’s salary, it is just that, a guideline. But a diamond engagement ring is one of the most important – and often one of the largest – purchases you will make in your life so you will want to be sure you do it right. For many, the choice of a diamond is the most difficult part, but with the help of the information provided here, you will be much more informed and hopefully more confident about the process. Throughout the process, keep in mind that if you do it right, it’s the only one you will ever have to buy and it will never wear out, never lose its sparkle, and always be a family heirloom to be passed down from one generation to the next.
The shape of a diamond reflects it character and different people are attracted to different shapes. There is a common misconception that all diamond rings look good on all fingers, but that’s not quite true because some diamond shapes look more striking on some fingers than others. This quick guide will help you to learn the difference between the different diamond shapes.
The quality of a diamond is evaluated using 4 primary characteristics known as the 4C’S – cut, color, clarity and carat. There is a wide range of diamond sizes and qualities available within any given budget. The challenge is to determine which of the 4C’s is most important to you in order to narrow this range so you can make the best choice. Cut The cut of a diamond determines its brilliance and sparkle. Cut is important because it is a direct indication of the brilliance and sparkle of a diamond. Diamonds with perfect clarity or color but which are badly cut can appear dull and lifeless, but finely cut diamonds can in many cases be brilliant even if with average or below average color and clarity. The better the cut, the more rare and the more valuable is the diamond. Color The color of a diamond results from light passing through chemical impurities and/or defects is the crystalline structure. These inclusions alter the amount of light absorption pattern so that color is visible to the human eye. While diamonds come in many colors and many hues, the most common color and hue is yellow. The amount of yellow hue is graded according to a scale which ranks rewards the lack of color with the highest letter grades and which ranges from D (colorless) to Z (heavy yellow). Diamond whose color is beyond Z are denoted as “fancy” diamonds are are graded using their own scale and terminology. The purer and more intense the color, the rarer and more valuable is the diamond. Clarity The clarity of a diamond is a measure of the number and type of inclusions within the diamond and on its surface. The fewer the inclusions visible under a 10X magnifier, the higher the clarity grade which ranges from flawless to heavily included.. Carat The term “carat” refers to the weight and size of a diamond. The value of a diamond rises exponentially with its size. Most diamonds fall in between 0.01 carat and 1.00 in size. Put another way, that range is between a hundredth of a carat and a full carat in weight. » Learn more about the 4C’s
Fluorescence is another characteristic of the diamond that should be considered before buying. It refers to the blue light, which is emitted by some diamonds under black UV lights. Some diamonds emit blue glow while others emit moderate glow, some don’t even glow at all. Fluorescence is a complicated characteristic as it can either decrease or increase the worth of a diamond. For the colorless diamonds from the scale of D, E, F. Fluorescence is not that beneficial but for the stones that have yellowish tinge as J, strong or medium Fluorescence help in making it appear white. Consider all the above stated factors and have a happy diamond shopping experience.
Carat Weight Carat is the unit in which a diamond is weighed. One carat equals to 0.2 grams or 200 milligrams. Carat weight is the prime factor that determines the weight of a diamond. Larger diamonds are undoubtedly costlier. Carat makes expressing diamond weight easier as compared to milligrams. Instead of giving three labels to diamonds weighing 20 milligrams, 211 milligrams and 220 milligrams, carat offers a category for fitting the diamonds in a one category, placing these diamonds in one-carat range. CaratWeight One should not forget that high carat weight does not necessarily mean a larger looking diamond. Even diamonds of the same weight can differ on a basis of other factors, especially cut that influences perceived size. Large diamonds are rare to find and much in demand as compared to small diamonds even of the same quality. The price of a one-carat solitaire diamond ring is more than a ring with smaller diamonds making up the same carat weight. Diamond comparison is not effective until you compare the diamonds of similar features and qualities. While comparing the value of different diamonds, divide cost of every diamond in accordance with the carat weight and then calculate its price per carat. You may have witnessed your jeweler discussing points while talking about diamond sizes. This is not in context with the number of facets a diamond has but to the weight of the diamond. One carat is equivalent to 100 points, so every point is 1/100th of a carat. Carat weight also influences a diamond’s price. Because of the rarity of larger stones, they are priced higher. Carat weight is an important consideration while buying the diamonds for your-self.
Color While the jeweler talks about the diamonds color, he is referring to the absence and presence of the color in the diamond. Color of a diamond is a result of diamond’s composition and does not change with time. Colorless diamonds allow light to travel through them as compared to the colored diamonds. These diamonds also emit more fire and sparkle. The process, through which a diamond is formed, is the deciding factor for its color. The whiter the diamond is the higher value it will have. DiamondColor For grading the color of diamonds, jewelers refer to GIA’s color scale that starts the rating with D for the colorless diamonds and grows up to Z as the traces of light yellow or brown color are found in the diamond. Diamonds graded from D to F are amongst the most desirable and valuable stones. These diamonds are a delight for the diamond lovers. Nevertheless, if you have a low budget, you can also find good diamonds with lower grades. These diamonds are not exactly colorless but show no color to untrained eye. Consider the setting of the diamond before choosing the grade of a diamond. If the setting for your diamond is platinum or white gold, go for high color grades, if you want to get it fitted in yellow gold, slightly low grade diamonds can also look great. While you will find faint yellow hint in the diamonds that are graded from J to M, the color can be camouflaged by choosing the right setting for the stone. Many people prefer the warm glow given by low color diamonds. Fluorescence is found in the diamonds while they are exposed to ultraviolet light with long wave. Under most of the lighting conditions, this effect cannot be seen by eyes. Some people prefer diamonds without this effect while others look for it. It is all about the aesthetics.
Clarity Diamond clarity means finding out characteristics of a diamond, including the blemishes and inclusions. If you consider the pressure that a diamond is created, and that they are not produced in sterile laboratory, you will be not be surprised to find that most of these diamonds are not free of flaws. Usually there are two kinds of flaws found in diamonds – blemishes and inclusions. Inclusions are naturally occurring internal flaws that are found in diamonds including cracks, air bubbles, and mineral. However, most blemishes occur at the time of cutting process. The diamonds that have less blemishes and inclusions are considered valuable as compared to those that have more. On a basis of clarity, grades are given to diamonds under loupe magnification. These grades vary from the ones that do not have blemishes or inclusions to those that do. There are different grades given to a diamond like F, IF, VVS1-VVS2, SI1-SI2 and I1-I2-I3. Diamond’s clarity grade is proof of the identity of the diamond. DiamondClarity GIA certificates consist of a diamonds inclusion plot, as there is no similarity between two diamonds. The plot of the GIA certificate ensures the worth of the diamond you are planning to buy. It lets you have the assurance that the diamond you are receiving is the one you have paid for. If you are in a fix about what clarity grade you should choose, flawless is the best and rarest clarity grade. Diamonds that are VS and VVS grades are great in terms of appearance and value. You can also invest in less expensive options that include SI2 and SI1 where inclusions can also not be seen by the naked eye.
Cut People often confuse diamond shape with diamond cut. Shape of the diamond is the outward appearance. When the diamond jewelers use the word cut, they are referring to reflective qualities of the diamond not their shape. Quality of diamond cut is a crucial part of 4Cs of diamonds. A great cut provides brilliance to the diamond. Finish and angles of all the diamonds lets you determine the diamond’s ability to handle light that results in its brilliance. When a diamond has a good cut, light travels through it easily, adding to its spark. The light that is passed through the diamond because of cut is alone responsible for making the diamonds shine and increase their desirability. If a diamond is not cut properly, light enter through the table after reaching the facets, it leaks out from bottom or side, cutting down its brilliance. DiamondCut Many gemologists believe that best of diamond cuts are made after following a formula calculated for maximizing the brilliance. The formula is in the proportions of the diamond, especially in the context of how depth compares to diameter. If you are buying diamonds without GIA certificates, invest some time finding certified diamonds and gain some knowledge for identifying better cuts. Variance in proportions to poor cut and ideal cut is difficult to find out by the casual observer. As cut is important, you can make use of different grading methods for determining the cut of a specific diamond. Selection of grade cut is based on a person’s preference. For making the best selection, one needs to be acquainted with different grades. Ideal diamond cut has maximum brilliance and the small table size of these diamonds work in the best possible way to create fire or dispersion. With ideal cut diamonds, you can be sure of having the finest return of money invested. This category is just for round shaped diamonds. Premium cuts are also equivalent to ideal cuts in round diamonds but the price is slightly lower. Very Good diamond cuts reflect maximum light entered in, providing fair amount of brilliance to the diamonds. Good Cut diamonds reflect most of the light that passes through them. The proportion of these diamonds is outside the preferred range. Diamonds that fall under this category will allow you save money without compromising on beauty and quality of the diamond. Fair and Poor quality diamonds reflect very little proportion of light that is entered to them. These diamonds are cut in order to increase carat weight above all the other considerations. Diamond Anatomy Diamond Anatomy Diameter: The width of the diamond as measured through the girdle. Table: The largest polished facet located on the top of the diamond. Crown: The top part of a diamond extending from the table to the girdle. Girdle: The edge of the diamond where the crown and pavilion meet. Pavilion: The bottom part of a diamond that extends from the girdle down to the culet. Culet: The small or pointed facet at the very bottom of a diamond. Depth: The height of the diamond as measured from the table to the culet.