The world of diamonds can be overwhelming. There are so many different shapes, sizes, cuts, and colors. It can be challenging to know where to start when you’re looking for the perfect diamond for an engagement ring or another special occasion.
But with a bit of research, any jeweler can find the perfect stone. In this step-by-step guide for picking a flawless diamond, we’ll walk you through all the primary considerations to make your next purchase worth the money.
Step 1: Understand the 4Cs of Diamonds
The 4Cs of diamonds include carat weight, cut, color, and clarity. The four Cs are important because they help you understand how much the diamond is worth.
Each one of these four Cs affects the diamond in different ways. For example, colorless diamonds are rarer than colored diamonds and can cost significantly more money.
The cut of a diamond refers to how it is shaped and polished. A diamond with an excellent cut will typically reflect light through its top, bottom, and sides more evenly than one with a poor cut.
The most crucial factor for determining the brilliance of a diamond is its cut because it affects how much light can reach its center. If you’re looking for something that shines brightly, then opt for one with an excellent cut. You can tell this by checking out their perfectly symmetrical facets.
The GIA has created an international system for grading diamonds based on their cut quality. This system ranges from Excellent Cut to Poor Cut.
Diamond color ranges from nearly colorless (white) up through yellow or brownish tones at its deepest levels of saturation. Colorless diamonds are scarce because most of them have some tint or shade of yellow or brown to them.
Color is an essential factor in determining the value of a diamond. The GIA Color scale ranges from D (colorless) through Z (fancy-color diamonds, such as pinks and blues). The less color, the higher their value.
But there’s an exception to this rule: fancy-color diamonds, such as pinks and blues, lie outside this color range. These fancy-colored stones are rare and, therefore, highly valued.
The clarity of a diamond refers to the absence of these inclusions and blemishes. A diamond with better clarity is more expensive because it has fewer inclusions.
Inclusions are tiny imperfections that occur as a result of crystal growth. They appear as dark spots and are usually visible to the naked eye. Blemishes, on the other hand, are similar to inclusions but contain irregularities on the surface of a diamond which make it less attractive.
The GIA scale is from Flawless (F) to Included (I), with all steps in between to denote the clarity of a diamond. For example, the Flawless (FL) grade has no inclusions visible to the naked eye. Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) diamond grades have a small number of inclusions that are difficult for a skilled grader to detect under 10x magnification.
When buying a diamond, you should know the carat weight of your stone. The carat weight is the best way to determine a diamond’s value.
The term “carat” came from the seed of the carob tree and was used as a measurement for gemstones long before it was used for weighing diamonds. Today, one carat is equal to 0.2 grams or 200 milligrams.
A larger diamond equals a higher cost. However, there are exceptions where smaller diamonds may cost more per carat than larger ones due to their superior quality and rarity.
Step 2: Decide What To Buy
Before going out to buy a diamond, make sure that you know exactly how much money you wish to spend and what kind of diamond you want.
The bigger the stone is, the more expensive it will be but remember, bigger doesn’t always mean better. If your budget is limited, choose something small but still beautiful. A good rule of thumb is to keep the circumference of your finger in mind when selecting a ring size to avoid future regrets.
There are several types of diamonds available in the market, and each one has its characteristics. Here are the most common diamond cuts:
- Round brilliant-cut: The most popular diamond cut, this shape has angled facets around the top and bottom corners. It’s a classic look that works well in any setting.
- Princess cut: This square-shaped diamond is perfect if you’re looking for something different and unique. With fewer facets than a round brilliant, princess cuts also tend to be less expensive than other shapes.
- Emerald-cut: An emerald cut is similar to a round-cut but has more facets on the top of the stone, giving it more sparkle. It is a perfect fit if you’d like more sparkle on your diamond.
- Marquise cut: The marquise cut is similar to a pear shape but with more length on either side of the center point and a square-like outline. This shape looks great when set in an engagement ring or wedding band that has lots of curves or swirls.
- Oval cut: The oval cut is similar to an emerald cut but with rounded corners instead of square ones and fewer facets on top. The oval diamond is very versatile for setting styles and sizes.
- Cushion-cut: This is a cushion-shaped stone with rounded corners and a flat top and bottom.
Step 3: Choose a Good Retailer
The main thing to look for in a diamond retailer is its reputation. You want to make sure they have a good track record of selling high-quality diamonds. If they don’t, then you can’t be sure that the diamonds they sell are legitimate or not.
A good retailer will provide his customers with all the necessary information about diamonds, including their price, quality, and size, to make an informed decision before buying one.
When choosing your diamond, make sure it’s certified by an independent lab like the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). This will help you avoid buying a fake diamond or a gem that has been treated to improve its appearance.
You’ll also want to make sure that your retailer has many different options for you to choose from, whether you want a diamond tennis bracelet or a diamond ring. This way, you can buy all that you want at the same store.
Ask about their return policy if you’re not happy with your purchase. Some jewelers will offer returns within 30 days of purchase; others may not allow returns at all.
The diamond is an excellent choice for engagement rings and other jewelry. But you do need to be careful about how you pick out your diamond. Here are some tips:
If you’re buying a ring from a jeweler, see if they have any diamonds in stock that are similar in size and quality to what you want. This way, you can compare them side by side and make an informed decision.
Try on at least three different styles of ring. You may find that one style fits better than another.
Don’t settle for anything less than a GIA-certified diamond. These are considered the most reliable and consistent in terms of cut, color, clarity, and carat weight.
When shopping online or through mail-order catalogs, ask for high-quality photos of each stone, including the side view. Information about its origin and certification number is also essential.