When considering purchasing a diamond, examining the cut and how the light reflects through it is very important in determining the quality of grade. A diamond cut that is rated ideal or even excellent means that the diamond itself is cut to proportion.
In comparison, a poorly cut diamond will not sparkle or shine as much as an ideal because light doesn’t bounce through the stone the way it should. For those sticking to a budget but are concerned with size, a diamond cut grade of Fair to Good may be a feasible choice, especially in a unique shape.
- Consider the cut of the diamond the most important factor when making a purchase. This will determine the long-term sparkle and shine of the diamond itself.
- If you are following a budget, you may want to choose a diamond with a good to very good cut grade which holds an excellent combination of beauty and value.
- Proceed with caution when comparing cut grades from different sources, as they are most likely inconsistent with the terms they use to describe different cuts.
Ideal Cut- Ideal Cut diamonds are primarily determined by their proportions and percentages that heighten the overall appearance and appeal of the diamond. Ideal cuts give off a more brilliant appearance seeing as though they let off more reflecting light. Seen as rarer, they represent the top 3% of diamond cut quality.
Very Good-Represented by about 15% of diamond cut quality; a very good cut is very close in appearance to an ideal cut, but usually offered for a lower price. Unaided eyes will have a hard time determining the differences between a very good diamond and that of a higher grade, seeing as though they have a similar sparkle.
Good- A good cut diamond still showcases the appearance of sparkle and shine, but with a lower percentage of light reflecting through to its viewers. This cut represents around 25% of diamond cut quality, for a lower price than higher comparative cuts.
Poor/Fair-Offering the best prices out of the four main cuts of diamonds; with a representation of around 35% of diamond cut quality; poor to fair diamonds offer little to no sparkle and brilliance. Light escapes from the bottom as well as the side of the diamond making it less reflective. However, these types of diamonds make an adequate choice for smaller carats and those acting as side stones.
Seen as the second most important factor when purchasing a diamond; color can help identify the overall quality of the diamond. The highest quality often being colorless and white in appearance, while lower qualities appear as pale or even yellow. The color of a diamond is usually rated on a scale, starting at D which is seen as "colorless," all the way down to J which is said to be "near colorless." Keep in mind however that the less body color in a white diamond, the more true color it will reflect, and thus the greater its value.
- Registered grading or jewelry professionals should be your go-to for determining the color grade of a diamond you choose.
- The setting of the ring can play a role in the perception and view of the color; therefore consider the diamond shape, size, and ring or metal used to set.
- Diamonds that are nearly colorless, but not entirely- usually provide the best value.
Diamond clarity can be defined as the assessment of small imperfections on the surface and throughout. Clarity can be broken down into four different types: “IF” which represents internally flawless, “VVS1 or VVS2” representing very or very slightly included, “VS1-VS2”, also called very slightly included, or “S1-S2” meaning slightly included. The surface flaws are often referred to as blemishes, and internal defects are known as inclusions. Although determining the clarity of your diamond is an important part of making a purchase, most of these imperfections of flaws aren’t visible to the naked eye.
- When purchasing a diamond, set your estimated budget, and reduce the clarity to stay within that.
- Proceed with caution when making your purchase; approximately 1 in 3 diamonds sold have been "enhanced" in one way or another. Unfortunately, there are a variety of different tactics used to artificially improve the natural clarity of a diamond. Therefore only make a diamond purchased through a certified jeweler or diamond expert.
A diamond’s carat refers to a diamond’s weight; with one carat equaling 0.2 grams. The more carats a diamond is, the more likely the diamond will show flaws such as a yellowish color or lack of overall clarity. When comparing diamond carat sizes, consider a diamond’s cut as well.
With a bigger carat size of a diamond, the diamond’s price will increase because the rarer it is to find.
- Carat is the commonly the most misunderstood of the 4Cs. It actually refers to a diamond's weight, not the diamond’s size.
- For those sticking to a stricter budget, find a diamond that’s below the industry carat weight cut-offs (ex. 0.25, 0.50, 1.0, 1.5).
- When choosing a larger carat diamond, consider shopping online. Utilizing physical stores is usually a more painstaking decision due to factors such as limited selections, poorer quality, and higher prices.