People buy jewelry to adorn on themselves and to gift friends and family for events and occasions. These events can include anniversaries, engagements, holidays, and birthdays.
Diamonds are among the most widely bought jewelry. When seeking to purchase the best diamonds online or even in the brick-and-mortar stores, there are certain things you have to consider, so that the diamonds you purchase is worth your money.
Here are some considerations that will help you to find an ideal gift for your budget.
This term refers to the standard unit representing the weight of the carat. It’s a common misconception to think of carat defining the diamond’s size. The price of a diamond rises with the increase in carat size of a diamond. This is because larger diamond sizes are very rare to find. Diamonds bellow the 1-carat category are common.
When choosing your carat size, look for diamonds with weights that fall just below standard carat weights such as ‘1 carat’. Diamonds that are slightly smaller in weight values are sold at slight discounts compared to diamonds of the popular weight classes. For instance, a diamond with a weight of .90 carat should sell cheaper than a 1-carat diamond as per the ‘price-per-carat’ basis. The smaller stone may have a similar diameter to the larger one and hence appear the same size when viewed from above making them hard to distinguish visually.
Diamonds are created deep in the earth under incredible heat and pressure. Nearly every diamond features unique external characteristics known as blemishes and internal characteristics called inclusions. Apart from a trained gemologist most of these flaws are too minute to be seen by anyone else apart from a professional. The standard clarity scale contains eleven grades describing clarity from ‘flawless’ to ‘included.’
If you cannot stand the sight of imperfections, even the microscopic ones, there are expensive grades that are flawless including VVS2 grade. Other much cheaper diamonds fall between the VS1-VS2 grade range, and these appear perfect to the naked eye. Almost 50% of diamonds fall in this range. An even more popular range is SI1 where even though there are inclusions, they do no influence the appearance of the casual observer. This last range is compromised for someone who can’t afford a diamond of a better clarity but wants something seemingly flawless.
The very rare and highly valued stones are those that are truly colorless. Color distinctions require a trained eye to see, and although quite subtle they influence diamond price. The standard diamond color scale as set by the Gemological-Institute of America (G.I.A) starts from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown).
For the best value in what the naked eye would consider as a colorless diamond, aim for G-J diamonds. Since with larger diamonds, it is simpler to detect color go for G-H in stones with weights over 1 carat. For stones below 1 carat, you should go for the I-J diamonds. Once you set such stones on a ring, their colors will appear like higher color grades.
Colorless fluorescent diamonds sell at a discount of about 5-15%, compared to non-fluorescent diamonds since fluorescence is hugely considered as a fault. Gemologists can perceive visible effects of faint to medium fluorescence using special UV lighting. Fluorescence should not be a major consideration when looking for diamonds since its effect on appearance is negligible.
This term describes how a diamond’s angles and complex proportions relate to light. Factors like design, craftsmanship, overall face-up appearance, and cut grade influence a diamond’s cut grade. The standard GIA cut scale ranges from ‘excellent’ to ‘poor.’
Unlike color as well as clarity, and carat, cut grades are not uniformly defined across all retailers, and you should be cautious when comparing cut stones between different retailers as there may be inconsistencies. Also, watch out for sellers who assign diamonds with their cut grades instead of using what GIA set for them.
If you’re looking for a superior brilliance, go for cut grades of Excellent or Very Good. When choosing your diamond, also ensure polish and symmetry are Very good or excellent. For those working on a budget or if your primary concern is size, you should opt for a diamond of Fair-Good cut.
A lot more goes into selecting a diamond for your value of money than one would have thought. But with the basic understanding of Carat, clarity, color and cut and how they influence the pricing of diamond, you can confidently engage with your seller to get a diamond with your preferences.