Diamond Buying Guide All what you need to know
Diamond Buying Guide
Pretty and captivating, enigmatic, and spectacular, the diamond has inflamed romantic passion throughout history. The word alone provokes up a thousand images of beautiful, precious, and glittering tokens of love. Everybody knows that diamonds are expensive. When there are so many diamonds available, it becomes difficult to choose the right one for you that suits your budget and choice. Unless you are a skilled gemologist, how can you know? The good news is that our diamond buying guide can provide you complete peace of mind for your diamond purchase.
Buying a diamond is a critical decision. No matter if it is your first purchase or the 100th. Always set a budget in your mind before looking for diamonds.
If you are surprised to see the price tag, you might decide to compromise on the diamond of your dreams.
You don’t need to compromise on the quality. You can still buy your favorite diamond with less carat weight instead of choosing an undervalued stone. Two diamonds of the same size are not equally valuable.
It is necessary to understand the 4Cs before buying a diamond. It is a universal diamond classification and grading system. The 4Cs include cut, color, clarity, and carat.
The first C is the cut. Don’t confuse it with a diamond shape. A diamond cut refers to the symmetry of its sides and measurement of angles. A diamond shape refers to external appearance i.e. round, pear, cushion, heart, and oval.
When diamonds come out of mines, they appear like plain rocks. A highly professional and skilled diamond cutter shapes the jewel in a way that adds flicker, brilliance, and glitter to the cut. The real meaning of diamond cut is the cut quality that can be characterized as poor, fair, good, very good, and excellent.
Gemologists always maintain a balance between a stone’s diameter and its carat weight. So that all the light enters the diamond reflects.
The last step of diamond cutting is polishing, because when the diamonds are cut some blemishes and flaws appear that hinder the reflection of light. Highly skilled gemologists focus on symmetry, and polish of the diamonds to enhance the brilliance, dispersion, and scintillation. You must be confused about these three terms. Don’t worry, this diamond buying guide has all the answers.
- Brilliance– It is the intensity of the white light by which it reflects through the diamond’s crown. Brilliance is the base of the stone’s overall beauty.
- Dispersion– It is the ignition inside the diamond. The white light refracts inside the stone and then reflects outside the diamond in the form of a colored spectrum.
- Scintillation– Scintillation is the diamond’s glitter. When the stone moves, the faces reflect the small bursts of light and results in sparkle.
The grading of a diamond’s cut depends upon the symmetry, diameter, and quality of the polish. Stones are usually graded as excellent, very good, good, poor, and very poor.
Diamonds naturally occur in a variety of colors. Their color determines their value. The rarest type is the one with no color. The fancy colored diamonds are less expensive than transparent or white ones. But fancy blue and fancy red are extremely rare and big budget.
The colorless diamonds are graded on a scale from D-Z according to the Gemological Institute of America. The absence of color proves its worth as it has a significant impact on its appearance. Read on this diamond buying guide to understand the color grades.
- Colorless– D, E, and F grades diamonds are the highest quality stones. A D grade diamond is extremely rare and has remarkable brilliance.
- Nearly Colorless– G, H, I, and J grade diamonds have detectable color when compared with higher grade diamonds. G and H stones have excellent value. An average person can notice a slight color in I and J grade diamonds.
- Pale Yellow– K, L, and M grade diamonds have a noticeable color, but they still look amazingly pretty. When they are fixed in yellow gold, their own color is not apparent.
Fancy Colored Diamonds
Naturally colored diamonds are so rare like there is one in ten thousand diamonds. The colored diamonds can be characterized into groups. They include Grey, brown, yellow, red, green, pink, purple, orange, black, and olive. The value of a natural color diamond depends upon the strength of its color.
Sometimes a secondary color appears in precious diamonds. For example, a pink diamond is far most costly than another pink diamond with a tinge of brown.
If you intend to purchase a specific colored diamond with a low budget, then go for the one with secondary color because the effect will be negligible, but the cost will be noticeable.
Diamond fluorescence is considered a defect and it reduces the price. In white diamonds, florescence is a gain. It is a characteristic that makes the diamond appear whiter. This means you can consider purchasing a diamond with a lower color grade and high fluorescence.
But the story is completely different for naturally colored diamonds. If you want to purchase a natural yellow diamond, florescence will greatly affect its natural color.
When light passes through a diamond, it reflects, making the diamond shine. Some diamonds contain inclusions and blemishes. The more the inclusions, the more difficult it is for the light to pass through. Thereby, reducing the glitter.
Inclusions are present in the form of black or grey spots. It is very rare for the diamond to be flawless. There is a GIA clarity scale for diamonds that checks the inclusion level.
Two diamonds with the same clarity grade do not necessarily have equal value. Gemologist observes the diamonds under 10X magnification to find out their clarity grades.
- Flawless Diamond Clarity– The diamonds with zero inclusions both internally and externally under 10X magnification have flawless diamond clarity. They are rarest of the rare and the most expensive ones.
- VVS Diamond Clarity– These are subcategorized into VVS1 and VVS2. The grade point for VVS1 is higher than VVS2. The blemishes in the VVS diamonds are not easy to detect even under 10X magnification. People prefer to purchase VVS stones more than Flawless diamonds because they cost lesser than them.
- VS Diamond Clarity– VS also has 2 further divisions that are VS1 and VS2. VS1 is better than VS2. A normal person can easily detect the inclusions in them under 10X magnification, but the blemishes are invisible when observed with a naked eye. No one can detect a flaw in them without using a magnifying glass. Their price is lesser than VVS stones.
- SI Diamond Clarity– SI diamond clarity is subdivided into SI-1 and SI-2. The SI-1 classification is difficult to negotiate. Inclusions present in stones of lesser than 1.5 carats are not detectable by an average person. The blemishes present in SI-2 stones are slightly noticeable but look beautiful when fixed in jewelry.
- I Diamond Clarity– There are 3 categories of I diamond clarity. I-1, I-2, and I-3. Inclusions present in I-1 can be detected with the naked eye. Blemishes and spots present in I-2 and I-3 are visible across the room. People purchase the I stones because they are cheap, but they regret them later due to huge unclarity.
It is one of the most important qualities for people who want to purchase a higher quality diamond on a budget. As you already know that color and clarity of the stone make a huge difference in appearance.
Diamond carat is the measurement of stone’s weight. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams. Each carat is further divided into 100 parts. A diamond having a weight lesser than 1 carat is explained or called in point values. For example, a 0.25 carat diamond is known as 25 pointers.
Sometimes, people mistakenly consider carat weight as the size of the diamond. It is not necessarily true. Like humans, the more the weight, the bigger the size, but several other factors also affect the size.
The diamond cut plays a vital role. It affects its diameter and brilliance. The stones with poor cut maintain their heavy weight but look smaller. Similarly, a diamond of lesser weight can look bigger with a perfect cut.
Half carat, three-quarter carat, and carat are considered as magic sizes. Apparently, there is a little difference in 0.99 and a full carat but there is a significant difference in price.
Diamonds are available in a variety of shapes and each one is unique and beautiful in its own way. They are fixed in diamond rings, pendants, necklaces, and earrings that you will cherish for life.
- Round– It is one of the most popular and modish shape that matches all styles and tastes.
- Princess-It has a square cut with brilliant sparkle. Princess shape is the inverted form of a pyramid that beautifully reflects light.
- Marquise– This is an elongated shape that is usually fixed in rings. Marquise shaped rings are perfect for chubby hands. They make them look slender.
- Oval– It is a unique and elegant shape and a little similar to round shaped diamonds. It was first introduced by a Russian diamond cutter in 1960.
- Pear– This shape is beautiful for engagement rings. It will make your fingers appear slender. Pear shape was created for the first time in the 1400s.
- Emerald– It was first introduced in the 1920. Emerald is the perfect choice for people who like vintage styles.
- Heart– It is a true symbol of love and romance. The heart shape is the perfect choice for engagement rings and pendants. The first heart-shaped diamond was cut in the 1600s.
- Asscher– It has a royal background and was commissioned by King Edward VII to cut for English crown jewels. This shape was popular in 1920s.
- Radiant– It is a rectangular shape with remarkable brilliance. If you like the simpler styles, then this shape is definitely for you.
- Cushion– It is a square shape with round edges. It reminds you of the shape of a pillow. The first cushion-shaped diamond was first aroused in the 19th century.
The most expensive shape of the diamond is the round one. If you are looking for some less costly jewel, go for a cushion or oval shape because if they are cut or shaped accurately, they look brighter and bigger than their carat size.
If you want to design your jewelry, it is very important to choose a good craftsman. He will know how to maximize the potential of a diamond.
If you have purchased a low clarity diamond, an expert will set it in yellow gold that will mask the real brilliance. A small-sized pair of diamonds will appear bigger in the bagel setting instead of a prong setting.
If you want to purchase the colored diamonds, then go for a weaker color. A good setting will enhance its appearance. For example, light yellow stones are fixed in yellow gold that will intensify the actual color of the diamond.
Ensure that you receive a certificate on purchasing a diamond. There are a few highly reliable grading houses around the globe and those are GIA, AGS, and DCLA.
Don’t you ever accept the certificate from a retailer even if they are GIA certified. Only accept the certificate from grading houses because they ensure the quality of the stone you have paid for.
Always check your diamond of interest with a magnifying glass to ensure the absence of inclusions. Understand all 4Cs grading system of the precious stone.
Consider the shape if it suits your personality or not. Choose a skilled craftsman for your jewelry setting and don’t forget to take a certificate from a reliable grading house.
We hope all the information in our diamond buying guide is enough to make the right purchase of your favorite diamond.
Don’t settle to buy cheap diamonds instead go for a buy smart option!