How to Choose a Diamond

The Cut 

  • Of the 4Cs, cut is the most important characteristic because it has the greatest influence on a diamond's sparkle. Simply put, the better the cut grade, the more it will sparkle.
  • Even if a diamond has a perfect clarity and color grade, if it has a poor cut, it may appear dull.
  • Gemologists recommend choosing the highest cut grade within your budget. Very Good or better, if possible.

A diamond's cut grade is a abjective measure of a diamond's light performance, or , what we generally think of as sparkle.  When a diamond is cut with the proper proportions, light is returned out of the top of the diamond (which gemologist refer to as the table). If it is cut to shallow, light leaks out of the bottom; too deep and it escapes out of the side.

The Color

  • Of the 4Cs, color is the second most important characteristic because the human eye detects sparkle first (diamond cut) and color second.
  • As a diamond's color grade improves, its price increases. However, at a certain point, the color difference cannot be detected unless under professional magnification.
  • To maximize your budget, choose what's called a near-colorless diamond (grades G-H) because the naked eye will still not see traces of color for these grades.

Color manifests itself in a diamond as a pale yellow. THis is why a diamond's color grade is based on its lack of color. Because color differences are detectable by placing diamonds next to each other, it is important to keep the color of diamonds in the same piece with in one grade of each other. 

 

The Clarity

  • Of the 4Cs, clarity is the third most important characteristic because most imperfections cannot be seen unless under professional magnification. 
  • Clarity refers to the tiny imperfections called inclusions. Diamonds with the least and smallest inclusions receive the highest clarity grades.
  • To maximize your budget, consider an SI quality diamond, knowing that it may have very slight inclusions visible to the naked eye.

Clarity refers to the tiny, natural imperfections that are present in all but the rarest diamonds. The less inclusions, the better the clarity. Gemoligist refer to these imperfections by a variety of technical names, including blemishes and inclusions. Because these imperfetions tend to be microscopic, they do not generally  affect a diamond beauty in any discernible way. 

The Carat

  • The most well-known and misunderstood characteristic of the 4Cs is Carat Weight. It actually refers to the diamond's weight, not its size.
  • To maximize your budget, consider buying a diamond that is slightly below your ideal carat weight. For example, instead of a 3.0 carat diamond consider buying a 2.9 carat weight.

Just as a dollar is divided into 100 pennies, a carat is divided into 100 points. For example, a 50-point diamond weighs 0.50 carats. The Carat is the standard unit of weight for diamonds and other gemstones, takes its name from the carob seed. Because these small seeds had a fairly uniform weight, early gem traders used them as counterweights in their balance scales. The modern metric carat, equal to 0.2 grams, was adopted by the United States in 1913 and other countries soon after. Today, a carat weighs exactly the same in every corner of the world.

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