Everyone knows that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. But how do you pick the perfect diamond? What do you look for to know that you are getting top quality? After all, diamonds are as unique and individual as people, and when giving one as a gift, you want to give the best.
What to Look for in Order to Pick the Perfect Diamond
When looking to pick the perfect diamond, there are four main characteristics you want to look for, all of which influence the price. These main characteristics can easily be remembered as the Four C’s:
The Cut of a Diamond
This describes the finish, proportion and polish of the diamond. It is what determines the brilliance and fire of a diamond and is the only value factor influenced by humans.
There are two elements involved in choosing the perfect cut which ensures it will have extraordinary fire, brilliance and scintillation (sparkle).
First, the diamond needs to be cut to the most ideal and accurate proportions.
When a diamond is well cut, the light enters through the face and travels to the center where it is then refracted off the sides then back through the face. This light is the brilliance you see when looking at a well-cut diamond. If the cut is too shallow or deep, the light escapes from the facets instead of being refracted.
One of the most brilliant and exquisite cuts is the Hearts and Arrows diamonds. These diamonds are cut to ideal proportions, allowing them to reflect and refract the light brilliantly and to the maximum extent.
Second is the shape of the diamond. Although it plays an important part, it is a part that is completely dependent on personal preference.
There are several shapes, the most popular and precious being the square-cut or the Princess, and the round cut, known as Round Brilliant. These two cuts allow the gem cutter to retain more of the gems original and authentic qualities.
Other popular shapes include Emerald, Asscher, Oval, Radiant, Pear, Heart, Cushion, Trilliant and Marquise.
The Clarity of a Diamond
The clarity is another consideration when it comes to how to pick the perfect diamond. The clarity refers to the clearness or the purity of the stone. The majority of diamonds will contain natural flaws that occur while it is being formed. However, flaws can also occur as a result of the cutting process. The size, number and visibility of these flaws is what determines the clarity of a diamond.
In general, the fewer the flaws a stone has, the more brilliance it will have, and in turn, the more desirable and pricier it will be.
Diamonds are assigned grades by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) similar to how you were given grades for your work in school, only with diamonds, an ‘F’ grading is the most desirable! The grades range from “F” representing a flawless stone to “I” describing a stone that has inclusions.
Many diamonds can be found at various grades between “F” and “I.” In reality, many diamonds will have “inclusions” or surface blemishes, but these inclusions cannot usually be seen with the naked eye.
Diamonds given a grade of VVS1 or VVS2, usually have the presence of tiny inclusions which are not visible to the untrained eye even when using a magnifying glass.
Others may receive a grade of VS1 and VS2, meaning they have minor inclusions which are not visible to the naked eye but may be seen with a magnifying glass.
The Color of the Diamond
Diamonds also receive grades for the amount of color they contain. The highest quality diamonds are colorless, as they reflect the most light, giving off the most brilliance. However, most diamonds actually have a yellow tint that cannot be seen with the naked eye.
Diamonds with a grade of D, E and F have the fullest purity, these are also the rarest.
G, H, and I are near colorless, with the yellow tint undetectable by the naked eye.
Diamonds with a grade of K, L or M will have a very faint yellow hue.
Anything further along in the alphabet and you will clearly see a yellowish cast.
Of course, there are also colored diamonds, known as Fancy Color Diamonds, and their steep prices reflect their scarcity. Colors include Canary Yellow, Purplish Pink, Black, Blue, Champagne, even Green and Red. These diamonds have a grading system of their own.
The Carat of the Diamond
Another consideration when looking to pick the perfect diamond is the carat. This one is probably the most well-known of the Four C’s. Carat refers to the weight of the diamond, and the larger the carat, the higher the price. One carat is equivalent to 0.20 grams.
Keep in mind, just because the stone is giant, does not mean it is of good quality. Larger ones with good quality are rarer because it is harder to cut them and keep the perfection. That is why many smaller stones are often of an excellent grade.
Other Qualities to Consider In Order to Pick the Perfect Diamond
Although the Four C’s are the most important qualities to look for when looking to pick the perfect diamond, several other factors come into play as well.
What type of metal do you want for the casing?
There are plenty of options including yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, sterling silver, platinum, titanium and several others.
You also need to consider the type setting of the stone you want. Do you want a bezel, invisible, channel, prong or other type of setting?
Also consider the style of the setting. Do you want a solitaire or cluster? Accent stones? Two or three stones?
You might also want to consider the jewelry designer. There are many distinguished designers with thousands of gorgeous designs. I suggest you research the designers and learn more about their work, see what makes the designer unique and look for specific examples of the jewelry.
Learn as much as you can about what makes that designer popular and their work shine. High quality jewelers will carry jewelry by well-known designers.
Finally, always make sure to ask for a Diamond Certificate. This is an evaluation of the unique characteristics that are exclusive to your diamond. It is important not only for insurance reasons, but also so you know you have something of lasting value that will be cherished forever.
Be aware of what to look for when looking to pick the perfect diamond, and you will know that you have made an investment that will last forever.