October 23, 2017

Choosing the Right Diamond

Diemond engagement ringIf you are shopping for a diamond, there are certain things that you should consider to make your decision easier.   All you have to do is follow a correct approach to finding the sparkling diamond that’s right for you – finding the right diamond without exceeding your budget is easier than you might think if you shop smartly!

There are 4 things you need to take into account:

 

1)  Your Budget

2) Diamond Shape

3) The “4 C’s”

4) Other Diamond Characteristics

 Setting a Budget

You’d be surprised how many people shop for a diamond without having a budget in mind! Diamonds come in a mind-boggling array of  sizes, shapes and colors – having at least a ballpark figure in mind makes it easier to rule-in or rule-out certain stones.  And, it makes it easier for your jeweler to help you make a choice!  (More on that in a minute.)

Diamonds are priced based on their carat weight and color grades.  It’s difficult for the average person to see  the difference between different color grades.  If you invest in the lowest color grade that looks good to you, the lower prices per carat will allow you to buy a bigger diamond with the same budget.  The highest color grades (considered “colorless”) are  D, E and F.  They’re not always readily availab e and  are very expensive when they are. Just below this are the “near colorless” diamonds (grades are G, H, I and J) which account for the majority of engagement ring sales.

Smaller diamonds are less expensive to purchase as compared to single diamonds even with same carat weight. Buying three diamonds of around 0.50 carat will cost just a  fraction of what you would have to pay for one diamond weighing 1.50 carats.

Every diamond has inclusions but not all of these can be seen by the naked eye. If the diamonds that are you are investing in looks clean to you, then you need not pay extra for high clarity grades as they only add to the expense.

Shape of your diamond can affect measurable size of it.  Buy the shape that you love but if you are on a tight budget consider buying marquise, ovals,  or pear-shaped stones,  as they that look bigger than other shapes with the same carat weight. Cut also affects the measurable size of a diamond. Comparatively shallow diamonds are wider and longer.  Again, go for a cut which you find attractive and which  suits your budget.

The setting you choose also  impacts  the stone’s perceived size and price. White gold settings for diamonds cost around one third the price of  platinum ones. Diamonds that have a pave around the primary stone or ones in bezel settings appear bigger.

Choosing a Shape

Diamonds can be cut into an almost infinite number of shapes.  The most common are round, oval, marquise (oval with a point at each end), square, rectangular, or heart-shaped.  Dianonds can also be cut into a triangular shape (“trilliant”) – this is more popular for fashion rings, pendants or earrings than it is for an engagement ring.  Shape is not just a matter of outward appearance, it also involves how the stone is cut and now many facets it has. The most important thing is to choose a shape that you find attractive and which looks good on your hand.

Learn more about diamond shapes

The 4 C’s

Carat weight, color, cut and clarity all play a role in determining the price  of a diamond.  Knowing what these terms mean and how they interract with each other in determining the stone’s value can be very useful in helping you make a smart choice!

More on the 4 C’s

Other Characteristics – Fluorescence

Did you know that some diamonds are fluorescent?  These diamonds emit a blue glow when subjected to ultraviolet light – such as a “black light”, or the UV rays produced by  everyday indoor and outdoor lighting.  The degree of fluorescence can vary from one diamond to another – some exhibit this property quite stongly, others not at all.

For stones in the lower color grades such as I and J (which might have a faint yellowish tinge), a little  fluorescence can actually help make the diamond appear whiter!

Consider all the above factors and have a happy diamond shopping experience!