Diamonds are probably the most popular of gemstones around but a lot of people are still intimidated by them. It must be because it’s not everyday that most people interact with diamonds. As such, when presented with the idea of choosing diamonds, a lot of people find the process to be overwhelming. Fortunately, dealing with diamonds isn’t rocket science. You just need to know your basics when it comes to dealing with diamonds.
There are generally four features that make up a diamond that then determines its price tag: cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. Out of these four features though, how a diamond is cut has the biggest impact on the price, making up around 25% to 50% of the tag. Carat weight accounts for around 10% to 20% of the price, while color and clarity will make up for the last 10% to 15%. A lot of people think that the bigger the diamond is the better so they just go for the biggest rock they can afford. However, if you’re looking for real value, carat weight (or how big a diamond is) will be the last thing you will take into consideration. Best value for your money means getting the highest quality diamond that you can afford.
How diamonds are cut directly affect how brilliant they are or how they sparkle. And you have to admit that sparkle is what a lot of people are after when they buy diamonds. If you’re going to focus on a certain feature then, make it the cut. A diamond can look bigger than its carat weight if it is cut well, after all, so buy the highest grade of a cut you can afford and just use trade-offs with color and clarity if a compromise is needed. Not all jewelers reveal the cut rating of their diamonds so make sure to ask.
As for color ratings for diamonds, the highest letter grade is “D”, a colorless diamond, and runs all the way through to “Z.” Diamonds will start showing hints of yellow when they have ratings below “J”, although color difference can already be detected starting from “I.” As such, you don’t necessarily have to buy a D-rated diamond, if you want to save on costs. Color difference will be next to impossible to detect anyway. But do take note that color will start becoming more obvious if you have a bigger diamond. The kind of band you choose as well can affect the color of a diamond so keep that in mind. For instance, a yellow gold band enhances yellowness in diamonds while white gold and platinum will not.
Clarity is affected by flaws in diamonds, like laser lines from cutting and mineral deposits. These flaws are called inclusions, and the best and most expensive diamonds will not have them. However, an “eye-clean” diamond can be just as stunning since it will appear without flaws to the naked eye. Not to mention they cost less so they are perfect if you have a budget to work with. Some people also prefer inclusions because these make the diamond more natural.
Once you’ve figured out how much you can spend on cut, color, and clarity, you can now factor in carat weight in your decision. The larger a diamond, the rarer they are so they are more expensive. If you want to save on costs, buy shy. This means buying just under a whole carat mark so you can save on hundreds of dollars but you’ll still have a rock that looks big. For example, instead of buying a two-carat diamond, go for 1.8 carats. No one will be able to tell the difference anyway. Or you can buy several small diamonds than a single stone. They’ll have the same weight but less the price so that means savings while getting the bling you want.