Unless you’re an expert jeweler, knowing what to look for in a good diamond will not come without a bit of knowledge and practice. Those who work in the field are used to looking at diamonds every day. While it can take some extensive training to become a pro, we can teach you the basics to help you recognize what a quality diamond is and looks like.
The 4 C’s
You may have heard this phrase before. When it comes to diamonds, focus on the “Four C’s”. These represent cut, clarity, color, and carat and are grades that provide a baseline for what you should look for in a quality diamond.
The diamond cut refers to the quality of the angles and the proportion of the diamond. How symmetrical has it been cut? Is it well polished? These are all characteristics that will add extra sparkle to a diamond. Skilled workmanship requires a careful understanding of light and balance and will lead to brighter and more beautiful diamonds.
The diamond color is based on the amount of natural color that a diamond shows. Diamonds are rated on a scale from white to yellow and receive a grade from D to Z. Colorless diamonds are rare and have little to no hints of yellow or brown. However, even faint diamonds, those with a grade of K that fall in the middle of the diamond color chart, can look nearly colorless when mounted especially to an untrained eye.
The diamond clarity refers to any internal or external imperfections a diamond has. You will find it is assigned “IF” for diamond with inclusions or “FL” for flawless clarity. The more blemishes, the lower the clarity grade. Most jewelers will carry a variety of clarities so that there is something available for every budget.
The diamond carat weight is what most people are familiar with. This is one of the biggest considerations for a diamond’s quality and price. The larger the carat, the more expensive the diamond.
Emphasis On Cut Quality
While cut grades aren’t always standard across vendors, this is what impacts the diamonds’ beauty the most. A cut that is too deep will result in precious light escaping through the stone, and if it is too shallow, the light isn’t properly reflected. The facets of the cut make a big difference in how brilliant a diamond can be. Even the largest stones with flawless features and colorless appearances can be ruined with a bad cut.
Consider Carat Weight
While many tend to go up in carat size by .5, straying from this traditional way of jewelry buying can help you get the most for your money. Diamond prices increase as carat weight increases especially when you hit benchmarks of one carat, two carats, etc. Sometimes asking for a .9 carat or something that sits right at the border of the next carat up is what gets you the best deal. They aren’t as distinguishable, but the minor difference can mean a lot for your wallet.
In addition, the face-up side of the diamond doesn’t increase the same way. A half carat diamond won’t look significantly smaller than a one carat if you’re admiring it on your finger. Dropping to a lower carat has a big impact on price which is an important consideration if you’re looking for a quality diamond on a budget.