Purchasing a diamond is an important financial decision, aside from the fact that this diamond may be used to ask the love of your life to spend forever with you. Before purchasing a diamond, it’s important to understand all the different facets that go into determining the quality and cost of a diamond, and to establish what is important to you. There are four characteristics that determine the quality and cost of a diamond, they’re referred to as the 4 C’s of Diamonds and we go into more detail below.
The 4 C’s of Diamonds
Popular cuts and shapes include cushion, emerald, oval, princess and the traditional round brilliant cut. Diamonds are typically cut for beauty. As a prism of light, diamonds are cut so that the most light shines through each stone. Evaluation of the grade of the cut includes brightness, fire, and scintillation. Brightness refers to the light that reflects from the diamond. Fire refers to how the light scatters through the diamond to create a rainbow of light. Scintillation refers to the amount of intense sparkle that occurs across the surface of the diamond under light.
Diamonds are valued based on how colorless they are. The less color, the higher the value. Many diamonds have a slight hint of yellow or brown color. The diamond grading color scale begins with the letter D (which represents colorless) and ranges to Z. Slight color differences are likely not visible to the untrained eye, however they can make a huge difference in the value, quality and price of the diamond.
Most diamonds contain inclusions and blemishes, which refers to the internal and external unique “birthmarks” of a diamond. The fewer the birthmarks, the more rare the diamond, which also affects the value. Diamonds are a product of nature, therefore have imperfections. The clarity scale ranges from flawless to heavily included. Inclusions can be very difficult or even impossible to see with the naked eye, depending on where they are located.
Carat weight refers to the size of the diamond. A carat is divided into 100 points, therefore one carat is equal to 100 points. Very small differences in carat weight can often result in a difference in price, although the size difference may be nearly impossible to see.
When shopping for a diamond, you must be aware of your budget. You may consider focusing on the cut of the diamond and scaling back on the color and clarity. If perfection is what you’re going for, you may choose a lower-weight diamond that has nearly perfect cut, color and clarity.
If you’re thinking about purchasing a diamond, whether it’s for an engagement ring or another piece of jewelry, we would love to help you find the perfect stone. Stop by our store in Morehead City, or give us a call at 252-726-8700 to set up a consultation with one of our jewelers.