Buying a diamond does not have to be an uncomfortable experience. Our education guide is designed to give you the tools and information you need to properly evaluate diamond quality and value with confidence. Every diamond is unique, and there are a variety of factors which affect the price of a diamond. Focus on those factors most important to you, and choose a diamond that satisfies your individual standards for beauty and value. This might be a very different diamond than someone else with a similar budget would choose. At Fox & Co Jewellers, we want to help you find the best diamond for your perfect engagement ring.
A diamond's cut is considered to be the most important of the four Cs. It is important to understand how a diamond's proportions and the relationship between them affects its brilliance, fire, and scintillation.
Most diamonds are "spread" in their cutting to retain maximum weight from the original rough diamond. This technique results in a heavier diamond and also sacrifices the potential fire and brilliance of the stone. The width and depth have the greatest effect on how light travels within the diamond, and also how light exits the diamond in the form of brilliance.
Diamond Color is one of the most important factors to consider, as it is noticeable to the naked eye. A diamond's color is graded by GIA on an alphabetical scale from D to Z, with D being absolutely colorless and Z being light yellow. Beyond Z-color, a diamond is considered to be a "fancy" color. Although many diamonds appear to be colorless, some have at least a hint of body color.
Most diamonds have unique clarity characteristics, much like a fingerprint. These distinguishing characteristics can be classified as inclusions and blemishes. Inclusions are enclosed within a diamond or extend into the diamond from its surface while blemishes, on the other hand, are confined to the diamond's surface. When light enters a diamond, it is reflected in and refracted out. If anything disrupts the flow of light through the diamond, such as an inclusion, a proportion of the light reflected may be lost. This effect can detract from the pure beauty of the diamond.
You may not notice a significant difference between an SI1 and a SI2 with the naked eye. However, you should consider the number, size, brightness, nature, and position of the inclusions of an SI2 graded diamond to ensure that it is eye clean. Some inclusions can be hidden by a prong when mounted, thus having little effect on the beauty of a diamond. An inclusion in the middle or top of a diamond, however, could impact the dispersion of light, sometimes making the diamond appear less brilliant.
Diamond weight is measured in carats, a small unit of measurement equal to 200 milligrams. Each carat is divided into 100 points. Therefore, a half-carat stone may be referred to as a "50-pointer" or "50-points". Carat weight is the easiest of the 4 C's for gemologists to determine due to the use of highly sophisticated measuring equipment.
Two diamonds of equal carat weight might vary greatly in value depending upon their cut, color and clarity. This is important because when mounted, one diamond may appear larger than the other, although they actually weigh the same. If size is important to you, focus on diamond measurements as opposed to carat weight. Diamonds that look big for their weight may have reduced brilliance and fire so always insist on great cut.
An increase in carat weight does not produce the same increase in millimeter diameter. For example, there is a 25% increase in carat weight from 1.00 carats to 1.25 carats but less than 8% increase in diameter (6.5 to 7.0 mm). This concept, along with the increased price per carat, explains why prices increase dramatically in order to get noticeably bigger millimeter size.