Whether you’re interested in buying an engagement ring or are looking to gift someone a beautiful pendant necklace, you might be thinking that the process should be relatively easy. But the truth is that choosing the right diamond at the right cost can be a bit trickier than you realized. Here are some important things to consider when diamond shopping.
The 4 Cs of Diamonds
The value of a diamond is determined by Cut, Carat, Clarity, and Colour. See more at Vandenbergs Fine Jewellery for detailed explanations of these items outlined below.
Carat: A “carat” is the unit of measurement (five metric carats weigh 1 gram) we use to define a diamond’s weight. So the heavier the diamond is, the more carats it will have.
Cut: Cut doesn’t refer to a diamond’s shape, but rather to the quality of its proportions and symmetry to allow the ideal amount of light out through its top. A diamond’s shine factor is determined by how well it was cut.
Colour: Diamonds can appear colorless to yellow or light brown. The scale is graded by letters from D (colourless) to Z (light yellow). Colorless is generally considered more expensive.
Clarity: “Inclusions” are naturally occurring lines or flecks that appear in diamonds and affect the shine (or clarity) of the stone. The more inclusions, the less clear (and cheaper) the stone will be.
After getting to know more about the four Cs, you should learn more about the various shapes (not to be confused with ‘cut’) that diamonds come in.
Round: Timeless and a classic, the round is a popular choice for engagement rings.
Oval: Creates an illusion of length and is best suited for short fingers.
Princess: From above, the stone looks like it’s in the shape of a square or rectangle, and from the side, it looks like an inverted pyramid. It’s the second most popular choice for engagement rings.
Cushion: Square or a squarish-rectangle shape with rounded edges and large facets. Cushion shapes aren’t usually used for small stones.
Emerald: The emerald shape dates back to the 1920s and is typically used with emeralds. While it doesn’t produce as vivid of a shine as some other shapes, the long lines create a stunning look.
Pear: Resembles a teardrop and mostly used with pendants and earrings. They come with fat or a more elongated bottom, depending on the wearer’s preference.
Talk to a Professional
The largest price factor is going to be determined with the 4 Cs – shape doesn’t have much to do with cost, but some shapes require more carats (a bigger size) than others. When choosing a diamond, consider consulting with a trustworthy jeweler that is transparent and informative about how these precious stones are priced. They should take the time to explain to you the 4 Cs and even show you the differences when it comes to cut, color, clarity, and carat. Also, keep in mind that carat isn’t the most important factor and that your jeweler should work with you to remain within your given budget.