Diamonds are timeless precious stones that have been admired and valued for centuries. For the Greeks, the diamonds were the Gods’ tears. The Romans instead believed that the diamonds were the pieces of the stars that fell from the sky. Egyptians valued the diamonds by wearing them on the fourth finger which they thought had ‘vein of love’ running to the heart.
For centuries, diamonds have been an inspiration for people invoking emotions. Their mesmerizing spark and beauty are one of their rarest qualities. Diamonds are an important possession for people regardless of their high price. People generally have it as one of their life goals to possess a diamond. They are given while promising love especially, therefore, making them a symbol of affection.
If they are so precious and valued, then it is important to know in-depth about them before buying. Here, we have compiled a comprehensive guidebook for you to go through before making a purchase decision for diamonds. Follow through it to make sure that you make a wise decision when you choose a diamond.
The 4 C’s:
4 C’s are the very basic metric to judge a diamond. These C’s include color, cut, carat, and clarity. Before buying a diamond you need to evaluate them carefully using these metrics. The following information on each of these C’s will help you in initial decisions about the diamond you are about to buy.
This characteristic becomes very important when consumers are looking to buy a diamond. The misconception to clear out here is that the diamonds with higher color grades sparkle better. This is not true actually. Naturally, diamonds are found in almost every color you can think of. Whether it is grey, white, yellow, red, green, pink or brown, a diamond in each color would be available.
Finding a colorless diamond is almost next to impossible. There is an entire system for grading the color of diamonds. It goes from D representing colorless to Z light brown or yellow. The light absorbed by the diamond is closely tied to its color. This affects the sparkle of the diamond. Hence, technically color becomes an important characteristic. Colorless diamonds have a better reflective quality, hence, sparkle more.
Therefore, they are widely used in jewelry. Exceptions to this rule exist, however. Pink, red, blue and orange diamonds are also, as a result, highly sought. With color there is also some social stigma attached that a lighter color means lower quality diamond. This is certainly not true. Your purchase decision should only be based on your preference and budget rather than these stigmas.
This has to be the most important C out of all. It really determines the sparkle and fire of the diamond. Essentially, the cut is based upon how well does the diamond’s facets interact with light. A very well-cut diamond has an edge over the poorly cut one. A well-cut diamond displays immense brightness, fire, and scintillation. The attributes that lead to the difference in the overall cut are proportions, symmetry and polish. Cut of a diamond is sometimes confused with its shape.
These two things are not the same, however. A cut of a diamond can make a diamond look bigger, have a better color and mask inclusions. As a result, a diamond gets a free upgrade just by a good cut. A well-cut diamond also has better proportions that make it appropriate to its weight in carats. Hence, a perfect cut helps it appear the right size instead of smaller than its weight. It makes a diamond face-up whiter and has a better scintillation and fire.
It is no coincidence most of the diamonds available today are cut in order to preserve as much rough weight as possible at the loss of brilliance and beauty. With that established, you should not get carried away with choosing the biggest stone that you might find.
This is one of the most common and serious mistakes that many buyers might make. What leads a focus on the carat size of a diamond should be a consideration of other factors. Moreover, many people believe that a diamond with bigger carat weight will always appear bigger. This is also not true.
The appeal of a diamond or any other stone usually comes down to a consumer’s personal preferences and tastes. For this reason, it would be nearly impossible to know which clarity grade is optimal as you may have your own explanation when making a purchase decision.
Over the years, there have been countless reasons ranging from superstitions (to have a clean diamond) to practicality (budget constraints) causing people to choose a specific clarity grade. Most of these reasons are valid but there are few that are totally misguided and ill-informed.
Some more important factors:
Now that you have researched the 4 basic characteristics of diamonds, you shall move on to the advanced guide for buying a diamond. In order to make a wise decision, it is necessary that you explore more options. You need to think about all the aspects especially your budget and personal preference.
Even though this guide will optimize your decision, it is purely on your taste, likes, and budget constraint. Let’s have a look at some more important deciding factors for your purchase.
· Budget Constraint:
Decide on your budget. This is extremely important because it ensures you stay within an affordable price range. It is very easy to exceed your budget if you are not well aware of all your options. Most online retailers make it stress-free to stay within your budget by checking out combinations of the 4Cs.
· Shape of the diamond:
No shape is preferable than the other. It’s absolutely up to your personal liking. Round Brilliants are the more or less common diamond shape for engagement rings, for example, and will give you the most sparkle. Others favor a more exclusive shape like that of a Cushion Cut or an Oval.
The industry pundits know very well that not all grading labs are equal. Consumers, too, are now paying attention to it. Essentially, there exist 4 main grading labs. However, they all vary in terms of consistency, reliability, and added market value.
The most reputable among all is the GIA (Gemological Institute of America). Their quality control also results in higher prices. When buying a diamond, hence, it is necessary to check for certification. A certified diamond may cost more but will be worth the monetary value.
The glowing effect of a diamond under a UV light is called its fluorescence. Almost one-third of all the diamonds are fluorescent. This property can actually change the way a diamond appears depending on its color and strength. Initially, this fluorescence was considered negative. However, it can now both, positively and negatively, impact its value.
If a diamond, for instance, has a blue fluorescence, then it is positive. This is because it will make a diamond appear whiter. A lower grade fluorescence actually increases the price of the diamond. Hence, before making a decision it is important to know how fluorescent the diamond is. The easiest test would be to check it under the UV light.
· Demand in Market and Rarity:
While basically perfect diamonds do exist, their rarity makes them extremely valuable. This happens usually to the higher carat diamonds or ones that are naturally colored stones. Moreover, a diamond can have top scores but have a less popular shape. It is quite a fact that some shapes are more popular and get sold more.
For example, the rounder brilliant cut has remained well sought for quite some time while the marquise shape reached its peak only in the 1980s. Even though, your preference and taste matters, sometimes market demand and rarity also factors in. Hence, before choosing a demand make sure to check these two things as well.
Some essential questions about diamonds:
While the aforementioned factors would have pretty much made it easier for you to choose a diamond, you need to know more. There are some very important questions that you might find asking yourself. These would be related to the diamonds or the process of making them. Here we have put together some of those for you. Have a look at their answers.
· Is it possible to break or damage a diamond?
As you might have heard, diamond is the hardest of all the precious stones. It is also known for its long durability. In order to contribute to its longevity, it is advised to take extreme care of your diamond jewelry. Hence, it is preferred to keep each diamond creation separately and avoid contact with other pieces.
· Why does not the 0.5-carat diamond cost half the price of 1 carat diamond?
The cost of a diamond principally depends on its weight in carats since the larger the diamond, the rarer. Hence, the price of a diamond goes up exponentially. A 1-carat diamond is therefore almost four times costlier than a 0.50 carat diamond of equal quality.
· How does the Kimberley Process affect your decision?
This process has political and social relevance. It is a joint government, civil society and international diamond industry action plan against rebels who use diamonds to rise against the legitimate governments. Such diamonds are known as the “Conflict Diamonds”.
To avoid purchasing such diamonds, buy only those diamonds that come with a warranty statement. The system of Warranties is ensuring that all the suppliers have legitimately obtained diamonds that will not be sold to fund wars. This adds a layer of authentication to the diamond apart from certification.
Time to make a decision:
Here, we have tried to put together a comprehensive guide about diamonds. Making a decision about which diamond to choose, the topmost factors will be personal. They will be your budget to begin with. As you have read, the price of a diamond changes with its weight in carats. If you can afford a pricier diamond, you can choose a larger diamond.
However, even if the budget is not a constraint, your preference will get factored in. This will essentially include the other 3C’s; cut, color and clarity. While color may not be a huge deciding factor, you would definitely pay more attention to the cut. The shine of a diamond entirely depends on how well it is cut.
Apart from these factors, the next thing you need to ask yourself is the shape you would prefer. If you are not looking for a diamond that you may sell later, your personal choice will work. Else, you will be restricted to a few options.
Another important aspect of decision making is the certification and warranty statement. This has made purchasing a diamond an ethical question.
In order to avoid being part of unethical processes, you need to keep the warranty statement in mind. Moreover, in order to not be fooled by diamond sellers, you need to keep the certification in mind. These two layers of authentication will help you make an ethical choice of a diamond.
Lastly, we hope that this guide will serve as a stepping stone for your diamond purchase. Make sure to remember all these factors and check for them in the diamond you choose. We hope that now it will be easier and more stress-free to choose a diamond. Best of luck!