FindItMore | Have you been dreaming of owning the perfect diamond, but aren’t sure where to begin your search? The perfect diamond is unique to each individual shopper’s taste. What your friend, fiancee, or co-worker considers to be the ideal stone may not be right for you. To ensure that the diamond you end up with is the one you always dreamed of, keep the following tips in mind as you shop:
The 4 C’s
The four cornerstones of diamond appraisal are clarity, color, carat, and cut. Known as the “4 C’s” these fundamentals guide the value and desirability of every stone on the market. While other factors certainly play a part in diamond selection, knowing the 4 C’s is an important starting point for every diamond shopper.
Clarity is measured by the presence and visibility of flaws within any given diamond. Graded on a scale of FL (flawless) to I3 (imperfect), clarity can have a huge effect on the value and aesthetic appeal of any gem. When viewed by the naked eye, an “imperfect” stone will display noticeable flaws, appearing as small black dots, internal fractures, or cloud-like clusters. In contrast, a flawless stone will appear perfect even under 10x magnification. The larger your diamond, the more important clarity becomes. If you are purchasing a stone measuring 2 carats or higher, for example, you should opt for a clarity grade of VS2 or higher.
Diamonds come in many colors, some of which are considered extremely rare and valuable. In a white diamond, however, yellow coloring is considered unappealing. Graded from “D” to “Z” diamond color is very important to the overall attractiveness of your new gem, particularly if you are opting for a white gold or platinum setting (against which yellow coloring can appear more prominent by contrast). Another factor that falls under the color umbrella is fluorescence. Under UV lighting (such as natural sunlight), some diamonds evidence a hint of yellow or oiliness that is not visible beneath artificial light. For this reason, it is always best to request to view an un-certified diamond beneath a UV lamp prior to purchasing.
“Carat” refers to diamond’s size, and it is an important factor to the shoppers. If you are seeking a stone on the larger end of the size spectrum, however, keep in mind that color, clarity, and cut become infinitely more important in diamonds with high carat weights. The bigger a stone is, the more unpleasant its imperfections will appear. It is generally considered better to purchase a small, high-quality stone than a larger, low-quality one.
“Cut” is a measure of how well diamond reflects the light around it. Graded from “excellent” to “poor” cut is frequently underrated aspect of diamond appraisal. An excellent-cut diamond reflects all of the light around it, appearing fiery and brilliant even years after its purchase. In contrast, a poor-cut diamond will often appear somewhat lackluster and dull, displaying very little of the radiance that won diamonds their renown.
Other Factors to Consider
Once you have decided how important the 4 C’s are to you, you’ll be able to select from a variety of diamond shapes, styles and settings. Before making your final selection, try on a variety of different designs at your local jewelry store to see what works best with your hand shape. Remember that diamond-shopping is all about you, so don’t let anyone else’s opinion of what the perfect diamond should be sway you in your ultimate selection. If you love it, buy it.