Even if you are just starting your search for the perfect diamond, you have probably heard the term “the 4 Cs”, indicating Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat weight of a diamond. There are many other terms to learn and complicated grading systems to understand. The most important thing to understand, however, is that two diamonds with the same 4 Cs are not necessarily equal in value or even in beauty.
To learn more about the diamond grading system, you can go to GIA, the company that invented the 4C-grading system.
There are many aspects to pay attention to when selecting a diamond. All are important in your selection process. They are just not equally important.
Let’s start with discussing carat weight of your diamond. If you compare two diamonds with identical characteristics, the bigger the weight of the diamond the more expensive the diamond is going to be. Weight alone does not mean that the bigger diamond will be more expensive. A smaller diamond with higher grading than the bigger diamond might be more expensive than a diamond weighing more.
Don’t forget about the setting that diamond will go into. A setting with a halo – small diamonds going around the center diamond – will make the center diamond look bigger.
One of the most important characteristics of a diamond is cut. It is cut that will influence the amount of light going into the diamond that will return back to you.
Because cut plays such an important role in the light performance of the diamond, it will have a significant effect on the price of a diamond.
Some diamond grading laboratories – GIA and AGS – grade cut quality of a round brilliant cut diamond along with color, clarity, and carat weight. AGS laboratory also offers cut grade for fancy shape (cushion, pear shape, princess cut and others). These reports will be very helpful to you in determining the cut of a diamond.
Color in a diamond determines how white the diamond will look. so color is actually “no color or very little color” in a diamond. Because of the significance of the appearance of the diamond, color will greatly affect the diamond price.
It is important to note here that different shapes reflect color in a different way. Your choice of color will greatly depend on the shape of the diamond and consequently, on the diamond price as well.
Clarity of a diamond determines the color, position and nature of the inclusions in the diamond. Diamond’s beauty is all in the way a diamond reflects the light that is going into the diamond. The more light returns to the eye of a person looking at the diamond, the more beautiful the diamond is going to be. Inclusions may block the light going into the diamond from returning back to the surface of the diamond. In other words, the diamond with too many inclusions may not look sparkly.
Fluorescence, polish, and symmetry will also play an important role in the diamond appearance. Those can also affect the value and the price of the diamond.
Diamond Laboratories Consideration
We recommend that you stay with diamonds evaluated by either GIA or AGS diamond laboratories. These two laboratories have the more stringent evaluation criteria than other laboratories. Because of these strict criteria diamonds evaluated by these two laboratories will also be more expensive.