Finding the Perfect Diamond for You
Who doesn’t love diamond shopping? But as fun as the process can be, finding the right diamond at the right price can be something of a challenge. To ensure that you get the perfect diamond for you, keep the following quick guide in mind as you begin your search.
The perfect diamond is attractive from any distance and under any light. One of the primary factors that determines this attractiveness is clarity. The fewer inclusions visible in any given diamond, the more desirable the stone is considered. Diamond clarity is measured on a scale of “I”to “F,” with “I” stones featuring imperfections that are visible to the naked eye. In contrast, “F” stones are flawless, with no imperfections visible even under magnification. As you shop for your new diamond, you will soon see that the most affordable stones are generally the least aesthetically pleasing. When it comes to clarity, try to avoid “I”diamonds at all costs, gravitating towards stones that rate at least “SI” (slightly included) or higher.
Just as stones that feature visible imperfections are considered unattractive, stones that are more yellow than clear are seen as highly undesirable by diamond enthusiasts. The diamond color scale goes all the way from “D” to “Z,” although diamonds rated below “M” are not generally marketed by mid to high-end retail stores. As you decide how important your diamond’s color is to you, keep in mind the kind of setting you plan on purchasing. When set against yellow gold, diamonds in the affordable “G” to “J” range will appear mostly colorless. In contrast, white gold is less forgiving, and platinum even more so, highlighting any color imperfections by juxtaposition.
Under ultraviolet light (such as natural sunlight) some diamonds can manifest an oily appearance or a yellow tint. Because this can significantly devalue an otherwise attractive stone, keep fluorescence in mind, particularly if you are purchasing an uncertified diamond. Uncertified diamonds are generally pre-owned, and are often much cheaper than their certified counterparts. To avoid purchasing a stone for more than it is worth, however, request to view any uncertified stone in natural light or under a UV lamp prior to purchasing.
Fancy diamonds are stones that are colored, either by natural or artificial means. Fancy diamonds range significantly in value, with artificially colored stones generally fetching similar or lower prices to their clear counterparts. Natural colored diamonds, however, can often be worth more than clear diamonds, particularly in rarer manifestations of natural color. Red diamonds, for example, are highly sought after and hard to find.
Carat simply refers to the size of a given diamond, and is often considered less significant that clarity, color, and cut factors. Although large, low-quality diamonds undeniably have some “bling” appeal, they are generally seen as less desirable than smaller, high-quality stones. Of course, personal taste plays a factor here as well. If you prefer larger stones but don’t want to mortgage your house to buy one, opting for a lesser-quality stone is likely your best option.
The perfect diamond reflects nearly all the light around it, appearing sparkling, brilliant, and fiery. Diamond cut is graded from poor to excellent, with poor-cut diamonds often appearing dull and lifeless in contrast to their more dynamic counterparts. If your perfect diamond sparkles in the light, then be sure to make cut a priority as you shop!
Knowing the basics of how to choose a diamond, can make you feel more confident in your ability to shop around and find the perfect one for your needs. Your diamond should be a treasure for life, so it’s important to make a well informed purchase.