Diamonds. This mythical and precious gemstone constantly enchants us with its sparkle and beautiful reflections. If you are looking for a diamond for yourself or your partner, it may feel complex to find the perfect diamond. With so much to think about and consider, where do you start? How do you get the most bang for your buck when buying diamonds, or diamonds jewelry?
What is most important to think about? Do you need the very best to make the diamond shimmer like this? In this article, we share our best tips on what can be good to check before you buy a diamond.
When a diamond is graded, it is based on the four Cs that stand for Carat, Clarity, Color, and Cut. It was the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) that started grading diamonds in this way and now it is standard in the entire diamond industry.
Carat is a unit of weight and 1 Carat is equivalent to 0.2 grams. A common misconception is that weight is the same as size. That’s not it, a diamond that weighs 1 Carat doesn’t have to be exactly the same diameter as another diamond with the same weight. Other factors affect the appearance and size of the diamond, for example, the diamond’s grinding ie. where and how weight is distributed.
Another misconception I find that many of my customers have is that Carat is the same as Karat. These two concepts should not be confused when Karat stands for the proportion of gold, for example in a piece of jewelry such as 18 Karat while Carat is a weight unit for diamonds.
The word Carat comes from the word carob which means locust bean. Previously, these seeds were used as a counterweight to diamonds when weighing them, because the seeds always seemed to have the same weight. Carat weight has been the standard for weighing diamonds since the early 1900s.
All else being equal, a larger diamond is always more expensive than a smaller one. Sometimes you talk about the price per Carat and you figure this out by taking the Carat weight divided by the price. If you do this you will soon notice that a diamond of 2 Carat, for example, is more than twice as expensive as one that weighs 1 Carat. This is because the price is rising exponentially. Larger diamonds are significantly more rare than smaller ones.
A diamond’s grinding describes how well the facets (the different parts of the diamond) are ground. This goes hand in hand with the diamond anatomy, which is a chapter in itself. A diamond’s grinding is one of the most important things to consider when choosing a diamond. The reason for this is that a good cut diamond looks bigger but also reflects more light and seems more vibrant than a poorly cut diamond.
There are several factors that affect the grinding gradient, but important factors to keep an eye on are diamond proportions and symmetry. You use the diamond’s dimensions to see how its proportions and symmetry are. For example, a diamond can be too shallow or too deep, and then much of its light absorption and reflexivity will disappear. Many people find it difficult to study a diamond’s grinding and it may appear to be a premium. If you are unsure, consult someone who can before you buy a diamond.
The grinding is assessed from a scale from Poor to Excellent. It is not advised to buy anything under Very Good as much of the diamond’s light penetration and sparks deteriorate and that they are often smaller in relation to their Carat weight compared to better ground diamonds.
Very good – Represents an estimated 15% of all diamonds and is a very good grinding. However, if you want to maximize size and sparkle, you should consider a better grinding.
Excellent – A perfectly ground diamond that reflects maximum light. Better grinding than this can not be found. The diamond’s sparkle and fire are unmatched. These diamonds represent the top layer of all diamonds and account for about 3% of all polished diamonds.
All natural diamonds have traces of inclusions, to put it simply, it looks like small black or white dots inside the diamond. This is because diamonds are formed below the ground under high pressure and very high temperature. The inclusions of a diamond should not only be seen as a defect but also as something that characterizes the diamond and makes it unique. This is positive as you can distinguish them from artificial gemstones thanks to this.
What affects clarity?
When grading a diamond’s clarity, you study the number of inclusions, their size, placement, and type of inclusions. These factors together determine how a diamond’s clarity is graded.
You make a distinction between inclusions that can be easily detected by just studying a diamond with the eye and the inclusions that can first be detected with the aid of aids, such as a microscope.
The scale extends from Flawless (diamonds completely without inclusions) down to I3 (very clear inclusions without tools).
I1-I3 – These diamonds have large visible inclusions that can be clearly seen with the naked eye. These diamonds are rarely included in jewelry.
SI1-SI2 – These diamonds have inclusions that in some cases can be detected with the naked eye without any tools. These diamonds are very affordable and have every opportunity to be fantastic.
VS1-VS2 – Diamonds with this clarity have inclusions that can be seen with 10x magnification but are in most cases pure with the naked eye. Sometimes they are not pure with the naked eye, it depends entirely on the size of the diamond and its shape. Larger diamonds and certain shapes reveal easier inclusions, such as princess-shaped, emerald-shaped, and more.
VVS1-2 – These diamonds have very, very few and small inclusions that are difficult to detect, even during enlargement. This clarity is very unusual and therefore also more exclusive.
FL-IF – Diamonds that are Flawless have no inclusions, neither outer nor inside the diamond. Internally Flawless is without internal imperfections. Both of these are extremely rare and those who choose this clarity often make up for its clinical designation in the certificate and its rarity. These diamonds are very exclusive.
When talking about color in unpainted, naturally white diamonds, one speaks rather of the lack of color. Most diamonds often have some form of tone in them that goes in the warmer direction. There is nothing to say that one color is better or worse than another, but this is one of the four C’s where personal taste weighs heavily.
The color of uncolored diamonds is assessed on a scale between D-Z where D-F is considered completely colorless, G-H is partially uncolored and then the diamond contains more color the further down the scale you go. Z has a strong yellow color but is still counted as an uncolored diamond as it is not yellow enough to be considered a colored diamond. When assessing color in colored diamonds you use completely different scales.
If you want to buy a diamond that is completely colorless with the naked eye, we recommend that you choose one with the color H or lower. Many who seek diamonds with the color D-F often pay for the clinical designation, ie. the rarity of a colorless and cold diamond as possible. Many, on the other hand, see no difference at all between diamonds in the range between D-H as long as you do not place them right next to each other.
It is important to keep in mind that one color classified by one certification body does not necessarily match the same color with another. For this reason, it is important to pay attention and choose a diamond with a certificate from the more meticulous and serious institutes. A diamond that is certified by a less serious institute could be graded to G while a more serious institute, such as GIA and AGS, would have rated it to I. Therefore, always require an independent certificate when comparing different diamonds.
Article contributed by a guest writer.