With all the factors that affect the price of a diamond, finding the right diamond can seem like a daunting task. However, understanding the characteristics that impact the value and price of a diamond can be rather straightforward. So let’s start with understanding the Four C’s of diamonds. This includes the cut, color, clarity and carat weight. These characteristics are the most important things you need to know when buying a diamond.
A diamond’s strength comes from the complex relationship it shares with light, which is impacted directly by its cut. Diamonds have a unique ability to reflect and manipulate light to maximize their brilliance. This brilliance is achieved through the symmetry, proportions and polish of a diamond. A well cut diamond will possess a combination of brightness, fire and scintillation; in other words it will be bright and sparkle intensely.
The majority diamonds have imperfections called inclusions (internal) and blemishes (external). A diamond is said to be flawless if, under 10X magnification, no external and internal flaws are visible. A truly flawless diamond is extremely rare and is priced accordingly. All gem-grade diamonds receive a clarity rating based on an industry standard scale: FL (flawless) to I3 (heavily included).
Diamonds can come in all shades of different colors, with white being the most common. In regards to white diamonds the term “color” can be misleading because they are graded based on their lack of color – less is more. The ideal white diamond is clear to the point of being colorless or near colorless. Most diamonds can appear white but still include trace amounts of yellow or brown color. The presence of yellow and brown color is the result of chemical impurities found within the diamond. The differences in color from “D” (colorless) to “Z” (saturated) provide a slight or big difference in the overall color of the diamond.
The weight of any gemstone is measured in carats (ct); one carat is equal to 0.20 grams. Carat weight alone does not define a diamond’s value. Two diamonds of equal weight can vary widely in price because of quality differences. When considering diamonds of equal quality, the larger ones will have more value. Although larger stones are often thought to be more expensive and desirable it is important to remember that a diamond’s value is determined using all the 4Cs, not just their carat weight.