Diamond Facts and Education
Whether you are choosing the perfect diamond wedding ring or a piece of jewelry to keep or give as a gift, it can be overwhelming to figure out the differences between “the 4Cs” of choosing the perfect diamond for you: cut, quality, clarity, and carat.
Knowing how to make an educated decision without being taken advantage of can prevent you from buying a diamond that you or your loved one isn’t able to treasure for the rest of your life.
Luckily, Classic Diamond House has an educated team with years of experience that is ready to help you find the perfect diamond for your piece.
No matter where you are in the diamond buying process, this guide can help you feel prepared. Then, when you are ready to get more advice on finding the perfect diamond, come visit us!
Diamond Carat: Size and Weight
The carat is the most well known measurement of a diamond’s quality by most buyers. However, carats are actually measuring the weight, not the size. The cut of a diamond may make it look bigger or smaller than one of the same carats (or ct. for short).
.2 grams equals one carat. According to a few jewelers and studies, the average engagement ring carat weight is around .8-1.15 carats. Of course, carat weight depends on the budget and personality of the recipient, as well as the design of the ring or jewelry itself.
For jewelry that has multiple types of gemstones or diamonds, a jeweler may also offer “total carat weight” (TW), which is the weight of all the gemstones on the piece.
The cut of the diamond is usually its most distinguishing characteristic. There are several different types of diamond cuts and each represent a unique style that may pay heed to its shape: round cut, emerald, princess, etc. Diamonds are cut symmetrical and the number of cuts determines how “sparkly” the diamond is in the sunlight. The more cuts, the greater the sparkle, because light can travel through the diamond and give more reflections.
The quality of a diamond cut works hand in hand with its clarity, carat weight, and color to determine its overall effect in a piece.
Measurement of diamond clarity is determined by how “perfect” it is. The lesser number of flaws (sometimes called “inclusions”) the greater the clarity rating. Some flaws that may affect a diamond’s clarity include: scratches, fractures, and other blemishes.
Most jewelers rate diamond clarity on a standardized scale given by the GIA (the Gemological Institute of America). The rating is based on a skilled grader’s viewpoint, using 10 times magnification:
- Flawless (FL): No inclusions or blemishes are visible
- Internally Flawless (IF): No flaws and only blemishes are visible
- Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2): Inclusions are difficult to see
- Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2): Inclusions are minor and may be difficult to see
- Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2): Inclusions are noticeable
- Included (I1, I2, and I3) - Inclusions are obvious and could make a difference in transparency and brilliance
Diamond Education – The Color
Color is another important attribute to consider when it comes to buying a diamond piece. A “perfect” diamond would ideally have absolutely no color, and would be as clear as a pure drop of water, according to the GIA. They have created a standardized diamond color chart that allows jewelers to assign a letter to describe the color.
Here’s the industry-standard chart from GIA’s website:
Want to learn more about “the 4 Cs” and how they help you find the perfect diamond? Contact us today or come visit at 580 5th Avenue, between 47th and 48th streets in New York City.
Top image via Pixabay under CC0.