Ok, so you’ve finally decided to invest in fine jewelry and your first gem of choice is a diamond. Well, before splurging, I highly recommend giving this short guide a read to guide you on how to buy the best diamonds for your budget. I spent a long time doing research to make sure the guide is easy to digest and understand. So you can start purchasing your genuine diamond jewelry right away!
You need to learn the 4Cs of Diamonds
- Cut: The shape, facets, and angles of your diamond.
- Color: How colorless the diamonds are. The more transparent, the higher the price usually.
- Clarity: How clean the diamond is free of inclusions and blemishes.
- Carat: Size and weight of the diamond
If you’re too lazy to read all the text below. You can refer to this super helpful infographic, or maybe bookmark this page if you need a reference in buying diamonds.
People often mistake carats for size measurements, but they simply measure weight. Diamonds are also graded in points: 100 points is equivalent to 1 carat. The abbreviation “tcw” criteria for “total carat weight,” determines the total weight of all diamonds in a piece of jewelry.
Diamonds come out from the earth in a number of colors. The market has historically valued white diamonds higher than others, and this is reflected in the scale of grading. The grade D, at the top of the scale, is regarded to be “colorless,” rarest and most costly. Going down the 23-degree scale from D to Z, diamonds are gradually becoming more yellow, green or gray.
A D-color diamond is a rare specimen—and it’s worth a penny. Going down the color scale to H or I let you buy a diamond that still looks white, but is more popular and thus more reasonable.
Most diamonds sold today for jewelry are called “near colorless”—between G and J on a color scale. The naked eye can begin to detect a yellow hue at grade J and beyond.
As many diamond companies are looking to cut diamonds for beauty. Diamond is basically a mirror of light, and diamond cutters work to let the lightest shine through each stone. When grading a diamond cut, the diamonds are analyzed by the laboratories according to:
The light that reflects from the diamond.
The amount of intense sparkle or flashes that occur across the surface of the diamond as it moves under light
How the light scatters through the diamond to create a rainbow of light, like a prism.
The clarity grade is a reminder that nothing is perfect. Like any mined gem, diamonds often have flaws, known as inclusions and blemishes. Diamond cutters try to cut and polish a diamond to hide these inclusions or work around them, but they will still be there — and the clarity grade measures it. The more flawless the diamond is, the more expensive it is. Here is the scale usually displayed and provided by your trusted jeweller.
- F – Flawless
- IF – Internally flawless, which means there are blemishes on the surface but not inside the diamond
- VVS1 and VVS2 – Very, very slightly included
- VS1 and VS2 – Very slightly included
- SI1 and SI2 – Slightly included
- I1, I2 and I3 – Included
If you truly want a quality diamond, you can opt to save up to get at least a VVS1 and VVS2 clarity with at least D-H color of diamond. The cut is up to you. I hope this quick guide helps you in purchasing the investment that you can wear. Happy shopping!
PS: You might also want to read my article on how to find out if your gold jewelry is fake.