Buying a diamond can often be a confusing and daunting process, however, we believe our knowledgeable team at Evangeline will be able to guide you and offer you personalised support in choosing the perfect diamond to suit your needs and fit the occasion.
The 4 C’s
A good starting point to better understand the fascinating world of diamonds is the 4 C’s;
Carat, Cut, Clarity, Colour.
Having a basic understanding of these elements when looking at and choosing your diamond will enable you to make a more informed decision. Our team at Evangeline has written a basic guide below to highlight what you should be paying attention to in your search.
“Carat” is a well known term used to refer to the weight of a diamond (not to be confused with the term “karat” referring to purity of gold). One carat is defined as one fifth of a gram or 200 milligrams, approximately the weight of a five pound note.
It is important to remember that carat weight is not the same thing as size - how large a diamond appears is also dictated by other factors such as shape and cut, so it is important to understand carat weight in conjunction with these other contributing factors.
However, carat weight is one of the fundamental influencers in determining the price of a diamond. Generally speaking, the heavier the diamond, that is, the larger the carat weight, the more expensive it becomes.
Our team at Evangeline understand that the cut of the diamond is crucial; it determines a diamond’s brilliance and light dispersion. Diamond cutting is an art form requiring meticulous precision and experience and one cut to the next will radically alter the look, feel and size apparent of the stone. How a diamond is cut and polished from its rough form will affect its brilliance, fire and scintillation, and sparkle factor. Due to this, cut also plays a large part in determining the price of a stone.
It is important to remember that Almost all diamonds have small impurities or “inclusions,” but they are not always visible to the naked eye. The size and location of the inclusions play a role in determining the value of a stone and it is important to fully understand the grading scale when choosing the perfect diamond for you. As a general rule, the fewer inclusions or blemishes there are in or on the diamond, the higher the clarity grade and therefore value.
The diamond grading clarity scale ranges from Flawless (FL/IF) where the diamond is completely free of inclusions, to Included (I3) where it has visible inclusions, visible to the naked eye.
Colour when speaking about diamonds actually refers to a lack of colour. The whitest grade is D and is usually the most desirable. However, even experts sometimes fail to tell the difference between some clarity grades, so this suggests, as long as you are happy with a lower colour grade, you can often get away with it looking and feeling like a higher grade.
D coloured diamonds are generally the most sought after and therefore costliest. Further down the scale, the colours become more yellow. However, to the untrained eye, there is little variation in the D-H range and therefore slightly lower grades provide much better value for money while not appearing any different to the naked eye.
Another important factor to bear in mind is Fluorescence. Whilst not part of the 4 C’s, it is still another element which one can take into consideration when choosing a diamond.
Diamonds that are said to be fluorescent contain particles that emit a visible (usually blue) glow when exposed to UV lighting. Sometimes, a high content of fluorescence can make stones appear milky or cloudy looking, although for the most part fluorescence does not affect the beauty or sparkle and can even make some lower colours (I, J, K, L, etc.) appear more white. However, fluorescent diamonds are usually cheaper and provided the effect is not readily visible may be more cost efficient.
In most cases, prices are lowered when a colourless or near-colourless diamond fluoresces under UV light, due to a common perception that fluorescence has a negative effect on the appearance of diamonds or that a diamond possessing fluorescence is somehow less pure. However, there are many who believe that fluorescence has no adverse effect; some even contend that it enhances colour appearance and the beauty of the stone. The debate has raged on for some years; in terms of affecting the choice that you will make, it is best to consult a member of our team and a stone can be examined on a case by case basis. Ultimately, the decision is a subjective one and as long as you are happy with the diamond you are purchasing, there will be arguments both for and against fluorescence.
In sum, when looking at diamonds and choosing the perfect diamond for you, it is vital to take into consideration all of these factors above, and not take any in isolation or be limited to one element. Diamonds can vary greatly and cut, clarity, colour and carat will all interact differently and affect each stone in an individual way. Whilst this has provided a basic insight into diamond buying, we are very happy to offer further advice and guidance to suit your needs.