Diamonds became a popular choice for use in engagement rings after the De Beers Company began an advertising campaign in 1947 which popularised the slogan ‘Diamonds are Forever’. Diamonds have since become synonymous with love and beauty and are the most popular gemstone used in engagement rings worldwide.
Buying a diamond may sound like a simple process after all, don’t you just walk into a jeweller’s shop and buy the first one you see? Well, not if you want to ensure you are purchasing a quality diamond! Whether you are purchasing loose diamonds to be set elsewhere or are looking for the perfect engagement ring, Commins & Co will put you on the path towards owning the ideal diamond for you or your loved one. So, continue reading to discover 8 of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a diamond, and you will be off to a great start on your diamond buying journey!
1. The carat weight
When it comes to choosing a diamond, the most significant factor to consider will probably be price. Your budget will determine the carat of the diamond you can afford. Generally, the heavier a diamond is, the higher the price. A popular misconception is that the size of the diamond will be the biggest price-influencing factor. In fact, the carat of a diamond refers to its weight and not its size – which can look bigger or smaller depending upon the quality of the cut.
2. The colour
The value of a diamond is determined by several factors, some of the most important are known as the 4Cs: cut, clarity, colour and carat. One of the most crucial factors in choosing a diamond is the colour or lack thereof. Diamond value is based upon the rarity of the diamond in question, which means that the more pristine (perfect) a diamond is, the rarer and more expensive it will be.
The colour of a diamond ranges from completely clear (white/colourless) to murky tones of yellow and brown. The less colour in a diamond, the higher the grade it will achieve. The beauty of a colourless diamond can be seen in the amount of light which passes through the gem, creating a sparkle which cannot be recreated in lower-graded diamonds.
3. The clarity
Clarity refers to how flawless a diamond is, with flaws presenting as either surface blemishes or inclusions within the diamond itself. The natural diamond making process involves huge amounts of pressure, which is why most diamonds have some flaws. This is also why rarity (and price) increases with flawlessness.
Blemishes on the outside of the diamond often include scratches, small chips, and pits normally caused by natural occurrences. Inclusions in the diamond may take the form of air bubbles, cracks and non-diamond material (such as organic matter or even insects).
The clarity of a diamond is graded from F (flawless) down to SI1 and SI2 (slightly included). However, the types of blemishes and inclusions can greatly influence the quality of a diamond even at SI2 level. An SI2 graded diamond can be clean to the eye, i.e. blemishes are not visible to the naked eye or visibly blemished. This is the most commonly purchased clarity grade when it comes to a round brilliant.
4. The cut
Often considered the most important of the 4Cs, the cut of a diamond will greatly affect its sparkle and brilliance. A precise cut will reflect light and also allow light to internally refract – creating the classic diamond dazzle! A properly cut diamond will reflect light from the top, instead of from the sides and bottom which is common to lesser cuts. Diamonds are graded from super ideal to fair depending upon the brilliance of the cut and the amount of light the diamond reflects.
When considering cut, it is also important to consider the shape of diamond desire. The most popular shape of diamond is the round cut, which helps to give the diamond the optimum amount of sparkle. Oval, emerald and princess cuts are also popular but are often less valuable due to the slightly decreased level of reflection.
5. The polish
The polish of a diamond refers to how smooth or rough the surface of the diamond presents. In less valuable diamonds, defects can be found upon the surface, which is caused by the polishing wheel removing and dislodging diamond crystals from the top layer of the diamond. Often these tears and imperfections are microscopic and cannot be detected by the naked eye.
6. The symmetry
The symmetry of a diamond comes down to how aligned the facets of the diamond are in relation to one another. Generally, the symmetry of a diamond is more important in higher-graded diamonds as a lack of symmetry may compromise a higher grading.
7. The fluorescence
The fluorescence of a diamond refers to its ability to emit a glow when exposed to ultraviolet light. Diamonds which display a strong fluorescence are likely to be slightly less valuable than those that do not. Generally, this is relevant to the value you look to achieve when purchasing the perfect diamond. It is something every customer should take note of as you could end up paying above the market rate.
8. The certified body
When choosing engagement rings, it is important to purchase from a reputable retailer such as Commins & Co who sell diamonds certified by one of the three main independent certification labs (the GIA, HRD or IGI). Purchasing diamonds which have been graded independently ensure the quality of your purchase, whereas buying non-certified diamonds can often result in disappointment, as they may be advertised as a higher grade than they actually are.
Independent diamond evaluation gives customers peace of mind that their diamond has been graded in an unbiased fashion by industry experts. Each certified diamond comes with an independent certificate of authenticity, meaning that you will only ever pay for what you are getting.
What can we do for you?
With hundreds of engagement rings and other diamonds on offer, Commins & Co can help you find the diamond of your dreams. So, get in touch today to find out how we can help you.