The diamond grading system does not tell the whole story. Today’s over reliance on the diamond certificate can lead to false perceptions of value. In order to be practical, GIA certificates can only describe a diamond’s characteristics (cut, colour, clarity, carat weight, as well as symmetry and polish) as discrete values that fits into a grading scale; this is an inherit limitation of a diamond certificate. In reality, an infinite number of gradations are possible. While useful to establish baseline standards, you can’t show beauty with letters and numbers. in a comparison, one will be distinctly more pleasant than the others.
Compare diamonds side by side whenever possible. Online shopping may be the norm nowadays, but refrain from buying a gemstone sight unseen!
Cut, which refers to the proportions, symmetry, and polish of diamond, is a measure of how its facets interact with light. Cut is the only characteristic that is directly influenced by man and the one with greatest influence on a stone’s beauty. It’s what we perceive as sparkle when a well proportioned diamond maximizes the amount of light that reflects out of the top. It should not be confused with the shape of a stone.
For fancy shape stones (those other than round), there are wild variations in cut. This is why cut grades are not assigned to these shapes. Comparing several such stones together before making a decision is strongly recommended.
For a white diamond, the less color, the higher the grade. Even the slightest hint can make a dramatic difference in value.
Subtle changes in color can be detected by gemologist in side by side comparisons. To an untrained eye, color becomes even harder to spot once a stone is set, especially if jewelry made of a warm metal like yellow or rose gold is chosen. In such case, a perfectly diamond of H to L color can be considered. Not only will it still show beautifully , you’ll also save money!
The majority of diamonds contain small internal and surface imperfections called inclusions and blemishes. Clarity is the relative absence of these microscopic imperfections which can take the form of tiny white or black crystals.
What does this mean? Select a diamond at a paint furthest down the clarity scale where you can no longer see an inclusion with the naked eye. If you can’t see them, why not save some money? It does not materially impact a diamond’s beauty unless you plan on walking around with a loupe.
Carat Weight (ct)
The carat is a nit of weight for gemstones; it’s not to be confused with size which is measured in millimeters. In general, the larger the diamond, the rarer it is, and since the stones are sold by carat weight, the more expensive it becomes. However, weight alone does not determine the rpice. Other variables come into play as well. two diamonds of equal carat weight can be very different costs based on the other 3 C’s. A smaller stone may be more beautiful than a larger, heavier one with inferior cut, color and clarity.
If you are on a budget, prioritize on cut, color, clarity and buy short weight. That is, choose a diamond a bit under known markers like 0.05 ct, 1.00 ct, 2.00ct, etc…