CHOOSING A DIAMOND THAT IS RIGHT FOR YOU ….
IS THE CARAT SIZE OF A DIAMOND MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE DIAMOND COLOUR OR CLARITY?
This is a very common question we hear, especially when it comes to a young couple buying a diamond for the very first time, when they are getting engaged. We can certainly help guide you in this regard, although ultimately, choosing a diamond, especially for the first time, is a matter of personal preference.
The value of a diamond is determined based on several features, which are commonly known and referred to as the 4 Cs. By the 4 C’s, we refer to the Colour, the Clarity, the Cut and the Carat weight. The combination of all four of these features have an impact on the value of the diamond.
Where any of these four features differ, so does the value.
When it comes to choosing a diamond that is best suited to an individual, this is how we would personally and professionally help guide with the selection process.
Personally, we feel that the colour and carat are the two most important factors to consider – however, that is providing that a good to excellent standard is met for the other two factors – the cut and clarity. By that we mean, if the cut and clarity are not of a good standard, the it really doesn’t matter how good the colour, the diamond’s brilliance and value will be effected.
Let’s begin with the Cut and the Clarity and then explain the importance of the Colour and the Carat weight.
We start with choosing a diamond that is eye clean. Every diamond, unless flawless, has natural inclusions and we would always guide young couples to choose a diamond that those natural inclusions cannot be seen with the naked eye. By that we mean, choosing a diamond that has a clarity of a minimum of SI, so choosing a clarity somewhere between VVS to SI. VVS represents ‘very very slight inclusions’, VS represents ‘very slight inclusions’, SI stands for ’slight inclusions’). So in short, VVS, VS and SI clarity diamonds are all good quality diamonds.
On a day to day basis, most people do not spend time looking through an eye glass or microscope at their diamond, so it only makes sense to have a diamond that is clean and flawless to the naked eye, a diamond with either a VVS, VS or SI Clarity, and then put focus and attention more on the remaining features of their diamond.
We also understand and appreciate also, that for some couples, having a diamond that is as close to Flawless grading is of the utmost of importance, so in this instance, choosing a diamond in the VVS, VS or even the rare Flawless category, would be their choice.
When we refer to the cut of the diamond, we are referring to the fact that if a diamond has a good to excellent cut, what can be referred to as an ideal cut, the maximum brilliance and sparkle will be visible, admired and enjoyed by all.
To truly understand this part of choosing a diamond, seeing a diamond that has an ideal cut v’s a diamond that is poorly cut side by side is the only way to go.
A well cut diamond will certainly show it’s unique natural brilliance that is for sure. A diamond that has been cut with good proportions will allow light to pass into the diamond and refract out the top of the diamond.
A diamond that is poorly cut will appear dull and lifeless. By poorly cut we mean, a diamond that has been either cut too shallow or too deep will have the light either refract out to the side or pass straight through the bottom of the stone. There are many reasons why a diamond would not be cut well, and a couple of those reasons would be that the diamond cutter either does not have very good cutting equipment or the cutter was trying to cut the diamond for size rather than overall quality.
When hand picking the diamonds for our Engagement rings and also loose diamonds, we put a very high priority on the cut of the Diamond and take great pride in sourcing our diamonds from the finest cutters in the world.
Now that we have shared the importance of choosing a well cut and eye clean diamond, it is time to learn about the colour and the carat weight.
At this point, this is where the real personal preference will have an effect. So here are a few things for couples to think about when it comes to choosing the colour and carat weight of their diamond, especially for their Engagement ring. Keeping in mind that at the end of the day, all decisions when it comes to choosing a diamond, is personal. What might be important to one couple can very much differ from the next couple.
The diamond colours are grouped on a scale. The top range of colours are D and E and are referred to as ‘Finest White’. The next on the scale is ‘Fine White’ and referred to Diamonds that are F-G in colour and H colour is referred to as ‘White’. Diamonds in the D to G colour range have a white appearance and these diamonds have the highest quality look.
With regard to H colour, it is here that the colour just starts to minimally throw a faint hint of yellow.
The difference in colour cannot be noticed as much in the D, E and F colour range, although, of course can be detected by a skilled and trained Diamond expert.
The purpose for choosing a D or E colour over an F colour would be the fact that having the best is most important to you. There is always a great sense of pride in having the best and that is the common factor to the reason why a lot of our customers choose a diamond in the D, E or F colour range.
Wearing a Diamond in the ‘Finest White’ or ‘Fine White’ colour range has a particular class and uniqueness to it.
The fact that the higher quality D, E and F colour diamonds are not as readily available at most jewellery stores in Australia, or internationally for that matter, a D, E or F colour, combined with our unique craftsmanship, sets our customers’ engagement rings apart from most other engagement rings.
A G, Fine White colour diamond also looks great and is certainly very well priced. Our customers who choose a H Colour diamond, usually do so, as their personal preference is around size and not the colour so much, so their budget lends itself to an eye clean H colour slightly larger diamond.
I and J colour diamonds are also quite commonly offered at many stores, and although these are not colours we would generally recommend, they can be a choice to customers wanting to buy a big diamond that may have a modest budget.
When it comes to the Carat, we are referring to the weight. The importance of the size varies for each couple also. Some choose a diamond that is of a higher colour and clarity over the size of the diamond. So for some they choose “quality over quantity” would be the best way to describe it. Others choose size and still go for a white diamond that may not necessarily be as bright as the next diamond. Others may choose a diamond by the size that they see as suiting the size of the finger, or on what their budget may fit. Again, size is also very much a personal preference. The best way to determine size is to try on rings with different size centre diamonds and that will then help steer you in the right direction.
As a General Guideline Rule
Determine what is MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU and your partner. Size, Colour, Clarity or the quality of the Cut??? If this is your first diamond purchase, it is much easier to determine what is most important to you when buying a diamond by having someone explain all the above features to you and actually seeing for yourself, the difference in the quality of the stones. This may also help with price range, if that is an area still of some confusion.
A common question we get asked. What is of greater importance, the colour or the carat weight? For example, would I be best to purchase a smaller diamond with a higher colour or go for a larger diamond with a slightly lower colour?