Learn all about loose diamonds.
Let’s Shine Some Light On Diamond Education
That said, diamonds are fascinating and buying one should be exciting and fun. So let’s start at the beginning.
Did you know that the shape you choose for your center diamond has an impact on how your ring looks and feels? Consider the benefits of each of these shapes when you’re choosing. Which one matches your style?
- Round— the most popular; cut for maximum brilliance.
- Princess Cut — the most popular fancy-shape; has a great deal of sparkle.
- Oval — a modified brilliant-cut with similar fire; elongated shape creates the illusion of greater size.
- Cushion — a square cut with rounded corners, much like a pillow; arguably giving the most sparkle.
- Asscher Cut — an elegant square shape with blocked corners that make diamonds appear octagonal.
- Emerald — rectangular with parallel facets and blocked corners; produces a hall-of-mirrors effect.
- Marquise — an elongated shape with tapering points at both ends; flatters the finger.
- Pear — teardrop-shaped, with a great deal of sparkle.
- Radiant Cut — a combination of the emerald cut and the sparkle of the round brilliant; typically with blocked corners.
- Heart — a sentimental cut that is sometimes hard to find.
Carat weight is about more than size
Clarity can be clearly explained
A diamond’s clarity is determined by the number, size, nature and position of its inclusions and blemishes. No diamond is perfect, but the closer it comes to perfection, the higher its value. A “flawless” diamond is rare. Inclusions seldom affect a diamond’s beauty, although they do affect price.
Color means less is more
* A colorless diamond can be graded D, E or F. Less than ¼ of 1% of all the diamonds in the world fall into this category.
* A near colorless diamond can be graded, G, H, I or J. The majority of diamonds sold in the industry are represented by one of these grades.
Colored diamonds, such as pink, blue, chocolate or bright yellow, are also available, but they are rated on a different scale than white diamonds.
Cut is (pretty much) everything
In spite of the importance of cut, there weren’t any standardized criteria for cut grading before the mid-20th century. When criteria were finally standardized, it included brightness, fire, scintillation, weight ratio, durability, polish and symmetry. A diamond cutter is trying to maximize each of these to make the diamond more rare and valuable. Needless to say, it takes a master level of craftsmanship to achieve maximum sparkle.
So what’s best? A diamond cut with the ideal proportions for its shape. That diamond will reflect more light out of the top, resulting in higher levels of fire and brilliance.
And the opposite is true for a poorly cut diamond with less than ideal proportions. It will allow light to escape out the bottom and sides, resulting in a dull, dark appearance.
In short, try to pick the diamonds with the best proportions you can to maximize the diamond’s sparkle and beauty.