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If you’re looking to purchase a diamond ring for the first time, whether for an engagement or any other reason, the process may seem intimidating. There are a number of different diamond types out there, after all – where do you start? Which factors are most important?
At Payne Anthony Creative Jewelers, we’re proud to offer the highest-quality diamonds and gemstones from around the world, plus professionals with the expertise to help you find the perfect diamond for an engagement ring or any other purpose. One of the first diamond-buying tricks you’ll hear about is utilizing the “Four Cs” of the diamond world – what do these refer to, and how might they play a role in your search? Let’s take a look.
The first, and often considered the most important, factor in buying any diamond is the cut. There are several cut styles out there, ranging from shallow cuts to medium and even deep cuts, and these play a big role in the quality and “sparkle” of the diamond.
It’s important to note that cut does not mean the same thing as “shape” – diamonds with the exact same cut may be shaped differently. Cut is vital for the appearance of stones; even diamonds with great clarity and color may look dull and boring without the proper cut grade. Ideally, the cut will be made in a way that returns light out of the top of the diamond, rather than out of the bottom or sides where it can’t be seen as easily.
Diamond carat, or carat weight, is another very important factor when performing your search – but it’s also commonly misunderstood. Many people think carat refers only to the size of the diamond, when in fact it refers to the weight.
Generally speaking, cut and carat weight are considered as a duo. A diamond with a high-grade cut may appear larger even if it has a relatively low carat size, and vice versa. However, prices tend to rise as you go up the scale in terms of carat weight.
Virtually all diamonds contain small imperfections, both external or internal – surface flaws are known as blemishes, while interior issues are called inclusions. While these factors are very small and don’t really affect the visible beauty of the diamond, they are still included in diamond grading under the clarity marker. In many cases, clarity is considered the least important of these four factors because it usually can’t be seen with the naked eye.
Diamond color, on the other hand, is very important. The very highest-quality diamonds will have no color, but the majority below this level will, often a pale yellow of some grade. The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) grades diamond color on a scale that begins with D (for colorless, high-quality stones) and ranging to Z (light yellow or even brown). As you might have guessed, diamonds closer to D on the scale will be more expensive, with completely colorless diamonds coming in at very high prices in some cases due to their rarity.
For more on the four Cs of diamond purchasing, or to learn about any of our caring, dedicated services and the custom diamonds and jewelry we offer, speak to the staff at Payne Anthony Creative Jewelers today.