Loving diamonds is one thing; buying the one that suits you best is another. When choosing diamonds, there are a lot of factors that determine which one to go for. With many options to choose from, you have to focus and make the right choice.
Understanding the 4Cs Grading System
Like every other gemstone, the 4Cs are essential parameters that inform your choice of diamond jewellery. They stand for the colour, clarity, cut, and carat of a diamond.
- Colour: The signature colour of ready to use diamonds is colourless. Diamonds are graded from D to Z based on their colour. As the letters progress from the D to Z, diamonds are regarded as colourless, near colourless, faint colour, very light colour, and light colour.
- Clarity: Clarity defines how pure a diamond is. A diamond without cracks, bubbles, dents and other inclusions is usually more highly-priced than flawed ones.
- Cut: Perhaps, this is the most crucial factor to consider when choosing a diamond. After all, it is what determines a diamond’s radiance. A properly cut diamond is bright, reflects light, and has a shiny radiance.
- Carat: This is the measurement of the value of a diamond based on its weight. Depending on your preference and budget, you can opt for a big or small carat diamond.
Understand Different Types of Diamond Shapes
After radiance and clarity, the next most appreciated thing about a diamond is the shape. Some shapes tend to provide more brilliance than others, and some help to maximise carat size. Also, different shapes of diamonds could fit different types of jewellery best.
Let’s take a look at popular diamond shapes:
- Round: This is the most popular diamond cut in history. This is because it gives diamonds the most brilliance. The round cut was invented by Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919 and has 58 facets.
- Princess: The Princess cut became famous in 1961 when it was first invented. It bears a square or rectangular shape at the surface and tapers into a point below. It, therefore, looks like an inverted pyramid.
- Emerald: The emerald cut is popularly called the shape of glamour. It has a rectangular shape that is cut at the edge to make depressions that form a staircase pattern. This play of cut at the sides is what gives emerald cut diamonds their beautiful mirror effect.
- Oval: The oval cut is a cheaper but less radiant alternative to a round cut. It is a contemporary cut style that became mastered and accepted in the late 1950s. The elongated shape makes it appear larger, while the roundness makes it less prone to chipping.
- Pear: This is a fancy diamond shape that adorns the fingers of many celebrities. The teardrop shape that points to the wearer is the most appealing thing about a pear cut.
- Cushion: The cushion or pillow cut has a square top with rounded corners. This is the cut that is naturally imagined with diamond jewellery. The cut is best when placed on a colourless palette.
- Heart: According to history, Mary Queen of Scots gifted Queen Elizabeth a heart cut diamond in 1562. This may have helped the shape rise to popularity in diamond rings. Heart-shaped diamonds can make very meaningful jewellery. Luckily their brilliance is easily maintained due to the round sides.
- Marquise: This cut has a history that dates back to as early as the 18th century during the reign of Louis XIV. The cut was named after the King’s famous mistress – Marquise de Pompadour. The marquise is shaped like an Eye, with two arcs joining to make two posted ends.
Know Your Diamond Source
Diamonds are sourced from different places and pass through various supply chains. Some diamonds are mined, while others created in labs, like the man-made diamonds from BIRON® Gems. While most diamonds follow the proper pathway from manufacturers to users, some are also stolen or unethically mined.
It is essential to know where your diamonds come from, especially if mined. Endeavour to only choose diamonds that are ethically sourced and have passed through the right hands all through the supply chain.
The only way to ensure this is to patronise credible diamond sellers. These are companies or individuals that source their diamonds properly. When you buy a diamond from a company, do not forget to obtain its certification or grading report. A comprehensive grading report provides adequate information on the diamond’s 4Cs, its source, weight, other measurements, processing technology, and treatments made if there were.
Know Your Budget
Above all, what determines the diamond you’re taking home is your budget. For obvious reasons, some diamonds are priced higher than others. All of the factors we have already mentioned play a role in a diamond’s market price.
When trying to meet a budget, you can always work around qualities like carat size and clarity. You can also opt for less expensive shapes or even play the shapes to your advantage.
Understand that choosing a diamond is based on personal preferences. Therefore, what applies to you may not apply to another. However, in making your choice, factors like the 4Cs, diamond shape, source, and budget are things you shouldn’t ignore during decision making.
The essence of this article is to provide a quick run-to guide whenever you need to buy a diamond. And we hope that’s exactly what it does.