What’s Important When Buying A Diamond
There’s so much information on how to buy a diamond – it can leave your head spinning! Should you buy online or go to a jewelry store? What about Grandma’s diamond; would that work as well? Don’t worry – at Scott’s Custom Jewelers, we’ve got all of the details in our guide to buying a diamond, so that you’ll make the best choice when you’re ready to buy yours!
Set A Diamond Budget
No one likes to talk about money, but it does matter. The old saying to spend two month’s salary on a diamond is not always good advice. Your financial situation and your partner’s expectations will be the two biggest determinants as to how much to spend. First, figure out what shape, size and look your partner is drawn to, then let Scott’s help you find the right diamond to fit your budget. With custom jewelry, there are many ways to get the look you want in a diamond engagement ring AND fit your budget!
Decide On A Diamond Shape
When buying a diamond for an engagement ring, choosing the right shape is crucial. Diamonds are available in all kinds of shapes and sizes. The most important factor, though, is your partner’s taste in jewelry. Most couples have a discussion about the shape, size and look of the overall ring before they buy a stone, but having a diamond shape dictionary is helpful!
Diamond Shapes Dictionary
- Round Brilliant Cut – This is the most popular diamond cut and one that accounts for more than 75% of the diamonds being purchased. This shaped diamond has the most brilliance and fire, which makes it both timeless and popular.
- Oval And Marquise Cut – These diamond shapes offer symmetrical designs and a more elongated look. The result is the appearance of a larger diamond.
- Princess Cut – The square or rectangular shaped diamond has distinct, 90 degree pointed corners, with small faceting, or cuts throughout the body of the stone, which makes it even more brilliant.
- Emerald Cut – One of the classics! This cut is also known as the step cut. Because of how “clean” it appears, the diamond material is usually higher grade and has greater clarity. This is generally rectangular in shape.
- Pear Shape Cut – This popular diamond shape resembles a teardrop, and has small faceting throughout the stone.
- Heart Shape Cut – While this may be the most romantic choices, this cut really needs an expert diamond cutter to bring out its brilliance and size.
- Cushion Shape Cut – This is a square brilliant cut diamond with rounded corners, kind of like a pillow, and the center has many facets to maximize its brilliance.
- Radiant Cut – Rectangular cut, similar in shape to the Emerald cut, but more facet work in the center, which results in more brilliance.
- Asscher Cut – This is more of a square emerald cut. Facets are step cut and have the ability to reflect light. Other cuts like the Trapezoid, Half-Moon, Kite, Trillion and Baguette shaped diamonds generally are used as complementary side diamonds, flanking the center diamond of the engagement ring.
How Size And Color Affect Diamond Prices
Carat weight, which is how diamonds are priced, will play a primary role in price. Smaller-sized diamonds cost less to purchase, compared to a single diamond with the same carat weight. For example, buying three .50 carat diamonds will cost a less than what you will pay for one diamond weighing 1.50 carats.
Another factor that determines price is color grade, or the whiteness of the diamond. The color scale begins at D and runs to Z. The highest color grades are D, E and F, which are categorized as colorless. The near colorless range is G, H and I. The near colorless will still look white and brilliant, but will cost less than colorless diamonds. As you move towards M on the color scale, the diamond will take on a hint of yellow or brown.
What Is Clarity
Clarity, or the clearness of the stone, also effects the cost of a diamond. The clarity scale begins at Internally Flawless and runs to Included. Almost all diamonds have natural inclusions that occur during the formation process. We call them freckles! The amount and type of inclusion will increase or decrease the cost of the diamond. The importance lies in inspecting them with the naked eye. If you have a SI1, or Slightly Included 1, diamond, it will have marks or inclusions, but they will NOT be visible with the naked eye. However, if a diamond has a clarity of Included 1 or 2 (I1 or I2), the inclusions will be visible and can affect the brilliance and sparkle of the diamond.
How Cut Affects The Diamond
Cut is not the shape of the diamond, but rather how well each shape is cut by the diamond cutter, and it plays an important role in a diamond’s sparkle. There are a lot of physics when it comes to cutting a diamond. For example, all cutting, or facets, should be in geometrical relation with each other. This is known as symmetry. An excellent symmetry will allow light to flow in and out of the diamond properly, resulting in the maximum brilliance of the diamond. Diamonds that are not as symmetrical may not allow light to flow freely, which may decrease shine.
Knowing how to buy a diamond can be daunting, but as with anything, knowledge is power! Scott’s Custom Jewelers can certainly help answer any questions and show you how easy it is to find the perfect diamond for your custom engagement ring. Contact us to find out how!