What do you look for in a diamond? That’s a good question because sometimes, the first thing you notice while buying jewelry pieces is not the most important.
We assume that you are familiar with the famous 4 C’s of a diamond. But have you ever thought about their individual importance? Faintly, huh?
One thing’s certain – and that’s that there has to be an order of importance here. Luckily, we’re going to talk about just that. We’re going to examine the 4 C’s of diamonds’ order of importance.
You’ll finally get to see what is the most important aspect to consider when checking out a potential diamond, how to recognize a high-quality gemstone – and many more useful tips.
If this got you interested, stay tuned!
1. Diamond Cut
Without a doubt, a diamond’s cut comes first. But before we go into details, we should clarify one thing: Diamond cut and diamond shape are not the same.
How come? Simple. A diamond’s cut has to do with light performance and symmetry, while shape refers to the very outline of the diamond.
Now that we’ve cleared that up – let’s move on.
Three things characterize a high-quality diamond cut. These factors are brilliance, fire, and scintillation. Moreover, a diamond’s cut is similar to anatomy: Your diamond consists of many different parts that make it a unique piece.
Let’s take a quick look at this table:
|Table:||A diamond’s largest facet.|
|Crown:||The top portion of a diamond.|
|Girdle:||The intersection of the crown and pavilion.|
|Diameter:||From one girdle edge across the opposite side.|
|Pavilion:||The bottom portion of a diamond.|
|Culet:||The facet found at the tip of a diamond.|
|Depth:||The height of a gemstone.|
In terms of a diamond cut, precision is key – and each of the elements that we mentioned in the table above can affect the overall quality of your diamond.
There’s more, though.
When buying a diamond, it’s imperative to get acquainted with the diamond cut grade table. Knowing this can help a lot. You can determine the quality that you’re aiming for more easily – which is crucial for some buyers.
Let’s see how this works, shall we?
|Excellent||A diamond with an excellent cut will have the highest level of brilliance and fire. But not just that; it’s going to cost you more money. It also radiates with a magnificent sparkle, and the overall precision and quality are undeniable.|
|Very good||A diamond with a very good cut is almost identical to the one with an excellent cut. The only difference here is that this cut reflects less light. Still, this is an impressive piece – and it’s worth every penny.|
|Good||If you’re operating on a limited budget, a diamond with a good cut is a smart investment. This diamond cut still reflects a good amount of light, and it has a satisfying sparkle at an affordable price.|
|Fair||A fair diamond-cut offers very little brilliance, so they’re a good choice for smaller stones around the central diamond. Here, the sparkle is not as noticeable as in the past three.|
|Poor||This one’s not a smart investment at all; a diamond with a poor cut should not be on your wishlist. These diamonds will be significantly cheaper – but their quality is not even close to what you expect.|
Since there are several types of diamond cuts, it’s only logical that not all of them are equally popular. If you’re interested in the most popular ones, here’s a couple of them listed:
Round diamond cut takes first place, hands down. This cut has a timeless and classic look, and it’s suitable for any type of jewelry – necklaces, rings, earrings, and so on. Because of its precise cut, this diamond has a strong sparkle.
If you want a stone with the most brilliance, you should opt for a triple excellent cut.
Diamonds with the oval cut come in second place. This cut is known for its elongated but elegant shape – a great choice for engagement rings. Jewelers will recommend this cut to people who want to complement their long fingers.
Another popular choice is the cushion cut. The reason why this cut is among the top three is its pillow-like appearance. Unlike the last two we mentioned, this cut is significantly lower in terms of price.
So, if you need an elegant and affordable piece of jewelry, let this be your first alternative.
A radiant cut is suitable for someone who wants more finger coverage. It’s a popular shape for earrings and rings. Also, another advantage of this cut is that it gives more color options.
A cut that was extremely popular in the 1920s and is still a common choice is the emerald cut. The most appreciative characteristic of this cut is symmetry and transparency.
Many celebrities still opt for this timeless style.
2. Diamond Color
Next in order of importance is the color of your diamond. In addition to determining quality, it often affects the price. Which ones are rarer – colorless or colored diamonds?
That may come as a surprise, but 100% colorless diamonds are among the rarest ones in the world – and this makes them extremely expensive. Such diamonds are graded with the highest quality, that is, grade D.
To understand what we mentioned a little better, let’s look at this color grading scale.
|D, E, F||Completely colorless||Extremely rare and expensive.|
|G, H, I, J||Nearly colorless||Have a slight undertone of yellow.|
|K, L, M||Faint||The yellow tone is noticeable.|
|N – R||Very light||Poor-quality.|
|S – Z||Light||Have a brown tint, poor-quality.|
Although they’re found in almost every color of the rainbow, colored diamonds are very rare. Let’s say a few words about them, their popularity – and possible prices on the market.
First of all, how do diamonds get their color? Well, there are two ways for this to happen:
The first involves a natural diamond, one that picks up its color during the formation process. Naturally, they’re rare – and very popular with diamond collectors.
On the other hand, lab-created diamonds get their color from the people that make them.
What’s the deal with pink diamonds? Namely, pink diamonds were a very popular choice of many celebrity engagement rings. The real ones were mostly found in mines in Australia.
However, there’s a problem: Due to too much interest, natural pink diamonds started to face extinction near the end of 2020. That has forced their prices to skyrocket, and it is now much harder to find a real pink diamond that’s within your budget.
Okay, moving on. Let’s talk numbers.
As you suspected, the most expensive colored diamonds are the red ones. Since mined red diamonds are scarce, their price can reach a staggering one million dollars. Given the recent shortage, pink diamonds can cost you anywhere from $10,000 to roughly $700,000.
People interested in buying go for yellow diamonds because they’re the most affordable ones at the moment. These diamonds can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $16,000 or more per carat.
Related Read: Diamond Color Vs. Clarity: What’s More Important?
3. Diamond Clarity
That is a crucial aspect when choosing your potential jewelry piece, and it marks the number of inclusions your stone has. The less, the better.
Like all other C’s, clarity affects the quality of your diamond. And to be more familiar with it, you need to know something about the grading scale. Here’s a quick overview:
|FL/IF||Naturally, flawless diamonds are of the highest quality and have no inclusion on them. Internally flawless, they are also top-quality, but their inclusions are only visible under 10x magnification.|
|VVS1/VVS2||Very very slightly included diamonds earned this grade because their inclusions are still extremely difficult to view under 10x magnification.|
|VS1/VS2||Very slightly included diamonds consist of several inclusions such as feathers and clouds, but they’re still difficult to see under magnification. They’re considered high-quality diamonds.|
|SI1/SI2/SI3||In slightly included diamonds, inclusions are visible without the aid of magnification. These types of diamonds often contain clouds, knots, and feathers that you can see if you look closely enough.|
|I1/I2/I3||Included diamonds reflect light poorly, and they’re not exactly high-quality. Here, you can see inclusions, even with the naked eye. That can affect the price.|
Related Read: Diamond Inclusions – What Are Inclusions In Diamonds?
4. Diamond Carat
Many times, a diamond carat is associated with the size of your gemstone. Right off the bat, that’s not true. Diamond carat is associated with weight, and inevitably, price.
The more carats your diamond has, the more valuable it is. That also means that it is carved from a larger stone. And the heavier the diamond, the more money you’ll need to get it.
How much money are we talking about exactly? Here are a few guidelines:
|0.50 carat||$1,220 – $5,800|
|1.0 carat||$2,500 – $18,000|
|1.50 carat||$3,300 – $24,000|
|2.0 carat||$4,200 – $29,000|
|3.0 carat||$7,200 – $51,000|
Check out: How Many Carat Diamond Should You Wear?
A Few Tips Before Buying
Now that we’ve listed down the 4 C’s of a diamond, we take it you’re ready to purchase a gemstone. But before you do that, you should go through a couple of these tips.
Set A Budget
It doesn’t matter if this is a diamond purchase or your weekly shopping list – you should have a budget for everything. That will prevent you from making a common mistake and paying more than you should.
Once again, diamonds are not exactly cheap items, and this should be a wise investment.
Keep Your Options Open
Since diamonds can be quite a valuable possession, it might be best to keep your options open. And by this, we mean that you should consider buying a lab-grown diamond if you see one you particularly like.
If your budget is not flexible, this can be a good alternative. After all, lab-grown diamonds are just as good as real ones.
Read More: Lab-created Diamond Vs. Natural Diamond
The Cut Is Your Priority
As you have had the opportunity to read so far, you should pay the most attention to the cut when buying a diamond. But before you purchase it, it would be helpful to brush up on your jewelry knowledge and get your diamond checked out by a professional.
Keep It Simple
“Bad and boujee” is not the best way to choose your diamond. Instead, look for jewelry pieces that suit your style and budget. Keeping it simple will help you make the right decision.
After all, simple is always beautiful – and never goes out of style.
We managed to answer the main question – and list the 4 C’s of diamonds by importance. Let’s go over it once again:
- The most important C is the Cut. It’ll determine the quality of your diamond, and it has to do with the precision and the way in which your diamond is carved.
- The next C in line is Color, and it can affect the price of your gemstone – especially if you’re aiming for a colored gem.
- Diamond Clarity is also an essential item, and it will tell you how transparent your diamond is and how well it can reflect light.
- The last, but not the least important, is Carat. It’s simple; the more carats the gemstone has, the more valuable it is.
That would be a quick recap. Before you actually go and buy a diamond, it would be good to review this article one more time and pick up some helpful tips.
Learn More: Diamond Types: All Different Types Of Diamonds