Diamonds are forever, and they are a woman’s best friend. With such popular statements being accepted as truisms, it is easy to see why diamonds are used widely in the best engagement rings online. The challenge for people shopping for engagement rings had been knowing which one best meets their needs well and how to go about the selection period.
Of course, there is the issue of budget, the wearer’s preferences and the place of purchase among other issues. However, for most buyers, the challenge is in picking the right quality which is largely determined by the 4Cs. These are four characteristics used as a criterion in the evaluation of diamond jewelry. Understanding them provides the buyer with a better chance of selecting the diamonds. They are;
Herein is an overview of what they are, how they influence the general quality of the diamond and what to look out for.
1. The Diamond’s Color
This is the first obvious attribute but graded slightly differently from what you would expect. Diamonds are ranked by color on a scale running from D to Z with D being colorless and Z light yellow. In nature, diamonds occur in a range of colors, so most of the ones in jewelry have faint tinges of yellow, brown or even grey body color.
Diamonds at the top of the scale D, E and F are considered colorless and have the higher value. However, some rare or unusual color like green or red are equally valued because of their demand.
The more usual diamond colors are pink, blue and yellow. A diamond’s color is largely an issue of personal taste. For example, those seeking to have a more creative or unique statement can opt for fancy yellow or pink leaving out the valued colorless options.
2. The Diamond’s Cut
When most buyers hear of a diamond’s cut, they immediately think of the shape. In truth, these are two different aspects, the shape of a diamond refers to the actual physical appearance of the diamond. This could be round, oval, pear-shaped or the several other options. On the other hand, a diamond’s cut refers to the diamond’s reflective attributes which are determined by how the diamond was cut during production.
A well-cut diamond has a fiery brilliance since the cutting technique aimed to increase its sparkle. Thus when the light gets into the diamond, it passes through its midpoint and reflects from side to side. A poorly cut of the diamond loses light either through the bottom or allows it to escape through the sides affecting its sparkle. The brighter the diamond, the higher it’s value.
Besides a diamond cut quality, there is the diamond cut style which refers to the arrangement of a diamond’s facets.
3. The Diamond’s Clarity
Almost all diamonds contain micro-sized impurities known as inclusions which can only be seen with a power ten magnification. These impurities form when the diamond is getting crystalized in the ground. The size, color, number, nature, and position of these impurities differ from one diamond to another and determine the overall grading of the diamond’s clarity. A higher grade is achieved if the diamond has less and smaller inclusions as well as the blemishes at the surface. The higher the clarity grade which a diamond is given, the more valuable it is.
4. The Diamond’s carat
The carat is the conventional measuring unit of a diamond’s weight. It is about 200 milligrams, and it is made up of 100 points. It is a major determinant of size and value of the diamond meaning the more the carats in the diamond, the more likely it is to be bigger unless given a deep cut. Larger diamonds are rare and hence their high value. It is essential to remember that one could easily have two diamonds having the same carats but having significant differences in value. This is because of other factors like cut, clarity, and color.
Once you are done with the 4Cs of evaluating a diamond, the other important considerations are the setting as well as the shape of the diamond.
The shape of the diamond offers several options with the popular ones being;
The diamond’s setting refers to how it is held in place these include;
- Claw or prong setting
- Tension setting
- Bezel setting
- Channel setting
- Gypsy setting.