How to Start
When it comes to looking for a diamond to purchase, one would want to be sure that it is the best one for the occasion and the person it is for. Whether it is for someone’s wife, fiancee, friend, or family member, there are several aspects of diamond buying to consider. First and foremost, the “Four C’s”: Cut, color, clarity, and carat. To be even more specific, shape as well.
To the untrained diamond buyer, shape and cut may seem as if they are the same. However, the difference is actually easy to understand. The shape of a diamond pertains to the overall physical appearance, and the cut describes the amount of cuts and facets on the surface of the stone itself. The grading system for cut starts at poor, and ends with excellent. For example, a diamond with a higher number of cuts would be considered higher quality, more able to reflect light, and more brilliant than one with less. As for shapes, some of the most popular are princess, round, emerald, marquise, pear, and cushion. The most common shape is round, because it can offer the most facets, fire, and shine than other shapes.
Color is very important when looking for a white diamond. The color grade makes all the difference between a pure white stone and one with an unattractive tint. The grading scale goes from Z-N which means that there is a noticeable color in the diamond, to M-K, J, I, H, G, F, E, and D. A stone with a color grade D is one that is considered completely colorless.
What Else to Look For
Most diamonds are not actually completely free of any type of inclusion. The way that a stone’s clarity is determined is by examining it under 10x magnification. The lowest clarity is I1-I3, which stands for included. When looking for the best quality diamond, purchasing one that is graded flawless, or internally flawless are the best options there are. In a flawless gem, no inclusions or blemishes are visible. With internally flawless, there are slight blemishes which most likely would not be visible to the naked eye.
Next, the carat. Many people believe that the carat directly determines the size of the diamond, but that is not necessarily true. The carat is equal to the weight of the gem. For example, a deeply cut diamond that is one carat may not look as large as one that has a wider diameter, or crown. The base of the stone would be somewhat covered by the setting for a ring, earring, or pendant. It is rare to see a diamond lower than 1/4 of a carat, but if looking for an inexpensive engagement ring or pair of earrings, 1/10 of a carat diamonds can be found easily online.
Finally, it is important to find a vendor that guarantees a certification. A certification is vital to being positive that the diamond has been examined by a professional gemologist, and that it is in fact a natural diamond with the correct cut, color, clarity, and carat grading. This ensures that the buyer gets a fair price.